- The previous posting to rense traced hemp's history
in the New World up to about 1900. In the twentieth century, man discovered
that even the waste parts of hemp had a value, and a very lucrative one,
as cellulose. Much of this was taking place in the United States,
which had both the land well suited for growing hemp and the technologies
for further processing. Knowledge of hemp abounded in North
America; a major proponent of hemp was the U.S. government, from the nation's
first President in the eighteenth century to the Department of Agriculture
in the twentieth century.
- How then can hemp fare so badly as to be persecuted,
vilified and prohibited in the United States? To provide an answer to such
a question, this aspect of history must be explored. A part
of this examination is a study of the characters involved. Recently
The Economist1 printed that it was in the interests of Andrew Mellon, the
Hearst newspaper syndicate and the DuPont Corporation to put a stop to
the use of hemp. The article stated that they brought this about
through Mellon's nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger. This idea
echoes what many hemp advocates have been writing; Herer (1985), Conrad
(1994), Rosenthal (1994), Lupien (1995), West (1999), and Heslop (2000)6
are very vocative in these assertions, which are part of the current hemp
literature and understanding of the hemp industry.
- Andrew Mellon, who is to many the epitome of respectability,
was able to use his official position to enrich himself while doing long
term damage to the American economy. Mellon's money was from
Texas oil; and where his treasure was to be found, so was his heart. Secretary
of the Treasury from 1912 to 1932, Mellon was able to influence tax rebates
for his oil interests that would lead ultimately to congressional investigations,
the most famous of which was the Teapot Dome Scandal. Mellon
particularly discouraged production of safer and better fuels, such as
diesel and alcohol, which could compete with fossil fuels. One
move that gave him an advantage at this game was the loan of money to the
DuPont Corporation, which financed their acquisition of General Motors. Thus,
while Ford Motors set up a successful biomass fuel facility at Iron Mountain,
Michigan, Mellon was supporting environmentally damaging concepts that
would undermine the ecology and the health of so many less fortunate people.
As powerful as he was, he was able to fool a lot of people, but not all. When
the Great Depression came, President Herbert Hoover summed up his attitude
- "Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the
farmer, liquidate real estatePeople will work harder, live a more moral
life. Values will be adjusted and enterprising people will pick
up the wrecks from less competent people."
- Mellon practised family values, by appointing his nephew-in-law,
Anslinger, to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which answered not to any
police authority, but to the Treasury. In such a position, Anslinger was
able to berate drugs users on one hand, while he supplied morphine to Senator
Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin with the other. Anslinger, a raging
hempophobe, launched tirades against any use of drugs and classed marijuana
in with narcotics. Quite a Pharisee, he was a dogmatic and hysterical
bigot who was rebuked for reading the words "ginger coloured niggers"
into government records, and had to be held back from his desire to round
up all the jazz musicians in the country in a ,crackdown,. Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury Edward H. Foley, Jr. overruled this bizarre plan
with a note stating Foley disapproves,.
- William Randolph Hearst is perhaps best remembered as
Citizen Kane,. He owned newspapers, which were known for yellow
journalism,, which fuelled the Spanish-American War. Ever willing to profit,
his most despicable, but not so well publicised act, was the sale of the
editorial opinions of his papers to the Nazis. This he did in
person, meeting Adolph Hitler who paid him his silver; $400,000 a year. Hearst's
relationship with Hitler did not start there, however-Hitler used to work
for Hearst, but was unable to deliver by deadline, and so was let go.
- Some will remember the pro-Nazi sentiments expressed
after this date, while others will recall the anti-Latin tone, especially
in regards to what he called "reefer madness", a campaign to
stir up public hatred of marijuana. Dying alone, a pathetic figure, he
left the world darkened by the shadow of Xanadu, racism and deforestation
of the Pacific Northwest.
- Last and not least is the DuPont Corporation. Today
one of the biggest in the world, it dominates the skyline of Wilmington,
Delaware, and its influence is not unfelt in nearby Washington. Its
history goes quite a way back, and is of some interest to examine, not
only for the context of this present work, but as a glimpse into the history
of one of America's, and the world's, most powerful companies.
