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Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

Hemp for Victory!

hemp for victory

In 1943 the US was embroiled in World War II.  The Japanese had been invading islands in the Pacific, going after the Philippines.  Their fleet had cut off access to Manila and many supplies that the US war effort relied upon.  One of those supplies was hemp.  Hemp was widely used by the US Navy.  But, thanks to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, Cannabis was no longer legal to grow on domestic soil.  Once we were cut off from those precious hemp supplies, the government realized that they needed to supply their own hemp.  Afterward the Department of Agriculture put together a piece of wartime propaganda called “Hemp for Victory.”  This short film was distributed and shown to American farmers as an instructional guide for growing and preparing cannabis crops for industrial use.

“Hemp For Victory” outlines the proper way to pick seeds, and proper soil types for optimum growing conditions.  It then goes on to discuss harvesting techniques and how it gets turned from a plant into the many items the Navy uses.  In 1942 the US harvested 36,000 acres of hemp and for 1943, with the help of some patriotic farmers, they were looking to yield upwards of 50,000.  They needed it for the war effort; a battleship required 34,000 feet of hemp rope for mooring lines, tows, anchor lines, tackle and gear.  The army used hemp for parachute webbing, light duty fire hoses, threads in shoes and clothing, twine and more.  Of course to plant all these crops, American farmers needed a special permit from the Internal Revenue Service, or else they would be criminals, instead of patriotic planters.

It’s amazing how the US government is willing to turn a blind eye against their own laws, when it suits their purposes.  Marijuana the medical herb is the scion of this plant yet it was completely banned.  Suddenly America needed it again and it was legal for a special few to grow it.  However, after the war the film was mothballed and the official word from the USDA was that it did not exist.  The government denied its existence until two copies of it surfaced and were donated to the Library of Congress in May 1989, by Mia Farrow, Carl Packard and Jack Herer.  On one hand marijuana is evil, but on the other it is the most useful plants Americans needed to win the war.

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Propaganda, Hemp’s Enemy


“I am not really a chicken, you are a poultry.”  For individuals individuals not of sufficient age to possess observed that Public Service Announcement, individuals closing words were effective inducements towards the youth of the usa to steer clear of Marijuana.  Using the voices and moral support from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, how is the anti-marijuana watch dogs not capture the minds and hearts of countless children?

During the last century, within this country not one person or factor continues to be so consistently and deceitfully assaulted as cannabis.  The assault on cannabis started in early 1900’s because the Mexican Revolution happened and there is mix-border spillover in the unrest.  As People in mexico joined the U . s . States the negativity fomented consequently of racial tensions.  Cannabis have been grown within this country because the Jamestown Colony, and without them, the pay outs couldn’t have become into this proud nation.  Yet, with today, couple of things can provoke such irrational hate as immigration.  Anti-cannabis sentiment taken across the Southwest alongside anti-Mexican slurs.  Many lawmen and political figures noted that People in mexico were smoking marijuana and they stated it triggered these to be violent towards People in america.  Ever since then the thought of violence and marijuana happen to be inextricably linked.  It’s a historical declare that has opposed many efforts to eliminate.  By 1927, nine different states had passed laws and regulations barring Marijuana, mainly as methods for focusing on Mexican-People in america.

As using marijuana spread in the Southwest into other areas, additionally, it grew to become swept up using the development of Jazz in metropolitan areas like Chicago as well as in Harlem.  After that, anxiety about marijuana was associated with even more powerful racial hatreds, this time around towards African-People in america.  At that time, there have been other forces conspiring to operate against Marijuana.  Prohibition had ended, however the government machines remained as in position and needed new things to demonize. Harry Anslinger have been hired “Mind from the Federal Bureau of Drugs,” and that he managed to get his personal pursuit to have cannabis eradicated within this country.  With the aid of some yellow journalism from media mogul William Randolph Hearst, they released a smear campaign formerly not observed in america with the exception of occasions of war.  Anslinger labored relentlessly, gathering and delivering his “Gore Files,” an accumulation of newspaper articles filled with sordid accounts of violence and crime that credited their induce to “Reefer Madness.”

Eventually, the worry-mongering required deep hold in the united states and Anslinger had his previous day Congress. Using mainly anecdotal evidence (from his Gore Files) and completely inverting the testimony from the Ama, Harry convinced these to pass the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.  As time have passed by, the majority of the sentiments used above happen to be scientifically proven to be wrong.  Yet they persist within the American psyche.  They have had many years of reinforcement by other anti-marijuana forces, reinvigorating in the  1960’s and ongoing on.  But individuals is going to be examined later.

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