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The Pot Head Essay

1235 words - 5 pages

The Pothead The media over the last Seventy plus years has discriminated and lied about the infamous pothead. There are many stereotypes that misrepresent potheads as a whole. Since marijuana is not legal, there is not a strong voice to diminish these lies.Pot first hit the scene in the 1920's during "The Great Experiment". It had been used for centuries before that for medicine, leisure and clothes. During the thirties, the first US drug czar, Harry Anslinger developed the first war on drugs. He reported that marijuana was a dangerous drug that would destroy our youth.The government and health organizations fought marijuana use with three strategies. First they used silence, believing if children didn't hear about marijuana they wouldn't try it. In schools and families, it was stressed that you were not supposed to talk about it. The second thing they did was to exaggerate every thing about marijuana use. The third thing was label marijuana a gateway drug, making it seem more dangerous.The myths and stereotypes of marijuana have found its way into movies over the years. In the thirties "Reefer Madness" was a prime example of how exaggerated things became. In 1982 "Fast times at Ridgemont high" shows a high school pothead as a lazy failure. The 2001 movie "Blow" represents the idea behind marijuana being a gateway drug.In "Reefer Madness" it shows a man who is addicted to marijuana, the first of many lies. It is a documented fact that marijuana is not addictive. For something to be addictive you must have physical withdrawal symptoms. There are no physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop using marijuana. The dare program considers it addictive because it is considered "socially addictive." This is a stretch of an argument to make because so many things we do are socially addictive. Anything done repetitively in a social environment is considered socially addictive (such as team sports, or video games).They then show this addictive man going psychotic, killing some one for "the munchies." Studies done in the US in the last thirty years have shown no proof that marijuana causes insanity. In many studies, like the one researched in "Cannabis and Schizophrenia", it is found that people who are diagnosed with mental problems had them well before they started using weed. That book concluded that marijuana did not cause mental problems, but people with mental problems were more apt to toke up.Violence also seems to find the same coalition. In 1937, Harry Anslinger was quoted in the "American Magazine" for warning readers about the "many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity" that marijuana "causes each year." The key word he used was causes. About thirty five years later the Shafer commission reviewed the evidence on marijuana and crime and stated: Some users commit crimes more frequently than non-users not because they use marijuana but because they happen to be the kinds of people who...

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