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Cannabis and Racism: What Did Racism Have to do with Marijuana Prohibition and is Cannabis Racism Real Nowadays

Even now, when cannabis legalization is sweeping the globe, the antiquated, unflattering stigma associated with marijuana usage persists. But how did a beautiful, innocuous plant with so many implications ranging from commercial, economic, and ecological benefits to medicinal and spiritual ones become the number one adversary of our modern society?

While we do not want to slip into any pro- or anti-marijuana propaganda, there is substantial evidence that marijuana prohibition is profoundly founded in racism.

You could be thinking to yourself, “What an uncomfortable combo of cannabis and racism.” And it’s an uncomfortable, perverse couple because, as every cannabis aficionado knows, pot culture is all about appreciating variety. It’s about acknowledging that every individual has the sacred right to follow their highest calling, be true to their authentic self, be free to express their views and identity in whatever manner they see fit, and as long as it doesn’t damage others.

In this post, we’ll go into the relationship between marijuana prohibition and racism. We’ll also take an unexpected detour by debating if cannabis racism exists today.

Cannabis Prohibition: A Brutal Violation of People’s Sacred Right to Freedom

Let us fast forward to the year 2019. Homo sapiens has entered an era of never-before-seen, extraordinary advancements in technology, mass communications, and, despite this, scientific discoveries that have irrevocably altered the path of history. The desire for ultimate freedom in expressing ourselves is a hallmark of life in the twenty-first century. However, are we indeed as free and enlightened as we assume we are, given the polarization of public opinion on an innocent plant that has been demonstrated to have vital health benefits?

What makes it so challenging to accept fresh ideas and ultimately see the truth about cannabis?

As spiritual teacher Osho once wonderfully pointed out, the mind may be a lovely servant while simultaneously being a deadly master. So, what is the reality about cannabis, you may wonder? The fact is that we’ve been fed delicious falsehoods for decades since the drug war began. Isn’t it odd that, after years of combating narcotics, drug trafficking continues to thrive rather than decline? It’s neither productive nor cost-efficient to stay locked in this vicious cycle, yet we keep doing what we’ve always done, which doesn’t provide the desired outcomes.

Indeed, we have progressed so far in our lack of knowledge of dealing with drug trafficking. A non-toxic plant that has been used and valued for thousands of years by the world’s most potent civilizations is now included among dangerous narcotics like heroin.

Why is it that a person is allowed to cultivate tomatoes, sage, or any other plant they consider helpful, yet cultivating cannabis became illegal and is still illegal in many nations throughout the world?

Have you considered the large number of innocent persons whose legal, sacred rights to freedom of choice have been ruthlessly curtailed by incarceration and the imposition of exorbitant fees on their hard-earned money just for having or producing cannabis? According to a Human Rights Watch study, African-Americans are likely to be prosecuted and arrested for small amounts of marijuana intended for personal use even though marijuana smoking rates among African-Americans and whites in the United States are nearly identical.

We can send cutting-edge technology equipment to explore the Moon, even preparing to conquer Mars. Yet, individuals are still at risk of being imprisoned for producing a wonderfully scented, attractive plant. Doesn’t this sound like a case of lack of common sense? As César Chávez (a civil rights leader who dedicated his life to improving the working conditions of farmworkers) wisely stated, history will judge governments, societies, and, yes, “their institutions,” not by how well they served the powerful and wealthy. But by how well they responded to the needs of the helpless and poor.

Indeed, history will determine whether the war on marijuana was justified or not, and with this in mind, it is evident that cannabis prohibition will be remembered as one of the most heinous assaults on people’s precious right to freedom in years to come.

Thankfully, it appears that humanity has finally realized that cannabis is not a public enemy but rather a general medicine. Even the War on Drugs has begun to take on a new hue. Many people nowadays aren’t afraid to discuss the War on Drugs by sharing far more open-minded points of view and issues with a healthy dose of humor. So it appears that it’s only a matter of time before we figure out better, more effective ways of assisting society in recovering from the lies that have been woven into our collective consciousness for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=HP_aGGgR4Vs

Video by: College Humor – The Roast of Weed
Source: youtube.com

Learn from History to Avoid Future Mistakes: The Truth about Cannabis and Racism

An indisputable fact: racism is what significantly contributed to making weed illegal.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that recreational marijuana smoking became common in the United States. The United States government adopted drastic steps in an attempt to stem the rise of marijuana use. Thus, pot became prohibited in the 1930s following a series of meticulously planned anti-marijuana campaigns in which politicians used the power of the media to engage in racial language.

But how did the government wind up utilizing racist propaganda to convince people that marijuana is a major societal threat?

The Rise of Anti-Marijuana Campaigns

Let’s travel back in time to the 1800s. In the 1800s, no laws prohibited the sale or possession of cannabis in the United States. Hemp was widely employed in the manufacture of paper, rope, and clothing. Cannabis was, nevertheless, utilized for medical purposes (although this practice was not widely spread at that time).

