Take a journey through time & space

State by state marijuana legalization has grown throughout America. 29 states plus Washington, D.C. have lifted the prohibition on medical marijuana. On top of that, 8 of those states and D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. Following a path much similar to the recent civil rights issue of marriage equality where each state one-by-one voted for marriage equality until it became legal federally. If history were to repeat itself, then medical and recreational cannabis may become federally legal one day as well.

History repeating itself may not be a bad thing. In a time before the Industrial Revolution, before GMO and pesticides, ancestors of present day humans used plants for everyday needs. They figured out cotton was ideal to make clothes, made health teas and tonics with herbs and roots, and crafted rope out of hemp.

First references of cannabis can be traced back to what is now present day India in 2000 BC. As explained in The Vedas, which are sacred Hindu texts, cannabis was seen as a source of happiness and a, “liberator that was compassionately given to humans to help us attain delight and lose fear” (Abel, 1980).

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Acceptance of marijuana today

Cannabis, which is classified as Schedule I Controlled Drug under federal United States law, is still the most commonly used drug in America. The government-funded National Institute of Drug Abuse conducted a survey where they found 22.2 million people have used recreational and/or medical marijuana at least once in the past month.

Marijuana hasn’t always been so easily available and widely accepted as a form of medicine or a way to escape everyday problems (much like alcohol). Although ancestors of the human race used the cannabis plant for a litany of essential functions from clothing to medicine to food, America’s relationship with cannabis became strained in the early 1910’s.

The prohibition on marijuana started off on the state level. Prior to the ban on marijuana, cannabis was an active ingredient in many household items and over-the-counter medications. In 1913, California became the first state to increase the tax levied on the sale of anything that contained marijuana. Dead set on making the most of this newfound income, the state began criminalizing those who didn’t pay the tax. The enforcement of this new law grew state by state in the 1930’s until it became a country-wide prohibition on marijuana shortly following the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

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The rough upbringing of hemp

Hemp and marijuana are not the same thing. Just get that out of your head. Sure, they come from the same family of plants, but they have completely different characteristics and can be used in a variety of ways. Hemp and marijuana may both be cannabis, but they also come with own lists of benefits.

There’s an incessant stigma surrounding the use of hemp in the everyday lives of human beings. Stigma aside, the beneficial use of hemp has been undenied. This cannabis-derived product has creeped into the ingredient lists of cosmetics, clothes and food. Want to learn more about what hemp can do for you that doesn’t include getting you high (save that for marijuana)? Read on to find out about the wonder-plant known as hemp.

It’s clear the use of Hemp has been closely associated with its fruity sister, Marijuana. Yes, as mentioned above, hemp is classified as a member of the cannabis family. This is the same family that boasts the criminalized schedule 1 controlled drug known as marijuana. However, hemp cannot do for you what marijuana does.

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Out of shadows, and into light

Once a persecuted plant, the Schedule I Controlled Substance known as marijuana has proven to have many benefits for the American consumer. As more states vote yes for medical marijuana each passing year, the medicinal benefits of cannabis are coming to light more often.

Growing up in the era of the War on Drugs, most Americans today have been told to say “no,” to cannabis. However, in 1996 this mindset began a slow change when California became the first state to vote yes to medical marijuana. In 2012, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Washington followed suit. Now, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have all voted yes for medical marijuana legalization with 8 of those states and D.C. also allowing for recreational marijuana sales.Here are some of the many of benefits that marijuana can have on the life of the American consumer.

When most think of marijuana, they think of smoking the plant. Therefore, it must sound far-fetched that cannabis has the ability to improve lung function. However, medical marijuana may not actually help repair the damage caused to the lungs by cigarette smoke…as long as you cease the use of tobacco products.

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