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"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

Abraham Lincoln - Former U.S. President

Prohibition in Oz

Reefer Madness the Musical

The eccentric paronoia depicted by the US governement anti-marihuana campaign (regarded by many as a an industrial conspiracy to advance the introduction of nylon) left us with some enduring cultural icons including the propoganda film movie Reefer Madness which has acquired a cult status and inspired send ups, including a musical.

The Three Conspirators : Andrew Mellon

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Andrew Mellon, Banker and Congressman.

Andrew Mellon was, in his time, one of the richest men in America. He was owner of the Mellon Bank and was financial backer for petro-chemical giant DuPont Chemicals. He was also a Congressman and Secretary of the Treasury under President Hoover. This was power.

Part of his portfolio of political responsibilities was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, to which he appointed his nephew-in-law, Harry Anslinger, as head. This was nepotism.

The appointment of Ainslinger was to have important historical consequences for U.S. agriculture and Big Business, and indirectly have a huge impact on the global environment.

In the late '30s hemp was shaping up to be 'the crop of the future' - and Mellon stood to lose millions because of his petro-chemical investments. With his powerful political and family connections he was in a strategic position to "look after" his business associates and frustrate their competitors.

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Reefer Madness

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Beware the Friendly Stranger

In the 1930's Harry Anslinger was appointed  Assistant U.S. Commissioner for Prohibition (conspiracy theorists claim the influence of his uncle the banker & U.S. Congressman Andrew Mellon, who had a vested commercial interest in banning hemp). Once he achieved this office he went on an aggressive anti-marijuana crusade, and frequently claimed that one "toke" (inhalation) of the dreaded Weed from Hell (marihuana) was enough to turn the mildest youth into a drug-crazed murderer and rapist.

The Assasin of Youth was written by Anslinger at the height of the Reefer Madness campaign in 1937. It contained articles from the famous 'Gore Files', which were a collection of lurid anecdotes and newspaper clippings about sensational crimes (supposedly committed under the influence of marijuana) which Anslinger collected to release to the popular press. He had stated that marihuana users were : "...criminals, degenerates, maniacs, violent fiends, whose ability to judge right and wrong had been destroyed by the Killer Drug..."

"Marihuana was a chemical holocaust that threatened to engulf the youth of America".

The Australian press loved this theme and embraced it wholeheartedly.

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