Pubdate: Tue, 28 Apr 2009
Source: Daily Northwestern (IL Edu)
Copyright: 2009 The Daily Northwestern
Author: Ralph Givens


Before accepting the notion that drug prohibitionists are rational 
people, we should remember that these are the individuals who have 
been throwing people in prison for decades because of laws based on 
racist fictions.

In 1934 Hearst newspapers nationwide wrote that "marihuana influences 
Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's 
shadows and look at a white woman twice."

In 1937, politician Harry Anslinger convinced Congress to make 
marijuana illegal, saying, "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." Federal Bureau 
of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger issued a slew of racist 
condemnations of marijuana in the 1920s and 1930s. He said that "the 
primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate 
races," and "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

There is nothing reasonable and nothing honorable about enforcing a 
policy based on racial lies. -

Ralph Givens

Former Waukegan resident
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