Cannabis Prohibitionists of the United States
While I sit here watching other states in the US make history with cannabis reform, I eagerly wait for our leadership to step up and correct the mistakes of our predecessors. It was disgusting to see Governor Malloy reaction to sports gambling, he jumped like a dog happy to see his owner returning home. This individual has no moral grounding. I wish him well in the future, but I hope his career in politics is over. For someone who didn’t want his legacy to based on being the “weed gov,” he sure is scrambling not to go down as the worst governor in modern Connecticut history.
This entire event made me start thinking of who the biggest cannabis prohibitionist were in history. It’s easy to identify Henry Anslinger with all his rhetoric and misinformation, in the guise of protecting white-women from what??? We have learned through different events in history that people can manipulate society. Have you ever wondered what causes mass hysteria? Have you ever considered that widespread public fear can be created and manipulated by powerful interest groups? It’s true. The sociological concept known as “moral panic” offers valuable insights into how and why powerful social agents such as the news media and the police deliberately create public concern or fear of an individual or group. Does this sound familiar? Could it be the “War on Drugs?”
I’m a responsible parent of two young girls and I am not afraid of having cannabis in my house. I raise my children to be mindful of what is cannabis. When you attempt to hide something, you naturally create an urge to be inquisitive. This is not a smart productive way to address this plant.
Some of the biggest prohibitionist in US history?
As a United States government official who served as the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He was a supporter of prohibition and the criminalization of drugs, and played a pivotal role in cannabis prohibition. Anslinger held office an unprecedented 32 years in his role as commissioner until 1962. He then held office two years as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Narcotics Commission. As you can see he was very much in the center of prohibition.
In the 1930s Anslinger’s articles often contained racial themes in his anti-marijuana campaign:
Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy.
Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.
Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Before being appointed as AG, Sessions gave us many, many memorable anti-marijuana quotes. Like that time he said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” or when he said he thought the KKK “were OK until I found out they smoke pot.” So when he was sworn into the Trump administration, it looked like he might have already gone through all the crazy things he had to say about weed. But Sessions proved us all wrong when he told people that marijuana was only “slightly less awful than heroin.”
SAM and Kevin Sabet
The Virginia-based nonprofit, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has been a major source of misinformation. They target individuals based on exploitation of parental fears. SAM is worried that “Big Cannabis” is on par with Big Tobacco, but that’s just one of their fears. Regarding medical cannabis, they state on their website that “smoking the raw form of marijuana is akin to smoking opium to get the effects of morphine” and that “marijuana meets the technical definition of Schedule I because it has a high potential for abuse and has no FDA-approved use.”
Mel and Betty Sembler, Fundraisers and activists
This political couple funded a campaign against Colorado’s recreational legalization initiative and in Florida, against approving medical marijuana. Mel Sembler has been morally against weed since he allegedly discovered that “[President] Carter was doing all this pot-smoking and stuff in the White House,” which led Sembler to switch from the Democratic party to the GOP.
For decades, the Semblers ran a notorious rehab center called STRAIGHT, Inc., which was shut down after several lawsuits confirmed instances of beatings, psychological abuse and rape. The Semblers battled decriminalization and legalization while simultaneously profiting from the casualties of prohibition. They continued their efforts when legalization became a possibility in Colorado, donating more than $150,000 to the anti-legalization group Smart Colorado to prevent support of the 2012 ballot initiative, which was approved despite the Semblers’ efforts. Preempting medical marijuana in Florida, Sembler donated $100,000 to establish Drug Free Florida, which campaigned against legalization.
Author of Weed, Inc.: The Truth About THC, the Pot Lobby, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry. Cort is a board member for Project SAMUEL, the nation’s leading prohibitionist think tank, and a self-described recovering marijuana addict. In his new book, he claims to expose the biggest prohibitionist lie. However, there is no factual support to any of these overly embellished claims.
Some highlights of his book are:
“You’d have to smoke 15 joints in 1970 to get the same high as just one joint today.”
“In 1996… average… THC… was 5% or less. Today, 30% in the norm…”
“Pesticide levels six times the maximum allowed by the federal government have been found on plants quarantined at marijuana grow houses in Denver.”
“The black market has not disappeared; in fact, it has only grown since legalization.”