The lies used to outlaw weed

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by will3117, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. #1 will3117, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
    during discussion of the potential outlawing of weed in 1937
    the A.M.A sent a letter to the house floor it stated...

    “That there is a certain amount of narcotic addiction of an objectionable character no one will deny. The newspapers have called attention to it so prominently that there must be some grounds for [their] statements [even Woodward was partially taken in by Hearst's propaganda]. It has surprised me, however, that the facts on which these statements have been based have not been brought before this committee by competent primary evidence. We are referred to newspaper publications concerning the prevalence of marihuana addiction. We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.

    But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.

    You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children’s Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.

    Inquiry of the Children’s Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.

    Inquiry of the Office of Education— and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit— indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.

    Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.

    Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana of Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.

    The bureau of Public Health Service has also a division of pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence.”

    they further stated they were opposed to the bill

    Committee members then proceeded to attack Dr. Woodward, questioning his motives in opposing the legislation. Even the Chairman joined in:

    The Chairman: If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals, rather than criticism, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the Federal Government is trying to do. It has not only an unselfish motive in this, but they have a serious responsibility.

    Dr. Woodward: We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for 2 years without any intimation, even, to the profession, that it was being prepared.

    After some further bantering…

    The Chairman: I would like to read a quotation from a recent editorial in the Washington Times:

    The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities.

    The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it.

    The result is tragic.

    School children are the prey of peddlers who infest school neighborhoods.

    High school boys and girls buy the destructive weed without knowledge of its capacity of harm, and conscienceless dealers sell it with impunity.

    This is a national problem, and it must have national attention.

    The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug, and American children must be protected against it.

    That is a pretty severe indictment. They say it is a national question and that it requires effective legislation. Of course, in a general way, you have responded to all of these statements; but that indicates very clearly that it is an evil of such magnitude that it is recognized by the press of the country as such.

    The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:

    Member from upstate New York: “Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?”

    Speaker Rayburn: “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind.”

    “Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?”

    Member on the committee jumps up and says: “Their Doctor Wentworth[sic] came down here. They support this bill 100 percent.”

    And on the basis of that lie, on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.

    So who is really to blame for the prohibition of marijuana? Thank the newspapers.
     
  2. Isn't the proper term yellow journalism? But yes it's a indeed a fucking shame.
     
  3. #3 Cuzin Red, Mar 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
    In all fairness early on (like today) some didn't know how to deal with what they didn't understand. It may have been wrong to underhandedly push for an agenda to criminalize MJ use, but it's also naive and irresponsible to assume there wasn't nor isn't problems with use/abuse by school kids and others who shouldn't indulge. Like with alcohol, there's a whole range between those who can enjoy it without problems to those who should never drink at all. Likewise, it's quite easy to focus on a certain profile group of drinkers in the media and make it appear that alcohol use is the scourge of humanity and ought be illegal. Particularly once the stigma of prohibition is already in place and criminal behavior and lies is associated with drinking.
     
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