Origins of Marijuana Laws in The United States Essay

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A great many of today's citizens erroneously believe that the criminalization of marijuana came into effect as a result of research conducted with due diligence by trained scientists and physicians. The true reasons behind the criminalization of marijuana had little to do with the supposed harmful effects from its use as a recreational drug and much more to do with the financial bottom line of the entrenched industrial complex of this country. The leading advocates of the campaign to ban the use of marijuana were influential businessmen which held huge stakes in paper, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical industries. Their interest in promoting the criminalization of marijuana did not stem from an overwhelming concern for public health, but …show more content…

A short list of the many uses of this versatile plant during this era included paper, canvas, and most notably rope. As technology progressed the uses for the plant expanded as well. In the early twentieth century it was used in the production of the earliest plastics and gasoline. The first Ford Model T's ran on hemp gas and many of the car's parts were made from hemp fibers which had an impact strength ten times stronger than steel according to a Popular Mechanics article in 1941. The US government in 1916 predicted that by the 1940s all paper produced in this country would be made from hemp fiber and in its February 1938 issue touted hemp as the world's first “billion dollar crop”. From an environmental standpoint besides the important fact hemp grows in a single growing season, while it takes an entire generation to grow trees. It takes far fewer chemicals and thus creates much less pollution to make paper from hemp than from tree pulp. Hemp grows very fast and tall and will choke out all other plants in the area including weeds so the use of herbicides really isn't required. Oil derived from the seeds of the plant can profitably be used in the production of paints and varnishes. The seeds are also quite healthy, containing all eight essential amino acids and are an excellent source of protein.(1)
All of these facts though were quite well hidden from the public by the propaganda machine orchestrated by

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