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Marijuana Awareness Month – February 2023

Marijuana Awareness Month takes place every February and aims to spread knowledge about the negative effects of marijuana use. According to statistics, about 25% to 50% of people who use the drug daily will likely become addicted to it, which will adversely affect the brain’s reward center. Several surveys carried out in the U.S. reveal that millions of people use marijuana, making it the most widely used illicit drug in the country. Marijuana use is on the rise in the U.S., causing a rise in addiction too. The popularity of the drug is a result of the perceived myth that the drug is harmless because of its recent legalization in some states.

History of Marijuana Awareness Month

Cannabis is indigenous to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Its uses for fabric and rope date back as far as the Neolithic age in China and Japan. The oldest archeological evidence for the burning of cannabis was found in Romanian kurgans dating back as far as 3500 B.C. It is posited that marijuana was first used in ritual ceremonies by the ancient tribes living in the Pontic-Caspian region during the Chalcolithic period, therefore eventually spreading throughout western Eurasia during the Indo-European migrations. Research also suggests that the ancient Indo-Iranian drug ‘soma,’ sometimes contained cannabis. This research is based on the discovery of a cannabis-carrying basin in an ancient Turkmenistan shrine.

The Spaniards introduced cannabis to the New World from 1530 to 1545. After a tour of North Africa and the Middle East from 1836–1840, a French physician named Jacques-Joseph Moreau wrote about the psychological effects of cannabis use. Then in 1842, Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, having studied the drug while working as a medical officer in Bengal with the East India Company, brought some cannabis with him upon his return to Britain. This sparked renewed interest in cannabis in the West.

At the start of the 19th century, cannabis was criminalized in most countries. In 1840, the colonial government of Mauritius banned cannabis because of concerns regarding its effect on Indian workers. In the United States, the first restrictions on the sale of cannabis came in 1906 in Washington, D.C. Canada criminalized cannabis through The Opium and Narcotic Drug Act of 1923, at a time when there were not yet any reports of the use of the drug in the country. However, its use was eventually legalized for recreational and medicinal purposes in 2018.

Marijuana Awareness Month timeline

3500 B.C.
The Oldest Evidence of Burning Cannabis

Cannabis is used for domestic purposes.

1530
It’s Introduced to the New World

Cannabis is introduced to the New World by the Spaniards.

1906
Restrictions

The United States first imposes restrictions on cannabis use.

2018
Recreational Use

Canada legalizes the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Marijuana Awareness Month FAQs

What is Marijuana Awareness Month?

Marijuana Awareness Month, observed every February, is a month during which several groups engage in creating awareness about marijuana.

Is marijuana illegal?

Marijuana use is criminalized in most jurisdictions of the world, however, not everywhere. Canada, for example, has legalized it for recreational use and some states in the U.S. have the same arrangement.

Is marijuana a dangerous substance?

Marijuana use has been said to have its advantages and disadvantages. However, the reason it might be considered dangerous is probably because it can be abused and could have adverse effects on the psychological and mental state of users.

How to Observe Marijuana Awareness Month

  1. Do some research

    Take time to conduct some research on cannabis use. It’s the best way to discover what the effects are.

  2. Steer clear of illegal cannabis use

    It’s best to avoid using marijuana indiscriminately. However, if you must, be sure it’s legalized in your location.

  3. Share awareness on social media

    Join the marijuana awareness conversation online. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MarijuanaAwarenessMonth hashtag.

5 Interesting Facts About Marijuna

  1. There are three major varieties

    There are three major varieties of marijuana, namely Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis.

  2. Marijuana is not yet replicated in pills

    Several attempts have been made by scientific experts to replicate marijuana in pills, but there has been no successful attempt yet.

  3. It can be used as livestock feed

    Cannabis can be used as livestock feed, as domestic livestock are usually herbivorous.

  4. It’s the most widely used drug

    Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the world, with millions of users in different countries reported annually.

  5. France is the biggest European hemp producer

    France is the top producer of hemp in Europe and the third biggest globally.

Why Marijuana Awareness Month is Important

  1. It creates awareness about negative effects

    Marijuana Awareness Month helps to create awareness. During this month, you can learn about the possible negative effects of marijuana use.

  2. It’s an opportunity to learn about marijuana

    This period is an opportunity to learn a little more about marijuana. Knowledge is power.

  3. It’s a step towards regulating marijuana use

    Marijuana Awareness Month is an important initiative. It’s a step towards ensuring the regulation of marijuana use.

Marijuana Awareness Month dates

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2024February 1Thursday
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2027February 1Monday
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