June 13, 2019
The origins of marijuana date back to the Han dynasty in China when it was used mainly for medicinal purposes to treat inflammation, nausea and malaria. It was brought to the West by the Spanish in the late 1500s, first to Chile and then to North America, where it was grown and its hemp fiber was used for rope, paper and clothing.
Even though marijuana has been in use for centuries, the controversy associated with the legality of its use and the stereotype of its consumer exists to the present day. With the recent legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in Canada, the first G7 country to do so, there is an expectation that non-users will change their stereotypical views of users and there will be more acceptance of the drug. Other countries, especially our southern neighbour will watch Canada carefully to move towards legalization and the economic benefits that this emerging market will bring.
There are now 10 states in the U.S. which have legalized marijuana for recreational use and 33 states with legal medical marijuana and it’s anticipated that other states will follow in the future. Colorado and Washington state were the first to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, in November 2012. Although legal in these states, marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law and is considered a Schedule 1 drug which classifies it as having “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”. Due to this classification, there are many barriers to conducting clinical studies on the drug.