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Marijuana Essay

4386 words - 18 pages

A thought that often crosses my mind, is why smoking weed is so taboo in our society. After all, numerous famous intellectuals support marijuana. Al Gore, known by millions as the leading figure in climate change awareness and environmental preservation, supports the legalization of Marijuana. Even the founding father of our nation George Washington, once said, "Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!" Marijuana is one of the safest medicinal substances on the planet and is supported by many celebrity role models. Famous actor Johnny Depp says, "I'm not a big pothead or anything like that, but weed is much, much less dangerous than alcohol." Other well-known supporters of marijuana include Snoop Dogg, all of the Marley family, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Michael Phelps, Chris Farley, Al Gore, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, John Adams, and JFK- just to mention a few. Many may not know this, but 11 our own countries presidents either grew, smoked, or supported the legalization of Marijuana. With the support of some of the greatest thinkers, world leaders, and role models of all time- it's amazing that marijuana is still somehow illegal. Common Misconceptions about marijuana are set about by high end government officials who think only of themselves and their own prosperity. For instance few people know the history of weed and the means by which it was criminalized.A lot of you have most likely seen the film 'Reefer Madness', the ridiculous propaganda set about by the U.S. government to discourage the use of marijuana. The movie debuted in 1936 making arbitrary claims, calling Cannabis "The devils weed", and stating that weed is more dangerous than both cocaine and opium. This was the outlook of our government at the turn of the century, even though pot was smoked as early as 2700 BC, in China. In 500 AD marijuana spread to Europe and Africa where it was cultivated and smoked for its medicinal values. By 1545, Marijuana had been introduced to the New World where it was grown as a cash crop along with tobacco and cotton. Sold in bars throughout the Americas, pot was seen as tobaccos cousin. It has been said that several of our founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington smoked weed out of water hookahs with Turkish emissaries shortly after the revolutionary war. After this experience both Franklin and Washington began to grow weed for themselves, being two of the 11 I had mentioned earlier. At the turn of the 20th century marijuana began to gain popularity and by the 1920's was the drug of choice for the American youth. Historians say that its popularity is what led to its prohibition; history itself tells a different story. Whenever an idea, substance, or social behavior, becomes popular, American companies are known to brand and market it for all it's worth. For example, punk rock which originally was a counterculture, was soon after advertised heavily through marketing and media and quickly assimilated...

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