Liberty and the Marijuana Legalization Movement

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
-Thomas Jefferson

weed-choicesWhether or not the founding fathers consumed Marijuana, or hemp as they knew it, is irrelative. The question the founding fathers would have asked, was would the Federal Government have the power as defined in the Constitution to regulate and control Marijuana or any other drug for that matter.

Personal consumption of Marijuana or cannabis in any form would have fallen under the idea that Men are responsible for their futures. There is no doubt in my mind as a history student and lover of American freedom and liberty that the Founding Fathers would have regarded the Federal Governments control and criminalization of Marijuana as a direct assault on individual liberty and freedom and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For the record, I am not a user of Marijuana in any form. I have many friends and family that do use Marijuana in all it’s many forms. Some of my life long friends have used for cancer, including my step mom who passed away a few years ago. She worked in law enforcement before her disabling disease crippled her. She was a firm proponent of legalized marijuana.I have know many successful professionals who partake for pleasure and others who have abused the drug, just as any drug or thing can be. It is not a question of the danger or benefits of Marijuana at question here, it is the question of the governments right to control the population and deny its citizens freedom that is guaranteed by “nature and nature’s God.”

To truly understand the root of the prohibition against marijuana, a little history lesson is called for. It’s a history of greed, racism, and corruption.

220px-Harry_Jacob_AnslingerHarry Anslinger is considered the father of the war on Marijuana. “As the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a predecessor to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Harry Anslinger institutionalized his belief that pot’s”effect on the degenerate races” made its prohibition a top priority.”

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” Harry Anslinger “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” Harry Anslinger

As the movement to wage war on drugs picked up speed in the 1930’s, Harry Anslinger continually lied and the Federal Government used false statistics, lies and propaganda to sway a country to believe that Marijuana was evil. “ more dangerous than heroin or cocaine” and “leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing,” Harry Anslinger

Marijuana cultivation in the United States can trace its lineage some 400 years. Cultivation of marijuana for fiber continued in America through the turn of the 20th century. Marijuana first earned recognition as an intoxicant in the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, exaggerated accounts of violent crimes allegedly committed by immigrants intoxicated by marijuana became popularized by tabloid newspapers and the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Congress approved the “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937” based almost entirely on this propaganda and misinformation.

In 1936 the propaganda film Reefer Madness was introduced to a naive audience who was ready to believe in the veracity of their national media and their government. The movie portrayed Marijuana as a dangerous narcotic that lead good high school boys lured into using by pushers to commit rape, suicide, hit and run accidents and assault. It portrayed users as going insane and mad. Today the movie is considered a cult comedy because of the ridiculousness of the scenarios. And yet Marijuana opponents still claim these are real outcomes of Cannabis use.

At around 1900 companies like DuPont created chemicals that were used in processing of paper; DuPont also created chemicals used for pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, which were used extensively by the cotton industry. During the same time period, William Randolph Hearst invested in timber and mills to produce the paper for his newspapers. Mellon Bank was the main backer for these investments by Hearst as well as a main investor in DuPont.

The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury at that time was Andrew Mellon who owned Mellon Bank.. Mellon’s niece was married to Harry Anslinger. Prohibition on Alcohol had just been repealed and the men and women who worked in the Federal Government enforcing prohibition were suddenly out of work . To keep his family employed, Mellon created a new division of the federal government, the Bureau of Narcotics, and made Harry Anslinger the new head of that program.

Also during this time machinery was being developed to make hemp processing easier and more efficient. This was a threat to the paper, chemical, timber, and petroleum industries. Pharmaceutical companies were creating new medicines and drugs and were also threatened by the natural healing properties of the plant we know as hemp. A large movement by industries who competed with Hemp began and concerted effort and conspiracy to have hemp made illegal. The racist belief that recreational use of Marijuana by immigrant Mexican workers and black Jazz performers gave them the avenue with which to accomplish their goals. In fact it was during this time that the term Marijuana was attached to the hemp plant. It’s taken from the Mexican slang for hemp.

Hearst’s newspapers spread the slander and propagated stories about the ‘evil marijuana’ and of people committing rapes and murder while ‘under the influence’ of marijuana. This, of course, had the papers selling like wildfire, but they failed to mention the everyday uses of the hemp.. After the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was passed, Harry Anslinger ordered the hempprohibition, using the excuse that his agents wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, and that the farming of hemp made it too difficult to enforce the marijuana prohibition.

Just like today with any movement, one should always ask the question who benefits and who makes the money. The ideals of the Constitution and the founding fathers has rarely been lived up to by the men and women who lead our country, and it’s no different then as it is today. The Marijuana movement is a liberty movement and a battle against the tyrants who would rule our lives for their own power and benefit.

– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ VP of Operations

Joshua Furlong is a Coloradan native and businessman. He is co-founder and VP of Operations of CheekyMonkeyAK. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. While a cannabis activist and businessman, Mr. Furlong doesn’t partake of the herb in any form. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

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