Marijuana: Assassin of Debt


Author Bio.

When Oregon made history in 1973 as the first US state to decriminalize cannabis, opponents published dire predictions to expect a rise in crime and hard drug abuse. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Other states followed, first with decriminalization, and then with out-and-out legalization.

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This time, California took first place, legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As of October 2017, 29 states and Washington, DC have legal medical marijuana. More states are considering joining this trend.

Why all this fuss and bother over a simple weed?

After all, cannabis is a native plant in the Americas. It was an ingredient in many pharmaceutical remedies sold in the US before the beginning of the 20th century. What ruined pot’s medical contribution and transformed it from a helper to a menace?

The answer dates back to 1930, when the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), a new division in the Treasury Department, was established. Harry J. Anslinger, the first director, declared war on marijuana.

Fueling Anslinger’s smear campaign, the 1936 film Reefer Madness was pure fiction, packaged as a “cautionary tale.” It used propaganda techniques (e.g., fear, ridicule, exaggeration) to demonize marijuana use. The depiction of black musicians was quite racist, not surprising since they had been targeted by the FBN. Three slick-yet-unsavory white drug dealers host wild parties (with jazz music) to turn innocent (white) teenagers into “reefer” cigarette addicts.

The title of a 1937 film, which also demonized pot use, introduced the shock phrase Assassin of Youth into the American vocabulary and popular social consciousness.

Since they had never tried marijuana, and never suspecting a fraud, the average American gobbled up this federal smear campaign, many believing to this day that marijuana users are immoral, as well as criminal.

Because the federal government had no power to outlaw drugs in the early 1900s, high taxation became the legal loophole for federal control. (Ironically, legal marijuana is now also the source of tax revenue, under state control.)

Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon approved the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970. This neat little piece of legislation consolidated over 200 prior existing federal drug laws into a single statute. The CSA identifies five drug Schedules for state legislatures to reference, with ease, when drafting new criminal statutes.

The federal department in charge of taxing drugs (FBN) decided that marijuana was as harmful and dangerous as heroin, and classified both as Schedule 1 narcotics. (Marijuana is actually called, in scientific terms, a psychoactive – or mind-altering – substance.)

The website says:

“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, LSD, marijuana (cannabis), ecstasy, methaqualone (Quaalude), and peyote”

Supporting the federal propaganda campaign against marijuana, the American Cancer Society website’s Treatment and Support section informs us:

“At this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists marijuana and its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. This means that they cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. Whole or crude marijuana (including marijuana oil or hemp oil) is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical use. But the use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions is legal under state laws in many states.”

Even as the DEA pretends that marijuana has no redeeming value, stories abound online about “miracle cures” for cancer patients, many of them children whose doctors had lost hope for successful treatment. Studies from non-US countries are showing that marijuana’s active components actually kill cancer and other diseases.

Furthermore, if smoking marijuana caused medical problems, there would be an epidemic of cases, since so many people have been consuming pot products for so long in the US. Mainstream media headlines would be screaming about it. Have you heard of any such case, ever?

Anslinger’s successful propaganda campaign to demonize marijuana turned generations of otherwise law-abiding Americans into criminals. The impact is far-reaching; many people know someone in jail on a petty pot charge.

What is the true cost, to American society, of marijuana’s demonization over the decades? Perhaps impossible to measure in dollars, add to the criminal justice costs a decades-long, diminished, able-bodied workforce. There are still inmates whose only crime was possession of a minor amount of pot, or a pipe. Those convicted and released must live with criminal records, putting certain jobs out of reach.

There is no correlation whatsoever – much less causality – between marijuana and crime, disease, or disintegration of the social fabric.

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana and hemp (fiber from the plant stalks), this writer predicted the state economy would improve dramatically, transforming the budget ink from red to black. Other states would “turn green with envy.” In fact, Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry added $200 million 2016 tax dollars to the state budget, as reported by Westword on May 31, 2017. This is especially impressive when you consider that 2015 revenue was over $70 million, according to an article on That ain’t chump change.



The trend of state-level legalization of medical, recreational and hemp marijuana products has to be attributable to the overwhelming numbers of US citizens who agree that “the evil weed” is not a gateway drug to harder drugs, and certainly not worth police, court or jail time.

Marijuana is, however, an excellent source of new state revenues. Nationwide, total 2016 legal cannabis sales came to $6 BILLION. Who’s laughing all the way to the bank now?

The example set by Drug Czar Anslinger is a good reminder of the power a single person can bring against his own society. It is this one man’s head-strong, ill-conceived, and destructive influence that modern Americans are finally kicking to the curb.

We the People are, collectively, much more powerful than any individual. Our message is:

“Reefer madness? We don’t think so.”

First come state laws legalizing marijuana use. Can the fed be far behind?

  1. Post Author

    Maybe our National Debt is a False Flag to be used to convince the masses that legalizing
    marijuana and taxing it will be used to pay it down.

    • Post Author

      LOL! Love your thinking here, Matt! After all, has anyone actually *seen* the national debt? Seriously.

      • Post Author

        Not true. Call Gov. Hickenlooper of Colorado. Pot has brought cartels and crime into Denver, per our Chief of Police in Denver, quality of labor force, especially in our mountain resorts took a nose dive, we have had deaths and youth suicides and school children bringing parents pot to school, not good for citizens as a whole and not good for this country! Medical pot properly supervised is another story!

        • Post Author

          Appreciate your sharing your opinion, Diane. Note that this particular article talks about the positive economic impact of legal MJ, and makes no mention of the downsides – including not only what you mention, but rising property values and urban crowding. Btw, any medicine consumed improperly can be very dangerous. Don’t do it.

