VII. Sage of Law & Social Justice


  • In 1937, hemp was strictly regulated under the Marihuana Tax Act. This made it so that hemp could only be grown with the government saying it was ok to do so. Any other possession or transfer of hemp without the government’s permission was considered illegal.
  • Harry Anslinger was the first director of the Bureau of Federal Narcotics and led a campaign to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act to spread fear into people about hemp. He said that hemp, along with jazz music, immigrants and black people all caused violent crimes in the United States.
  • Newspaper owner and timber investor, William Randolph Hearst, was also responsible for the criminalization of hemp. Hearst supported this because his paper producing companies were being replaced by hemp thus hurting his company. Like Anslinger, he was a racist as well and used his papers to create yellow journalism of hemp and his racist views in order to get people on his side to criminalize hemp.
  • The CDAPAC Act labeled hemp as a schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD. Schedule 1 places these drugs as the worst of the worst and as having a high potential for abuse.
  • Between 2001 and 2010, over 7 million people were arrested for possession of cannabis.
  • States spend over $3 billion annually just to enforce the laws against cannabis.
  • In 2010, cops made a marijuana arrest every 37 seconds.  
  • Communities of color have been targeted for decades, resulting in black people being almost four times more likely to get arrested for possession of marijuana than white people.