I have been puzzling over whether creating legislation, to outlaw something using its; foreign ‘slang name’ is actually legitimate or is it in fact; totally FLAWED (thereby making the law equally VOID) ?
There have been various laws in place to control the manufacture, supply & even use of ‘drugs’ for at least a century.. BUT the current global restrictions on CANNABIS appear to have stemmed from the USA ‘Marihuana Tax Act 1937’ ! The fact that they enacted a piece of legislation using the foreign slang name : ‘Marihuana’ (or Marijuana, its original spelling) seems particularly strange. I read that when the legal hearings were occurring to ram this TAX through the USA congress/senate.. they used the word exclusively & it has been widely alleged that this was done to mislead everyone about which actual drug was being referred to. (many people had heard the ‘Reefer Madness horror stories’ about ‘Marihuana’/marijuana.. but most apparently did NOT know it was Cannabis, they were referring to.) According to the transcripts, a representative on the AMA (American medical association) raised this point & was given assurances that the widely used drug CANNABIS would not be affected by the legislation (WRONG) & a $1/year tax was all that would be levied. BUT if you read the actual ‘tax act’.. it is full of other hurdles to jump through & its true colours are pointed out in section 12 :
‘Any person who is convicted in violation of any provision of the act, shall be fined not more than $2000 or imprisoned for not more than FIVE YEARS, or BOTH, in the discretion of the court’.
Even today this would be considered a substantial fine & 5 years jail for not paying a MINOR tax ($1/year) seems extremely draconian, if not totally out of proportion with the ‘offence’ ! The terms of the tax act led many to just accept ‘prohibition by stealth’.
The person who spear-headed the ‘tax act’ (H. Anslinger, commissioner of narcotics) then went on to do likewise with the UN convention 1961 that echoes similar rules. This now paints the picture of the global ‘war on drugs’ with CANNABIS at the centre..
BUT again I ask the question.. is the whole ‘War on Drugs’ based on LIES & MISINFORMATION ?
Is the name ‘Marihuana’ (or Marijuana) legally acceptable, for of a plant used for thousands of years.. with its own perfectly good title: Cannabis Sativa.. I’m no ‘legal eagle’ BUT I know BULLSHIT when I step in it or smell it !