Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jul 2016
Source: Forum, The  (Fargo, ND)
Copyright: 2016 Forum Communications Co.
Author: Cory Christofferson


I recently read with interest an article by Mike McFeely , (a WDAY 
host and Forum columnist) entitled "Medical marijuana a needed debate 
in North Dakota." At the end of his article he stated that North 
Dakota backers of medical marijuana would be wise to do some storytelling.

Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, 
new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor 
with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries. 
Hemp's potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the 
timber industry. Evidence suggests that commercial interests having 
much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness 
hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for marijuana prohibition.

After alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, funding for the Federal 
Bureau of Narcotics (now the Drug Enforcement Administration) was 
reduced. The FBN's director, Harry J. Anslinger, then became a 
leading advocate of marijuana prohibition. In 1937 Anslinger 
testified before Congress in favor of marijuana prohibition by 
saying: "Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history 
of mankind." "Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, 
Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, 
result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to 
seek sexual relations with Negroes."

Marijuana Prohibition is founded on lies and rooted in racism, 
prejudice, and ignorance. Just as politicians believed Anslinger to 
be a marijuana expert in 1937, many people still believe law 
enforcement officials are marijuana experts. In reality, law 
enforcement officials have no expert knowledge of marijuana's medical 
or health effects, but they do represent an industry that receives 
billions of tax dollars to enforce marijuana prohibition.

Also worthy of noting is that the alcohol industry funded the movie 
"Reefer Madness," a film showing people smoking marijuana and then 
turning into mass murderers. This film was shown in movie theaters 
and schools all across America stereotyping marijuana with the lies 
that still exist today.

Now how is that for a story?

Cory Christofferson

Christofferson lives in Hamar, N.D.
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