The Cannabis Craze: Is It Really a Medical Cure?

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Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to treat medical conditions. The earliest recording of its use is from a book written in 2737 B.C by Shennong Bencaojing, China’s emperor at the time. He and following Chinese authors recorded cannabis and cannabis tea as being used to treat such ailments as bad memory, rheumatism, gout and malaria. It was used as an anesthetic by Hua Tuo, a Chinese surgeon that practiced early in the first century A.D. The ancient Egyptians recorded using cannabis medicinally according to the Ebers Papyrus (cerca 1550 B.C.) and the Fayyum Medical Payrus dating to the second century A.D. lists it as an ingredient in cancer medicine. Cannabis was also used by the ancient peoples of India to alleviate gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, pain and insomnia while the ancient Greeks used it to treat inflammation and earaches as well as wounds their horses received in battle.
Cannabis began to be used as a medicinal treatment in England in the 1830s after William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician, visited India and witnessed its widespread use. The success of marijuana as a treatment for such ailments as epilepsy, rheumatism, pain and muscle spasms caused its use to spread rapidly throughout Europe and eventually to North America.
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The U.S. Illegalization of Marijuana
Cannabis was listed in the U.S. Dispensary of 1854 as a treatment for hemorrhage, neuralgia, pain, depression and muscle spasms. It was used freely as a medication for these and other health issues for many years. However, the medical use of cannabis began its decline with the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which significantly hindered the use of marijuana since ingredients of medicines were then legally required to be included on labels, mainly to prevent medicines from being polluted with narcotics. The Harrison Act of 1914 further escalated its fall by making it illegal to use narcotics such as cocaine, morphine and cannabis unless their use was registered, recorded and special taxes paid.
The American public, already in a panic over rampant narcotic use, particularly opium that was being brought to the country by Chinese immigrants, was further outraged when a flood of Mexican immigrants entered the country during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 bringing with them marijuana for recreational use. By the time of the Great Depression, marijuana was further demonized into a drug that incited insanity, violent behavior, sex crimes and deepened drug addiction and abuse, although such behavior was more likely due to 25 percent unemployment and rampant economic suffering.
Through the 1950s, the main drive of Congress was to control the use of narcotics. However, the generations of the 1960s through 1980s began to use marijuana as an act of rebellion in social-political drives which prompted even more several legal whiplash against the recreational use of drugs. In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act which designated marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug that has high potential for abuse, is unsafe and has no medical value, a classification that exists to this day.
You can read more of this article in our July/August 2015 issue of ModelsMania

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