- Shortly after the American War for Independence, France
was experiencing political turmoil of its own. The excesses
of the monarchy and their supporters had enraged the nation, and the cry
for change was to be heard in every town. Among the supporters of the old
regime was one prosperous family the DuPonts. * Two members of this clan,
Pierre and Irénée were thrown into prison. Pleading
senility, and agreeing to leave the country, they were granted release,
and on October 1, 1799, set sail for America under their own banner. Ninety
days hence, after an unpleasant journey spent guarding their wealth from
the American crew, they arrived. A relief both to them and their
crew, this arrival was marked by a singular omen; that of the DuPonts breaking
into a house whilst the owners were at church.
- *Pierre Dupont changed the spelling of his name to DuPont;
junior members adopted du Pont,, while DuPont, refers to the company, is
observed throughout these essays .
- They settled first in New Jersey, finding a mansion to
buy at Bergen's Point, acquiring slaves, and setting up offices at 61 Pearl
Street, and later 91 Liberty Street in New York City. Pierre
tried to come up with a means of launching a private empire, "Pontiania",
which included gold smuggling and land speculation. These, and
other plans, were at best pipe dreams, with the thought of land speculation
especially ill advised, as Thomas Jefferson pointed out to them. Finally
one thing did work for them: gunpowder. This was a dangerous business,
especially for those working directly with chemicals, but lucrative to
investors. Early settlers were in constant need of this, and
other explosives were added to the product line.
- Wars were the most prosperous of times; for this business
even the Civil War, with its losses due to a divided market, brought fortune
to DuPont, despite the increase of accidents in the yards. Eleven
explosions took place, killing dozens of workers from 1861 1865.
- After the war, the duPonts had to endure the depression,
as bitterness ravaged a whole country. They not only endured,
but prospered. Led by Lammot DuPont, they started a cartel with
major manufacturers, cutting prices, and levying severe penalties against
anyone who undersold them, undercutting them badly enough to bankrupt them;
their Eleutherian Mills would "pick up the pieces of the industry
for pennies". American Ordinance, New York Powder Company, United
States Dynamite Company, and The American Textile Powder Manufacturing
Company were but a few of the smaller companies put out of business or
bought out by DuPont and companies they controlled. "The policy pursued
was one of ruthless elimination", wrote Engelbrecht and Hanighen in
"Merchants of Death".
- While the DuPonts of Delaware were growing richer during
the 1890's, most Americans were growing poorer. A public outcry
rose against the nations industries being controlled by a few private corporations. Eventually
the country was sick of this situation and the Sherman anti- trust act
was passed, which was to have some effect in dealing with the duPonts.
- Not only were the duPonts growing more powerful economically,
but they had entered the political arena as well. In 1895 Henry
duPont, having inherited his father's political power, shocked the nation
with his dishonesty. DuPont, in a power struggle with John "Gas"
Addicks over the senate seat in the state of Delaware, kept a stalemate
going for 10 years in which his state had no senator; his attitude was
"me or nobody".
- By 1906 the duPonts had taken on perhaps more then they
could handle. They continued to expand monopolistically, and
one of their victims, Buckeye Powder, fought back. Robert S.
Waddell, the president of Buckeye, published an open letter to the President
of the U.S. in which he wrote, "Here is an absolute and exclusive
monopoly, superior to the governmentit is not safe to entrustnor is it
right to rob the people to fatten millionaires.The welfare of the nation
is in balance against the DuPont Trust."
- The government reacted in 1907 with an anti-trust suit
against DuPont. Waddell heaped evidence on the desks of the Justice Department,
including DuPont's collaboration with German interests to keep tight control
over the world market. The government was able to use this as well as overwhelming
evidence from other sources, and in 1910 DuPont was found guilty, against
a backdrop of national furor. However, the new companies spun off, Hercules
Powder and Atlas Powder, were headed by former DuPont executives.
- An anti-trust suit was not the only legal woe of that
year; Henry duPont's political moves were again the focus of national attention. Publicly
accused by Willard Salisbury of buying votes, Henry "broke into a
cold sweat" as a senate subcommittee investigated. In later
years, forced to submit to a vote of the people under the newly enacted
seventeenth amendment, Henry's forces were noted for "stuffing ballot
boxes, shipping repeats, and intimidating voters". Nonetheless,
he lost that election (1916) "swamped by a tidal wave of rejection".
