The war against illegal substances in America has waged for decades and yet some of the most toxic and dangerous drugs are peddled to citizens everyday from local government sanctioned pharmacies.
More and more research is making a case for the powerful medicinal properties of the cannabis sativa plant. According to the American Cancer Society, scientists have reported that THC – just one of the many biologically active compounds in cannabis – can slow the growth and or cause the death of certain forms of cancer cells.
Here is a video which shows the affect of cannabis oil on cancer cells:
Studies from as long ago as 1974 have shown the same results. So why are we only now seeing a slow decriminalization of this plant in our country?
Let’s take a minute to reflect on the history of the cannabis sativa plant in the United States to gain a better understanding of it’s controversy.
Medical preparations and use of the cannabis plant date back as early as 1835 in Western civilization. In fact, there were laws as early as 1619 which required farmers to grow the hemp plant on a portion of their land.
Can you believe that at one time in America people were thrown in jail for NOT growing marijuana?
That’s right. Between the years 1763 and 1767, people were thrown in jail for not growing hemp in times of shortage. At that time hemp was so valuable it could be used to pay taxes. Hemp was a critical crop for a multitude of purposes including production of rope and fabric, which were essential during wartime.
In 1906 the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, which became the foundation for what we now know as the FDA. It was not long after this that the country entered into the worst economic downturn and the government saw an opportunity to regulate the sale of cannabis to turn a profit.
Growing tensions in the southern states between migrant Mexican workers and underemployed Americans only made matters worse. The battle between small farmers and large farms who had the means to use migrant workers only fuelled growing animosity towards minorities.
When jobs and resources fell to the Great Depression, legislation was passed which made criminals out of these Mexican laborers who would commonly smoke the marijuana plant to unwind after long hours working the fields. By making cannabis illegal, Americans helped perpetuate the racist and derogatory term “loco weed”.
So what happened to all the hemp farming?
In around the same time, government began fear mongering the use of cannabis, one of the major investors in a newly developed timber industry also happened to own one of the largest chains of newspapers in the country.
William Randolf Hurst did not want an increased rise in hemp paper production and as a result jumped on the propaganda bandwagon, further perpetuating the war against cannabis and destroying the hemp farming industry.
To this day, the government and corporate America have vested interests (both financially and socially) in keeping cannabis criminal. Despite small steps towards opening it up for medical testing, attitudes are still against the potential healing powers of this plant that don’t involve pipes or papers.
How would pharmaceuticals make money if everyone could grow a cure in their backyard?