Anyone Ever Wonder Just How Marijuana Became Illegal In The US?

AL did a great job covering the political fallout from AG Sessions crusade against the demon weed, but what I almost never see discussed in all of the coverage is just how marijuana was deemed to be dangerous and became illegal in the US. It all comes down to one appointed official trying to protect his department’s budget

If you look for the roots of America’s ban on cannabis, you’ll find nearly all roads lead to a man named Harry Anslinger. He was the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which laid the ground work for the modern-day DEA, and the first architect of the war on drugs.

Anslinger was appointed in 1930, just as the prohibition of alcohol was beginning to crumble (it was finally repealed in 1933), and remained in power for 32 years. Early on, he was on record essentially saying cannabis use was no big deal. He called the idea that it made people mad or violent an “absurd fallacy.”

But when Anslinger was put in charge of the FBN, he changed his position entirely.

“From the moment he took charge of the bureau, Harry was aware of the weakness of his new position. A war on narcotics alone — cocaine and heroin, outlawed in 1914 — wasn’t enough,” author Johann Hari wrote in his book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.” “They were used only by a tiny minority, and you couldn’t keep an entire department alive on such small crumbs. He needed more.

Consequently, Anslinger made it his mission to rid the U.S. of all drugs — including cannabis. His influence played a major role in the introduction and passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which outlawed possessing or selling pot.

Fueled by a handful of 1920s newspaper stories about crazed or violent episodes after marijuana use, Anslinger first claimed that the drug could cause psychosis and eventually insanity. In a radio address, he stated young people are “slaves to this narcotic, continuing addiction until they deteriorate mentally, become insane, turn to violent crime and murder.”

In particular, he latched on to the story of a young man named Victor Licata, who had hacked his family to death with an ax, supposedly while high on cannabis. It was discovered many years later, however, that Licata had a history of mental illness in his family, and there was no proof he ever used the drug.

The problem was, there was little scientific evidence that supported Anslinger’s claims. He contacted 30 scientists, according to Hari, and 29 told him cannabis was not a dangerous drug. But it was the theory of the single expert who agreed with him that he presented to the public — cannabis was an evil that should be banned — and the press ran with this sensationalized version.

Ansliger then combined his pursuit of a dedicated funding stream for his bureau with a healthy amount of all American racism and bigotry.

Harry told the public that “the increase [in drug addiction] is practically 100 percent among Negro people,” which he stressed was terrifying because already “the Negro population . . . accounts for 10 percent of the total population, but 60 percent of the addicts.” He could wage the drug war—he could do what he did—only because he was responding to a fear in the American people. You can be a great surfer, but you still need a great wave. Harry’s wave came in the form of a race panic.

Ansliger even promoted the term marijuana over cannabis because of its ethnic and racial connotations.

The word “marijuana” itself was part of this approach. What was commonly known as  cannabis until the early 1900s was instead called marihuana, a Spanish word more likely to be associated with Mexicans.

“He was able to do this because he was tapping into very deep anxieties in the culture that were not to do with drugs — and attaching them to this drug,” Hari said. Essentially, in 1930s America, it wasn’t hard to use racist rhetoric to associate the supposed harms of cannabis with minorities and immigrants.

So as the nationwide attitude towards cannabis began to fall in line with Anslinger’s, he testified before Congress in hearings for the Marijuana Tax Act. His testimony centered around the ideas he had been pushing all along — including a provocative letter from a local newspaper editor in Colorado, saying “I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigaret can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents.”

One appointed official’s pursuit of relevance and power combined with his racism and bigotry spawned an almost 100 year war on drugs in the US. An effort that has spent billions of dollars, but done very little to curb Americans’ appetite for drugs. All while perpetuating and furthering systemic racism and its horrific effects on Americans of color.

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” — Kohelet 1:9






108 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    *raises hand enthusiastically*
    OOH! OOH! I KNOW THIS ONE! CALL ON ME PROFESSOR!!!

  2. 2
    shinobi42 says:

    I learned this from this Adam Ruins Everything clip. You know, for people who don’t like reading. :P

  3. 3
    Rosalita says:

    always comes down to money

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: @shinobi42: Fine, fine you all be that way. I guarantee that AG Sessions has no idea that cannabis was criminalized solely because Ansliger needed a dedicated funding stream for his bureau post prohibition.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @shinobi42: Same Adam, or different? For the video-impaired.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Anyway, it’s been a long time since I last watched Reefer Madness.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s not me.