- Despite public outcry and court rulings, DuPont's power
waxed yet bolder, bold enough for Alfred duPont to bluff President Taft
into submission by threatening to throw people out of work. As
Taft put it:" Do you mean to threaten the U.S. government?" Unfortunately,
Washington had let a monopoly gain the upper hand for too long and Taft
was at a loss; DuPont had won. With this kind of clout, there
was little to stop them. If a newspaper, for instance, ran an
article criticising DuPont, it was bought up. This was the fate
of Every Evening, in 1911, and it was not long before they "controlled
every daily in Delaware". In 1917 the tide of events once more turned
toward U.S. involvement in war, and with it the tide of DuPont profits,
rising from a yearly average of $6,092,000 to $58,076,000. Atlas Powder
and Hercules Powder similarly had increased profits rising 480% and 575%
respectively. Ten days after the U.S. entered WWI, another court
case involving duPonts came to a conclusion, this time with a duPont as
both defendant and plaintiff. Pierre duPont was the loser, a
man whom the court called "without principle, money grabbing, greedy,
underhanded" It was in this war that they earned the accolade merchants
- Perhaps this originated with their workers who were
fired en masse 37,000 for Christmas, 1918, and 70,000 more by the end
of the year. Protest was met with little sympathy; "DuPont
Company lives on, growing bigger and bigger and grander and grander with
each day of existence," boasted DuPont executive Colonel Buckner.
- Bigger and bigger was certainly true, over the deaths
of soldiers and workers, DuPont rolled on. Charges of holding
back on wages and cheating employees out of their belongings began to emerge,
as well as charges of cheating the U.S. government. These last
were investigated by the Graham Committee which exposed massive fraud at
the taxpayer's expense. Such facts came to light during yet another depression
in the U.S., which DuPont weathered in part by slashing workers pay by
10% and voting against a minimum wage law. They also exercised
their power in the realm of foreign language newspapers, insisting that
all advertising be placed through an organisation owned by T. Coleman duPont;
in such a way they were able to restrict stories about strikes in immigrant
workers home countries.
- At times control of the press was crucial, as in the
tetraethyl lead death cover-up of 1923. Workers who handled
this substance developed strange symptoms, and then died horrible deaths. The
building in which they worked was dubbed the House of Butterflies,, in
reference to men snatching at air and drawing insects on the walls. As
profits were expected to be good on this new chemical, silence prevailed.
DuPont owned newspapers in Delaware did not report the workers, deaths.
- But in October of 1924 the country was given the cry
of alarm by other papers. Subsequent investigations showed that
the bureau which had certified tetraethyl lead was financed by General
Motors, that no coroner's inquests were held in Delaware, that death certificates
were improperly handled or missing, and that poisoned workers were "sent
back to the poorly ventilated plant to be poisoned again and again."
The public wanted the law to be applied to those responsible, and by standards
at that time this was a case for wholesale manslaughter, if not murder. However,
those investigating had no desire to bite the hand that had forked over
$34,000. No charges were pressed: tetraethyl lead was given
the thumbs-up: Deepwater, the problem plant, was re-opened: Iréneé
duPont gave $37,500 to the Republican Party the next year.
- November 11,1930 was a day on which a shadow crossed
the DuPont Empire; T. Coleman duPont, the general,, passed away. His
fall, wrote Geralde Zilg, in his 1970 exposé, "foreshadowed
a dark decade ahead, indeed the darkest, most dangerous years of the family's
history, years through which the Barons of Brandywine would try every legal
and illegal means possible to preserve their new empire and keep millions
of hungry, jobless Americans from sharing their fabulous wealth".
- However harsh the mistreatment was to workers in America,
what DuPont did in Europe was unspeakably worse. In the 1930's
an ambitious young character was coming into the political stage, and he
needed not only moral support, but tangible support as well. The first
he was able to stir up for himself by means of high pitched speeches and
inflammatory writing, which attracted the likes of Madie du Pont, and her
sons, who had dedicated their lives to the Führer,. She
took with her on trips snapshots of her offspring, smartly dressed in Nazi
uniforms, proud of them and the leader who could rid the nation of its
rotten elements,. For material support, Hitler was in a bind,
as the Treaty of Versailles forbade him the arms and poisons he so wanted.
He needed a secret-weapons dealer, and this he found in the du Ponts who
were willing to break laws and help him build the Third Reich.
- On New Years Day 1926, DuPont executives signed a deal
with Dynamit Aktion Gesellschaft and Köln Rottweiler, both of which
were to be part of I.G.Farben. The deal was mainly for explosives, with
patents and secret inventions being made open to the Nazis. By 1933 DuPont
had decided to plunge into smuggling arms to Germany. In February A. Felix
du Pont, Sr. had a secret meeting with two top agents, naming one of them,
Jongo Giera (aka Peter Brenner, a WWI German spy), as DuPont's sole agent
to the Republic of Germany. With the prospect of war, and future sales
in mind, DuPont was diligent in its dealings, inviting Farben officials
to the home of Lammot duPont in Wilmington.
