Originally posted by whiterose
So, while he took my statement as a joke, this is one of those cases which makes me wonder why cannabis, of all the medicinal substancs in existance, was singled out to be made illegal.
Excuse the cut and paste...
"The cannabis from certain strains of hemp has many beneficial properties that can be utilized in the servitude of medicine. When ingested in small quantities, it serves as, to name a few; a relaxant, broncho-dilator, appetite stimulant, mild aphrodisiac, mood enhancer, analgesic, anti-convulsant and the more recently discovered benefits of reducing intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma suffers with no adverse side effects. Many of these properties were utilized in the preparations of many of the large pharmaceutical companies of the time. The fact that the active ingredient was readily available on the street at a fraction of the price gave these companies a vested interest in banning this plant. In making medicaments that were difficult for the consumer to create or obtain gave the industry a monopoly on what was to become a billion dollar closed industry of the future. The term drugs was shifted from being something that cured to the insidious term that it stands for today; crime, corruption, death.
The Pharmaceutical industry was not the only sector with gains to be had from the removal of cannabis off our cultural landscape. Large business' of the time also had good reason to see its destruction.
William Hearst, owner of a large conglomerate of Newspapers and Pine forest pulp plantations could see the threat that hemp pulp, made from the discarded hurds of the plant, had on his income. His publications often carried ridiculous, impossible stories of the "killer weed". It was in fact this man that coined the derogatory term "Marijuana" to link hemp to the Mexicans which he portrayed as lazy and promiscuous, with nothing to do but smoke "Loco weed". He was an open racist.
On the 12th of August 1930, The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was formed to enforce laws against what was deemed illicit substances. The man appointed as the first commissioner to the FBN was Harry Anslinger. Anslinger was appointed by his Uncle, Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury, who was also owner of Gulf Oil. Mellons vested interests in petrochemical products saw him finance the chemical company Du Pont. DuPont created hydrocarbon based products such as Dacron, Nylon, cellophane and various other plastics.
Between 1935 and 1937, Du Pont lobbied the Chief counsel of the Treasury Department, Herman Oliphant, to prohibit Cannabis in all its forms. On August, 2 1937, a Bill was passed which burdened hemp farmers with a tax that made the farming of hemp unprofitable. The Marijuana tax act was formed and the hemp industry died.
Hemp lost its name, and was forgotten, replaced only by cotton, Nylon and "societies most dangerous enemy, Marijuana". It wasn't until 1942 and the onset of the second world war that hemp was once again brought back into service for the benefit of all. With the imported hemp supply being cut off by the Japanese, and all forms of textile being drawn into the service of protecting the allies, "Marijuana" was promoted as "hemp, the patriotic crop" by the Government which requested thirty six thousand acres of hemp seed to be sown. Once Victory was established, hemp was again deemed evil and lost to industry. " http://www.hempmarket.com.au/ecart/hemp_history.asp?c=212650