  8. 8
    HypersphericalCow says:

    Cultural/racial anxiety played a part in Prohibition, too; beer drinking and beer halls were strongly associated with German and other European immigrants. Shutting down the breweries was part of the same isolationist impulse that led to the 1920’s anti-immigration laws.

  9. 9
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I had to look up when that was made, and a bit surprised to see it was 1936. For some reason I always thought it was right around 1930 or ’32.

    Funny in college, but it’s taken on a different meaning as I’ve learned the history.

  10. 10
    B.B.A. says:

    And since that wasn’t enough, we demanded that cannabis be put in the strictest schedule of the Convention on Narcotic Drugs and strong-armed the rest of the world into banning it too.

    Which is now one of the stronger arguments against descheduling – it’d put us in violation of the very treaties we were so insistent that every other country join.

  11. 11
    waspuppet says:

    I was under the impression that Hearst wanted to cripple the supply of hemp paper, because he didn’t own or control any facilities that made it. Any truth to that?

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Spanky: Funny to watch when you’re high. Or so, um, they tell me.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Jeffro says:

    Reminds me a bit about the back story of the NRA, in the person of Harlon Carter. (Immortalized in the very catchy & rockin’ song Ramon Casiano by the DBTs)

    From such small, nasty acorns do mighty, corrupt oaks grow…

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    Damn blizzard in Massachusetts has temporarily cut off my supply of weed. Sad.

  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    I’m sorry, but it has been explained that the real racism is mocking of white folks as a recourse to all the actual racism fuckery that enslaves, kills, imprisons & poisons POC. Please rephrase this to not offend persons of beige.

    @Mnemosyne: They did a musical? I adore the original.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Carter was a piece of work.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    G recently re-read the “classic” anti-drug propaganda novel of the 1970s, Go Ask Alice, and he couldn’t stop laughing that the main character is snorting cocaine and shooting heroin, but she doesn’t go really bad until she smokes a joint. Then suddenly she’s out turning tricks to get more of that sweet, sweet bud.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Yes, back in 2005 — I added a link above. It’s very tongue in cheek and pretty funny.

    For the dudes: Kristen Bell wears a dominatrix outfit for one of her musical numbers. You’re welcome.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    The thing you have to give pot smokers is that compared with all other drug users they’re not violent and they’re not loud and obnoxious. That alone is enough for me. These people don’t bother anyone. They cause MUCH less trouble than problem drinkers, for example. I can’t imagine waking up and saying “this is the problem I want to tackle”. It’s like 14,391 down the list of even potential problems.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Well, there is the one guy at The Root that I keep wanting to smack because he’s a “both sides” idiot who hates Hillary and “corporate Dems,” so I’m not going to defend the whole website 100 percent. But VSB? I will go to the mat for those guys and gals even if they sometimes say things that sting a little.

  22. 22
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:(from Wikipedia)

    Carter opposed background checks for gun purchasers, saying that the use of guns by violent criminals and the mentally ill is the “price we pay for freedom”

    Whew…glad to see we’ve come so far in 4+ decades. Can you imagine if someone tried to make that crazy argument today??

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: There was an anti-pot tv commercial a few years ago (yes, for real) that had some kids who were supposedly high pulling up to a drive-through and ordering food. They got their order and then tore out of the drive-through and the commercial made it look like they hit someone. Everyone I knew thought it was ridiculous because if they were high they would have driven at about two miles an hour. Anyone in their path would have had ages to get out of the way. Drunk drivers on the other hand…

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    Laura Nahmias

    Verified account

    @nahmias
    36m36 minutes ago
    More Laura Nahmias Retweeted Bill de Blasio
    During the first three months of 2017, the NYPD made more than 5,000 arrests “for the possession or sale of small amounts of marijuana.” ~Nearly 400 arrests a week and 91% of the people arrested were people of color, per this @Azi story from May

    NINETY ONE per cent. That’s all you have to know about the Trump Administration bullshit “crackdown”

    What happened to the opiate crisis the low talent Trump team were gonna address, anyway? More lies from the pack of liars?

