Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jul 2007
Source: Willamette Week (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2007 City of Roses Newspaper Company
Author: Anthony Johnson
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Starting in the 1930s, our nation's first drug czar, Harry Anslinger,
used yellow journalism to play upon citizens' racism to escalate the
war on cannabis. Anslinger claimed that most users were "Negroes,
Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers" and that "marijuana causes
white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and
any others."

It is sad to see Willamette Week also used to push this war. On June
1, 2006, WW reported ["The Mexican Connection"] that "Mexican cartels
are moving into Oregon" and that a police sergeant "has spotted
suspected drug bosses in snakeskin boots and white cowboy hats lined
up outside clubs blaring mariachi music." Now, Portland has been
invaded by "Asian crime rings from north of the border" who set up
"high-tech marijuana grows" that have "a detrimental effect on the
other houses in the neighborhood. [And] we're talking about some
decent neighborhoods" ["Canadian Bakin'," June 27].

WW should be illustrating the idiocy of this war, instead of
perpetuating it. Over 400,000 Americans die each year from tobacco,
but not a single death can be attributed to cannabis. We tax and
regulate tobacco, but spend millions arresting and imprisoning people
for possessing and growing cannabis. WW should point out these facts
and report that it is time to stop wasting millions of dollars and
that Oregon should instead be raking in millions by taxing and
regulating the use of cannabis by adults. Then WW can quit being used
to continue this foolish war and truly live up to its mission statement.


Political Director, Voter Power

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