October 14, 2002
7:27 PM   Subscribe

Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
posted by Degaz (27 comments total)
Yeah, without a Harry Anslinger there wouldn't be hundreds of thousands of "victimless crime" convicts rotting in prisons across the US (and indeed maybe millions also around the rest of the world). But, on the other hand, we wouldn't have that ridiculous "reefer madness" propaganda movie, which Anslinger comissioned, to laugh at while we're stoned.
posted by troutfishing at 7:45 PM on October 14, 2002

I call shenanigans on our current drug czar, who recently said that "We know that it is responsible for 20 percent of accidents on the road today."

Anyone see the new round of commercials?
posted by ph00dz at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2002

The government encouraged farmers to grow HEMP, not marijuana. These are two different things.
posted by crazy finger at 7:52 PM on October 14, 2002

The first link's short section about Ainslinger and the American Medical Association in 1937 is must-reading for anyone who wants to have an informed opinion about medical marijuana today.
posted by mediareport at 7:57 PM on October 14, 2002

If HEMP and MARIJUANA are " two different things", why has the US gov. been fighting, for decades, the introduction into US markets of hemp products with an insignificant THC level?
posted by troutfishing at 7:58 PM on October 14, 2002

it's true...marijuana and hemp are much much different...but they look the same
posted by Degaz at 8:11 PM on October 14, 2002

I hear marijuanna affects the..... the ....

Where am I?
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:12 PM on October 14, 2002

ph00dz: The one with the stoned kid accidentally shooting another stoned kid, because he's too stoned to remember that a gun will cause harm? That's the most offensive anti-drug ad, ever. It will rank right up there with "Reefer Madness" in future media camp rankings, mind you, but for now it's moronic and shameful.
posted by raysmj at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2002

I'm waiting for a new US gov. campaign against....BOOZE (alcohol) - One of (at the least) the top 5 mortality factors.
posted by troutfishing at 8:32 PM on October 14, 2002

The war on (some) drugs is really harshing my mellow, man.
posted by fatbobsmith at 8:46 PM on October 14, 2002

Irony --- DEA agents incinerating fields of hemp on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, grown from seeds gone feral from a WWII-era government program.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:23 PM on October 14, 2002

Screw Hearst.

His racist self did alot of good. Bleh. Ya know they called it 'Marahuana' because that's how it is pronounced in Spanish? Another stupid racial stereotype.

it started then, and it won't end since the US government doesn't want to 'lose face' in the idiotic drug war.

I'd guarantee you that if Marijuana was decriminalized, we'd have more room in jails for people that committed crimes and harmed people.

Oh yeah, if any of you get to talk to "Citizen Kane", William Randolph, tell him that it must be hot down there. That's what I presume.

posted by RobbieFal at 10:20 PM on October 14, 2002

The problem is that so many wildly differing substances with different effects on users are lumped together arbitrarily under the one umbrella of "drugs".

People who know no better see marijuana classed as a "drug" and up there with heroin and crack and assume the worst of the user and the effects it will have.
posted by jontyjago at 12:50 AM on October 15, 2002

It's sad to see the government still supports blatant rascism. Cocaine and crack are, in essence, the exact same drug. However, crack – a much cheaper, and much more affordable, form of the illicit substance – has a "special" mandatory five-year sentence. It is the only drug that features this "special" penalty for simple possession.

In the 1980's, when this law was put in the books, African-Americans held an 11% advantage over whites in terms of drug-related incarceration. Within a few years, the difference skyrocketed to 59%. You don't need to read about Anslinger to see that the War on Drugs has elements of racism, because it still does today.

Jeb Bush's daughter, Noelle, recently got caught with crack in rehab. She did not get incarcerated, rather, her rehab was extended. It sickens me to see that the government recognizes that simple rehab is best for their own, but still fights to incarcerate those who use drugs in our inner cities.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:40 AM on October 15, 2002

In case anyone is interested, here's a good summary (with sources).

I find it to be rather annoying when people rattle of statistics regarding the War on Drugs, but include no sources. Nevermind that I'm guilty of it on my previous post.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:52 AM on October 15, 2002

Prozac, Vallium, Wellbutrin, Ritalin, Thorazine...these are all drugs too, but half the nation has no problem shoveling them down thier throats because they're prescribed by doctors, nevermind their harmful effects. Given the choice of a prozac nation or stoner nation, I say pass me the bong. At least we'll get some good music out of it.

