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(USA) Don’t vilify marijuana to save hemp

It’s good to see students learning the truth about hemp, but it is wrong to denounce marijuana to justify hemp. The marijuana laws are based on the most lunatic notions ever used to enact a law:

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

“The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

“[Smoking] one [marijuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother.”

(From Harry J Anslinger’s sworn statements for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the 1951 Boggs Act (harsher penalties), 1956 Narcotics Control Act – Boggs-Daniels (even harsher penalties) and his propaganda statements to the press.)

“Marihuana influences Negroes to to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” (Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1934)

These absurd claims were made to prevent the commercial exploitation of hemp, not to protect people from imaginary attacks of Reefer Madness. The whole purpose of marijuana prohibition is to keep hemp products off the market. (See: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer

Hemp is an extremely valuable crop for ending the damage being done by greenhouse gases and ozone depletion. Switching from timber to hemp for our paper supplies can help restore proper carbon dioxide levels and eliminate a huge source of dioxin pollution.

Legalizing hemp/marijuana will go a long way toward cleaning up the environment.

Redford Givens
Webmaster, Schaffer Library of Drug Policy