norml22 - Page 28
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Use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the United States
is not a recent phenomenon. Marijuana was widely used as a
medicine in this country from the mid-1880's to 1937. At the
beginning of the Civil War, marijuana was the most often used
anesthetic on the battlefield. Grinspoon,
Reconsidered, _lhDra, at 13-14, 218-28; Secretary of HEWs
H th. Fift_h__A_PAl_i__ho]_, at i17-199.
Passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, 50 Stat. 551_ ch.
553 (1937), eliminated the therapeutic use of marijuana in the
United States° The Act, while nominally allowing the medical use
of marijuana required a registration tax and complex record
keeping procedures which were so problematic and cumbersome that
physicians were compelled to prescribe other drugs in its place.
___LL___Ph_gQ___A in 1941; Grinspoon_ ___Ir_], at 242°
Millions of Americans suffer from glaucoma, a serious
illness characterized by increasing pressure in the eye, which
can result in total blindness. Although there is no known cure
for glaucoma, marijuana has been found in a number of studies to
be an effective agent in reducing the pressure in the eyes and
providing relief where other medicals have been ineffective.
Secretary of HEW__if_th__Annu__l__Bg_p_Qrdh, _!IP/_ at 120-121; Eight_
_R_PQrJls _uDra_ at 28-31; Q/li___S_Ltes v._]_Ii_l, 104
Wash. L. Repo 2249 (D.C. Superior Ct_ 1976) (dismissing marijuana
cultivation charges because of medical necessity).
accompanying multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
Grinspoon, Lester, MarL___l_ thg_F_orlliddg/L_jJ_iD_, (1993).
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