The debate rages on regarding the effectiveness and wisdom of partaking in medical marijuana. Marijuana, also called cannabis, is derived from the hemp plant. Its leaves, stems, and seeds may be smoked, vaporized into inhalable form, and made into a pill or liquid form. Its color may be green, brown or gray. Its active chemical ingredient is THC, which is short for "delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol".
Some may think this drug has only been around for a few decades, but this isn't true. It's been around for a very long time. Here is a historical timeline of medical marijuana.
- There are conflicting reports dating as far back as 2727 BC. It is said that a Chinese Emperor allowed medical marijuana as a cure for constipation, female bodily problems, malaria, gout, and rheumatism.
- In the year 2000 BC, it is reported that Egyptians began to use this drug as a treatment for painful eye conditions.
- In India, in the year 1000 BC, cannabis was used to alleviate pain during childbirth, as an anesthetic, to overcome hunger and thirst issues along with various other health concerns.
- In the years between 70 and 200 BC, Rome and Greece were reported advocates of the drug in order to alleviate pain associated with earaches, edema and the reduction of general inflammation.
- In the year 1621 (AD), an English clergyman stated that cannabis cured depression.
- In the mid-1700's, it was used in Africa for a multitude of health ills, including hemorrhoids, tetanus, cholera, rheumatism, hay fever, skin disorders and asthma.
- During the late 1700's, Napoleon's army used the drug as a sedative as well as a pain reliever.
- In the 1850 United States census, it was reported that there were many thousands of acres of cannabis growing. There were reportedly more than 8,000 plantations devoted to the product.
- Between the mid-1800's and early 1900's, it gained a reputation for being an intoxicant rather than as a health aid.
- Even though the reputation of being an intoxicant was spreading, medical marijuana was still recognized as helping with mental illnesses such as manic depression, seizures and various emotional maladies.
- Through the 1900's and into the 2000's, marijuana has had its ups and downs in terms of its reputation. It had become an illegal, recreational drug which was extremely popular with the rebellious youth of the 1960's and 1970's. It was called the "gateway drug", meaning that smokers of the illicit substance could get pulled through the "gateway" and into more serious drugs.
Many people within the medical community still recognized the substance for its health affirming properties. The controversy continues; thirteen of the fifty United States have allowed it to be legalized as a medicine; others are investigating the possibility.