VII: Sage of Law & Social Justice

  • In 1937, hemp was strictly regulated under the Marijuana Tax Act. This made it so that hemp could only be grown with the government saying it was ok to do so. Any other possession or transfer of hemp without the governments say so was considered illegal.
  • Henry Anslinger, the first director of the Bureau of Federal Narcotics, and whose campaign lead to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act spread fear into people about hemp. He said that hemp along with Jazz music, immigrants and black people all caused violent crimes in the United States.
  • Newspaper magnet William Randolph Hearst was also responsible for the criminalization of hemp. Hearst supported this because his paper producing companies were being replaced by hemp thus hurting his company. Like Anslinger, he was a racist as well and used his papers to create yellow journalism of hemp and his racist views in order to get people on his side to criminalize hemp.
  • In 1970, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act goes into effect. This act ends the taxation approach from the Marijuana Tax Act and makes all cultivation of cannabis legal.
  • The CDAPAC Act labeled hemp as a schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD. Schedule 1 places these drugs as the worst of the worst and as having a high potential for abuse.
  • A 2013 report from the American Civil Liberties Union found that black people are 4 times more likely to be arresting for being in possession of hemp than white people.
  • Between 2001 and 2010, 7 million people were arrested for possession of cannabis. States are spending up to $3 billion just to enforce the laws against cannabis.
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