Throughout history, politicians, together with big business and lobby’s have been steering the country in calumnious directions in an effort to make money, control people, decimate competition and win elections.
Consider the Puritan Witch Hunts. We didn’t hunt witches, run them out of town and burn them at the stake because they were actually turning people into frogs and conjuring demons. Some of them were actually political troublemakers, they may have owned land that someone else wanted or someone just didn’t like them. Many of them were falsely accused because their accusers were tortured into giving names.
So how do you get people rallied into an irrational blood thirsty mob willing to take up pitchforks and torches? You use children. Everyone knows that witches eat children and lock them up in dungeons and towers. That is where we get stories such as “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Riding hood.” Think of the children.
Our current boondoggle sex offender registry is no different. You need only take a few high profile crimes, scare the public into thinking that this could happen in their back yard, you publish a hundred million dollar photo album online with no delineating information about the case, the remorse, acceptance of responsibility or rehabilitation, and then you disenfranchise an entire class of citizen – to protect the children. An 18 year old HS senior who has sex with his 15 year old HS sweetheart is not so much a child rapist (although by law he is) than a teen with raging hormones and quite possibly, they are two kids in love.
Bionically, Mary was thirteen and Joseph was in his forties when they got married. That was a different culture and a different time, though. In those days life expectancy was about forty so girls had to start pumping out babies ASAP in an effort to propagate the population.
Today, the registry is a giant blind net ranging from violent murderers to people who urinate in public. This registry program wins elections, sells papers, supports our struggling prison system and creates businesses designed to protect you from the monster next door.
There was another man who used children for job security, to become famous, to triple his budget, to hobnob with the rich and powerful, to spread mis-truth and to win favor and support from big business. His name was Harry Jacob Anslinger.
The war on drugs is a billion dollar boondoggle. Much like Prohibition in the ‘20s which made tons of money for suppliers and made gangsters very wealthy.
Politicians love to cherry pick data and skewed statistics in an effort to get what they want, to win elections, to scare people into seeing things their way, to obtain and distribute grant money and to bribe or win supporters. It is easy for them to make something up, spin, fold, mutilate the facts and statistics or rely on unconfirmed data and hearsay. Politicians are adroit at not dealing in realty but in the false narrative. That’s the nature of the politician. They often seek out and only listen to the “expert” who shares their same opinion. Show me an expert witness with one opinion and I’ll show you another with an equal and opposite one.
We know that alcohol is the root cause of many car accidents and deaths. Alcohol also amplifies bad behavior in people and some of these people may beat their wives and kids, drink their paychecks and many drunks die in alcohol fueled car accidents. People die every day from liver and heart damage caused by alcohol and millions of people suffer from addiction and other medical maladies caused by alcohol.
In 1951, the United Nations reported that an estimated 200 million people used marijuana. It has been used for over 5,000 years and the earliest reference was from China where it was used to relieve pain during surgery. For decades it was pedaled by vendors as a nostrum for swelled breasts, sore nipples, shingles, piles, bronchitis, eczema, migraine, menstrual discomfort, sore throat, colic, arthritis, rheumatism, depression, epileptic fits, gout, it was sold as an aphrodisiac, and ironically, it was used successfully as a treatment for alcoholism.
Marijuana was a source of rope and cloth fibers, birdseed, essential oils and many medicinal products. It has long been a cash crop for many farmers including President George Washington. Unlike Bill Clinton and certainly like Barack Obama, George probably inhaled. So how did this weed become illegal?
During prohibition, many of the poor and minorities were unable to acquire illegal alcohol from gangsters so they turned to the cheaper and less harmful medicinal herb, marijuana. They found it stimulating, relaxing, non toxic and non addictive.
In the 1930s the Treasury Department began their warfare on marijuana. Prohibition was repealed and liquor began to flow freely but the people who took to smoking pot when liquor was scarce, illegal and expensive, continued smoking it because it was still cheaper, easier to get, faster acting, didn’t render the user to an intoxicated and vomiting stupor, you could grow your own, it wasn’t addictive and it didn’t give you a hangover like alcohol did.
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, like the Bureau of Prohibition, was under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury Department. At that time, the sale of marijuana was considered a loss of revenue because it could not be taxed and people could grow it themselves. There was no way to control it and it was dipping into alcohol and tobacco sales.
The Newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics then began a 7 year campaign to fight marijuana and labeled it a killer drug. Harry Jacob Anslinger led this new office and his scare campaign was in all the papers and on all radio stations. It became a political campaign tool and parents were frightened into thinking that marijuana was everywhere and it would kill their children or destroy their lives – think of the children.
Harry Anslinger claimed that he had witnessed a scene that affected his life. When he was 12, he heard the screams of a morphine addict. I’m not sure what this has to do with marijuana but it became his political football and excuse for his rabid and foaming at the mouth lust to criminalize pot, and it was job security. It was easy for him to get political support because he had budgets, business backers, the media and he could make up facts.
