Why is marijuana illegal?

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The prohibitionist point of view From a prohibition-based perspective, marijuana is illegal in the United States primarily for these seven reasons.
 1. It is perceived as addictive. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug on the basis that is has "a high potential for abuse." What does this mean?

It means that the perception is that people get on marijuana, they become addicted, and it begins to dominate their lives. This unquestionably happens in some cases. But it also happens in the case of alcohol, and alcohol is perfectly legal.

In order to fight this argument for prohibition, legalization advocates need to make the argument that marijuana is not as addictive as government sources claim.
 2. It has "no accepted medical use." Marijuana seems to yield considerable medical benefits for many Americans with ailments ranging from glaucoma to cancer, but these benefits have not been accepted well enough, on a national level. Medical use of marijuana remains a serious national controversy.

In order to fight the argument that marijuana has no medical use, legalization advocates need to highlight the effects it has had on the lives of people who have used the drug for medical reasons.
 3. It has been historically linked with narcotics, such as heroin. The first piece of federal legislation to formally regulate marijuana was the Narcotics Act of 1914, which regulated heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. The only trouble is that cocaine and marijuana are not technically narcotics; the word "narcotic," when used in English, has historically referred to opium derivatives such as heroin and morphine.

But the association stuck, and there is a vast gulf in the American consciousness between "normal" recreational drugs, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, and "abnormal" recreational drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Marijuana is generally associated with the latter category, which is why it can be convincingly portrayed as a "gateway drug."
 4. It is associated with unfashionable lifestyles. Marijuana is often thought of as a drug for hippies and others that society looked down upon. Since it's hard to feel enthusiastic about the prospects of enabling people to become what society found unacceptable, imposing criminal sanctions for marijuana possession functions as a form of communal "tough love."
 5. It was once associated with oppressed ethnic groups. The intense anti-marijuana movement of the 1930s dovetailed nicely with the intense anti-Chicano movement of the 1930s. Marijuana was associated with Mexican Americans, and a ban on marijuana was seen as a way of discouraging Mexican-American subcultures from developing.

Today, thanks in large part to the very public popularity of marijuana among White Americans during the 1960s and 1970s, marijuana is no longer seen as what one might call an ethnic drug, but the groundwork for the anti-marijuana movement was laid down at a time when marijuana was seen as an encroachment on America's White majority culture.
 6. Inertia is a powerful force in public policy. If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been banned for a long time, however, then the ban, no matter how ill-conceived it is, tends to go unenforced long before it is actually taken off the books.

Take the ban on sodomy, for example. It hasn't really been enforced in any serious way since the 18th century, but most states technically banned same-sex sexual intercourse until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

People tend to be comfortable with the status quo. The status quo, for nearly a century, has been a literal or de facto federal ban on marijuana.
 7. Advocates for marijuana legalization rarely present an appealing case. To hear some advocates of marijuana legalization say it, the drug cures diseases while it promotes creativity, open-mindedness, moral progression, and a closer relationship with God and/or the cosmos. That sounds unbelievable, particularly when the public image of a marijuana user is, again, that of someone undesirable who risks arrest and imprisonment so that he or she can artificially invoke an endorphin release.

A much better argument for marijuana legalization, from my vantage point, would go more like this: "It makes some people happy, and it doesn't seem to be any more dangerous than alcohol. Do we really want to go around putting people in prison and destroying their lives over this?"
 How It Happened It is illegal because the government can't profit of marijuana. William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division of Kimberly Clark owned vast acreage of timberlands. The Hearst Company supplied most paper products. Patty Hearst's grandfather stood to lose billions because of hemp.

In 1937, DuPont patented the processes to make plastics from oil and coal. DuPont's Annual Report urged stockholders to invest in its new petrochemical division. Synthetics such as plastics, cellophane, celluloid, methanol, nylon, rayon, Dacron, etc., could now be made from oil. Natural hemp industrialization would have ruined over 80% of DuPont's business.
 The Conspiracy Andrew Mellon became Hoover's Secretary of the Treasury and Dupont's primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. These men took an obscure Mexican slang word: 'marihuana' and pushed it into the consciousness of America.
 Media Manipulation A media blitz of 'yellow journalism' raged in the late 1920s and 1930s. Hearst's newspapers ran stories emphasizing the "horrors of marihuana." The menace of marijuana made headlines. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to loose morality.

