42.0 Milestones in the History of Marijuana

People around the world have been smoking marijuana for thousands of years while also using the hemp plant for everything from fabric and rope to ethanol fuel. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, a man with a bit of power and enough determination decided pot was wicked, evil and narcotic. He moved mountains to make it illegal worldwide. In the U.S., the struggle continues to this day to overcome the lies and misconceptions about marijuana that the government spent billions to spread.

Between 1937 and 1947, the government spent $220 million on the war against drugs. Between 1948 and 1963, the cost of this “war” on marijuana alone escalated to $1.5 billion. From 1964 to 1969 the government spent $9 billion on the war against marijuana, a price tag that continues to rise.

First Fabric Known to Man

The hemp plant, also called cannabis or marijuana, has been used around the world for thousands of years. Sometime around 7000 – 8000 BCE, the first fabric is believed to have been woven from dried hemp weed.

Cannabis Seeds Used as Food

Around 6000 BCE hemp seeds were used as food in China. By 2727 BCE, the Chinese documented the use of cannabis as a medication to treat a variety of health problems. They later grew the plant on a large scale for food and fiber.

Cannabis is Cultivated and Left as an Offering

In 1500 BCE Scythians started to cultivate cannabis for weaving cloth. By 700 – 300 BCE the status of the plant had been elevated among Scythian tribes and cannabis seeds were left as offering in royal tombs.

“Sacred Grass” Named One of Five Sacred Plants in India

Cannabis is called “Sacred Grass” in the Hindu sacred text Arthava-Veda and named one of the five sacred plants of India. It was used as an offering to Shiva and also as a medication in India from 1200 – 800 BCE.

Hemp Use Spreads Throughout Europe

The hemp plant was introduced into Northern Europe by the Scythians around 500 BCE Over the next 400 years it spread throughout the subcontinent.

Cannabis Mentioned in the Jewish Talmud

Sometime around 500 – 600 CE, there was a mention of the euphoric properties on cannabis in the Jewish Talmud.

Smoking Cannabis Becomes Popular in the Middle East

Between 900 -1000 the use of cannabis spread throughout the Arab world. By the early 1200s, smoking marijuana had become very popular in the region. It was popular among Muslims, who are not permitted to drink alcohol.

Marijuana Comes to the New World

In 1492, Christopher Columbus brought Cannibis Sativa to America.

Farmers in America Required to Grow Hemp

From 1000 to 1500, the use of marijuana spread further. The French and British grew hemp in the colonies of Port Royal, Virginia and Plymouth. In 1619 a law was passed in Jamestown, Virginia Colony, which required farmers to grow hemp. Marijuana also became a major trade item between Central and South Asia during this time.

Presidential Marijuana

At Mount Vernon, George Washington grew hemp as his primary crop in 1797. Thomas Jefferson grew hemp as a secondary crop at Monticello.

Napoleon Bans Hemp

In 1798, Napoleon declared a total prohibition of hemp after realizing much of the Egyptian lower class were habitual smokers of marijuana.

Medical Cannabis Sold in the U.S.

In 1840, medicines with a cannabis base were available in U.S. pharmacies. Hashish was available in Persian pharmacies.

U.S. Receives the Gift of Marijuana

In 1876, the Sultan of Turkey gave marijuana to the United States as a gift. By 1880, Turkish smoking parlors were opened all over the northeastern U.S.

Food and Drug Administration Formed in the U.S.

In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in the U.S. and the Food and Drug Administration was formed. This was the first time drugs had any government oversight.

Ford’s Hempmobile

In 1908, Henry Ford made his first Model T with hemp plastic. The car was fueled with hemp ethanol.

Cannabis Prohibition Begins in the U.S.

California passed the first state marijuana law in 1913, but it was largely overlooked because it specifically addressed “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.” Other state anti-marijuana law were passed in Utah in 1915, in Texas in 1919, Louisiana in 1924 and New York in 1927.

Cannabis Prohibition in Britain

In 1928, the recreational use of marijuana was banned in Britain.

Marijuana Ordinance Passed in El Paso

Marijuana came into the southwestern United States in the early 1900s with Mexican migrants who entered the country looking for work. Laborers enjoyed smoking marijuana after hard days in the fields. The local European Whites believed that marijuana gave the Mexicans “superhuman strength” and turned them into killers.