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    It’s true, although I must say I think persistent weed smoking is damaging to kids. I think it does something to get in the way of their emotional and social maturing. Drinking does the same thing to them. They need to be fully ALIVE coming up or they stay adolescents. It’s really tragic when you see it. They just haven’t FELT enough or something. Adolescence is horrible but you can’t take short cuts and spend it numb. You’ll pay for that.

  27. 27
    shinobi42 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I didn’t think this Adam had a cable show.

  28. 28
    Suzanne says:

    States’ Rights are only for owning black people. My bad.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: I suppose Jared Of All Trades has had a lot on his plate lately.

  30. 30
    Tom says:

    In case some of you all haven’t seen it yet: “We’ll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands.” https://t.co/LF0RpdCiHG— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) January 4, 2018

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @shinobi42: They won’t even let me on local basic access…

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tom: That was a great tweet.

  33. 33
    jonno says:

    And guess who was a disciple of Harry Anslinger? That’s right, Sheriff Joe:

    “…Arpaio was a personal disciple of Harry Anslinger. He employed Arpaio in 1957 as a narcotics agent. When I mentioned Harry Anslinger to Arpaio, his face lit up.”

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/drug-law-reform/one-thing-you-can-say-war-drugs-we-gave-it-fair-shot

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    It usually seems to be kids who have existing mental health issues that aren’t being addressed. Also, I think addiction issues tend to first show up in adolescence, but I’m not 100 percent sure what the current research says about that.

  35. 35

    @Adam L Silverman: Send them your caramel cheese cake, they will have you as guest on every show.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They gave it to Kelly Ann Conway. I’m sure she’s down there working in the trenches of West Virginia, in between cocktail parties. It kind of doesn’t matter which one of them gets these jobs- they have no expertise in anything so one is just as bad as another. They could switch her in on “middle east peace” and give Jared opiate abuse portfolio. No matter.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    They can’t put Jared on opiates, because he’s the wrong kind of person to rural Trump voters, if you know what I mean. If he’s not a lawyer or a doctor, they have no use for him, and even then they wonder if he files off his horns.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Well, sure. Doing anything like that isn’t good for kids since their bodies are still developing. Also, sitting on the sofa playing video games and eating chips all day isn’t good for them. There’s a balance. A lot of things when done too much aren’t good for people, kids or adults.

  39. 39
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kay:

    It’s true, although I must say I think persistent weed smoking is damaging to kids. I think it does something to get in the way of their emotional and social maturing.

    Weed in adolescents really messes up memory and math skills. I have had first-hand experience with my son and his friends, unfortunately.

    I don’t think throwing them in jail would help, though, so I still support the CA legalization.

  40. 40
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne: OMG, is *that* what happens in that book? I knew there was a reason I’d never read it!

  41. 41
    Spanky says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, so what? So did Susan Sarandon in Rocky Horror.

    No wait, that was Tim Curry.

  42. 42
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Turning tricks to get weed? When was pot ever that hard to get or that costly? I was a teenager in the 70’s, and even a little sheltered, and I knew if I wanted reefer, all I had to do was go to a party or just ask around.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Semi on topic: why does Hugh Hewitt always looked baked out of his gourd when he’s on MSNBC?

  44. 44
    Spanky says:

    @Kay: Clearly you’ve never been behind a bunch of high kids on the interstate going like 5 miles an hour. I must have been behind them for about 20 miles.

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: Yeah, but the problem with anti-drug propaganda is that most of it is so goddamned ridiculous that it undercuts the serious truths about adolescent brain development and addictive substances. If they just stuck with *that* – “yeah, pot smoking actually *isn’t* all that dangerous, compared to alcohol or other drugs, but habitual smoking *is* dangerous to you before the age of 25, if you value having a brain” – kids might actually be able to absorb that. It’s just the “this is your brain on drugs” BS that is so fucking phony and over the top, any reasonably intelligent and rebellious kid is going to tune that out completely.

  46. 46
    bystander says:

    Speaking of thought control, just make those potheads watch this.

    Gateway to Perry Como.

