Author Information

Keriann Speranza


The practice of smoking marijuana was imported to the United States from Mexico in the early 1900s. Fear around the use of marijuana provoked sixteen states to pass laws prohibiting the use of marijuana by 1930 (Becker, 1963). It was not until 1937 that the United States Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act to stamp out use of the drug after the Bureau of Narcotics presented to the public in a series of propaganda films and news articles the perceived dangers of marijuana use – including violence (Becker, 1963). Since that law, the United States government has attempted to create a marijuana-free America.

Note on the Author

Kerriann Sperenza is a junior majoring in Criminal Justice. Her research was made possible by the Adrian Tinsley Summer Research Grant program during the summer of 2010 under the guidance of Dr. Dina Perrone. She presented her research at the American Society of Criminology Conference in San Francisco, CA in November 2010.

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