History of Cannabis

In the 17th century, the United States government encouraged people to propagate hemp. Benefits of the plant manifested through domestic products like clothing, bags, and shoes. Hemp was also used to make rope, and other working supplies. During the 19th century cannabis became popular in the medical community. According to a Marijuanna Timeline via PBS, it was even available for purchase in pharmacies.

In 1910 the Mexican Revolution yielded and inundation of immigrants from Mexico into America. Cannabis, was also a part of Mexican culture. Cannabis use was recreational for Mexicans. Except these immigrants called the plant by a different name, marihuana. We know today that cannabis, and marijuana are interchangeable names for the same plant. Media and politics took hold. Although marijuana was a plant that Americans knew well, it became a source of leverage for a negative image on Mexican immigrants.

Fast forward to 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act passed. This act set forth a rank for drugs based on how dangerous and addictive a substance may be. Schedule 1 was the highest rank. A mix of politics, fear, and lack of knowledge caused cannabis to be categorized as Schedule 1. It has remained there ever since. Legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational reasons continues to be an uphill battle.

Going into an election year it will continue to be a popular topic for voters to base candidate decisions on. (Although it should not be the only reason to choose a specific candidate.) It is important to remember that the fight for marijuana  legalization manifests at many levels. While we as a community may be making slow progress on the federal level, there are still the state, and local level to consider. Glacial movement on the federal level is also better than no movement at all, so it is still encouraged.

Talking to your government representatives is a great way to facilitate the legalization of marijuana . After all, America is a democracy. One voice has the power to catalyze positive momentum toward positive change. If you do not know who your representatives are on all three levels, have no fear. You can either head on over to https://www.usa.gov/elected-officialsor use Google to find out. USA.gov holds links that allow access to the names of your representatives. You can call, write, or talk to them in person. If you have no idea how to phrase what you want to say then you can look that up as well. It is also important to remember that contacting your government representative should not be a one time thing. Call, write, or talk to them in person until you are satisfied. They are YOUR elected officials after all. Their job is to represent you as a citizen of America. If you feel your voice, alone, is too small, then there are also organizations that you can join. I would recommend researching which organization fits your needs best before joining one. Together, we can help legalize marijuana  across the United States.