- In October of 1935, this invitation was accepted by no
less than Dr. Fritzler Meer and Georg von Schnitzler, Farben's leading
officers. Even then DuPont knew, and expressed, that all was
not quite right; government evidence in a 1945 trial included a letter
from a Mr. Haas of Philadelphia, to a Dr. Röhm of Darmstadt, Germany,
written in 1936, which included the following statements: "A matter
like this cannot be put into the contract because it would be against the
law. We have to rely on our verbal assurance and our experiences
with duPont during the last fifteen years has proven that they can be relied
upon to live up to an arrangement of this kind."
- DuPont-Nazi agreements had by that time reached a level
of great complexity, which would result in numerous indictments against
DuPont and their Axis partners in the 1940's. In 1939, when
the UK was buying arms from DuPont, one clause that DuPont and its affiliates
saw fit to honour was that limiting what they could send to the allies;
thus Remington supplied the British army with an inferior priming agent
for cartridges, putting British ground troops in a critically weakened
position on the battlefield.
- As DuPont's relationships with the Nazis grew tight,
both sides looked at the future, realising the difficulties that a war
could impose. Senator Homer T. Bone, Chairman of the Senate
Patent's Committee, exposed these arrangements, specifically citing a letter
of February 9, 1940, in which DuPont expressed intention to have Farber
participation in Duperial, a DuPont-Imperial Chemicals joint venture in
South America. This, however, was against the wishes of Imperial
in the UK, who felt betrayed by the willingness of DuPont to aid their
- In 1941 another customer would need to be doing more
business with DuPont; the U.S. military. Lammot duPont expressed
the company's sentiments when this happened, "They want what we,ve
got. Good. Make them pay the right price for it."
- While this had one meaning for DuPont and its clients,
it had another when it came to dealing with DuPont's workforce in America.
DuPont, financed by the Mellon Bank had acquired General Motors, which
was then placed under Ireneé du Pont. As chairman, he
led GM to new strengths, not only in his charismatic speeches about a race
of supermen,, but in reaching new sales, many to the Nazi war machine.
- The workers, however, were not included in many of Iréneé
ideas. Rather, they came under attack, were spied upon, beaten,
tortured, and killed. Obsessed by Hitler's principles, he turned
them on Americans, and such organisations as the "American Liberty
League," "The Black Legion" and the "Ku Klux Klan"
were to play a hand in suppressing labour.
- For the American Liberty League, veteran's bonuses were
an extravagance, whilst taxes for pensions and the unemployed were attacked. Roosevelt
was to clash with the duPonts over this organisation, stating that it "ganged
up against people's liberties". Iréneé had founded the
league with Lammot and Pierre du Pont, and other anti-African-American
and anti-Semitic organisations were to follow. Ireneé
also paid $1,000,000 for gas equipped storm troops to sweep through plants
and beat up those not in line; this in a company where the board kept personal
links to Hitler, some signing an agreement of total commitment to the Nazis
cause, and to stamp out Jewish influence in America. When the
Nazis invaded France, James D. Mooney, GM's chief of European operations
went to New York to have champagne and celebrate, renting a suite in the
Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue specially for the occasion.
- GM factories were filled with pro Nazi sentiment led
by the notorious Black Legion. This group, attired in black hooded robes
sporting the skull and cross bones, was divided into special squads arson,
bombing, execution, and membership, which recruited Ku Klux Klansmen. If
one can imagine an outfit one step below the KKK, this was it. They
murdered for thrill, as well as political advantage, regarding all "aliens,
Negroes, Jews, cults, and creeds believing in racial equality" as
enemies. Several of their murders stirred public rage; even the wealth
of the duPonts could not pacify the country, and the federal government
stepped in, as local and state officials were overwhelmed by these atrocities.
- George H. Earle, then governor of Pennsylvania, saw it
clearly, and spoke out on June 8, 1936. "I charge that
this organization is the direct result of the subversive propaganda subsidized
by the Grand Dukes of the Duchy of Delaware, the duPonts, and the munitions,
policies of the American Liberty League".
