Marijuana “Tool of Self-Oppression”

Written By: Emmanuel M3KY Lopez

Most commonly known as Marijuana, Cannabis is a world renowned plant which is recognized in our modern society is a menace in the streets running rampant destroying communities. A plant of many names including hemp, bud, ganja, chronic, and weed among others. The perception people have about this plant is due to propaganda propagated by the media and government to oppress and make it a tool of self-oppression. Our minds are much like computer except we are organic. Once turned on or born it has to be programmed, that is why we have Head Start programs and pre-school. Since that age children are programmed with the perception that this plant is an evil drug and we must stay away from it, yet the use of it is more common than ever. So what’s Marijuana and why does it have a negative reputation? This plant is a plant of course, unprocessed and natural. It has chemical components which are not man-made or synthetic that gives users a feeling of euphoria. However, different growing techniques have shown to increase it’s chemical components but still remains completely natural. This plant has been around just as long as humanity if not longer. Centuries ago, this plant was used industrially to make rope, paper, canvases, and clothes. America’s very first Commander in Chief George Washington owned a hemp farm that was tended to by African slaves because no matter how prestigious tobacco was, it was not very profitable and his attempts at farming it was unsuccessful. Marijuana was very common mainly because these farms were needed in order to make rope for naval fleets meaning it was completely legal. The very first state to outlaw this plant was Texas. While working in the fields, Mexican agricultural workers smoked this plant to ease stress and make their work feel less daunting. Farm owners noticed the abnormal behavior of their workers and noticed it was as a result of Marijuana. They didn’t want to see their workers happy doing such a stressful job because if they were happy it meant they must not be doing their work or slacking, right? Eventually the plant that Mexicans had named Marijuana, Spanish for Mary Jane, became illegal and those caught with it were arrested. Instead of calling it Hemp or Cannabis, government officials used the

name Marijuana to keep spreading a negative image about the plant and convince other states to outlaw the plant as well. Throughout history, tyrants have oppressed and used fear to make the populace work hard much like the Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors, British Monarchs, and American Presidents. This allowed them to run a machine that was constantly working to produce progress that only benefit those running the machine not the ones driving it, which are the workers. Without fear the populace has been known to live more laid back and peacefully, tyrants saw that as completely inefficient for the machine. In America we had a movement that tried to live peacefully with a laid back livelihood, but were constantly being targeted and attacked, it was the Hippy Movement in the 1960’s. Outlawing Marijuana meant the oppression of those driving the machine, the worker/proletariat, who wanted to work in a less stressful environment and be comfortable doing what they do. Unfortunately, oppression is not the only point I am trying to prove, even if it is a big issue. The name of this article is “Marijuana: Tool of Self-Oppression.” It is important to know the history of Marijuana in order to comprehend exactly how it has been used to create a tool of self-oppression because it all starts and originates from the outlaw of it to oppress. Oppression is nothing more than psychological enslavement because our mind is what tell us we are stressed, depressed, or infuriated. Our mind is also where faith, hope, knowledge, and our believes originate from. Depending on how our minds were programmed is what determines how we will interact with out environment and like stated in the beginning of the article, childhood is when the programming begins. As long as we are psychologically enslaved by an oligarchy, we will never be free. Children follow orders without question because it is in our nature to follow the authoritarian figure in our lives whether it be parents, teachers, or government officials like police officers. Many adults today are much like children and can only function properly with an authoritarian figure in their lives, reason why a lot of grown men and women remain with their parents until old age. It all starts with the yearly visit by police officers to schools to talk about drugs and rewarding participants with red ribbons that say “Drug-Free.” The schools who are visited yearly by these police officers and have this “Drug-Free Zone” are generally schools in low-income communities that are destitute and have the highest crime rates as a

result of drugs. Pushing this Drug-Free mentality has shown us that it failed much like trying to make young white teenage girls abstinent in the baby boomer era. During the 50’s while abstinence and sex education became mandatory in high schools, a big debate arose. Many believed that the youth should be taught about sex at a younger age because if they are a bit more mature and are confronted in a sexual encounter they wouldn’t be knowledgeable about sex and it’s consequences resulting in teenage pregnancy. Others disputed that the younger the children are when they are taught about sex, the younger they would be when they would have sex. In this age suburbia was a way of life trying to be enforced upon middle-class white America with Christian family values, that is why the sexual education issue became such a big controversy and remained that way for many years to come. In the mid-80’s to early 90’s when the Drug-Free mentality was being brought to 6 year olds in schools, was there ever a debate like that? The difference between with these two issues is two different class struggles. Middle Class white America in the 50’s wanted their children to live a life of “purity” and never thought their children or grand-children would ever fall into drugs because come on now they’re Christian and have real values and morals. As a result when drugs became an issue in their lives they were completely blind to it. For the lower class, everyday is a struggle and nothing ever comes easy, keeping a job becomes more of a priority than being involved in what the school system does so their voices are never heard. As a result the lower class became voiceless and the children lives were in full control of other authority figures. These authority figures were mainly descendants of the middle-class and couldn’t possibly understand the daily struggle of these kids and their families, that made them incompetent because they really couldn’t relate to these kids. Incompetence in authority has drastic consequences because problems are never solved just created much like the past 40 years of America’s wars (Vietnam and Iraq). If authority is incompetent what consequences does it have upon these “Drug-Free” schools and children? It is a lot like a South Park episode named “Mayor Boobage” I watched a few months back. The assistant principal was discussing the drug issue to the 4th grade class talking about the consequences, much like the lectures we get as children. Unfortunately, without realizing what he did, he taught the kids how to get high and resulted in one of the kids becoming addicted to

