America’s Attitude Toward Marijuana has Changed with the Times

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United States vs. Marijuana

The United States code 21 USC 802(d) (16) defines marijuana as follows:

The term marihuana refers to all parts of the plant cannabis saliva l. referring to growing or not, seeds, the resin from any part of such plant and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin, Such terms does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks, (except the resin extracted therefrom) fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is capable of germination.

International Treaties:

The Law requires that the U.S. amend International Treaties if it discovers scientific information that indicates a drug or substance’s International status be changed. 21 USC 811 (d) (5)

In 1619 The Virgina Company, by decree of King James the first, ordered every colonists in Jamestown Virginia to grow 100 Indian hemp plants for export. The plant was also cultivated by every household to produce cloth, clothes, fiber and medicine. This wasn’t popular with the British Government as tax issues were jeopardized, while at the same time these colonists were at war with the Powhatan Indians and had a scarce supply of both food and water. Hemp was a common product for use in the following years and one hundred and sixty-six years later found John Hancock penning the first signature on the Declaration of Independence, which the paper it was printed on being made out of hemp. George Washington grew hemp as one of his three primary crops in Mount Vernon. By the 1850’s cannabis was prepared for medicinal purpose’s following an introduction from William O’Shaughnessy in 1839, a decade earlier.

The 1900’s brought in a new century and with it a new outlook on laws regarding marijuana. A 1905 Dept. of Agriculture bulletin lists twenty-nine states mentioning cannabis in their laws. The Dist. of Columbia, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin were eight states that are listed as having “sale of poison laws” mentioning cannabis in them. In 1906 Congress passed the ” Pure Food and Drug Act” requiring all sales of non-prescription cannabis be properly labeled nationwide. In 1914 New York Representative Francis Harrison formed a two measure system to a) prohibit the introduction and non-medical use of drugs, and b) regulate the production of drugs. This became known as The Harrison Act, the first Federal level law to criminalize the non medical use of drugs. The Harrison Act was primarily focused on raising income for the government through enforcing a monitoring system on manufacturing, producing, and distributing coca leaves and opium. These people had to register with the IRS and pay an occupational tax that would gradually increase over time. Those in violation would receive a fine of $2000.00, a sentence of five years in jail or both. In 1918 a committee appointed by the secretary of the treasury found that the underground drug traffic was about equal to that of legitimate medical traffic, and that the wrongful use of narcotic drugs had increased since the passage of the Harrison Act.

1930 found the government broadening their push to outlaw recreational drugs when they formed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics headed by Harry J. Anslinger. Anslinger often projected his hateful views on the American public stating that marijuana made people commit violent crimes, act irrationally and become overly sexual. He retained his position as head of the (FBN) until 1962 and chief U.S. delegate of international drug agencies until 1970. During his tenure Anslinger dominated enforcement of narcotic laws by focusing his attention on marijuana. His accounts of heinous crimes produced under the influence of marijuana emanated from the bureau and began to gain credence. “Refer Madness” was produced for the sole reason of making his views more popular about the hazards of drug use. On August 2, 1937 President F.D.Roosevelt passed into law a bill orchestrated by Anslinger placing marijuana in the same class as heroin and cocaine. Honest research was prohibited on marijuana’s toxic properties as the bureau would not license its use outside of the federal government.

October,1937 found Samuel R. Caldwell gaining nationwide recognition as the second person to be arrested for possession of marijuana. The ill-fated farmer had his life stripped from him for the political agenda of narrowing personal gains for Americans. He was taken into custody the exact day that the Marijuana Tax Act went into action. On October 2nd, Samuel Caldwell sold Claude Morgan, an Mexican immigrant wishing to get high, three marijuana cigarettes. Both the buyer and seller were arrested and Mr. Caldwell was sentenced with a fine of $1000.00 and four years of hard labor at Leavenworth Penitentiary. After being released in 1940 at the age of sixty, Samuel Caldwell lived for one more year. In 1944 The New York Academy of Medicine issued an extensively researched report with the following conclusions.

1. Under the influence of marihuana the basic personality structure of the individual does not change but some of the more superficial aspects of behavior show alterations.

2. With the use of marihuana the individual experiences increased feelings of relaxation, disinhibition, and self-confidence.

3. The new feeling of self-confidence induced by the drug expresses itself primarily through oral rather than physical activity. There is some indication of a diminution in physical activity.

4. The disinhibition which results from the use of marijuana releases what is latent in the individuals thoughts and emotions but does not revoke responses that would be totally alien to him in his undrugged state.

5. Marihuana not only releases pleasant reactions but also feelings of anxiety.

6. Individuals with a limited capacity for effective experience and who have difficulty in making social contact are more likely to resort to marihuana use than those more capable of outgoing response.

No finding that marijuana “has a high potential for abuse” was made during the FDA of marijuana in response to the marijuana rescheduling petition filed by NORML in 1972.

The U.S. court of appeals ruled in 1977 that the lack of accepted medical use by itself was insufficient to justify schedule 1 status for a drug or substance. DEA,559,F.2d 735,748

When Congress enacted the Controlled Substance Act, they knew that there was no scientific evidence that marijuana use had the abuse potential necessary to be classified as a schedule 1 status. 1986 51FR22947

Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the U.S., approximately 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and more than 25 million have smoked in the last year. World wide it is estimated that about 162 million adults use marijuana at least once a year and 22.5 million use it daily.

Drug war statistics:

The U.S. spends more than $51,000,000,000 annually on the war on drugs.

86% of people arrested for violations of marijuana laws in 2011 were charged with possession only. (757,969)

You can call it weed, pot, dope, smoke, grass, bud, chronic, ganja, or loco-weed. My opinion is this;

Colorado and Washington have the right ideals in mind and the rest of the country needs to take notice of their results. Our Government has made bad choices for more than a century concerning marijuana and needs to re-evaluate where the money, time, and energy spent fighting the people they are supposed to represent would be better utilized. I don’t condone the use or sale of hard drugs but I know that marijuana has never made me want to fight, no matter how much I consume at one time like alcohol does, and it’s legal.

References:

e-notes.com/marijuanataxstamps.org/ramdonhistory.com/articlebase.com

drugscience.org/wikipedia.com/drugpolicy.org

until next time, peace

©beibejones/midnightboogie’s 2013

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~ by beibejones on March 9, 2013.

25 Responses to “America’s Attitude Toward Marijuana has Changed with the Times”

  1. Keep working ,great job! więcej

  2. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. Nevertheless think about if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the most beneficial in its niche. Wonderful blog! www

    • kv, thanks for visiting and I will defineatly being applying your advice of more visuals starting now. I’m glad you find the blogs good enough to comment on and please let me know how and if they are any better in the future. Looking forward to hearing from you again. peace beibe

  3. What’s up, I log on to your blog like every week. Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

    • Hermes, thanx alot for visiting my site. ‘m glad you enjoy what you see here and that you visit often. Any feedback is always appreciated so please keep posting comments. peace,beibe

  4. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

    • Thanx Michael, I will try to keep everybody informed of changing laws as much as possible. I will also tell people of your site and hope you return and reply often, peace beibe

  5. I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better? Bianca Mettenburg

    • Bianca,
      Thank you for the feedback. I will in the future try and add more pics and hopefully you will return and offer more feedback. I always look for ways to improve this site and with help from people like you, it will be easier and quicker to do. Thanx again for visiting and please enjoy yourself here as often as you like. until next time we chat, peace beibe

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