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @Spanky: That’s why that TV commercial I commented on upthread was so dumb. EVERYONE knows the weed smokers aren’t going to peel out of the drive-through. They’ll be lucky to creep out of there at 5 miles an hour after taking fifteen minutes to figure out how to make the car move.

  48. 48
    cmorenc says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Damn blizzard in Massachusetts has temporarily cut off my supply of weed. Sad.

    Weed will get you through times of no snow better than snow will get you through times of no weed.

  49. 49
    germy says:

    Don't lose sight of the fact that Jeff Sessions just destroyed the only policy that Roger Stone actually cared about. Stone's days as the Trump whisperer are officially over.https://t.co/IzlwMUQcIY— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) January 4, 2018

  50. 50
  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    I thought Chris Christie was in charge of the opioid commission or task force or whatever it is. Is he still governor, or has the new guy been sworn in?

    But yes, since you mention it, I do have some recollection that Kellyanne was the staff point person, not Jared for once.

  52. 52
    🌷 Martin says:

    NYT reporting that the Senate Judiciary is recommending criminal charges for Christopher Steele for lying to Congress.

    That’s just splendid – asking the DOJ to bring charges for lying to congress, led by a man we know lied to Congress to get his job.

  53. 53
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: that’s my state! That’s my state party! : )

    btw, thanks for posting this. (or re-posting this – I seem to recall you’ve written about this history before).

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @bystander: That cracks me up every time. I love that it’s a “modern spiritual.”

  55. 55
    cain says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I don’t think throwing them in jail would help, though, so I still support the CA legalization.

    Legalization also removes the impetus for smoking as “against the establishment”. Plus, we have opiods and other dangerous drugs that are way worse.

  56. 56
    TriassicSands says:

    OT — The NYT is reporting that the first criminal referral has “emerged from Congress’s Russia inquiries.”

    They are recommending charges (investigation) against the author of the Trump dossier, Christopher Steele!

    There is no such thing as “Peak Cynicism” or “Peak Hypocrisy” for the GOP.

    Each day the unbelievable becomes more and more routine.

  57. 57
    cain says:

    As a fuck you to Sessions, I walked into a cannbis store and got myself some edibles. While I was there, we had a good time bashing Keebler for his position. Trying to stop a muti-billion dollar industry is not going to work. The train has left the station, there is money to be made, and taxes to collect. Plus, when Canada legalizes it country wide, we have all kinds of fun selling them our pot. Otherwise Mexico wins.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: In comments, never on the front page.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I guarantee that AG Sessions has no idea that cannabis was criminalized solely because Ansliger needed a dedicated funding stream for his bureau post prohibition.

    He doesn’t know because he doesn’t care. He cares that it’s an excuse to crack down on black and brown people and feed the private prison system. That’s what he needs and wants; the origin story is something only nerds care about.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    @CarolDuhart2:

    Yeah, it’s a pretty hilariously misguided piece of propaganda. She also goes on an LSD trip before she tries pot, and that’s no big deal, but one puff of the Demon Weed is what sends her off on her fatal downward spiral.

    IIRC, the author is still anonymous, but most people agree that it’s a fictional scare story written by an adult in the form of a teenager’s diary.

  61. 61
    John says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I guarantee that AG Sessions has no idea that cannabis was criminalized solely because Ansliger needed a dedicated funding stream for his bureau post prohibition

    Maybe not, but his reason for pushing prohibition is exactly the same. Sessions has pushed heavily to expand asset forfeiture and cannabis is notable for the distinct odor that allows scumbag LEO’s to take cars from people of color.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @TriassicSands: Republicans are so desperate. Why so nervous, Republicans? If you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide.

  63. 63
    bystander says:

    @Yarrow: Makes you wonder where Lawrence was going to church.

  64. 64
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Perhaps not, but you can be damn sure Bilbo Bigot removed the Obama era guidance on enforcement because his buddies in the private prison industry need more monies. So what easier way to make more (unwilling) customers for those prisons than to make it easier to harass folks for ridiculous reasons that shouldn’t be illegal.