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that an influx of Mexican immigrants began to increase. Mexican immigrants were just searching for a means to flee the country’s political upheaval. However, when Mexican immigrants arrived in the United States, they carried a piece of their culture and customs with them. As a result, the Mexicans took the practice of recreational marijuana smoking with them. And, believe it or not, it was a lot of fun.

Marijuana, the Spanish name for cannabis, was also gaining popularity.

Surprisingly, “marijuana” was spelled “marihuana” at the time.

Except for the government, which saw a significant threat in permitting people to consume marijuana, no one appeared to think it was a big concern. But why is that? Well, it seems that there is no logical answer to this issue.

In any case, the authorities managed to persuade people that marijuana use is a significant threat to society’s well-being.

As a result, the anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness was created in 1936. Suppose you see the Reefer Madness movie today. In that case, you will almost certainly have a range of conflicting emotions, ranging from barely being able to keep from laughing out loud to trying not to cry as you observe the relentless falsehoods about how marijuana usage is meant to harm individuals.

In the film Reefer Madness, marijuana is portrayed as a fatal weapon, with teens who consume it for the first time experiencing a series of terrifying occurrences, beginning with hallucinations and culminating in attempted rape and murder

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=zhQlcMHhF3w

Video by: Inter-Pathé – Reefer Madness (1936)
Source: youtube.com

Labeling marijuana as a rape or murder inducer today not only sounds ludicrous, but it is also obscene. Because, as cannabis lovers are well aware, marijuana usage induces a calm, serene frame of mind in which the last thing you’d want to do is injure another human being. Furthermore, while cannabis may be used as an aphrodisiac in small amounts, it usually causes a decrease in sexual desire rather than an increase.

Meanwhile, immediately after the anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness began to have the desired effects, mass media campaigns began to characterize pot as a gateway drug — yet another absurd, irrational assertion that has now been proven to be completely false. Marijuana, when used correctly, can assist individuals in quitting addictions to alcohol, painkillers, nicotine, and, more hazardous, life-threatening narcotics like heroin and methamphetamine.

The route to marijuana prohibition has already been built so successfully that the Marijuana Tax Act was approved in 1937, just a year after the publication of the Reefer Madness film and the rising grip of the media denouncing marijuana as a gateway drug. The man behind the Marijuana Tax Act, Harry Anslinger, was the main driver of the dread that gripped society about the repercussions of marijuana usage. Furthermore, Harry Anslinger became the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics during the prohibition era. As a result, anti-marijuana efforts based on xenophobia and bigotry spiraled out of hand.

The Reality of Truth: Marijuana and Racism

Without Anslinger’s terrible approach of portraying cannabis as the evil brought by immigrants, what he managed to promote in terms of the violence-inducing effects of marijuana smoking could never have been conceivable.

Anslinger portrayed immigrants as a gang of terrible criminals who had come to steal America’s bright future and corrupt America’s youngsters by introducing them to one of the most wicked “drugs” — cannabis.

Anslinger established a strong link between recently arriving Mexican immigrants and marijuana, claiming that these undesired, unpleasant individuals are responsible for marijuana’s popularity among Americans.

Anslinger, on the other hand, did not stop there.

Worse, he not only made Hispanics appear like they were part of the marijuana crisis, but he also fueled bigotry by accusing black people of being part of the problem as well. Black people, according to Anslinger, have forgotten their position in society. Yes, we recognize that this seems entirely outdated, since who defines where individuals belong in a community based on their skin color?

Anyway, Anslinger had zero remorse.

He even went so far as to say that jazz is bad music since it was formed while under the influence of marijuana. Now, all anti-marijuana, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination initiatives may appear to some as nothing more than a government attempt to stop cannabis from spreading before authorities may ultimately discover a method to control cannabis usage and distribution for the good of society. However, data show that such an argument is completely and utterly incorrect.

Because of the discriminatory and racist anti-marijuana messaging, black people are three times more likely than white people to be arrested for breaching the new drug laws barely a year after the Marijuana Tax Act was established. Furthermore, Mexicans were nine times as likely as whites to be detained for the same offense.

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=W5K_ogM-LqI

Video by: Weird History – Harry Anslinger | The Man Responsible for Marijuana’s Prohibition
Source: youtube.com

Cannabis Racism in the 21st Century: Unexpected Points of View

Now, you might wonder how someone could have gotten away with using something as heinous as racism to promote anti-marijuana efforts in the past.

But, come to think of it, is anything a more effective weapon for instilling specific ideals in society than fear?

After all, the 1950s provided unprecedented freedom to the United States. At the time, the older generations were the first to experience a vast societal shift that presented their children with opportunities they had never had before, such as vehicles.

