At this point a historical pattern begins to emerge: wherever the counter-culture is found, marijuana will be found as well—and its presence used as an excuse to repress that counterculture. The term marijuana itself, of Spanish origin, was largely popularized by Americans using an anti-drug campaign as a pretext for anti-Mexican discrimination. Border states like California and Texas were the first to outlaw the substance in the early twentieth century. “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff makes them crazy,” one Texas State Senator opined.


Given the opportunity to self-administer THC, lab rats lose interest—this is unlike the effect of heroin, cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. I’m not sure if this says more about the rats or us.

I write about the social history of pot at The New Republic.


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