- So out of hand was the League that they had even tried
to mount an armed rebellion against Roosevelt, trying to use General Samuel
Butler, but failing, as he exposed this scheme. By 1936 it had
become a total failure, and a hated name throughout America. Although
these fascist organisations were a failure to DuPont, World War II was
a financial boom. They emerged as the richest clan in America,
and laid claim to a new social status usually held by older, more patriotic
- After the war one battle to be fought for DuPont was
the anti-trust suit brought against them for their stake in GM. At
first, DuPont won, which set off another round of buying shares in GM;
an error in judgement that caused the government to appeal and ultimately
win. Such gloating should have been kept private, as Leonard
Mosley notes: "there was no one present with enough common sense to
urge them to keep their mouths shut". DuPont today is one of the most
powerful companies in the world, and still makes products for war, including
nuclear war heads, which they began developing in the 1940's; "Fat
Man" and "Little Boy" were their babies, developed under
the auspices of one of one of their most brilliant scientists and directors,
Crawford Greenewalt, an M.I.T. graduate who had married into the family.
- Well respected in social and scientific circles, this
newcomer, was able to give a better feel to this gargantuan corporation. For
many, Greenewalt is best remembered for his photography of birds, a passion
which he shared with John E. DuPont. Both travelled extensively
and wrote lasting works on exotic avifauna, most notably "Hummingbirds"
by Greenewalt, published in 1960. Greenewalt's direction and that of his
antecedents has differed much from that of the earlier organisation ran
only by duPonts, and a greater percentage of their products are geared
toward peacetime use. Perhaps these differences have changed
everything for the better, and one might well imagine the benevolent scene
of a large company now peacefully producing energy while its directors
wax poetic over endangered species and give back to the public a part of
what they take.
- Alas, such is far from being the case. Jack Frazier listed
them, along with IBM and EXXON as "huge monsters that crush and mutilate
everything and everyone that crosses their path or stands in their way".
Ralph Nader's words are equally descriptive: "a political and corrupt
plantation". Colby [Zilg] (1984) listed a number of problems, including
crimes committed by then governor of Delaware Pierre S. duPont IV. This
author was himself a first-hand witness to their acts, as they had suppressed
his 1974 publication of "DuPont: Behind the Nylon Curtain." In
the decade between that first title and the second of 1984, he was to record
even more of DuPonts disregard for the environment and the people of the
- Their influence extends today to almost every country,
and there are struggles, such as the sale of "Valpirone", or
dipyrone, a drug that the American Medical Association evaluated as "a
last resort". No problema, DuPont sold this through its
subsidiary Endo Laboratories in Latin America, where the public was John
E. duPont was known for his studies of birds in the Philippines and the
Pacific.. Currently, however, he is in jail for the murder of
one of his houseguests.
- An in-depth book on this subject, "The Plot to
Seize the White House", by Jules Archer, gives the whole surprising
story. Copies are hard to get.so many have laboured to create.
- not aware that this was a dangerous product.
- In Puerto Rico, pollution in the Monati River destroyed
the livelihood of fishermen and farmers, turning the waters black. This
led to an ugly scene of threats by DuPont to close down and throw hundreds
of people out of work, and the company tried to have the island removed
from the protection of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- On the mainland DuPont challenged the authority of the
EPA over reductions of lead content in gasoline and that of the Food and
Drug Administration over the banning of fluorocarbons. Many
Americans have become alarmed at the power and purposes of this company,
and the hundred or more that it controls. Rightly so, but what
can be done? For an answer, let us return to the topic at hand
hemp, which was getting attention and public investment in the 1920's
and 30's as more informed legislators, seeing a use for farm wastes, took
an interest in using this plant for its cellulose content.
- However, this meant competition for a number of businesses,
among them a huge paper concern; the International Paper and Power Company. This
outfit had interests in wood pulp, and went about negotiations with its
largest customer, the Hearst media syndicate, to monopolise the market. Senator
Thomas Schull of Minnesota seeing the problem called for the Federal Trade
Commission to investigate, which caused International to back off. In 1929
Blair Coan, a Washington reporter, uncovered evidence that Department of
Agriculture had chosen to suppress information on paper production from
- One government figure who took an interest in the use
of farm wastes for cellulose and paper was none other than Anslinger, who
began requesting information on hemp in the 1930's.By 1935, the Bureau
actively gathered information on the new hemp industry, even though it
possessed no real authority to do so; the file of requests received that
year is missing.
