Our nations 133 year old failed War on Drugs was founded on Racism , Ignorance , and dreams of Empire building. Unfortunately many but not all historians tend to omit or sanitize this very ugly but true story of our countries history. Most US history books won't reveal the dirtiest most shameful segments in their accounting of this nations 232 years of existence. The best place I think to find the facts on the root causes of the drug war or for that matter any other repulsive section of US history is old newspaper archives. These articles are a far more valuable resource tool on finding the truth no matter how disturbing it may turn out to be. How can future generations learn from our numerous past errors if these mistakes are not even taught to them. I consider it an Intellectual failure to neglect Americas hidden and at times even quite hideous history.
Every United States Law ever passed banning Drugs has always been inspired by racial prejudice by those in power in order to persecute or control minorities as well as any other group they deem undesirable. Marijuana was perfectly legal in this country until it became associated with Mexicans. In fact it had been widely used in America since colonial times. The evidence of racism in these newspaper articles which were used to persuade the public to support the laws banning Marijuana is not just overwhelming it's undeniable.
Are the Mexicans becoming a Mightier and braver race, or in the Language of Texas, are they becoming "locoed!" (crazy) Reports received here Indicate that the sudden burst of bravery on the part of the Mexicans is due to increased use of the weed known as Marihuana which has much the same effect as opium or morphine on its users.
It Is believed that a dose of this weed administered by an enemy, caused Queen Carlotta wife of Emperor Maximillian to lose her mind. She now is living alone in a castle in France, hopelessly Insane, fifty years after the potion was administered.
THE OGDEN STANDARD
September 25 , 1915
Marijuana had nothing to do with making the Crazy Queen go insane Charlotte of Belgium only changed her name to the Spanish sounding Queen Carlotta after her husband Maximillian was illegally appointed Emperor of Mexico by the ruler of France NAPOLEAN III these fucking European monarchs had no right to make claims in Mexico.
Queen Carlotta’s madness did not appear until several months after her return to Europe and thus cannot be attributed to marijuana so this story is nothing but a hoax in all likelihood she was driven insane by her own genetics because like most European monarchs of the time she was a product of several generations of Royal intermarriage this theory is further strengthened by the fact that she was a member of the HABSBURG family which was by far the most inbred of all European Royalty. However this fabricated tale was still passed along as fact by drug warriors up until the 1970's.
The marihuana weed is known as the most harmful of narcotic influences, however, and its leaves, when smoked in the form of cigarettes, produce a species of insanity which frequently ends in a horrible death. It is said that Empress Carlotta, the wife of Emperor Maximillian, had her mind dethroned by drinking coffee in which marihuana leaves had been placed. She left Mexico an incurable lunatic at the time of the overthrow of the French in that country, and has never regained her faculties.
Many people assume that Cannabis (Marijuana) prohibition in the United States first came about when Congress passed THE MARIJUANA TAX ACT OF 1937. The fact is 30 states had already made Marijuana illegal between 1913 and 1930. In 1913 California passed an obscure technical amendment creating civil penalties for unlicensed distribution of Marijuana. However the first state ever to enact a criminal law banning Marijuana was none other than Utah. The state of Utah outlawed marijuana in 1915 after Polygamists returning from Mexico had brought it back with them.
This Newspaper headline titled IS THE MEXICAN NATION "LOCOED" BY A PECULIAR WEED? appeared in the September 25 , 1915 edition of THE OGDEN STANDARD what is so significant about the date is one month later in October of 1915 the Utah state legislature passed the first criminal law in the United States prohibiting the use of marijuana. I might also add that a month earlier in August of 1915 the Mormon church had proclaimed that Marijuana was a sin. So much for the separation of the Mormon church and the State of Utah it's obvious that the legislature was acting on Church orders.
In fact, the marihuana seems to be nothing less than the loco-weed that causes Insanity to both men and beast. If the devastation of the Drug is so great on this side of the Rio Grande, with our Jails filled with men who have committed crimes while under the influence of the Drug and with our Insane asylums filled with those who have lost their minds through the use of the marihuana. Imagine the terrible effect of its indulgence on the people of Mexico and then ask the question: Where do the Mexican bandits get their nerve to commit their attacks on the Americans and where leaders summon courage to defy the government at Washington DC.
