Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Tuesday, 6 March 2007

The History of Marijuana Prohibition in Canada: Racism and Narcotic Drug Laws

Does anyone know why marijuana is illegal in Canada? It has been shown in study after study to be one of the least harmful narcotics known to man, less addictive then even coffee. So why is it illegal. Some would say it is because the cigarette and alcohol companies have huge lobby groups to keep it so, well that might be part of the reason. Others say it is because it has always been and therefor should remain so, this isn't true.

Cannabis has been in Canada since 1609 and for just shy of three hundred years there was no real issue with it, until 1907. Anyone care to guess what happened in 1907? Maybe it was a rash of crimes due to marijuana users, or some odd illness blamed on the use of pot? Nope a riot. So one naturally assumes at this point that the riot was carried out by pot users. No it was not, it was according to some a labour riot, others call it a race riot.

1907 marked the end of the building of the national railway and the gold out west had dried up. The Chinese had been imported to do these tasks were now without work, Vancouver found itself with a booming population of Chinese who were willing to work for very cheap wages. British Colombian organized labour movements saw these workers as a direct risk to the rest of the population wages. A head tax on the Chinese was in place and a general hatred of Chinese was seen throughout Vancouver. This tension exploded in various labour riots, and several shops owned by Chinese immigrants were destroyed, including several opium dens, which at the time were legal. The owners of these dens demanded reparations from the government, so the government sent the Minister of Labour, the right honorable William Lyon MacKenzie King to investigate. Instead of reparations the Chinese found that their drug of choice opium was made illegal. It was an attempt to get rid of the Chinese from Canada.

So what does this have to do with marijuana? Well American's followed suit, trying to make it uncomfortable for certain minority groups to remain in America by restricting their recreational drug of choice. By the time William Lyon MacKenzie King became Prime Minister in the 1920's several states had already banned cannabis. In steps Ms. Emily Murphy.

Emily Murphy is one of the famous five. The famous five were five women who fought long and hard for the recognition of women as persons under the British North America Act. A brave and well fought battle, all five of these women are heroes without a doubt. However this is not the only thing Emily Murphy did, she went on to become Canada's first female judge, and she is primarily responsible for the cannabis prohibition in Canada.

What almost every history book leaves out when speaking of Emily Murphy is her ties to white supremacy groups. She was a racist, and she saw the effect the opium prohibition, and the newer cannabis prohibition in the USA, and decided to write some articles on the evils of marijuana without any scientific facts, no studies were conducted, it was pure opinion. Here is a sample of one of the articles which eventually went on to form the book "The Black Candle":

"The [marijuana] addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under the influence, are immune to pain, and could be severely injured without having any realization to their condition. While in this condition they becoming [sic] raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility."
No evidence was presented in this book, no studies were done to research it. This book was published just to sway public opinion against marijuana. And it worked, in 1923 marijuana was made illegal under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act. Since then there have been stiffer and stiffer penalties for use and sale of marijuana, and little to no research to back up the penalties.

2 comments:

  1. I have a friend on Yuwie who had these thoughts about "the drug war":
    For now:
    1) the 'drug war' was never intended to be won, it is an industry in itself.
    2) demonising cannabis automatically demonises hemp. Hemp is an extremely useful plant and is able to be used in 100's of ways - many of which would upset big pharma and other chemical companies who would not be able to slap a patent on it, unlike many of their processes and products which hemp is easily capable of replacing. Yep money again
    3) it has always been used as a tool of racist oppression
    4) the 1.3 million statistic speaks for itself
    5) it's also another dead end in the fear maze (explain later)
    6) no other plant has had so much BS and misinformation written about it

    BTW California already has legal marijuana pharmacies which the Obama administration is now pledging not to allow the DEA to keep raiding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Obama ordered the DEA not to raid medical dispensaries as long as they comply with state law, however we have already seen this promise bent to the breaking point. Recently the DEA raided one such dispensary based on some lapsed taxes and put them up on drug charges as well. It is obvious from this raid that the DEA is only paying lip service to Obama's order.

    I am really interested in reading about your fear maze comment.

    ReplyDelete

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