Chronicling America’s Tryst With Marijuana

Marijuana smokers in America have witnessed a myriad of punishments ranging from life in prison to shelling out thousands of dollars in fines. Multitudes of marijuana prohibitionists claim that public health and safety top their list while citing reasons for battling the grass’s legalization.

America has romanticized age-old laws when it comes to regulating and fighting consumption of marijuana. Despite attitudes of many changing, the laws of the land fail to have caught up with the evolving society. States like Alabama see laws where the sale of marijuana will see the seller locked up behind bars for up to two years, which is the same punishment meted out if one is convicted of wrestling a bear.

Comedian John Mulaney of the The Comeback Kid fame had a great deal to say about marijuana and how the popular drug, once stigmatized by society, made a comeback to the legal floor. In voting battles spanning decades, cannabis has now been legalized across nearly 28 states and Washington DC.

Mulaney’s satirical take on marijuana still rings true for many across the globe. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a law change because the government is just like, ‘Fine.’ I’ve never seen it before. Like, gay marriage and healthcare, we have to battle it out in the Supreme Court, and be like, ‘Gay people are humans.’ And the government goes, ‘We’ll think about it.’ But with weed, it’s a different story,” Mulaney says. “It was just something we wanted really badly, and we kept asking them for 40 years, like, ‘Excuse me.’ And then suddenly the government became like cool parents, and they say, ‘Okay, here. Take a little. We’d rather you do it in the house than go somewhere else,” he jokes.

After having grown up amidst dire warnings against its consumption, with many sitcoms like That 70’s Show portraying the haphazard impacts of smoking weed, the legalization of weed almost seemed delusional.

While some states were celebratory and marked cannabis as legal, others still appeared to be wary of the plant’s truest forms. The cautious folks reinstated that marijuana can be used for medical purposes. Looking back at the states that propagated the free will of any individual to walk in with an ID and purchase some marijuana, California, Washington, Maine and Massachusetts join the ranks. Other states like Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada followed suit.

While these states and their glimmer of hope offered them reasons to rejoice, pot smokers across states such as Alabama, Idaho, Indiana saw marijuana being touted as illegal. Other states like Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Nebraska also took the baton to not legalize weed. The state of North Carolina was not one to be left behind and failed to legalize weed. Voters across other states like Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming voted against legalizing marijuana.

Without a second thought, after an era where young adults were brought up to believe that weed paved the way to hard drugs and resulted in crimes related to felony, the ideas are now evolving and witnessing a massive change. The beliefs, now pitched as those belonging to the bygone times of the ‘80’s, appear no longer married to the society at large.

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Chronicling America’s Tryst With Marijuana

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