In the past few years, we have seen a trend towards the legalization of cannabis. Colorado, Alaska, Washington, California, and Oregon, have completely legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use. The passed legislation for Maine, Massachusetts ,and Nevada, has yet to go into effect. This is a great step forward for the legalization movement and for the cause of liberty. However, the fight is far from over; cannabis remains illegal at a federal level. The State still has the ability to arrest and imprison individuals, simply for smoking a plant.
A Very Brief History of Cannabis in the United States
Prior to 1906, cannabis was widely grown and used in the United States, with little regulation. It was commonly available in medications that one could buy from their local corner store. 1906 saw the passage of the “Pure Food And Drug Act”, which required the labeling of medicines and elixirs containing certain drugs, including cannabis. Several states later passed legislation restricting the sale of the substance to prescription use. It was not until the 1930’s, that the move towards an outright ban began. The end of the Mexican Revolution in the 1920’s, brought a large influx of Mexicans to the United States. It wasn’t long before racial tensions began to brew. Enter one Harry J. Anslinger. Anslinger was already well known for his work during Prohibition and was given a new job as the head of the Federal Bureau Of Narcotics in 1930. Seizing on the racial tensions of the time, Anslinger used the media to propagate sensational horror stories about cannabis and it’s alleged link to violence and degeneracy, especially among Mexicans, African Americans, and Asians. It wasn’t long before he swayed the public opinion of the drug, and in 1937, the “Marihuana Tax Act” was passed, effectively banning cannabis via an exorbitant excise tax. On October 27,1970; President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act into law, finally banning cannabis, along with many other drugs outright.
The War Continues
With cannabis remaining a Schedule 1 substance, anyone who uses it, (regardless of its legal status in their respective state), is, as far the Federal Government is concerned, a criminal. They can legally be kidnapped and caged, and placed alongside murderers, rapists, thieves, and child molesters. Recently, a law was passed that strips away the second amendment rights of those who hold a medical marijuana card. A man who has severe back pain, and treats the ailment with cannabis, is not allowed to purchase a firearm to defend himself and his family. Despite zero evidence of the drug leading to violence, despite no recorded deaths, using cannabis makes one a criminal. One must ask, if the act of using cannabis is a crime, then who is the victim? The answer is obvious to anyone with even a modicum of intellectual honesty; no one! By passing these laws, the Federal Government has declared that it owns your body. Your body belongs to the collective. You are not allowed to do with it as you please, to ingest whichever substance you choose. You are a slave. There is no greater offense to liberty than the idea that one does not own themselves. The time to take action is now. We, the people, can wait no longer. State by state legalization is not enough. We have to draw the line and demand our rightful individual liberty and self-ownership. Our freedom dies with every second we waste.