THE OGDEN STANDARD
September 25 , 1915
Not only is this yellow journalism filled with vile racist remarks but it is utterly ridiculous to think anyone even 92 years ago would ever believe such garbage that's printed in this article. One of the most outrageous claims made by these drug warrior propagandists of 1915 is that every time a Mexican smokes another Marijuana cigarette it increases their desire to invade the United States and make it part of Mexico. The idiot that wrote this also claimed that marijuana was a menace to farm animals who like humans become useless addicts.
The paper wrapped poison is consumed, until the victim is in a state of wild frenzy. When in this condition he often goes on a rampage that brings death to whoever, crosses his path. The period of temporary Insanity lasts for several hours and is followed by the victim falling into a deep sleep that lasts 24 hours or more. He awakes with no knowledge of what has transpired while the full effects of the drug were upon him. It takes only a few months of constant indulgence in the cigarette habit to bring on permanent Insanity.
THE OGDEN STANDARD
September 25 , 1915
1920 border at EL PASO
In 1910, the Mormon Church decreed polygamy to be a religious mistake and it was banned. Once that happened, there was a crackdown on people who wanted to live in what they called "the traditional way". So, just after 1910, a fairly large number of Mormons left the state of Utah and moved into northwest Mexico. They wrote a lot about what they wanted to accomplish in Mexico. They wanted to set up communities where they were basically going to convert the Indians, the Mexicans, and what they referred to as "the heathen" in the neighborhood to Mormonism.
By 1914 by and large most of the Mormons were not happy there, the religion had not done well there, they didn't feel comfortable there, they wanted to go back to Utah where there friends were and after 1914 did.
And with them, the Indians had given them marijuana. Now once you get somebody back in Utah with the marijuana it all becomes very easy, doesn't it? You know that the Mormon Church has always been opposed to the use of euphoriants of any kind. So, somebody saw them with the marijuana, and in August of 1915 the Church decreed the use of marijuana contrary to the Mormon religion and then -- and this is how things were in Utah in those days -- in October of 1915, the state legislature met and enacted every religious prohibition as a criminal law and we had the first criminal law in this country's history against the use of marijuana.
The history of Marijuana prohibition like alcohol prohibition as well as the laws making Cocaine and Opium illegal are deeply rooted in racism. Alcohol Prohibition was in part a response to the drinking practices of Irish, Italian , and other immigrants. Cocaine and opium were legal during the 19th century,when they were the favored drugs among the middle and upper class whites. Cocaine became illegal only after it became associated with African Americans. Opium was first banned when it became associated with Chinese immigrants. Drug war laws were also passed in the USA to target other groups that the establishment hated such as the Anti-War left which they closely associated with the Hippies of the 1960's and even the Beatniks of the 1950's.
The authorities here report that large quantities of the weed are being imported into Texas from Mexico causing the Mexicans on this side to nerve themselves to all kinds of daring crimes.
THE OGDEN STANDARD
September 25 , 1915
The author who wrote the OGDEN STANDARD article clearly lied because if Marijuana was truly a problem in Texas back in 1915 then why does the Dallas Police Department 14 years later in the article above basically say that it's used regularly by Mexican Americans but has caused them no problems. Dallas Texas has had a long sordid history of racism it along with Houston are unique because their geographical location makes them both a combination of Southern and Southwestern cities. They have always had large African American and Mexican American populations so then why does Texas hold out on passing it's ban on Marijuana until 1930. They banned Cocaine and Opium at the turn of the century (see below Dallas News article) using the same racist overtones towards both minority groups to ban those drugs that the OGDEN STANDARD used against Mexican Americans to ban Marijuana.
US Census records reveal that UTAH had practically no Mexican American population back in 1915 even today UTAH lags far behind the other Southwestern states in terms of Hispanic Americans residing there. This ban was definitely a case of the church imposing it's will on the state by demonizing Mexicans. The OGDEN STANDARD wasn't the only UTAH newspaper or US Newspaper to scapegoat Mexicans by stating Marijuana was a dangerous narcotic weed indeed a year earlier in 1913 the Salt Lake Tribune had this story on it's frontpage.
