Canada Slow To Face Reefer Madness

  Canada Slow To Face Reefer Madness

Posted by CN Staff on January 11, 2003 at 14:12:14 PT
By Mark Bourrie, National Post  
Source: National Post  

After a decade of U.S. government scare propaganda that convinced Americans that crazed Mexicans, blacks and fans of jazz clubs were pushing marijuana "reefers" on school children and honest youths, turning them into raving murderers, politicians decided to act.The U.S. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act. Growing and selling marijuana were still legal, but only if you bought a $1 government stamp. And that stamp was not for sale.
On the day the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was enacted -- Oct. 2, 1937 -- the FBI and Denver, Colo., police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested Samuel R. Caldwell, 58, an unemployed labourer and Moses Baca, 26. On Oct. 5, Caldwell went into the history trivia books as the first marijuana seller convicted under U.S. federal law. His customer, Baca, was found guilty of possession.Caldwell's wares, two marijuana cigarettes, deeply offended Judge Foster Symes, who said:"I consider marijuana the worst of all narcotics, far worse than the use of morphine or cocaine. Under its influence men become beasts. Marijuana destroys life itself. I have no sympathy with those who sell this weed. The government is going to enforce this new law to the letter."Caldwell was sentenced to four years of hard labour in Leavenworth Penitentiary, plus a US$1,000 fine. Baca received 18 months incarceration. Both men served every day of their sentence. A year after Caldwell was released from prison, he died.It took more than a year for Canada's politicians to identify the marijuana menace and protect Canadians from it.In fact, it was quite a stretch to find any domestic marijuana problem at all. The first time the RCMP mentioned marijuana, it was to reassure Canadians. Just days after Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act, the Mounties told newspaper reporters that Canada was pretty much free of the drug, "said to be the cause of thousands of crimes in the United States, particularly murder."Marijuana had been found growing "profusely in most states of the Union, though curiously enough, it has not been found in the Dominion. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are responsible for enforcement of the Federal Narcotics Act in Canada, do not consider this particular drug to be a problem in this country, but they are watching the situation in the United States closely."A "Negro" caught by Mounties somewhere in southwestern Ontario was found to be carrying marijuana cigarettes, but police couldn't prove he was selling them to anyone, so he was released."Marijuana, peddled to many young people in the United States, causes insanity in many cases. Its effect is often unpredictable. It has been known to turn quiet, respectable youths into raving murders, seeking victims to satisfy their delusions."That same day, ships were racing to the last known location of aviator Amelia Earhart, Stalin had 20 railway workers at the east end of the Trans-Siberian Railway shot for plotting with the Japanese, Spanish leftists bombed Francisco Franco's headquarters in Salamanca in retaliation for a fascist air raid on Valencia, and Pan-American Airlines introduced 12-hour transatlantic service from Newfoundland to Ireland.By the end of the year, police were looking for marijuana coming across the border at Windsor, Ont.In its largest border seizure to that point, Mounties took two tobacco cans full of pot from a man as he stepped off the ferry from Detroit. George Charboneau, a 21-year-old Windsor man, was the first Canadian charged with bringing marijuana into the country.On the Michigan side of the Detroit River, police were finding patches of the stuff growing wild around the city, burning five tonnes in one day.The Attorney-General of Michigan, Raymond Starr, was relieved that so much pot had been found. "Smokers of these drugged cigarettes are turned into raving maniacs. They are led to commit the most brutal crimes. The danger is particularly great since peddlers concentrate on schoolchildren," he said.Two months on, Parliament came to grips with a menace that the previous summer the police had said was almost non-existent in Canada.As Nazis made their final lunge for Austria and Britain's Lord Halifax made the empty threat that his country was ready to take on Hitler, debate began in the House of Commons on an anti-pot, anti-hemp law."Marijuana is by no means a new drug," Charles "Chubby" Power, the Minister of Pensions and National Health, a newly minted expert on the problem, told his colleagues.Note: Mark Bourrie's new book, Hemp Culture, will be published in 2003 by Key Porter. Snipped: Complete Article: Source: National Post (Canada)Author: Mark Bourrie, National Post Published: Saturday, January 11, 2003Copyright: 2003 Southam Inc.Contact: letters nationalpost.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links To Move on Decriminalizing Marijuana Overdue on Pot Laws Growing for Pot Law Reform

