How Drugs Changed the World

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A drug is a natural substance or manmade chemical that can be used to control or prevent physical or psychological ailments, change the way the body works, and alter mood or behavior. Drugs have changed the world in countless ways. Throughout history societies have been brought together or torn apart due to the usage of drugs, political leaders have used drugs or fought against them, countries have united to fight drugs and trade them, religions have even been based on drugs, and trade has flourished worldwide for the drug market. Many currently illegal drugs have been used for thousands of years for both medical and spiritual purposes and continue to be used. Not all drugs that exist today existed thousands of years ago, being that some drugs are natural and others are chemically engineered. People have been using drugs for most of human history (Kallen 5). During the time period of 8000 BCE through 600 CE, marijuana was used in the regions of China and India being that it was natural and easily found. Marijuana was first cultivated six thousand years ago (Kallen 5). Through time the use of marijuana for medical purposes spread and gave societies healing powers that they did not have before. In 2900 BCE Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi references to Ma (marijuana) as a popular medicine that possesses ying and yang ("Historical Timeline."). The Chinese used it knowing it had its positives and negatives which balanced each other out. Then in 2700 BCE Emperor Shen Nung discovered marijuana’s healing properties ("Historical Timeline."). This increased the use of the drug for medical purposes. The ancient Chinese learned to use virtually every part of the cannabis plant: the root for medicine; the stem for textiles, rope, and paper making; the leaves and flowers for intoxication and medicine; and the seeds for food and oil (Frank and Rosenthal). Even though the main purpose of

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