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Marijuana Purposes HistoryThroughout history marijuana has been used toserve various purposes in many differentcultures The purposes have changed over timeto fit in with the current lifestylesThis pattern is also true in American historyThe use of marijuana has adapted to the socialclimate of the time Marijuana whose scientific name is cannibissativa was mentioned in historical manuscriptsas early as 2700 B C in China Grolier ElectronicEncyclopedia 1995 The cultivation of themarijuana plant began as far back as theJamestown settlers around 1611 who used hempproduced from the marijuana plants fibers to makerope and canvas It was also used in making clothingbecause of its durability These uses fit in withthe social climate of the time because the mainfocus was on survival rather than for psychoactivepurposes During the prohibition marijuana was widelyused because of the scarcity of alcohol Prohibitionwas repealed after just thirteen years while the prohibitionagainst marijuana lasted for more than seventy five years This double standard may have resulted from the wishes ofthose in power Alcohol prohibition struck directly attens of millions of Americans of all ages including many ofsocieties most powerful members Marijuana prohibitionthreatened far fewer Americans and they had relativelylittle influence in the districts of power Only theprohibition of marijuana which some sixty millionAmericans have violated since 1965 has come closeto approximating the prohibition experience butmarijuana smokers consist mostly of young andrelatively powerless Americans American Heritage pg 47Alcohol prohibition was repealed andmarijuana prohibition was retained not becausescientists had proved that alcohol was the less dangerousof the various psychoactive drugs but because of the prejudicesand preferences of most Americans American Heritage pg 47 In 1937 the government issued the Marijuana Tax Actwhich levied a dollar an ounce tax on marijuanacoupled with fines of 2000 for drug posession andjail sentences for evasion of the tax For thisreason marijuana use in the United States appearsto have gone into decline in the late 30sGrolier Wellness Encyclopedia pg 54 Then marijuana was outlawed in 1937 as arepressive measure against Mexican workerswho
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