I read one defination of marihuana from a 1936 encyclopedia that called it a medicine.

Columbia University Press

marijuana or marihuana

drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa (see hemp). It has been used as an agent for achieving euphoria since ancient times; it was described in a Chinese medical compendium alleged to date from 2737 b.c. Its use spread from China to India and then to N Africa and reached Europe at least as early as a.d. 500. A major crop in colonial North America, marijuana was grown as a source of fiber. It was extensively cultivated during World War II, when Asian sources of hemp were cut off. It was probably introduced as an intoxicant into the United States in the early 20th cent. by Mexican laborers and Latin American seamen. In the United States, where it is usually smoked, it is also called weed, grass, stuff, pot, or tea. The plant grows as a common weed in many parts of the world, and drug preparations vary widely in potency according to climate, cultivation, and method of preparation. The resin found on flower clusters and top leaves of the female plant is the most potent drug source and is used to prepare hashish, the highest grade of marijuana. The primary active component is tetrahydrocannabinol, although other cannabinol derivatives are also thought to be intoxicating. Marijuana is chemically and pharmacologically unlike other hallucinogens, or psychotomimetic drugs , such as lysergic acid diethylamide, mescaline, and psilocybin. Although it produces some of the same effects, such as heightened sensitivity to colors, shapes, music, and other stimuli and distortion of the sense of time, it is much less potent, does not alter perception as drastically, and does not lead to increasing tolerance of drug dosage. A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction, but current evidence indicates that these assertions are untrue. Much of the prevailing public apprehension about marijuana may stem from the drug's effect of inducing introspection and bodily passivity, which are antipathetic to a culture that values aggressiveness, achievement, and activity. Although the possibility that marijuana, like other perception-altering drugs, produces psychosis has not been entirely disproved, the drug is probably most dangerous to persons with already existing psychotic tendencies; most evidence indicates that marijuana does not induce mental or physical deterioration. The drug has been used experimentally to help withdraw addicts from narcotics. With the increase in the number of middle class users, there has been a growing acceptance of the view that marijuana should not be considered in the same class as narcotics and that U.S. marijuana laws should be relaxed. Opponents arguing against easing marijuana laws assert that it is an intoxicant less controllable than alcohol, that our drug-using society does not need another widely used intoxicant, and that the United States should not act to weaken United Nations policies, which are opposed to the use of marijuana.

See John Kaplan, Marijuanathe New Prohibition (1970); Lester Grinspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered (1971); J. S. Hochman, Marijuana and Social Evolution (1972). -- End --

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