America 's War On Drugs

1306 Words Mar 13th, 2015 6 Pages
Beginning in the nineteenth century, spanning to the present day, US history has witnessed a plethora of changes both socially as well as racially. These racial and social changes were the results of moral panics centered around marijuana as well as eugenics. One of the primary focuses of America 's War on Drugs has always been the controversial drug Marijuana. In the early twentieth century, Henry Anslinger became the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics where he remained between 1930-62. Anslinger’s campaign was driven primarily by racism. He convinced the public to believe Blacks were negative influences in society and negatively associated African Americans with the drug. Anslinger made heavily racist remarks such as, “white girls would be ruined once they 'd experienced the lurid pleasures of having a black man 's joint in their mouth.” (Wishnia 2008) As a result, Henry Anslinger was successful in persuading society into believing marijuana’s “harmful effects.” Many Americans feared the drug would cause young white women to pursue sexual relations with “Negroes,” and musicians of the era. Campaigns such as this one continued through the twentieth century and they were prompted not only by affluent political figures, but by the federal government as well. In 1974, Dr. Robert G. Heath reported a connection between marijuana use and its detriments to one’s health. He claimed that marijuana usage causes brain damage in humans. Dr. Heath had conducted…

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