Introduction of Marijuana

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INTRODUCTION OF MARIJUANA INTO THE UNITED STATES The use of marijuana has been an active past time for thousands of years, however, it did not reach the United States until around 1912. A wave of Mexican immigrants was entering the country in the effort to find work; with them came marijuana. The use of marijuana was a normal custom among the Mexican people, but the White Americans in towns bordering Mexico saw the use of this particular plant in a different light. Fueled with racism and frustration associated with the lack of work for the American people, whites proclaimed that the smoking of marijuana gave the Mexicans super-human strength and transformed those who smoked it into violent murderers. With the increase in rumors…show more content…
The negative propaganda eventually obtained a firm grasp on the minds of the American people, one by one, each state signed the Uniform State Narcotic Law; Anslinger’s method of exaggeration and manipulation went according plan. THE MARIJUANA STAMP ACT A frightened America demanded that society be protected by the threat of marijuana, and sought relief within the power of the federal government. On June 14, 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt without any “public debate, scientific inquiry, or political objection” (Grass, 1999). The act prohibited the possession of any marijuana unless one also possessed a marijuana tax stamp which was provided by the Department of Treasury, however, in order to obtain a stamp act, one had to present to authorities his or her amount of marijuana, which was illegal in and of itself. Through this extremely misleading form of legislation, the Department of Treasury effectively made marijuana possession illegal, and subsequently lead to hundreds of arrests. LA GUARDIA VERSUS ANSLINGER The enactment of the Marijuana Stamp Act brought with it skepticism from many white Americans, especially in the northeast region of the country. Those who opposed the Stamp Act believed that its implementation brought with it the return of prohibition, an aspect of legislation they did not want to see in existence again (R.
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