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A Few Simple Facts About Marijuana Prohibition

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The history of cannabis/marijuana in the Americas is a strange and twisted tale. When we were but a fledgling country in the early 1800s, marijuana’s cannabinoids and their medicinal extracts were considered a socially acceptable pharmaceutical.

A Few Simple Facts About Marijuana Prohibition

A Few Simple Facts About Marijuana Prohibition

Unfortunately for all, that didn’t last long. By the early 1920s, bigotry, greed, and the occasional religious zealot chose to single out this plant out for a special kind of hate – demonization.

Overwhelmed with fear of the unknown and smelling an opportunity in the political winds, the federal government’s propaganda campaign began. By the late 1920s, immigrants and the economically oppressed felt the first Trump-esque slander, as politicians associated Mexicans and Blacks with the recreational consumption of marijuana. Helping to spark a grim uptick in bigotry and the ugly anti-immigrant sentiments that then fueled the beginning of our country’s marijuana prohibition.

The Marihuana Tax Act Stamp

The Marihuana Tax Act Stamp

Hitting an early stride, by the late 1930s, marijuana prohibition was in full swing in the U.S.; 24 states banned the peaceful plant and the newly cultivated Federal Bureau of Narcotics fired up its notorious campaign against marijuana and anyone who might use it. In 1933, newspapers around the country pumped out hysteria laced headlines like, Murder Weed Found Up and Down the Coast — Deadly Marihuana Dope Plant Ready for Harvest, That Means Enslavement of California Children. By 1937, Congress was ready to seize their opportunity and passed the Marihuana Tax Act – effectively prohibiting marijuana.

By the mid-1950s, the Narcotics Control Act and the Boggs Act increased penalties, fines, and sentences for the simple possession of marijuana for personal consumption. First-time offenders were commonly sentenced to anywhere from 2 to 10 year – in addition to a minimum $ 20,000 fine. Thanks to Pres. Jimmy Carter, marijuana laws were slightly more lenient during the heyday of the hippy-trippy 70s. Then during the 1980s, the Reagan Administration took the “War on Drugs” up a notch and increased federal penalties for marijuana possession.

Currently, marijuana is regulated by the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as a schedule one narcotic; implying that marijuana has a high probability for abuse and that the plants cannabinoids have no legitimate therapeutic or medicinal applications.

Thanks to today’s modern scientific research and a common sense approach, a bountiful harvest of states (23 – nearly half the country) has either legalized medical marijuana or recreational pot consumption.

Thankfully, our last Atty. Gen. (Eric Holder) noted during an August 2013 interview, he had instructed the DOJ to not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized recreational marijuana consumption, provided they’ve set up their own regulatory framework at the state level.

The below video has a few more simple facts about marijuana’s prohibition…

(Photo Courtesy of The Politics of Pot)

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