Anslinger drew upon the social stereotypes and prejudices of the day to stigmatize cannabis. “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, results from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others” he said. Anslinger also made highly inflammatory and provocative statements involving significant fear mongering, such as “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.” His racist side is revealed by statements such as “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” He also proclaimed, “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”
Most cannabis consumers are only too aware of the federal-level prohibition that forces so many to purchase from the black market. This illegality potentially exposes medical and recreational users to harder drugs and criminal elements – and obviously drives up prices.