Cannabis sativa L., commonly known as marijuana, grows wild throughout most of the tropic and temperate regions of the world. Common historical uses include rope produced from the tough stem fibers, plant oil used as an ingredient of paint, and certain medicinal applications. The first reported use in western medicine of marijuana occurred in 1839 with the publication of an article detailing possible therapeutic effects. Since that time a serious debate has raged on whether or not marijuana may have some form of acceptable medical application. But due to current chemical synthesis techniques, the use of marijuana in its natural form for medical treatment has been deemed to be unnecessary. Although not proven to be physical addictive, cases of psychological addiction associated with marijuana use have been noted. The effects of marijuana vary from user to user, as do all drugs, but primarily consist of the following in various stages: restlessness accompanied by a sense of well-being, dreamy states, changes in sensory perception, radical shifts in emotional states, impaired memory, and an increase in appetite. Long term concentrated usage had been noted in some case to cause psychosis.

Marijuana today remains the leading abusive drug in terms of illicit use.


Marijuana is a tobacco-like substance produced by drying the leaves and flowering parts, or „buds“, of the Cannibis plant. These particular parts of the Cannibis plant are selected for illicit use due to the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in those particular areas of the plant. THC is the chemical present in marijuana that produces the drug user’s psychoactive, or „high“, effect. Most wild marijuana found growing in the United States has a THC concentration of less 0.5 percent, compared to Colombian or Mexican varieties with a THC content ranging normally between 0.5 to 7 percent. An increase has been noted by law enforcement in recent years of large scale domestic production of marijuana containing much higher THC values, sometimes with a THC content as high as 20 percent. Missouri law enforcement in particular has noted a sharp increase of „home-grown“ marijuana production with high THC content.

Marijuana is normally used in its dry form by rolling the same into cigarettes, or „joints“, and smoked. A wide variety of other smoking utensils, primarily in the form of pipes, are also used.