ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Pot is Illegal

Updated on March 6, 2012

I don't smoke pot. Sure, I tried it a few times back in the day, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I'm more of a chrystal meth kinda guy. (I'm also really into facetiousness) Regardless, I firmly believe it should be legalized (the pot, not the meth). Before I get into the particulars of why that is, let's step back in time and discover why cannabis was made illegal in the first place.

The Cannabis sativi L plant species is found in abundant supply all over the world, mostly notably in 2 distinct forms: hemp (found all over North America), and marijuana (relegated mostly to Mexico). The primary difference between the 2 plants is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that causes the high. Marijuana contains as much as 20% THC, while hemp contains less than 1%. Hemp was found to have an abundance of extraordinary uses, such as the manufacturing of textiles, rope, paper, clothing, boat sails, animal bedding, garden mulch, fuel, and an assortment of building materials. But it wasn't just versatile, it was usually much stronger and more durable than its counterparts. Hemp was widely used throughout the American Colonies and States after King James I - the same of the Bible bearing his name - ordered the Colonies in 1611 to begin widely producing it to help bolster the English economy. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. But although this plant was extremely useful, it was also extremely difficult to extract from the stalk, for which process prison labor, and eventually slave labor were employed. The Emancipation Proclamation, under President Lincoln, abolished slavery in 1865, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the production of hemp products. Hemp was on a temporary, semi-hiatus, until the invention in 1935 of the decordicator, a machine of such revolutionary magnitude as the printing press, the cotton gin, and the combustion engine. The decordicator allowed for the processing of hemp at a production level that could compete with the cotton, wool, wood, and petroleum industries. It could create a higher quality product at a much lower price. Obviously, this was completely unacceptable to the big corporations it was set to compete with, and 4 major players in particular took immediate action: DuPont, Andrew Mellon, William Randolph Hearst, and Harry Anslinger

Mr. DuPont had just gotten a patent in the wood paper pulp industry, and was working on another for nylon and rayon. Had hemp remained legal, DuPont would most likely not have achieved its current standing as the world's second largest chemical company.

Andrew Mellon (of Mellon Bank) was Mr. DuPont's financier. The only two times the DuPont company ever borrowed money from Mellon Bank, Andrew Mellon was the Secretary of the Treasury at the time.

William Randolph Hearst
had vast holdings in the wood paper pulp business. He is credited with coining the word "marijuana" to describe the Mexican variation of the cannabis plant that got people so high, then slapping that same label on the hemp variation of cannabis to generate confusion, and then spending ten years trying to convince the American people they were the same evil thing and must be destroyed. (Part of his new found hatred and racism for all things Mexican-related stemmed from the recent confiscation of 8,000,000 acres of Hearst's land in Mexico under Poncho Villa.) Hearst also owned the San Francisco Examiner, a wildly sensationalist publication, and the New York Morning Journal. He used them to run headlines like, "Marijuana Makes Fiends of Boys In 30 Days," "Hasheesh Goads Users To Blood Lust," and "New Dope Lure, Marijuana, Has Many Victims." They published propaganda fliers like the following:

Harry Anslinger was Mellon's nephew-in-law, and was the drug czar at the time. When Congress formed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in 1930 - a department of The Secretary of the Treasury - Mellon made him head of the department, a position he held for 31 years until John F. Kennedy finally canned him because he was so crooked and rotten. When the FBN's budget was cut by $200,000, Anslinger decided to introduce a new drug "menace," and tried to get Congress to pass the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, which would require tax stamps on all marijuana transaction (though he planned not to actually issue any of these stamps).

All sorts of unverified claims from non-medical sources began pouring in, recounting how schoolchildren were keeling over dead in their tracks by the truckloads from their brief contact with marijuana. The American Medical Association (AMA) soundly rejected all these dubious assertions, and instead argued that marijuana had actually been used for decades to heal and treat an assortment of various maladies, from rheumatism to palsy to neuralgia to epilepsy. (Today, it is also used medicinally to treat migraines, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, high blood pressure, nausea induced by cancer and chemotherapy, seizures, tourettes, PMS, OCD, ADD and ADHD, Chrohn's disease, and Alzheimers, to name just a few.) Nonetheless, the bill was railroaded through, not because of any substantiated health concerns, but because some greedy corporate talking heads didn't want to have to compete with a superior product.

That's pretty much where we are today, only now, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Alcohol, and Big Tobacco have joined in the fray. Marijuana can treat (often far more effectively and cheaply) a number of maladies that synthetic drugs currently own the market on. The pharmaceutical industry would stand to lose billions if marijuana were legalized. Alcohol doesn't want to compete either. You know all those anti-marijuana commercials out now...the ones with the lonely boy sitting on his parents' basement couch, wondering where all his friends went; or the one with the girl whose dog talks to her, asking her why she never plays with him anymore? That entire add campaign is sponsored by Partnership For A Drug-Free America, whose financiers are, drum roll please..............the alcohol industry! None of them are the least bit concerned over the possible health hazards posed to the American people, they're just worried about their potential profit loss.

