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The Start of Hemp Prohibition

Unfortunately, Americans have been denied the healing effects of cannabis since Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (1931-1962), pushed through legislation that had been crafted in secrecy for 2 years. The result was the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act that made hemp and marijuana illegal for any use. Historians believe Anslinger’s actions were at the behest of Randolph Hearst and Dupont petrochemicals. A machine had been invented to easily strip fiber from hemp. Therefore, high quality paper could now be made cheaper than using traditional wood pulp. Randolph Hearst owned millions of acres of forest land that supplied paper for his newspaper empire. With this new invention, Hearst’s land would be worthless. Dupont was against hemp for a similar reason. Although more expensive to manufacture, hemp fiber was a far superior fiber to the new nylon fiber Dupont was producing. However this same invention would also make hemp fiber less costly to produce; therefore, lowering nylon fiber’s value. Both men would incur large financial losses due to this invention. What if they could stop this threat by outlawing Hemp? Anslinger and others utilized tabloid sensationalism (via Hearst’s newspapers) to convince members of congress and the public of the dangers of hemp using the relatively new word marijuana (Spanish slang for cannabis). The American Medical Association (AMA) and the pharmaceutical industry testified against the Tax Act because cannabis was known to have so many medical uses with no observed side effects. Dr. William Woodward who was both a physician and an attorney for the AMA, testified on their behalf. He said; in effect, that this law passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a wonderful medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to discover which ingredients in cannabis were active. Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA had not come out sooner against this legislation was that they had not been made aware that the “killer weed” in question was one and the same as the cannabis used in America by the medical community with perfect safety to treat scores of illnesses for over 100 years. Dr. Woodward and the AMA were quickly denounced by Anslinger as well as the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused. At this point cannabis – hemp and marijuana – was 100% illegal and NO further medical studies were done for nearly 30 years world wide due to America’s demonization of this drug.

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Bell Family Dispensary

5595 W State Road 46

Bloomington, IN 47404

Phone: 812-332-8444
Fax: 812-558-0069
Email: mail@wesellhemp.com

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