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Legal Marajuana

Updated on September 26, 2012

Historical Use And Prohibition

Canibis, a family of plants that was brought to the English colonies of America by farmers to be sold as an industrial crop. It wasn't as widely used for recreation or medicine as it was for rope, canvas, paper and other products. In fact the word canvas is a vernacular distortion of the word cannabis or vice-versa, I forget which.

It was used medicinally though, and recreational. It was used by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who wrote the famed "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner." Musicians, artists and poets seemed to use it more than others.

Medicinally, it was listed in ancient Chinese medical books, then later in India. It was spread throughout Europe by the Dark Ages. It was kept in European apothecaries for nausea, cramps, rhumatism, and a myriad of other ailments. In modern times, where Doctors are allowed to prescribe it, they do so for AIDS, cancer, arthritis, seizures, and other major problems.

In the early Colonial days of America, it was encouraged and even ordered that farmers grow this crop when there were shortages. It was a cash crop and essential to the economy. However, as a drug it was the use by Blacks, Mexican nationals immigrating to the U.S. and Swing and Jazz musicians playing their "Satan music" that had convinced the public this plant should be banned. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, and ending with Richard Nixon declaring Marajuana a schedule 1 drug, pot was legally dead. A schedule 1 substance is one that has dangerous and addictive properties, and no medical use at all. Alaska was the last state to defy the federal government and finally criminalized the cultivation and personal use of the plant in 1990. Pot was dead except in counter-culture and criminal enterprises.

The Resurgance

In recent times, a movement to legalize Marajuana for medical use has arisen in many states. As a medical prescription it has been legalized in several states already. As I live in Colorado, I can speak of personal knowledge. There are dispensaries in nearly every town of size enough to support it. The industry is thriving, and the state revenue collectors are busy. It is taxed regulated heavily. There are many problems associated with being a dispensary owner. One owner complained of gangsters coming in to threaten him to buy their imported product. He explained this would be illegal and disloyal to local growers. He's an ex US Marine. The ploys didn't work.

Prohibition of alcohol from 1919 to 1933 proved beyond a doubt that banning a substance creates a criminal interest in it. It was what gave rise to the syndicate Italian and Irish mobs. Now with several decades of Marijuana prohibition in play, Latin-American cartels have benefited greatly. It may be true that Heroine, Cocaine, and Crystal Meth are major revenue generators for them, but Marijuana only increases their profit margin. Even 5% would mean 5% fewer weapons in their hands, 5% fewer bribes to border guards, 5% fewer assassins and leg breakers hired.

There is also the constitutional question at hand. The government uses the commerce clause to claim it's constitutional grounds of the drugs laws. If a product is grown on your window seal, smoke in your den, could it possibly be considered interstate commerce? Yet that is what they claim.

There are ballot initiatives in several states that would just make it perfectly legal to grow for personal use, with no medical need at all. A certain percentage of the population is going to smoke it regardless of legality, therefore getting the cartel, the government, and the busybodies who want to control everyone else's life out of it would make sense.

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    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      It like we are fighting the right war but against the wrong people. Why applying the 3 strikes law to forever incarcerate an addict when there would be no addiction without drug dealers.

      My commitment is to protect people and i think to fight harder on dealers is better than punishing our own people.

      Hey thanks for venturing on this topic, we dont see so much about drug in this pages, thanks again maybe the more we know the better.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      5 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      Right. It's abuse is not good for the health. If we can get it to the right hands, and make it such a pain in the rear for the gangsters to sell that they give up, (I.E. DEA raids) then that would be the ideal situation.

    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thats exactly the pont, hopefully if they can no longer make any profits selling hopefully they will be out o business. Just i hope they dont turn to other crimes to keep profit active like extortions and kidnaps as they already crete some significant profits fro the mexican cartels. You make great points. Marijuana itself is not bad its medical had been created to heal, unfortunately its being abused as well.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      5 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      Being a sherrif employee, you thoughts on this are well taken. I would like to point out that once Amhouser Bush, Miller, Jack Daniels etc., were allowed to openly make their beverages, the Mafia suddenly had to find new sources of revenue. If you can buy an ounce of Ganja from a walk in store, for cheap, there would suddenly be no profit in it for those who grow in the woods, or in basements. The giant farms will grow it for so cheap that the gangsters won't have any profit.

    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      So bad cartels have grow way too powerful, now if marijuana is legalized and the government sells it way to cheap or tax it way to high soon cartels will be out of business. That is drug business, now kidnaps, prostitution of children, and extorsions will increase as that is their only source of income. Also they will need a license to sell it just like one walks into the police station ask for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

      I might be the only one and call me weird, but i dont think wanted drug dealers will friendly walk into a police station and kindle with love and peace ask for a license, they might keep on selling it illegally. Remember how the early taxes on alcohol made so many americans turn to cheaper smuggled alcohol? yes those can be the days now, dealers can violently try to bring drugs into US avoiding taxes just as they do today.

      Currently working for the sheriff department in Los Angeles, hope my county does not suffer those new unforeseen crimes created for drug legalization. Good hub i like the history you present.

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