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burdman April 14th, 2016 10:14pm

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.” “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” -Harry Anslinger "The Gore Files" (Link to why marijuana was made illegal in the first place.)

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krayzewolf New Hampshire
04/15/16 7:36 am


But I strongly support legalization already.

IamPriscilla Idaho, USA
04/14/16 6:06 pm

I heard Big Oil tricked law makers into outlawing hemp, because hemp products were more superior to oil products and was putting them out of business. So they called it by its Mexican name, Marijuana, which most people never heard of before, and spread propaganda that it made you crazy and deranged and murderous. People only realized that Marijuana was hemp after the law was passed.

burdman Nowhere
04/14/16 7:08 pm

I read up on that but I cannot find a current credible source. I did see that there was confusion on hemp vs marijuana. Based on what I've read, hemp products beat fossil fuel on almost everything; hemp is a renewable resource, hemp-based plastics are biodegradable, farming is better for the environment than oil wells, it's cheaper to get, and hemp oil is a good fuel source. What I can't find is if it's equal to oil in energy output (i.e. Does one gallon of hemp oil equal one gallon of gasoline?). In the 30s, oil companies began to take over at the same time that William Randolph Hearst owned a newspaper that printed Anslinger's material. Hearst didn't like Mexicans because he lost land to Pancho villa, was for prohibition, and switched from hemp to tree-based paper. A perfect storm against marijuana.
(Slightly out of date)
(Obviously biased for marijuana)

RoDe Latinus wordsus
04/14/16 7:46 pm

So I had heard something similar but different, involving Hearst and paper. I just did a little research, it looks like neither story is true. This article is pretty interesting, it seems the source of these rumors was no other than Jack Herer, a name that might pique some potheads' interest.

burdman Nowhere
04/14/16 10:47 pm

That's interesting. So Hearst wasn't really at fault for making cannabis illegal if every paper was printing Anslinger's propaganda. He probably just had the biggest paper around which is why he's remembered. Ultimately it all points back to Anslinger and his scare tactics. Sure there was already racism at the time, but he used that to his advantage to spread fear. Thanks for the clarifying article by the way!

susanr Colorado
04/14/16 4:32 pm

Those quotes and the others in the same section of the linked article are abominations, even in the time-frame of when they occurred. (Not just scientifically untrue about marijuana, but disgustingly racist as well. And was that really a widely held opinion about jazz? WTF?) The fact that the AMA strongly opposed the "distortion" of the AMAs views makes it even more troubling.

However, I am a little wary of the qualified introduction of the quotes in the piece, making it impossible to tell who actually said those things: "Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files..."

A number of statements that have been "widely attributed" to Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures are total bunk, so there's reason to be skeptical here, without further information.

burdman Nowhere
04/14/16 4:51 pm
I found the same 8 quotes on this website as well but I can't prove the validity of them. Either way, what Anslinger did and said are absolutely disgusting to promote his agenda. It's almost artistic how he spread fear, "this person did this horrible crime, was it because of marijuana?" Never actually saying that marijuana was involved, but implying it. And several of the Gore Files were later proven to be faked.

burdman Nowhere
04/14/16 3:20 pm

Regardless of your stance on legalization, marijuana was made illegal for the wrong reasons. Anslinger used fear and hatred of Mexicans and Blacks, as well as his influence in government and in newspapers to scare people into outlawing marijuana. Obviously I think it should be legalized, but to those of you that don't, I think we can agree that marijuana should be reexamined scientifically, not emotionally.