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Repression

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Parent Issue
Day
28
Month
May
Year
1971
OCR Text

"The youth of the country is too fine to be narcotics minded. " - Harry Anslinger, 1938 niegalization of marijuana was born in imperialism, nurtured in racism.. and sealed in delibérate deceit. To this day the marijuana laws remain on the books because of purposeful mystification of the public, kept ignorant by greedy doctors, chickenshit politicians, and self-serving, fascist pólice: the Narx. niegalization of marijuana carne about because of who was using it Marijuana was illegalized by the white power structure because it was used primarily by ghetto blacks, chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and powerless poor whites. MENACE The Reefer Menace had by the 1920's thoroughly conquered the South and was beginning to move north--like jazz, up the river from New Orleans. New Orleans took the U. S. lead, banning pot by city ordinance in 1923 after a racist hysterical press crusade, and Louisiana was the first state to pass a pot prohibition law in 1927. Texas and Colorado, where pot was used mostly by chicanos and blacks, followed suit in 1929. The movemant north was in part responsible for the creation of the Federal Narcotics Bureau in 1930, when only sixteen states had laws banning marijuana, laws which were rarely enforced except against ethnic minorities. Jazz musicians, travelling around the country in buses, provided an early underground distribution network quite similar to ours today; friends turning on friends and listening to music from stoned jazz, blues, and swing artists. Since jazz, flappers, free sex, booze, and reefers were all considered "inmoral, " the prohibitionist movement quickly centered around the issue of marijuana. It was a blatant attempt to suppress the flowering of the first truly great Black Culture in -the Jazz Age. CIVILIZATION Harry J. Anslinger, a bullet-brained hog taken out of his T-man booze control job by Washington politicians after the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933, was the first of the Narx. As head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the Thirties he spearheaded state and nationally coordinated pot campaigns directed against lower class non-whites. With his help, Illinois and New York prohibited grass in the early part of the decade, because it was used mostly by blacks, and a sprinkling of white "swing" musicians. Racism permoated the entire campaign. Although the Federal Bureau did not couch its arguments in overtly racist terins, they happily encouraged racist state governments to move against ghetto dwellers. Even the medical profession joined in. Two sentences from the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal illustrate the theme: "The debasing and baneful influence of hashish and opium is not restricted to individuals but has manifested itself in nations and races as well. The dominant race and most enlightened countries are alcoholic, whilst the races and nations addicted to hemp and opium, some of which once attained to heights of culture and civilization, have deteriorated both mentally and physically. " A more explicit statement of racist trash could not be found; this kind of stuff was supported by wealthy elitist organizations such as the American Medical Association, and used by Anslinger and the Narx in their campaigns. Thus Mississippi outlawed pot after "the introduction of the practice by Mexican labor imported to work on a railroad construction jjb. " The St. Louis Times in Missouri conducted a sensational crusade against (black) smokers and sellers which resulted in "more efficiënt legislation" in 1935. In Tennessee, the Chattanooga News made a similar drive, and in that State the first sentence under the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was imposed. Even in northerly Pennsylvania in 1934, seventy-one "addicts and peddlers" af marijuana were arrested, and Yawger in 1938 reported that these were mostly black: "A considerable number of the colored inmates of the Eastern State Penitentiary were thoroughly familiar with reefer smoking. " David Solomon, editor of The Marihuana Papers, has commsnted: "By 1937, largely as a result of almost eight yea-s of persistent eff orts by the Bureau, almost every state legislature had been pressured into adopting a standard bilí making marihuana illegal. . . COLORED POT As a national and international figure, Anslinger had to be more sophisticated than the overtly racist southern Narx. He therefore superficially centered the anti-marijuana campaign not against races, but against criminal activities falsely associated with marijuana. The method was simple: everybody knew that pot was used mostly by "colored" people, so he didn't have to mention it. Pot was found mostly in ghettos, where the highest crime rates were also found. Therefore every time a nonwhite was busted for a crime, Narx investigated to see if the slightest trace of p ot could be associated with it; and these cases were used to fabrícate the theory that marijuana "causes" crime. The Narx simply manufactured an image associating the crimes among "colored" people in the ghettos with marijuana. The white racist power structure in the Thirties thus played on the fears of the white racist middle class and the redneck st?te legislatures with great success; this is the primary reason the national and state anti-marijuani laws were passed. Even after the 1937 Marih' a:a Tax Act went into effsct, it was applied prin arily against blacks, chícanos, and Puerto Ricars. A March 1938 issue of The New Yorker says by then there were hundreds of "tea pads" in