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Andrew Aguilar English 1302February 28, 2011 Why isnt Marijuana legal? For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. Its not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that its been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. The first law about marijuana or hemp was enacted in James Colony, Virginia in 1619. This was a law enforcing farmers to grow Indian hempseed, during times of shortage. If you were caught not doing so you could be jailed. Hemp was such a critical crop at the time especially because it served so many purposes such as seeds, food, paper, plastic, fuels and the list goes on. If marijuana served such a positive motive for America then why did it change from being legal to illegal? If it wasnt for racism, protection of corporate profits, yellow journalism, corrupt legislators, and miss leading information then marijuana would still be legal. Throughout the history of marijuana there have always been remarks relating towards racism. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became a crucial part of the music scene. In 1937 a statement was made to congress by Anslinger Negro entertainers with their jazz and swing music are declared an outgrowth of marijuana use which possesses white women to tap their feet. Harry J. Anslinger worked with Bureau of Narcotics and took advantage of his power. Anslinger was a single-minded man that used racism and violence to draw Americans to help the problem he wanted to create. Anslinger continued spreading the problem he wanted to create by connecting with, William Randolf Hearst, who was an owner of a huge newspaper chain. Anslinger knew he could convince Hearst to help him because there were four reasons it would be positive for

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Hearst. First off, Hearst hated Mexicans. Secondly, he had already invested in timber industry. Thirdly he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, which is why he hated Mexicans. Lastly because telling lies about Mexicans and there marijuana dangers that lead to violence headlines sold papers, which would make him rich. If marijuana is such a terrible addictive drug, then why do they have it legalized in certain states for medical use? The benefits of medical marijuana, over power the drugs that are being made now and days. The drugs in this time period always have tons of side effects and are very expensive. Marijuana on other hand is cheap to grow, has fewer side effects and can be a controlled. This quote from Joycelyn Elders MD, who was a former US Surgeon General "The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day." If a former US Surgeon General sees nothing wrong with the drug then why doesnt America take advantage of positive ness of the drug. There are currently 16 states in America that have already legalized medical marijuana and havent had a problem other than the federal government trying to take over. In certain states even though it is legalized for medical use there are still so many benefits. These state laws specify that marijuana can be used to treat diseases such as arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic nervous system disorders, chronic pain, Crohn's disease, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders, and help patients cope with severe migraines, severe nausea, and the side effects of chemotherapy. The requirements for patients and doctors to be protected by these laws vary from state to state.

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In conclusion If America wasnt miss lead with false information then there would be no reason why marijuana should be illegal. Anslinger played a big role during this time period and took advantage of his power just for him to gain publicity and expand people minds in the wrong direction. Yellow journalism also was very miss leading seeing how people with wrong motives can convince people to think what Anslinger wanted them to think. After doing time and time of research I came to a conclusion that America is winning as long as they control you and your money.