Should Voters Legalize Marijuana? Yes
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Should Voters Legalize Marijuana? Yes
Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2010 at 06:24:45 PT
By Mike Gray, Special To The Bee 
Source: Sacramento Bee
California -- It was 75 years ago last summer that the war on the Devil Weed was launched by a former railroad cop named Harry Anslinger. If Anslinger had found some other line of work, it's quite possible that marijuana prohibition might never have happened. A bull-necked tough guy with a talent for organizing, Anslinger rose through the ranks of Treasury agents fighting for a booze-free America in the 1920s. When alcohol Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Anslinger had already landed on his feet as commissioner of the newly created Bureau of Narcotics. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he fell into a crime- fighting competition with his rival J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI.
By 1935, Anslinger had come up with a strategy to vastly increase his turf. A handful of border state sheriffs were complaining about a foreign plague creeping up from the south  a weed the Mexicans called "marihuana" that was driving its victims insane. A single toke, it was said, could cause you to chop up your grandmother.Anslinger initially ridiculed the idea of banning the plant  "It grows like dandelions"  but he finally saw its value as a symbol. So he upgraded the cannabis plant from a medicinal herb to an evil "as hellish as heroin." And to stoke the flames, he played the race card. "There are 100,000 total marihuana smokers in the U.S.," he warned the Hearst papers, "and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music  jazz and swing  result from marihuana use. This marihuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."  Snipped   Complete Article: Sacramento Bee (CA)Author:  Mike Gray, Special To The Bee Published: October 29, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento BeeContact: opinion sacbee.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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