CANNABIS VILLAGE - The Real History of Marijuana Prohibition

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CANNABIS VILLAGE - The Real History of Marijuana Prohibition
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The War on Drugs and The Untold Cannabis Conspiracy
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Annie has been at the forefront of the hemp industry for the past 10 years, earning a US Fulbright Scholarship to study hemp in Canada and recently publishing her podcast series, Anslinger: The untold cannabis conspiracy - an interview-narration style podcast highlighting Big Pharma's role in cannabis prohibition analyzed from 10 years of archival research. Annie is co-founder of Anavii Market - an online market for premium verified CBD and other hemp products. She is also the founder of the Kentucky-based non-profit, Friends of Hemp, and is a member of the US Hemp Roundtable, the Hemp Feed Coalition Steering Committee, and the Hemp Industries Association Legislative Review Committee. In addition, she is a published author in Hemp Magazine and Hemp Business Journal. She received her BS in Economics from the University of Kentucky and holds a Masters in International Environmental Policy and an MBA. You can learn more about Annie and her journey on her blog, Think Hempy Thoughts.
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okay so thanks for joining me today guys I appreciate you all coming out so um I past ten years I have been very consumed in the cannabis space mostly on the hip side but also within the marijuana industry in terms of research and about 10 years ago I was really introduced more to the plant after writing the college paper about the economic impacts of hemp in Kentucky which is my home state and it used to be him actually used to be one of Kentucky's major cash crops and suddenly in the 1930s it disappeared and this was because there were a few paradigm shifts that occurred in this 1930s period that really changed the course of our human development for the rest of the world today so as I started to research I read about a man named Harry Anslinger how many didn't
you in here heard of him a pretty good deal so hearing in slinger was one of the most important people that was part of this evolution and change he was chief of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1960 - he was comparable to J Edgar Hoover but no one really knew about him so he was considered by the world's foremost detectives but one of the least publicized he was a strong negotiator and strung into diplomat he spoke was fluent in five languages maybe even six and he was the man that was considered responsible for creating the framework for our entire narcotic enforcement strategies that we still enforced today so huge individual to know the history of but he's moose considered to be the man responsible for making cannabis illegal so after reading about Harry Anslinger about 10 years ago I got a little obsessed with him and I started to dig through all of these government archives I traveled all of her across the country to different libraries and just started to learn more and more about the individual and the goal was to uncover why him a beneficial and lucrative crop prior to when he came into office I would suddenly became the most dangerous man in the world and so I had read a lot about the conspiracies like in the inferno his club no clothes as well as just their Google searches but I really wanted to find out the truth and so so after about 10 years of research I am I finally come to the
conclusion and I'm publishing an and a podcast series called Anslinger the untold cannabis conspiracy you can find it in your wherever you listen to podcasts but what I'm not going to divulge to you all today really just scratches the surface of season 1 I the only season I've published so far I'm intending to publish season 2 later this year they'll probably be four seasons total but I hope that this today intrigues you to tune in and question the past so that we can change the future so when I say 1930 what do you
guys think of besides what I just said Great Depression right exactly so very distracting time for human civilization but also extremely mine time for human development during this time really just prior to 1930 and the decade throughout 30s there were three paradigm shifts that occurred in American history one of which was a
shift in science so there were massive improvements in understanding organic chemistry and alkaloid chemistry which really sparked our synthetic revolution which we are still within today in addition there's a shift in prohibition from alcohol prohibition to suddenly turning to narcotics as a form of prohibition and then last there was major shifts in our prison systems which transition from solely meant confining men in jails to rather administrating and organizing federal prisons to create or pure a social disease through specialized treatment like through trying to make them useful citizens of society again so while most people were very distracted feeding clothing and sheltering themselves and their families there was during the most worst economic downturn in modern history ifs poor times worse than the Great Recession in 2008 to put into perspective there was a group of men that was behind the scenes that was working hard to actually change the fate of our American culture and this group of men was known as the
committee on drug addiction has anybody ever heard of this yeah a couple of you it's not very well known but it was a program that was originally called the Bureau of Social Hygiene and it was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to study sex drugs crime and delinquency all pretty lucrative markets today but by the end of the 1920s this group of men and the social Bureau Social Hygiene decided that it was in the best interest of the committee and the United States to have it shifted underneath the National Research Council and to really start focusing on drug addiction so this group of men who were a group of 10 or 11 solid MD PhD researchers and Harry Anslinger established a new way to view our modern world so the main attention
was actually on finding the Holy Grail
