Marijuana Laws Are 'Complete Lunacy'

Marijuana Laws Are 'Complete Lunacy'
Posted by CN Staff on March 05, 2009 at 04:59:41 PT
By Nick Panetta
Source: Red and Black
Georgia -- Historically, marijuana drug laws are the product of a lack of knowledge, and what must either be described as propaganda or complete lunacy. Prior to the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, 27 states had passed laws against marijuana. Those states could be categorized into three groups: Southwestern, Northeastern and Utah.Looking at the legislation, it's obvious the Southwestern states outlawed marijuana to control an undesired Mexican population. It wasn't marijuana that legislatures were fighting, it was its users; cheap Mexican labor was a problem.
Congressmen rallied around statements such as, "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy," and "Give one of these Mexican beet field workers a couple of puffs on a marijuana cigarette and he thinks he is in the bullring at Barcelona."Northeastern states had entirely different reasons for the ban. According to a 1919 New York Times editorial, "No one here in New York uses this drug marijuana. We have only just heard about it from down in the Southwest, but we had better prohibit its use before it gets here. Otherwise all the heroin and hard narcotics addicts … and all the alcohol drinkers … will substitute this new and unknown drug marijuana."Utah, however, enacted a marijuana law for its own reasons. When the Mormon Church decreed polygamy a mistake in 1910, those in disagreement fled to Mexico. Failing to establish settlement, the group returned to Utah in 1914 with marijuana. The Church, opposed to euphoriants of any kind, declared marijuana prohibited and wrote it, with other religious prohibitions, into the state's criminal law.With 27 states prohibiting marijuana, it wasn't long until federal legislation tried to control this "growing problem." Not yet able to mandate criminal law, a common states' rights issue of the time, the legislation came in the form of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 moved through congress very quickly. The Congressional committee hearings lasted one hour each over two days. The hearings featured several testimonies: Harry Anslinger (the newly named Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics), industry spokesmen for rope, paint and birdseed, and medical testimony from Drs. James C. Munch and William C. Woodward.Each argument can easily be paraphrased. Mr. Anslinger essentially said marijuana was a "national menace." The paint and rope spokesmen didn't care; they could use other resources. The birdseed spokesman claimed they absolutely needed marijuana seeds to produce shiny coats and to this day possess an exemption to use "denatured seeds."Dr. Munch conducted an experiment, from which he couldn't draw a conclusion. Dr. Woodward, a representative of the American Medical Association, stated, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug."The bill went to the Congressional floor on Aug. 20, 1937. It was there for less than two minutes.When asked what the bill concerned, the Speaker replied, "I don't know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it's a narcotic of some kind."When asked if the AMA supported the bill, one member of the committee replied, "They support this bill 100 percent." This was a lie, but the bill passed anyway.It then cleared the Senate without debate, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law.Afterward, Mr. Anslinger named Dr. Munch his expert witness, a position he held until 1962. During that time, Dr. Munch went on to repeatedly testify, "After two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat," and claimed that he flew around the room for 15 minutes before finding himself at the bottom of a 200-foot high ink well.From that point on, when the public perceived an increase in drug use, the answer was new criminal law with harsher penalties in every offense category.When the federal government discovered that organized crime was funded through illegal narcotics, even harsher penalties were enacted.Through repetition of this pattern, drug penalties increased eightfold over 20 years. The war on drugs had begun.Don't believe me? You can read all the original documents here: Panetta is the public relations director of UGA NORML.Source: Red and Black, The (U of Georgia, GA Edu)Author: Nick PanettaPublished: March 5, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Red and Black Publishing Co., Inc.Contact: opinions randb.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on March 05, 2009 at 16:19:05 PT
No. I can't say that... well I said it...
But I don't mean it. I would never say "End of discussion", like that, to anyone. That's so arrogant.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 05, 2009 at 11:54:37 PT
Old Virtuous Bill.
Runruff said, "At that time William Bennett said," Marijuana is bad, Marijuana is illegal, end of discussion!""At this time it can be said, "William Bennett is arrogant. William Bennett isn't a paragon of virtue. William Bennett lacks judgment/wisdom/common-sense/understanding/love. William Bennett lacks respect for the human dignity and equality he does share with his fellow citizens and human beings, whether he likes it or not. William Bennett is not our king in any way, shape, form, or manner. End of discussion.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on March 05, 2009 at 11:35:57 PT
*Smile* ...Love that visual, Runruff!
"Those who stand aside and watch are chosen by nature to continue the species."
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on March 05, 2009 at 10:15:20 PT
Don't Play it again Uncle Sam!
Back in '92, things looked pretty bleak for the lovers of liberty and those who would endeavor manage their on bodies.We all know now what an essential tool cannabis/hemp can play in treating illnesses safely and maintaining our health. All of this plus the benefits of allowing hemp as an alternative to the loads of synthetic crap they have dumped on us.We knew that prohibition was "the" crime way back then. It was even unpopular to suggest a discussion on the subject back then. At that time William Bennett said," Marijuana is bad, Marijuana is illegal, end of discussion!"There were the few lemmings who refused to go over the cliff with the rest of the herd. You know, those few who stand aside and watch everyone follow the guy ahead of him right over the cliff? Those who stand aside and watch are chosen by nature to continue the species.We rolled a snow ball over the top the mountain those many years ago now it has grown to a gigantes size! It is near the bottom of the mountain gaining size and momentum as is it goes!
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on March 05, 2009 at 09:21:31 PT
Great Article! If you know the truth as in see abo
e, then you know that cannabis prohibition was a convoluted lie brought on by some greedy pharmaceutical companies and Anslinger who needed to put the police to work after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Nice work guys!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 05, 2009 at 07:53:03 PT
Puff, Puff, Pass This Bill
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 05, 2009 at 06:14:44 PT
Medical Marijuana Bills Move Ahead
Published: Thursday, March 05, 2009 
St. Paul, Minnesota -- Bills making it legal for severely ill Minnesotans to use marijuana to ease their pain continues moving through the House and Senate.Both bills await further committee hearings after passing earlier tests. The Senate version passed the Judiciary Committee 4-3 Tuesday night."I am increasingly confident that this will be the year that Minnesota joins the 13 other states that have acted to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest," said bill sponsor Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing. "This is an issue where science, compassion and simple common sense come together."Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, sponsors the House bill. A House Civil Justice Committee hearing is expected soon.Copyright: 2009 Forum Communications Company§ion=Minnesota%20News&property_id=7
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