We all respect the laws of the land as they are what keeps us civilized, and we assume the laws are on the books for a good reason, and that our legislators have done their due diligence, the laws are equitable and just, and we don’t need to be concerned.
But when our experience with the herb is at such odds with government oppression and militarized policing, then we need to ask what happened.
HARRY ANSLINGER, Director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
from Cannabis History by hampapartiet.
It appears as though a self-perpetuating bureaucracy established to deal with alcohol prohibition had nothing to do once that prohibition was repealed, so Harry Anslinger, director of the FBN, picked on the herb of choice of Mexican migrant workers as a replacement to vilify. These choice comments of Director Anslinger give an indication of attitudes that would influence ‘War On Drugs’ policing and social justice in the future;
- …the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.
- Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing.
- 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.
- Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.
- Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.
- You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.
- Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.
TRANSCRIPT. JOHANN HARI: Yeah, not far from where we are now, in 1939, Billie Holiday stands on stage in a hotel, and she sings the song “Strange Fruit,” which obviously your viewers will know is an anti-lynching song. Her goddaughter Lorraine Feather said to me, “You’ve got to understand how shocking this was, right?” Billie Holiday wasn’t allowed to walk through the front door of that hotel; she had to go through the service elevator. To have an African-American woman standing up, at a time when most pop songs were like twee, you know, “P.S. I Love You,” that kind of thing, singing against lynching in front of a white audience was regarded as really shocking. And that night, according to her biographer, Julia Blackburn, she’s told by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, “Stop singing this song.”
But the most amazing thing to me about the Billie Holiday story that really helped me to think about the addicts in my life is she never stopped singing that song. She always found somewhere to sing it. You know, she went wherever they would have her, and she sang her song about lynching, no matter how much they tried to intimidate her. And to me, that’s really inspiring, not just for resisting the racism of the drug war, but actually for realizing that addicts can be heroes. All over the world while we’re talking, people are listening to Billie Holiday, and they are feeling stronger. And that is an incredible achievement. And the people resisting the drug war who I met all over the world, from a transsexual crack dealer in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to, you know, a scientist who was feeding hallucinogens to mongooses to see what would happen, to the only country that has ever decriminalized all drugs, there is heroism in resistance to this war all over the world.
by Brandon Weber, Progressive.org,February 20, 2018
After one of Anslinger’s men was paid to track Holiday and frame her with buying and using heroin, she spent eighteen months in prison. Upon her release in 1948, the federal government refused to renew her cabaret performer’s license, mandatory for any performer playing or singing at any club or bar serving alcohol.
This utterly undermined her career. Although Holiday was able to perform multiple sold-out Carnegie Hall performances over the next several years, she could no longer travel the nightclub circuit.
RICHARD NIXON and JOHN EHRLICHMAN
The original 1937 law against cannabis/hemp was a tax law that was declared unconstitutional during Richard Nixon’s time, and he commissioned a study – the Shafer Commission – that recommended legalization; not what Nixon wanted to hear. John Ehrlichman gave an interview in which he showed that Nixon’s vindictive nature won out over common sense and social justice.
John Ehrlichman, Counsel and Assistant to President Nixon: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Interviewed in 1992 by journalist Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, full quote in “Truth, Lies, and Audiotape” by Dan Baum (2012).
From blog entry http://deirdre.net/disrupting-demographics-nixons-war-on-drugs/
“[T]he growing cost of the drug war is now impossible to ignore: billions of dollars wasted, bloodshed in Latin America and on the streets of our own cities, and millions of lives destroyed by draconian punishment that doesn’t end at the prison gate; one of every eight black men has been disenfranchised because of a felony conviction,” Baum writes. “Now, for the first time, we have an opportunity to change course.”
“Legalize it all,” he writes.
Drug prohibition is stigmatizing, criminalizing and rounding up many good people. It fills prisons with nonviolent drug offenders for long periods of time, taking people’s property and money, keeping them from jobs, breaking up families and orphaning children. It even includes the use of paramilitary tactics, often on the word of paid informants, with disastrous effects.
This pattern sounds eerily familiar. Enough! Never again. That’s why I vowed to work to end this destructive drug war — especially marijuana prohibition, which is driving the arrest rates due to the vast numbers of cannabis users compared to the relatively few users of other illicit drugs.
Marijuana prohibition is a social justice issue
Decades of “reefer madness” hysteria have caused much more harm to our families and society than any plant ever could. Even though cannabis is arguably safer than alcohol and has never killed anyone, it remains federally scheduled in the most dangerous category with no accepted medical use. Today, California, 24 other states and Washington, D.C. all accept medical use of marijuana. Doctors throughout the country are recommending cannabis to patients to treat cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, depression, PTSD and a host of other ills. Marijuana’s safety and medical benefits are becoming better known as more people turn to this plant for relief from their ailments and suffering, and to get off opiates and other pharmaceuticals that have devastating side effects.
Meanwhile, Israel is at the forefront of medical cannabis research and has a thriving program where patients can access cannabis and even use it in hospitals.
REEFER MADNESS AND YELLOW JOURNALISM
ESCALATING PUNISHMENT AND SWAT RAIDS
- Please note – There is no honor in perpetuating the catastrophic failure that is cannabis prohibition. Disastrous unintended consequences are everywhere and especially horrifying is the social injustice of incarcerating mostly minorities, as shown by the ACLU’s maps. Curtailing the availability of medicine results in an underground supply network, huge price increases, and violent cartels. Mandatory minimums, prisons for profit, and policing for profit with asset forfeiture – there is so much corruption because there is so much money at stake. Medical research has been thwarted, and cottage industries banned. The solution – the way to bring down the cartels and end the violence – is to repeal the prohibition of cannabis. If everyone grew all they needed, the price would fall to parity with tomatoes.