Who Made Cannabis Illegal For The Whole World?

Across the world, more and more people are asking: Why is marijuana banned? Why are people still sent to prison for using or selling it? Most of us assume it’s because someone, somewhere sat down with the scientific evidence, and figured out that cannabis is more harmful than other drugs we use all the time — like alcohol and cigarettes. Somebody worked it all out, in our best interest.

Not at all. Cannabis prohibition is a conspiracy and it is well documented. The definition of the word “conspiracy” goes as follows: A secret plan by two or more people that is either harmful or illegal. In the case of cannabis, many attribute the conspiracy to a handful of people namely; Hearst, Anslinger and DuPont who were the original fathers of prohibition. However, anti-cannabis laws pre-date this trio.

Some of the first anti-cannabis laws were established in South Africa in 1911. These laws were principally established due to racism. The white minorities in South Africa couldn’t handle the fact that locals and Indian immigrants were using the plant for medicine, spiritual motives and so forth. In fact, black mine workers, who easily spent 16 hours locked in mines, were using cannabis to be able to get through the workdays. It was their way of dealing with the hardships of the work environment, which were to say the least, “sub-human conditions”. In the United States, the first laws against cannabis were also mainly motivated by racism. Mexicans and African Americans were the primary users of this. Seen as a threat to the white majority, legislations against the plant popped up all over the country. However, it didn’t go national until the Trio of Destruction, Hearst, DuPont and Anslinger worked together to paint a negative picture about “marijuana” to the country.

Harry Anslinger

In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol — controlled by criminals — had become even more poisonous.

So alcohol prohibition finally ended — and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent. But then — suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose — he announced he had changed his mind.

He explained to the public what would happen if you smoked cannabis.

First, you will fall into “a delirious rage.” Then you will be gripped by “dreams… of an erotic character.” Then you will “lose the power of connected thought.” Finally, you will reach the inevitable end-point: “Insanity.” Marijuana turns man into a “wild beast.“ If marijuana bumped into Frankenstein’s monster on the stairs, Anslinger warned, the monster would drop dead of fright.

Harry Anslinger became obsessed with one case in particular. In Florida, a boy called Victor Licata hacked his family to death with an axe. Anslinger explained to America: This is what will happen when you smoke “the demon weed.” The case became notorious. The parents of the U.S. were terrified.

What evidence did Harry Anslinger have? It turns out at this time he wrote to the 30 leading scientists on this subject, asking if cannabis was dangerous, and if there should be a ban. Twenty-nine wrote back and said no. Anslinger picked out the one scientist who said yes, and presented him to the world. The press — obsessed with Victor Licata’s axe — cheered them on.

In a panic that gripped America, marijuana was banned. The U.S. told other countries they had to do the same. Many countries said it was a dumb idea, and refused to do it. For example, Mexico decided their drug policy should be run by doctors. Their medical advice was that cannabis didn’t cause these problems, and they refused to ban it. The U.S. was furious. Anslinger ordered them to fall into line. The Mexicans held out — until, in the end, the U.S. cut off the supply of all legal painkillers to Mexico. People started to die in agony in their hospitals. So with regret, Mexico sacked the doctor — and launched its own drug war.

Randolph Hearst

Randolph Hearst owned land in Mexico. Pancho Villa would frequently raid his lands as part of their revolutionary acts. He in turn, began spinning stories about how “savage Mexicans” would destroy America under the influence of cannabis.

Harry Anslinger for years contributed racist, sensationalistic — and typically completely fabricated — articles to a variety of newspapers and magazines owned by his co-conspirator, William Randolph Hearst. He was also the author of the Marijuana Tax Act legislation passed by Congress in August of 1937. This law, although replaced by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, was the genesis of the modern day drug war and has been responsible for the emergence of a healthy black market for cannabis and the prosecution and incarceration of millions of pot smokers. Hearst, according to one biography, “…hated minorities, and he used his chain of newspapers to aggravate racial tensions at every opportunity.” His motives were understandable: He lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa during the Mexican revolution. His means of institutionalizing his bigotry, however, were less deserving of empathy.

The term “marijuana”—derived from the Mexican slang “marihuana” (either purposefully or accidentally misspelled)—was first coined in the United States in the 1890s. It was popularized in the early 1930s by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and in articles appearing in magazines and newspapers owned by Hearst. Hearst, via his publishing empire, continually attempted to taint public perception of the plant by leveraging popular prejudice against Mexican-Americans. The Mexican Spanish term “marihuana” was used to elude the public’s existing familiarity and comfort level with hemp and the medical application of cannabis tinctures (it was not a commonly smoked recreational drug at the time).