Harlem - "many more of them than there were speakeasies during prohibition. " Who was turning on ? Them "coloreds. " Them "niggers. " Them "spicks. " The medical profession continued to support this racism. When the LaGuardia Report was released in 1944, the A. M A. immediately issued a statement condemning the Report as "unscientific"--despite its being the most scientific document about marijuana compiled since the Indian Hemp Commission in 1894. The A, M A. and F. B. N. proffered. instead. a racist study of "marihuana addicts" in the Army which attempted to attribute "overtly hostile, provocative, and intransigent attitude toward authority" among "colored" soldiers to marijuana. VIPERS Throughout the Forties, when marijuana "addicts" were called "Vipers, " racism was an everpresent, though sometimes not explicit, part af the marijuana drive continued by the Bureau and aided by popular sexational magazines. An article in a 1941 Shock magazine, for instance. exposes "America's Most Dangerous Drug" by having a reporter attend a "marihuana jag" party in--of all places - Grand Forks. North Dakota, White women - depicted as sluts, their skirts hiked up, their blouses open, some with bags over their heads to "inhale all the smoke from the reefer"-are shown dancing and carrying on with black slickers in wide-lapel flashy suits: "Dazed by the drug's fumes, the smokers rise and try an attempt at dancing, eyes half closed in their dream world, their leaden feet shuffling aimlessly. " Another caption reads "Leaping High: These two vipers break into rhythmic hand-clapping to the torrid tunes of the automatic phonograph or Joy-box. The rest will soon join in. " Such orticles--most often written with the help of the -offering ridiculous caricatures oí turning on, were not the exception but the rule. "Addicts" with crazed looks in their eyes rolled on the f loor or squatted stolidly in zoot-suit catatonic trances. A movie poster shows a dude shooting a girl up with a syringe over the title "MARIHUANA: Weed with Roots in Heil. " The junk-peddler image of a slicker in white shoes on the high school corner trying to get kids "hooked" on "funny cigarettes, " which first gained national circulation in the Rowell brothers'bock On the Trail of Marihuana: The Weed of Madness HIGHER PENALTIES In 1950, Congressman Hale Boggs of New Orleans began a successful campaign, lauded by Anslinger, to increase pot penalties and establish minimum mandatory 2-to-20 year terms. The Boggs Amfmdmrmt became the basis for greatly increased penalties in various state laws, starting again in the South, and in further Federal legislation in 1956. The highest penalties meted out for pot offenses occur in Texas and the Deep South, again directed mostly at blacks and chícanos. Although the Marijuana Tax Act was originally intended to apply only to sellers, rather than users, the first person arrested under the first person arrested under the national laws for illegal posaession was P. Lopez in 1953, who was sent to the West Virginia penitentiary for 20 years. The Federal Bureau's list of crimes committed by potheads, published in 1965, reads like a who's who of non-whites: Henriquez, Lopez, Black Ora, Pérez, Gonzales, Gutiérrez, Méndez, Jones (black), Mines (black), Ramírez, Rios, Morable, Navarro, etc etc etc. And the states follow the Federal lead, often with even more racist vengeance. Most oí the real atrocities in the recent Marijuana War are nonwhite: here are some important examples. PRISONERS OF WAR LEE OTIS JOHNSON, former Field Secretary for SNCC in Houston, sentenced August 1968 to30 years for allegedly giving one joint to an undercover Nark at a party; LEE LOPEZ ALmANDAREZ, also of Houston, life sentence for possessi on oí 42 kilos: Richard Dorsey, black shoeshine stand operator in Dallas, given 50 years in 1967 for selling a $5 matchbox to a Nark; SAMUEL WILLIAMS, black, sentenced in Seattle to 20 years for sale oí a $1 joint to a 16-year-old. The list could go on. Racism against nonwhites in Amerika is now being applied against white longhairs, radical activists, and pot smokers - the new revolutionary class of "voluntary niggers. " A Playboy magazine poll in September 1970 showed that, indeed, frequent pot users are the most revolutionary college students: 39rG of frequent users said the U. S. needs a violent revoluti on (rather than"working wlthin the system is effective"), as compared to a mere 9% of nonusers and 22% of all users. Thus the pot laws have become the handiest weapon used by the governmsnt against white political activists and freeks. This will increase under the new Nixon dope laws, which will allow more selective enforcement, discrimination and penalization than the old laws - meaning judges can let sons and daughters of wealthy celebrities or politicians off with probation, while tbrow ing the book at poor people and revolutionaries. JOHN SINCLAIR being given 9 12 to 10 years for pussession of 2 joints, primarily because he is the energetic leader of the Rainbow People's Party, is the most outstanding example of this new quasiracism. John was also for many years head of Michigan LEMAR, fighting vigorously for pot legalization. Consequently he was framed three times on bogus pot charges instigated by Narx. The vendetta against John was a delibérate attempt by tlie Detroit, Ann Arbor, Michigan - and, I suspect, Federal--authorities to wipe this brilliant youth leader off the set. Before his incarceration, alter all, he was having more visible effect on hundreds of thousands of Amerikan youth than any establish(cont. on p. 14) marijuana or marihuana (má re hwá'ná) n. A weed or herb, growing in many parts of North America; the dried leaves of the plant, which