Marijuana The Plant Of Highness
Marijuana has been a hot topic for discussion for quite some time. Recent legalization in states such as Colorado and Washington has only fueled dialogue amongst those who feel passionately about the issue. Marijuana is the most popular and accessible illegal drug in the United States, and its history is woven in to the fabric of America just like the hemp seeds once grown for textile and other industrial purposes.
The burning question-no pun intended-for those who support marijuana use, whether for medicinal or recreational use, is how can a nation born on the foundations of democracy and freedom of expression be so restrictive when it comes to a plant? Initially, marijuana entered the United States via Mexican immigrants during the Twenties and rapidly became popular with the bohemian crowd and musicians.
The Great Depression and the anger associated with this type of destitution made marijuana and immigrants an easier target for public outrage and blame. In 1937 a governmental procedure gave the federal government control over the regulation of plants like Cannabis and further demonized marijuana through propaganda in the form of film and literature. The taboo linked to marijuana continued until the 1960’s, when students and hippies alike used and enjoyed smoking marijuana as a symbol of rebellion during the times of love-ins and large outdoor concerts.
Under these circumstances this type of exposure helped to increase the popularity of the drug and during this time support for and less stigma attached to marijuana was enjoyed. The opinions of Americans since then have been mixed, and the stronger the support of those who believe it should be legalized has grown, those who oppose any sort of legalization for the drug have responded in kind. This type of see-saw effect has been observed for the last thirty years, and the issue has also become very charged politically. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have thrown their hat in the ring in an effort to garner votes that may or may not have the interests of those concerned about marijuana at heart.
However, as much as marijuana has been pushed to the forefront of America’s political landscape, the regulation of marijuana has also created the problem of regulating synthetic substances masquerading as marijuana and the health dangers presented by herbal remedies being sold over the counter as chemical alternatives to a very dynamic natural plant.