The Devil’s Harvest

explanatory Essay
2840 words
2840 words

Cannabis. It’s been called everything from “Weed from the Devil’s Garden” to “the happy little herb”. Cannabis, which is also called Marijuana, has a known history that dates back over 10,000 years. The oldest remnant of the industry of mankind is a little piece of hemp cloth/fabric that dates back to around 8,000 B.C. (website, HIA: Resources: Education: FAQs & Facts: Facts).

Cannabis was used by almost every ancient civilization for, but not limited to, ropes, clothing, medicine, and recreation. Marijuana has only been illegal for the past 73 years. The interesting thing about it’s illegality is the fact that Cannabis used to be very legal in the United States. Prior to 1937, cannabis was the largest agricultural crop in the United States. Hemp was, and still is, considered the most durable fiber on the face of the earth for it’s wide variety of uses. The first Marijuana law in the United States ordered farmers to grow it. During the years where slavery was prominent, cannabis was cultivated and produced by the slaves, but when slavery was abolished in 1865, the production of cannabis became difficult because efficient hemp processing machinery didn’t exist. Thus, it’s prominence in the agricultural economy dropped significantly. In the late 1920’s, a machine called the decorticator was invented. This machine was able to process hemp fibers efficiently and easily. At this time, cannabis started making its comeback as an agricultural phenomenon. Ropes, paper, clothes, medicines, and other textiles made from hemp textiles were just starting to be processed, and economists predicted that cannabis was a going to bring in billions of dollars in new revenue. A magazine called Popular Mechanics prepared an article about Cannabis call...

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© 1998 - 2008 / testimony to US Congress supporting Marihuana Tax Act, 1937.

Source 7. The First U.S. Marijuana Arrest (Ever): Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Copyright © 2010, Jamie Spencer, Attorney at Law

Source 8. 14 Legal Medical Marijuana States - Medical Marijuana -

©, a 501©(3)nonprofit, All Rights Reserved.

Source 9. Senators want to fight Mexican drug cartels’ expanding influence -

© 2009 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the history of cannabis, which is also called marijuana, dating back over 10,000 years. the oldest remnant of the industry of mankind is a piece of hemp cloth/fabric that dates back to around 8,000 b.c.
  • Explains that cannabis was used by almost every ancient civilization for ropes, clothing, medicine, and recreation. the first marijuana law in the united states ordered farmers to grow it.
  • Explains that infamous yellow-journalist william randolph hearst had invested millions of dollars into the timber industry for paper for his magazines.
  • Describes how hearst teamed up with harry j. anslinger to spark a nation-wide smear campaign against cannabis known as "reefer madness". the campaign depicted african-americans and mexican immigrants as beasts who, when and after smoking marijuana, would seek to rape white women.
  • States that the 1937 marihuana tax act outlawed the sale and/or possession of all cannabis items including marijuana, hemp, and cannabis medicines.
  • Opines that marijuana is the worst of all narcotics, far worse than the use of morphine or cocaine.
  • Explains that hemp was good again until world war ii, when the government released a short film called "hemp for victory" which projected the images of hemp being used for rope and other usable fibers for the war.
  • Explains that cannabis has been illegal in all 50 states besides the 14 states that allow medical marijuana. numerous studies and reports have been conducted since prohibition started, all of them agree that marijuana use should have no criminal penalty.
  • Explains that the dr. heath/tulane study in 1974, which concluded that marijuana consumption caused brain damage, has been debunked by many independent studies since.
  • Explains the origin of the marijuana subculture holiday, which dates back to the mid-60's. some users smoke marijuana the entire day with friends, some go to festivals and smoke out in the open.
  • Explains the "gateway theory", which states that marijuana leads the user to want to experience harder drugs like lsd, heroin, and cocaine.
  • Explains that marijuana treatment increases, but drug-testing also increases. when an employee fails a drug test by testing positive for thc, he/she is given the option of being arrested, getting fired, or going to treatment centers.
  • Explains that marijuana is not physically addictive, which means it does not make the user physically compelled to keep consuming it. the majority of people who have used marijuana do not become regular users.
  • Explains that marijuana dependence is relatively rare among marijuana users, compared to other drugs. less than 1% of americans smoke marijuana daily, and an even smaller minority develops dependence on it.
  • Explains that while marijuana is known to effect everyone differently, the usual experience from it is a euphoric, peaceful, and pacifistic feeling.
  • Explains that marijuana is consumed by smoking from a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette, glass or wooden pipes, baked goods, lolly pops, or tea.
  • Argues that marijuana is more potent today than the ‘gentle weed’ that the people of the 60's were smoking. potency data from the early 1980’s to present day show no increase in average thc content.
  • Argues that marijuana is more harmful to you than tobacco, and/or will cause lung disease. however, clinical studies suggest that habitual marijuana consumers have no increased risk of serious lung diseases.
  • Explains that marijuana prohibition has proven to be a complete and utter failure. the goal of prohibition is to reduce the usage and demand on whatever is being prohibited.
  • Explains that marijuana prohibition allows criminals and the black market to rise to power. mobsters like al capone became celebrities for their ties with the black market and mafia.
  • Explains that nearly half a million people die every year from tobacco, alcohol, 20,000 from legal drugs, 15,000 from illegal drugs and 2,000 from caffeine. it's clinically impossible to overdose on marijuana because it isn't toxic enough.
  • Opines that marijuana prohibition doesn't work and that it's time to stop giving the criminals all the money and regulate the market.
  • Cites two sources: william goodwin, hal marcovitz, thomson gale, the union, brett harvey, and adam scorgie.
  • Describes the resources available to the hemp industries association, including the harry j. anslinger quote with comments.
  • Cites austin criminal defense lawyer's article, the first u.s. marijuana arrest (ever), and, a 501(3)nonprofit.
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