In 1914 in El Paso, some white men were allegedly attacked by a Mexican man who had “gone crazy” on supposedly “killer weed.” Following the incident, the El Paso City Council passed an ordinance banning possession of marijuana. The law was more about controlling the local Mexican populace than controlling marijuana, as the predominantly white constituency did not like the Mexicans or their customs.

Harry J. Anslinger Declares War on Marijuana

The federal government gave control of illegal drugs to the Treasury Department, which created the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Harry J. Anslinger, a prohibitionist, became the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. He held the position until 1962. Anslinger declared war on drugs and effectively shaped America’s views about marijuana.

Marijuana Use Spreads to Major Cities

In the 1930s, bales of marijuana (called muggles), tea and reefer were arriving in southern port cities such as New Orleans via West Indian sailors. Jazz musicians travelled north and took marijuana with them, making reefer parties popular in many major cities along the way.

The Uniform State Narcotic Act

When it became too expensive for the Bureau to pursue all drug cases on its own, Anslinger tirelessly campaigned and lobbied for the passage of the Uniform State Narcotic Act, which would require states to police drug trafficking and commit state resources for the war on drugs. Only nine states initially agreed, so Anslinger launched a nationwide media campaign declaring marijuana causes temporary insanity. The ads featured young people smoking marijuana, then behaving recklessly, committing crimes, killing themselves and others or dying from marijuana use. The propaganda campaign was a success and all states signed on.

Reefer Madness

In 1936, the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” was made in an attempt to scare young Americans away from using marijuana. The film directly stated that smoking marijuana causes insanity. In the film, a woman smokes marijuana, then laughs while a man who has smoked marijuana beats a third person to death.

Marijuana Tax Stamp Act

Anslinger’s propaganda campaign convinced the public that marijuana was in fact a “killer drug.” Hysterical voters demanded action without seeing or hearing about any scientific research about marijuana or proof of the supposed harm that comes from smoking it.

On October 2, 1937, without any open debate, scientific enquiry, or political objection, President Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Law. The law made it illegal to possess marijuana in the U.S. without a special tax stamp issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. In theory, growing and selling marijuana was still legal as long as you bought the government tax stamp for $1.00. However, the Treasury Department did not issue any tax stamps for marijuana, effectively making growing, selling and possessing marijuana illegal under the Act.

First Marijuana Conviction

On the very day the Marijunana Tax Stamp Act was passed, the FBI and Denver police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested two people: Samuel R. Caldwell and Moses Baca. Three days later, Caldwell, a 58 year old unemployed laborer, became first person in the U.S. to be convicted of selling of marijuana without a tax stamp. He was sentenced to four years of hard labor in Leavenworth Penitentiary. Presiding Judge J Foster Symes, had previously stated that he considered marijuana to be the worst of all narcotics and vowed to impose harsh sentences for violations of the Marijuana Tax Act. Caldwell was also fined $1,000 for the two marijuana cigarettes that were found in his possession. Baca, who was his customer, was found guilty of possession of marijuana and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Both men served their full sentences. Caldwell died a year after his release.

New York Mayor Takes a Stand Against Marijuana Prohibition

Fiorello La Guardia, the mayor of New York, spoke out against the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act, saying the majority of Americans did not want the law and it should be abolished. He was skeptical of the government’s claims and propaganda touting marijuana as a dangerous, evil, killer narcotic. La Guardia commissioned a six-year study by a group of 31 impartial scientists. After an in-depth scientific analysis, researchers concluded that marijuana does not cause violent, psychotic episodes, is not responsible for anti-social behavior, does not cause uncontrollable sexual urges and does not alter a person’s core personality structure.

In 1944, La Guardia’s commission published a report of the findings, scientifically disproving all of Anslinger’s propaganda and outlandish clams about the effects of smoking marijuana. Once again, Anslinger used his muscle with the press to discredit the report and destroyed every copy of the report he could. He then successfully blocked any further research by restricting the availability of marijuana.

