The Illegalization of Weed in America

Book - 2019
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"During the Spanish conquests Cortés introduced hemp farming as part of his violent colonial campaign. In secret, locals began cultivating the plant for consumption. It eventually made its way to the United States through the immigrant labor force where it was shared with black laborers. It doesn't take long for American lawmakers to decry cannabis as the vice of 'inferior races.' Enter an era of propaganda designed to feed a moral panic about the dangers of a plant that had been used by humanity for thousands of years. Cannabis was given a schedule I classification, which it shared with drugs like heroin. This opened the door for a so-called "war on drugs" that disproportionately targeted young black men, leaving hundreds of thousands in prison, many for minor infractions. With its roots in "reefer madness" and misleading studies into the effects of cannabis, America's complicated and racialized relationship with marijuana continues to this day"
Publisher: New York : First Second Books, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250154088
Characteristics: 244 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jul 03, 2019

This graphic novel covers the history of cannabis through the ages, about half the book focuses on cannabis's origins and cultivation and the final half focuses on the last ~100 years of America's changing attitudes, legislation, and the politics behind the War on Drugs. The graphic novel format lends a certain lightheartedness to the subject, and there is a definite bias towards the pro-legalization camp. However, it is an interesting look at the history of a plant that is almost ubiquitous, despite numerous attempts at outlawing it.


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