Adults were the most vulnerable segment in the 1930s–60s culture, as they were prepared to believe in practically any concept that the government would depict solely for the sake of their children’s well-being. And if marijuana was to represent even the tiniest threat to the bright future of US teens, the majority of parents were prepared to go to any length to protect their children, even if it meant succumbing to bigotry and misinformation. Given the previous factors, it should be no surprise that the US government passed the Bogs Act in 1952. With the passage of the Boggs Act, the mandatory sentence for drug crimes became a reality. The first offense for possession carried a fine of up to $2000 and a penalty of 2 to 5 years in prison.

Fortunately, we are no longer locked in anti-marijuana, racist views from the twentieth century. But, in the twenty-first century, have things indeed improved? Perhaps, but only in part. According to research by Human Rights Watch, black people continue to be victims of the marijuana stigma since they are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession and production, as we previously mentioned in this post.

If we dare to understand racism symbolically, mainly if we use the term cannabis racism, we might uncover an unexpected point of view on the subject. Because the fact is that racism isn’t only focused on skin color. Discrimination is at the foundation of racism. Any group of people discriminated against because other groups believe they are more righteous or superior to them is still considered racist.

With this in mind, many modern-day cannabis users — whether they use marijuana to treat a medical condition or for recreational purposes – are victims of cannabis racism.

To put it another way, despite the fast-expanding public understanding and acceptance of cannabis. Many individuals are still obliged to keep their cannabis usage hidden because they risk losing their jobs, relationships, or just being stigmatized as inferior to non-cannabis users if they don’t. And this is not only wrong, but it is also unsightly, and it is ultimately unfortunate.

It’s as if your eating preferences may determine whether or not you are deserving of respect. Should someone who loves to smoke tobacco be regarded as inferior, and more crucially, should this be the justification for someone’s qualifications as a professional in their field of expertise? Because this is precisely how cannabis users are handled in many circumstances. Unfortunately, we like to assume that racism has begun to go away, but it appears that we are still on the same path.

Governments now continue to spread racist propaganda, portraying immigration as a threat to civilization. However, here is where cannabis connoisseurs may help. Weed culture teaches us to value variety, respect one another, and be a part of a worldwide community connected by a desire for world peace and love among individuals of all ages, colors, and backgrounds because neither of these identities defines a person’s actual self.

What is the Best Way to Put a Stop to Marijuana Racism Forever

Every user may do their part to eradicate the marijuana stitch, including racism. This may be accomplished by raising awareness about all things cannabis-related. This is feasible if you retain an open, curious mind and never stop researching.

Despite being cannabis connoisseurs, enthusiasts, and advocates, there is a fine line to walk, as we must remember to respect each individual’s particular perspective on marijuana usage. We must not make non-cannabis users feel uncomfortable in the presence of cannabis users. Just as we expect to be accepted and respected as intellectual human beings who are allowed to medicate and entertain responsibly, we must respect the wishes of people who detest or are uncomfortable with cannabis consumption.

Ultimately, there is no better way to confront the marijuana stigma which used to and is still primarily enhanced by racist, xenophobic agendas than growing your cannabis plants, as long as you have the choice to do so. It has never been so easy to lay your hands on high-quality marijuana seeds. What’s more, never before did we have such a wide choice on picking the most suitable strains based on our personal needs and preferences. Whether you find joy in consuming Indica strains, Sativa strains, hybrid strains, or high CBD strains – there is a little bit of everything for everyone out there. When it comes to beginners, well-balanced CBD to THC strains such as Cannatonic can be an excellent way to explore the whimsical world of cannabis.

When growing your cannabis, you are no longer part of the materialism-driven businesses and industries. Sure, it is excellent to know that you can legally purchase top-shelf buds at dispensaries. There is no sensation like delighting in the ritual of ingesting the juicy, organic, toxic-free buds you have grown yourself if you want to develop a deep, profound love and understanding of cannabis. Between men and plants, there is a mysterious relationship. This relationship has not only assisted humans in surviving and developing, but it has also taught our forefathers to value live nature for all of the benefits it gives. It is more necessary than ever before to restore Mother Nature’s equilibrium, and no one is too tiny to make a difference.

Cannabis and Racism: Final Food for Thought

We dare to call ourselves Homo Sapiens, but Homo sapiens means “wise men.” But are we that wise as to deserve to be called that way?

Marijuana prohibition efforts of the past should never be forgotten or overlooked because they serve as a reminder of mistakes that should never be repeated. Unfortunately, racism is not a thing of the past, even if cannabis racism is genuine in a metaphorical sense. But, working together, we can put an end to discrimination-based corruption. Everything is in your hands, mine, their hands, and our hands. Buddies, I wish you peace and love. Inhale the positive feelings, exhale the bad vibes, and never forget that we have the ability and obligation to restore humanity’s knowledge of an old plant that has served humankind in the most beneficial ways conceivable since time immemorial.