Why the Illegalization of Marijuana was Corrupt
For most of human history marijuana has been legal and has actually only been illegal for 1% of the period of time of which it has been in use. Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings, and that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug. However, some of the actual reasons that marijuana was wrongly banned include racism, protection of corporate profits, and corrupt legislators along with illegitimate widespread fear among citizens of the United States.
Throughout the 20th century racism towards Hispanics, Negroes, and even Mormons greatly influenced the negative outlook on the use of marijuana. In the early 1900’s, western states developed high tensions towards the increase of Mexican-Americans that took business from small American farmers because they worked for cheaper wages. One “difference” that many Americans highlighted during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and brought the plant with them. However, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church’s reaction to this may have contributed to the state’s marijuana law. In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (marijuana) is what makes them crazy.” In the eastern states racism was again one of the charges connected to marijuana. Some newspaper editorials in 1934 stated that: “Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shoes and look at a white woman twice.” During heavy tensions between whites and all minorities, racism made people fear anything that affected the social order, and as a result many people started to blindly...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document