Essay about Marijuana as a Social Problem

1098 WordsJan 28, 20135 Pages
Marijuana as a Social Problem Introduction Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works. They all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana's effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. The potency of marijuana has increased since the 1970s but has been about the same since the…show more content…
The cannabis sativa plant, whose dried flower extracts can form potent recreational marijuana, was in great demand because of its long fibers which could be used for the production of clothing, ropes, and sails. In fact, The Assembly of Jamestown Colony, Virginia, passed legislation in 1619 making it compulsory for every farmer to grow the Indian hempseed – ironically America’s first marijuana law. Other colonial states like Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania allowed hemp to be exchanged as legal tender and could even be used to pay taxes. The plant was an essential requirement during war times and farmers would be jailed if they were not able to produce enough hemp. Men who Americans hold in great reverence grew and encouraged the growth of hemp. George Washington grew hemp as his primary crop in the late 18th century for fiber production at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson grew the plant as a secondary crop at Monticello and urged farmers to grow hemp in place of tobacco due to its many useful qualities. Even Benjamin Franklin used cannabis as the raw material to start one of America’s pioneering paper mills. By the mid-19th century, marijuana’s medicinal properties were recognized in North America and it was used as a popular ingredient in many medicinal products. The United States Pharmacopeia had marijuana on its list of pharmaceuticals from 1850 until 1942, and many companies like Brothers Smith, Eli Lilly,
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