The Weed Should be Freed
“How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveller in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer…”
Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the US Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1962
For many years, the consumption of marijuana was legal in most regions of America. It was until 1937 when it can easily be bought in bulk in many states because it is legal. The federal government outlawed the possession of this plant the same year and made it illegal in the whole of the United States of America. This decision was based primarily on the testimony of a newspaper owner who had a very suspicious intent on why it is trying to oppose the growing industry. The hemp industry was growing larger than life during the time his company was trying to eliminate cannabis, the plant that has high cellulose content that can be used as an alternative for plastic and nylon. Hemp was an easy target for them because of its intoxicating effect and its suspected relation to criminal behavior. These efforts started to attach a negative stereotype to the cannabis plant which we now call marijuana, hemp, jutes, grass, pot, weed, and etcetera (NIDA, 2009)
Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, has a psychoactive ingredient THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and also has 400 other chemicals present in it. The amount of THC varies from one plant to another, along with other factors such as weather, soil and the time of harvest. Many critics of marijuana would say that cannabis of today is very much different from those back in the time when it was still legal. THC contents are suspected to have immediate effects when taken in. It can include fast heartbeat, bloodshot eyes, and a dry mouth and throat. It can also impair short-term memory, alter sense of time and reduces concentration and lose control of reflexes. There are also suspicions that marijuana encourages its users to engage to use other illegal drugs, and thus lose interest in studying in the long run (NIDA, 2009).
All these are just prejudice attached to the plant that has a lot to offer when given the chance to be easily and legally accessible to the people. There are already a growing number of supports to legalize marijuana in the US because a number of organizations believe that marijuana does not only make people high, but also contribute in the field of medicine, agriculture economy and many other fields where marijuana has been ceased by the laws. People should start getting their own doze of heaven from this forbidden plant like the early Americans did (Legalize.Org, 2005)
This paper proposes four big leaps towards the increased usage of marijuana in this country. This aims to bring back what was lost in this industry because of negative publicity made to ruin the reputation of a once, very promising commodity. This paper intends to break the common mythological conceptions of the hemp and to clear its condemned name to the public that has long believed that marijuana is nothing but a bad product of nature.
First, marijuana should be made legal; this is the first step towards the success of this proposed project. Once legalized, it is expected that taxes levied on this commodity is reduced. It would also be better if the sin tax that applies to alcohol and cigarettes will be similarly applied to cannabis. This will make cannabis more affordable to the people and would make level the playing field for the competition between cannabis and tobacco. Ever since marijuana was outlawed, the tobacco industry flourished and left the “real organic” marijuana in vain. For so long, the tobacco industry had the public believing on hoaxes that will make us continue to patronize their products. An example would be the claim that tar is the main cause of lung cancer. This however, is already proven wrong by many studies. It is found that radiation and not tar is the main cause of lung cancer among smokers which makes tobacco crops fertilized with phosphate rich in radium 226 more susceptible to radiation, and thus, exposing smokers of tobacco cigarettes available in the market, more prone to carcinogens (Legalize.Org, 2009)
The next big leap after the re-legalization of the consumption of the help plant would be to make sure that growing and distribution of marijuana be supported by the government. The government may want to educate hemp farmers on the proper way of growing the plant, which will make it less prone to chemicals that react radioactively when burned. Through this, cannabis will be a competitive crop that can bring more income to small-time farmers and signal the re-birth of the hemp industry that promotes the organic way of growing weeds.
The third proposition relates to the protection of medical marijuana users. The goal is for the state to establish legal protections for medical cannabis patients and their providers. Since cannabis is known to be of help to the field of medicine, the government is bound to protect the users of this therapeutic plant. Proper education regarding the medical use of cannabis would be better so people will learn about the potentials of this so called drug. As of today, it is ironic that the federal government grows and provides for few patients that need the drug to surpass their ill situation. Until today, medical cannabis is being supplied to only but few patients by the federal tax dollars. If this is being provided to few, then why must it not be provided to more people in need of its soothing effects?
Another important thing to consider is the promotion of cannabis to reduce occurrences of homosexuality within the family. Though cannabis supporters do not see homosexuality as a crime, some studies would see the usage of cannabis as a way to make men more masculine and more women feminine. This also, leads us to the conclusion that instead of unnatural aphrodisiacs, marijuana can be used as a natural enhancer of sexual performance. There are a lot of users who would testify to tell about the great effects of this drug to their personal experiences.
Last but not the least; marijuana should now come in handy. Like tobacco, hemp should be adopted by cigarette producing companies as one of the flavors of their smoke. Instead of using tobacco, which has been proven to be more harmful and less natural, cannabis should be part of the smokers’ choice of smoke viand. Cannabis should be packed like a tobacco cigarette that has filter and packed in box that will be made available in convenient stores with the appropriate permit from the state to retail marijuana cigarettes. Since this type of cigarette comes in handy, it should be as affordable as the regular cigarette in the market so many heavy smokers can reduce their radioactive tobacco consumption and have the hemp cigarette as a natural alternative.
In this generation, more and more people think that they are cool and tough when they engage in prohibited activities that only few would dare to do. Youth, especially think of themselves as superior to others when they deviate from the usual societal norms. This is the main reason why legalization of marijuana is proposed in this paper. If smoking pot is made legal and made convenient to the people, it must not be an “in” thing to get high. It would just be the usual and nothing special. This will encourage less people to engage in abusive consumption of marijuana. Just like other drugs, it may be merely used for medical purposes when the fuzz about this plant is over.
It is true that cannabis can bring about adverse effects to the health of its users, however, it be unfair for this product of nature to be forever in vain because of the negative campaign against it, without even mentioning about the help that it can extend to the humankind. In the end, we must admit that people tend to go for what is not usual. We go for things that are prohibited to us because we think that this is a way to express our freedom to choose for ourselves. In this light, making marijuana usage legal and a usual practice like smoking, can discourage more people to try it because they would know that just like smoking tobacco cigarettes, it is legal, yet a threat to one’s health that we should avoid to consume excessively.
Legalize.Org. “History of Cannabis Prohibition”. Legalize.Org Official Website. 2005.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “NIDA Info Facts: Marijuana”. July 2009