In 1937, the United States passed the Marihuana Tax Act and banned recreational and medical use of cannabis. In the 69 years since, it has become the most widely used illegal narcotic in the western world. I guess the plan backfired.
Since that time, numerous studies have been conducted based on the idea of this sort of plant prohibition. We will look at three.
In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research, editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that "the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health."
The Americans found the same thing in 1972 when the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse released a report titled "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding," and concluded that marijuana prohibition is "Philosophically Inappropriate", "Constitutionally Suspect", and "Functionally Inappropriate."
Years before that, in 1944, the La Guardia Committee Report, commissioned by New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to investigate the effects of marijuana, found that the popular claims about the negative effects of marijuana were wildly exaggerated.
These studies are important to know about when looking at the DEA’s argument for the keeping Mary Jane illegal. The organization claims on its website that “Illegal drugs are illegal because they are harmful” and “Most non violent drug users get treatment, not jail time”. We know from the aforementioned British study that the first statement holds no water, and to debunk the second statement let’s take a look at the laws for simple possession in one of our states. In Arizona possession of a small amount, less than 2 lbs, will land you six months to a year and a half in jail. That doesn’t sound like treatment.
President Bush has claimed that today’s marijuana is much more potent than the stuff him and his Yale buddies smoked back in the sixties. Hmm, a former coke addict making complaints about the strength of our pot being too high? It seems the hypocrisy in this nation knows no bounds.
The cold hard fact for any anti-marijuana argument is simple. Marijuana kills 0 people every year. How can something be dangerous, much too dangerous to allow into the hands of the public, yet has not once killed anyone? We are, ironically, allowed guns.
An overdose of this supposedly dangerous drug is “generally no more than that associated with mild to moderate exercise” according to Medical Admissions Criteria. You would be worse off after running a mile than after smoking too much marijuana.
There is still, however, a light amongst all this darkness. Alaska has become the first state to decriminalize marijuana and Denver Colorado has become the first city to allow a law to be passed that treats the plant in the exact same respect as alcohol. Nevada will vote in 2006 on the complete legalization as well.
The internet has also been a useful tool to activists. Websites such as norml.com, thcministry.org, and even my own smaller site, marijuanaX.com, have popped up everywhere and are helping to spread the word about the benefits of the herb.
It is only a matter of time before this situation of prohibition must be addressed by those in power. Things are drastically changing and more and more people are learning the truth. Were knocking on the door right now and before the decade is out we will be smoking in the living room.
In the end, we will win. We will be free to smoke our joints and puff our bongs without fear of retribution by the authorities. Truth will win out over propaganda and the good people of this earth will finally be free again.