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View Diary: Former Head of DEA, DHS defends inability to tell toilet paper from shower curtains. (105 comments)

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  •  You ought to read up on Harry Anslinger (23+ / 0-)

    to understand why the Federal government wound up banning marijuana under Federal law.

    Oh, and old William Randolph Heart played an important role in that happening - the fact that he had economic interests that benefited from the ban was just coincidental, right?

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:05:23 AM PST

    •  I have read up on Harry Asslinger for 30+ (23+ / 0-)


      Surprised he's not on a coin.

      he was, I have read, not in support of the ban on hemp - hemp was to be excluded. However that went by the wayside.

      I want to say he and Hoover set up the ' marijuana = dying of heroin addiction with a needle in your arm in a dirty alley" propaganda.

      Fine human beings.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:09:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  saw "Reefer Madness" myself nearly 50 years ago. (2+ / 0-)

        All those "Untouchables" needed a new boogie-man to go after when Prohibition was repealed.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:20:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It started much earlier than THAT (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, claude

          The Drug War started as the "red-headed orphan child" of the Temperance Movement, circa 1901.   It wasn't the hand over fist money making crowd pleaser that  "Anti-Saloon" agitation was ...  but it quickly gained a following among racist law enforcement specialists.

          th century) never attracted much of a following.

          But recreational drugs On the East Coast ... it was "Negroes" and cocaine ... in the Midwest "Hobos" (or prostitutes) and morphine -- and in the Southwest "Mexicans" and marijuana.  By outlawing the drug of choice, it was thought it would be easier to control the underclass demographic that was using it.

          (J. Edgar Hoover would use the same logic to press for a ban on "switchblade" knives in the early   1950s.)

          At at the same time,  an allied anti-saccharine movement failed dismally: president Theodore Roosevelt LIKED his saccharine sweetener and wouldn't include it in his FDA Act.  Likewise the campaign against chloral hydrate (the Rohypnol of the 19th century) languished for lack of public interest.

          The point being ... by the time the Marijuana Tax act of 1933 was passed, the weed itself was already illegal under most states' laws.

          Following WWII federal law enforcement saw the same logic in anti-narcotics law that Mario Puzo detailed in The Godfather
          . The profits from heroin were too lucrative for lower-level gangsters to pass up ... the penalties too draconian for the hoods to do their time and  preserve the code of Omerta.  "Drugs will destroy Our Thing" said Don Corleone ... who was proved more or less right by the mid 1960s.

          By 1972 the Supreme Court had decided that the 1933 "transfer tax" on Marijuana was unconstitutional ... so observers like David Musto were predicting the end of marijuana prohibition within the decade

          AND ALONG CAME NIXON ...

          Among his other manias, Tricky Dick sincerely believed that every joint smoked was an act of civil disobedience directed at HIM, personally.  And in many cases, the old devil wasn't so very far wrong.  In some circles smoking dope WAS a cheap and easy way of staking out a political position.  So Nixon declared his War on Drugs.

          And it's still with us.  Much to the delight of the lawyers, law enforcers, and for-profit prison owners  HALF of whose business  would vanish if the War ever ended.

    •  PS: Morning! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      US Blues

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:09:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  FDR gets far more credit for anti marijuna laws (0+ / 0-)

      At the federal level, as he signed it into law in 1937.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:31:19 AM PST

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      •  It only takes... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the president's signature to declassify it from a schedule I narcotic.  It would then no longer be a federal offense.  

        At least, that is the way I understand it (which has been known to be mistaken before).

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:45:32 AM PST

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    •  At this point, we've ALL read Jack Herer, yes? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
      Weightless, frictionless, I fly

      by chmood on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:39:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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