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Anthony Lee - Jan 01 2020

Cannabis: A Wrongful Conviction

MIf we take a look at the history of the cannabis plant, we find out that for the last 3,000 years at least, people have consumed hemp seeds and other hemp derivatives. We also find out that longer than this, hemp was being used for manufacturing clothes, ropes, and such. This means farming cannabis was crucial to civilization. 

However, today the cannabis business is a bit of a controversy, with countries still deciding if legalizing it or not!

Many countries ban cannabis products at large, even the ones that do not contain the psychoactive compound THC. The countries that do allow cannabis for sale are skeptical. There are too many regulations governing how to buy cannabis and how to grow a cannabis plant. 

A lot of this confusion stems from the fact that most countries do not recognize the many types of cannabis that exist. To them, it must all be “MARIJUANA”. That simply is not the case. Long-term effects of cannabis have largely been positive, and so, we must ask, “Why the debate? Why the bans?”

Here’s why!

As early as the 1800s, the world was not against the use of cannabis, and their sales were not banned either. The US and EU were rather encouraging hemp farmers to make up for the sail requirements as sails were made up of hemp cloth. Soldiers and sailors, alike, would dress in hemp textile, and not just that, doctors were beginning to hush any claims that all “cannabis” was a drug. Doctors and artists alike fashioned the use of hemp in medicine. Reports suggest that in the late 18th century, it was being administered by Swiss and English doctors, both working independently, to prevent inflammation. 

This makes it clear, people loved hemp. So, what changed? Insecurities!

In the early 1900s, Mexican immigrants had to leave Mexico and find a new home in the US. This was triggered by violence and general disturbances in the polity of Mexico.

As is with any crowd, culture isn’t left behind when they move. Mexicans brought with them food, language, and smokes to the USA. This was perhaps the first documented mass use of Marihuana, a Spanish word for cannabis.

The US masses were looking for cheaper drugs to indulge themselves in some recreation. That’s how “Marihuana” with an “H” came into their lives. The US is also where Marihuana became Marijuana, a beautiful collaboration of two cultures, American and Hispanic.

But, not everyone viewed it as such, and obviously, the far-right had issues.

It blew over into a massive fast adaptation and the white supremacists hated it.

Not only did they feel overpowered, they also felt insecure.

This is when newspapers began publishing sensationalism for stories and “Marijuana – the Mexican Trouble” was news for the first time, despite having been used since the first civilizations back in India and China.

Propaganda movies also followed. In 1936, a propaganda movie, titled “Reefers Madness” came out and it hit the screens like a trainwreck in the US. The movie showed teenagers smoking up and lowering their inhibitions for serious crimes because of the weed influence. Now, of course, there are studies that prove cannabis doesn’t produce such results, but, in the 1900s beginning, it was all “evil play”.

However, this was not an off-case. Such propaganda items were common in the WW2 aftermath. 

The media propaganda shaped the public narrative over marijuana, calling it an “escape”. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed on cannabis sales. Some believe the act was passed to favor industrialists who had begun experimenting with plastic as a raw material for textile, but many believe capitalism wasn’t such a big problem, in this case, it was racism that started the mess.

A man called Harry Anslinger was named the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ Commissioner and like they call Thomas Edison the father of electricity, this man could be named the father of Prohibitionism for Cannabis.

In his era, many rules were passed to “sober” the “white mass”. Harry Anslinger strongly hated marijuana for being a violence-inducing drug, which, by the way, has no backing in science today or had even in those years, but he didn’t stop the farce yet, he made public statements referring to black and Hispanic people’s role in this “Drug burst” and called them satanic peddlers. He would say the drug was a gateway to Satan, which gave the power to People of Colour (POC), and that white person couldn’t allow that. Harry made it a point to use the word “marijuana” whenever he referred to cannabis.

This would naturally lead the unsuspecting and struggling masses (because of the great financial depression of the 20s) to believe that immigrants were bad and so was cannabis. Not having the means to research back then, a foul narrative was concocted and those who fled their countries in the West Indies and the Latin zones were again marginalized and hit.

A year later from the pursuant law, black people had been arrested 3 times more than white people and for Hispanics, it was 90% more likely to be charged than white people, for any crime which would later be justified as “cannabis possession”, even when they couldn’t prove any physical evidence that the guilty even had it, to begin with.

The criminalization finally went full throttle with the Boggs Act in 1952, which made it “okay” to sentence cannabis “abusers” with a minimum jail time of 2 years.

In the late 60s, weed gained some following as more white youngsters related with the culture and supported exchanges, making for an era of music, parties, love, and fun. The weed flower continues to symbolize a hippie community. However, the US authorities had no love for the “herb”.

As of 1970, the then president of the United States, Nixon, called it a Schedule-I narcotics/ drug, which it continues to be even today. Given its politically and geographically important cultural pedestal, other western countries mimicked the US cruelty on cannabis.

A lot of countries today don’t recognize why these laws have existed in the first place and they now permit free use. Europe too has majorly allowed for experimentation with hemp seeds and CBD oil, which makes it legal to use, however up to a widely accepted 0.3% THC limit for most countries.

As the prohibitionism era comes to an end for Hemp, what stands ahead is the age of exploration and experimentation.

Cannabis is safe to use, and if you are looking to buy cannabis oil that makes use of 0% THC, but 100% CBD oil, head here to the Fiorhe collection. We make use of the best home-grown Sativa L plant and produce hemp oil 12% with zero rough chemicals, and a tint of lemon and rosehip contents to improve your intake.

CHIARA SPARTA’

Chiara Sparta’ is the founder and CEO of Fiorhe. She graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Catania in Italy where she continued to do her Master's in Clinical Research. It was during this time that she found her undying passion for the cannabis plant and was amazed by its healing properties. She dedicated her research to formulating a safe and exquisite CBD product and expanded that into a variety of other beneficial hemp products. This blog is a medium for Chiara to share the findings of her research so you can understand and experience the healing power of this plant.

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