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For thousands of years the plant cannabis sativa otherwise known as hemp or marijuana has been harvested by people and utilized in many different ways It has been grown to provide food for villages and towns and used for clothes rope and sails on early ships The Bible was written on hemp paper as well as the first draft of the US Constitution Marijuana has been utilized for its medicinal value since four to five hundred BC Not until a half-century ago did the hemp plant become illegal as it still is today The Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937 and this prohibition has barred to the present day the utilization of a valuable resource The legalization of marijuana has been a heated argument in the media and on Capital Hill for quite some time The need for new advanced medicines and the need for resources to replace the diminishing rain forests and fossil fuel reserves have caused scientists and doctors to look in somewhat odd places Marijuana has always been portrayed as a vicious drug that everyone needs to stay away from which I believed also until I began researching the uses and helpfulness of marijuana I also found that there are three distinct sides to the debate Some groups want marijuana legalized for recreational purposes and some want it legalized for medical and agricultural purposes only Others want marijuana and all other forms of it Hemp to remain illegal Each side has their own reasons for their decisions but some of their reasons are not rational and could deprive the people and a country of a lifesaving medicine and plentiful cash crop For years it has been known that marijuana helps many medical ailments Many current studies show evidence that marijuana is therapeutic in the treatment of a number of serious ailments and is less toxic and costly than many conventional medicines House of Lords Select Committee on Science and
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