In 1915, California and Utah passed state laws outlawing marijuana for the same “Jim Crow” reasons – but directed through the Hearst papers at Chicanos.
Colorado followed in 1917. Its legislators cited excesses of Pancho Villa’s rebel army, whose drug of choice was supposed to have been marijuana. (If true, this means that marijuana helped to overthrow one of the most repressive, evil regimes Mexico ever suffered.)
The Colorado Legislature felt the only way to prevent an actual racial blood bath and the overthrow of their (whites’) ignorant and bigoted laws, attitudes and institutions was to stop marijuana.
Mexicans under marijuana’s influence were demanding humane treatment, looking at white women, and asking that their children be educated while the parents harvested sugar beets; and making other “insolent” demands. With the excuse of marijuana (Killer Weed), the whites could now use force and rationalize their violent acts of repression.
This “reefer racism” continues into the present day. In 1937, Harry Anslinger told Congress that there were between 50,000 to 100,000* marijuana smokers in the U.S., mostly “Negroes and Mexicans, and entertainers,” and their music, jazz and swing, was an outgrowth of this marijuana use. He insisted this “satanic” music and the use of marijuana caused white women to “seek sexual relations with Negroes!”
*Anslinger would have flipped to know that one day there would be 26 million daily marijuana users and another 30-40 million occasional users in America, and that rock ‘n’ roll and jazz are now enjoyed by tens of millions who have never smoked marijuana.