Honestly, a friend I grew up with became a prison guard. He fell in with a bad crowd (state and local police as well as other guards)...they like to get together and play poker (for money of course) while everyone smokes pot and does cocaine they confiscate from thier various victims. No one parties like the cops he says. And if you go to the local police station it's hard to get thier attention because they've got thier eyes glued to the hardcore porn channel 24 hours a day. The local cable company supplies them with it for free waiving the usual $5 per hour they charge regular folks. They don't try to hide it either, it's right there for anyone to see as you walk up to the front desk. Good police work requires massive doses of hardcore porn, drugs, and booze. At least that's how it is in Pennsylvania but I suspect it's the same everywhere you go.
posted by Eyegore at 6:57 AM on October 15, 2002

In case anyone is interested, here's a good summary of what's wrong with crack sentencing (with sources)*.

*I find it to be rather annoying when people rattle off information regarding the War on Drugs, when the information has no basis in fact. The ONDCP is notoriously guilty of this in their propaganda. Nevermind that I'm also guilty of it on my previous post.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:57 AM on October 15, 2002

Oops. I had to get in a shot at the f*ckin' ONDCP, didn't I?
posted by BirdD0g at 7:00 AM on October 15, 2002

You mean this Noelle Bush? Ahhh...it's good to be the Governor's daughter.
posted by Degaz at 7:43 AM on October 15, 2002

Jebby was on the Today show this morning (U.S. TV), and was supposed to comment on his crack-whore daughter. Anyone catch it? I had to leave for work and missed it.

The whole thing is plain vile. Does she have to kill someone before she's treated like us commoners? Throw her ass in jail already.

And doesn't this speak to the quality of her father's character? Aren't drug abusers trying to escape the pain of their lives? I have an aunt who is a homeless heroine addict, and it is definitely a result of the way she was raised. All her brothers and sisters are alcoholics. Hmmmmmmmm.
posted by archimago at 8:14 AM on October 15, 2002

I have an aunt who is a homeless heroine addict, and it is definitely a result of the way she was raised.

I was raised a heroine addict too, archimago. Something about girls who slay dragons just really turns me on. I think it's a whole Bridgette Neilsen/Red Sonja/long powerful thighs thing.

In all seriousness, sorry about your aunt. However: I agree with you on the Bushes, but just to be the Noelle's Advocate here, are you also demanding your Aunt's ass should be thrown in jail?

I am angry at the hypocrisy of Jeb Bush, but not that someone isn't in jail for drug offenses. Everyone should be treated, even family members of lying hyprocritical slime like Jeb Bush. The fact that her uncle's an asshole doesn't change the fact that she obviously needs treatment... throwing her ass in jail to make Democrats feel warm and fuzzy about themselves doesn't exactly seem constructive.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2002

Quoth BirdDog: "African-Americans held an 11% advantage over whites in terms of drug-related incarceration. Within a few years, the difference skyrocketed to 59%."

Can you please cite a source for this. It's a very telling statistic and I'd like to look a bit further into it. Thanks.
posted by einer at 8:39 AM on October 15, 2002

einer, I've mentioned this book in previous posts, but BirdDog's stats can be found somewhere, along with countless others about race/crime/incarceration ratios, in the exeptional book No Equal Justice by David Cole.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:00 AM on October 15, 2002

Try here. This says 49%, but I could have sworn it was 59%. Consider it my mistake, until I prove otherwise.
posted by BirdD0g at 12:40 PM on October 15, 2002

Or if you want to see the actual report by the US Sentencing Commission...
posted by BirdD0g at 12:50 PM on October 15, 2002

Over the years, cops have "confiscated" my pot three times. In each case, they made a big show out of the favor they were doing me by not arresting/ticketing me for possession.

"Thank you officer. I know you can't just scatter my weed by the side of the road and stamp it into the dirt. It has to be destroyed in the police incinerator...yes I understand officer."

At least they had the decency not to confiscate my munchies.
posted by Devils Slide at 5:12 PM on October 15, 2002

One night I stopped by the local convenience store in rural PA where I used to live. One of the deputies was in there requisitioning plastic cups. He was bragging to the cashier that they had just busted a double keg party in the woods, and needed the cups for themselves as they threw thier own party with the kegs they stole from the teenagers.
posted by Eyegore at 10:54 PM on October 16, 2002

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