In fact, FBI statistics, had Anslinger bothered to check, showed at least 65-75% of all murders in the U.S. were then – and still are – alcohol related. As an example of his racist statements, Anslinger read into U.S. Congressional testimony (without objection) stories about “coloreds” with big lips, luring white women with jazz music and marijuana. He read an account of two black students at the University of Minnesota doing this to a white coed “with the result of pregnancy.” The congressmen of 1937 gasped at this and at the fact that this drug seemingly caused white women to touch or even look at a “negro.”
Virtually no one in America other than a handful of rich industrialists and their hired cops knew that their chief potential competitor – hemp – was being outlawed under the name “marijuana.”
That’s right. Marijuana was most likely just a pretext for hemp prohibition and economic suppression.
The water was further muddied by the confusion of marijuana with “loco weed” (Jimson Weed). The situation was not clarified by the press, which continued to print the misinformation into the 1960s.
At the dawn of the 1990s, the most extravagant and ridiculous attacks on the hemp plant drew national media attention–such as a study widely reported by health journals* in 1989 that claimed marijuana smokers put on about a half a pound of weight per day. Now in 2007, they just want to duck the issue.
*American Health, July/August 1989.
Meanwhile, serious discussions of the health, civil liberties and economic aspects of the hemp issue are frequently dismissed as being nothing but an “excuse so that people can smoke pot” – as if people need an excuse to state the facts about any matter.
One must concede that, as a tactic, lying to the public about the beneficial nature of hemp and confusing them as to its relationship with “marijuana” has been very successful.
1. Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin 404, US Department of Agriculture 1916; “Billion-Dollar Crop”, Popular Mechanics, 1938; U.S. Agricultural Indexes, 1916 thru 1982; New Scientist, November 13, 1980.