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Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 07, 2010 at 09:31:10 PT
Hey, Uncle Mike!That looks like a very interesting web site you have there.
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Comment #10 posted by Uncle Mike on July 07, 2010 at 08:27:20 PT:
Historical Changes
Sam wasn't the first person to be federally convicted for marijuana, as this article suggests, it was actually Moses Baca. A few other mistakes also exist in this article. For a more accurate retelling of this historical event visit: 
Canada Slow To Face Reefer Madness
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on January 12, 2003 at 06:29:08 PT
Consider plans /the Lexington / anniversary 10:2:3
It would be nice to see a bunch of people gather on Oct. 2, 2003, at the Denver Lexington Hotel, to protest the persecutions...I checked for the Lexington, but couldn't find anything...  It is history for sure... to locate it or info... and find an appropriate place... to protest on that anniversary, at that location could create news.  How about an enactment... Did the policement fear for their lives? Did they use tommy guns??? Did they surround the place??? Where shots fired over the devil weed? Let's see it!(Oct. 2, 1937 -- the FBI and Denver, Colo., police raided the Lexington Hotel making the 1st cannabis bust in America) 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 11, 2003 at 18:48:47 PT
You're welcome. I think the title is different in every paper it has been in so far. It was an odd title in the News & Observer. He wrote a fine article that makes a lot of sense. I like good old common sense articles. We need more of them. 
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on January 11, 2003 at 18:35:40 PT
Thanks for that link to "Let These Possessors Go". I read it but it didn't click at the time...
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Comment #6 posted by p4me on January 11, 2003 at 17:58:42 PT
Paragraph of the day
From, let's go back to those questions. I think the answer to the first question is fairly straightforward -- this idea of alcohol prohibition. We were talking about a new power that was being acquired -- surrendered by the people and the states - and so the 18th Amendment was passed to give that power to the Federal government. In the case of our second question -- prohibiting other drugs -- I would argue that we are talking about new powers being granted to the Federal government that have never been surrendered by the people and the states. Ergo, the drug war, prohibition laws, the DEA, the whole ball of wax, are all unconstitutional. I think what we have here is a prime example of the illegal acquisition of powers by a central government through a process of slow accretion. And this was exactly the sort of thing Hamilton was warning against back in 1787. 
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on January 11, 2003 at 16:32:16 PT
On My watch.
Makes Me think, You can't put people in a cage for using cannabis, kaneh bosm, hemp or pot or reefer, but You CAN cage them for using MARIJUANA.The state empire... can make more money if the stop calling it cannabis.Like in a near by town, where there is a "tarn", called ____ ____ tarn. There are lakes, ponds etc. but the land is worth less when You name the thing _____ _____ lake, so they call it ____ _____ tarn and the land is worth much more...You ever buy steak on sale? You don't eat it right away, right? No! It's just cheap meat, You wait till next week when it's expensive again.  Then You eat it.The way the government thinks, they believe they are profiting by gathering up all these hens and making out big, but it is costing society, while it profits the politician, in making jobs... Now the country is hurting for moolah, and they still don't want to stop that hot meal, complete with urine refreshments... even though what it really means is that it costs Us and profits the ignoid.Makes Me think of Colorado Governor Bill Owens. Colorado has budget chrisis and prison industry spending goes up, while ALL other spendings goes down (except one other item...)You know, I like Owens. During the Amendment 20 vote (remember VOTE 4-20?) times, He was quoted as exclaiming, NOT ON MY WATCH. You see, Bill insisted Colorado should still cage even very sick cannabis users.Well, it was not only on Bill's watch, but also ON MY WATCH.I now wish Owens and His urine sucking friend in DC would consider RE-legalization and exclaim: NOT ON MY WATCH, AGAIN.Let's toast the ignoids, and pray that We can not only Re-legalize cannabis, but also help save their asses, because caging humans for using a plant is unhealthy for their eternal matters.Praying for cannabis prohibitionists to approach Truth, is good for everyone.Pray for Bill, for He knows not what He is doing. (It seems pretty obvious though, doesn't it?)
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 11, 2003 at 16:17:08 PT
Thanks The GCW
It was a good article and is being published in a number of papers and that's great. I hope he keeps writing.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on January 11, 2003 at 16:06:06 PT
Speaking of Denver... FoM, & The 1st... caged...
Here's one: US CO: OPED: Marijuana's Harm Illusory Author: Paul Campos
Note: Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado.I also just saw this, before this, which is the same... From PaulUS WI: OPED: Marijuana 'War' About Control, all activist must note this from above: (exploit this...) + if there are any... acknowledgements... This guy and or His family should be considered.:(On the day the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was enacted -- Oct. 2, 1937 -- the FBI and Denver, Colo., police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested Samuel R. Caldwell, 58, an unemployed labourer and Moses Baca, 26. On Oct. 5, Caldwell went into the history trivia books as the first marijuana seller convicted under U.S. federal law. :(Samuel R. Caldwell, I am sorry for what happened. I along with many others are working harder than ever to change these laws. Please help Us. YOur spirit would be welcome here and We will be expecting You.:)More about Samuel R. Caldwell:Magic Propaganda News (includes photo of Sam) (funny, I would have thought He would be non white) ("But "hemp" is a cozy word for the killer Mexican horror weed Marijuana.")You read that right folks, "But "hemp" is a cozy word for the killer Mexican horror weed Marijuana."IndieSent Exposure Presents:
Reefer Madness Series MADNESS -- Part 5
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 11, 2003 at 15:18:17 PT

Good program and I heard that too about the price for a quarter pound. I liked that when the person who had to go to court about driving when he got out of the car when they stopped him he had a joint in his mouth. Can you imagine that here? Nope!
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on January 11, 2003 at 15:09:36 PT

End prohibition for the childrun
While I was listening to the audio of last night's show with Boris St. Maurice at ,I was checking out some of the links that came up. is the website for the Drug Policy Forum of Texas and it has an old picture from 1932 of members of the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. On the car it has slogans saying "Stamp Out Prohibition" -- "Save Our Youth" and a term made famous by the double-speak prohibitionists, "Save Our Children."I ran across a noteworthy quote while listening-
"The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995 -- http://www.unvarnishedtruth.orgBorus was talking about the new endeavor of mailing cannabis through their website at He said it was a quality product and 4 ounces would be about $700 Canadian or $450 US. It is ashame that it is for Canadian citizens that live in Canada.The thing that gets me about Canada is why the Supreme Court doesn't go ahead and make a ruling on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms issue if cannabis prohibition is legal or not. The ruling may prevent the dog and pony show the US will orcestrate to keep the draconian laws going.Richard Cowan addressed the Canadian issue in his latest edition of MarijunaNews-
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