15 Tips: How Cannabis Became Illegal
15 Tips: How Cannabis Became Illegal
With reports coming out that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol, you may be among the many people wondering why it was made illegal in the first place, ending up the category of drugs deemed to be the most dangerous by the Federal Government, Schedule I, as covered over at runrex.com. Through the following 15 tips, this article will look to plot the history of cannabis and how it became illegal.
- The early history of cannabis
From discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, the first use of cannabis is commonly attributed to a Chinese Emperor named Fu Hsi, almost 5,000 years ago. About 200 years later, cannabis became a popular medicine in China. By the second century BC, it had spread to Europe where it was widely used by the Greeks as a remedy for edema, earache, and inflammation.
- Coming to North America
Cannabis was spread to the New World by the Spanish in 1545, while in 1611, English settlers brought it to Jamestown. It quickly spread throughout colonial America as well as in Spanish missions in the Southwest of the country, as it was a fast-growing plant with lots of uses and which was easy to cultivate as covered over at runrex.com.
- Going mainstream
Cannabis’s popularity grew in Britain and its colonies during the 19th century, with Queen Victoria using it to ease her period pains. It became mainstream in the West by the mid-19th century when French physician, Jacques-Joseph Moreau found that it helped with insomnia, appetite, and headaches, as explained over at guttulus.com. In 1850, it was listed in the US Pharmacopeia, where it remained until 1942.
- The introduction of cotton and the Wiley Act
Cannabis’s popularity declined a bit in the US by the 1890s as cotton replaced hemp as the main cash crop, as discussed in detail over at runrex.com. In June 1906, the Wiley Act, which is also known as the Food and Drugs Act, required the labeling of medicine which included cannabis. At this point, it began making enemies, and it would soon be banned.
- The 1910s and the demand for the reduction in the vice consuming society
When the 1910s kicked in, Americans demanded a reduction in the vice and squalor that had taken over society. This led to the ultimate banning of alcohol, after which states trained their eyes on prostitution, gambling, oral sex, prizefighting, and eventually, cannabis.
- States begin to outlaw cannabis
From discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, Massachusetts became the first state to outlaw cannabis in 1911, after which it was quickly followed by Wyoming, Indiana, and Maine in 1913. New York followed in 1914, then Vermont and Utah in 1915, and Nevada and Colorado in 1917, with many others following in the 1920s.
- Harry Anslinger and the war on cannabis
Mr. Anslinger was the first person to hold the title of Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and he is commonly referred to as the “Father of Cannabis Prohibition”. Appointed in 1930, by his wife’ uncle, Andrew W. Mellon, he initially had no problem with cannabis, moral or otherwise, but when the prohibition of alcohol ended, he quickly changed his tune and began to spread false reports of cannabis-induced madness, violence, and crime, as covered over at runrex.com.
- Reefer Madness
The 1936 movie, Reefer Madness, has also been credited with having contributed to the banning of cannabis as it depicted the plant as being a life-threatening narcotic from discussions on the same over at guttulus.com. The movie was inspired by the 1933 murder of the Licata family in Florida where Victor Licata, a 20-year-old man, took an ex to his parents and 3 siblings, brutally murdering all of them. Anti-cannabis propagandists, including Mr. Anslinger, spread the story that Licata was addicted to cannabis which drove him to his actions, even though psychiatric evaluation indicated that he was seriously mentally ill.
- Cannabis and psychosis
In the early days of cannabis prohibition, the psychosis that it induced was a key theme according to discussions on the same over at runrex.com. During the Congressional hearings for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, in Anslinger’s testimony, he claimed that cannabis led to “disastrous psychiatric ramifications” and even compared it to opium saying that unlike opium, cannabis was “entirely the monster Hyde”.
- The racism factor
Not only did Anslinger use fear-mongering as a tactic in the early days of cannabis prohibition, the anti-cannabis rhetoric in the 1930s often had a racist element to it as well. For instance, Anslinger wrote, “colored students at the University of Minnesota partying with white female students, smoking marijuana and getting sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy”. In the 1930s, racism was readily accepted in the vast majority of the country given that Jim Crow Laws would continue for another 30 years. Mr. Anslinger made a lot of inflammatory racist remarks to ensure that cannabis was banned.
- The sex factor
As is revealed in discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, another element of the early days of cannabis prohibition centered on sex, and the sexuality of white women in particular and their supposed vulnerability. From claims that cannabis made white women seek relationships with black men, to claims that med under the influence of cannabis committed rape. The idea that cannabis promotes promiscuity and was ruining the virtue of white women contributed to its prohibition.
- The passing of the Marijuana Tax Act
Given the sort of misinformation spread by Mr. Anslinger and the rest of the anti-cannabis brigade, it came as little surprise when the Marijuana Tac act came into law in 1937 as covered over at runrex.com. This led to a significant reduction in marijuana prescriptions, and also led to the jailing of the first person for selling marijuana when Samuel Caldwell was jailed in the same year.
- The Boggs Act and the Narcotics Control Act
In 1944, the LaGuardia report came out, with the report suggesting that cannabis was less dangerous than initially thought. This didn’t stop the drug from coming under more attack, with the 1951 Boggs Act imposing a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison for possessing marijuana as outlined over at guttulus.com. The 1956 Narcotics Control Act was even stricter, prescribing sentences of up to 10 years and a fine of $20,000 for just buying cannabis.
- The Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act, CSA, of 1970 in the US determined that cannabis was a drug with no accepted medical use. Therefore, the drug was classified as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous kind as per discussions on the same over at runrex.com.
- The war on drugs
Things got even worse for cannabis in the 1970s when President Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971. However, from the 1970s, more and more people and studies came out showing that cannabis wasn’t as harmful as first thought, and in 1978, New Mexico became the first state to recognize the medicinal value of marijuana.
The above discussion attempts to plot the path of how cannabis became illegal, with more information on this and other related topics to be found over at the amazing runrex.com and guttulus.com.