Anslinger’s congressional testimony postulated that the hemp plant came into prominence in 1090AD via the infamous Sect of Assassins in Persia. Consuming the derivative of the plant, marijuana, enabled the men of the sect, known then as the Hashishan (the presumed etymological root to the word ‘assassin’), to commit unrivalled acts of atrocities across the land. In years to come, the term ‘Hashish’, long synonymous with the sect, became the de facto term for the hemp derivative. References to the plant were also found in the works of the great Greek poet, Homer, marking the chasm of geography and time that the hemp managed to bridged. A single speculative reference to the natives of the Malaysian peninsular, detailing the lore of ‘amok’ - of a man going berserk under the influence of the plant also highlighted the perils of the dastardly hemp!

Presumably to lend an air of credence to his narrative, Anslinger expounded a few botanical aspects and traits of the hemp plant. However, he cleverly overlay his arguments to present a viewpoint that the hemp plant is a common name for the whole family of the species (including the Indian hemp, Cannabis America, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, among others) as they share the same characteristics, both visually, botanically and psychoactively. He further elaborated on the error of limiting the psychoactive components of the plant exclusively to the flowers or seeds; instead, according to some unnamed study that was conducted the preceding months, the WHOLE plant, right down to its leaves and stalks, apparently possesses equal concentration of the psychoactive components.

Anslinger added that consumption of the derivative marijuana affects the users’ nerve centers, emotional core, physical attributes and spatial time perception (for once, he was actually correct, albeit in a very limited manner, as would eventually be proven by modern science). Under prolonged usage, he claims that acute mental deterioration begins to take place and users are eventually driven into a violent, uninhibited raging mood with an inability to distinguish the border of society’s moral, ethical and legislative parameters. In fact, he claimed that this was one of the strategies employed by ‘Mohammedan’ soldiers during the war against the Crusaders almost ten centuries back.

The relative lack of consensus on the absolute composition and properties of marijuana were cast aside in favor of an absolute definition that insists upon the predominantly negative physical and emotional effect it has on the human body. The malevolent effect it has on users ensures that physical crimes can be exclusively attributed to marijuana, which given time will force a user into mental deterioration leading to, in most cases, insanity.

The dispersion of the crop nationwide has also lead to an increase in its circulation, contributing to its low market price and availability to the most vulnerable segment of the society. Anslinger also detailed the 338 marijuana related arrests across the nation in the previous year, a massive increase that can only be attributed to the surge in popularity of the cheap and harmful product. Law enforcement officials were at a disadvantage in combating the marijuana related crime owing to lack of education and experience in the matter, and corrective measures requires an investment of time and money that the nation can ill afford in the era of Depression.

As such, he alluded that the time has come for the government to face the issue head on and attempt to regulate the farming, distribution and consumption of the hemp plant to ensure that the supposed menace are contained and its minimal beneficial properties are not made an excused for its other flagrant, harmful flaws. He cited support for the bill from the administration of states such as Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma as another indication that the nation wanted help in combating the marijuana threat.

Anslinger also outrageously claimed that marijuana is the most ‘violence-causing’ drug in the history of mankind, and attributed the dramatic increase in American homicide rates on marijuana, despite the fact that the FBI’s own statistics indicated then that almost three quarters of murders in the country were alcohol related.


 United States Marijuana Law
 About Marijuana

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