Legalization: Cannabis and Marijuana Tax Act Essay

Submitted By Rush33
Words: 1646
Pages: 7

Legalization Marijuana goes way back in the history of the United States. When one looks at the history of marijuana, it strikes them back as odd because of how legal it once was. It happened to be one of the largest agricultural crops in the world (including United States). Marijuana can also be hemp; hemp is the most robust, durable, natural, soft fiber in the world. Hemp is not the buds on the plant that people smoke. It used to be used for majority of fabric, lighting oil, medicines, and paper. Benjamin Franklin used it to start on of America’s 1st paper mills and the 1st two copies of the declaration of independence were written on cannabis hemp paper. The 1st marijuana law to exist in the United States actually ordered farmers to grow hemp. The interesting thing about industrial hemp was that someone couldn’t get high from it, yet it got put in with the following “Reefer Madness”. In early 20th century yellow journalism had just begun; journalists wrote articles that depicted blacks and Mexicans as “frenzy beasts who had smoked marijuana, played devils music, and disrespect in viciousness on the readership”. Then came the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, so then it became taxed. The 1937 tax act required anyone who wanted to grow hemp they had to buy a stamp, but the problem was they weren’t giving any out. So then in effect, all forms of cannabis became illegal. It has been illegal pretty much since then. Marijuana should be legalized because of the false ideas created that made it illegal, the criminal repercussions, and the comparison of it to other drugs.
Marijuana should be legalized because of the false ideas that made it illegal. One false idea that made it illegal is the idea that marijuana kills your brain cells. In 1974, there was a study done, the “Dr. Heath/Tulane Study”. After the study Ronald Reagan announced “the most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of Marijuana”. The study used monkeys pumped full of marijuana, apparently thirty joints a day, began to atrophy and die after ninety days. It was determined that they suffered brain damage after counting the dead brain cells of both monkeys that had been tested with marijuana and ones who had not. This study became the foundation for the government and interest groups to say that marijuana killed brain cells. Now here is why it’s a false idea. It was revealed how the study was conducted nearly after 6 years of requests. Instead of pumping 30 joints a day for 1 year, Dr. Heath used the method of pumping 63 joints through a gas mask within five minutes over three months. They also did this without adding any additional oxygen, so they were being suffocated with marijuana smoke. When someone suffocates, brain cells will start to die because of lack of oxygen. According to the St. John Ambulance – First Aid Guide,”4 minutes without oxygen, brain damage may result”. So after they suffocated the monkeys and went on to associate and said that the use of cannabis causes brain cells to die. So this idea became so infused in America’s society because no one really knew the origin of the study. Another false idea created that helped make marijuana illegal is: it gives you lung cancer. In the 1999 by the Institute of Medicine (which was paid for by the United States Government), they had to use words such as “may” or “should” cause cancer. There is not one case out there that shows cancer being caused by cannabis use alone. The chances of cannabis causing lung cancer are slim because cannabis is not radioactive. Now smoking can be harmful because of the properties of smoke, not because of anything in the cannabis plant, but because people are taking in heated plant matter into their lungs. “The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the University of California at Los Angeles study, which found that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer, and it doesn’t seem to matter