Who Masterminded U.S. Pot Prohibition?
Harry Anslinger, the longtime Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, is widely considered the prime mover behind marijuana prohibition. But during the Congressional debate on prohibition in the spring of 1937, Anslinger was just one witness in a strange show trial. He testified that marijuana induces homicidal mania and so forth, but it was not Anslinger who designed the complicated prohibitive-tax strategy. That maneuver was thought up by the Treasury Department’s top lawyer, Herman Oliphant. Nor was Anslinger called back to refute Dr. William Woodward of the American Medical Association, who made many telling points in opposition to the prohibitive-tax bill. Read more
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