Why did the Federal Government ever make marijuana illegal in the first place?

             More and more people are asking the same question;    

 WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL?   It wasnít always illegal, For thousands of years it has been recommended as a medicine. It wasnít until the 1930ís that marijuana became illegal in the USA.

As one looks at the history of what made it  illegal, Things donít look right.                         Could it be the American people were lied to?

In the 1930ís, it seems Harry Anslinger of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lied to Congress about the dangers of Marijuana. A film, Reefer Madness, (which seems like a joke today) was made as serious propaganda film which led the public to believe marijuana led to violent crimes, psychosis and mental deterioration. No studies of marijuana were conducted by the government prior to making it illegal. National Newspapers told untrue stories of the dangers of marijuana. A very big campaign to make marijuana illegal took place in America.

Why did this happen? Most researchers believe it was a combination of things including racism, greed and what we today call yellow journalism.

In the early 20th century most users of marijuana were Mexicans, and African Americans. Randolph Hearst who owns many newspapers ran many untrue articles with headlines like   "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice.". another of his anti marijuana headlines readĒMarihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters.Ē      

Hearst had many reasons for his slur campaign against marijuana. First, he hated Mexicans. Second, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn't want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Third, he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Fourth, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.

Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.

Today, the Federal Government still lists marijuana as a schedule 1 drug with no medical purposes.  However history, medical science, and current cannabis research all show much different results than we were originally told in the 1930ís.  Since 1996 thirteen states have voted in laws to legalize the use of medical marijuana in their states. Many other states including Arizona are currently  considering allowing Medical Marijuana.


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