Legalize it, Don’t Criticize it
Hundreds of years ago marijuana was legal and was no big deal at all. Everyone was acquainted with the plant. It was considered one of the hardiest and most versatile plants around. Many of our historical icons may very well have been users of marijuana. A key product of the plants was hemp, which was very practical and has useful fibers for rope, canvas, and even soap. 10,000 acres of marijuana plants could produce the same amount of hemp paper as 40,000 acres of timber. This booming hemp industry, however, created competition with timber companies that produced fabric and paper. The Hearst Paper Company and DuPont, the leaders of the timber industry, came out with new timber paper making products and the decorticator (used to cut down trees). This was in 1937, the same year that marijuana was declared illegal. Coincidence, I think not. Both these companies also had ties to the United States treasury and to top congressman. Had marijuana not been declared legal, Hearst and DuPont would have lost a large profit, and the plant would have saved an unfathomable number of trees and ecosystems (Illegalization).
This treacherous business scheme did more than cause marijuana to be declared illegal. It also led to the U.S. government creating ridiculous anti-marijuana propaganda which attempted to show pot causing users to do crazy things (Legal). Citizens were told that marijuana would make the smoker want to become violent and kill. The film Reefer Madness was created and is now seen as one of the government’s worst propaganda exploits by NORML. The movie depicts a man going insane from smoking a marijuana cigarette and then murdering his family with an ax. No matter how absurd these claims seem, this was a surprisingly effective film at the time it came out.
This lead to the question awaited by many; Is marijuana as bad as made out to be by Hearst, DuPont, Reefer Madness, and many of today’s U.S. citizens? No,...