Luther Gennert Gennert 1
Research Paper 10A
3 October 2017
The Failure of the Drug War and A Better Solution
“America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order
to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive:” With
those words, Nixon started the War on Drugs. According to the government, the
purpose of the drug war was to eliminate all drug use, creating a perfect, drug-free
utopia. Unfortunately, it has done quite the opposite. It channels money toward
criminals, increases crime, makes it much more difficult for those in need to receive
treatment, and holds a motive deemed quite sinister.
The drug war is nothing but a blatant lie, fabricated as an excuse to take down
the political enemies of the government, and it all started with Harry J. Anslinger.
Anslinger was appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the early 1930’s. At
the time, rates of drug use were quite low, so the government was planning to defund
the FBN. Anslinger could not stand the prospect of losing his job, so he came up with the
idea of demonizing a substance in order to avoid being defunded. At the time, there was
a lot of racism towards the Mexicans. He realized that they were the main users of
cannabis. He used that racism to fuel a hatred towards it. He created the term
“marihuana” to further associate the drug with the Mexicans (18 Adams). Before this,
Anslinger had stated that cannabis was virtually harmless. He also came up with a
copious amount of false information about it to keep the fire of people’s fear and
hatred alight. Anslinger has been known to say such things as “Reefer makes darkies
they're as good as white men.” “Marihuana is the most violence causing drug in the
history of mankind. Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and
entertainers.” or “You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.” (Anslinger).
At the beginning and throughout the Drug War, the government has used a wide
variety of anti-cannabis propaganda to inflict fear upon the populace at large. With
headlines reading things like “concentrated sin!”, “the devil’s harvest”, and “The
Official TRUTH: If you smoke it, you will kill people.” One can see the utmost absurdity
of this misleading and fraudulent attempt at swaying the minds of society (Teese).
Unfortunately, as is clear from the current state of affairs on this subject, this corrupt
propaganda succeeded in its nefarious scheme.
The government said, in propaganda, that cannabis will kill you. Yet there have
been no recorded deaths from it, ever. The amount that one would need to smoke in
order to induce a lethal overdose is ridiculously high. You would need need to smoke
around 88 kg in 15 minutes to reach a lethal overdose (Wing). That’s anywhere from
20,000 to 40,000 joints. It is such a large amount that researchers have yet to learn
exactly how much would ca...