Anslinger Targets Hollywood

Anslinger then began digging up dirt on anti-prohibitionists, and took special aim at the entertainment industry. Hollywood buckled under the pressure and gave Anslinger personal control over movie scripts that mentioned drugs. Any movie that Anslinger felt sent the wrong message was banned.

The Marijuana Propaganda Continues in the 1950s

In the 1950s, Anslinger used a new scare tactic by producing propaganda claiming that marijuana was a gateway drug to heroin. Americans were concerned about a growing number of teens using heroin, so Anslinger used that concern as an opening to push his marijuana message once again. The media circulated the myth that most heroin-addicts were led down the path to disaster by marijuana and that most marijuana users become addicted to harder drugs.

Boggs Act Increases Drug Penalties

In 1951, Anslinger supported an amendment to the Harrison Narcotic Act, introduced by Senator Hale Boggs, that would dramatically increase mandatory drug sentences. Boggs said that harsh sentences were needed for all drug offenses because drugs were a tool of Communist China. Truman signed the Boggs Act.

Narcotic Control Act of 1956

On a roll, Anslinger then pushed for even tougher drug laws and got President Eisenhower on board. The Narcotic Control Act put marijuana in the same drug class as heroin and added more severe penalties. A first conviction of possession of marijuana was punishable by a mandatory two to 10 years in prison. State drug laws also toughened up. In Missouri, a second conviction for possession of marijuana was eligible for a life sentence.

Anslinger Targets the United Nations

Propelled by his success in criminalizing marijuana and adding teeth to drug laws, Anslinger set his sights higher and went to the U.N. In 1961, Using the then-considerable influence of the United States, he convinced over 100 countries to consolidate their drug agreements into a single convention that would make marijuana illegal around the world. Anslinger was honored by JFK at his retirement in 1962.

1960s Anti-Drug Propaganda

In the 1960s, anti-drug propaganda was widely distributed with the message that smoking marijuana would not only make you lazy and irresponsible, but that you were also out of touch with reality and a threat to national security.

Dr. Leo E. Hollister, the associate chief of staff and the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital in California conducted a study of the effects of marijuana and concluded that smoking marijuana makes people happy, friendly, intoxicated and sleepy. He found no reason to believe that smoking pot made people aggressive or led to addiction to other drugs.

Marijuana Culture is Born in the U.S.

Despite the propaganda, marijuana increased in popularity on college campuses across the country. Students spoke out about their marijuana use and gradually changed the public’s perception of the drug. By 1965, an estimated 1 million Americans had tried marijuana. With events like Woodstock and popular groups such as the Grateful Dead, smoking marijuana became a part of pop-culture. By 1972, approximately 24 million Americans had tried marijuana.

Nixon’s War on Drugs

Nixon won the election on a campaign-platform for restoring law and order in the country. Since most criminal violations are handled by the states, he found that drug laws could allow him to be most effective. He launched Operation Intercept. Two thousand customs agents were deployed along the Mexican border in a military-style search and seizure mission to stop the flow of marijuana. Virtually no marijuana was found among the 5 million people who were searched and after three weeks the operation was abandoned. Nixon then decided to concentrate on police training to fight the war against marijuana. Almost immediately, marijuan-related arrests and convictions increased dramatically.

Don Crowe Sentenced to 50 Years

Twenty-five year old Vietnam veteran Don Crowe was convicted of selling marijuana to an undercover cop. It was his first offense and the amount of marijuana was under an ounce. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The Controlled Substances Act

There was a push for marijuana reform as the public began to realize that marijuana laws were not effective and that the penalties were too harsh. A big wake-up call for many middle-class people was the fact that their own kids were the top demographic for arrests and prosecution. At a Senate hearing on marijuana legislation in 1969, Dr. Stanley Yolles estimated that 8 to 12 million people in the United States smoked marijuana and urged Congress to abolish mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses. Congress took the advice and passed Controlled Substances Act which eliminated mandatory minimums and reduced penalties for possession of marijuana.

The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse Report

Nixon continued his anti-drug crusade. He enlisted celebrities and used the media to spread the message, as well as funded a new study to identify the dangers of marijuana. Researchers found that using marijuana did not lead to crime, and that laws were selectively enforced and police targeted people with a certain look. They also found the cost of attempting to enforce marijuana laws far outweighed any deterrent effect of that enforcement.

