Nation: The Medical View

It is used as an aphrodisiac, but Indian monks take it to repress physical desires. Caribbean laborers use it by day as an "energizer," but by night as a sedative. Marijuana is a paradox.

It has been around since at least the 15th century B.C., when it was used in China as an anesthetic, a ritual potion, a condiment and an intoxicant. As it moved on to India and beyond, it was applied to all manner of miseries: allergies, rheumatism, falling hair, tapeworm, leprosy, gonorrhea, failing memory and dandruff. Today marijuana is being considered as a treatment to reduce eyeball pressure in...

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