During the years more and more people are asking the same question – Why is Marijuana banned? What is so dangerous and criminal that is making this thing illegal?
The Answer we all assume is that some scientists somewhere sat down on a table and found an evidence about that the cannabis was more harmful then the cigarettes and alcohol.
The Thing is that if you are willing to make research about this, you will find out that it is not what actually happened.
In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol — controlled by criminals — had become even more poisonous.
So alcohol prohibition finally ended — and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.
Harry J. Anslinger, commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, poses for a photo on September 24, 1930.
But then — suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose — he announced he had changed his mind.
He explained to the public what would happen if you smoked cannabis.
First, you will fall into “a delirious rage.” Then you will be gripped by “dreams… of an erotic character.” Then you will “lose the power of connected thought.” Finally, you will reach the inevitable end-point: “Insanity.”
Marijuana turns man into a “wild beast.” If marijuana bumped into Frankenstein’s monster on the stairs, Anslinger warned, the monster would drop dead of fright.
Harry Anslinger became obsessed with one case in particular. In Florida, a boy called Victor Licata hacked his family to death with an axe. Anslinger explained to America: This is what will happen when you smoke “the demon weed.” The case became notorious. The parents of the U.S. were terrified.
What evidence did Harry Anslinger have? It turns out at this time he wrote to the 30 leading scientists on this subject, asking if cannabis was dangerous, and if there should be a ban.
Twenty-nine wrote back and said no.
Anslinger picked out the one scientist who said yes, and presented him to the world. The press — obsessed with Victor Licata’s axe — cheered them on.
In a panic that gripped America, marijuana was banned. The U.S. told other countries they had to do the same. Many countries said it was a dumb idea, and refused to do it. For example, Mexico decided their drug policy should be run by doctors. Their medical advice was that cannabis didn’t cause these problems, and they refused to ban it. The U.S. was furious. Anslinger ordered them to fall into line. The Mexicans held out — until, in the end, the U.S. cut off the supply of all legal painkillers to Mexico. People started to die in agony in their hospitals. So with regret, Mexico sacked the doctor — and launched its own drug war.
“The scientific evidence suggests cannabis is safer than alcohol. Alcohol kills 40,000 people every year in the U.S. Cannabis kills nobody.”