Pubdate: Sun, 28 Mar 2010
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2010 Lee Enterprises
Author: Travis Glasgow



For our fine men and women in law enforcement,  lawmakers, and those 
who wish to drink from the  intoxicating cup of American propaganda, 
I would like  to remind them of how the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act came 
about. I don't expect law enforcement to be educated as  to why laws 
were passed; their job is simply to enforce  those laws. I do wonder, 
however, if they question the  laws they are sworn to enforce.

While alcohol, a more addictive and harmful drug than  Marijuana 
(,  continues to 
destroy families everyday across this  country, local police are 
cracking down on marijuana  possession and use. The CS-T reported on 
March 19, a  Colorado woman was arrested for possessing less 
than  one once of medical marijuana. To be fair, Colorado  laws do 
not apply in Wyoming (we do things different  out here!), but the 
egregious crime of possessing less  than a once of a substance that 
has a positive medicinal use, must be examined further.

The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act ("Marijuana" was the label  used for 
hemp/cannabis) was a bill introduced that led  to the criminalization 
of hemp or cannabis. The act  itself was to tax those who were 
involved commercially  in the production of hemp.

Harry Anslinger, U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics,  started an 
anti-Marijuana campaign leading up to the  Marihuana Tax Act that 
would eventually criminalize  marijuana. Anslinger used racial claims 
to support his  campaign, saying, "Colored students at the 
University  of Minnesota partying with white female 
students,  smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy 
with  stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy."

Anslinger was also quoted as saying from police  reports, "... the 
primary reason to outlaw marijuana is  its effect on the degenerate 
races." With the help of  yellow journalism maestro and publisher 
William  Randolph Hearst, he used sensationalism and scare  tactics, 
stating, "You smoke a joint and you're likely  to kill your 

Marijuana was criminalized because Anslinger created a 
government-supported propaganda campaign with the help  of Hearst, 
who had a financial interest in blocking the  competing hemp 
industry. This is another example of  good old-fashioned political 
and corporate greed.

- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart