Marijuana Meme: Harry Anslinger

Legalize The Leaf and stop the pot race war

Editorial by Bob Yunger

Harry Anslinger was the first head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, retiring at age 70 during Kennedy’s term. He died at 83 in his hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1973, completely blind and suffering from angina. The exact words may be disputed, if he used “satanic” as an adjective or not to describe their marijuana-driven music, but few can dispute the racist origins of the cannabis legislation that has landed millions behind bars for what has added up to thousands of years.

The following quote has been attributed to Harry Anslinger, but is disputed:

“Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

Here’s a quote by Anslinger that’s sourced and not disputed:

“Here we have drug that is not like opium. Opium has all of the good of Dr. Jekyll and all the evil of Mr. Hyde. This drug is entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured. Some people will fly into a delirious rage, and they are temporarily irresponsible and may commit violent crimes. Other people will laugh uncontrollably. It is impossible to say what the effect will be on any individual. Those research men who have tried it have always been under control. They have always insisted upon that. … It is dangerous to the mind and body, and particularly dangerous to the criminal type, because it releases all of the inhibitions.”

For more fine reading try

Harry Anslinger, First head of the D.E.A.
Harry Anslinger, First head of the D.E.A.

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