Films like 'Reefer Madness' (1936), 'Marihuana: Assassin of Youth' (1935) and 'Marihua4na: The Devil's Weed' (1936) were propaganda designed by these industrialists to create an enemy. Their purpose was to gain public support so that anti-marijuana laws could be passed.

Examine the following quotes from 'The Burning Question' aka REEFER MADNESS:
  • a violent narcotic.
  • acts of shocking violence.
  • incurable insanity.
  • soul-destroying effects.
  • under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an ax.
  • more vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs (heroin, cocaine) is the menace of marihuana!



In the 1930s, people were very naive; even to the point of ignorance. The masses were like sheep waiting to be led by the few in power. They did not challenge authority. If the news was in print or on the radio, they believed it had to be true. They told their children and their children grew up to be the parents of the baby-boomers.

On April 14, 1937, the Prohibitive Marihuana Tax Law or the bill that outlawed hemp was directly brought to the House Ways and Means Committee. This committee is the only one that can introduce a bill to the House floor without it being debated by other committees. The Chairman of the Ways and Means, Robert Doughton, was a Dupont supporter. He insured that the bill would pass Congress.

Dr. James Woodward, a physician and attorney, testified too late on behalf of the American Medical Association. He told the committee that the reason the AMA had not denounced the Marijuana Tax Law sooner was that the Association had just discovered that marijuana was hemp.

Few people, at the time, realized that the deadly menace they had been reading about on Hearst's front pages was in fact hemp. The AMA understood cannabis to be a medicine found in numerous healing products sold over the last hundred years.

In September of 1937, hemp became illegal. The most useful crop known became a drug and our planet has been suffering ever since. Congress banned hemp because it was said to be the most violence-causing drug known. Anslinger, head of the Drug Commission for 31 years, promoted the idea that marijuana made users act extremely violent. In the 1950s, under the Communist threat of McCarthyism, Anslinger now said the exact opposite. Marijuana will pacify you so much that soldiers would not want to fight.

Today, our planet is in desperate trouble. Earth is suffocating as large tracts of rain forests disappear. Pollution, poisons and chemicals are killing people. These great problems could be reversed if we industrialized hemp. Natural biomass could provide all of the planet's energy needs that are currently supplied by fossil fuels. We have consumed 80% of our oil and gas reserves. We need a renewable resource. Hemp could be the solution to soaring fuel prices.
 Another version, same story It is illegal because in 1954 there was to be a tax on it (like cigarettes) but no one wanted a tax on it, so it became a drug. If there is ever another vote on it, there is a huge chance that weed can be as common as beer or cigarettes.

There are many sites which explain all the politics of it, but hemp (cannabis) used to be a huge cash crop in the US, and supplied the raw material for fiber, bioplastics, diesel fuel, bird seed, and paper. But it was really difficult to harvest. In 1936 a thresher was patented that made harvesting much easier. But that put hemp in direct competition with the large paper mills (owned by Hearst); and DuPont chemicals, which had developed a process for producing plastics from petroleum.

All this pretty much coincided with the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933. Federal agents who had been merrily busting moonshiners and bootleggers who operated illegal stills, now were out of a job. Harry Anslinger, head of those operations wanted to keep his boys employed, so together with Hearst, DuPont, and a cadre of racists, started a campaign to demonize cannabis. They renamed it as marijuana, said that minority members who smoked it were corrupting White youth, and turning everyone who used it into crazed killers.

Congress, clueless as ever, agreed to but a ban on "marijuana". Unfortunately, they didn't realize it was the same thing as hemp. So a lot of farmers were ticked off. Also, a bunch of doctors were upset because cannabis had been used for a century in many medications including children's cough syrup, and sleeping liquid.

But money talks, and it spoke loudly then, as now. Hearst, of the wood pulp and paper interests, used his many newspapers to print propaganda, and push the prohibition through.

Briefly, during World War II, access to imported hemp was cut off, and the the US Govt. realized it had shot itself in the foot, and actually had to make propaganda films encouraging farmers to grow hemp again (used in ropes, sales, parachutes, etc.)

