Across the world, more and more people are asking: Why is marijuana banned? Why are people still sent to prison for using or selling it? Many people assume it’s because some scientist, somewhere, sat down with loads of data and figured out that cannabis is more harmful than other drugs, like alcohol, cigarettes and aspirin. Well, as it turns out, they lied to us. They have been lying to us, and it’s time we took back our sovereign rights as human beings.
In 1929, a man named Harry Anslinger was placed in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. Alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol — controlled by criminals — had become even more poisonous with shortcuts being taken in the underground manufacturing process.
Alcohol prohibition was finally terminated and Harry Anslinger was worried about his job. He oversaw a huge government department, with nothing to do. Up until the end of alcohol prohibition, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent. However, to keep his job and the jobs of a great many others, he decided to change his mind. He decided to attack cannabis. He explained to the public what would happen if you smoked cannabis. He said that you will fall into “a delirious rage.” Then you will be gripped by “dreams… of an erotic character.” Then you will “lose the power of connected thought.” Finally, you will reach the inevitable end-point: “Insanity.” Marijuana turns man into a “wild beast. “If marijuana bumped into Frankenstein’s monster on the stairs, Anslinger warned, the monster would drop dead of fright.
What evidence did Harry Anslinger think he had? It turns out that he had written to the 30 leading scientists on this subject, asking if cannabis was dangerous, and if there should be a ban. Twenty-nine wrote back and said no. Anslinger picked out the one scientist who said yes, and presented him to the world. The press cheered them on.
In a panic that gripped America, marijuana was banned. The U.S., acting as the policeman of the world told other countries they had to do the same. Many countries said it was a stupid idea, and refused to do it. For example, Mexico decided their drug policy should be run by doctors. Their medical advice was that cannabis didn’t cause these problems, and they refused to ban it. The U.S. was furious. Anslinger ordered them to fall into line. The Mexicans held out — until, in the end, the U.S. cut off the supply of all legal painkillers to Mexico. People started to die in agony in their hospitals. So, with regret, Mexico launched its own drug war, ruining countless lives in the process. All so a few cops and Harry could keep their jobs. Government waste in action.
In addition to Anslinger, other parties with vested interests in keeping cannabis illegal fell in line and aided in the effort to victimize the cannabis using populace. DuPont chemical had a major financial ally, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, uncle of Henry Anslinger, who was a banker running the Gulf Oil Corporation. Mellon did his part to keep alcohol illegal so that ethanol fuel would not compete with gasoline. He was at one time the richest man in America. Another individual who chose to sell his soul for the money was William Randolph Hearst, who’s company was a major consumer of the cheap tree-pulp paper that replaced hemp paper in the late 19th century. Hearst was a racist and hated poor people, most of all Mexicans. Hearst ran ads in his newspapers calling cannabis “marihuana” and did everything in his power to ensure that he could continue making paper out of trees, using his vast timber holdings.
Today, most of the world is still living with the ban on cannabis that Harry Anslinger introduced, and the world and its citizens have suffered greatly so a few men could hold onto their existing power and their blood money.
In fact, the scientific evidence suggests cannabis is safer than alcohol. Alcohol kills 40,000 people every year in the U.S. Cannabis kills nobody. Aspirin kills more people than cannabis. Google it! Although Willie Nelson says a friend of his did once die when a bale of cannabis fell on his head.
In 2006, a young man in Colorado called Mason Tvert issued a challenge to the then-mayor of Denver and eventual governor, John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper owned brew-pubs selling alcohol across the state, and it made him rich. But he said cannabis was harmful and had to be banned. So, Mason issued him a challenge. You bring a crate of booze, I’ll bring a pack of joints. For every hit of booze you take, I’ll take a hit of cannabis. We’ll see who dies first. It was the ultimate showdown.
Mason went on to lead the campaign to legalize cannabis in his state. His fellow citizens voted to do it, by 55 percent. Now adults can buy cannabis legally, in licensed stores, where they are taxed and the money is used to build schools. After a year and a half, support for legalization has risen to 69 percent. And even Governor Hickenlooper has started calling it “common sense.” He probably owns a dispensary by now.
Over 29 U.S. States now have legislation legalizing cannabis in some form or another, with 8 states now being recreationally legal. This has been due in part to a large movement to legalize, with funds pouring in from investors and groups like the Marijuana Policy Project. In most instances, funding from opponents to legalization has been topped 2 to 1 or more by pro-cannabis groups. Clearly money talks. Money made cannabis illegal, and money will make cannabis legal. Ads on both sides of the fence show the pros and cons of cannabis, with Veterans proclaiming marijuana saves them from PTSD and former governors claiming that cannabis candy is marketed to children. Clearly, common sense is winning out.
States that have legalized cannabis are seeing the benefits of tax revenue too, with millions of new tax dollars filling the coffers, and helping to rebuild a failing infrastructure. Of course, big Pharma and big Alcohol are afraid of losing market share. Instead of opting to join in the movement, they are pulling the same old shenanigans that Hearst, Anslinger and Mellon pulled, by spending money to oppose legalization. This is a fool’s game and they will only lose money, because they are not on the right train.
2018 is going to be a banner year for cannabis, with many of the 2016 state level initiatives having passed. In addition, Canada will become the first G7 country to legalize cannabis for recreational use, on the federal level. There are places like Green Panther which is an online dispensary already in Canada. This is going to bring a dramatic shift in the world perspective on cannabis.
Another bill has been introduced at the Federal Level in the United States, probably in response to Canadas forward thinking, and the states’ rights issues.
This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that the Act’s regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties do not apply to with respect to marijuana. It removes marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from schedule I. (A schedule I controlled substance is a drug, substance, or chemical that: has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical value; and is subject to regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act.) Additionally, it eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who imports, exports, manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute marijuana. The bill does, however, make it a crime to knowingly ship or transport marijuana into a state where its receipt, possession, or sale is prohibited. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to one year, or both.
The future looks green.