Four Primary Uses
1. Recreational Use
Cannabis is a popular recreational drug around the world, only behind alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. In the United States, it is believed that over 100 million Americans have tried cannabis, with 25 million Americans having used it within the past year.
2. Medical Use
Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis to treat disease or improve symptoms. Cannabis is used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms.
The term hemp is used to name the durable soft fiber from the Cannabis plant stem. Hemp can refer to any industrial or foodstuff product that is not intended for use as a drug. Many countries regulate limits for psychoactive compound (THC) concentrations in products labeled as hemp.
4. Industrial Use
Cannabis for industrial uses is valuable in thousands of commercial products, especially as fiber ranging from paper, cordage, construction material and textiles in general, to clothing. Hemp is stronger and longer-lasting than cotton. It also is a useful source of foodstuffs (hemp milk, hemp seed, and hemp oil) and bio-fuels.
Basic History Summary on Cannabis in USA
1890s Domestic production of hemp encouraged American production of hemp was encouraged by the government in the 17th
century for the production of rope, sails, and clothing.
1932 Uniform State Narcotic Act,
Concern about the rising use of marijuana and research linking its use with
crime and other social problems created pressure on the federal government to take action. Rather than promoting federal legislation, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics strongly encouraged state governments to accept responsibility for control of the problem by adopting the Uniform State Narcotic Act.
1937 Marijuana Tax Act
After a lurid national propaganda campaign against the "evil weed," Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. The statute effectively criminalized marijuana restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid an excise tax for certain authorized medical and industrial uses.
1951-56 Stricter Sentencing Laws
Enactment of federal laws (Boggs Act, 1952; Narcotics Control Act, 1956) which set mandatory sentences for drug-related offenses, including marijuana. A first-offense marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2-10 years with a fine of up to $20,000.
1968 Creation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
This was a merger of FBN and the Bureau of Dangerous Drugs of the Food and Drug Administration.
1972 Shafer Commission
The bipartisan Shafer Commission, appointed by President Nixon at the direction of Congress, considered laws regarding marijuana and determined that personal use of marijuana should be decriminalized. Nixon rejected the recommendation, but over the course of the 1970s, eleven states decriminalized marijuana and most others reduced their penalties.
1996 Medical Use Legalized in California
California voters passed Proposition 215 allowing for the sale and medical use of marijuana for patients with AIDS, cancer, and other serious and painful diseases. This law stands in tension with federal laws prohibiting possession of marijuana.
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