Weed War Celebrates Seventy-Sixth Anniversary Today

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Seventy-six years ago today, on March 2, 1937, the U.S. Congress passed the Marijuana Stamp Act, the first federal law prohibiting the sale of marijuana in American history. That same day, according to NORML, which is using the anniversary to raise cash to help legalize marijuana, the war on weed claimed its first victim: Samuel Caldwell of Denver, who was arrested by FBI agents and spent four years in prison performing hard labor. He reportedly died the day after he was released.

It's not a very auspicious anniversary for pot prohibition, given that 55 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use, something that is already the law in Colorado and Washington States, with medical marijuana already legal in another 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, as the LA Times reported yesterday, by distracting the feds from fighting other drugs, the war on marijuana has actually helped increase the quality and purity of narcotics, while driving down the price.

The "average inflation-adjusted prices of heroin, cocaine and cannabis in the United States decreased by 81 percent, 80 percent and 86 percent, respectively, between 1990 and 2007," the Times reports, basing the numbers on a study published in BMJ Open.

"At the same time, their average purity increased by 60 percent, 11 percent and 161 percent, respectively," the study showed, with U.S. seizures of cocaine falling by "roughly half between 1990 and 2010."

During this time period, the report states, the feds obsessed over fighting marijuana, with seizures increasing 465 percent between 1990 and 2010.

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16 comments
Alicia Brianne
Alicia Brianne

Tacky and Tactless. People who have nothing better to do than harp on people even after they're gone lose any legitimacy they started with.This man was an amazing servant, not at all deserving of the things you have said about him (with your one-sided, biased perspective). Instead of digging for other peoples dirt, focus on yours first. You knew nothing about him. You're and idiot and lack all sense of social propriety. Congratulations.

paullucas714
paullucas714

Stop the war. geton board with the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014. www.CCHI2014.com . Im an area coordinator in Orange County I have petitions ready to be signed.

Mark L. Peel
Mark L. Peel

I don't smoke *anything*, but I have to agree: what a waste of time and money.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

We blame the law enforcement complex...

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Andrew: Gracias for teaching Noah a bit of how to follow a sentence...

Andrew Cusumano
Andrew Cusumano

please elaborate on how you believe we are better (in regards to the war on drugs).

Noah Flaum
Noah Flaum

Are you seriously suggesting that we are not better off today than we were 76 years ago?!

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

'Millions' of destroyed lives?

Andrew Cusumano
Andrew Cusumano

OC Weekly, what's the general opinion around your offices as to why marijuana is still illegal? it's quite obviously straining their resources, and legalization would, almost undoubtedly, reverse their expenditures related to our drug war. i've heard some theories that, because of marijuana's cultivability, it cannot be reasonably monitored and taxed compared to tobacco products which require more industrious methods for harvest and production. i've also heard a more artistic theory which is to the effect of what Bill Hicks and George Carlin's stand up material revolved around; it opens your eyes to: what's worth effort and what isn't, your enslavement, and all the bullshit that goes on with modern day governments trying to keep its hold on people.

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