Harry Anslinger Lied – Cannabis Never Should Have Been Made Illegal!
After writing about the DEA overstepping their boundaries of power by making CBD oil and cannabis extracts part of the Controlled Substances Act, I did a little more digging. I wanted to get to the real root of the problem, which I knew was Harry Anslinger, but I didn’t know the depth of his lies and scheming against our beloved cannabis plant. What I found may be shocking to you, but the gist of it all really is – he lied, and I’ll explain what I mean by that in this article.
End of Alcohol Prohibition
Alcohol prohibition was coming to an end in 1929 when Harry Anslinger was made the head of the Department of Prohibition. Alcohol prohibition had been a complete disaster it became more dangerous. So, alcohol prohibition didn’t work – lesson 1 for the government.
Once he realized he couldn’t stop people from consuming alcohol, his efforts were failed ones – Anslinger got scared. He was in charge of a major government institution that couldn’t take control. He had nothing to do.
Here’s the kicker though – before all of this, Anslinger had zero problem with cannabis. He said it wasn’t a problem and it didn’t hurt/harm people. He was quoted as saying, “there is no more absurd fallacy” when asked if it made people crazy or violent.
Anslinger’s “About Face” Regarding Cannabis
Alcohol prohibition ended completely. Anslinger and his staff had nothing to do. So, just so the Department of Prohibition had something to do, he abruptly changed his attitude toward cannabis and began scaring the public regarding cannabis use.
He started telling people it would make them crazy, have dreams of erotic characters and “lose the power of connected thought”. He even went as far as to say that, you’d reach the point of “insanity” from using cannabis.
Anslinger second-guessed his actions and chose to write to 30 different scientists for their thoughts on the safety of cannabis. All 30 wrote back, and only 1 – yes 1 – scientist said that cannabis is dangerous. So, what did Anslinger do? He took that single scientist’s words and ran with them.
Anslinger went on and embellished upon a story regarding Victor Licata and the murdering of his family members saying that the “demon weed” made him do it. However, Licata had a long history of mental instability.
So, from these actions, parents in America started to fear cannabis. The media (press) was, of course, obsessed with the Licata axe murder case – the young adult actually used an axe to murder his family – and it escalated from there. Licata’s medical records showed no history of cannabis use…not one single reference that associates the young man with cannabis use – not even in his psych records.
What this did was instill panic into the minds of Americans. From here, marijuana was banned.
The Beginning of the Wrath on Cannabis
Now that the U.S. had banned cannabis, it was suggested that other countries around the world followed suit. Most thought it was absurd and refused to participate. Mexico had the most resistance to this direction from an outside country and refused to comply with the suggestion. How did Anslinger fix this? He cut off supplies of legal painkillers until patients were literally dying in Mexican hospitals. Mexico, regretfully, chose to comply and launch a drug war of its own.
One Doctor Wanted to Complete a Study
Dr. Michael Ball wanted to complete a study to show that cannabis doesn’t make anyone crazy. He had personally used cannabis in medical school – claiming it only made him sleepy.
Anslinger’s response? You might be shocked to read that Anslinger said, “The marihuana evil can no longer be temporized with.” No funding was granted for research. Doctors told Anslinger – for years, that he was wrong. He instilled fear into these doctors by telling them they should “watch their mouths” because they were “treading on dangerous ground”.
Continued Belief of Anslinger’s Lies
The world continued to believe Anslinger’s lies. This was mostly because he was such a bully and used his so-called “power” to get nations around the world to succumb to his demands to ban cannabis.
One of Anslinger’s most disturbing quotes regarding cannabis reads:
“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 causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
What can be derived from that statement? Anslinger made the ban on cannabis completely racist.
He was also quoted as saying, “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with marijuana, he would drop dead of fright.”
More Blatant Lies
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, headed by Anslinger, published fabricated survey data saying that great declines in drug use were shown in the 1920s. David Cartwright, a drug historian, discovered that those reports were, in fact, completely fabricated. There’s a personal memo (which I will attempt to get my hands on to publish in an update), that shows Anslinger admitting that the numbers were fabricated and not legitimate. So, marijuana was added to the drug war in 1937 because of Anslinger’s lies.