In the 1960's cannabis smoking became popular again, and was a part of the "mind-expansion movement." Then in the early 1970's, President Richard Nixon, of Watergate fame, was upset at all the cannabis smoking hippies who also happened to be demonstrating against the Vietnam war. He wanted to crack down on them, so he commissioned a congressional committee to research cannabis so he could say how "horrible" it was.

Unfortunately for Nixon, the Shafer Commission said they thought cannabis should be legalized. Nixon tore up the study, and launched the "War On Drugs!"

Since then the lies, idiocy, and brainwashing persist. Prisons are making money on the 730,000 folks arrested each year for simple cannabis possession. Minority members, as usual, bear the brunt of these asinine policies, which to a large measure exist to oppress them.

Since mainstream media supports corporate interests which have no stake in making cannabis legal again, it is very hard to find out the truth, or even have a sensible discussion about it.

Actually, everyone should be very angry about these policies. Because of this prohibition, promising medical studies were put on hold. A 1974 study done at the University of Virginia discovered that cannabinoids (in cannabis) cause tumors to shrink and cancer cells to die (while leaving healthy cells alone). The study was not followed up on. In fact, the Ford, Regan and Bush Administrations stopped all research on cannabis, expect for research meant to prove harm.

For those of you who say "legalizing cannabis sends the wrong message to children", it can be argued that it is a cop-out. The truly wrong message is that it is okay for the government to lie! Concerning any damage to the children of cannabis users, there was a study done in Jamaica in the 1980's that determined that babies born to cannabis users tested better on evaluations at 30 days of age than babies born to non-cannabis users. When a five year follow-up showed that these cannabis exposed children were doing just a well as children unexposed to cannabis, NIDA defunded the study.

You should also know, that very ill people who use cannabis as medicine are being arrested each day, or live in fear of being arrested. This is what is truly criminal.
 Answer The first marijuana law was a city ordinance in El Paso in 1905. The first state law came in California in 1913, followed by a Utah law in 1914, followed by about thirty other states by about 1930.

In California, the law was promoted by the pharmaceutical industry that saw marijuana as competition. It received little notice. In Utah, the law was the result of a Mormon religious prohibition. In the other states, there were two major explanations. The first was racial prejudice against the Mexican immigrants who used it. The second was the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana -- exactly the opposite of the modern marijuana gateway myth.

When it was outlawed at the national level in 1937, it was falsely alleged that marijuana caused insanity, criminality, and death -- particularly within minority groups. Only two doctors testified before Congress. One of them was the representative of the American Medical Association. He said there was no evidence that marijuana was a dangerous drug and, therefore, no reason to make it illegal. The committee basically told him that if he wasn't going to cooperate, he should be quiet and leave.

The only other doctor who testified was Dr. James C. Munch of Temple University. Dr. Munch's sole claim to fame was that he had injected some extract of cannabis into the brains of 300 dogs and two of them had died. When they asked him what he concluded from this, he said he didn't know. However, he was the only doctor in the US who thought that cannabis should be illegal, so he became the US Official Expert on Marijuana. He later testified in court, under oath, that marijuana would make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood and, when he tried it, it turned him into a bat.

In 1951, the reasons for the laws changed. Harry Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was up before Congress asking for more money to enforce the marijuana laws. Unfortunately for him, just before he spoke, the head of the Federal addiction research program testified that they knew for certain that all of the reasons given to outlaw marijuana in 1937 were completely wrong. Anslinger, left with no justification for his request, made up the story that marijuana is the certain stepping stone to heroin. It has been the official basis of US marijuana policy ever since.
Another explanation is that prohibition has built its own government bureaucracies and industries that support them. From prisons to sophisticated radar balloons, a huge variety of industries benefit from marijuana prohibition. It has its own micro-economy supporting it.

Another explanation is the one given by President Nixon's US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, in 1973. They said that the real problem is the ignorance of our public officials who have never bothered to read the most basic research.

Another explanation is the holdover effect of Reefer Madness. The US Government has had a dedicated and deliberate campaign of Reefer Madness since 1930. Harry Anslinger once noted that, after the Marihuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, he went out on a bridge on the Potomac and saw before him a field of cannabis that stretched as far as the eye could see. He knew that the law would be completely unenforceable on his meager million-dollar budget. Therefore, he reasoned that the only solution was a campaign of propaganda so horrible that it would scare people away from using it. The truth was completely irrelevant, and he even made extensive efforts to stomp out opposing opinions. Unfortunately, that propaganda campaign worked on a lot of people and there are still many people today who believe the tall tales.

