Cannabis Prohibition Turns 80 Oct 7, 2017 8:12:24 GMT -8
Post by Origanalist on Oct 7, 2017 8:12:24 GMT -8
Cannabis prohibition turned 80 on Sunday.
The Marihuana Tax Act introduced a stamp that created de facto prohibition in 1937. Congress passed the bill that spring, FDR signed it in August, and the law took effect on October 1. As the original iteration of cannabis prohibition, the Tax Act lasted until 1969 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. President Nixon quickly reestablished prohibition in 1970 with the Controlled Substances Act, which is the federal law that currently maintains the 80-year injustice.
The prohibitionists didn't even know how to spell marijuana, so many politicians and the public at large were likely duped into supporting its criminalization. At the time, "cannabis" was available as medicine in many pharmacies, but government bureaucrats introduced "marihuana" as a new Mexican import that illegal immigrants brought across the border. The government-backed lies—e.g., marihuana prompts people to rape and murder like rabid animals—are the stuff of legend.
During the dry days of American history, the Treasury Department enforced Prohibition, and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon made his nephew, Harry Anslinger, second in command at the Prohibition Bureau. The word nepotism comes from the Italian word for nephew, so when the nepotist foresaw the return of legal boozing, he naturally made his nephew the top narc at the forerunner to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). After the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933, Anslinger shamelessly fought to bring it back, but instead of alcohol, he wanted to prohibit cannabis.
Anslinger was a liar and likely a racist, and he took inspiration from his most famous Prohibition agent, Eliot Ness, using the press as a propaganda tool. His now-debunked Gore Files included hundreds of heinous crimes that he attributed to this Mexican drug, and he fed reporters headline-grabbing tales that William Randolph Hearst (a.k.a. Citizen Kane) printed in his many newspapers. B-movie producers jumped on the propaganda bandwagon making films like Devil's Harvest, She Shoulda Said No, Assassin of Youth and Reefer Madness that bordered on softcore porn with taglines like "She loved men, money and marijuana" and "Weird orgies, wild parties, unleashed passions!"
Speaking with PRØHBTD in 2016, Dr. Barney Warf, a professor at the University of Kansas, explained, "They began this very conscientious campaign to demonize cannabis with a variety of allies working on their behalf. The Hearst newspaper chain in California, which engaged in sordid yellow journalism, helped them out. Hollywood helped them out. All of this culminates in the Stamp Act of 1937, which essentially makes marijuana illegal. You had to buy a stamp in order to sell it, and the stamps were impossible to find. Then they would have hearings in Congress and state legislatures where a doctor who had never seen cannabis in his life would say, 'Well, I heard some Mexican guy smoked weed and killed his family with an ax.' It was just hearsay, but that was good enough.