How Marihuana got such a bad reputation


Prohibition: The action of forbidding something, especially by law. Also, something we all know, doesn’t usually work. Alright guys and gals get your Flux Capacitors ready and let’s take a brief trip back to 1937 were Marijuana Prohibition all began.

It all started when Harry J. Anslinger, formerly the head of the Prohibition Department until 1933, drafted the Marihuana Tax Act (H.R. 6385). A United States Federal Act that placed a ridiculously high tax on the sale of cannabis. Anslinger used many scare tactics to ensure this act would pass, saying things like, “Marijuana is a menace, you will lose your sanity, thus becoming a criminal.” He also tried to claim that killer, Victor Licata, violently killed his family while high on cannabis (this was proven wrong as no cannabis was found in his system.) Then, it was introduced to Congress by Robert L. Doughton (also known as Farmer Bob). The Bill was then passed and went into effect on October 1, 1937. Through the years, this act has been drafted and re-drafted, but, as we know today, the claims behind this bill have not held up (nice try Harry Anslinger!)

Let’s fast forward to the 1970s. A time of the Apollo 13 accident and the voting age was lowered to 18. Big things happened in the ‘70s. Alright, back to the topic at hand. In 1970, a man named Robert Randall (who is also known as The Father of the Medical Marijuana Movement), was arrested for cultivating cannabis. When he went to trial, he told them about the discovery he made using marijuana for medicinal reasons. It helped with the symptoms of his glaucoma. He went through a lot of testing to prove that no medication could help him. Luckily, his case was dismissed. But that’s not the crazy part. A petition was filed with the FDA and he became the first person to receive cannabis from the federal government in 1976. His supply was later cut off in 1978 but he wasn’t giving up that easily. In 1981, Randall and his wife Alice founded the ACT: Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, an organization that sought to legalize Medicinal Marijuana. On May 14, 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled controlling narcotics make no exceptions for therapeutic use of the “drug”.

Today, Marijuana has been proven again and again to be a great natural alternative to opiates. For many, it has been a life saver. I have seen firsthand how it has helped so many people both mentally and physically. No one has died from using marijuana. It has helped with seizures, depression and PTSD. Marijuana has lowered the opioid death rate by 21% and has helped opioid addicts to break their addiction. I think that alone shows how much good marijuana has been for many. I think with persistence, marijuana could someday be legalized for all on a federal level like it was for Robert Randall. Start with removing it from the Schedule 1 narcotic list.