Marijuana Position Paper - Pro Legalization

Words: 3628
Pages: 15

Research Based Position Paper

Marijuana Laws in a Rapidly Changing American Society

The turbulent history of Marijuana prohibition in America is one filled with racial motives and propaganda, but surprisingly was not an issue before 80 years ago. In fact, when Ronald Reagan was a child, marijuana was still legal in his state (Guither). Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of scientific or medical process which classified it as a dangerous drug, and though government hearings was in turn made illegal. The actual story of Marijuana prohibition in America had nothing to do with any of that. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information
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Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours, Psychologist and 'inventor’ of modern psychopharmacology and psychotomimetic drug treatment, also documented the physical and mental benefits of Cannabis in 1845 (Christopher). These studies raised eyebrows and led to the Ohio State Medical society conducting the first Governmental commission study of the relationship between Cannabis and health in 1860. 10 years later, Cannabis was entered in the US Pharmacopoeia as a medicine for various ailments, and was soon sold at drug stores (Montgomery). The use of Cannabis as a recreational drug did not reach public awareness until the early 1900’s, and the madness that would ensue would be the first chapter in the struggle for legalization we find ourselves in today.

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was the event that indirectly brought Marijuana to the attention of the American Public. In the early 1900s, the revolution in Mexico spilled over the border, resulting in significant tensions in western states regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. Later in the decade, bad feelings emerged between small farmers and large farms in use of cheaper Mexican labor (Guither, Par. 7) The Great Depression worsened these feelings, as jobs and social resources became scarce. One of the prime differences noted at the time was many of the Mexicans smoked Marijuana and had brought the plant with them. However, the first law