In 1972, The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse released a report which would be the most comprehensive study on marijuana ever done. The commission took the position that smoking marijuana in one’s own home should not be criminalized. Nixon threw the report in the garbage can without ever reading it.

DEA is Born

Nixon did not give up, and pushed forward with his war against marijuana. In 1972, all of the government’s existing drug agencies were combined into one super-powerful agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency. The DEA was given the authority to enter homes without knocking, use wiretaps and gather intelligence on anyone.

Marijuana Activism

In the 1970s, smoking marijuana became popular among middle-class adults, and activists revamped the movement for decriminalization.

The Reagan Administration’s War on Drugs

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration launched its own war on drugs. An average of one person every 38 seconds was arrested for violating marijuana laws.

Judge Francis Law Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana as a Prescription Drug

Judge Francis Law, a DEA administrative law judge, held hearings on the medical benefits of marijuana. He found that marijuana has a clearly established medical use and recommended that it be reclassified as a prescription drug. However, no action was taken to reclassify marijuana based on Law’s findings.

First U.S. Medical Marijuana Law Passed

Although Canada became the first country in the world to legalize medical marijuana in 2003, the U.S. Federal Government has been resistant to changing marijuana laws. California passed Proposition 215, the first U.S. medical marijuana law, in 1996. Today Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington have passed medical marijuana laws. Several other states are also considering legalizing medical marijuana.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Medical Marijuana Case

On May, 18, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a dispute over California’s medical marijuana law. Opponents of California’s Compassionate Use Act argue that the law undermines federal drug laws. Last year, a California appeals court ruled that the state’s medical marijuana law does not supersede federal drug laws.

The Fight for Reform and Medical Marijuana Continues

Currently marijuana activists are working for marijuana reform and fighting for medical marijuana laws. The U.S. National Institute of Health spent $1 million on medical research to investigate the therapeutic effects of synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of smoking marijuana. At Temple University, research is also being done on synthetic marijuana.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government, which supposedly has no horse in the medical marijuana race, has patented medical marijuana. US Patent 6630507 was assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Department of Health and Human services on October 7, 2003 and protects “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.”


History of marijuana


Pot, weed, ganja, chronic, budda, mary jane, purple haze, cheeba, grass– these are all terms used to identify marijuana.   A 2011 survey by SAMHSA indicates that 6.9 percent of the population reports use of marijuana making it the most commonly used illegal drug. Marijuana is a Hallucinogenic that takes on the characteristics of a depressant with long term use.  It has been used for thousands of years.  Traces of THC (the active ingredient) have been found in Egyptian mummies dating back 3000 years ago.  The first written records of medicinal use of marijuana date back to China 28BC. The marijuana plant continues to be used today for creating hemp products such as rope and jewelry.  It is also used medicinally.   And, of course, it is smoked “recreationally” by many people worldwide.  So, what’s so bad about weed anyway?

Why Do People Smoke It?

There are many reasons people report using marijuana. Some report that it helps them relax or fall asleep. Others, state that they are more creative under the influence of the drug. Marijuana is often identified as a social drug and is often smoked in groups. Some people report that smoking gives them something to do so they aren’t bored. Others identify smoking marijuana to help with anger management, depression, or feelings of anxiety. “It helps me calm down, relax.” Marijuana is often a drug of choice for pain management as well. It is great for increasing the appetite and also helps to decrease feelings of nausea. As stated earlier it has been used medicinally for thousands of years.

Marijuana And The Brain

Marijuana is unlike other drugs because it is not a single molecule but rather a complex molecule with over 400 cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemicals which give marijuana it’s ability to make the user feel high. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active ingredient in the marijuana plant. THC is a cannabinoid. The molecules in marijuana are also different than most drugs because they are not water soluble, meaning that they aren’t dissolved by water. The molecules are stored in your fat, including in the fatty tissue around and in your brain. Therefore, the molecules stay in your system for weeks, depending on the amount of use. This means that even if you only smoke marijuana once, it can take 7-10 days before HALF of that marijuana has left your body. When you are not high, you are still affected by the drug! (http://adcaps.wsu.edu/default.asp?PageID=224)A chemical called Anandamide is a natural cannabinoid neurotransmitter in the brain. THC mimics the actions of anandamide, so TC binds with cannabinoid receptors making the brain think it is naturally producing anadamide. It tricks the brain! Long term use of marijuana can clog the pathways that chemicals cross (synapses) and slows/stops production of “feel good” chemicals that the brain naturally produces.
Why is this a problem? Below are a list of areas of the brain that have cannabinoid receptors and are effected by marijuana use.