to morphine so that was the big problem with addiction at that time and they really this holy grail was supposed to be a substitute for morphine that was a non-addictive pain relieving alternative and it can be used in the new modern medicine which the committee team is really disturbing as Western medicine based on scientific data journals published articles and pharmaceuticals but by finding this holy grail it became rather tricky and it's actually something we're still trying to find today with drugs that we thought might work with oxycontin and horrible things that we now know as highly addictive and so what this group of men beyond finding this Holy Grail they were really focused on alkaloid chemistry and trying to understand how naturally occurring chemicals that we encounter and our day to day lives could be used to create pharmaceuticals and maybe these can be used to create a non-addictive pharmaceutical in addition they were investing a lot in in
bolstering understanding of organic chemistry which also was very important for understanding our chemical reactions that were needed to create radiant's for things as big that we use
every day today like pharmaceuticals or drugs fuel and plastics so these
breakthroughs were not only the breakthroughs that were performed by this committee we're not only necessarily Studies on drug addiction but really addiction across the board so you can imagine that this committee was was really surprised one day when they came across the study that a German
scientist introduced by the name of wolf fur strong and what he had found is that they had selectively bred Indian hemp which was the source of hashish into such apparently high quality that it could be used to replace the foreign drug for medicinal purposes the foreign drug being morphine so well it doesn't well yeah so being morphine and they actually selectively bred this plan by extracting the floral by breeding specifically for THC and selectively crossing that with other strands and then extracting the floral material crushing it into tablets and then they tested it on a human subjects so this and they watch their actions course so this document is actually
called the very mushy Sh and its really enlightening and humorous archive because which I'll get to in a minute but at the time scientists had no idea what THC was or what CD was really the only thing that they knew was CDN which is kanavan all and so when they extracted these plants and put them into these these tablet forms they actually couldn't give the they didn't know the exact concentration that they were giving the individual so I became quite an experiment that's what I kind of deduced from the reading was that they they gave the individuals anywhere between 50 to 100 milligrams of THC in a tablet form so they were ingesting it orally for the first time the individual had ever tried cannabis so for those of you all who are less familiar out in Colorado a single gummy bear is 10 milligrams of THC and by law they cannot go above that so you can imagine that for an unknown that'll mess you up if you if you even if you try images so you can imagine how I messed up some of these people were who had never tried it and we're getting anywhere between 50 to 100 milligrams orally adjusted because it also creeps up on you slowly so they were pretty intense and we're
practically hallucinating so what what
they do is they write about their experience and the one guy says that under the into the drug his desire for companionship was so strong he felt his senses becoming sharper he thought he heard footsteps from great distances food smelled unusually good and his thoughts began to change rapidly he also
said that he was at first he was very tired and then couldn't stop laughing his boss dropped everything hateful and evil and he spoke of the great differences between the actions of hashish marijuana cannabis hemp I heard great attempt that we know today but and alcohol and at
several hours later he became very hungry asked for food and coffee after the meal he took a nap and about 6:30 he got up somewhat tired I was able to work that night he slept well the next morning did not have the slightest after effect pretty amazing huh so you you can imagine what this committee or drug addiction was thinking when they received this report you would think that they would be thinking oh my god this is it this is the solution this is the Holy Grail but yet that's not quite what happened in history is it you guys can come in and sit down if you want but this is because simultaneously during this time this committee on drug addiction was up to something and this group of men was really using alkaloid
chemistry and organic chemistry and using that to in the effort to synthesize drugs so that they could patent them for further use protect their intellectual property and develop markets like big pharma has been known today so in order to do this you have to undergo a force in order to synthesize a drug you have to undergo a four-step process with a plant starting with a plant material so initially step one is extraction so this for instance taking cannabis you grab the full floral material and using ethanol distillation or co2 extraction you basically press the cannabinoids out into out of the fluoro material and during this time usually scientists are trying to figure out what method is best whether is you know ethanol or co2 and they measure this through consistency quality and efficiency and we have to remember that during this time this was already being being on being done with canvas but and put it into tinctures like we know today but really we didn't know the concentration so our knowledge base was very minimal at this time but step 2 in the process is isolation so this is actually a much more difficult process than simply extracting it because you have to remove a similar a single chemical compound from that extracts so in the case during this time they didn't know they couldn't isolate THC or CBD the only thing that could actually isolate see me in and in the cannabis plant we know now that there's a hundred plus other minor cannabinoids so you can imagine how difficult it was back then with the equipment that they have to actually extract these two major cannabinoids THC and CBD step three in the process is elucidation which back in the day was almost impossible to do but is basically how you you take that isolated compound and it's a highly complex step where you have to clarify the structure of that compound so then you can replicate it but that then right now there's equipment that can do this in seconds back then it was more of a guessing game so it's very difficult and then once you have elucidated the structure you can then synthesize it so you can take that chemical compound structure and replicate it using non natural compounds and that is how you get something like eronel or heroin or other drugs that are pharmaceutical drugs on the shelves today so at this point once you've synthesized something it's no longer that natural form it's a totally different exactly similar compound but not from the plant so during this time we have no idea so it we didn't know what THC or CBD was the and we didn't actually figure any of this out until 1965 and in comparison heroin had art morphine had already been synthesized into heroin prior to the turn of the 20th century so our knowledge base on opium as a plant used for medicine was much more in depth than campus so if you go back again to this
