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A Brief History of Marijuana in the U.S.
El Factor Mexicano
Following the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910, and again following the Cristero War that began in 1926 (a protest against a series of laws restricting the public role of the Catholic Church), new waves of immigrants entered the U.S. from Mexico to escape the violence and economic upheaval. Some of these immigrants brought marijuana with them and introduced its recreational use to American culture. Misinformation was hot on its trail.
As the depths of the Great Depression sank lower and lower, massive unemployment and widespread uncertainty served to increase public resentment, and a fear of Mexican immigrants evolved and then escalated. As a means of hiding the racism and redirecting the communal angst, both public and governmental concern about marijuana and its Spanish speaking users escalated. A gust of 'research' was hastily and pointedly carried out that argued that marijuana use was linked to deviant behaviors including violence and crime which were primarily committed by 'racially inferior', under or lower-class communities. Anti-drug campaigners warned against the encroaching 'Marijuana Menace', and horrific crimes were attributed to marijuana and its users.
Congress, et al
Also very consistent between all these Acts and laws is that none of them really benefited anyone. You might try to convince someone that they benefited society as a whole, but have they? Has American culture really grown or advanced itself as a result of any of this? It doesn't appear so. Along the way marijuana has repeatedly served as a hapless pawn in various politicians' schemes, deals and attempts to win the next election; that's clearly all it was for Nixon, and we've been suffering from his idiocy and paranoia in more ways than we can possibly count or yet know about, ever since.
Unlike with marijuana, withdrawal from habit-forming narcotics and other drugs and pharmaceutical products can cause an addicted person to have to endure great physical discomfort, sometimes for many hours or even days. If President Nixon sincerely wanted to either fight drug abuse or help the boys that were coming home from Viet Nam hooked on heroin that he claimed to care so much about, he needed to find hospital beds for those soldiers that wanted aid. These proud and brave young men needed someplace where they could get caring help and support while battling the sickness that Nixon repeatedly claimed was the enemy - not jails, which are known for rampant drug use.
Above everything else, it is all just so patently stupid. After the disaster that was Prohibition, what indication has there ever been that could cause any rational person to think they might possibly be more successful in getting rid of marijuana – or for that matter, heroin or cocaine – than they were with booze? The lame attempts to rid America of marijuana have resulted in the exact same thing that happened during prohibition - a large criminal enterprise has made a fortune while the good ol' dunderheads in D.C. hang on to an already-failed idea about trying to get rid of something when they should be taxing the shit out of it.
It is asinine. These are our elected officials - then, and very sadly, still today.
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