More comments:
Also, marijuana will likely never be completely legal because it is easily produced and the government can't tax it properly and make money. You'd be surprised what people make money off of, such as sick people. Don't believe what they tell you, the doctors are paid off by these lobbyists to sell you their drugs, some of which people don't need, just to make the dollar.

Because most states can make more money annually fining users rather than selling it to them. Some states, however, like California and Colorado produce it as a cash crop and make more money selling it, which cuts down the "crime" rate. It depends on the state, but it will always be a federal crime. Hemp, however, is legal.

Federal law trumps all state law. The federal govt can enact any laws if the authority derives from the US Constitution. The US Constitution gives the federal govt the right to control Interstate Commerce. Based on this clause in the Constitution, the federal government has passed laws regulating drugs. Marijuana is classified as a drug, and falls under the express regulations of the federal govt. It is unlawful to possess or distribute marijuana, except in very limited circumstances. State laws that attempted to 'legalize' marijuana have been held to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, and are not valid.
Marijuana is illegal since it is perceived addictive and is associated with unfashionable lifestyles. It is legal to use it as a medicine in some states.
139 people found this useful

Who decided marijuana was illegal?

The government outlawed hemp back in the early days. Not because itwas considered a drug. But because hemp is a cheaper and better wayto produce paper, rope, and multiple other things. Hemp would havemade the paper industry go out of business. So with that being thecase, hemp was outlawed. The Ameri (MORE)

When was marijuana illegalized?

The first marijuana law found so far was a 1905 El Paso, Texas law. It, and most of the other laws in the southwest that followed, was motivated by racial prejudice against Mexican immigrants. These laws had nothing to do with the actual effects of the marijuana. In fact, cannabis in the form of hem (MORE)

Where is marijuana illegal?

For almost all intents and purposes, marijuana is illegal everywhere. Above is only right for the USA. In Netherlands marijuana is legal and you can get it from the doctor as prescription medicine too. In Spain you can have for personal use. It is also legal in parts of London and many other place (MORE)

Is marijuana illegal?

It depends on what state you live in, in some states it is legaland in others it is illegal.

Is marijuana illegal in Quebec?

Yes marijuana is illegal in Quebec. But toking in the comfort of your own home, no one could really care less. Smoking a fatty while walking down the street, I mean I wouldn't recommend it, and if you do it and get caught don't blame this answer, but I do it and no one really gives a sh*t. Twisting (MORE)

Is it illegal to smoke marijuana?

No it is not illegal to smoke weed. It is illegal to be in possession of it. You could be high off your (body part deleted) and walk up right up to a cop and be like I'm extremely high. As long as you dont have it on you, he wont be able to do anything about it. Yes, it is illegal. The person above (MORE)

Is it illegal to plant marijuana?

Yes. Unless you have a prescription to use this drug.With a prescription you are allowed to grow a few plants if you choose to do so for your own use..

Why is alcohol legal and marijuana illegal?

I have yet to hear a legitimate argument why. My best guess is that Alchohol makes money and is heavily taxed therefore it makes money for the govt..and whe all know money is basically all the govt cares about.

Is it illegal to be under the influence of marijuana?

As long as you are not driving and have none on you then no, they have no way of proving it, so its not illegal. In New Jersey being under the influence of marijuana or hashish (whether you are driving a car or not), is a misdemeanor.

What year did Marijuana become illegal?

Marijuana became illegal in different times in different places, sothere is no exact/specific time. The time it began in the UnitedStates was in 1906, and from there, kept getting worse. By the mid1930s, it was completely illegal in all the states. It was made aSchedule I drug in the United States i (MORE)

Why was marijuana illegalized?

People can say what they want about Marijuana but this is the exact reason it was scheduled in the USA Mexico was making a lot more money on Marijuana in the early 20s and thirties so the USA made it illegal. Then used propaganda to support wrong claims.

Are marijuana blunts illegal?

In some States of the US it is Legal and In other Countries, Also People with medical reasons can smoke legally. Hope that helped ^^

Should marijuana stay illegal?

no it shouldn't. Marijuana is a plant that has been grown in the ground naturally how can you make a plant illegal? the only thing weed aka Marijuana does to you is make you feel happy about how you feel if anyone thinks this is wrong then leave a comment.

