Friday, August 26, 2011

The US Marijuana Conspiracy: Will the War on Drugs Ever End?

Though the Majority of Americans favor Legalization, Yearly over 1.5 Million People  are Arrested for Pot!

The trouble began long ago during the Great Depression, when millions of Mexican laborers poured into the Southwest, taking jobs that were in short supply. Soon these immigrants were blamed for all of society's ails.

Since many of these Mexicans liked to smoke weed, it wasn't long before the blame for unemployment, poverty, crime and immorality, even Juniors bellyaches was passed on to marijuana. Soon pot became public enemy number one, and the persecution of those who smoked it had begun. 

California, nine States passed legislation outlawing immigrant populations from smoking pot between 1906 and 1927. During this time, one senator told the Texas legislature: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (pot) is what makes them crazy.”

How Pot Smokers were made into Criminals

After 1930, anti-pot laws spread to the eastern states, but by then the government expanded to include African-Americans involved in jazz, making them their demographic target user. Harry Anslinger, the first director of the newly established Bureau of Narcotics told Congress in 1937: 
"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, results from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."
Anslinger’s racist and biased remarks was regularly published in newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst. Considering Hearst owned considerable timber interests, many believe to this day, that his support of the anti-hemp initiative was really because he feared hemp-based paper would end up replacing tree-based paper for newspaper contracts.

Unfortunately, the infant hemp industry seemed to threaten these rich men's monopoly in the pulp and paper industry. In fact, in 1937, Popular Science predicted that hemp would become a billion dollar industry.

Jack Herer concluded in 1985 that the DuPont corporation had plenty to do with the criminalization of cannabis in his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes (available for FREE just for signing up for our also FREE newsletter), pointing out that DuPont owned the patent for creating paper from wood pulp, which would have seriously been threatened by hemp based pulp.

The War on Drugs

Whether Anslinger was on the take by DuPont doesn’t really matter. He was ambitious and saw the fear of marijuana as his ticket. The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties wrote: “William Randolph Hearst, whose papers led the fight, offered Anslinger space in his papers and magazines, and Anslinger gladly availed himself of the opportunity. He published one article after the other with scare stories warned against the dangers of hemp.

Anslinger was instrumet in having the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 passed, making the possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the U.S. In the 1969 Supreme Court case Harvard professor turned LSD advocate, Timothy Leary vs. United States, this law was declared unconstitutional. Effectively Congress repealed the Tax Act and replaced it with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, keeping pot illegal.

With propaganda calling cannabis the great corrupter of youth, alcohol consumption became the number two cause of death, after lung cancer.

Today, due to education about the dangers of their use, alcohol and tobacco consumption is dropping. And although marijuana consumption peaked about twelve years ago, it is again on the rise, particularly among today's youth, in spite of anti-pot propaganda. Considering new studies have completely overturned the gateway myth surrounding marijuana (check out my article, New Research Suggests Marijuana is NOT Gateway Drug as Believed), it is indicated that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.

Although I have tried to publicize the benefits of marijuana with articles such as, Is Marijuana really the Wonder-Drug that could Help Millions or actually a Menace of Society?, most mainstream media would rather not publish such information, for fear of advocating marijuana use. Instead, it continues to publish anti-marijuana propaganda, naming it drug abuse education, and saying it is necessary to warn people of the dangers of drug abuse. Education such as this, no matter how well intentioned, will not prevent use, abuse or addiction. 

Surveys suggest that 41% of Americans have tried marijuana and that 52% of Americans now favor legalization.  

Regardless of marijuana’s growing acceptance, most of our elected officials still won’t come out of the closet to support the use of medical marijuana because they don’t want to appear pro-legalization. They still believe this as political suicide, though I believe that this could actually produce a winning ticket.

If Marijuana were Legalized America might not even Notice

Should the legalization of marijuana ever be passed, many experts feel mainstream America might not even notice the difference.

Studies and statistics show that society would not fall apart if marijuana were legalized. Few would smoke more pot, commit more crimes or be to lazy to go to work. Only the nearly 900,000 people who are arrested for pot each year will be spared a tremendous amount of pain.

However, things won't change anytime soon. Pot’s continued criminalization has been championed, under and over the table by the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, the prison-industrial complex and many law enforcement agencies,  all of which have  something to loose should marijuana ever be legalized.

And so marijuana remains illegal.

