The Insane History Of Marijuana Prohibition In America

If you're not convinced that marijuana should be legalized, take a moment and ask yourself why it was prohibited in the first place. For no good reason, according to Adam Conover of CollegeHumor. In the comedy site's marijuana-themed episode of Adam Ruins Everything takes some pot shots at America's War on Drugs.

As activists have been saying for years, cannabis was prohibited in America for no good reason. The prohibition campaign was fuelled by lies, hysteria and anti-Mexican sentiments. (That's why we call the plant "marijuana" instead of "cannabis" nowadays.) And it turns out that racism can be a powerful political tool in American culture. Marijuana has been illegal in the U.S. since the 1930s - even though scientists have said the substance is no more dangerous than alcohol since the 1940s. 

But the War on Drugs didn't begin until the 1970s, when President Richard Nixon felt compelled to suppress marijuana use because he was concerned for the welfare of America's youth. Just kidding. As Conover notes, the drug was was actually a case of judicial gerrymandering. Basically, Nixon couldn't simply lock up political opponents like hippies and blacks for being hippies and blacks. So his administration turned America's drug laws into a weapon against those communities.

And that's only the beginning of the irrational, unjust and unscientific history of American prohibition. Check out the video for more.


After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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