A Guest Post From Travis, Thanks!
Most people don’t realize that marijuana only became illegal fairly recently. Weed has a pretty interesting story.
If you’ve never looked into it for yourself or heard of its story, that’s why I’m here. So sit back and relax while I spin you a yarn.
The North American continent was first introduced to hemp in 1606. Ever since that time, hemp was used across a multitude of different products such as paper, ropes, fibers, and clothing. In the 1700s, farmers were LEGALLY required to grow hemp as a crop on their farm.
Many of our founding fathers grew hemp and advocated its uses and benefits. Unfortunately, early in the 1900s, many states enacted laws restricting the use of pot for medical and recreational purposes.
By the 1930s, all American states had adopted rules and regulations trying to control people’s access to and use of marijuana.
Enter then H.J. Anslinger. He was the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Anslinger was an antagonist who incited cultural fears and prejudices.
This leads many to believe that racial issues had a major role in marijuana’s prohibition. Increasing numbers of Mexicans were coming to America.
Marijuana was highly available to and from them. African-Americans in speak-easys were notorious not only for their music but also for their weed use. Anslinger hated this.
He was a notorious racist. He had strange ideas that he made believable to the naive public due to his influential positions. The implementation of the Marijuana Tax Act, widely promoted by Anslinger, was the first national regulation on marijuana.
It pretty much banned the possession of weed by requiring users to obtain a tax stamp. In order to obtain the stamp, they had to provide details about the amount they had and the location of their marijuana. We can all guess how that turned out.
Cannabis was officially outlawed for any use with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.
In 2020, marijuana remains a schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Heroin, LSD, and ecstasy are all schedule 1 drugs (and should be)!
However, studies are coming out all the time touting the medical benefits of marijuana. And what exactly does marijuana abuse look like? When compared to alcohol, America’s current favorite legal drug, the results are off the charts.
Inhibition rates and levels, as well as conscious decision making, are astronomically better with weed over alcohol.
So why is weed still illegal?
The world may never know. But, I would wager there is money involved.
For now, we have to be content with the fact that many states are starting to take back control and make their own laws. For people who want a more laissez-faire attitude toward government, this is ideal.
For many in the cannabis world, however, the fear is that Big Brother will step in and take away the state’s newfound freedom. Until then, hang on and enjoy the ride.