- The following year one project that caught Anslinger's
attention was a series of article about hemp cultivation sponsored by the
Chicago Tribune. He dispatched an agent to gather information,
with specific instructions to report on the machinery involved and the
demand for hemp. She sent back her reports, satisfying his need
for such sensitive information, but advising against his plans to restrict
- Marijuana Tax Act
- All this poking around by the bureau was not able to
put a stop to hemp growing, especially as its potential use as a source
of cellulose was being discovered. More effective measures would be necessary,
and these were implemented by demonising all cannabis, and then outlawing
- Hearst accomplished much towards vilifying all cannabis
in his papers, telling blatant, racist lies, evoking fears and prejudice
among the ignorant. Anslinger, who called it the "gore
file", kept a file of this propaganda. In it were stories of fifteen-year-olds
murdering their parents after one high and cross-racial rapes, the latter
especially meant to incite tensions. John C. Lucien summed this
up in his 1995 Pepperdine University thesis: "From 1935 on, the Bureau
actively re-wrote the history of hemp by demonising marijuanatriggered
by monopolistic greed and economic insecurity of a few financially threatened
- The bureau got support in this endeavour not just from
Hearst, but from other off the wall sensationalists as well. Anslinger
especially liked the propaganda of Dr. Jules Bouguet, who claimed to be
the world's foremost expert on cannabis drugs. One of Dr. Bouquet's
diatribes ran as follows: "The basis of Moslem character is indolence;
these people love idleness and daydreaming, and to the majority of them
work is the most unpleasant of all necessities. Inordinately
vain glorious, thirsting for every pleasure, they are manifestly unable
to realise more than a small fraction of their desires: their unrestrained
imagination supplies the rest. Hemp, which enhances the imagination,
is the narcotic best adapted to their mentality. When the period
of intoxication is over and he is again forced with the realities of his
normal shabby life, his one desire is to find a corner where he may sleep".
He also claimed cannabis to be typical of the "poorer classes in urban
communities: artisans, small traders, and workmen".
- Bouquet failed to produce any credible evidence to support
his findings, yet the Bureau still presented this erroneous rhetoric before
- I will leave it to the reader's imagination to picture
what kind of people these were; everyone, even then, did not accept their
statements. Dr. Woodward of the American Medical Association especially
opposed them. "We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman",
Woodward protested, "why this bill should have been prepared in secret
for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was
being prepared". This was in 1937, when Anslinger and DuPont allies
were preparing the final version of their anti-hemp bill. There
was at this time some momentum building behind the scare stories about
cannabis over the border in Canada where Emily Murphy picked up on the
Anslinger hype and advocated "public whippings and deportations"
for people caught using marijuana.
- Anslinger's campaign caused local police to single out
minorities, blaming "Mexicans, Spaniards, Latin-Americans, Greeks,
and Negroes" as perpetrators of violent crimes due to the habit of
marijuana smoking. All this added fuel to the senseless debate, and the
Bureau waited for the right moment to take advantage of the misinformation
- Prior to the 1937 version of the anti-hemp acts, two
had been unsuccessfully attempted in 1935; but by a little more secrecy
and researching a route that would avoid intelligent debate, Anslinger
prevailed. General Counsel Herman Oliphant convinced the anti-hemp
fanatics of a more subtle way to tackle the issues; introduction of the
bill to the House Ways and Means Committee, where discussion could be kept
at a minimum, and which was presided over by a DuPont ally, Representative
Robert L. Doughton.
- Several details bely the craftiness with which this was
done, most notably the way the bill was called a marijuana, bill. It
was not disclosed that this referred to hemp and, as they were using a
term then not in the public vocabulary, many parties who had interests
at stake simply did not know what marijuana, was. Even today,
there are people who do not visualise marijuana, as being hemp. Such
concern was in fact voiced by a representative from Chempco, Incorporated,
who stated: "I do not think the use of the word marijuana,
belongs in this measure, because that is the word that came up from Mexico
and attached to these cigarettes. I see no use in it. This
is hemp being grown, not marijuanawe might lose an industry purely by the
phraseology of the measure".
