HEMP: The Authorative Historical Digital Record

Chapter 14

Chapter 14: A HALF CENTURY OF SUPPRESSION & REPRESSION

illustration © Stephen Saunders

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Chapter Fourteen:    A HALF CENTURY OF SUPPRESSION & REPRESSION

    1937: Hemp banned. An estimated 60,000 Americans smoke “marijuana,” but virtually everyone in the country has heard of it, thanks to Hearst and Anslinger’s disinformation campaign.

    1945: Newsweek reports that more than 100,000 persons now smoke marijuana.

    1967: Millions of Americans regularly and openly smoke hemp leaves and flowers.

    1977: Tens of millions smoke cannabis regularly, with many persons growing their own.

    1999: One in three Americans, approximately 90 million citizens, have now tried it at least once, and some 10-20% (25 to 50 million Americans) still choose to buy and smoke it regularly, despite urine tests and tougher laws.

    Throughout history, Americans have held the legal tradition that one could not give up one’s Constitutional rights—and if someone was stripped of these protections, then he or she was being victimized. However by 1989, if you signed up for an extracurricular activity in school or applied for a minimum wage job, you could be asked to forego your right to privacy, protection from self-incrimination, Constitutional requirements of reasonable grounds for search and seizure, presumed innocence until found guilty by your peers, and that most fundamental right of all: personal responsibility for your own life and consciousness.

    By 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that these intrusions into your privacy were constitutional!

    In November 1996, as earlier stated, California passed a statewide people’s initiative that legalized medical marijuana within the state. Also in November 1996, Arizona passed a statewide initiative (by 65% of the vote) that included medical marijuana but, unlike California law, Arizona’s legislature and the governor (now impeached) can and have since rejected the people’s law. This was the first rejection by the legislature and the governor of any Arizona state initiative in 90 years!


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Chapter 14: A HALF CENTURY OF SUPPRESSION & REPRESSION

text from “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” © Jack Herer
CD-ROM and web presentation © Milo and MichaelM


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