Here are some interesting statistics for you about the number of deaths in the United States in a typical year:

  • Tobacco kills about 400,000
  • Alcohol kills about 80,000
  • Workplace accidents kill 60,000
  • Automobiles kill 40,000
  • Cocaine kills about 2,500
  • Heroin kills about 2,000
  • Aspirin kills about 2,000
  • Marijuana kills 0

There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana at any time in US history. All illegal drugs combined kill under 20,000 per year, or a small percent of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco kills more people each year than all of the people killed by all of the illegal drugs in the last one hundred years. So why are tobacco and alcohol legal while marijuana is not? Because they have hundreds of millions to spend on lobbyists in Washington to ensure lawmakers are going to continue to remain in their pockets. That, my friends, is why marijuana is illegal. Not because it kills (it's actually impossible to O.D. on cannabis), not because it's anymore harmful than alcohol or cigarettes (if you don't want the ill health effects of smoking it, you also have the options of vapor inhalation or oral ingestion), not because of its inherent ability to impair judgment (which alcohol does far worse), but because of simple, unadulterated greed and corruption. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cooldad profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      I used to smoke pot quite a bit. I enjoyed it. It amazes me everyday that it's still illegal. If it were legal just imagine how high (pun intended) the profits of Pizza Hut, Cheetos and Breyers would soar. And not mention how much better everyone would get along, there would be no more fighting, because fighting is physically impossible while smoking weed. Nice hub, i enjoyed that.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi, and thanks for writing this thread, even thought i didn't read the whole thing.(ive read to many threads on the subject)

      Well ive been enojoying THC for the last 11years.

      Now i don't smoke as much as i used to.

      But that's no reason for me to badmouth it.

      ive gone green acouple of times but never anything worse than that.

      Actually ive really liked how my life has turned out to be, even thought some people might lable me a deadbeat.

      Well im not stupid, nor am i schizophrenic, nor do i do hard drugs, and well i don't live in the U.S nor would i want to, but i do care who is president and also most of the time me and some friends talk about philosofi or things that really do matter.

      But we might also watch a movie or play video games.

      Im not a kid, im turning 30years soon.

      I wish there was someway for the mainstream to understand that no we are not gonna go mental, and there arent any health issues that are commonly know except for mixing with tobacco. but that's tobacco!

      i think a lot of people would be calmer and more balanced if they smoked weed or hasjisj.

      Well atleast decriminalize it since we arent harming no one, not even ourselves.

      About the author of this blog? or hub as the other guy called it. Meta amfetamin is very bad, and i would not recommend it. its not like this at all.

    • profile image

      Erin Holladay 

      8 years ago

      It is an interesting topic. Ironic how our country is so incredibly in debt yet California's policies on the topic are the #1 thing getting that state out of debt. Perhaps the rest of the US should take a look.

    • profile image

      Ry Wilson 

      8 years ago

      I am a [pot smoker and so are my friends my parents and my best friends parents don't care if we smoke but my other friends parents hate it. i have only smoked pot my hole life its never lead me to other drugs so therefor it can not be a "gate Way" drug as you people think, but it mainly is just a drug that helps people forget about all the stupid shit that's going on around them when i high i don't give a crap who the president is i don't care that the government is f ing us over all i care about is my friends and how much pot we have left. and people need to mind there own p and q's and you wanna smoke them smoke if you don't want to then fine piss the fuck off!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I gave up that crap marijuana after I couldn't get a good high anymore. I totally related with this guy who had the same problem but wasn't able to stop smoking marijuana. Pot Sucks after a while! Look here

    • Satori profile image


      8 years ago from California

      I don't smoke it either, having a medical condition that makes me Perma-Stoned, but at this point it isn't really about the pot is it? Pot has simply become another casualty, or near-casualty, of the larger problem. Yes, DuPont was being evil. Reefer Madness would've been great if it had come with a laugh track, but as propaganda it's all so much political fetters for the People, and karmic fetters for those pulling the strings. What it all manifestly comes down to is that most of the world is devoted to expressing the idea that We Can't Have Nice Things, and then serving us up any number of explanations, justifications, ulterior motives and rationalizations for just why it is that We Can't Have Nice Things. After looking at the explanations and then casting them aside, it seems like a fundamentally pointless way of life, and tells me that people should have been smarter... but they weren't, not then nor now. So we have the world as the karmic equivalent of a bull in a china shop (which is seldom if ever truly desirable) pulling stunts like these on an ongoing basis (see my Hubs on gay pride, for example) and quality of life is always lost in the process, systematically. It's a sad state of affairs with some unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - self-crippling side-effects. Which means that ultimately, this too shall pass. It's the penultimately that's got me sighing.

      At any rate, some pot trivia for those who'll come across this Hub: The folks who did Mystery Science Theater 3000 actually MST'ed "Reefer Madness". Thoroughly enjoyable.

      Also, came across this piece from breakcore artist Maladroit:

      I can't enjoy pot, myself. But that it's been made contraband says a lot about what people haven't been doing with regard to maintenance and vigilance on their government and its leash on corporations. Time for something like Wolfpack?

      Thanks for the Hub, and the research. Thumbs Up.

    • Jim Bryan profile image

      Jim Bryan 

      8 years ago from Austin, TX

      I don't smoke that crap either, but I don't want to be in the business of telling other consenting adults what they can or cannot do, providing it doesn't affect me. If it means more people are too high to talk to me, I am all for legalizing it.

      I also think you may have mistyped one the the industries. Big Tobacco and Booze have not been allowed to contribute to PDAT since 1997...but Big Pharma, on the other hand, has doubled down as it were, which may shed light on PDAT's lack of media discouraging the misuse of legal drugs.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)