President Obama and Congress Should Stop This War

The war against marijuana should end immediately and here is why. The laws against marijuana use were first proposed under the guise of racial intolerance and trumped-up fear of an imaginary plague of harm to society. Horror stories were given prominence in Randolph Hearst’s national array of newspapers, largely because of his hatred of Mexicans and to protect his vast holdings of timber land for pulp and paper production from competition with hemp. The Dupont empire was also in favor of marijuana prohibition because it was competition for their newly developed synthetic fiber, Nylon. Nylon could be used as fiber in the production of explosives which was the mainstay of Dupont at that time. The cellulose fiber in explosives had previously been hemp. Also in favor of prohibition was Rockefeller and Standard Oil, because it was a competition for the new oil and gas industry as hemp oil could be replaced in most applications with petroleum products. The cotton industry also profited by the elimination of hemp as a source for fiber to make clothing.

Newly appointed head of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger would testify before Congress of the horrors happening across the country associated with marijuana use. He would read the stories from Hearst’s newspapers aloud before Congress as testimony of the need for federal intervention. Largely unknown or ignored was the fact that cannabis patent medicines and elixirs had been a large part of the pharmacopeia in America for almost 100 years without any health problems arising from its use. If any problems were associated with cannabis they were not mentioned in the medical journals of the time. Hemp had been a mainstay for agriculture and society for thousands of years with a myriad of different uses from food and shelter to clothing. Remnants of the propaganda of that era, such as the classic film Reefer Madness can be seen at web sites like.

Fear gained traction as an unwitting public who were unfamiliar with the name marijuana were being told horrendous stories of crime and violence against white people by marijuana crazed minorities. It was an easy sell to America, which was still deeply mired in racial intolerance at the time and women had just acquired the right to vote barely two decades before. As America became entrenched in this fear of the marijuana plague, the propaganda campaign continued and even today our government refuses to acknowledge any benefits associated with marijuana use, only acknowledging the studies and anecdotal evidence that support the belief that marijuana is harmful to individuals and society. While I don’t believe that marijuana is harmless, it is certainly not as harmful as the two legal recreational drugs alcohol and tobacco. The harm to society and to individuals from marijuana use has been grossly overstated by our government which has poured over a trillion dollars into this failed and unjust war against Americans to protect big business from loss or competition with marijuana and hemp. This racially biased, unjust war against us continues today and it should end immediately. It is still supported by the same industries and now others such as the prison industry, the drug testing industry, the alcohol industry and the vast array of drug treatment centers across the country that are asking Congress to crack down on Colorado and Washington for allowing legal marijuana within their own state. And let’s not forget the DEA, with its multi-billion dollar annual budget and all the power and influence that money can buy. It is hard to surrender that much power and influence to a kinder and gentler society, after all the drug war is a very large employer. Laws that were voted in by free people are still forbidden and enforced by federal mandate.
That gets me to the next issue.

I mentioned in a previous article that all members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Well they have failed miserably at that task. The Constitution lays the foundation for a nation of states to govern themselves under a guiding law that preserves basic freedoms and human rights. Our Declaration of Independence describes rights granted by God that are unalienable by man and the Constitution goes further to list some of our rights in the Bill of Rights. The Federal Governments job or function was to provide for common defense and regulate interstate commerce to prevent states from unfair advantage over other states. Its other function is to protect our rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic which is where they have failed. As far as marijuana prohibition is concerned, The right to self medicate and the right to celebrate life had been a legal right for thousands of years before marijuana and alcohol prohibition. While the unjust war against alcohol was wisely abandoned, the war against marijuana users and their supply continues under the guise of public safety. We have been persecuted with denied employment and government assistance for housing and education, denied the right to adopt children. We have also been prosecuted and punished by Congress with laws mandating drug testing by employers, incarceration and fines and we were stripped of our 2nd ammendment right to keep and bear arms without trial or justification. Our 4th ammendment rights against illegal searches as described in the Constitution, about a search warrant being issued by a judge of law have been circumvented to allow game wardens, housing inspectors and child welfare officers the authority to search without warrants and now the Supreme Court has given that authority to dogs. Am I the only American that finds that troubling?

What our 5th and 6th ammendment rights, the right to appear in a court of law and face our accusers and the right to a speedy trial with a jury of our peers. Our President now believes he has the authority to use drones to kill Americans without trial and to detain Americans indefinitely without trial.

How about our right to keep and bear arms. That is our 2nd amendment right and yet the Federal Government has and allowed states to make a mockery of that right. Our right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States just like our right to worship and our freedom of speech. Congress, The President and The Supreme Court should insist on the same. Another basic right that our government has failed to protect is our 5th ammendment right to own property. Never should the government be able to take property from an individual and sell it to another individual for profit in the name of eminent domain. Only real public needs such as right of ways or military needs should be secured by eminent domain laws. Taxes beyond the sale of property are a direct assault on that right as the Government believes they own the land and everything on it. Having to pay a periodical tax to continue to own property gives credence to the thought that all property belongs to the government.

What about our 4th ammendment rights of privacy, where government surveillance of our e-mail and cell phones has become common? We are on the verge of surveillance capabilities that most Americans never even dreamed of and our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Our freedom should not now or ever have been for sale to protect the profits of the rich. Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this war against freedom waged on Americans by our own governmnet. Lets get back to the task of preserving freedom and the Constitution.

Randy Johnson