Cannabis Legal In More Than Half The US!
Where Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
It’s been eight decades, but cannabis prohibition is over in more than half of the United States. Finally!
Here are the 29 states (plus Washington DC) that have legal cannabis laws:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington, DC
- West Virginia
Do you know the history of cannabis prohibition in the US?
It started with a guy named Harry.
Harry Anslinger was the Papa of Pot Prohibition
Anslinger began his career as an alcohol prohibition agent in the 1920’s. He was a puritan and loved alcohol prohibition so much–he was very sad when it ended. But he didn’t stay sad for long. Harry found a new plan to maintain control, he copied what Mexico did 17 years earlier and created the “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937”. This made cannabis illegal.
Harry Hated Jazz
Harry hated jazz. Actually, Harry despised entertainers in general. And he really really hated anyone who wasn’t white.
In the 1930’s, society was even more racist than it is now. Interracial marriage was still illegal. Black people were still being lynched.
Unfortunately, we haven’t come all that far. Racism is still so ingrained in society, even the most liberal unintentionally engage in white supremacy every day.
In the 1930’s, the public admired Harry’s racism. Racism motivated the public. If keeping marijuana away meant keeping minorities away, the masses wanted it. (Unfortunately, in 2018, we still have leaders who target marginalized classes.)
Harry Anslinger was appointed (some say by his wife’s uncle) as the first US Commissioner for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
In 1937, against the advice of the American Medical Association, Harry Anslinger created the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and that’s how cannabis prohibition was born.
There’s no doubt, Harry was racist, but some suggest his marijuana motivations weren’t entirely driven by that racism. It’s been alleged that Harry also had financial motivations. Either way, he manipulated people using racial hysteria to achieve his political goals.
Here are some of the racist comments attributed to Harry Anslinger:
“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 result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
“Two Negroes took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days in a hut under the influence of marihuana. Upon recovery, she was found to be “suffering from” syphilis.”
Learn More About Prohibition
Want to learn more about why marijuana is illegal? Read: The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School.
Watch the history of Harry J. Anslinger:
If you still suffer under prohibition, get involved and speak out. Change comes from action.