Harry Anslinger and Marijuana

Let me try adding some more fuel to the fire- The real reason for the War on Drugs

Ever read about a fine upstanding gentleman known as Harry J. Anslinger who was the driving force behind making Marijuana illegal?

Here are the relevant parts from the wikipedia article.

By using the mass media as his forum (receiving much support from William Randolph Hearst), Anslinger propelled the anti-marijuana sentiment from the state level to a national movement. Writing for The American Magazine, the best examples were contained in his “Gore File”, a collection of quotes from police reports, by later opponents described as police-blotter-type narratives of heinous cases, most with no substantiation, linking graphically depicted offenses with the drug. Anslinger used sometimes the very brief and concise language in many police reports when he wrote about drug crimes:

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….”

Anslinger has been accused responsible for racial themes in articles against marijuana in the 1930s.“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

“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.”

“The first Federal law-enforcement administrator to recognize the signs of a national criminal syndication and sound the alarm was Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics in the Treasury” (Ronald Reagan 1986) When Anslinger was interviewed in 1954 about drug abuse (see below), he did not mention anything about race or sex. In his book The Protectors (1964) Anslinger has a chapter called “Jazz and Junk Don’t Mix” about the black jazz musicians Billie Holliday and Charlie Parker, who both died after years of heavy drug abuse:

Jazz entertainers are neither fish nor fowl. They do not get the million-dollar protection Hollywood and Broadway can afford for their stars who have become addicted – and there are many more than will ever be revealed. Perhaps this is because jazz, once considered a decadent kind of music, has only token respectability. Jazz grew up next door to crime, so to speak. Clubs of dubious reputation were, for a long time, the only places where it could be heard. But the times bring changes, and as Billy Holiday was a victim of time and change, so too was Charlie Parker, a man whose music, like Billie’s is still widely imitated. Most musicians credit Parker among others as spearheading what is called modern jazz.“(p.157)

Quite the screwjob..

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