However, from 1948 to 1950, Anslinger stopped feeding the press the story that marijuana was violence-causing and began Red Baiting, typical of the McCarthy era.
Now the frightened American public was told that this was a much more dangerous drug than he originally thought. Testifying before a strongly anti-Communist Congress in 1948and thereafter continually in the pressAnslinger proclaimed that marijuana rendered not violent at all, but so peacefuland pacifistic!that the Communists could and would use marijuana to weaken our American fighting mens will to fight.
This was a 180-degree turnaround of the original pretext on which violence causing cannabis was outlawed in 1937. Undaunted, however, Congress now voted to continue the marijuana lawbased on the exact opposite reasoning they had used to outlaw cannabis in the first place.
It is interesting and even absurd to note that Anslinger and his biggest supportersSouthern congressmen and his best senatorial friend, Senator Joseph McCarthy* of Wisconsinfrom 1948 on, constantly received press coverage on the scare.
* According to Anslingers autobiographical book, The Murderers, and confirmed by former FBN agents, Anslinger had been supplying morphine illegally to a U.S. senatorJoseph McCarthyfor years.
The reason given by Anslinger in his book? So the Communists would not be able to blackmail this great American Senator for his drug-dependency weakness. (Dean Latimer, Flowers In The Blood; Harry Anslinger, The Murderers.)
Anslinger supplied illegal morphine to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy for years.
Anslinger told Congress the Communists would sell marijuana to American boys to sap their will to fightto make us a nation of zombie pacifists. Of course, the Communists of Russia and China ridiculed this U.S. marijuana paranoia every chance they gotin the press and at the United Nations.
Unfortunately, the idea of pot and pacifism got so much sensational world press for the next decade that eventually Russia, China, and the Eastern Bloc communist countries (that grew large amounts of cannabis) outlawed marijuana for fear that America would sell or use it to make the Communist soldiers docile and pacifistic.
This was strange because Russia, Eastern Europe, and China had been growing and ingesting cannabis as a medical drug, relaxant, and work tonic for hundreds and even thousands of years, with no thought of marijuana laws.
(The J.V. Dialogue Soviet Press Digest, Oct., 1990, reported a flourishing illegal hemp business, despite the frantic efforts by Soviet law enforcement agencies to stamp it out. In Kirghizia alone, hemp plantations occupy some 3,000 hectares. In another area Russians are traveling three days into the one of the more sinister places in the Moiyn-Kumy desert, to harvest a special high grade, drought resistant variety of hemp known locally as anasha.)
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