Cannabis as a Harmful Drug
Before the 1930s cannabis wasn’t seen as a harmful drug. As a matter of fact the Declaration of Independence was drafted out of hemp, along with the sails that pushed the founding fathers ships toward the colonies they later invaded. Cannabis quickly became vilanized when president Hoover was sworn into office. Hoover appointed Hary Jo Anslinger as head of the Beuro of Narcotics. Anslinger was the one that coined the term marijuana. Anslinger did this in hopes of demonizing cannabis to the public. With the help of newspapers cannabis had become a threat to the public. For decades the American people didn’t think to question the true purpose of marijuana legislation. Up until recently nine states have legalized recreational marijuana and thirty one states have legalized medical marijuana.The substructure of marijuana laws were instilled to further fuel racism, target the poor, and corporate greed.
Many people don’t know the history of marijuana in the United States. People hear the word marijuana or weed and automatically associate a negative connotation to the terms. The general public has stigmatized cannabis smokers as lazy and underachieving individuals. Some of the most relevant wealthy men in our society have been known to smoke marijuana. The list includes beloved Walt Disney, author Stephen King, and even the creator of apple Steve Jobs. These notable individuals prove that you can indeed be successful. Marijuana isn’t a magical plant that guarantees you wealth and prosperity. However it doesn’t hinder your ability to be a productive member of society. Therefore saying marijuana should be banned because it hinders our society’s growth is invalid.
Most of the propaganda used in the 1930s was created on the basis of fake news. The newspapers made it sound as if one joint doomed you for life. They claimed marijuana made you insane and prone to rape and murder. The demographic of smokers were said to be black, Mexican, and Asian. One article claimed white women would want to get pregnant by “immigrant mexicans” and “negroes” if they were to engage in marijuana smoking. Over the course of time more and more fake headlines made the front page of newspapers. Legislative laws were quickly placed without further investigation or research. With such racist allegations it only makes sense to look back at our history and try to better understand our past ignorance.
How is marijuana illegal when harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco are available to the public everyday. It is said that every six seconds someone dies from tobacco and every thirteen seconds from alcohol. In the last 10,000 Years there have been zero reports of someone passing away from marijuana. In a corresponding study research shows that a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 times the amount of THC in a joint to even be at risk of death. If we’re talking about public health concerns we shouldn’t be discussing marijuana restrictions but rather alcohol and tobacco laws.
Putting a ban on something isn’t going to stop the general public from accessing it. Where there is a demand there is always a supply. A child has easier access to marijuana than liquor and cigarettes. A drug dealer isn’t going to ask to see ID, like pharmaceutical companies their only interest is making profit. This could easily be fixed with regulated marijuana laws.