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Throughout history marijuana has been used to serve various purposes in many differentcultures The purposes have changed over timeto fit in with the current lifestyles This pattern is also true in American history The use of marijuana has adapted to the socialMarijuana whose scientific name is cannibissativa was mentioned in historical manuscriptsas early as 2700 B C in China Grolier ElectronicEncyclopedia 1995 The cultivation of the marijuana plant began as far back as the Jamestown settlers around 1611 who used hempproduced from the marijuana plants fibers to make rope and canvas It was also used in making clothing because of its durability These uses fit in with the social climate of the time because the main focus was on survival rather than for psychoactive During the prohibition marijuana was widely used because of the scarcity of alcohol Prohibitionwas repealed after just thirteen years while the prohibitionagainst marijuana lasted for more than seventy five years This double standard may have resulted from the wishes of those in power Alcohol prohibition struck directly at tens of millions of Americans of all ages including many of societies most powerful members Marijuana prohibition threatened far fewer Americans and they had relatively little influence in the districts of power Only the prohibition of marijuana which some sixty million Americans have violated since 1965 has come close to approximating the prohibition experience but marijuana smokers consist mostly of young and relatively powerless Americans American Heritage pg 47 Alcohol prohibition was repealed and marijuana prohibition was retained not because scientists had proved that alcohol was the less dangerousof the various psychoactive drugs but because of the prejudicesand preferences of most Americans American Heritage pg 47In 1937 the government issued the Marijuana Tax Act which levied a dollar an ounce tax on marijuana coupled with fines of 2000 for drug posession and jail sentences for evasion of the tax For thisreason marijuana use in the United States appearsto have gone into decline in
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