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44 N.M. L. Rev. 169 (2014)
The Quagmire that Nobody in the Federal Government Wants to Talk About: Marijuana

handle is hein.journals/nmlr44 and id is 179 raw text is: THE QUAGMIRE THAT NOBODY IN THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TALK
ABOUT: MARIJUANA
Melanie Reid*
I. INTRODUCTION
Marijuana has piqued human interest since the beginning of re-
corded history. Public opinion on approving or disapproving marijuana
use has waxed and waned over the centuries. The ancient Chinese discov-
ered marijuana's healing properties,' used it in tea or as an edible extract,
and depicted the herbal medicine in symbolic form-4-as two plants in
a drying shed.2 Marijuana is still used in China today as an appetite stimu-
lus and for relief from diarrhea and dysentery.3 In ancient India,
Ayurvedic healers used marijuana to improve sleep, appetite, and diges-
tion.4 The ancient Greek and Roman physicians were not as pleased with
its healing properties, and they cautioned that an excess of marijuana
could dampen sexual performance.' Muslim clerics long ago deter-
mined that hashish, a drug made from marijuana resin, should be forbid-
den for recreational use but permitted for medical use.6
Marijuana use did not flourish in western civilizations during medie-
val times, although it was common to use hemp, marijuana's cousin, to
make rope, cloth, and paper.' In the 1830s, one Irish doctor learned of
* Associate Professor of Law, Lincoln Memorial University-Duncan School of
Law. I want to thank the participants at the Oxford Round Table on Critical Public
Issues in Oxford, England, where I presented The Marijuana Dilemma in the United
States: the Government's Quagmire and the Impact of the Legalization Movement, a
precursor to this article. I would like to thank Adam Bullock, Katherine Marsh,
Charlie Olachea, Carl Beckett, and Bob Reid for their invaluable assistance on this
article.
1. See ALIsoN MACK & JANET JOY, MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE? THE SCIENCE
BEHIND THE CONTROVERSY 14 (2001) (explaining marijuana was used as a cure in
Ancient Chinese medicine for gout, rheumatism, malaria, and absentmindedness).
2. Id.
3. Id.
4. See id. at 14 (explaining that in 1985, India prohibited the production of can-
nabis resin and flowers except for use in religious ceremonies).
5. Id.
6. Id. at 15.
7. Id.

169

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