  65. 65
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: ah. I sit corrected. Well, thanks for FP-ing it – always fascinating to get more history on The War on (Some) Drugs.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I don’t think throwing them in jail would help, though

    So much this. The one thing that I keep getting back to with the war on drugs is how crazy the basic idea is. We’re supposedly banning drugs because some people will ruin their lives by taking them. So what do we do to prevent that from happening? We throw users in prison and make it difficult to impossible for them to get good jobs when they get out, thereby ruining their lives. In no universe does this make sense.

  67. 67
    ruemara says:

    @Kay: You can be quite numb as a necessity and be completely sober. Just saying.

  68. 68
    tobie says:

    @TriassicSands: It’s clear that the Republicans are going to go full boar in trying to discredit the FBI, the Mueller investigation, the Trump probe prior to Mueller’s appointment, and of course the Clintons for good measure and because old habits die hard. This is what the summit with Ryan and McConnell in Camp David is going to be all about. I’m trying to figure out what can be done. Don’t have a clue right now.

  69. 69
    TriassicSands says:

    @Yarrow:

    Yes, but what about when you’ve done everything wrong?

    They’re pathetic.

  70. 70
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Fair Economist: I don’t think the legalization will make it any more available to minors than it was previously.

  71. 71
    trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @Spanky:
    Cult classic with group participation well before “Rocky Horror.” What I recall most was that everybody seemed to be able to play piano–parties were much classier then.

  72. 72
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TriassicSands: Please tell me you’re kidding. Charges for WHAT, exactly? He spoke to russian sources, didn’t pay them, didn’t have any kind of a quid pro quo arrangement, and didn’t leak classified information.

    It’s getting to the point where it’s not even facetious to say that the Republicans are traitors. “You performed research on our candidate/president and found some potentially treasonous things, therefore we’re going to arrest you.”

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    @Tom:
    They are engaging in some A+ trolling–way to be, Colo Dems!

  74. 74
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Recently re-read a 1930’s mystery (John Dickson Carr) that has a person who smokes weed, loses all sense of morality and control, and finally decapitates someone and all because of the devil’s tobacco! Laughed out loud a couple of times.

  75. 75
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Pffft- please. They’ll let just about any numpty get on BayNews 9 and be interviewed. At least with you, they’d have someone smart and knowledgeable.

  76. 76
    tobie says:

    @MisterForkbeard: They’re claiming he leaked classified info to the press.

  77. 77
    Elmo says:

    One of the books that had the most profound influence on me as a relatively young adult was Peter McWilliams’ Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, about the absurdity of our drug laws.

  78. 78
    TriassicSands says:

    @tobie:

    It’s hard to know what will happen with any of this. There is so much going on, with so many possible constitutional crises, that the future could be more chaotic than anything we’ve faced before.

    Sessions has definitely touched a raw nerve with his archaic drug policies and he’s getting outrage from among others Republican senator Cory Gardner, who says Sessions misled or lied to him in order to secure his vote for confirmation. Shocking! Jeff Sessions lie? Inconceivable!

    I suppose the biggest worry is that things will get so out of control that not only Trump, but the GOP will decide that the only thing left to do is start a war to divert the attention of the American people. Of course, they may want to time that for maximum effect on the 2018 midterms. I think we can expect to see new and ingenious approaches to voter suppression including the outright closing of polling places in minority districts. That’s not new, but surely they can improve and expand their efforts in that regard.

  79. 79
    Yutsano says:

    @MisterForkbeard: The only charge I’ve seen is lying to federal investigators. They then promptly classified the details. Something tells me it’s weak sauce to shore them up somehow.

  80. 80
    Jager says:

    @Yarrow:

    “Put it in D Sean, not N, come on man, D!” If it was a stick shift they’d be there all night

  81. 81
    TriassicSands says:

    @MisterForkbeard:
    They’re saying he lied to “federal authorities.”

  82. 82
    germy says:

    Lenny Bruce assured me in 1961 that pot would be legal in ten years because all the law students he knew smoked it.

  83. 83
    Yarrow says:

    This week has been amazing. I wonder if we’ll get a Friday afternoon news dump treat to cap it off.

  84. 84
    Peale says:

    @TriassicSands: I’m pretty certain that result of the Russia probe will be a deal that for every Trump campaign staff member in the slammer and equal number of Democrats will need to be arrested. The point of the non-Mueller DoJ right now seems to be finding a way to lock hillary up.

