Cannabis, also known as marijuana is a plant whose dried leaves, seed, oil, and other parts used for medicinal and recreational purposes. It may have a pleasurable effect and can soothe various conditions, i.e. chronic pain. Mostly the plant has been used as a drug; this leads to changes in the brain, and once an individual uses it for sometimes as drug he/she cannot function normally without it and thus becoming addicted.    

The usage of marijuana leads to a range of health problems, predominantly related to lung and heart problems and mental disorders. 

Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and long-term smokers experience most of the respirational conditions experienced by tobacco users, these effects include: 

  • Day-to-day cough with production of phlegm.  
  • Periodic severe chest illness 
  • High risk of getting lung infections 
  • Immune system damage 
  • damages the central nervous system and the brain cells killed 
  • Fertility issues to both male and female 
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate 

According to the recent research, it has been found that frequent marijuana smokers who don’t smoke tobacco tend to have a lot of health complications and fail to go to work more than the nonsmokers, this is mainly due to the respiratory illnesses associated. It is still unknown whether or not marijuana contributes to the risk of contracting lung cancer. 

The research also indicates that marijuana use increases the heart rate by 20-100% soon after smoking; the effect can go up to three hours. Besides the study also found out that marijuana smoking has 4.8-fold escalation to risk of contracting heart attack in the primary first hour of smoking the drug. The risk could be greater for older adults and individual with cardiac vulnerabilities. 

Chronic marijuana use is linked to mental illness. High dosages can lead to a momentary psychotic response to some users. The drug usage also worsens the course of disease for schizophrenia patients. A series of studies also link marijuana and the development of psychosis. 

The abuse of marijuana is also associated with some mental health problems, such as: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Suicidal thoughts ( particular among youths) 
  • Persona disturbances 
  • Lack of inspiration to participate in typically rewarding activities( negativity) 

Marijuana use in the prenatal period is associated with an increased threat of neurobehavioral complications in offspring. This is because the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol plus other compounds mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals of the body, the drug alters the development of the endocannabinoid system in the fetal brain. This results in the child having difficulties associated with memory, problem-solving and attention. 

Additionally, because marijuana impairs motor coordination and judgment, its usage poses a greater peril of injury or death to drivers. Data analysis recently suggests that marijuana use doubles a driver’s possibility of being in an accident. On another note, the taking of both alcohol and marijuana leads to more driving impairment than either of them alone Kush Pen

Cannabis refers to a group of three plants, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. These three plants have psychoactive properties. Their flowers are often harvested and dried to create one of the most commonly used drug as pot, weed, or marijuana.

HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF CANNABIS LAW

The following is a chronological order of the most notable laws and their changes about cannabis in recorded history.

1300 – The Emir of Joneima in Arabia, Soudoun Sheikouni prohibited the use of cannabis across his nation. This is one of the earliest recorded cannabis bans in the world.

1787 – When Madagascar King  Andrianampoinimerina took the throne in 1787, one of his first acts was to outlaw the use of cannabis by the citizens of his kingdom. Anyone caught using the substance was subjected to capital punishment as a penalty for disobedience to this law.

1800 – When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt in 1800, he became concerned by his troop’s habit of smoking hashish through pipes and their drinking of cannabis-based beverages. This concerns led him to ban both the drug and the system that provided it.

1870 – South-East Africa which was known as Natal Colony enacted the Coolie Law Consolidation. This law prohibited Indian workers from possessing, using, selling or gifting cannabis regardless of its quantity. In the same year, Singapore burned all uses of cannabis.

1877 – The Ottoman government based at Constantinople had earlier taken Egypt from Napoleon Bonaparte following his defeat and expulsion. In 1877 it mandated all hashish in Egypt to be destroyed. Two years later in 1879 importation of cannabis was burned by Khedivate of Egypt.

1894 – Indian Hemp Drugs Commission which was based in British India released its findings concluding that the moderate use of cannabis practically produced no harmful effects. In all cases with the exception of a few the harm from moderate use was not significant.

1948 – Japan established a licensing system for dealers and punishment for unlicensed use or sale through its cannabis control law.

1961 – The United Nation declared the use of cannabis for any purpose other than medical and scientific use to be discontinued as soon as possible but within 25 years. This declaration was reached in Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

1972 – The Netherlands divided drugs into more dangerous and less dangerous categories. Cannabis was put in a less dangerous category. A misdemeanor was to be given if someone was in possession of 30 grams or less.

1975 – Ali Soilih seized power in Comoros and legalized cannabis to gain the support of Comoros’ youths among his other radical reforms.

1996 – The state of California in the United States of America became the first jurisdiction in the USA to legalize cannabis for medical use.

2001 – The Use of Medical cannabis was legalized in Canada.

2004 – Cannabis was classified as a class C drug in the United Kingdom. Class C drug is a class for less harmful drugs. However, it was restored to class B drug in 2009.

2011 – Several Cannabis-derived drugs were approved in Denmark for medical use.

2012 – Washington State and Colorado in the United States voters voted to legalize recreational cannabis. This started the green rush which has resulted in the creation of employment for hundreds of people.

2017 – Lesotho became the first African county to give a license for medical cannabis. It was followed by Zimbabwe in 2018.

2020 – Cannabis possession and growth were legalized in Australian Capital. This is usually for personal use.

Malawi and Lebanon have become the latest countries to legalize use of medical cannabis in 2020.

Conclusion Throughout history, many kingdoms, countries, and states have burned and prohibited the use of cannabis by its citizens for centuries. However, looking at recent studies and trends, its medical use continues to be legalized in many countries. A few countries and states have also legalized the recreational use of cannabis among its population.

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