Monday, August 03, 2009

Why marijuana is illegal?(how it really happened)

t is illegal because in 1954 there was to be a tax on it (like cigarettes) but no one wanted a tax on it so it became a drug. If there is every a re-vote on it, there is a huge chance that weed can be as common as beer or cigarettes.

There are many sites which explain all the politics of it, but hemp (cannabis) used to be a huge cash crop in the US, and supplied the raw material for fiber, bio-plastics, diesel fuel, bird seed, and paper. But it was really difficult to harvest. In 1936 a thresher was patented that made harvesting much easier. But that put hemp in direct competition with the large paper mills (owned by Hearst); and DuPont chemicals, which had developed a process for producing plastics from petroleum.

All this pretty much coincided with the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933. Federal agents who had been merrily busting moonshiners and bootleggers who operated illegal stills, now were out of a job. Harry Anslinger, head of those operations wanted to keep his boys employed, so together with Hearst, DuPont, and a cadre of racists, started a campaign to demonize cannabis. They made up a new name for it (marijuana), said that the Mexicans and Blacks who smoked it, were corrupting white youth, and turning everyone who used it into crazed killers.

Congress, clueless as ever, agreed to but a ban on "marijuana". Unfortunately, they didn't realize it was the same thing as hemp. So a lot of farmers were ticked off. Also, a bunch of doctors were upset because cannabis had been used for a century in many medications including children's cough syrup, and sleeping liquid.

But money talks, and it spoke loudly then, as now. Hearst (of the wood pulp and paper interests) used his many newspapers to print lies, and push the prohibition through.
Briefly, during World War II, access to imported hemp was cut off, and the the US Govt. realized it had shot itself in the foot, and actually had to make propaganda films encouraging farmers to grow hemp again (used in ropes, sales, parachutes, etc.)

Oh, human folly! In the 1960's cannabis smoking became popular again, and was a part of the "mind-expansion movement." Then in the early 1970's, President Richard Nixon, of Watergate fame, was upset at all the cannabis smoking hippies who also happened to be demonstrating against the Viet Nam war. He wanted to crack down on them, so he commissioned a congressional committee to research cannabis so he could say how baaaaaad it was.
Unfortunately for Nixon, the Shafer Commission said they thought cannabis should be legalized. Nixon tore up the study, and (sadly for humankind) launched the "WAR ON DRUGS!"
Since then the lies, idiocy, and brainwashing persist. Prisons are making money on the 730,000 folks arrested each year for simple cannabis possession. Blacks and Latinos, as usual, bear the brunt of these asinine policies (which to a large measure are all about keeping 'undesirable' people 'down.')
Since mainstream media is beholding to corporate interests which have no stake in making cannabis legal again, it is very hard to find out the truth, or even have a sensible discussion about it.

Actually, you should all be very angry about these policies. Why? because of this stupid prohibition, promising medical studies were put on hold. Do you know anyone with cancer? Well, a 1974 study done at the University of Virginia discovered that cannabinoids (in cannabis) cause tumors to shrink and cancer cells to die (while leaving healthy cells alone.) The study was not followed up on. In fact the Ford, Regan and Bush Administrations stopped all research on cannabis, expect for research meant to prove harm.

And lastly, for those of you who say "legalizing cannabis sends the wrong message to children", all I can say is: What a cop out. The truly wrong message is that it is OK for the government to lie! And as for damage to the children of cannabis users, I would like to point you to a study done in Jamaica in the 1980's that determined that babies born to cannabis users tested BETTER on evaluations at 30 days of age than babies born to non-cannabis users.

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