  85. 85
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @tobie: He’s not a government agent. How is he leaking classified info to the press? Are they seriously claiming that by giving his own dossier to the press he was leaking classified information?

    This is orders of magnitude less of an issue than say… selected leaking by Republicans of classified information, which happens all the time. I’m done – these guys have crossed the line into cartoonishly evil.

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @MisterForkbeard: At what point do we tell the esteemed Senators that Steele isn’t an American citizen, does not live in the US, and that no way is Britain going to extradite him over this?

  87. 87
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, it makes perfect sense when you realize that the purpose of throwing drug offenders into jail isn’t to *prevent* them from ruining their lives, it is to *punish* them by ruining their lives.

  88. 88
    TriassicSands says:

    @Peale:

    Yes, that was an earlier breaking news alert — the FBI is looking into the Clinton Foundation.

    I guess our only hope is that eventually, the Republicans will run out of shiny objects to be used to divert voters attention from the catastrophe in progress in the White House.

  89. 89
    tobie says:

    @MisterForkbeard: My mistake. The charge against Steele is that he lied to investigators about possible leaks to the press:

    Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a senior committee member, told the Justice Department they had reason to believe that a former British spy, Christopher Steele, lied to federal authorities about his contacts with reporters regarding information in the dossier, and they urged the department to investigate.

    So the charge is not that he talked to the press but that he was dishonest when asked whether he talked to the press. We’ve now entered Orwell’s world.

  90. 90
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Yutsano: Also, Steele’s initial “I won’t speak in person to Congress because I don’t trust them” is looking oddly prescient.

    Though I think he DID eventually offer to do so, given certain assurances. Republicans turned him down IIRC, because they don’t want him legitimized or publicized outside of their propaganda networks.

  91. 91
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gelfling 545: Which John Dickson Carr was that? I read one last year, kind of a classic “locked room” mystery, which had a lot about them hoodooing Pennsylvania Dutch (hex signs on their barns = witchcraft), but I don’t remember any starring role for the demon weed in that one.

    @Elmo: that’s a book that my Libertarian buddy is trying to get me to read. Claiming I’ll get *really* het up about drug laws then – as if I needed to get more het up! : )

  92. 92
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    The evidence from the early legalization states says use by minors went down after legalization. Basically, it was easily enough available from illegal dealers before that kids didn’t have much trouble buying it. Legalization has put most of the illegal dealers out of business, which actually makes it harder for kids to buy.

  93. 93
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @Spanky: No, no. You were correct. Suzy gets slinky at the very end.

  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    @germy:
    Fatal flaw in Lenny’s logic: they were all too baked to pass the bar, man!

  95. 95
    germy says:

    @trollhattan: true… also, Lenny never envisioned the ’80s “Just Say No™”

  96. 96
    Kelly says:

    Jerry Jeff Walker sings Champagne Don’t Hurt Me

    “and it ain’t nobody’s business but mine”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDpSXG3RSTo

  97. 97
    Feathers says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m old enough that I was taught the cocaine wasn’t addictive in the drug scare portion of high school health class.

  98. 98

    Deleted: wrong thread

  99. 99
    ruemara says:

    @Feathers: Wow, really? Holy crap.

  100. 100

    @germy:
    Sessions doesn’t give a damn what Trump OR Stone want. I don’t totally know what’s up with that, but if Sessions got away with giving Trump the finger over the Mueller thing, then Trump has no power over Sessions at all. I can’t imagine anything Trump cares about more.

    @Gravenstone:

    you can be damn sure Bilbo Bigot removed the Obama era guidance on enforcement because his buddies in the private prison industry need more monies.

    With Sessions’ record? No. You can be damn sure he did it because he wants as many blacks as possible killed, harassed, and put in jail, because he hates blacks and thinks they’re animals to be put down. Buddies in the private prison industry are a bonus.

    @Peale:

    The point of the non-Mueller DoJ right now seems to be finding a way to lock hillary up.

    Yeah, good luck with that. Trump and Sessions and Republicans in congress can whine all that they want, but unless they pass legislation (which they can’t and still probably wouldn’t work), there comes a time when a prosecutor looks at them and says “Any other wishes you want me to grant, Master? Because you obviously think I’m a fucking genie with magic powers.”

