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Cannabis prohibition

Recently, cannabis laws have been going through various changes in many countries, which has led to an increasing number of states legalizing this plant for medical or even recreational uses. There were times, though, when it was the other way around. Cannabis prohibition was born not a long time ago due to a number of factors and personal interests of powerful people and groups.

When we look at the chronological overview of the most important historical facts that led to the prohibition and also the most important participants, it is hardly believe some of the reasons that led to it…


Interconnection of the U.S. and Mexico

On a global scale, it was the United States who played the most important role. At the turn of the 20th century, western states faced inflow of Mexican immigrants. Mexicans caused a strong race tension and after they have been hired as a cheap work force in agriculture, they have become a thorn in the side of small-scale farmers as well. After the Great Depression, it got even more tense.


Way to prohibition

Allegedly, it was Mexican immigrants, who taught Americans to smoke cannabis. It was then associated with something inappropriate or even illegal and that led to the first prohibition law (Poison Act) issued in 1913 in California. This regulation prohibited the use of cannabis and all the products made of it.

Even before federal cannabis prohibition, the US tried to forbid alcohol, but its prohibition ended in 1933. Cannabis had been already illegal in most states in 1933, but there still was not a federal prohibition law. The “father of cannabis prohibition” Harry J. Anslinger was a long-time chief of Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN later renamed DEA) and pushed the Marijuana Tax Act through Congress. This law became a cornerstone of national as well as international prohibition of cannabis.

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