Explain this to me…

Why is cannabis illegal?

Go on. What’s the first answer that comes to mind?

It’s a drug?

Yes, you’re right. But that’s not an answer. There are lots of drugs that are legal.

It’s dangerous?

Maybe, maybe not. The jury is still out. But compared to alcohol, definitely not.

The centre for disease and control in the US (CDC) reports that nearly 88,000 binge drinking deaths occur each year.

There are almost ZERO deaths reported from marijuana use.

It causes social harm?

Again, apparently not. Men who use marijuana are statistically the least likely to be physically abusive in a relationship.

And you don’t usually see two stoners going for it toe-to-toe in a pub car park after one too many!

Thinking about all this made me want to know more…

So, I delved in to try to understand why cannabis was illegal in the first place. Hopefully I’d perhaps start to understand why the recent moves towards legalisation were such a big deal.

And let me tell you, what I found truly shocked me…

Now I’ll be the first to admit, when I heard about the recent moves to legalise marijuana use, I was a bit sceptical.

The mainstream media had conditioned me enough to instinctively pass this off as a fad. And I’ve only taken a passing interest in ‘pot stocks’.

But luckily, I’m self-aware to know that the mainstream can be very wrong on many things.

At best they’re misguided or lazy, at worst they’re complicit with powerful interests.

I’ve seen it first-hand with their ridiculous cryptocurrency stories. So, I took a deep breath and put aside my preconceptions.

But even I was shocked to learn why we live in a world where alcohol is ‘normal’ and marijuana is not.

To understand why this is reality, you have to go back 90 years. As per usual, it’s a story of power and corruption that’s been perpetuated through the sands of time.

The military-industrial complex once again…

Throughout the ages, the benefits of the naturally occurring marijuana plant — remember: it’s only a plant — have been known to many cultures.

Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, who was regarded as the ‘father of Chinese medicine’, mentions it first in around 2800 BC.

The Greeks and Romans recorded use of cannabis as a therapeutic drug. Hindus use cannabis in religious rituals to appease the gods and in turn reduce fevers.

And even in the early 1900s cannabis was a key ingredient in many legal drugs.

Then in the 1930s, two men in positions of power changed all that. They were Harry Anslinger, Director of the FBI narcotics division and William Randolph Hearst, a publishing and timber mogul.

In 1936, they conspired to release a propaganda film called ‘Reefer Madness’.

The film documented the downfall of some fictional teenagers who smoked cannabis and fell into a life of crime. It demonised the drug and played on America’s racist attitudes.

They even referred to it by its Mexican name — marijuana rather than cannabis — in an effort to associate it with the mistrusted Mexicans.

So why were these two men so against it?

Well funnily enough, Hearst, the big-time timber industrialist, was losing market share to Mexicans who were growing and selling hemp timber products.

He used his publishing muscle to taint public perception of the growing ‘Mexican’ threat. Sound familiar? [openx slug=inpost]

Hearst wasn’t the only industrialist against the hemp industry. The Du Pont chemical company wanted to stamp out hemp as it started selling alternatives fibres like nylon that they dominated in.

In short, the FBI were in cahoots with big business.

A theme that was as familiar then as it is now.

Anslinger did his part and put in place The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. It banned the use and sale of marijuana.

This legislation spread to most modern Western countries so there was little or no modern research into the hundreds of natural compounds, including 104 cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant.

Until now…

The times they are a-changin’

You see, marijuana never really left us.

From the hippies in the 60s to the skater boys of the 90s, marijuana use has thrived in teen subcultures regardless. It’s been a peaceful symbol of resistance against those in power since day dot.

And let’s face it, once you know the history, you can see how ridiculous this situation is. A social construct put in place by powerful vested interests.

Do we really live in a world where ‘normal’ is defined by whoever stands to benefit? Depressingly it appears so. It’s a kind of mass cognitive dissonance I’m afraid.

When it comes to marijuana, it’s time to rip off the blindfolds and put aside the unfounded prejudices.

After all, as we’re just rediscovering, the naturally occurring cannabis plant has a range of amazing medical properties.

My eyes are well and truly open now…

I can see now that the pot stock boom is no passing fad. It’s actually a game changer.

So, if like me, you were a bit hesitant to look into this area, I think it’s time to recognise your false prejudices, and instead start finding out the real story happening here.

Good investing,

Ryan Dinse