THE LEGAL HISTORY OF CANNABIS
It all started back in 1929, when a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. His first grand plan was the prohibition of alcohol; a substance that actually does lead to rising crime rates and decreased health. Anslinger’s ideas behind alcohol prohibition didn’t go well for him or the US - he essentially handed over control of alcohol distribution to the mob.
Bear in mind that, during this time, Anslinger was reported as saying on the matter of cannabis: “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea that it makes people violent. He was even quoted saying that he could see no harm at all in the smoking of cannabis. But, when alcohol prohibition ultimately crashed and burned, Anslinger needed another policy to repair his damaged reputation. And, unfortunately for all of us, cannabis took that hit.
Suddenly, Anslinger started making wild claims about cannabis - how it could have negative effects both physically and mentally. Yet, when he wrote to thirty scientists on the issue, an astounding twenty-nine of them wrote back saying that his claims were incorrect. Of course, Anslinger chose to back the one doctor who agreed with him, and the rest is history. Literally.
The good news is that, in recent years, many in the US government have since realized this law might not have been in the best interests of the public. That’s why many U.S. states are now deciding to revisit whether or not they want to continue prohibiting marijuana in this way. And, many of them are deciding that it’s no longer the right way forward, paving the way for a whole new generation of happy marijuana smokers.