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History of Marijuana in America: 6 Pot Facts You Might Not Know

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 04:00 AM

Americans know more about marijuana than any other illegal drug. Recent polls show nearly half the population has firsthand knowledge of it. Despite the history of marijuana laws in the United States, there is a somewhat positive representation of it floating around.

Words like “joint” and “stoned” can be found in the dictionary. And movies and television regularly portray people lighting up a bong or sharing a joint and then enjoying a laidback, mellow high.

However, there is much about marijuana that you might not know. Here are a few lesser-known facts about pot:

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1. Marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries in cultures around the world. In ancient China, the drug was thought to relief intestinal ailments, joint pain and arthritis, and even absent-mindedness. 

2. More than 20 prescription medicines with marijuana as an ingredient were sold in the United States prior to 1900. Cannabis was deemed an acceptable drug in the United States and listed in the United States Pharmacopeia, the country’s official list of effective drugs, from the late 1800s up until 1942. Cannabis was used to treat muscle spasms, epilepsy, and pain among other physical ailments. 

3. While supporters claim the drug has little physical effect, studies suggest otherwise. In fact, in recent years, marijuana growers have been genetically tinkering with the plant to increase potency. From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of delta-9-tetrhydrocannabinol (THC) found in seized marijuana more than doubled, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes the “high.” 

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4. At the same time, producers of medical-grade marijuana are genetically altering several strains of the drug to reduce THC and increase a compound called canabidiol, or CBD. CBD has the widest range of medical benefits, with none of the psychoactive effects. CBD even tempers the stoned effects of THC. The FDA has approved studies of CBD for potential treatment of epilepsy.

5. Rhode Island has the highest usage in America. About one in eight, or 13 percent, of Rhode Islanders over 12 smoke marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The national percentage is seven percent. In second place by a nose is Alaska where 12.97 percent of residents over 12 use marijuana each month. Third place goes to Vermont with 12.86 percent.

6. Cannabis sativa, or industrial use hemp, has a long history in America dating back to George Washington. The first president cultivated hemp on his Mount Vernon plantation to make rope, cloth, and other goods. This strain of cannabis contains very little THC – about 0.3 percent. Marijuana comes from Cannabis sativa indica, a strain with as much as a 20 percent concentration of THC.

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Americans know more about marijuana than any other illegal drug. Recent polls show nearly half the population has firsthand knowledge of it. Despite marijuana laws history in the United States, there is a somewhat positive representation of it floating around.
marijuana laws history
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2015-00-30
Monday, 30 Mar 2015 04:00 AM
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