committee on drug addiction whose goal ultimately was to understand synthesize and patent compounds for pharmaceutical use and pretty much dispose of the plant material altogether through regulation you can understand why we haven't they were unable to really move forward on Walter Straub's intellectual property that he discovered in that lab that day and why they didn't even bother to pursue the plant they couldn't see the size it so they couldn't patent it so instead they knew that they needed to control instead Worman or the other so why not prohibit it
so this is where the shifted prohibition comes into play so obviously alcohol prohibition is failing and there's a rising rising concern of addiction rates across the world more than ever and especially as science was developing along the way because we were creating more and more synthetic pharmaceuticals that they were finding were just as highly addictive or more addictive than their natural form but and prior to this formation of the Bureau of Narcotics Harry Anslinger was actually second command of prohibition how many of you all have heard the conspiracy that Harry Anslinger came into power and created this Bureau of Narcotics and reefer madness as a way to keep his position in office and his officers many of you are so not entirely true either and this is for a couple reasons one of
which priority and center coming into office it actually already been a lot of states that were taking action to make cannabis illegal and you can see the the states in red actually were the ones that were had formed regulations against cannabis which is kind of funny because if you look at it now on new Tennessee legalized it's really kind of you know going in Reverse and in fact California was the first to make cannabis illegal it was also the first to make cannabis legal once again so in addition the League of Nations was
also already making moves to try and regulate cannabis as under their narcotic framework and they they tried to do it 1925 but unsuccessfully and they were able to successfully do this in 1931 with the limitations agreement and this basically limited any sort of agricultural production of different narcotics unless it fell within the quota of the country so it was a way to control the supply side which is really what they said that they cared about the entire time but in addition Anslinger actually up until 1934 he didn't care about cannabis he didn't even want to touch it he thought it was going to be a distraction he wanted to focus on heroin because he thought that him her cannabis grew like dandelions hence the name weed now what caused his shift in 1934 I was trying to tune into the body cast before
I go on anymore I you know we've been talking a lot about cannabis indica cannabis sativa cannabis hashish him all these different terms marijuana so we're just gonna kind of dive into this a little bit and how this terminology really shifted over the years so cannabis sativa is actually the more overarching species and was commonly thought to be derived from Eastern Europe or Asia a long time ago mostly grown fruit seed and fiber oil or seed oil and fiber meanwhile cannabis indica
was really we think of it today is more like a help mellow high but really indica is where that species was derived from so indica literally translates to from India so this cannabis indica or Indian hemp back in the day was really coming from India and then there was also a cannabis Americana which was really both cannabis sativa and cannabis indica that had migrated sway over to into America and they were just calling it cannabis Americana because that's what mr. right from but this cannabis indica was usually hashish and so normally that was grown for the floral material and extracted to create your extracts that we commonly use today and these extracts were also commonly used in pharmaceuticals all throughout the world and in fact in 1934 the League of
Nations came out with a report that said that the really the medical benefit of cannabis and they they refer to it as cannabis sativa because it is that overarching species so they find that it's a mild counter irritant it's also used for the relief of neural neurologic pain to encourage sleep and to soothe the restlessness it's used for corn remedies and commercial products varying strength and psychological activity and the variability in potency was probably why wasn't being used today so the funny thing is is that in the same document it actually talks about how pharmaceutical companies in the US would work with farmers who would go on and find ditch weed growing on the sides of river banks and tree lines and these farmers would harvest it and then ship it off to pharmaceutical companies so you can imagine oh yeah it's not quality control it's growing wildly and and there's nothing like we have today where it's either grown in a greenhouse or in a very controlled environment so you can imagine why there would be so much variability
[Music] so when this Committee on drug addiction formed one of their first actions was actually to work with Congress to establish a Center for dealing with imprisoned at addicts at the time there was because of the increase in narcotic control there get a lot of arrests that were happening and suddenly the prisons were becoming overcome with with drug addicts people with drug addiction and they didn't know what to do with them they were clogging up the the pipeline and so they decided that under an act they would actually establish what was called the narcotic farm mini-video heard of the narcotic farm so the narcotic farm was a facility in