Thousands of people were surgically arrested for the possession of pot. They were mostly black and poor. Marijuana was a great tool to ethnically cleanse certain neighborhoods and was an easy means to get people you didn’t like off the street, especially if you couldn’t get them on some other charge. I once knew a cop who admitted to me that they had no evidence on an arsonist so they planted pot on him just to get him in the system. The same thing happened to Freeway Rick Ross. He rarely carried drugs of any kind. He did however walk around with about $80,000 in his pocket which every day, he freely gave it all out to the people in his community who needed it for food, rent, medicine or school. The police finally got him off the street but he also had evidence against the cops so they brokered a deal.
New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was not convinced of Anslinger’s arguments and requested the first in depth study into the effects of smoking marijuana. He remembered a report he read by the Army Board of Inquiry that the drug was used by many soldiers and was deemed harmless to them. La Guardia requested that the New York Academy of Medicine to do a thorough study of the herb.
This report systematically contradicted claims made by Anslinger and the U.S. Treasury Department that smoking marijuana results in insanity, deteriorates physical health, assists in criminal behavior and juvenile delinquency, is physically addictive, is a gateway drug to more dangerous drugs and the report determined that the practice of smoking marijuana did not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. Ultimately, the worse effect smoking pot will have on someone is 2 – 40 years in prison, a criminal record and no hope of getting a job when they got out.
Released in 1944, the La Guardia report (http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/laguardia.pdf) infuriated Harry Anslinger who was campaigning against marijuana and he condemned it as unscientific. Anslinger then went on an offensive against what he saw as a “degenerate Hollywood” that was promoting marijuana use. After high profile arrests of actors like Robert Mitchum, Anslinger gained full control over future scripts. Cotton farmers and farming lobbies who didn’t want hemp competing with their crop stood behind and supported Anslinger, in many way$.
Much like the way Congress works today, the early laws against marijuana were often passed with little public attention. Many people allege that Anslinger and the campaign against marijuana had a hidden agenda. DuPont petrochemical interests and William Randolph Hearst together created the highly sensational anti-marijuana campaign to eliminate hemp as an industrial competitor. Hemp took less time and was significantly less expensive to harvest an acre of than it did for cotton. Today, the lies and half truths Anslinger bandied about still exist simply because of ignorance and indoctrinated lies.
Anslinger’s primary focus was to alarm the public of the threat in their community. He used the mass media as his forum to start this national movement to scare people about a problem that didn’t exist. This required a larger staff and bigger budgets. He used isolated and even unrelated stories to get his point across. Here are a few of his press releases:
“An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an axe he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze… He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called “muggles,” a childish name for marijuana.”
“By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”
People still beleive these lies today. Anslinger was not afraid to use race to scare people, either:
“Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy.”
“Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.”
Anslinger also noted that Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker both died after years of heroin and alcohol abuse so he orchestrated a nationwide dragnet of jazz musicians and kept a file called “Marijuana and Musicians.” Keep in mind that Billie and Charlie died of heroin and alcohol abuse, not marijuana.
It’s time we stopped wasting our tax dollars enforcing outdated laws based upon lies and incarcerating non-violent “offenders” for possession of an herb. Recreational drugs are not anything I am interested in but who am I to tell someone what they can or cannot put in their bodies when the stuff really doesn’t harm anyone? I’ve yet to meet a mean, nasty stoner, but I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of mean, nasty drunks and mean nasty “good” people who go to church on Sunday yet harbor hate and prejudice and are eager to run people out of town whom they don’t like. (Hands in the air) Praise Jesus.
We can use our tax dollars to address much bigger problems such as education, crime and rebuilding our failing roads and bridges. Legalizing marijuana will take the cash flow away from major crime gangs and we can then cut our police and prison budgets. When the prohibition on alcohol was lifted, the next day, Al Capone was out of a job.
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King who is pushing his new law The KIDS Act, said that Mexicans are crossing the border and desert each carrying 75 pounds of marijuana. Uhm, like, you know, do you know how big a 75 pound bag of pot would be? More false narrative. Steve King, you’re funny. Who voted for you?
Not only should pot be legal, maybe it should be part of the daily regimen of our New York politicians. It already is for some of them (Steve Katz). Greed and job security is to blame for their stupidity, corruption and many of their asinine decisions. They push lies in order to pass their own bills which are usually laden with hidden pork. Maybe if our politicians were stoned, they’d make less destructive legislation and focus on what is good and needed rather than how they can justify a pay raise and pretend to look busy.
When my sister was dying from brain cancer which metastasized from breast cancer, a morphine induced coma was unacceptable and not how she wanted to live out her final days. Marijuana made it so that she could consciously enjoy her family for a few more precious weeks with minimal pain. So many people are suffering today from medicine and their side effects. It’s time to recognize that marijuana has a place in the treatment of certain diseases and treatment side effects.
And Congress, quit passing stupid laws in an effort to make it look like your are doing something. Fix the laws already broken. Astrologically we are leaving the Piscean age and entering into Aquarius, the age of enlightenment. Let’s facilitate that.
For more reading:
More and more police officers are realizing the War on Drugs is a mistake
Marijuana Legalization Gains Support, Confounding Policymakers