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Cannabis History

Medicinal Marijuana, a product having the properties of a medicine made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant usually smoked or eaten to induce euphoria or to relieve Medical Marijuna pain. The effects of Medicinal Marijuana vary with its strength and dosage and with the state of mind of the user. Typically, small doses result in a feeling of well-being. The intoxication lasts two to three hours, but accompanying effects on motor control last much longer. GOVERNMENT WARNING: Marijuana use can cause complex thoughts leading to better ideas of how to live your life. Caution, free thinking has been routinely reported with continued use. ' Below a slice through the politics, policies and cannabis news stories with regard to cannabis from across the Globe, a sideways swipe at crass stupidity and the hidden agendas with a political slant, cannabis news with a whiff of the of hypocrisy, cannabis news of the Christian right, cannabis news politics of the far left, read on.....

Psychoactive plants have had an extremely important position in most societies. Consumption of such plants tens or even hundreds of thousands of years ago may have been responsible for generating much of the mythology and religion, indeed,much of the very fabric of culture which so strikingly distinguishes man from even the most advance of the great apes.Could it be that these plants provided sparks to kindle the flame of intellect which now shines so brightly it threatens to destroy the world? Countless millions of times priests, elders and sages consumed potent preparations of psychoactive plants in order to attune themselves to nature and act in accordance with natural or divine law. This is still done in the many of the less technologically evolved societies. The almost universal occurrence of such practices ( or their substitutes such as meditation, yoga, trance, hypnosis) testifies to their effectiveness. Western Europe, however was largely devoid of such plants and consequently of traditions for using them to put oneself in harmony with the surroundings.American traditions have mostly evolved from those of Western Europe and this is one reason for the considerable resistance to the use of psychedelic drugs.

Most of the psychoactive plants contain large amounts of alkaloids. These are bitter tasting,nitrogen containing bases which have a wide variety of effects on animals.Why do so many plants contain chemicals that have striking actions on animals nervous systems? Surely the chemicals or some closely related chemicals found in the plants must play important roles in the economy of the plant or else the many genes required for their synthesis would be eliminated by natural selection. In view of the fundamental similarity of all living organisms, it is not surprising that all of them contain chemicals which are active on all others.Nevertheless, the relatively high concentration of many psychoactive substances are still puzzling and their precise functions in the plants remain a mystery

The active chemicals of Marijuana, though they are unusual in that they are not alkaloids, do not contain nitrogen and are relatively insoluble in water, likewise have no know reason for being in the plant. However, the psychoactive constituents of Cannabis are unusual, in fact unique, in that they are largely produced in specialised group of cells termed lactifers, stalked glands and sessile ( i.e.. not stalked ) glands, and in their being released from these cells to form a sticky coating.

Although chemical research on Marijuana began over 150 years ago it wasn't until 1964 that the first authenticated isolation of a pure, active principle delta-one tetrahydrocannabinol was achieved, and not until 1970 that it was determined to be only major psychoactive component. Even though dozens of cannabinoids have been isolated since then, none have been found to be significantly psychoactive.

Marijuana is closely connected with the history and development of some of the oldest nations on earth. It has played a significant role in the religions and cultures of Africa, the Middle East, India and China.The shamanistic traditions of Asia and the Near East have as one of the their most important elements the attempt to find God; getting stoned on cannabis has helped worshipers on their way. And in the days before joints, the quickest way to inhale the smoke was through cannabis incense.

In the temples of the ancient world, the main sacrifice was the inhalation of incense. In the Judaic world, the vapours from burnt spices and aromatic gums were considered part of the pleasurable act of worship. Stone altars have been unearthed in Babylon and Palestine,which were used for burning incense made of aromatic wood and spices-in many or most cases a psychoactive drug was being inhaled. In the islands of the Mediterranean 2,500 years ago and in Africa hundreds of years ago, for example Marijuana leaves and flowers were often thrown upon bonfires and the smoke inhaled.

