Harry Anslinger: The Godfather of Cannabis Prohibition

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Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, is the bureaucrat most responsi...
Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, is the bureaucrat most responsible for cannabis prohibition. Against recommendations from the American Medical Association (AMA) to keep cannabis legal, Anslinger fed the media anti-cannabis propaganda that helped him pass the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which empowered the authorities to put cannabis users in jail. Twisting the truth when speaking with politicians and lawmakers, the Narcotics Bureau chef popularized the Stepping Stone Theory (pre-cursor to the Gateway Drug Theory), reefer madness films and the word “marijuana” itself.
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