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medical marijuana

In 2016, five more states may allow for legal recreational marijuana use!

Lynn Griffith
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Humans have grown and consumed marijuana since the beginning of recorded history.  Hemp textiles dating back to 7,000 B.C.E. have been found in northern China.  In 2008, over two pounds of cannabis was found in a 2,700 year old grave of a shaman in Central Asia.  Investigators concluded that ancient cultures utilized cannabis for medicinal, psychoactive and divinatory purposes.  (1)

Cannabis found in a 2,700 year old shaman’s grave in Central Asia!

Researchers are now discovering what ancient culture knew to be true.  In February 2010, University of California announced that marijuana should be the first line of treatment for patients dealing with neuropathy or other serious illnesses.  Several studies completed by the University of California showed that marijuana was effective in alleviating neuropathic pain, which is commonly associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and spinal cord injuries.  Another study reported that marijuana is effective in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. (1)

Since 2005, there have been 37 controlled studies that accessed the safety and efficacy of marijuana on a total of 2,563 participants.  These studies have been used to legalize medical marijuana state by state in the U.S. (1)

Marijuana effective in alleviating neuropathic pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and spinal cord injuries

A 2015 survey reported that nearly 50 percent of Americans have recently reported trying marijuana.  A 2012 survey found that 18.9 million Americans, ages 12 and older, used marijuana in the prior month. (2)

Advocacy groups have poured millions of dollars into legalizing recreational and medical marijuana across the country.  Currently, four states have legalized recreational marijuana, and the list continues to grow.  In the 2016 election, one of the most powerful and influential groups is hoping to add to the list of states that allow recreational marijuana sales and use. (3)

If things go the way one advocacy group hopes, Arizona, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will be changing their marijuana laws.  The Arizona political director for the Marijuana Policy Project reports that Arizona may be the most heated.  The medical marijuana program passed in 2010 by a very small margin.(3)

In the 2016 election, five more states may join the list of states that allow legal recreational marijuana use!

Leaders in the pro legalization movement report that the question is no longer: will the federal government legalize marijuana, but when and how will it happen.(3)

Keith Stroup, the founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, reports, “I think we’re past the tipping point.  There are all kinds of signs that people have figured out that prohibition is coming to an end. They may not be thrilled about it, they may not be a cheerleader for it, but when they recognize that, they begin to say, ‘OK, if we’re going to legalize marijuana, how do we do it in a responsible manner?'”(3)

Sources for this article include:
(1) norml.org
(2) www.pewresearch.org
(3) news.yahoo.com

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Image attributions:
 "lemon kush medical marijuana" by Mark (Featured Image)
Licensed under CC BY 4.0, images may have been modified in some way
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