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    frosty fred says:

    @Gelfling 545: Slightly dead thread, but Dame Ngaio Marsh repeatedly made a huge deal out of the pernicious, character-destroying influence of marijuana. (Homosexuality tended to be kind of fatal for her characters, too.)

  102. 102
    No Drought No More says:

    Prices at pot clubs in Sonoma county have bounced an additional 25%-30% as a result of the tax added as of the New Year, or so I was reliably informed today (no kidding, I’m not being coy- it was news to me). When that revenue stream begins to kick-in and make itself felt in improvements to the quality of life throughout the county, that’s the ballgame. The best news remains the fact that individuals can- as always- grown their own in lieu of paying any tax. The billion ants that smoke pot will in short (enough) order have finally conquered the republican elephant with a stick up its sanctimonious ass. Come that day, the terrible damage done by the ugly likes of Ed Meese and Jeff sessions will never again threaten the life or liberty of a even a single free born American. Is this a great country, or what?

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    Spinoza is my Co-pilot says:

    @Kay: I know there is good medical evidence showing some harmful cognitive effects of pot smoking for teenagers, primarily from heavy use. I have no reason to doubt this, but making pot only available on the black market (i.e., criminalizing it) is not the way to deal with that potential problem, relatively small as I think it is in actuality. Not that you, or anyone else here, is making that argument against legalization.

    Sessions and is ilk are, however, and that was a key element (“think of the children!”) in the successful anti-legal recreational pot campaign here in AZ in 2016 (we’ve had legal med weed here for some time).

    Anecdotally, I was a pretty heavy pot user as a kid (in the 70s) and I’ve continued to partake at least occasionally since (mostly edibles, now). Maybe I could have been a Nobel Prize winner or something if I would have avoided smoking so much pot as a lad, but I think I’ve done ok in my life anyway (and was an honor role/Merit Scholar kid in HS and cum laude college while never going much more than a week during that time without smoking up) so from direct, personal experience I haven’t noticed a problem from using marijuana.

    On the other hand, I have known a fair number of people who seriously fucked themselves (and others) up with alcohol use, including pre-mature death, significant health deterioration, family break-up, loss of jobs, and on down the line. I’ve never known anyone who fucked things up remotely like that due to weed. No one.

    And I told the many weed-using Trump supporters I know here in AZ that Sessions would be coming after legalized pot, but they either downplayed that as “not gonna happen” or didn’t care if it did since they figured it would be poor people of color primarily targeted, not fine upstanding affluent white folks like themselves (that last part is sadly true, since that’s simply continuing business as usual).

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot:

    I’ve never known anyone who fucked things up remotely like that due to weed.

    I have, but weed is less immediately life-threatening than alcohol, so weed users who fuck up their lives usually don’t accidentally or purposefully kill themselves. Usually, they end up homeless and yelling on street corners because if you have any tendency towards schizophrenia or psychosis, weed will fuck your brain up even worse and make your psychosis even harder to treat.

    Weed may be less harmful than some of the alternatives, but it definitely is not harmless and some people have permanently fucked up their lives with it. I really hate when people think it’s harmless because it didn’t harm them. 😠

  105. 105
    StringOnAStick says:

    I was quite surprised to hear Senator Cory Gardner (R CO) do his quite incensed “Sessions lied to me!” speech; apparently there is some R money in the CO pot industry, who knew? He’ll likely fold on his threat to block DOJ nominees since he’s been a loyal Drumphf soldier so far. Hey Cory, did you notice Sessions lied to you about his Russia contacts too, or is that no biggie?

    PS: prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, and it won’t this time for pot either. Cat’s been out of the baggie for a long time now.

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    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    They gave it to Kelly Ann Conway. I’m sure she’s down there working in the trenches of West Virginia, in between cocktail parties.

    THAT’s who I saw walking down US 119 from a broken down Cadillac yesterday afternoon! I thought she looked familiar, but didn’t feel like I ought to stop and offer help to someone who was so, so, independent and hard nosed.

    It was all the way up to 20 degrees, I hope she got that tire changed!!

  107. 107
    Anonymous patient says:

    @Feathers:

    Cocaine was lots more easy to quit than pot for me. And I still drink some. Even tho I would rather not quite so much.

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