a chemical in the cannabis plant that affects behavior and mental state
The chemical in cannabis is THC. It can produce sensory and psychological effects. And this is why we feel "high" when we smoke marijuana.
the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning
Do you know the etymology of the word marijuana? According to some etymologists, it comes from the Chinese "ma ren hua" or "huo ma ren." This means hemp seed flower 火麻仁.
portray something as wicked and threatening
The most common term for cannabis is marijuana or “Maryjane” in Spanish. History suggests that anti-cannabis politicians used this term to demonize the plant with racial overtones.
In the early 1900's, possessing cannabis was outlawed in the US and Canada. However, at that time very few people would have heard of the drug, let alone tried it.
make (something that was illegal) permissible by law
It wasn't until the 1960's that weed became popular, especially among university students. Ever since that time, people have fought to legalize marijuana.
(of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe
In the US, cannabis laws are passed state by state. As of 2019 it is illegal at the federal level and many people complain about draconian sentencing in parts of the country!
a law to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production
On October 17, 2018, cannabis was legalized in Canada under the Cannabis Act. Now, everyone there over 19 can legally buy and smoke pot!
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