The Union: Business Behind Getting High Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Drugs, Marijuana, Cinema, United States, Film, Prohibition, America, Hemp

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/22

The film “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” explores the trafficking, sale and growth of cannabis. In general, it examines the underground market of cannabis by interviewing the police officers, the growers, economists, politicians, psychologists and pop culture icons, depicting the ways in which the sale and the business of the illegal drug is booming despite all the odds and the regulations. The prohibition and the history of the prohibition and the general origin of the drug is also discussed, often giving comparison to the ban of alcohol in the United States in the 1920s where it suggests that the negative aspects and the gang drug warfare associated with cannabis are the primary cause of its prohibition but not the drug itself.
The film starts with a brief history of cannabis in United States. Marijuana in this history is also called hemp or industrial hemp; this is the kind of hemp that does not make the users feel high. Up to 1937, cannabis was the largest grown crop in America and the most robust fibre ever known in the world. Initially, marijuana was used in medicine, fabrics, paper, and oil of lighting, and the first legislation by the American government on the drug was that the farmers were only required to use the drug for its reliability and commonality. The Declaration of Independence is even printed on hemp paper; this is the paper that has been known over the centuries that it does not yellow and reduces the forest count of the United States (The union, 2007).
Within the history of marijuana, the director takes us back to the year 1930 around the time of the 2nd World War, the moment when yellow journalism began to take effect on the lives of the American people. It is within this period that emergence of Holocaust where persuasion of persons and the public without facial evident and substance became more apparent in the lives of Americans, Germans and the rest of Europe. The government of America began on the use and production of hemp only after the release of a notorious lampooned film Reefer Madness, a preachy and a completely heavy handed film which was used as a scare tactic for teens and marijuana use. In 1937, marijuana tax act was enacted where its usage would bring massive tax to farmers, and this made the farmers take the cotton as a substitute. The film states that the prices of marijuana went up, and one needed a stamp to grow it that the government were not ready to give and by 1948, marijuana and hemp became illegal without any valid reason. The illegality raised many questions about the legality, legitimacy, and success of probation of drugs in America. Comparison is made with the time when alcohol was outlawed in America that made speakeasies more popular. The film goes ahead to explain why the prohibition never worked, a good example is the ban on alcohol which resulted in more problems than benefits (The union, 2007).
The film also tries to ignore most of the rumours on marijuana spread by the ignorant and the informed people by using cold and hard facts. Some of the rumours spread around is that the brain cells are easily killed by marijuana which is an absolute untrue.
The main message in the documentary is that marijuana has negative effects on health but at the same time it has some commercial and medicinal benefits to the general public. Compared to other drugs like tobacco, coffee and even some other pharmaceutical drugs, marijuana is found to be even less harmful. These two attributes are the main reasons behind the prohibition of marijuana in America. Most of the drug companies are not comfortable with the naturally growing drug since they have so much more benefits compared to manufacture drugs, for this reason, most cooperates stood to lose much more in case marijuana was legalised. These benefits facilitated the legalization of the drug in the 20th century.
Marijuana was used as a means of arresting people by the American government, and this facilitated its prohibition. It caused complex issues on war, politics, and profiteering. The most terrifying thing is that scholars, biochemists, doctors, confirmed all the information in the movie and even scientific studied which agreed that the harm caused by the prohibition of marijuana is far more than its harmful effects (The union, 2007).
The film is generally a solid documentary. The film entertains, at the same time informs, and at the same time includes facts and documentaries about the business in marijuana that are very interesting. The movie is well organised with each segment flowing naturally. The impact of marijuana is well explained and the effects of its prohibition that is found to be even worse compared to its health effects. Marijuana generally tends to unintentionally spoof and belittle itself by unreasonably exaggerating the drug and spreading rumours concerning the people who use the drug but the film gives the very best platform for intelligent and well-spoken advocates of authorisation to make rational points contrary to the U.S.


The union: The Business Behind Getting High [Motion picture]. (2007). Canada: Brett Harvey, Adam Scorgie.

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