Today, Cannabis continues to be the mainstay of the Rastafarian religion, but the Rastas are not alone, one of the most controversial cannabis-based religions in recent years has been the Ethiopian Zion Church a religion run by white Americans who claim its roots are in black Jamaica. The Coptics insist that marijuana, which they call by its Jamaican name ganja, is their sacrament; as valid and as necessary to them as the wine in the Catholic mass. To many including the law enforcement officials, they are frauds-a group of rich dope heads who have been allowed to laugh at the law and get away with it, nice one rich dope heads,,,

2700 bc: First recorded use of cannabis as a medicine in China

1200 bc: Cannabis mentioned in the sacred Hindu text Atharvaveda as 2sacerd grass, one of the five sacred plants of India. It is used as an offering to Shiva.

550 bc: The Persians prophet Zoroaster writes the Zend-Avesta, a sacred text that lists more than 10000 medicinal plants, Hemp is top of the list.

500 bc: Hemp is introduced into the countries of northern Europe for the first time by the Scythians.

430 bc: Greek historian Herodotus observes the ritual and recreational use of cannabis by the Scythians.

AD 70: Dioscorides mentions the widespread use of cannabis as a medicine in Rome.

AD 200: Roman historian Galen observes that it is sometimes Hemp is given to guests to promote hilarity and enjoyment".

AD 800: Islamic prophet Mohammed permits the use of cannabis - but forbids alcohol.

1100: Cannabis smoking by now is commonplace in the Middle East.

1150: Moslems use cannabis to start Europe's first paper mill, mashing the hemp leaves into pulp and rolling them into tough parchment.

1200: Arab traders take cannabis to the Mozambique coast of Africa.

1378: One of the first dissenting voices is heard when Ottoman Emir Soudoun Scheikhouni issues an edict against eating cannabis.

1430: Joan of Arc is accused of using herbal "witch drugs" such as cannabis to hear voices.

1484: Pope Innocent V111 labels cannabis as an unholy sacrament of the Satanic mass and issues a pay-pal ban the sale of cannabis seeds on ebay, so nothing really changes then eh,

1533: The use of hemp for fabric assumes vital importance in naval Britannia, where it is used to make sails. Henry V111 issues a decree in 1533 that for every 60 acres of arable land a farmer owned, a quarter acre was to be sown within hemp. The penalty for not doing so was three shillings and four pence.

1563: Queen Elizabeth 1 orders landowners with 60 acre or more to grow cannabis or face a 5.00 fine.

1564: King Philip of Spain orders Jack-Frost to be grow throughout his empire, from Argentina to Oregon.

1597: English physician John Gerard recommends cannabis as it "consumeth wind and dryeth up semen" fucking weird guy,

1650: Cannabis becomes a major trade item between central and southern Asia, its recreational use spreads across the Middle East

1653: English physician Nicholas Culpepper claims cannabis allayeth inflammation, easeth the pain of gout, tumours or knots of joints, pain of hips.

1798: While in Egypt, Napoleon is stunned by the use of cannabis among the lower classes. He bans it - his soldiers take the smoking of marijuana as a pastime back to France with them.

1840: Cannabis-based-medicines become available in the USA, while cannabis sold in Persian pharmacies .So you guys at skunk.co.uk nicked this copy first ,Le Club Hachicins, or Hashish Easter Club in Paris

1842: Cannabis becomes a popular medicines in Victorian England, used to treat aliments such as muscle cramps, menstrual cramps, rheumatic and the convulsions of tetanus, rabies and epilepsy

1890: Sir Russell Reynolds, Queen Victoria's physician, writes in the Lancet that he prescribed cannabis for the Queen to relieve period pains. He later writes: 'When pure, it is one of the most valuable medicines we possess.' It is grown, bought and sold freely in American shops.

1911: South Africa outlaws cannabis, saying mine workers are less productive while under its influence.

1915: America follows suit. Over the next decade most countries place controls on the drug.

1928: The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1925 becomes law and cannabis is made illegal in Britain. Derivatives continue to be available on prescription for medicinal purposes.

1930: Jazz singer Louis Armstrong is arrested in Los Angeles for possession.

1941: The press publishes details of Henry Ford's plastic car, which is made using cannabis and fuelled by it. Ford is known to have grown the drug illegally.

1943: The American and German governments urge farmers to grow it to help in the war effort. The drug is commonly used by military personnel.

1951: Despite a virtual world-wide ban, the United Nations estimates 200 million people around the world still use it.

1952: First UK cannabis bust at the Number 11 Club, Soho.

