Marijuana Politics


By Robert M. Hardaway

cover image of Marijuana Politics

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Why is marijuana—to which few if any deaths can be attributed—generally banned in the United States, while cigarettes and liquor—which unquestionably kill millions—are currently legal? This question can best be explained through an investigation of the historical context of cannabis in our country. This book documents the long history of marijuana use, the turbulent path of the prohibition of cannabis use, the issues regarding present-day legalization, and the modern implications of both medical and recreational cannabis. It provides compelling insight from multiple academic disciplines, including sociology, political science, economics, medicine, and health, and in particular from the history of the American experience with the criminalization of liquor, gambling, prostitution, and cigarettes.

Marijuana Politics: Uncovering the Troublesome History and Social Costs of Criminalization examines the current trend toward the legalization of marijuana in the context of the American experience with particular emphasis on political, social, and constitutional developments in the United States beginning in the 20th century. It compares the trend toward marijuana legalization to Prohibition and U.S. laws regarding the consumption of alcohol and analyzes legal developments in comparable areas such as the regulation of other vices and hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. This book is written to be accessible to both casual readers or academic students and provides a robust understanding of both the historical and modern aspects of the drug itself and legalization, regardless of the reader's individual beliefs on the use of cannabis.

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Marijuana Politics