- Technically, the bill that was introduced was not completely
prohibitive; it was a tax. This was a second underhanded aspect
to the whole thing, based on both longstanding precedent and very recent
action. The longstanding precedent of using a tax to prohibit
an activity can be traced back to the reign of Charles I of England, who
wanted to close all the coffee houses. However, this was contrary
to the freedom and the rights of the British people; he tried to circumvent
the Magna Carta by enacting a prohibitive tax that proved burdensome to
that industry, in the hopes that he could limit public assembly and free
- Of more current precedent was the National Firearms Act,
which had been approved as constitutional in the U.S. on March 29, 1937. It
was openly enacted for the purpose of curtailing machine guns, an effort
to restrict weapons without violating the Fourth Amendment the right to
bear arms. The bureau, losing no time, unveiled the Marijuana
Tax Act on April 15 of that year. It passed on August 2 and
received final ratification on December 11, 1937. It is of interest
to mention that at one point the Congress asked if the American Medical
Association had been consulted, to which Representative Vinson, answering
for the Ways and Means Committee replied "yes, we have. A
Dr. Wharton and the AMA are in complete agreement."
- DuPont, in its 1937 annual report, issued a statement
which many hemp advocates see as a reflection of these moves. It
read: "radical changes from the revenue raising power of government
would be converted into instruments for forcing acceptance of sudden new
ideas of industrial and social reorganisation".
- American citizens were facing a tax which would "force
acceptance of sudden new ideas": Whose ideas Du Ponts?
- This really didn't matter; the Tax Act passed, it was
a fait accompli, with U.S. farmers and businesses forced to accept the
loss. Frank Ridgway on October 11, 1937 wrote in the Chicago
Tribune " that the prospective complications the new law would create"
made it more advisable to "just burn the crops than to try to preserve
through the regulatory measures."
- Several farmers affected by these new rules, unable to
cope with them alone, hired attorney Ojai A. Lende to sort out the difficulties. Lende
was himself baffled by the situation and ultimately asked the government
to compensate the farmers. In 1938 Lende wrote "there was
a market for this hemp in processed form but the passage of the Tax Act
completely destroyed the market and virtually confiscated this hemp for
the growers...the bureau hampered the conduct of legitimate business by
strictly enforcing the stipulations of the transfer tax".71 Anslinger
responded in an apathetic and guarded way, and Lende was to send off another
letter, this one more vitriolic: "If I can find a market
for the hemp I have in mind to dispose of that hemp and tell Mr. Anslinger
that he can go to the region below and let him present the country with
a spectacle of arresting half a thousand farmers in Minnesota for selling
an agricultural crop grown off from their farms which were grown long before
Congress ever thought of the Marihuana Act."
- One stipulation that was especially cumbersome was the
removal of all foliage. This was burdensome to the farmers,
if not nearly impossible, and at no real necessity, as the foliage decomposed
naturally during the retting process.
- There was also the bureaucracy involved, and many farmers
simply could not get the necessary paperwork. Illinois and Minnesota
growers were especially impeded by the new regulations but Wisconsin farmers
were able to continue to grow and harvest their crop, by passing the new
laws without any problems; their hemp went to the U.S. navy, and a laissez-faire
policy prevailed in that state.
- By 1943 however, all U.S. hemp growers had the government
behind them. A film, titled "Hemp for Victory" was
released that year, promoting cannabis growth, and offering all growers
the necessary permits. This greatly increased planting to 158,000
acres by 1943, but fell to 5,000 acres just after the war, as the permits
were once again an issue. 4-H Clubs encouraged school children
to plant hemp patches which would "give 4-H Club members a real opportunity
to serve their country in war time".
- Thus, patriotic Americans were sowing hemp
and supporting the troops. Less than patriotic Americans were keeping the
war going as long as they could by limiting oil supplies to the troops,
and one of these scoundrels, William Farish, the grandfather of the present
US Ambassador to the Court of St. James,, was up for charges
in this matter, but his death prevented trial and full disclosure. It
is much the same today, as patriotic Americans are rallying for hemp, the
substance on which the Constitution was printed, while utter scum rallies
the troops to war but then gets Congress to limit their supplies while
the war drags on and they get richer and richer, bigger and bigger, like
Du Pont in WWII. It is not easy to overlook the fact that this war in Iraq,
if one really does call it that, is about oil, and would not
be the case if hemp and other natural supplies of energy, made in the USA,
were used. American would have jobs not war.
- A list of traitors who
are benefiting from hemp prohibition and illegal war would include many
household names, I will not allot them here any space, but rather, let
me list for the benefit of the reader and anyone in interested in supporting
an honest economy a couple or names of some not so well
known patriots who are currently operating a hemp business in the "Homeland".