Why should marijuana stay illegal?

If Marijuana is legalized then odds are that it will be taxed heavily like cigarettes. Marijuana should not stay illegal. If it is legalized, crime rates will be reduced and organized crime and cartels will lose some of their power and influence. Why not legalize it? anyone that cares to do 30 minut (MORE)

Who made marijuana illegal?

It was the federal government. The Marijuana plant would easily have outdone most modern antidepressants and pain killers, and the fibers from the plant can easily make paper better and more environmentally friendlier than trees. Because this would put many of the said organizations and businesses, (MORE)

Is marijuana illegal in america?

Yes because of idiots that don't understand that marijuana is completely safe and actually help people with things such as cancer and aids.

Is marijuana legal or illegal in Canada?

Marijuana remains illegal in Canada but there is very little enforcement. Each province has its own rules and law enforcement. British Columbia has essentially no enforcement except for large growing operations and DWI offenses. The various Canadian courts have rules some of Canada's pot laws to be (MORE)

Is Marijuana illegal in CA?

it is legal for medical purposes as of 1996 or 2006 (i forget which. it shouldn't be hard to find).\n. \nhowever, Gov. Schwarzenegger has reopened the topic for debate to legalize and tax it for recreational purposes.

Why does marijuana have to be illegal?

The reason marijuana is illegal is not completely clear right now, (May 2010) here is a good list of reasons why marijuana should be legal. 1. It would reduce crimes on drug possession because marijuana is the # 1 drug people use here in the U.S. 2. The government would make alot of tax money on it (MORE)

How is marijuana is used illegally?

medical weed which is legal only if given by a doctor is different from regular weed. medical weed has less THC so when the doctors give it to you your not high as hell. people use marijuana illegally by 1.not getting it from a doctor 2.people sell it on the streets 3.people smoke regular mari (MORE)

Is marijuana illegal in England?

Obviously!!! i live there i should know. although police don't really care as much as other drugs. its one of thoes things that everyone in England does and police get tired of arresting people for pot which is harmless. they just take it off you if you have a small amount. that means you cant take (MORE)

Why is marijuana illegal in the UK?

It could be due to the recent imports of cannabis being far stronger than what it used to be, and therefore mental effects are apparent, although not confirmed. Also, it is widely believed that due to weed being untaxable, the United Kingdom will never legalize it. 420

Why did marijuana get illegal?

Marijuana is made illegal in most of the contries because it hasgot very potential for addiction. You try it once and you areaddicted to it.

Is it illegal to carry marijuana in an automobile?

No, in 18 states if you have a medical card. You can see a list of states here:http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881 It is also legal to have itwith out medical perpouses inCalifornia, Colorado, and Washington

Is it illegal to smoke marijuana in Massachusetts?

Well, it is and it isn't. Technically it is illegal to smoke marijuana in Massachusetts, but, marijuana has been decriminalized in this state meaning that being caught with under an ounce of marijuana will result in a $100 fine. This fine is almost like a parking ticket in that it does not go on a c (MORE)

Why is marijuana illegal in California?

this is more a question of politics. see, the most interesting part of the failure of prop 9 or 15 or whatever it was this time, is who was on what side. the local PTA's and the mothers organization was advocating its legalization. why? because without weed, there arent any more drug dealers, no dru (MORE)

Is selling marijuana illegal?

in certain states with proper paper work and licencing no it is not but to be safe you might want to check your states laws

Is it illegal to have marijuana in your car?

Yes, the presence of a substance in a motor vehicle is, in most states, considered prima facie evidence of possession, unless someone else steps forward and admits ownership.

Why is marijuana illegal if it's not bad for you?

It is bad for people and causes medical problems with the heart, lungs, can cause cancer, and short term memory problems. Many people also become addicted to it and that is the reason it is illegal along with other substances.

How do people get marijuana if its illegal?

It is a plant (hemp), it grows. Hemp has many uses. There are waysto get hemp seeds to plant. When I was a kid hemp rope was still used and you could find theplants anywhere there were railroad tracks because seedaccidentally in rope shipments would fall off the train and grow. However different bre (MORE)