Pubdate: Sun, 27 Dec 2009
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 The Calgary Sun
Author: Ralph Givens
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor


Re: "Shedding some light on our pot laws," Mindelle Jacobs, Dec. 18.)

The first place to shed some light about marijuana prohibition is on
the reasons given for outlawing cannabis in the first place. In 1923,
Canadian marijuana laws were passed without serious discussion as the
result of a fiction-based racist propaganda campaign run by Emily
Murphy. Using the pen name of "Janey Canuck," Murphy singlehandedly
invented the "reefer madness" accusations later used by Harry
Anslinger in the U.S. to get marijuana prohibited there. "... persons
using this narcotic smoke the dry leaves of the plant, which has the
effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense
of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its
influence, are immune to pain. While in this condition they become
raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any forms of
violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty
without ... any sense of moral responsibility." Not one word is true,
but according to many drug crusaders, the only thing worse than
marijuana use is murder. Never mind that legal alcohol and tobacco
kill hundreds of thousands every year, while science is still looking
for the first marijuana-induced death. Continuing marijuana
prohibition is the mark of ignorance and irrationality .

Ralph Givens

Daly City, CA

(Reefer madness Canadian? How about that.)
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