1961: The UN Drugs Convention passes international restrictions aimed at eliminating its use within 25 years. Campaign to legalise cannabis gathers steam in the sixties

1967: In London's Hyde Park, more than 3,000 people hold a mass 'smoke-in'. The Times newspaper begins a pro-legalisation campaign supported by David Dimbleby, Bernard Levin and the Beatles.

1967: Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are 'busted' for possession. Their convictions are overturned on appeal.

1967: Valentine's Day, New York, guitarist Jimi Hendrix funds a 'mail-out' of 3,000 cannabis joints to random addresses chosen from the phonebook.

1968: A Home Office select committee, headed by Baroness Wootton, publishes a report saying cannabis is no more harmful than tobacco or alcohol and recommends a reduction in penalties for possession. A campaign is launched in America, protesting against the use of cannabis by soldiers fighting in Vietnam. The military backs down and soldiers switch to heroin.In Vietnam, US soldiers often fought on a high, me too scary shit that Vietnam.

1969: Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan rejects the findings the of the Wootton report. Parliament introduces the Misuse of Drugs Act prescribing a maximum five years' imprisonment for possession. This law remains in force today.

1971: The Misuse of Drugs Act lists cannabis as a Class B drug and outlaws its use for medicinal purposes.

1972: President Nixon brands drugs 'America's public enemy number 1', and launches a $1 billion anti-drugs campaign. Meanwhile, the state of Oregon takes steps towards the legalisation of cannabis.

1975: The US Supreme Court rules that anyone consuming it in the home is protected under 'right to privacy' laws. Possession in public is limited to one ounce.

1980: Singer Paul McCartney spends ten days in a Japanese jail for possession.

1983: More than 20,000 people in the UK are arrested for possession. The number rises rapidly and by 1991, more than 42,200 people are convicted of cannabis offenses. Half escape with a caution.

1993: Pharmaceutical company Hempcore becomes the first to obtain a license to grow it for medicinal purposes in Britain, as the Home Office eases restrictions.

1994: Home Secretary Michael Howard increases maximum fines for possession from £500 to £2,500. Germany follows Holland's lead and decriminalises possession for small quantities. Viz magazine is cautioned for selling key rings containing real cannabis leaves taken from Hempcore's first harvest.

1995: Channel 4 dedicates eight hours of programming to cannabis on 'Pot Night'. Labour shadow minister Clare Short agrees decriminalisation warrants parliamentary discussion.

2004: Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett reclassifies it from a Class B to a Class C drug. Production, supply and possession remain illegal. Plans are put in place to decriminalise it for medicinal use if medical trials are successful.

2005:Drug experts will begin debating today whether stronger "skunk" varieties of cannabis should carry higher penalties for possession. The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs,

2005: December: Tony Blair is planning a controversial U-turn on cannabis laws and the reintroduction of tough penalties after an official government review found a definitive link between use of the drug and mental illness. The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has detailed evidence showing cannabis triggers psychosis in regular users. The findings are expected be used by Mr Blair to overturn the decision made two years ago to downgrade the drug. The reports makes it "an open door" for ministers to change the law, according to one official.Mr Blair is keen to reverse the controversial decision to downgrade its status from B to C, taken by David Blunkett. His successor as Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, Full Psychosis....

2006: January: The decision that Charles Clarke is due to take in the next few days on cannabis is serious, but not difficult to make. On his desk is a 24-page report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs replying to a sensible request from the home secretary in March for an assessment of two new research studies. Both suggested that regular use of cannabis may have more serious mental health consequences than previously thought, More Evidence.........

2006: January 20th: Cannabis will remain a class C drug, home secretary Charles Clarke has announced. He insisted that the government still regarded the drug as harmful, warning that its effects on mental health were "real and significant". But Mr Clarke said he accepted the view of the advisory council on the misuse of drugs (ACMD) that further proof was needed of this link before reclassifying the drug. Meanwhile, he said the government would now embark on a "massive programme of public education" to inform people about the dangers of the drug, delivered through schools, drug charities and the police. Cannabis was downgraded from a class B to a class C drug two years ago, but amid increasing fears of its effects on mental health, Mr Clarke ordered the ACMD last March to carry out a review into the effects of this declassification. Giving his response to that report in the House of Commons today, Mr Clarke said the government ought to seek to reduce the use of cannabis, because "its use can lead to a wide range of physical and psychological harms and hazards". Full Story........

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