Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, made it his mission to rid the U.S. of all drugs, including marijuana. He’s the man behind The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which set America on the fast track to a complete ban on marijuana. The guy’s influence is all over the restrictive marijuana laws that Americans live with today.
Anslinger first claimed that the drug could cause psychosis and eventually insanity. In a radio address, he stated that young people are “slaves to this narcotic, continuing addiction until they deteriorate mentally, become insane, turn to violent crime and murder.”
Big problem with that—he had virtually zero scientific evidence to support his claims. Reportedly, Anslinger contacted 30 scientists to ask them if cannabis was dangerous. 29 wrote back and said “No.” Based on the opinion of one scientist, and armed with made up stories concerning the link between marijuana and crime/debauchery, Anslinger began his anti-marijuana crusade. The press sensationalized the mostly untrue stories, panic gripped the nation and the law which outlawed possessing or selling cannabis went into effect on October 1, 1937. Read the rest here….