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Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972 (Cannabis: Collected Clinical

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As a full-time research consultant at the N.I.M.H. Center of Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies, Dr. Tod Mikuriya discovered just how much the English and American medical profession has known about cannabis for the past 130 years. Having access to priceless original documents, he has compiled this authoritative and fascinating collection of medical papers on marijuana. From 1839, when the herb was first introduced into the Western pharmacopoeia, to present research with THC, the anthology offers rich insights into the whole social history of medicine. The studies published herein convey a wide variety of critical information, ranging from laboratory tests performed on animals and human subjects, to anthropological descriptions of marijuana use by African women during labor. A number of unusual and seldom-seen illustrations–from pharmaceutical catalogues in the days when Parke Davis and others marketed legal marijuana as a cure for coughs and corns–are both instructive and entertaining. In the section of clinical and pharmacological studies, a deep look is taken at the range of therapeutic effects attributed to a plant which has had prescribed medical uses for more than 2700 years, and is currently used by an estimated 250 million people. If not always conclusive, these studies nonetheless dramatically show that marijuana has potentially great medical value. The impressive accumulation of information regarding it has been unfortunately relegated to the dust bin for decades by puritanical legislators and medical practitioners ignorant or unheeding of existing scholarship in the field. The final chapter analyzes the reasons behind the 1937 Tax Act which outlawed the use of marijuana, driving it underground, and offers some disturbing conclusions based on hitherto unpublished official hearings and interviews with former government officials. Amidst the marijuana referendums, judicial challenges, and states vs. federal legislation, Marijuana: Medical Papers provides essential information–most of it never before available except in scarce, out-of-print medical journals–on a topic of tremendous current interest.

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