Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jun 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Billy Stevens
Note: 2nd of 3 PUB LTEs in the Register today


You recently printed a letter by Anthony Dirienzo, who argued Harry
Anslinger's speeches should be studied for reasons to jail pot smokers.

Anslinger was the "reefer madness" king of the 1930s campaign to make
marijuana illegal, using racist arguments.

In 1937, he told Congress there were 50,000 to 100,00 marijuana smokers in
the United States, mostly "Negroes and Mexicans, and entertainers," and
their "satanic" music (jazz and swing) combined with marijuana to cause
white women "to seek sexual relations with Negroes."

Well, like many black people, I like jazz and swing, I like marijuana, I
study and work very hard, and I object to the revival of Anslinger nastiness
in the guise of "protecting" us from "evil."

Too bad Dirienzo doesn't instead attack the grossly racist enforcement of
Anslinger's laws to this day.

Billy Stevens, Branford

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