Industries Opposing Marijuana Legalization

The idea that alcohol and tobacco companies would oppose looser restrictions on marijuana may seem ridiculous. Both industries are in the business of making people feel good, after all. However, research discovered that pot is more a substitute for alcohol and tobacco than a complement.

Amanda Reiman, a UC Berkeley social scientist, published a 2009 study in the Harm Reduction Journal that 40 percent of her patient population had substituted cannabis for booze somewhere down the line, worrying tobacco and alcohol companies about losing market share to marijuana.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, otherwise known as, NORML, used a Freedom of Information Act in 1991, requesting to examine the nonprofit that provides anti-drug resources to parents funding called the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. They discovered that half of the organization’s capital came from the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries!

In a CNN interview about a California Beer and Beverage Distributors $10,000 donation to Public Safety First, an organization fighting against California’s Prop 19, Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER (a Colorado-based pro-pot advocacy group), said: 
“Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it’s a far safer substance than alcohol. Clearly what we’re seeing here is that the alcohol industry is trying to prevent competition. They realize that marijuana is the next most popular recreational drug after alcohol and they want to insure the booze keeps flowing and the pot does not.”
However, there are those who feel that these industries are actually playing both sides of the fence, considering that no one is better positioned to start selling legal marijuana than the alcohol and tobacco industries.

Marijuana Arrest Statistics

Marijuana arrests are close to a record high in spite of continued efforts to control its smuggling into the United States and to eradicate its cultivation domestically. In 2009 alone, more than 1.7 million people were brought in on marijuana-related charges, with over half being arrested for simply smoking pot. 

According to a report by Drug Science public policy analyst Jon Gettman, enforcing America’s pot laws costs taxpayers $10.7 billion yearly. And that doesn't count the strain on our criminal justice system or the disruption of the lives of those who find themselves in the criminal justice system with a record for smoking pot.

Although lately even some police organizations have spoken out for the legalization of marijuana, “No group is more opposed to the legalization of marijuana than law enforcement,” said NORM spokesman Allen St. Pierre. “They aren’t just arguing for preserving the current status quo—they want stiffer penalties and more restrictions and the reason is simple: it’s job security.” At least 30 percent of the work of law enforcement currently revolves around marijuana prohibition, with pot accounting for more than 50 percent of all drug arrests according to Allen St. Pierre.

Although I'm sure there are plenty of police associations across America that oppose the legalization of marijuana, maybe even actively lobby to keep it illegal, there are also some police groups actively speaking out for the legalization of marijuana, the most prominent of which is probably, L.E.A.P., or Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy says America's War on Drugs is a total failure. In a new initiative, the Commission has made some important new, game-changing recommendations in its Drug Policy Report (read my article, The Global Commission on Drug Policy says War on Drugs is Total Failure) on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade.

When will America say, enough already, lets end this futile War on Drugs that's never going to work and put the cartels, smugglers and local dealers out of business? What is it even the business of our government to tell us what we can and cannot put into our own bodies? When where do we draw the line of our personal freedom?

If you have any thoughts or beliefs you would like to share with Conspiracy Watch readers, please leave a comment bellow.

Written By: Tom Retterbush
Updated: 5-21-12

You may also want to check out some of my related articles, such as, Big Alcohol Industry's Ongoing Conspiracy to Squash America's Marijuana Law Reform  and Why Parents Should Support the Legalization of Marijuana on my Addicts Not Anonymous blog.

If you want to do a thorough, comprehensive examination of the cannabis issue, I strongly recommend you read the FREE ebook The Emperor Wears No Clothes, subtitled, The Historical Record of the Conspiracy Against Marijuana (available for FREE just for signing up for our also FREE newsletter), by Jack Herer, who has written perhaps the most authoritative history of hemp's myriad uses and of the war on this plant, just as it has become high-profile news, with supporters such as Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson. With this book, Herer thoroughly documents the petrochemical industry's plot to outlaw this renewable source of paper, energy, food, textiles, and medicine. It includes lots of photos, illustrations, charts and tables.

The Historical Record of the Conspiracy Against Marijuana
The lies and propaganda we Americans have been fed about cannabis is not only astounding but sickening, and Jack Herer necessarily shines a bright light into the dark recesses of our nation's cannabis hypocrisy. Parents, before you talk with your kids about "marijuana", read this book! Why? This book is more that about getting high. It explains the history of cannabis, its uses as well as the governmental and commercial conspiracy against cannabis in the US. 
Download it FREE with Conspiracy Watch Newsletter, HERE

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