Pubdate: Tue, 08 Sep 1998
Date: 08/09/1998
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Author: Lionel De Leon

On Jan. 16, 1919, the United States prohibited the manufacture, sale
or transportation of alcoholic beverages (except for medicinal
purposes) with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. It was spawned
by temperance movement that began in the 1820s with religious
revivalism. Prohibition led to gangsters, bootleggers and

In 1932 the Democratic Party adopted a platform calling for repeal, it
was finally achieved on Dec.5,1933. A few states continued
prohibition, but by 1966 all had abandoned it.

The international trade in marijuana was first placed under controls
during the International Opium Convention of 1925. The Unite States
passed federal restrictions on the plant in 1937. By the late 1960s
most countries had enforced restrictions on traffic and use and had
imposed severe penalties for illegal possession, sale or supply.

Meanwhile, in 1969 the World Health organization reported that
marijuana is not physically habit-forming. Marijuana has since proved
to have medicinal benefits and is an excellent crop for manufacturing
clothing, rope, paper, etc. It is used for religious meditation in
India and Africa and is sold a coffeehouses in Amsterdam.

Marijuana is less addictive, less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco,
and yet our government still treats its use as a major crime and is on
a campaign to eradicate its use.

This once was a costly campaign, but with the new drug "forfeiture"
laws and expensive fines and penalties, it is becoming a lucrative
government venture.

Lionel De Leon
Garden Grove