wonder how much better our government budget would be if it was all legalized and taxed instead of continuing with this expensive failure of a war on drugs
Harry J. Anslinger headed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for 31 years. His biggest contribution to the so-called "reefer madness" propaganda movement was the 1937 Marijuana Transfer Tax Act, which imposed strictures on the growing and use of the plant which rendered hemp effectively worthless by taxing it out of existence. Anslinger passed this bill through rather dubious means. His testimony in favor of the Act, for example, consisted largely of selections from Hearst newspaper articles read aloud into the Congressional record. Even at the time, reputable experts had already deemed much of this propaganda inaccurate. Also, Anslinger took pains to ensure that any groups and/or individuals that might have resisted the passing of the Act were either informed late (or not at all) that the hearings were even taking place. The American Medical Association, which would likely have argued the medicinal benefits of marijuana, was notified only two days prior to the hearing. Their representative, Dr. William Woodward, denounced the hearings as being rooted in tabloid sensationalism, and demanded an explanation for the secrecy involved. Anslinger ignored Woodward's vociferous objections -- when before the vote he was asked by Congress if the AMA agreed that the bill should be passed, a member of Anslinger's committee replied, "Yes, they are in complete agreement."