getting high with cat urine. Being a comedy show, cat urine was the joke but it did show an important issue we face in society. To tell you the truth I can not say if teaching 6 year olds about drugs is having a positive impact on the kids and there probably is no specific answer, but certainly it has not stopped kids from using drugs or even our society as a whole. War on Drugs? Complete failure because like I said, incompetent authoritarian figures in power has drastic consequences. Humans are curious beings and our curiosity is the reason our civilization is possible. Our curiosity makes us experiment and learn things first hand, that is why kids use drugs for the first time, to experience and learn for themselves. The youth of our day is one of our most open and curious generations, that is one of the reasons why drug use is increasing. You can complain, bitch, and moan about peer pressure and family values all you want but it will not solve anything. You can also be a moron and find simple excuses like you do for obesity and say it is hereditary but it will still not solve anything just waste money on pointless research and make people ignorant. Before an issue can be solved we must understand the problem more in depth. So what can actually be considered a drug? In these lectures in school you are taught about PCP, Heroin, Prescription Pills, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Crack, Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Ecstasy, and Marijuana because they are all considered drugs. In math when you collect data and there is data that stands way out of the average data it is considered an outlier. The word outlier derives from the word liar because the data is abnormally different it quite possibly is a lie. The data presented to kids on drugs there is an outlier, that being Marijuana. So is it abnormally different or a lie? First of all, all of these drugs other than Marijuana and mushrooms are either processed, synthetic, or man-made. Cocaine and Heroin do come from plants but the coca leaves and opium/poppy seeds are processed to make the drug pure and only have its chemical components losing its consideration as being a plant. Marijuana is the only thing in this group of drugs that remains plant life and still gets you high, with the exception of mushrooms because you should have some common sense to not eat something growing on fecal matter. Secondly, according to law enforcement officials I have spoken to, Marijuana usually is not even considered a narcotic. The reason NARCS go after people who

distribute it is because they are not going to be claiming taxes on their sales. According to many Republicans I know, state and federal income taxes are tools of enslavement. If you agree with them one way or another, then there is another reason why having Marijuana illegal is oppression. If you don’t comprehend what I am trying to say, Marijuana is not a drug but propagated as a drug in order to keep it illegal. Another thing about the drug lectures is that Marijuana is deemed as a gateway drug. Most people I know that started smoking Marijuana started smoking it because they were using other drugs like prescriptions or even a legal drug called tobacco. If NARCS don’t usually consider it a drug then how could it be deemed a gateway drug? A gateway drug is a drug that when used, you become addicted to it and opens a door or gate that leads to way to use other drugs with a more powerful effect on you. This pathway is a spiral staircase with one destination, that being down. Everyday is a constant cycle of continuity of finding drugs, using drugs, feeling like shit, search for a high, then another, and so on. Highly addictive drugs, which are the synthetic and man-made drugs are the gateway drugs, some of them even legal. For instance, prescription anti-depressant drugs. After walking in a downward spiral for so long your emotions are altered and a day without the drug will make the user feel like shit, stressed out, irritated, and even vulnerable to depression. Because of those feelings they search for another high. Antidepressants are no different because you are legally told by a professional and highly educated man to get doped up if you start feeling. This is part of my theory of self-oppression. Oppression usually is a result of abuse whether it be abuse of power or physically abusing someone to get them to do certain tasks which is slavery, however oppression is just “Free-Slavery.” Self-oppression is much the same except you are the oppressor and abusing yourself. Just about anything that brings physiological change can be considered self-oppression. Things that bring physiological change are things that people get addicted to like drugs, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, and even sex. If you haven’t noticed, the large majority of them are legal. Those who are addicted to sex the people usually were raped or sexually abused when they were kids. Finding multiple partners to engage in sexual activity with allows them to find comfort in sex to mask what happened to them as kids but are abusing themselves. The same goes for those who were emotionally

