Why is Weed Illegal?
Weed! Marijuana! Ganja! Whatever you call it – it is illegal! But why is weed illegal and cigarettes legal? Well, the story started way back in the early 1900’s. During the time of the Mexican revolution, there were a huge number of immigrants that were coming into the USA from Mexico. These immigrants brought in their culture along with them, which was to smoke Marijuana for relaxation purpose. The Mexicans called it Marihuana.
Apart from Marijuana, the Cannabis plants are actually of very good use. The seeds of the cannabis plant were used for extracting oil and for other medical purposes. The stem, on the other hand, is called as hemp, which was extensively used for the production of paper and strong ropes. The leafs and flowers of the cannabis plant which contains resin which produced the mild psychotic drug – Marijuana.
So, if there are so many good things about weed then why is it illegal? Is weed good or bad? And if it is bad then why is smoking legal if it kills you (cigarettes).
Getting back to the story…
In the mid-1930’s, a new machine was invented which made the production of paper using hemp easy and more affordable. Meanwhile, William Randolph Hearst invested in timberland for producing paper for newspaper companies. In the same period of time, DuPont started producing pesticides and fertilizers for the cotton production.
The rise of cheap and good quality paper produced from the hemp of cannabis plants was a treat to the companies which invested into timber, petroleum and chemical industries.
Hence, William Randolph and DuPont came together and started conspiracies against marijuana and its uses.
Well, this looks like a lot of corporate thing going on! When did the government get involved?
And then there was Andrew Mellon…
Andrew Mellon was the US Secretory of Treasury at that time. Also, the chairperson of the Mellon National Bank (Now known as Mellon Financial) which happen to finance William Rudolph Hearst in his ventures.
Got the point now?
In order to save his money, Mellon created a new division in the government called as the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Then made Harry Anslinger the head of the Narcotics department. Anslinger used racism and newspapers to spread fear and criminalisation caused by the people who consumed Marijuana.
He also made films like Reefer Madness and Devil’s Harvest which portrayed weed smokers as people who lost their mental hygiene. Anslinger was clever about not using the word cannabis in all his propaganda mediums as people would not take it as they know the benefits of cannabis and its parts. Hence he used the word Marijuana instead.
The end of Marijuana!
Long story short, he was successful in all his propagandas. Later in the year 1937, Marijuana Tax Act was passed which prohibited the use of marijuana in any manner or purpose.
In 1942, the prohibition laid by the Narcotics department was put on hold and allowed farmers to grow cannabis for the producing ropes to meet the needs of the war. But soon after the war ended, all the cannabis crops were destroyed.
That was the end of legal usage of Cannabis in any form.
Even today the reason given for the non-legalization of Cannabis is stated as- domestic abuse and violence and health effects. For which there is no valid proof till date. If it is the matter of domestic abuse and violence then what makes alcohol legal? And if it’s the case of health effects, what good does a cigarette do to the human body? But Marijuana on the other is proven to kill cancer cells.
There are absolutely no valid cases registered that a person died of consumption of marijuana. But there are thousands of registered cases stating that people died of consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
Why not Legalize it now?
If that was the story of the past and people in the present world know the value of the cannabis plants then why not legalize it? Why is tobacco legal but weed isn’t? Well, the story goes all back to one thing – Capitalism. The big players in the market just won’t let that happen as it would affect their business.
What do you think about the legalization of cannabis AKA Marijuana? Comment and let us know! Also if you found this article interesting then do share it with your friends! 🙂