How did we go from a country where our founding fathers grew cannabis to a worldwide prohibition? If you hadn’t guessed from the title, the reason is outrageous and can be largely attributed to a man by the name Harry Anslinger. Anslinger used a tragedy involving a man named Victor Licata to spur a slow movement into a full-blown panic. How exactly did he do this? Get ready, here is the outrageous reason Marijuana is illegal not just in the USA but most of the world.
Understanding who Harry Anslinger is
Anslinger was the man at the top of the food chain when it comes to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics. A government organization whose responsibilities have been largely consumed by US Office of National Drug Control Policy. Why is that you may ask? The shocking truth is Harry Anslinger lead the Department of Prohibition in the years leading up to and during the end of Alcohol Prohibition. Prior to this point, Anslinger had this to say about banning marijuana in the US. Cannabis is not a problem, does not harm people, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.
“cannabis was not a problem, did not harm people, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent”
However, when facing the end of prohibition, making his whole department rather obsolete, he began to sing a different tune. A tune-filled with lies, jaded information, mass media manipulation, and racist overtones. Of course, we here at The Smoker’s Circle are a bunch of stoners, right? So maybe we are a little bias? Check this out.
“By the tons, it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms… Marijuana is a shortcut to the insane asylum. Smoke marijuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him…”
Pretty scary if you’ve never been exposed to marijuana users right? To build his case Anslinger gathered 200 files (gore files) highlighting violent crimes he claimed were committed because of marijuana’s influence. Don’t worry, 198 of the files were found to have no correlation or evidence of marijuana use, and no record could be found for 2 of them outside of his gore files.
Gore files and misc hate speech
How does Victor Licata spur the prohibition?
Victor Licata is just your typical mild-mannered ax murder. He killed his parents and three siblings with an ax. Victor Licata is also Anslinger’s poster boy for reefer madness. What does Anslinger have to say about this tragic and upsetting event in Florida?
“An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an axe, he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze… He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crimes. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called “muggles,” a childish name for marijuana.”
You can imagine reading something like that in the 1930’s when marijuana was still largely new territory for many people in the USA. The US and the world at large were in a panic! Those that weren’t such as Mexico, were met with political aggression by the US until they met the US demands to ban the substance.
As you may have guessed Victor Licata was one of 198 gore files debunked. While Victor Licata did murder his family with an ax, there is no evidence that marijuana played any role whatsoever. In fact, researchers looking into the matter have discovered that Licata had a severe mental illness. In the year prior to the tragedy professionals had urged the family to commit him to an asylum. They, being a loving family or bad advice takers, simply refused.
If the cake was a lie then why is weed still Illegal?
This is a bit trickier since it would seem that knowing Anslinger is full of it would be enough to start undoing the nonsensical marijuana prohibition. Unfortunately, unmaking laws are complicated and largely political. Maybe you’ve heard people use the phrase “big pharma” to refer to large pharmaceutical companies and their conspiracy to suppress weed to profit off pharmacy medication. It’s not a conspiracy it’s simply business.
Jack Herer is the name to know when comes to marijuana conspiracy
Purchase his books here
Many companies in many industries would likely be devastated if a sudden unexpected worldwide legalization were to occur. Hemp and its many uses from fabric and manufacturing to medicinal may offer much cheaper and easier to mass produce options. How badly would it affect other industries? Opinions vary but companies that feel they may be affected may also use money to endorse candidates for political positions that can keep Cannabis suppressed. We at the smoke circle feel that lives and the betterment of society shouldn’t come second to making money but not everyone feels that way.
Well, that’s it folks, Harry Anslinger, the hero who saved his own job by spreading the word of reefer madness. A man remembered fondly for his hypocrisy and slander is the reason men, women, and children are being denied access to life-saving medicine, pain easing therapy, and relief from severe anxiety and depression. We here at The Smoker’s Circle hope this will help to shed light on what has to be one of the most ridiculous prohibitions in human history.