In fact, the terms “marihuana” and “marijuana” weren’t even included in official dictionaries at the time. If not for the efforts of Anslinger and Hearst, the herb would almost certainly be referred to as cannabis (the Latin name that’s most common in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia), not marijuana.

Lammot du Pont

Finally, the DuPont connection is the less clear connection to the Trio. Hemp was poised to become America’s greatest cash crop and was in direct competition with the petrochemical industry DuPont was banking on. By making “marijuana” illegal, he could effectively monopolize the marketplace and make billions over the coming years.

Hearst and Anslinger were supported by Lammot du Pont of the DuPont chemical company and a variety of pharmaceutical corporations, all of which had a financial interest in defeating hemp to promote their own products. For example, DuPont began selling rayon (the first man-made fiber) in 1924 and invented nylon, a synthetic competitor to hemp, in 1935. One reason pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies disliked cannabis was because people could grow it themselves.

In February 1938, Popular Mechanics Magazine reported that hemp was the new “billion dollar crop” in the United States, due entirely to the introduction of mass production harvesting equipment. The hemp decorticator, a farm machine that mechanically separated the fiber of the hemp stalk, threatened to make hemp a strong competitor to wood. The decorticator saved massive amounts of labor and made hemp production affordable and practical on a small scale. Capable of yielding up to three crops per year in southern climates, one acre of hemp produces about the same amount of cellulose (used to create paper, among other things) as four acres of trees. Amazingly, hemp can be made into about 5,000 different products—from paper, clothing, and food to fuel and construction timbers.

The promise of hemp-based products was so great that they threatened to replace those made from petroleum-based petrochemicals, such as synthetic fibers and even gasoline. If you think this was just slightly intimidating to the likes of corporate barons such as Hearst and DuPont, you’re right. Billions in profits were at risk for entrenched old-school businesses and their financial backers and cronies.

The conspiracy

Each with their own motivation, conspired together to spread false information and influence the general public to eventually illegalize cannabis on a national scale. Together, they crafted a highly inflammatory anti-marijuana public relations crusade with the goal of making the euphoric herb and hemp illegal—effectively eliminating it as a competitor to a variety of petrochemical products (DuPont’s territory) and timber (Hearst’s goldmine). Using Anslinger’s position within the U.S. government and leveraging Hearst’s empire of newspapers and magazines as propaganda outlets, the two concocted outlandish stories, all of which depicted marijuana as being hyperbolically more destructive than what is perceived today as a mild euphoriant that gives its recreational users giggles and the munchies. Their dramatic and sensationalistic stories described pot as an evil drug that led to murder, rape, and insanity.

If you merely study the history of cannabis prohibition, you’ll clearly see that “forces” were at work to maintain the policy for personal gain at the expense of the public. If that’s not a well-documented conspiracy, then I don’t know what is.


  1. Paul Paul



    The pharmaceutical industries are closely tied to the defense industries. Of first priority to governments is to have an effective army for the defense of the nation and to act as a force to subjugate non-compliant nations so their strategic resources (oil firstly) can be made available at rock bottom rates. The health and readiness of troops is of first priority, which is why the drug industries are so influential in manipulating drug policy. Opium has always had a close association with war for very obvious reasons. The development of new drugs was also associated with the development of explosives and chemical agents (nerve gas weapons) used in warfare. They are also tied to the development of pesticides in the agro-chemical industry. It was the same companies developing all these things. This was the age of chemistry and the war profiteers made sure they would make the most of this new technology.

    Then consider which nation was the foremost producer of hemp back then. The Soviet Union. They had the drop on the USA when it came to hemp. They had highly qualified agricultural scientist who put all their effort into the USSR’s agricultural sector. The US hemp crop was actually nowhere at that time by comparison. “Billion Dollar Crop” was promoting hemp as the next big thing, the US was heading in a different direction though.

    What happened initially to reduce the hemp crop in the USA and around the world was a quirk or two of history, (or the pattern that marks out the basic plan of the industrial revolution). The decline in the use of sail and rope as shipping changed over to steam was the first kick in the gut for hemp about the same time the civil war ended slavery. The US hemp industry was highly dependent on slavery as it was a very labor intensive industry. Without slaves, the US hemp industry went into further decline. The Civil war had really been a war between the modern industrialists and the old slave stroke human labor based economy. The industrialists won, setting them on a path of global domination.

