The War on Marijuana in the United States: Part 3 – From LaGuardia to the CSA (1938 – 1970)

In part 2, we learned that anti-marijuana sentiment gathered apace in the 1920s. With hysteria trumping reason, cities like New Orleans launched their own campaigns against the drug. During this era, weed was considered the narcotic of ethnic minorities, and it was linked with the jazz music scene.

Key Points

  • The LaGuardia Report showed that marijuana wasn’t as harmful as the propaganda stated, but Harry Anslinger successfully discredited it.
  • The Boggs Act and The Narcotics Control Act established mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes.
  • The Beat Generation started asking questions of the establishment & showed the other side of marijuana use.
  • Anslinger used America’s international influence to try and ban marijuana globally.
  • Increased middle-class Caucasian usage of marijuana was followed by discussions surrounding softer sentences for offenses.
  • The Marihuana Tax Act was declared unconstitutional in 1969, but the U.S. Government effectively replaced it with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970.
  • The CSA categorized marijuana as a Schedule I substance, meaning it was deemed among the most dangerous drugs available.

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