Marijuana has moved out of the back alleys and into the open. In some states it's legal to grow, to sell, to smoke and marijuana could be legalized in a city near you. But could pot actually be good for you? The journey begins in a small town home, nestled in the mountains, with the family who has never allowed TV cameras in before.
They live in Colorado, one of two states where it's legal to smoke pot medically and recreationally. Medical dispensaries are everywhere; people are smoking in private clubs and public festivals. Just decades ago marijuana was a legitimate medication also called cannabis, prescribed by doctors and dispensed by pharmacies, but that all changed in 1930. For Harry Anslinger, the United States first drug czar, public enemy number one, you guessed it, was marijuana.
He got the anti marijuana message out through news reports and then came the film Reefer Madness portraying the users of marijuana as unproductive, and crazed. Marijuana then became illegal in 1937 and by 1970 it was a Schedule I controlled substance. The government was saying it had no medicinal value and had a high potential for abuse. Marijuana is made up of two ingredients: THC which is the psychoactive part that makes you high, and CBD, also called cannabidiol, that scientists think it modulates the electrical and chemical activity in the brain.
"Medical marijuana is not new, and the medical community has been writing about it for a long time. There were in fact hundreds of journal articles, mostly documenting the benefits. Most of those papers, however, were written between the years 1840 and 1930. The papers described the use of medical marijuana to treat neuralgia, convulsive disorders, emaciation, among other things."