Let’s talk a little bit about the marijuana controversy, which is necessary to understand the situation of medical marijuana and cannabinoids (derivatives and synthetic analogues of marijuana).
But first, an opinion poll. Answer only in thought:
- Are you in favor of releasing marijuana for recreational use?
- And the medical use of cannabinoids?
And some related questions:
- Are you in favor of banning ethyl alcohol for recreational use?
- And the medical use of opioids (derivatives and synthetic opium analogues, such as morphine and fentanyl)?
These are questions that inevitably involve a large degree of subjectivity.
And you don’t have to say “yes” or “no” to everyone.
There is no single correct answer. There are valid arguments for both sides.
The purpose of this text is not to convince you of your opinion involving these questions.
I will not judge values here, nor will I issue my personal position on this.
But I ask that you now set aside your already formed opinion on the subject.
And let us, together, analyze the historical facts behind this controversy.
No conspiracy theories or crazy stories. Just the facts.
End of World War II.
Victory of the Allies.
Thanks to whom?
“ United States! ”- Some say.
“ Soviet Union! ”- Others say.
There is an awkward silence in the world.
The two exchange defiant looks.
Who is the greatest world power after World War II?
United States of America (USA) vs Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
The start is made: Who is the greatest world power in the post-war period?
“ No! Wait! ”- They all say.
“ Both are military powers with a large nuclear arsenal! ”- Everyone agrees.
The world was still in shock after what happened when the United States decided to drop nuclear bombs on Japan, erasing the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 from the map. The war was over, but Japan did not want to accept the terms imposed for the Yield. And the attack on Pearl Harbor, in which American civilians were killed by Japanese suicide fighters, has been stuck in Uncle Sam’s throat since 1941.
The destruction by nuclear weapons in Japan was brutal. A shot in the jaw of an already defeated opponent, thrown to the ground. So that he never dares try to bite his superiors again.
The world was still in shock from the brutality.
“ No more nuclear bombing. It’s inhuman. ”- Affirm the other nations of the Allies.
If the Soviet Union and the United States start throwing nuclear bombs at each other …
“ Maybe it’s the end of the world! ”- They fear everyone.
Nobody wants it.
Neither do they!
Who wants to be the greatest power in a world on fire?
What good is the Emperor of the Ruins?
The Cold War begins, a silent dispute to decide who is the most powerful.
A game of chess between the two greatest world powers of the time.
Then a race for technological and military development begins.
But over the years it becomes increasingly clear that conflict is inevitable.
Many feel that there is no way out: The nuclear war would finally begin that would end life on Earth.
But both sides take a deep breath.
What good is the Emperor of the Ruins?
Clenching their teeth, they look at each other a little more, then come up with another solution:
“ We are not going to attack each other openly. ”- United States and Soviet Union conclude.
For a (brief) moment the rest of the world breathes a sigh of relief.
“ We are going to sponsor opposing sides in wars involving smaller countries! ”- They complete it, and immediately afterwards they start to act, without waiting for the opinion of other countries.
“ But I have nothing to do with it! ”- Says Korea, attentive to the conversation, but still devastated by the invasions of Japan before and during World War II.
“ What? ”- Says Vietnam, which until then was not paying much attention to the confusion.
On the one hand, the Capitalists, sponsored by the United States.
On the other, the Communists, sponsored by the Soviet Union.
The Korean War started in 1950 and was interrupted in 1953. Yes, it was interrupted, because until today it is not over, as you may know from the wide coverage of the main media on this subject in 2018.
The reasons for this pause involve a dense political discussion that goes beyond the scope of this text.
What interests us now:
Not satisfied, the United States and the Soviet Union went on to continue their fight elsewhere.
The Vietnam War, the largest of them, lasted 20 years, from 1955 to 1975.
What does all this have to do with marijuana?
Curious fact: At that time (between the 1950s and 1980s) the then Soviet Union was the largest exporter of hemp (in English: Hemp ) in the world.
Not by chance, in 1971, then President of the United States of America, Republican Richard Nixon, played a major role in Cold War chess, launching the War on Drugs campaign .
Richard Nixon launches the War on Drugs campaign. One of the targets: Marijuana (and everything related to the Cannabis plant)
War on Drugs.
In 1974 Nixon ended up being involved in a political scandal ( Watergate ) and resigned his position before he had his term hunted in an impeachment process .
But the War on Drugs continued.
Which country would have the courage to oppose this?
One of the targets? Marijuana.
Why marijuana? Remember hemp? Hemp is extracted from some types of the plant known as Cannabis .
Cannabis sativa, an example of Cannabis.
And hemp has several industrial uses. It serves for the production of fabrics, clothes, ropes, papers, food and even fuels. Imagine the money it made for the Soviet Union, at the time the largest hemp exporter in the world.
But do you know what else is extracted from some types of Cannabis ? Marijuana.
Marijuana contains psychoactive substances that bring well-being to the user, cannabinoids.
But nothing is free in Nature. Everything has a price. And in this case, the price paid is the risk of addiction and dependence, when the brain is no longer able to function well without the external help of these substances.
This is a problem. So the decision whether or not recreational marijuana use should be allowed is a subjective one. It has pros and cons, and so it ends up being a subjective issue.
But not for Nixon. Not for the Cold War United States.
For Nixon, in his War on Drugs campaign, there were only cons.
Leaning on the predominant Christian sentiment in his nation, the Nixon administration created the notion that marijuana would be a substance made by the Devil through communists to corrupt innocent young people, children of good Christians in the United States of America.
Marijuana, by the speech of Nixon and his eloquent wife, actress Pat Ryan, was a substance contrary to Christian thinking. It was the stuff of hippies and Satanists.
Communist thing. Great.
“ Check ” – Said Nixon, looking at the Soviet Union.
With the War on Drugs, the United States declared that it would stop importing substances related to Cannabis plants . And he pressured the rest of the world to do the same. The market for hemp has sunk, being now a substance linked to the abhorrent marijuana. More than that, the War on Drugs also made it possible to stigmatize heroin as a drug for the “ blacks” , and then heavily criminalize the practice. But let’s leave the story of opioids and racism for another text.
With the Watergate Nixon scandal it fell, but the War on Drugs continued.