Why Hemp and Marijuana Should be Lagalized

March 21, 2012
By , Reno, NV
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use.”
- Harry J. Anslinger, leader of the marijuana prohibition, 1937. If you couldn't tell, that statement is ridiculously incorrect and racist. Nowadays, Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America, behind alcohol and tobacco, and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. Marijuana is much less of a treat than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning and more than 400,000 deaths each year are caused by tobacco smoking. Cannabis, or marijuana, is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. The prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, says "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. ... It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat ... than alcohol or tobacco." Hemp and marijuana should be legalized and regulated.
So why is such a relatively safe drug illegal? The truth is that the American marijuana prohibition has only been around since 1937 and used to be common to use. Marijuana has been used for more than ten thousand years, in Asia, Europe, and even in America. Even our Constitution is printed on hemp paper. The history behind the prohibition is that in 1930, the federal government founded the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), led by Commissioner Harry Anslinger. The bureau launched propaganda against the drug and hired newspapers and tabloids to spread their lies. Headlines across the nation began publicizing alleged reports of insanity and violence caused by "reefer-smoking." For example, a news bulletin issued by the FBN in the mid-1930s said that a user of marijuana "becomes a fiend with savage or 'cave man' tendencies and some of the most horrible crimes result. He hears light and sees sound. To get away from it, he suddenly becomes violent and may kill." This time period was known as "Reefer Madness". This flow of propaganda influenced 27 states to pass laws against marijuana in the early years of the federal prohibition and set the stage for the "Marihuana Tax Act in 1937" which sailed through congress with much ease, and quickly, the government banned Marijuana.
We all know that prohibition does not work. The alcohol prohibition launched during the early 1900's failed miserably. Why would marijuana prohibition be any different? Marijuana prohibition makes more problems than it solves, and causes the arrests of hundreds of innocent people each year. It is time to put down the myth that marijuana users are lazy potheads that don't do anything with their life. In reality, marijuana smoking is very common and is the recreational drug of choice for about 10 million middle class Americans. Marijuana smokers in this country aren't any different from their nonsmoking neighbors, except for their marijuana use. Just like the average American, they are responsible citizens who work hard, raise families, contribute to their communities, and want to live in safe, crime-free neighborhoods. These people are forced into hiding a life of fear just because they choose to smoke marijuana to relax after a hard day's work rather than smoke cancerous cigarettes or ruin their lives with alcohol. Responsible marijuana use causes no harm and the government should stay out of the private lives of their citizens.
The government claims it is eradicating drug abuse, but instead of abuse, they focused on all drug use, abusive or not. If marijuana becomes legalized, there must be regulations to ensure that marijuana is not abused. When marijuana is used responsibly, it causes no threat to society and subjecting users to criminal and civil penalties has no public benefit and causes terrible injustices. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has created a set of five principles of responsible use. These set of principles will be enforced to ensure cannabis is not abused and to maintain public health and safety. These principles are as follows:
Adults Only
Many things are suitable for young people, but others are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts, or marry, and they must not use drugs.
No Driving
Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition.
Set and Setting
‘Set’ refers to the consumer's values, attitudes, experience and personality, and ‘setting’ means the consumer's physical and social circumstances. The responsible cannabis consumer will be vigilant as to conditions -- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conducive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.
Resist Abuse
Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users. Abuse means harm. Some cannabis use is harmful; most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged.
Respect Rights of Others
The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely.
The economic benefits of lifting the prohibition on marijuana and hemp would be enormous. The costs of attempting to eradicate marijuana use, such as propaganda, law enforcement, and keeping users in prison cost taxpayers more than $12 billion a year. The estimated tax revenue of a controlled marijuana market would be $3.2 to $6.4 billion per year. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of construction materials, textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and many other products. Hemp produces a much higher yield per acre than common substitutes like cotton and requires few pesticides. The hemp plant is currently harvested for commercial purposes in over 30 nations, including Canada, Japan and the European Union. In recent years, a number of U.S. states have commissioned studies recommending hemp as a viable economic crop.
Despite all this evidence that proves legalizing hemp and marijuana would be an incredible benefit to America, the government refuses to legalize marijuana and hemp, although, this could be changing soon. With more and more states fighting for medical use of marijuana, decriminalizing marijuana and Coloradans will be voting on legalization of recreational use in November, the legalization movement is gaining momentum. Marijuana could be legalized in the near future.
Herer, Jack. Hemp & the Marijuana Conspiracy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Van Nuys, CA: Hemp Pub., 1995. Print.
Norml.org. Web. <Norml.org>
"Campaign to Regulate Marijuana." Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Web. 04 Mar. 2012. <http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/>.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

MassieKurh said...
May 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm
this is great you have a good aguing point. and your facts are strong
mostoriginalusername said...
Apr. 2, 2012 at 5:19 am
this is great. seriously. i aready know this stuff, but at least you're preaching to the ignorant ones. 
This guy said...
Mar. 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm
I completely agree with you on everything.
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