Pubdate: Sun, 22 Jun 2008
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)
Copyright: 2008 Lee Enterprises
Author: Ralph Givens


It is amazing how ridiculous lies, propaganda and political
opportunism still affect attitudes about marijuana. The pot laws were
passed based on the most absurd racist fictions:

"Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step
on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." (Hearst
newspapers nationwide, 1934.)

"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are
Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music,
jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause
white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and
any others."

"Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity,
criminality and death."

"[Smoking] one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania,
probably to kill his brother." (See U.S. Government Propaganda To
Outlaw Marijuana --

Not one of these claims meets the standards of modern science,
medicine or social knowledge. Indeed these Reefer Madness claims are
generally rejected by the public. People are denied medical care, jobs
are lost and yes, people are being jailed because of these odious
lies. Nevertheless, legislators refuse to set the record straight by
repealing policies that harm the public far more than any amount of
marijuana use could ever do.

The absurdity of employment policies is that the victim of a pot law
does not need to be under the influence of the drug to be fired.
Merely using the drug off work can be detected for days or weeks. No
impairment of any kind is needed.

Ralph Givens, Daly City, Calif.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake