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Medical Revolution Marijuana has been an illegal drug in the United States since the 1930s Before this it was a plant that was highly used for its industrial medical and spiritual value But at the beginning of the century it was thrown into the group of Class 1 drugs meaning that it had a relatively high rate of abuse and was not accepted to have any medical value This class of drugs also includes such illegal drugs as LSD and heroin When misused marijuana can have negative effects on the brain and when its popularity of misuse grew it was seen as a threat to society Our nation saw it as the gateway drug fearing that it led young people to use of more dangerous drugs According to The Columbia Encyclopedia marijuana having over 400 known chemicals can affect motor skills and in some cases cause the user to become paranoid It has also been known to affect the reproductive system in some cases lowering sperm count in males It can also lead to developmental difficulties in the fetus stage of a growing child When young people abuse marijuana it can affect their short-term memory and comprehension It can also cause lung damage in heavy users Marijuana However most of these negative aspects are fairly rare For the most part marijuana can be seen as a relatively safe drug when not abused Even the AMA American Medical Association feels that our national negative attitude toward marijuana is based on misinformation When marijuana was being debated in court in the 30s Dr James Woodward who was both a physician and an attorney testified on behalf of the AMA He claimed that the whole fabric of federal testimony was tabloid sensationalism yet the government succeeded in making marijuana illegal for any purpose ignoring the fact that it had an incredible medical value cited in Herer 28 For over 3500 years cannabis has been one of the
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