The History of Marijuana Reveals Interesting Stories
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For a long time, the fate of marijuana has always been considered illegal. If you look into the actual history of marijuana, you will dig out interesting facts that state the reasons marijuana was considered illegal were actually baseless. Those who had voted on the fate of this plant never really knew the truth about it, and their knowledge was based on limited information supplied in order to mislead the lawmakers. The actual history of marijuana shows how the plant’s fate was wrongly based on racism, fear, yellow journalism, corrupt legislation, ignorance, and greed of a particular group of people.
Marijuana’s Use is Completely Legal
Let’s blow the dust off the history of the plant and reveal the stories that will take you by surprise. Obviously it is not a recently discovered plant species. Its use has been found in human history in a legalized manner since 7,000 B.C. and maybe even beyond that. It has been labeled as ‘illegal’ less than one percent of the time since the plant has been known.
Also known as hemp, the marijuana plant was famous throughout history for its various medical and recreational uses. For more than a century, it has been used for making cloth, incense, rope, food and so on. Although the plant was introduced in the western countries in the early 1600s, it became popular as a recreational drug only since the early 1990s.
In 1619, there was a law in America that ordered all farmers to grow Indian hempseed so that there was no shortage and hemp was considered a legal tender. It was so because the plant was considered useful for various things that were needed for the war, hence the government encouraged the growth of this crop. The 1850 census reveals 8,327 hemp plantations in Unites States alone. The cannabis hemp was used for making cloth, rope and canvas.
How was Marijuana Misinterpreted?
Harry J. Anslinger was an overly ambitious man who saw the Bureau of Narcotics as a great business opportunity and his medium of making money became marijuana. He latched on to it, determined to deem the drug as illegal at the federal level, and thus build a strong agency for himself. He wove stories of racism and violence around the use of marijuana, stating it as a harmful drug that is taken by Negroes and also that it had a degenerating effect on race, it stimulates sex and turns you violent, etc.
Yellow journalism by William Randolf Hearst further helped Anslinger malign the use of marijuana through the medium of newspapers, thus creating a bad image of it in the eyes of the public. People believed what they read in the newspapers, and soon marijuana was looked down upon as something very risky and harmful.
Thankfully, some researchers have again started digging into the real facts of marijuana and they have taken the responsibility to clear the fog surrounding the use of this medicinal plant, and make its benefits reach more people.