Cannabis has been classified as a dangerous drug since the 1930’s. Many reasons have been pointed to as to why the United States government deemed it illegal to consume the plant, and other countries soon followed suit.
The same government then realized how less harmful the herb was, compared to how it was earlier portrayed, and pretty soon, marijuana prohibition was slowly lifted in several states. However, it is still classified as a schedule one drug on the federal level, and in turn, many people, including a handful of lawmakers deem it to be absurd. Here are some of the underlying reasons why.
It is ‘Based on Lies’
The prohibition against cannabis was banned in 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was enacted. According to this article, the biggest reason for forbidding the use of the herb was rooted on hemp being a heavy competitor of synthetic fiber and plastic, which at the time, was still in its infancy. Hemp was also seen as a threat to the timber industry, as the cheaper and better option.
Because of this, these companies created the concept of “reefer madness”, a propaganda that mainly suggested that cannabis use caused people to lose their inhibitions and act unbecomingly. The hype created hysteria among the older folk and lawmakers at the time, which then resulted to marijuana prohibition.
A “Reefer Madness” film was also released, which depicted cannabis users turning into mass murders. The film was said to be funded by the alcohol industry.
While the Western world has begun to embrace the fact that cannabis is not as hurtful as previously depicted, the rest of the world still sees the herb as a dangerous drug, despite numerous tests that prove its medical benefits.
It is Not Backed up by Science
When cannabis was eventually legalized in several parts of the United States, they were backed up by countless of research to prove that the herb does bear medical benefits. Eventually, some states concentrated on the use of cannabidiol extract (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that is commonly used to cure patients with epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety, among others.
However, it is being argued that prohibition of the herb is the exact opposite. As stated in this article, the congressmen that passed the bill to ban cannabis in June of 1937 admitted to having no knowledge about what they had just signed. It was also believed that they referred to the plant as a “narcotic of some kind.”
The racist root of marijuana prohibition stemmed from a claim of one lawmaker when he stated how use of the herb caused Caucasian women to “seek sexual relations with Negroes.” It is also noted that it merely took four years to lift the ban on alcohol, which was also a prohibited substance, but cannabis is still illegal on a worldwide scale.
Pharmaceutical Companies Will Go Out of Business
Many attribute the legalization of cannabis as a primary way to drive pharmaceutical companies out of business. Since the discovery that the herb bears a handful of medical benefits, and comes in organic form, it has been the go-to option for patients to treat their ailments.
While it remained to be merely hearsay for a long time, a study stated that in 17 states in the US that had medical marijuana laws in place saw a major drop in prescription for painkillers and other similar drugs. Specifically, an average medical expert reportedly prescribed 265 lesser doses of antidepressants, 486 lesser doses of seizure medication, and 562 lesser doses of anti-anxiety medication.
This has then caused these big pharmaceutical companies to support marijuana prohibition to keep their business afloat. There now remains a stalemate between the two sides that are for and against, and cannabis is still a banned substance for the bigger part of the world.
There continues to be a lengthy debate on whether or not the ban on cannabis should be lifted. Despite the studies for its medical use and benefits, many countries still classify it as a dangerous drug that could be a gateway to more detrimental substances.
But as years pass, more and more places are slowly loosening up their views and are continuing to lift marijuana prohibition. As more studies are conduced, it will be only a matter of time before the entire world follows suit.