You’ll find more of Anslinger’s blatant lies in a 1961 publishing authored by Anslinger and Will Oursler. Before 1930, there wasn’t a single law banning marijuana use anywhere in the world.
Here’s what’s confusing – in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act allowed for the sale and transport of marijuana as long as proper registrations were in place to do so. A tax of $100 per ounce had to be paid. Possessing marijuana without proper registration would result in prison time. Does this make sense? No, not at all.
The La Guardia Report further supported Anslinger’s lies. Anslinger called the report a “government printed invitation to youth and adults-above all to teenagers-to go ahead and smoke all the reefers they felt like”. The report also concluded that there’s no connection between cannabis and violence – meaning that smoking cannabis doesn’t make you commit a violent crime. It also said that cannabis could be used for years without serious mental/physical harm. Even if someone became “addicted” to cannabis, there wouldn’t be any physical signs of withdrawal if given up “cold turkey”. Even decades ago, the La Guardia Report showed that cannabis could potentially be used to cure the addiction of other drugs, including alcoholism.
The FBN and Journal of the American Medical Association (who were tightly bound), tore up the report and condemned it as being unscientific.
Quoted from the Journal’s editorial published on April 26, 1945, it read: “For many years, medical scientists have considered Cannabis a dangerous drug. Nevertheless….the Mayor’s Committee on Marijuana submits an analysis by seventeen doctors of tests on 77 prisoners and, on this narrow and thoroughly unscientific foundation, draws sweeping and inadequate conclusions which minimize the harmlessness of marijuana. Already the book has done harm. One investigator has described some tearful parents who brought their 16-year-old by to a physician after he had been detected in the act of smoking marijuana….The boy said he had read an account of the La Guardia committee report and this was his justification for using marijuana.”
So, as you can see, Anslinger was so good at manipulating people – he even got the Journal of the American Medical Association on board with his lies.
Reversing What Never Should Have Been
I could go on, and on, and on about the lies that Anslinger told. He, this single, angry man, started the war on cannabis. He knew before he even began this battle that cannabis is safer than alcohol and most prescription drugs. It doesn’t make people crazy. He was just bored and needed something to do – he had to give himself a purpose. So, his “purpose” was fabricated from a bunch of lies. Scientists told this stubborn man that cannabis wasn’t harmful; he chose to exploit the opinion of a single scientist.
The world believed this man, even though much of it came from his blackmailing tactics and bullying. How did one man make the world “afraid of cannabis”? Easily, he showed confidence in his speech and continued to repeat the same old lies. He instilled fear in people.
So why is cannabis illegal? Honestly, I have no idea because well, those of us that use it today know what they knew then – it’s not a killer, it’s not addictive and it doesn’t make you crazy!
How do we reverse over 8 decades of lies? It’s not an easy task, but a team of researchers and skilled attorneys could reverse this with a fight. Now, with the evidence available regarding Anslinger’s lies, deceit and bullying, it may not be all that hard to fight. The documents are available, they clearly state that cannabis was made illegal out of false information and lies.
Reversing every word that the world was led to believe is being done little-by-little as more U.S. states and countries around the world legalize, decriminalize and study cannabis – thus proving what doctors before Anslinger knew – cannabis is NOT dangerous. It never should have been made illegal.
Anslinger was so good at his job, even Nixon and Reagan kept up his fight. The world believed the words of one man, who had zero proof to substantiate any of his claims.
A Couple Final Words
Harry Anslinger was nothing more than a liar that capitalized on more lies. He was a bully, a control-freak, a menace. He started this war on cannabis. A plant that has helped billions of people since its discovery centuries and centuries ago. A plant that absolutely cannot kill you because it’s impossible to overdose on. Cannabis never should have been made illegal. One man’s boredom and necessity for purpose waged this war on our beloved plant – now we’re fighting harder than ever to reverse his damage. I just find it funny that people believed a single man and that nothing has been reversed already. There’s ample research available and I – along with billions of others – are living proof that cannabis is safer than most prescription drugs, alcohol and all street drugs. It’s time someone with the right mindset wakes up the people in D.C. and gets this reversed, cannabis should be legal – it was made illegal out of racism, fear and politics.