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Term: History of Cannabis

The history of cannabis and its usage by humans dates back to at least the third millennium BC in written history, and possibly as far back as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (8800–6500 BCE) based on archaeological evidence. For millennia, the plant has been valued for its use for fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use.

The Chinese character for hemp (麻 or ) depicts two plants under a shelter. Cannabis cultivation dates back at least 3000 years in Taiwan.

The earliest restrictions on cannabis were reported in the Islamic world by the 14th century. In the 19th century, it began to be restricted in colonial countries, often associated with racial and class stresses. In the middle of the 20th century, international coordination led to sweeping restrictions on cannabis throughout most of the globe. Entering the 21st century, some nations began to take measures to decriminalize or legalize cannabis.

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