Marijuana: Nature’s Medicine

In 1937, the U.S. passed the Marijuana Tax Act. The bill outlawed farming, using, possessing and selling any part of the marijuana plant. From that moment on, marijuana had a stigma attached to it; it was illegal and became a shady topic when it came to possession and usage. The reasons for this are as complex as the plant itself and is better discussed at length at another time.

Prior to 1937, marijuana was commonly referred to as hemp, and was a popular and easy-to-grow crop that had a plethora of uses. To name just a few, it was used as twine, rope, canvas, fabrics, linen, paper, stucco, cement, ink, soap, balm and animal feed. Many farmers, and a number of politicians, including some of our Founding Fathers, had acres of marijuana on their homesteads as early as before the colonization of our country. In fact, George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate grew hemp prior to its illegalization. Today, Mount Vernon is again planting hemp, and the taboo status of marijuana has dramatically changed.

For decades, opponents of marijuana legalization expressed concern that marijuana was a gateway drug into harder and scarier substances. While these concerns remain, there are research studies supporting both sides of that argument. Some of that same research is showing that marijuana has medicinal benefits without side effects. More discoveries are being made daily regarding the medical value of marijuana. It is a natural drug that can lead patients away from addicting opioids and narcotics and give them a natural alternative for treatment.

It will be a slow process for many Americans to come to grips with the understanding that marijuana is not the enemy or some shady, back-alley drug that needs to be hidden. With the state of health care and medical insurance, it is reassuring to know that on the horizon lies a simple plant that can help in so many ways. It’s time for marijuana to shine as the star that it is—nature’s medicine.

Jeffrey Green, M.A., is an educator and freelance writer. Green’s studies have led him to the world of plant medicine and its many benefits. His work is centered on educating the public on alternative medicine. Green can be reached at 520-437-8855 or



Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Herbs: Nature’s Fountain of Youth

It seems aging is a two-edge sword. At the same time our bodies start aging, we are also at a place in our lives where things are beginning to slow down.

Give Your Brain a Boost

In the United States, there are currently 9.4 million cases of dementia, and that number is expected to rise to 15.8 million cases by 2030. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Healing from the Outside In

Modern medicine has made huge strides in identifying and treating disease and illness. It wasn’t that long ago, however, when physicians used leeches and maggots to help hasten the healing process.

Natural Healing with BodyTalk

BodyTalk uses the body’s innate wisdom to heal, and is a preventive system that has the ability to help clear many problems before they manifest and cause deeper physical issues in the body.

The Dental Benefits of Breastfeeding

Virtually every conversation about breastfeeding involves a discussion of its nutritional and emotional benefits.