Why is Marijuana illegal?

Many people to this day still don’t know the true reason why Marijuana is illegal. The most common misconception is that it’s a harmful narcotic. Harmful narcotic? Ok, anytime you inhale smoke it is going to be harmful to your lungs, I cannot argue with that. But marijuana can be taken in many ways, such as foods and drinks, and even pills!  It is not fair to claim it is so harmful, it is just another scare tactic used by the government to install fear into the American people.

The truth behind the law banning marijuana is sad. The three main reasons I’m going to address are Racism, the greed of Harry Anslinger, and the paper industry.

It all started back in the early colonies, when farmers were ORDERED to grow a certain amount of hemp cannabis plants. You could be jailed for not following these orders! It is even said that hemp could be used for legal tender, and pay for taxes.(under Hemp Equals Freedom In The New World) This industry was booming for America and hemp started having many uses, such as fabric, paper, rope, and other wood products. By the early 1900’s, big farms, like the one above, started hiring Mexican workers coming up from Mexico to work on their farms which were producing Hemp plants. Many people hated this idea of Mexicans working in America- especially the little farm owners who couldn’t hire the workers- and when they found out that many of these workers were smoking the buds from the plant, they passed the first marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.” These laws were obviously aimed toward Mexicans, due to a lot of racism. Americans were told that they behave like animals after puffing a weed cigarette merely once or twice. The law was also backed by the little farm owners, who needed a way to compete with the bigger farms.

Soon after this came into effect, in 1930, America created the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. A man the name of Harry J. Anslinger was named the director of the new department and he knew that if he wanted to stay director and keep the department alive, they would have to focus on more than just opiates and cocaine. He knew if he was able to make marijuana illegal at the federal level it would help build the agency, and thats exactly what he set out to do. He used racism and violence to back his fight against marijuana, you can see some of his outrageous quotes here (under Harry J. Anslinger). It was once again just another scare tactic to move the populations opinion to being against marijuana. There was no scientific evidence for these claims he was making. Anslinger simply wanted to trick the public so he would be able to make a huge profit off of one of the most booming industries!

Anslinger had lots of help, too. One of his main supporters was William Randolf Hearst, owner of many newspaper publishing companies, such as the San Francisco Examiner. He was a big supporter of making marijuana and hemp illegal for a few reasons. First, he was extremely racist towards Mexicans, who were seen to be the biggest users of marijuana. Secondly, hemp was becoming the biggest competitor for the paper industry. Hearst was scared of his companies being taken under by any hemp printing company, so he was ready to fight against it. And for him it was a brilliant idea. His newspapers were selling like crazy, because he would post many stories about crazed people on marijuana! Making up lies to sell his newspaper and take down hemp, a win-win situation.

So Marijuana is not illegal because it is harmful, it is mainly due to these three influences. It makes me think about why alcohol is still legal and marijuana’s not. Oh wait, it’s because the government can control and tax it and it didn’t affect or cause a threat to another industry.

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Montana’s Taking People’s Medicine!

If you had depression and were taking medication for it, what would you do if one day your medication had been made illegal? You would be pissed! Or in this case, extremely sad. Well this is exactly what is happening to Medical Marijuana patients in the state of Montana. On February 4th, members of Montana House Human Services Committee voted to pass House Bill 161 (which can be seen here   http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billpdf/HB0161.pdf ).

Their reasoning? They are claiming that since the law passed legalizing medical marijuana, teen drug use and traffic fatalities have both increased. Yet as they point out on NORML blog, this is not true. In 2008, the number of fatal traffic accidents was 221, while in the two years before the law had passed they were both in the 260’s. That’s one of their excuses out of the way. If anything marijuana has calmed down these people and stopped them from driving so recklessly! (That does not mean it’s a good idea to drive while being medicated!) Now the issue about teen drug use is a little unclear to me. Here ( http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k8state/AppD.htm#TabD-3 )  I have records showing that marijuana use in the state of Montana has gone down by almost thirty percent! So let me get this straight, did a bunch of adults decide to stop using and donate their stash to their teenage kids? It seems highly unlikely to me that with a 30% drop of usage, there is an increase among some. This could be true though, there is a slight chance, but it is really worth depriving patients of their medicine because some teenagers are experimenting with marijuana and sitting on their couches playing video games for hours? (that’s my guess for what most likely happens, knowledge obtained from experience)

Just think about all the pharmaceutical drugs out there that kids are experimenting with that are still being prescribed to patients everyday. How much damage these drugs actually do to people, unlike marijuana. It is not just to take this right of the people of Montana away from them. If this sort of thing happened in, just for an example, California, there would be riots!

This truly doesn’t even affect me personally, not living in Montana and all, but it’s just one step further away from ever living in a place where marijuana isn’t looked upon as just a drug, but part of a lifestyle.



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