Legalization of cannabis Essay

Submitted By kingkong4u2
Words: 2654
Pages: 11

The Legalization of Cannabis across the U.S

Cannabis has been around for centuries; not only relieving stress and being used as painkillers for humanity’s worst diseases but also as a main ingredient to make product materials that can help preserve natural limited resources. Cannabis is a plant that has a concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol( THC). The stem of the plant is known as hemp, and the flower of the plant is known as marijuana. Hemp is tall and resembles bamboo with very few flowers. Marijuana is much smaller but contains most of the seeds and flowers. Humans have changed Cannabis into hemp, an industrial product used for material, and marijuana, a federally illegal drug considered to be a “gateway drug”. The potency of (THC) between hemp and marijuana are completely different, making hemp nearly impossible to get high from. The U.S used to encourage the use of hemp for clothes and a plethora of other items like hats or even shampoo. Hemp was a necessity until competition tied marijuana and hemp together consequently making both illegal federally. Richard Nixon started a war on drugs which was fueled by racial prejudice and selfishness. Today, cannabis is beginning to resurface because of the economical and medical benefits but the government and not fully informed citizens continue to resist the inevitable truth that Cannabis should be legal.

Cannabis dates back to several thousand years before Christ, as not only an industrial product but for medical reasons as well. Throughout human history, the connotation of Cannabis was great until recent times. In fact, the uses of marijuana in the United States are evident even in the year 1619, when the Jamestown Colony in Virginia passed a law requiring farmers to grow it. The first hemp laws in America were passed in 1619 and they were 'must grow' laws. The law stated that any farmer living in the American Colonies that did not grow hemp, would be jailed or kicked out of the country as a non-patriot. The Colonist Government of Great Britain put these first laws in place. In 1773 and again in 1776, Americans made their own must grow laws without any outside influence. At that time, it was one of the most widely used plants in the world. “Cannabis hemp was legal tender (money) in most of America from 1631 until the early 1800s.”(Marihuana tax act). George Washington, as well as a few of the founding fathers, grew marijuana on their own property. “The crop was widely grown in the United States from the colonial period into the mid-1800s; both fine and coarse fabrics, twine, and paper from hemp were in common use.”(Scott Miller, Brief History). However, by the 1890s, laborsaving machinery for harvesting cotton made the criteria more competitive as a source of fabric for clothing and deeming Cannabis as “unnatural.” Imports of cotton increasingly stressed the exclusion of Cannabis. Between 1914 and 1933, in an effort to encourage the use of Cannabis flowers and leaves for their psychotropic effects, 33 states passed laws restricting legal production to medicinal and industrial purposes only. A once worldly recognized product used by the greatest men known in the United States of America is now illegal simply because of a competition for more money.

Marijuana use began in the United States in the end of the last century. Mexicans crossing the border into southwest U.S.A looked for work but smoked Marijuana recreationally. Racism settled into the southwest and Whites began to stereotype the Mexicans stating that they were crazy and had supernatural strength. Despite the fact that neither was true, these stereotypes would last for decades. Starting in 1914, local laws began popping up criminalizing marijuana – often not so much as a way of controlling cannabis usage, but as a way of controlling Mexicans. One Texas state senator said on the floor of the senate, “All Mexicans are crazy and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes