In 1911, South Africa* began the outlawing of marijuana for the same reasons as New Orleans: to stop insolent blacks! White South Africa, along with Egypt, led the international fight (League of Nations) to have cannabis outlawed worldwide.
*South Africa still allowed its black mine workers to smoke dagga (marijuana) in the mines, though. Why? Because they were more productive!
In fact, in that same year, South Africa influenced southern U.S. legislators to outlaw cannabis (which many black South Africans revered as “dagga,” their sacred herb). Many South Africans’ American business headquarters were in New Orleans at the time.
This is the whole racial and religious (Medieval Catholic Church) basis out of which our laws against hemp arose. Are you proud?
Isn’t it interesting that in 1985 the U.S. incarcerated a larger percentage of people than any country in the world except South Africa? In 1989 the U.S. surpassed South Africa, and the 1997 incarceration rate was almost four times that of South Africa. Now, in 2007, there are over 2.2 million people incarcerated in the U.S.
President Bush Sr., in his great drug policy speech of September 5, 1989, promised to double the federal prison population again, after it had already doubled under Reagan. He succeeded. In 1993, President Bill Clinton planned to redouble the number of prisoners again by 1996. He did.
Remember the outcry in 1979 when former UN Ambassador Andrew Young told the world that the U.S. had more political prisoners than any other nation?
(Amnesty International, ACLU.) Also, see Appendix: “Fighting the Police State.”