  2. Post Author

    More people are brain washed that this is bad, personally I know many migraine suffers that have benefited from this and has kept them from taking current pharmaceuticals that would are known to cause damage to vital organs and even death.

  3. Post Author

    The feds, both Dems & Repubs. Wouldn’t use a penny of it to help pay down the National debt. No Way Jose! They would just find new ways to spend their additional new income. Just like a person who can’t control their own spending. They have a credit card that is pretty well maxed out and their credit card company notes they’ve been making their minimun payments on time every month, so they issue the card holder an increase in their credit line. Do the credit card holders hold their card spending to where they can at least afford making minimum payment ‘s? Hell n…, they just go find new stuff to spend their increase in credit on. Same same for the government. Their spending is out of control and they have no self discipline to keep their spending to no more than their total income. They just rob Peter to make it look like Paul has more money so they take it from Paul & spend that too!

  4. Post Author

    Over the long haul is it a really good idea?

  5. Post Author

    Can you use the word assassin advisedly come but apparently not knowing it’s derivation.
    a murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons.
    (initial capital letter) one of an order of Muslim fanatics, active in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1272, whose chief object was to assassinate Crusaders.
    Origin: 1525–35; < Medieval Latin assassinī (plural) < Arabic ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish

    • Post Author

      Yes, wasn’t the author clever in not only weaving the title of an anti-MJ movie (“Assassin of Youth”), but also in using the term “assassin” in the article’s title, *knowing* that it derives from an Arabic term for “hashish eaters” – and of course, hash is made from marijuana? Glad you are out there connecting the dots, too, Pepi.

  6. Post Author

    Ever wonder why Industrial Hemp was outlawed. Could it be that it would
    be a competitor to King Cotton and doesn’t need pesticides to fight the boll weevil?

  7. Post Author

    It is lunacy NOT to use this source of revenue. Marijuana has numerous medical benefits and NO downside. The financial gain is enormous. It is excellent for reducing stress, a major killer of people in this country. It is so much more beneficial for the mind and body than any prescribed drugs (xanax) And, alcohol is clearly detrimental and is used by nearly everyone, LEGALLY. It certainly has many negatives. Thank you for the article. Now, please keep up the research so that we can change the Federal laws to permit its use.

    • Post Author

      Hear, hear, Mark! Well said indeed, sir.

  8. Post Author

    This very very inaccurate. Colorado brags about the money coming in, but never talks about cost! Shortly into the second year they had logged 37 ER visits from toddlers who had gotten into their parents candy. ER visits are not cheap. They have had their first confirmed death from overdose. The pot they are selling is Way stronger than what was available in the 1970’s. 1970’s pot was 1 1/2 to 2% THC. Go to a dispensary in Colorado and you will 16 to 20%. I have been traveling there for Summer vacations for 20 years. The last two years I have seen more people panhandling on the street than i ever saw before or could imagine. Yes, someone is making money, but lots of people are failing because of it. The local hotels and businesses aren’t happy with it either. Several hotels I visited had NO pot consumption on our property signs at check in. Don’t by the lies.

    • Post Author

      The death you mention, Jim, concerned an 11-month-old baby in Colorado two years ago. Doctors Thomas Nappe and Christopher Hoyte (Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, part of Denver Health) worked on the baby’s care as part of their duties at the regional poison control center. They claim that damage to the child’s heart muscle, which was listed as the boy’s cause of death, was brought on by ingesting marijuana. ““The only thing that we found was marijuana. High concentrations of marijuana in his blood” Then the baby died. (Source:
      But is this really proof of causality? This writer says, “No, it isn’t proof. That is the opinion of two professionals.”
      This writer believes MJ is incapable of killing by overdose. This writer believes that MJ cures cancers and other life-threatening conditions.

  9. Post Author

    excellent artical. tell it like is. too many good people were jailed and prosecuted for smoking a joint. I witnessed several in my early years. A life ruined just for smoking a joint. That should not have been the case. Thanks for printing the truth.

  10. Post Author

    Marijuana is a drug, The only difference between it and alcohol is that one is legal and the other is not. The statistics on alcohol (drug) related deaths is astronomical. When your buzzed or high, is there any difference in the results? Now you think about that…..

    • Post Author

      I think you need to do some more research, Frank. MJ and alcohol are as different as – oh, say, caffeine and aspirin. Legal status has nothing to do with medical risk/benefit, btw – it is determined by the political winds that blow, fueled by people’s ignorance of their own country’s history.

  11. Post Author

    The national debt is not the issue.

    All well and good to further demonize the government as a culprit, when in fact whether weed is legal or not, pleasurable or not, medically proven or not, it is a mind altering substance that even if is not necessarily a gateway drug, it has still proven to modify and alter the brain chemistry of those that use it. The results of chronic use can certainly compare to all other examples of substance use and dependency…ask a scientist that works with the human brain or a social worker that has to sort out the mess that pot users make of their lives….duhh, uh, yeah, man, don’t bogart that joint…uhh, far out man, I found my Hendrix albums…

    • Post Author

      With all due respect, Joe, I challenge you to present any evidence, of any kind, from any source, that establishes MJ as a “gateway” drug. This myth was busted a long time ago.

  12. Post Author

    “Marijuana is, however, an excellent source of new state revenues.” Well, then, by all means the populace should consume as much as possible so politicians can redistribute wealth to friends. Where are the libertarian hippies of the sixties?

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