The Truth About How Marijuana Came to Be Illegal

With progressions in marijuana legislation, the future seems extremely bright for a reality where common citizens don’t have to live in the shadows any longer. Since the early 20th century, marijuana has been made to cast a long, dark shadow over those who have any association with it. Many people are unaware at the origins of marijuana criminalization and how it came to be. In 1929, Harry Angslinger, had returned from his international work for more than a decade where he helped curtail the rising drug trade and global trafficking operations. In this time, he helped shape policy surrounding cannabis and other drugs. Some of this policy is still in place to this very day and helped construct the model for other nations’ illegal narcotics policy. Upon his return, Angslinger was appointed as commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and immediately got to work. With alcohol prohibition being an apparent failure and destined for repeal, Harry Angslinger saw an opportunity to combine the fear and ideals of a nation to help build the foundation for his vision. With racism still playing a large part in American culture, Angslinger used the notions of many to be the frontrunner in his attempt to demonize anything and everything surrounding marijuana. Aslinger parlayed racism and fear into a tightly wrapped package to deliver his propaganda to the public with the help of William Randolph Hearst. In a collection of files researching incidents related to minorities and marijuana, The Gore Files, some findings were detailed as so by Harry Angslinger: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negros,...