National Geographic Society

  • Connect:


Yvonne takes marijuana as medication to ease the symptoms of her Multiple Sclerosis. She says that smoking joints eases the pain of her disease. She smokes between 6 to 8 joints a day.

Check your local listings.

Throughout human history, narcotics have been used as medicine and for pleasure, but those who use them can be stigmatized. When drug use is legal or accepted, is it still taboo? More than a century ago, Queen Victoria is said to have used marijuana to alleviate cramps. Today, patients in California are smoking it to relieve pain and other chronic symptoms. Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, a congregation gathers to drink a powerful hallucinogenic drug. Even children participate in the ritual.