have narcotic qualities when smoked in cigarettes: often called the assassin of youth. MARIJUANA REPRESSION (continued f rom page 13 ) ment politicians in Michigan and perhaps in the United States. But as such, he became the prime target of this concerted attack by the capitalist power structure to remove him f orcibly from public consciousness. Though they have jailed him, they have not succeeded in removing him from our hearts--quite the reverse: WE WILL FREE JOHN SINCLAIR, and all political prisoners! Other examples oí racist prejudice against whites selected at random from the youth colony: HOWARD NEU INGRAM, serving 5-to-life in various California prisons including San Quentin, for selling a small amount of grass to a friend; when the L. A. judge heard Howard's impassioned plea for legalization at the trial, he handed out that atrocity sentence to the young longhair. LARRY BELCHER, "Dope-O-Scope" columnist for the oíd Warren Forest SUN in Detroit, given 30 years for "sale" of twigs and cleanings by a judge in Traverse City, Michigan, after a sweep of bogus set-ups that later included PUN PLAMONDON, currently facing pot charges as well as the C.I. A. bombingconspiracy charges; JAMES JOHNSON, an 18-yearold hippie in May, 1969, when he got 20 years for possession in rural Prince George County, Virginia, after being set up by the local sheriff to buy $200 worth of grass for the Narx; KERRIGAN GREY, 22 in 1965 when he was handed 2 concurrent 20 year terms in Walla Walla prison, Washington, for sale to a Nark. Again, the list goes on and on. FIGHTING COMMUNISM Ironically, most of the young people busted for pot are inter-nationalist, with a much wider view of the world as a planetary unit than that shared by their elders and the Narx. Tliis is doubly true of political activists who have been busted for pot, such as Abbie Hoffman, Eldridge Cleaver, Jerry Rubin, Lee Otis Johnson, and John Sinclair. The Narx, along with the FBI, CIA, and local pigs, are one of the largest groups of Amerika-firsters in the country; they are firm bellevers in Imperialism, which these days is called "fighting communism. " Amerikan imperialist interest in Asia began because of dope--the opium trade to China- and our imperialist intentions in Indochina to this day are significantly concerned with smuggling opium out of Laos to finance the clandestino Meo army of the C. L A. as well as to provide invisible income for the Nationalist Chinese budget. Yet Harry Anslinger, f rom the McCarthy era until he was replaced at the Bureau in 1962 by Henry Giordano, maintained that this opium was smuggled by the "Red Chinese" despite repeated denials from the World Health Organization and United Nations fact-finding teams in Asia. The past and present narcotics policy of the U. S. is inextricably bound up with our imr.,erialism, our "fighting ComMvnism' in Indochina, China, the Mi.Hle East, F ranee, and even Cuoa. The heavy sentences and persistent harassment-busts meted out to youth leaders (who are considered "Commies" by the Narx) are the result of this historie link. And the cover-up by Nixon, Mitchell, Ingersoll, and other top Narx today, of our C. I .A. complicity in the opium trade, is part of the reason John Sinclair sits in jail on bogus pot charges and suffers trial on the even more irrational charges of conspiring to bomb a C. I. A. building in Ann Arbor which he didn't even know existed. Of course the Nixon anti-marijuana campaign, more sophisticated though no less evil in intent than Anslinger's, creates an excellent market for heroin and speed among young people who have any difficulty getting grass; and the narco-bureau arguments against pot, backed up by fascist elite doctors of the A. M. A. , are discovered to be patently absurd by every young pot smoker, which leads them to believe that they can experiment with smack, speed, and downers with no more injurious result. Just as the Narx and Army officials have created thousands uf young Amerikan junkies in Saigon who experirrunted with junk because they knew the Narx lied about pot, so the internal Narx have created thousands of new teenage addicts by cutting off pot supplies, lying about grass, and covertly helping the worldwide opium-heroin trade. Racism still comes into the picture. While the Government drafts large numfoers of ethnic minorities to go kill "Gooks" in Asia, it allows the Mafia to flood black ghettos with high-quality heroin every tini3 there appears the possibility of insurrection. Which Mafia? At present the top-echelon heroin dealers in the United States are the Cuban Mafia in New York and Miami, many of them former Batista army and pólice officers associated with the oíd New York 1950's Mafia set-up in Havana. And who backs up their plot to re-invade Castro's Cuba'; The C. I. A. - again. Thus we kill, jail, and send to Vietnam thousands of youth - black, white, all colors - and selectively enforce the pot laws hardest against revoluti onaries, while covertly supporting the world heroin trade in the name of "fighting Comrnunism. " It is entirely a matter of white, capitalist genocide against non-whites and white freeks of the youth colony. Marijuana prohibition began as a direct result of racism and imperialism and it is kept on the books today by the wealthy, politically dictatorial commanders of the business and military elite, through the present Nixon administration and the trained death-squads of secret-police Narx. Marijuana will not be free until the racist, imperialist policies of the Narx are overthrown. by Michael R. Aldrich, PhD. , Head of LEMAR INTERNATIONAL. This is excerpted from FREE MARIJUANA! a book in search oí a publisher. Copyright (c) Michael R, Aldrich 1971. May be used by UPS papers.