Why was Cannabis made illegal?
The magazine Popular Mechanics published an article in Feb. 1938, “New Billion Dollar Crop”, which outlined the incredible value of cannabis grown worldwide. It stated, in part, “Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products and the woody remains after the fiber has been removed contains more than 77% cellulose which can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.”
Too bad William R. Hearst bought up millions of acres of forests to clearcut them for his newspaper empire and Lammot Dupont invested millions in petroleum patents, from paints to cellophane. Pharmaceutical companies wanted exclusive rights and, with oil companies, which were in direct competition with cannabis for fuel as it was cleaner and cheaper, they lobbied Congress to make Marijuana, (the Mexican nickname) illegal, and they did so that same year! Prohibition of cannabis had begun. The story was written in 1937 when Cannabis was still legal.
Not everyone thought it should be illegal. The mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia, commissioned 31 independent scientists and, five years later, in 1944, the La Guardia Commission Report became the first known study of cannabis. The scientists concluded that marijuana does not cause aggressive or anti-social behaviour and does not alter the fundamental aspects of personality.
In 1961, the US bullied 150 countries into signing an agreement to eradicate cannabis.
Due to the ongoing influence of these wealthy companies, most people are still in denial of the useful aspects of cannabis for its medical, textile, fuel, and countless other applications, as well as recreational.
My wife and I just concluded a trip to the western United States and enjoyed purchasing cannabis in California, Oregon and Washington, legally. We encountered two armed security guards at our first stop. They scanned us for weapons and hand residue! I felt secure in the store; it was professional, clean, bright, deli style with five menu stations. Blackboards filled the wall with the various strains listed by price, ranging from $5 - $20 per gram. Some were “On Sale”. They sold bud, oils, edibles and creams. It felt so civilized, especially after enduring decades of feeling like an outcast for smoking pot. October 17th can’t come soon enough!
Joseph Golding, Aylmer