To answer this question, we must first look at why Marijuana was made illegal in the first place.
Marijuana or Cannabis is a natural plant which can affect our nervous systems and generate feelings of pleasure. It also has several medicinal properties and was used as a key ingredient by Indian sages in their practice of Ayurveda. Marijuana though termed to be a psychoactive drug is in reality just another natural extract of the cannabis plant that is grown just like the other plants in soil with water and sunlight. It is the dried flowers of this particular plant that is further crushed and then smoked or consumed in different forms like hashish, Charas, hemp, bhang and so on. The consumption of marijuana leads to a change in perception and makes a person attentive and alert. The effects of marijuana start within minutes of its use and last for good six to seven hours. It also helps in curing extreme medical cases of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma and so on.
How Marijuana entered United Stated is an interesting story. Its use was popularized by colored immigrants from Mexico and other countries. Thus, while the plant may have had several benefits and might have been appreciated by certain US citizens, it was probably not accepted by many others. I am compelled here to write that their grievance and issues might have been more against the users than the actual product. Regardless, the war against Marijuana – now termed as a drug – commenced. This fight occurred in the 1910s. This battle continued through the years to the 21st century with the sentences only getting worse and spreading across the world. Even today the high rates of illegal smoking of marijuana and possession of marijuana are seen everywhere in America.
Another not so well known reason behind the banning of Marijuana is the pharmaceutical industry. Marijuana was a cheaper replacement for many of the wildly expensive drugs being promoted by some of the big shots in the United States. Thus, when these immigrants from Mexico started promoting its usage in their country, they decided to not support it and took out the big guns, and lo behold, suddenly Marijuana became a ‘drug.’ For general information, a drug is a chemical compound produced synthetically in labs. Coke and heroin are drugs. Marijuana is actually another name for a very famous and I must say, very organic plant – Cannabis. How is Marijuana part of this group? It is simple marketing. Once Marijuana had been included in the same category as coke and heroine, red flags were raised everywhere.
In 1961, U.N. under the pressure of the big shots categorized it as a synthetic drug. India refused to sign this charter. Marijuana, a natural herb was legal in India till 1985. Till 1985, this plant was used in India to make ayurvedic medicines. Indian religious texts, Atharva Veda says that Marijuana is one of the five sacred plants. It is considered to be a source of happiness. However, the pressure from the U.S. made the supposed ‘drug’ illegal in the country. And while it is still illegal there, it has been made legal for medicinal purposes in 23 states of the U.S.A. and recreational purposes in 4 states of U.S.A. In fact, it is legal in 40 different countries.
To sum up the above, a simple plant, considered to be sacred in a country like India which is the mother of Ayurvedic or natural, organic medicine got categorized in the same group as synthetic drugs like Coke and Heroine. While the banners all spoke of the ill effects of this plant and posted that as the primary reason for this ban, the real reason might have been something else altogether. We can’t say for sure whether it was racism against the first users of the plant or a profit motive of drug makers. What we can be sure of is that it was unfair. That is a why a county like India which was becoming a significant source of revenue for those big pharmaceutical companies was forced to abandon its own ancestral teachings and abandon Marijuana. And while it has now been legalized as a medicinal drug in parts of U.S. like California, Colorado, etc. it continues to be banned in several other parts of the world including India. The consequences of getting caught with Marijuana in the latter places leads to heavy imprisonment even though it is not a crime in many places.
What is Marijuana actually? And what are its ill effects? It is not safe to drive under its influence, and one may even do oneself harm. What is morphine? Should one drive under while under its influence? Can one harm oneself while under its influence? Can morphine have a long-term negative impact? Morphine is created in chemical labs synthetically. Marijuana grows naturally from the earth. I rest my case.