Top message: legalize marijuania YES or NO? by weaselbitmypancake
Replying to: Re: legalize marijuania YES or NO? by mistermarler
I more or less layed out, albeit briefly, the time-line and reasons for the Prohibition movement in the 20's. The 20's you saw misinformation being spread by bigoted people in positions of power looking to keep the minority population in check. There was not any noticeable effort to keep drugs in check as a means to prop up powerful drug companies as few existed at the time. All accounts show it was plain ol' racism and misinformation that allowed those pot laws to pass.
It more or less stayed that way until the late 60's early 70's. By then misinformation was widely accepted as fact by the general population, and for the most part, the racist beginnings of the prohibition was merely an undertone. Keep in mind that raving lunatic Nixon was in power at the time, and it goes without saying he was a bigoted man in a position of power (Reader see: Harry Anslinger). The scientific community began to study the effects or pot and as a result began to question the justification for legalization. Specifically the "Shafer Commission", which is declassified along with the transcripts of his and Nixons conversations and are available on the Internet in PDF form. The Shafer report found, in '72, what is more or less common knowledge and repeatable in more current tests. The synopsis? - "Marijuana should be legalized". Nixon got a hold of this report and silenced it. He also, on the tapes, made his feelings toward marijuana clear. He clearly associated marijuana and drug use more broadly with blacks, Hispanics, Jews... hell any minority. He also linked it to homosexuality and other "immoral" activities. Nixon, in a time where the Shafer commission could have shed light on drug use, crushed it and further perpetuated the myths we still see in American society today. "degenerate races smoke it", causes crime to go up, the list goes on. You know since 1972 when the report suggested Legalization 13,265,105 people have been arrested and convicted on Marijuana charges as of 2002. Insane.
This more or less continued in the Reagan years. But I think you would find by then that while their may or may not have been bigoted beliefs behind the continued prohibition it had become disastrous to a president or party to been seen as overtly racist. And would have resulted in the party losing elections. I would never want to insinuate that the Reagan or Bush Sr. administrations were racist, as I have no proof. However they still seen it fit to keep the prohibition alive. They adopted different approaches, "gateway drug", was a big one. Preaching that it would lead to a life of crime, and sorrow. "just say no" remember that sh*t? Their prohibition focused more on the perceived social ill's of smoking marijuana then associating it with say race or homosexuality. But as the Shafer Commission and many other afterward showed, marijuana usage and crime have virtually no link other than the fact it is a crime to smoke marijuana.
Also with these administrations and the Republican party in general an unsettling pattern is noticed. Out of their top 25 party contributers 5 are primarily producers of prescription and over the counter drugs, mostly pain killers, they include: Pfizer, Bristol-Myers, Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering Plough and Wyeth. No fewer than 6 others are producers of Tobacco and Alcoholic beverages. To think that the fact that more than 1/2 or republican presidential campaign contributions come from companies that would stand to have something to lose (either dropped sales or more competition) would NOT play a role in party stances on marijuana is foolish. I think Americans will continue to ignore the facts about pot for some time to come.
- Re: The dollars and sense of decriminalization. To Mistermarler by texaswireless