The Legalization Of Marijuana Illegal Essay

1325 Words Nov 30th, 2016 6 Pages
There is a reason it was made illegal in the first place.
In the argument over the legalization of marijuana it is important to look at how marijuana became illegal in the first place. The cannabis plant was cultivated for both industrial and medicinal uses in the United States since the 1600’s. Cannabis was given little attention by any governing body in the United States until the state of California decided to regulate the sale and possession of marijuana in 1913(Houser and Robert E. Rosacker). It took another two decades before the federal government decided to get involved. In 1936 Harry Anslinger, the commissioner of the federal bureau of narcotics, led a campaign against marijuana in order to oppose a reorganization act that would have stripped him of his position. This campaign, in which he attributed heinously violent crimes to the smoking of marijuana, spread quickly among the media and resulted in a craze throughout the entire country that would later be deemed Reefer Madness (Stringer and Maggard). As a result of the commotion caused by reefer madness, the Federal government enacted The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The act criminalized the possession of marijuana without a federal tax stamp. However the stamp was not made available for issue by the government, essentially making marijuana illegal. In the 1970 the federal government renewed its interest in marijuana, but this time with more vigor. Instead of tax laws, stricter criminal statutes such as The…

Related Documents