Marijuana. Once America’s greatest cash crop. Now a gateway to some of the hardest drugs known to man, or so says society. How could our main agricultural plant go from something that helped build this country to something that is destroying the people of this country? How could something that used to allow you to provide for your colonial family to something that will cause the government to take you from your family?
The actual plant of marijuana, hemp, was used all throughout the birth of America as well as thousands of years prior all across the world. Hemp has been used world wide for thousands of years, taking advantage of its seeds and fibers to make and sell a number of items. The hemp fibers were most commonly used to manufacture clothing, ropes, sails, and paper to name a few. In fact our Declaration of Independence was made on hemp paper. Our founding father, George Washington, even grew marijuana for its hemp and seeds. The seeds can also be used for a number of purposes. It’s oils can be used for fuels, mixing in compounds such as different rubbers and plastics, and for use in food because of its being high in proteins and fatty acids.
Beginning in the early 1900’s government began to change their mind on marijuana. It began with pharmaceuticals that had cannabis as an ingredient having to label that on their products. Shortly after that recreational use of marijuana began to grow. For roughly 40 years the government’s crackdown on marijuana grew and grew. Eventually marijuana was added to the Controlled Substance Act and labeled beside Crack, Cocaine, and Heroine. I’m sure that many cultures throughout history have used this plant, that can grow almost anywhere in the world, for recreational uses or spiritual uses. Now it will get you 10-20 years in jail and ridiculous fines even for first time offenders. Most people arrested for marijuana are for simple possession, most likely for personal use, and not even for production, distribution, or trafficking.
Today, many states are beginning to re-legalize marijuana, mostly for medicinal purposes. Of course smoking of anything can be unhealthy and this is no worse or different than smoking cigarettes, which is legal. There is no recorded death in history due to overdose of marijuana, but yet drunk drivers kill people everyday or have alcohol poisoning. Most people that do or have smoked marijuana do not turn to harder drugs as many people have you believe.
From experience I can tell you that marijuana does not inhibit you or turn you into a crackhead junkie. I regularly smoked everyday for many many years but yet I still successfully finished High School and went onto College. I made excellent grades. I maintained good jobs since I was able to work with no issues. Have I experimented with other things? Yes I have but not because of marijuana but because of peer influences and it was never a regular thing, it was being a young adult and experiencing new things. I do not believe that people should be jailed for years and years for having a bag of weed, sitting beside hardcore drug dealers, rapists, killers, and other criminals. Scientists are now realizing that it really does have medicinal uses and is not the recreational gateway they once made it out to be. Marijuana could solve an endless amount of issues if only people took the time to not believe everything they are told and actually begin to think for themselves.