A Policy Analysis on the Legalization of Medical Marijuana

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This policy analysis is attempting to address the issue of a growing public demand for the national legalization of marijuana for medical purposes and for policy and legislation prohibiting federal impediment for such, in states that have legalized medical marijuana. History of Marijuana: Origins in early civilization: Marijuana originated in the Middle East and has been used by the Chinese since 4500 B.C.E. It was originally cultivated for hemp – to make cloth, net, and rope; in 4300 B.C.E., it was introduced for medicinal purposes. The first Chinese physician, Hoatho used marijuana as a surgical anesthetic, painkillers, and treatment for gout, rheumatism, malaria. The Thai people discovered its use as an appetites stimulant and used marijuana to help the ill sleep and to counteract diarrhea. Origins in America: Historians believe Columbus’ ships to America were outfitted with hemp ropes and hemp cloth as well as marijuana to combat illness. Marijuana was initially farmed by the Jamestown settlers, was later introduced in New England, and then spread throughout the country. Diary entries from President George Washington speak about his growing of marijuana at Mount Vernon. Marijuana was a major crop in America until after the civil war; it was grown and used for hemp and for its digestive purposes, especially its fiber content. Origins of marijuana legality in America: Prior to the Mexican Revolution of 1910, marijuana was legally used (in most states) for medicinal purpose and to produce items from hemp. The influx of Mexican immigrants, following the revolution, brought recreational marijuana use to the United States. Congress’ adoption of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act, integrated, at both the state and federal level, marijuana with US narcotics policy and laws. These laws were revenue raising tax laws and therefore not able to effectively

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