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Marijuana Fact Sheet

MarijuanaCannabis Sativa L. is a species of tall annual woody shrub with male or female flowers borne on separate plants. Cannabis grows wild in most of the temperate and tropic regions of the world. Hemp, as marijuana was earlier known, was grown in the News England colonies and used in making cloth and cordage.

The cannabis sativa plant material, marijuana, has been used as a drug for centuries. It originally was used for the treatment of various mental and physical ailments. But after close examination, the Food and Drug Administration in 1937 declared it to be without medical utility and removed it from the market place.

MarijuanaThe new marijuana in the market place is not the 1 percent to 2 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive ingredient that produces the "high". Today's new cultivation methods are producing a drug with up to 30 percent THC, or 3,000 percent higher than the old 1960's-1980's available marijuana.

Some people argue marijuana should be legalized for both medical and recreational use. But medical studies show how dangerous this idea would be. New data has shown that marijuana smoke has a higher concentration of carcinogenic substances than tobacco smoke. It is linked as a cause of lung problems such as bronchitis and emphysema, and studies confirm damage to brain cells, nerve cells and reproductive organs which have lead to still births and birth defects. In addition, acute memory loss and lowered immune systems also have been traced to marijuana smoking.

MarijuanaPlus, surveys indicate that about 33 percent of all patients in emergency rooms test positive for either alcohol or marijuana in their systems.

Street names for marijuana include: pot, weed, Mary Jane, dope, grass, hash, hashish, joint, and gange.