And Along Came Mary...

And Along Came Mary...
Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2005 at 13:30:49 PT
By Randy Goins
Source: Houstonian Online 
Texas -- "Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations, space expands, time slows down, almost stands still. ... Fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions. ... Leading finally to acts of shocking violence. ... Ending often in incurable insanity."
So begins the 1936 film "Reefer Madness." This absurd depiction of the cannibus sativa, commonly known as marijuana, weed, pot, grass, wacky tobacky, reefer, ganja, sticky-icky, chronic, hemp, puff, smoke, dope, Mary Jane, dank, dro, herb, shwag, nugs, mota, trees, buddha, and endo, is quite laughable to most people with any form of common sense and logic.The movement to outlaw marijuana in the United States did not occur until after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Using a campaign of misinformation, marijuana was labeled as a drug that incited murderous rages and uncontrollable sexual urges. Anti-marijuana crusaders managed to get Congress on their side, who took action in 1937 with the Marijuana Tax Act, essentially making the drug illegal on a federal level. Despite efforts by the American Medical Association to point out that the case against marijuana was based on exaggerated horror stories as well as flat out lies, Congress passed the bill outlawing non-medical untaxed uses of marijuana.What were the motives behind outlawing a drug nowhere near as dangerous as other banned narcotics?One theory is racist motivations. Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, who is known to have hated Mexican immigrants, used yellow journalism to demonize the plant in his newspapers with lurid stories of black and Mexican men smoking marijuana and raping white women. In the northeast, pot smoking was attributed to black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene. When whites became interested in jazz, it was suddenly a problem.Marijuana wasn't made criminal because minorities seemed to enjoy it but because "innocent" whites could be in harm's way because it.Another theory is that the prohibition of alcohol had just been lifted. As long as another "evil drug" is kept illegal, in the eyes of Puritanical, prohibitionist society, the American government is upholding a sense of morality.Alcohol producers not wanting competition may have been also contributed to the ban. Why would anyone want to drink something that makes your stomach feel like it was used to clean a pool the night before when you can smoke a joint? Wake up with a hangover or feel fresh as a daisy the next say... decisions, decisions.Or maybe America just hates fun. Whatever the reasons for the outlaw, the real travesty of the marijuana ban is the campaign of lies and false propaganda that followed.The mythology of marijuana will be discussed in the next installment of this series, plus reasons supporting the legalization of such an innocent little plant.Note: The Independent Student Newspaper of Sam Houston State University.Source: Houstonian Online (TX)Author: Randy GoinsPublished: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 Copyright: 2005 College Publisher Inc.Website: -- Cannabis Archives
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