-Cannabinoid receptors are abundant in:
Cerebellum————————–body movement/coordination
Cerebral Cortex (especially cingulate, frontal, parietal regions)——higher cognitive functions
Nucleus accumbens———————–reward center
Basal Ganglia——————————-(unconscious) movement control
-Cannabinoid receptors are moderate in:
Hypothalamus————body housekeeping functions (body temp, salt, water, sugar)
Amygdala————–emotional response/fear/fight or flight
Spinal Cord———-Peripheral sensation/pain
Brain Stem———–sleep and arousal, motor control
Central Gray———analgesia/pain control
Nucleus of solitary tract——–visceral sensation, nausea/vomiting

A 2008 study found evidence that heavy smokers had areas of their brains that were smaller than non-smokers. The hippocampus and amygdala were found to be smaller and those with affected brain size were also more likely to experience mental health symptoms. http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20080602/marijuana-use-may-shrink-the-brain.

All of marijuana’s effects on the brain are not negative, there are some positive things it can do for a person. It can help to regulate pain, as it acts as a blocker to the pain receptor sites. Marijuana can help decrease symptoms of nausea or vomiting that may accompany illness such as cancer and HIV/AIDS and increase the appetite of a person with such an illness. Symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder can also be managed with marijuana. The affect the substance has on the amygdala causes an ability to relax and be less reactive to things that normally cause fear or discomfort to a person with these disorders. Remember that self-medicating with marijuana is not a good idea. If you are ill and believe that medical marijuana could help you, seek the advice of a physician.

Marijuana’s Effect on the Rest of the Body

Marijuana increases heart rate by about 50%. Frequent use can lead to the possibility of damage to the heart such as heart murmurs, heart attack, and stroke. People with high blood pressure or other heart problems are obviously at higher risk than a healthy person.
alcoholism.about.com/od/pot/a/effects.-Lya.htmMarijuana also causes irritation to the lungs. The fact that inhaled marijuana smoke is held in the lungs for as long as possible makes it even more irritating to lungs than tobacco smoke. See the following link to read more about marijuana and the lungs. http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_notes/NNvol21N1/Marijuana.html

Remember the info stated above regarding marijuana not being water soluble? Well, marijuana is stored in body fat. The most potent areas of body fat that it is stored in are in the brain and reproductive organs (ovaries and testicles). Because of this, marijuana also has an effect on hormone levels. This can lead to problems with reproduction for both men and woman (http://adcaps.wsu.edu/default.asp?PageID=224). There is also speculation that use of marijuana during adolescence is more dangerous than use in adulthood due to the hormonal changes that are naturally occurring during this time. In December 2010, there was research published indicating that marijuana is linked to testicular cancer in men. See the following link to read more. http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_notes/NNvol23N3/Marijuana.html

One widely recognized effect of marijuana is “the munchies.” This occurs due to the cannabinoids in the brain’s hypothalumus triggering a false hunger response. People who smoke marijuana tend to eat junk food when they have the munchies, and are therefore, at risk for health problems related to unhealthy eating habits such as obesity and high cholesterol.

Overall, there is a lot of speculation about the possible effects of marijuana on the body. There is more to learn about this topic. The person choosing to use the drug needs to be informed of the possible effects of use and then make a decision about the risk he or she is willing to take.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

In short, yes! Marijuana is addictive, both psychologically and physically. Please see the following information taken directly from the Washington State University Website https://adcaps.wsu.edu/drugs101/marijuana-effects”Chart C (right): Illustrates a regular (4-5 times per week) marijuana user’s THC levels.
The baseline THC levels off but stays in a range to which the brain adapts. Tolerance to the drug develops and when use is terminated abruptly, withdrawal ensues (physiological addiction).”