Evil Mexican Plants That Drive You Insane
March 16, 1913
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
The revolution in Mexico has brought with it not only the ravages of War, but also the degradation of The social conditions of soldiers and Prisoners. One of the latest forms of dissipation in the ranks of federals and Rebels alike is the habit of smoking marihuana, A deadly native plant of Mexico. According to reports many of the Mexican Prisoners in the Belem prison in the City of Mexico are losing their minds as a result of smoking this weed. The dry leaves of marihuana, alone or Mixed with tobacco, make the smoker Wilder than a wild beast. It is said that After the first three or four draughts of Smoke the smoker feels a slight headache, Then he sees everything moving, and finally Loses all control of his mental faculties.
The next stage of the Intoxication is full of terrors. Troops of ferocious wild animals march before the vision of the Smoker. Lions, tigers, panthers and other Wild beasts occupy his vision. These wild Animals are then attacked, by hosts of Devils and Monsters of unheard-of shapes. The smoker becomes brave and possessed of superhuman strength. It is at this stage of the debauch that murders are committed by smokers of the marihuana weed.
A few Americans have experimented with the weed. A few years ago a well known Citizen of San Antonio purchased a Large coffee plantation in southern Mexico.He was induced to try smoking marihuana. He became addicted to the habit, which rendered him Insane and finally caused his death. In another instance the superintendent of a mine in Mexico, who was an American became the object of hatred of one of the men in his employ. The Mexican mixed marihuana with the American's tobacco, the latter became wildly insane from stacking the mixture, made a vicious attack upon a party of miners was shot and killed in the affray.
This vicious drug war propaganda campaign is still ongoing after over a century of nothing but failure and sadly it contnues polluting the minds of our nations citizens making them believe that law abiding harmless pot smokers are criminals.The failed war on drugs will never end until American citizens educate themselves on this issue I would assume that most of our elected officials also need a history lesson regarding a drug war that is not only lost but is utterly hopeless.
The next President must formulate and carry out a new rational cannabis policy instead of the absurd program we currently have today where one million non violent marijuana users are arrested each year. The government needs to adopt a measure to legalize and tax marijuana as well as decriminalize the so-called hard drugs both as a practical means of combating the violence, corruption and worldwide chaos spawned by the "illegal drug trade" — a huge underground economy that is estimated to be 10% of all the earth's business transactions. That's right 1 out of every 10 purchases on planet earth are for illegal drugs. This huge black market built almost entirely on the demands of American consumers who ingest nearly 70% of all the worlds illegal drugs.
Sadly Hispanic Immigrant bashing , demonizing and imprisoning marijuana users , and Racism are all still with us 92 years after these ugly newspapers ignited our nations failed war on marijuana through propaganda and lies. In a way things were better back then for 2 big reasons at least the prison sentences for marijuana were relatively short until the 1950's and more importantly today science has proven these claims about Marijuana as totally false back then they had no science so their ignorance is more easy to understand than todays ignorance because our leadership ignores medical evidence and has no such excuse for continuing this cruel policy. We deserve much better than this drug warriors need to be called out as the racists that they are and need to be voted out of office for unjustly sending millions of non violent people to prison over the past 92 years and also for wasting our taxpayers money on this trillion dollar drug war failure when it could have been spent on things like a healthcare program instead of punishing people whose habits that don't approve of.
54 years ago one of the greatest minds that this nation has ever known Dr. Bergen Evans wrote about the Drug creating crime Mythology in his book on superstitions , myths, and fairy tales.
"Some popular Myths are outright dangerous. Narcotics may be evil indeed, but the current fashion for making them the general scapegoat won't do: "Alcohol causes infinitely more murders, Rapes, and crimes of violence than do morphine, heroin, cocaine, marihuana, and all other drugs combined."
The real danger: If you blame everything on drugs, it is easier to ignore other, perhaps more significant, causes of crime."
The Spoor of Spooks and Other Nonsense (1954)
Dr. Bergen Evans
Dr. Evans was a Rhodes Scholar , Author , Nationally known Television & Radio Personality , Intellectual TV Game show pioneer , Lexicographer , and Professor of English Literature at Northwestern University for 42 years. (1932-1974)