The amount of misinformation surrounding marijuana is incredible. From its purported addictive properties to its alleged capacity to lower intelligence, weed has been on the receiving end of unwarranted criticism for almost a century. It is remarkable that in the technological age, we are still effectively in the Dark Ages when it comes to our attitude toward Mary Jane.
Even the Gateway Drug theory, which has been debunked time and again, resurfaces in every anti-weed rant. Here are the facts: Only 1 in every 104 marijuana users move on to cocaine, and even fewer move on to heroin. Most of the time, the prohibition of weed causes the problem; someone buys weed from a dealer and is offered heroin for example.
Marijuana is NOT illegal because it is harmful or addictive, it is illegal because it represents a clear and present danger to Big Pharma and perhaps even the tobacco industry. Its illegality was based on lies, immorality, and racism, and it is very sad indeed that in this day and age, such propaganda still wins out.
Even to this day, anti-marijuana lobbyists fill the public’s minds with lies because they know if the truth ever came out, cannabis would be legalized in the morning. Here are five things THEY NEVER want you to learn about weed.
People Love It
Not only is marijuana the most popular ‘illicit’ substance in the United States, but it is also the most popular in the entire world! In fact, it is the third most popular recreational drug, legal or illegal, in America behind alcohol (used by 61% of adults) and tobacco (31% of adults). Statistics from 2015 suggest that almost 18% of American adults consume weed, which is almost six times more people than the deadly (and bizarrely legal) Vicodin.
If you were to listen to anti-cannabis lobbyists, you would believe that the majority of Americans hate the stuff. In reality, though, over 60% of us believe marijuana should be legalized across the country. There are many reasons for the popularity of weed: relatively low price, it helps you relax, and there is no danger of overdose. It is remarkable that a naturally grown plant is illegal, while killer lab-created opioids that have been shown to kill over 100 people per day are widely available. But that’s Profit Motive for you.
It Wasn’t Made Illegal for the Sake of Public Safety
You have our permission to call ‘BS’ on anyone who suggests weed is banned to protect the general public. If that were true, then why are opioids, alcohol, and tobacco ALL legal when they cause FAR more damage than marijuana? One popular theory, which makes a lot of sense, involves William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper tycoon who was one of the richest men in America and was basically the early 20th century’s version of Rupert Murdoch.
Among other things, Hearst owned an enormous number of trees to supply paper, and the popularity of weed at the time threatened his investment, as hemp could potentially replace conventional paper and even synthetic materials such as nylon. The DuPont empire was also threatened so it combined its considerable resources with Hearst and together, they joined forces with Harry Jacob Anslinger, who was the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Together, the group used all manner of propaganda tricks to turn the public against marijuana.
Hearst used his media empire to print fake stories of white youths who tried cannabis and ruined their lives, while the movie Reefer Madness is famous for depicting marijuana users as criminals who lost their minds and went on killing sprees. One issue with the theory is that the amount of hemp grown in America at that time wasn’t enough to put a big dent in Hearst’s empire, but perhaps he was concerned enough to ensure it never got that far?
Marijuana Prohibition Was Based on Plain Ol’ Racism
Up until the beginning of the 20th century, what little was written about cannabis was positive. In 1876, in fact, the New York Times wrote that weed was a useful cure for dropsy. Things began to change in the early 1900s, though, when a large number of Mexican immigrants came to the United States. One of the customs they took with them was recreational weed smoking and ‘marijuana,’ which was misspelled as ‘marihuana’ by American media (perhaps deliberately) was the Spanish word for the plant.
Both Anslinger and Hearst were racists and the media mogul seized on the opportunity to spread his bile across the country. As part of the propaganda war against cannabis, Hearst and Anslinger leveraged prejudice against Mexican-Americans and associated marijuana as the plant of ‘them’. Anslinger once wrote: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, results from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others.”
Despite a complete lack of evidence, Anslinger and Hearst managed to convince large sections of the public that weed was a violence-inducing drug and connected it to minorities. Anslinger even suggested that cannabis made black people ‘forget their place in society’. The racist narrative surrounding the plant continues to this day as ethnic minorities are still disproportionally punished for possession of the drug.
Weed is Safe, Tobacco Kills You… In More Ways Than One. Yet Only One of Them Receives Government Subsidies
To date, there hasn’t been a single overdose death involving marijuana and all evidence shows that it doesn’t cause black lung, cancer or any other kind of lung disease. Tobacco on the other hand, causes more annual deaths than murder, AIDS, heroin, crack, car accidents, cocaine, fire, and alcohol combined! According to the CDC, tobacco causes 480,000 deaths per year, and 16 million Americans live with an illness caused by smoking. Surely, such a toxic substance should be illegal… right?
Wrong! Not only is tobacco legal and easy to purchase, but the industry also receives government subsidies! If it wasn’t harmful enough already, tobacco crops are grown with radioactive fertilizer. THEY haven’t come up with any real proof that weed is bad for you, yet it remains illegal. Meanwhile, ‘legal’ drugs such as alcohol, caffeine, the crap they put in our food, and painkillers kill tens of thousands of people a year.
Let us reiterate what we said about weed above: In over 12,000 years of use around the world, there has NEVER been a death attributed to the plant. You could theoretically overdose, but it would require smoking at least 20,000 average-sized joints in about 15 minutes!
Weed Is Not Addictive
Along with the fact that it DOES have medicinal value, the fact that marijuana is not addictive is a huge kick in the teeth for those who are against it. Remember, the basis for its Schedule I classification is that it has no medicinal value and is highly addictive. Since both statements are factually incorrect, it makes you wonder why marijuana is still on the Controlled Substances Act at all, let alone in its most restricted category.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is guilty of pretty dodgy behavior to ensure the myth that weed is addictive persists. This is a time-honored tradition and you’ll see it on a host of anti-cannabis sites. They spout statistics without showing any meaning behind the data whatsoever.
The DEA is the king of the addiction lie. In the United States, there are more kids in addiction clinics for weed than for every other substance combined. Wow! This means marijuana IS addictive! Not quite. Here’s the thing: When a teenager is caught using marijuana, he is taken to court and given the choice of going to an addiction clinic or facing a severe penalty. Which one do you think he/she is going to choose?
Now, the DEA can classify these victims as ‘addicts’ when in reality, only about 3% of people in these centers go voluntarily. When medical researchers are asked to name the most addictive drugs, they tend to rate them in the following order:
Basically, weed is less addictive than at least three legal substances and frankly, you could add sugar to that list too. In other words, quit weed and you’re unlikely to experience the awful withdrawal symptoms associated with other drugs.