The withdrawal syndrome includes; insomnia, irritability, anxiety, sweaty palms, loss of appetite, depression, headaches and cravings. These symptoms begin approximately 3-4 days after cessation of use, and symptoms usually dissipate by the 10 th day of abstinence.

Drinking a lot of clear fluids, cranberry juice, foods high in potassium and getting exercise are helpful during this withdrawal period.”

Marijuana is psychologically addictive just like almost anything else on the planet can be. A person develops a psychological addiction to something when s/he believes the “thing” is necessary for some purpose. For example, “I need marijuana to relax or sleep.”


Science Says: Lungs Love Weed

By Oliver Lee

Breathe easy, tokers. Smoking marijuana in moderate amounts may not be so bad for your lungs, after all.

A new study, published in this month’s Journal of the American Medical Association, tested the lung function of over 5,000 young adults between 18 and 30. After 20 years of testing, researchers found some buzzworthy results: regular marijuana smokers (defined by up to a joint a day for seven years) had no discernable impairment in lung activity from non-smokers.

In fact, researchers were surprised to find marijuana smokers performed slightly better than both smokers and non-smokers on the lung performance test. Why? The most likely explanation seems to be that the act of inhaling marijuana—holding each puff in for as long as possible—is a lot like a pulmonary function test, giving marijuana smokers an edge over their cigarette smoking counterparts.

For most of human existence, cannabis has been considered a medicine. Queen Victoria used it to alleviate her menstrual cramps. Extracts were prescribed by doctors and available at every pharmacy in the U.S. According to Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, attitudes toward cannabis only shifted when Americans began to notice and object to its use by immigrants around the turn of the 20th century. Said Schlosser in a PBS interview:

“What’s interesting is if you look at origins of the marijuana prohibition in this country, it coincides with a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment. . . really since the early years of this century, the war on marijuana has been much more a war on the sort of people who smoke it, be they Mexicans or blacks or jazz musicians or beatniks or hippies or hip-hop artists. It’s really been a war on nonconformists and the laws against marijuana have been used as a way of reasserting what are seen as traditional American values.”

Attitudes are changing, however. Sixteen states now offer medicinal weed legally for patients, and the number is growing. More students are nowsmoking marijuana than binge drinking or smoking cigarettes. Weed-friendly communities like Oaksterdam, unthinkable a decade or two ago, are sprouting up and campaigning to have marijuana revenue regulated and taxed like alcohol.

As marijuana enters the mainstream, studies like the one published in JAMAmight dispel false assertions about the plant’s deleterious health hazards and promote its medicinal benefits. According to Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, a marijuana researcher at UCLA medical school, THC is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may prevent lung irritation from developing into the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that frequently devastates the lungs of tobacco smokers. Since inhaling the unfiltered smoke of a combusted marijuana plant isn’t exactly the best delivery system for this panacea, he suggests that those who want to unlock its chemical potential find lower impact ways to get high.

“The smoke in marijuana contains thousands of ingredients, many of which are toxic and noxious and have the potential, at least, to cause airway injury,” said Tashkin in TIME. “In an ideal world, it would be preferable to take it in another form.” Volcano, anyone?

Article created by Oliver Lee

You want to see more please visit      http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/01/11/marijuana-not-bad-your-lungs


By Pete Guither

For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It’s not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy.

The marijuana (hemp) plant, of course, has an incredible number of uses. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope, and much more. This adds to some of the confusion over its introduction in the United States, as the plant was well known from the early 1600′s, but did not reach public awareness as a recreational drug until the early 1900′s.

America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were several other “must grow” laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp — try that today!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements – rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.

The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

Article created by Pete Guither.

You want to see more please visit      http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

Why is Marijuana Illegal?

by Pete Guither

Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.

The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You’ll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.

You’ll also see that the history of marijuana’s criminalization is filled with:

  • Racism
  • Fear
  • Protection of Corporate Profits
  • Yellow Journalism
  • Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators
  • Personal Career Advancement and Greed

These are the actual reasons marijuana is illegal.


Article created by Pete Guither

You want to see more please visit    http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/