What are drugs? “They’re bad for people’s health.” “They make people lose their minds.” People consider all drugs to be dangerous and say that they can lead to mental health problems or other issues. (health talk) Professionally, drugs are a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or introduced into the body. We can all say our opinion on drugs but theoretically do we know why or why not they are made illegal?
Drugs have been around the world for quite a while. For example one of the main drugs known out there is Marijuana. It was brought to the New World in 1545 by the Spanish then later, the English introduced it into Jamestown in 1611, by this time it became a major commercial crop alongside tobacco and was grown as a source of fiber. By 1890, hemp, the cannabis plant, had already been replaced by cotton as a major cash crop in southern states, but by the 1920’s marijuana began to get well known. Marijuana by this time was tolerated by the authorities because it was not illegal and it was not considered a bad influence nor a social threat. The legalization of marijuana has been a whole rollercoaster. Some patent medicines during this time contained marijuana, but it was a small percentage compared to the number of medications containing opium or cocaine. The real question now is, when did drug laws initiate?
In the late 1960s drugs became well known by white, middle class, Americans. Marijuana was not illegal right away when it was discovered. The first anti-marijuana laws, were in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, they were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. According to research today, black and and latino communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices. Hispanics and blacks are the most known for trafficking illegal substances such as cocaine, marijuana and other narcotic chemicals. “The incidence of antisocial behavior among young black males continues to be extraordinarily high. Apart from white racial attitudes, this is the biggest problem black Americans face, and in part it helps shape white racial attitudes.”, Michael Javen Fortner stated. Since black people were doing all these illegal crimes, it made the white Americans look high class. Although some don’t have an option on creating these crimes, they are forced by the situations they are in. For instance all the racism our world has created makes it hard for foreign people to find a decent job, therefore they are forced to sell or distribute these drugs.
Not all drugs out there are illegal. For example alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and acetaminophen are all allowed legal in the United States. Interesting how cigarettes remain legal while weed is banned, even if both are smoked the same way. As cigarette smoking claims more than 5 million lives around the world annually, one might rightly wonder why that is the case. As crazy as it sounds, there are illegal drugs that are legal only if it has a medical use. For instance, Codeine is considered a painkiller available without a prescription to buy over the counter in chemists and pharmacies.
Prior to 1937, cannabis had enjoyed a 5000 year history as a therapeutic agent across many cultures. After decades of criminal prohibition the country of illegal drugs, violent traffickers still endanger life in our cities, tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana still cross our borders unimpeded. Back in the old days, younger children were forced to independant themselves faster. They had to get a job and provide to their families with whatever they were able to. You think it was easy to find a job at 10 years of age or younger? Most definitely not. So what would they do then? In their minds it was easier to take the wrong path in their lives. Selling drugs was one of the easiest things to do. It was fast and you would get good money from it. From there it went expanding worldwide, which is exactly why now they’re restricted. Also from this people get an addiction to drugs. They start consuming them on a daily basis. Most people think drugs are just bad but don’t know the real reason why they’re bad. But the worst part is that most drugs affect the brain’s ‘reward circuit’, causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This can lead to very serious complications
In 1996, California became the first state to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes. According to research, marijuana is the most common illegal drug used widely around the world. They were even making petroleum jelly with cannabis in them because it was able to cure inflamed areas around the body.’ Research says that those who have trouble sleeping, edibles and heavy indica buds would always help them “relax”.
In conclusion, drug laws were not always illegal. Until it got to the point where people were constantly consuming them and it started getting out of control. “In Texas, marijuana is not a controlled substance; its possession and consumptions are not covered by the Texas Controlled Substances Act.” (Drug Policy Alliance) If you are found with marijuana in Texas there are many consequences you need to face. A first time marijuana offender caught with one simple possession can face; conviction on a Class B misdemeanor charge, up to 180 days in jail, and a fine of up to $200. If a person gets caught with a possession of more than four ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana they can be charged with; a conviction on a state jail felony charge, incarceration in state jail for 180 days or up to two years, and a fine of up to $10,000. As you can see the more substance you get caught with, the more consequences you face.
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