On Anslinger’s 125th Birthday, PopPot Continues His Legacy

Parents Opposed to Pot picks up where Harry J. Anslinger left off.

Anslinger
Harry J. Anslinger was born May 20, 1892, and led our anti-drug efforts from 1937-1962.

May 20, 2017, was the 125th birthday of one Harry J. Anslinger, the Godfather of Reefer Madness. You may know him as the man behind such classic quotes as:

The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.

Marihuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.

Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.

Harry J. Anslinger
This guy set the tone for all of our drug laws.

Anslinger was the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the agency in charge of our nation’s drug enforcement from the beginning of cannabis prohibition in 1937 (its ignominious 80th anniversary approaches on August 2).

Anslinger held that post until 1962, by which time he had secured his crowning achievement, the adoption by most of the United Nations of the 1961 Single Convention Treaty on Narcotic Drugs – which included the worldwide adoption of America’s prohibition of cannabis.

Think of it. From FDR to JFK, racist cannabiphobe Harry J. Anslinger molded our nation’s view on drugs for a quarter century.

In remembrance of the man who popularized reefer madness, I created a Twitter account called @AnslingersGhost. I was inspired by the modern-day equivalent to Anslinger, a group calling itself Parents Opposed to Pot, at poppot.org*.

PopPot
Little did they know, the kids had filled all the balloons with nitrous oxide.

You really have to read through a few of their pages to become convinced it’s not some satirical exercise by The Onion. Nope, this is the real deal, an anti-marijuana legalization advocacy group, backed by such anti-pot stalwarts as millionaire Julie Schauer, who was second only to billionaire Sheldon Adelson in funding anti-legalization campaigns in 2016.

Anslinger must be proud to know his legacy of ludicrous fear mongering over cannabis continues long after his death in PopPot quotes like:

Reefer Madness is not an invention. A subset of the population develops psychosis and schizophrenia from using marijuana. No one has figured out who it is and or what the genetic markers might be. Estimates vary, but those susceptible to pot psychosis range from 3% (with the marijuana of the 70’s) to 25% of the population (with the marijuana of today). With dabbing, edibles and other forms used today that rate may go up to 50%. How do we know who can go “mad” from using marijuana? The truth is we don’t know until it happens.

Although Anslinger’s version was a bit more florid:

Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him.

PopPot is also having none of your “marijuana doesn’t kill anybody” talk, having documented all the people whose pot use led them to suicide:

According to a program of Dr. Drew Pinsky back in 2003, there is “an extraordinarily high incident [sic] of suicide in the first six months of marijuana abstinence.”

These youths [sic] banish the claim that mental health problems always come before the marijuana use.   (A strong misconception is that mental illness after using pot only affects those with previous mental health issues.)  The deaths described here include active psychotic reactions at the time of marijuana use, as well as depression from long-term use.

Anslinger warned us this was going to happen:

Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.

PopPot also tells us that sometimes those psychotic dopers turn the guns on others:

What triggers school violence? … To seek revenge and kill oneself after a disappointment is not normal.   These youth came from the states that had legalized marijuana.  Marijuana needs to be added to our discussion of what causes mass violence, along with violence in the media, access to guns, violent video games, etc.

Mass shooters James Holmes and Jared Loughner  were known to be marijuana users — and not moderate in their use.  Marijuana averages 13% THC today, opposed to 1-3% in the 1970s and 80s.   Did marijuana feed their psychosis and the psychopathology of Fryberg, Pierson, Columbine killers and others?

Just as Anslinger prophesied four score years ago:

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveller in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer…

PopPot warns that marijuana may not kill the parents that smoke it, but they in turn will kill their children!

Yes, marijuana does cause death. Not necessarily of the pot smoker, but of the tender little people in the home.

Use of pot creates victims, including children who die from neglect or violence when parents, mothers’ boyfriends or caregivers use pot.

We have been tracking news reports of child deaths linked to marijuana since November 2012. The columns show official causes of death related to the caregivers’ marijuana use. We found news reports of 80 such deaths in 28 states; actual number could be much higher. Violent neglect includes marijuana DUI (6), guns (4) and pit bulls. The last column includes infants (5) who died shortly after birth.

Of course, we all know who these “pit bull” owners and “mothers’ boyfriends” are, as Anslinger warned:

Colored students at the University of Minnesota partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy.

There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most 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, entertainers and any others.

But PopPot is ready to trump your playing of the “race card”:

Marijuana was not banned because of racism.  Massachusetts banned it in 1911, long before Harvey [sic] Anslinger worked to ban marijuana around 1930. Anslinger is the pot industry’s excuse to accuse those who are opposed to legalization with racism. It is an accusation that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  California banned in 1913 and New York in 1914.

Funny thing about California in 1913, according to California NORML, is that they had a huge influx of marijuana-using Sikh laborers, who the media mistakenly identified as Hindu, leading the California State Board of Pharmacy member, Henry J. Finger, to write to Anslinger’s predecessor, Hamilton Wright, the following warning:

Within the last year we in California have been getting a large influx of Hindoos and they have in turn started quite a demand for cannabis indica; they are a very undesirable lot and the habit is growing in California very fast…the fear is now that they are initiating our whites into this habit…

Naw, not racist at all…

California Hindoos
1910 political cartoon demonizing Sikh laborers in California.

Happy birthday to Harry J. Anslinger, who I imagine as currently suffering repeated sodomizations with red hot titanium dab nails by dreadlocked dab demons who are hot-boxing his cubicle in the Nixon wing of Hell, comforted only by the knowledge that his ideological spawn lives on in Parents Opposed to Pot Pot.


* Wouldn’t “POPPOT” be “Parents Opposed to Pot Pot?” Or maybe it stands for “Parents Opposed to Pot, Parents Opposed to Truth.”

Russ Belville
About Russ Belville 199 Articles
Russ Belville - or "Radical" Russ, as he is known on-air - hosts The Marijuana Agenda, a live news and talk radio program for the cannabis community, weekdays at 3pm Pacific on MJAgenda.com.  The show is based in Portland, Oregon, but "Radical" Russ has traveled over 300,000 air miles in the past five years, bringing his show to report live from hundreds of cannabis conferences, marijuana expos, hemp festivals, and legalization events in over 70 North American cities.