Medical marijuana (cannabis sativa) refers to the medically controlled use of marijuana or tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) by patients seeking a means to address medical problems including nausea, vomiting, weight loss, multiple sclerosis, asthma, inflammation, glaucoma, poor appetite, spasticity, chronic pain, and acute pain. There is a consensus that marijuana's medical use developed first in China, spreading to India, Rome, and Greece by the 1st century and eventually reaching Europe and Africa. The use of marijuana as medicine finally spread to the European colonies in North America sometime in the 18th century.

Thus, the use of medically controlled marijuana in the United States predates the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, which rendered cannabis illegal even with a physician's prescription. Moral crusades condemning ...

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