    In a very odd twist to the story, the northern cotton industry had been a major consumer of southern hemp, which was used to tie up the cotton bales. The civil war prevented the hemp from getting through, so an alternative was found in metal wire, which would likewise replace hemp in many industrial uses.

    Cotton itself would also begin to replace hemp because of the war shortage, the northern cotton industry had become competitive because the modern industrialists who had worked out how to mechanize the industry. Later, there would be a comeback for hemp, as paradoxically the US Agricultural Department developed new Ag machinery to harvest and process hemp into different products, which would make it competitive once more; and that’s what set the industrialists (Randolph Hearst et al) on a course of demonizing the Cannabis plant as “marihuana, the devil’s weed”.

    At the time, almost all hemp consumed in the US was imported, to a large degree from the USSR. The Soviets having a considerable peasant based labor force. This was during Stalin’s reign and hemp was one of the few sources of income the Soviets had at the time. The creation of a petro-chemical based economy and its singular global domination, at the ousting of the hemp industry, was in effect intended as an unspoken embargo on the Soviet Union.

    The war on hemp was as much a reaction to Soviet domination of the global hemp industry as anything.

    The US wanted to reduce any use of Soviet hemp in the US economy and move in the direction of a new, modern petro-chemical based industry, thus undermining the Soviet economy. The drug war was, in effect, an early iteration of the cold war.

    Harry Anslinger gets the credit for demonizing Cannabis but how is it he had so much freedom to do that unless he was, in reality, acting on orders from above? And when the issue does get into congress, the laws are already very neatly written up by the Treasury department, and as we know, the Treasury is right at the top of government, along with the nation’s defense and security. http://www.alternet.org/drugs/who-orchestrated-prohibition-marijuana

    Harry being solely responsible for prohibition just does not make sense, he was just a front man for the real power behind the scenes. He was just a dog on a leash, a willing puppet, and the strings were being pulled right from the top.

    The whole thing was a massive set up. The US was actually manipulating the entire global economy in their favor right from the start.

    It had everything, fuel (an army runs on its fuel tanks) explosives, drugs, fibers, petro-chemicals, economic domination of America’s major significant other, as well as social control of minority racial groups, which is all part of the plan of always blaming societies less fortunate for the ills that befall the middle classes. It’s not the governments fault, blame the poorest people in the community for your higher taxes and distract the people’s attention from the trillions burned in the furnaces of the Military Industrial Complex. Set the kids bickering among themselves, while the teenagers steal the cake and eat it.

    On top of that, the drug war has poured staggering sums into the hands of the world’s most ruthless criminals to do whatever with, from Al-Qaeda to the CIA, who found it a convenient means of raising funds without having to go to Congress, so they could behave in a clandestine fashion and topple non-compliant governments without drawing attention to themselves.

    All this could only result in a chaotic frenzy of global instability that carries with it significant weight when special interest groups go to Capitol Hill to lobby for further funding for defense contracts.

    It just could not have been a better scenario for a bunch of world domineering control freaks.

    It was all about both local and world domination, and the end result was that the minerals and chemicals based, industrial sector, stole the global economy from the rural sector.

    All the worlds wealth used to be generated on the farm and gradually with the rise of the defense and security industries, based initially on the mining of metals, then fossil fuels; the corporate entities realized they could manufacture almost everything society consumed from the stuff that came out of a single hole in the ground that they owned the rights to and protected with guns.

    Also consider that the Prohibition of alcohol was really the Prohibition of bio-fuel that was easily produced on the farm. Alcohol Prohibition basically remains in effect to this day, as extreme over regulation worldwide makes it impossible for alcohol to compete with fossil fuels. Alcohol was traditionally produced on the farm for millennia, just why should something so easy to make and so useful, be regulated out of reach of the very people who would produce it and benefit from it?

    With legislation, regulation and contractual obligation, corporations have realized the dream of stealing the entire farm from under the farmer and diverting the farmer’s income into their corporate bank accounts.

    It’s also no coincidence that with significantly reduced income and employment opportunities, vast numbers of people have migrated from the rural regions to the city landscape. That in itself creates a massive, localized labor force and market for companies and tax base for governments to exploit.

    Wealth really represents the needs of people and the things they consume.

    Wealth that was once distributed throughout the entire community, being mostly the rural community, as the population was distributed more throughout rural regions in those days, is now funneled into the bank accounts of a few fat cats sitting on top of the pile.

    Got it now?