tormented and find comfort in eating food, the high they gain from eating food allows them to abuse their bodies. Marijuana has been turned into a tool of self-oppression over the years and it all starts with the law, but drug use starts with childhood. Today one of the things we hear about these issues is called teenage rebellion and psychologists spend years researching this meaningless topic. Parents usually notice this teenage rebellion long after they have started doing whatever it is they rebelled against which would usually be drug use and sex. The psychology of a child is social psychology because we are all products of our environment and society is the environment. Social psychology teaches us that we conform for many reasons whether it for reward (friendship/peer-pressure) or punishment which falls under the category of compliance, because of our idols and role-models or people that influence our lives which falls under the category of identification, and our values or believes we hold true to, which falls under the category of internalization. Each category plays a part in why we do certain things but teenage rebellion is rooted on how secure and comfortable a child feels doing something. Teenage rebellion starts in the preteen years when a child would be in his middle school years. That is when we they tend to have their first boyfriends or girlfriends, when they would smoke their first cigarette, and a lot of the time when they have sex and use drugs. I know because not too long ago I was that age and at that age we always fear getting caught and that is what held us back from doing certain things. Eventually they give in and conform to doing certain things usually starting with skipping class or school. If they aren’t caught the first time they will feel more secure doing it again and are more open to doing other things. In the average family parents are working while the kids are in school. While the parents are working there is no knowing if the kids are actually in school, they just suspect they will be so it becomes hard to know what their children are doing at that time. Years pass and the kids have already gotten used to behaving a certain way and it starts becoming more obvious. Teenage rebellion is not something that happens overnight if that is even what it should be called. There is no easy solution to it because 4 to 8 years can not be turned back or even fixed right away, it takes just as long as it did to happen than it did for it to get that bad. The worst thing that happens is that the kids are so comfortable and secure doing it now that

punishment will not do anything except make things worse because punishment would have only worked when it happened. In physics, one of the laws of motion states that an object that is motionless object will remain motionless unless an outside force is applied. The force we are talking about is punishment. Every hit we take being punish only pushes us more and more. Drug use already has people going in a downward spiral but when it comes to children we need to understand that as long as they are children they are not going in a downward spiral, instead they are at the edge of it. I believe parents should be allowed to punish their kids from time to time, but punishment doesn’t always work how we would like to. This “old-school” belief that punishment works makes problems even worse, it basically is providing more force on this object to move even faster. Punishing a child after they have been doing it for so long just provides the long-awaited force to make them fall off the edge and go into that downward spiral. Law enforcement has the word force in it and to punish is their job so instead of making things better they are making things worse. Childhood is much like a pinball machine. The machine has an objective and it is not always easy to play. Each game you play will be completely different because the outcomes always aren’t. Now the ball is a child, the bumpers are the parents, and every other obstacle in the machine is authority. The goal is to make the ball get a high score without falling into the hole and if it does you lose but so does the ball. It is the job of the parents, mother and father or left and right bumper, to keep their child from falling and they get three strikes. While some of the obstacles or authority figures bring promise, higher scores and bonuses, there are other authority figures that are there to push the ball so hard, make the ball bounce around so fast making it difficult for the parents to stop the ball from falling into the hole (jail or death). If we don’t play things right we will constantly be failing not only ourselves but our children and every generation to come. Another thing we have to realize is that the this is not a fucking game, we can not decide to just give up all of a sudden because we can’t bare with it anymore, if we do things will only get worse. For adults, punishment is no different than it is with children. Being punished with fines for Marijuana or even getting arrested for having it creates stress and anger. Experiencing it myself, whenever the police used to take away my weed I would become so stressed that I would want to smoke even more to calm me down

and if I did I would only be oppressing myself. People are more likely to want to do it more after being punished by the law because of Marijuana. That stress also puts people in a situation that they could eventually settle for something else just to get high. There is a gateway that Marijuana does have but it only relates to distribution. Selling Marijuana does create the pathway to sell other drugs. A large majority of people I know who sold drugs started selling them after selling Marijuana because it introduced them to dealing. Prohibition on something with lesser or equal affect on people than alcohol creates an endless cycle. Do we really need a St. Valentines type massacre for it to become legal? Now I do not support the legalization of it for personal use like alcohol, I support it because of the impact it can have on our environment and the medical world. Society as a whole can make the machine better there is so much that can be done. The first thing we must do liberate our minds, when we stop the psychological enslavement we will be able to truly live free without the oppression. Marijuana has more good than you can imagine and through the decriminalization of it, we will be able to stop it from being a tool of self-oppression. Although self-oppression will not completely disappear, we can make changes in society that will decrease the likeliness of it. Also I propose a radical idea for parents. Many Latino parents teach their children to be responsible drinkers when they are under the legal drinking age. The responsibility they teach decreases the chances of their children abusing alcohol that self-oppresses them. Since they have done it with their parents there really isn’t much need to go out and drink with people they barely know that can get them in trouble. Allowing them to do so is also a reward to do better in life because when it comes to drinking, sex, and smoking they are going to eventually do it no matter what. Why not the same thing with Marijuana? With Marijuana they are way more likely to fall into the wrong things and get them into so much trouble and being there with them when they smoke you can keep an eye out on them. Parents just have to learn to be responsible themselves.

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