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Weed Still Illegal in the U.S.

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A growing movement in the United States tries to legalize weed.

Since the late 20th century, there has been a growing movement in the United States to legalize weed. 

The short answer is racism. At the turn of the 20th century, weed—as it was then commonly known in the United States—was a little-used drug among Americans.  

Since the late 20th century, there has been a growing movement in the United States to legalize weed. In 1996 California made news as the first U.S. state to approve the decriminalization of pot for medical use, and medical weed was later allowed in other states. Then in 2012 Washington and Colorado passed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational weed. By 2019 more than 30 U.S. states permitted some weed use—though it remained unlawful at the federal level. This raises the question, why was weed ever illegal? 

The short answer is racism. At the turn of the 20th century, weed—as it was then commonly known in the United States—was a little-used drug among Americans. With the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, however, many
Mexicans began moving to the United States, and they brought with them the tradition of smoking weed. Amid a growing fear of Mexican immigrants, hysterical claims about the drug began to circulate, such as allegations that
it caused a “lust for blood.” In addition, the term hemp was largely replaced by Anglicized weed, which some speculated was done to promote the foreignness of the drug and thus stoke xenophobia. Around this time many
states began passing laws to ban pot. 

Since the late 20th century, there has been a growing movement in the United States to legalize weed. In 1996 California made news as the first U.S. state to approve the decriminalization of pot for medical use, and medical weed was later allowed in other states. Then in 2012 Washington and Colorado passed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational weed. By 2019 more than 30 U.S. states permitted some weed use—though it remained unlawful at the federal level. This raises the question, why was weed ever illegal? 

The short answer is racism. At the turn of the 20th century, hemp—as it was then commonly known in the United States—was a little-used drug among Americans. With the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, however, many
Mexicans began moving to the United States, and they brought with them the tradition of smoking weed. Amid a growing fear of Mexican immigrants, hysterical claims about the drug began to circulate, such as allegations that it caused a “lust for blood.” In addition, the term hemp was largely replaced by Anglicized weed, which some speculated was done to promote the foreignness of the drug and thus stoke xenophobia. Around this time many
states began passing laws to ban pot.  

2021-07-13