Lexington Kentucky my hometown and it was a place where the video drug addiction could understand the underlying social disease of addiction and try and find potential treatments they could also test new drugs that they wanted to bring the market so it one third of it was a prison for drug addicts 1:30 vote was a rehabilitation center where they tried to make people useful citizens of society again by introducing programs like farming mechanics and art and then one third of it was the addiction Research Center where they would actually take prison inmates and bring them into the addiction research center and pump them up with drugs to use as guinea pigs and of course they were you know under confinement and close watched by these scientists so their main purpose was to study morphine and trying to develop these new drugs finding the holy grail to morphine really they already found cannabis but and of course during his time they also studied cannabis but only to some extent because they really had known already that it wasn't really an addictive drug it was more habitual so this is actually
a pretty interesting piece that was in 1931 so Indian hemp which suddenly they're calling marijuana addicts were eligible for treatment in the new legislation passed by the 17th Congress that approved basically creating this narcotic farm and they were going to allow marijuana people that had used marijuana to seek treatment there and studied the harmful effects and yeah yeah yeah um but so over the next forty
years this narcotic farm operate in Lexington under the control of a director that was part of a committee of drug addiction my name is Lawrence cold and throughout his time they made breakthrough research in the field of drug addiction as much so as finding figuring out what tolerances were what happens if I pump you up with morphine and stop cold turkey a lot of different major achievements were created here that's not really an achievement but also the 12-step program many other things were created with this narcotic form but also what was created was actually a mecca some of the greatest
jazz music all time so well it became really what people refer to as a country club and a lot of these individuals would go check themselves in voluntarily to the facility just so that they could play music with some of the greatest people of all time in addition the prisoners really kind of enjoyed their time in this addiction Research Center they got free drugs they got to try everything around morphine - heroin - LSD marijuana all across the board and when they would get done with their 30 days 10 days horrible and they were in the center the end scientists would ask them one final question do you won money for your time that you can put in your commissary or would you like drugs to be put into your trip bank that you can use throughout your time naturally they always chose the drugs one final experiment before they let them free so even though the
this narcotic farm didn't assess cannabis very much what they actually managed to do was create the first synthetically produced THC compound called para hexyl and it wasn't exactly the same as THC because they still couldn't figure out exactly what that chemical compound was they actually used it as a way to test THC and the effects of cannabis on inmates so instead of actually getting fluoro material and having people smoke it or eat it like like they did in Germany they gave this them the synthetic form to try and figure out the effects on human and this is actually a common practice today as well which will talk a little bit about there but what it also did in this time was not only as this affects on man but it actually gave dr. Lawrence : some ammo in making a monumental decision towards the end of this experimentation in the 1970s or just before and just prior to the Controlled Substances Act so what it did was dr. Kolb had actually discovered
that the hazards of marijuana had been extremely over exaggerated and that it wasn't actually causing people to raid the murder and jump off bridges and shoot people but rather similar to the man and Germany hang out on a couch you need some food and laughs a lot and so with this dr. Cole actually started making some suggestions because the this controlled substances act was about to come into effect and he wanted to inform the committee on how they should regulate cannabis so what he actually said was that they needed to allocate funding to study the plant he also said that they needed to prevent strict regulations against the plants because it was mostly used by young adults similar to alcohol and that if people were imprisoned by felony for possessing this plant it would end up ruining their lives they didn't listen oh yeah he also
said that under no circumstances should we be pouring this much money into federally imprisoning drug adept and drug addicts because an prohibition was actually better because prohibition are not permission sorry treatment was actually better through something like parole because it only cost the American public three hundred and fifty dollars a year per person as opposed to two thousand dollars to maintain them prison of course today those numbers are way greater but even though dr. Cole who is head of the National Committee on drug addiction the national not just the committee but the US Department of Health and Human Services Committee on drug addiction he remembers exact title but they didn't listen to him and
instead created what we know today as an enormous problem they put cannabis as it were one narcotic equivalent as heroin it is which meant that no federal funding could be used to research the the crop that people who used it were going to be sent to federal prison and that we couldn't do any clinical trials to understand the problem more so but oddly
enough during this between 1970 and today during this time frame another pharmaceutical synthetic form of THC was actually brought to the shelves which we know today's marital which is really good for appetite stimulation for cancer and AIDS patients Barun home is a schedule 3 narcotic exact same chemical compound as THC big farms paying someone else
meanwhile last year there were 1.6 million in my last year two years ago there were 1.6 million drug arrests for violent violators narcotics across the board 84% of those were possession alone over 1/3 of those for marijuana law possession or marijuana law violations with 89% being for possession alone so dramatic shift on what dr. Kolb had stated to federal government as a means to control this serious problem instead certain people but really I think saw the dollar signs and started to move forward on what we know today as corporate prison systems and a horrible social problem so there's been a lot of
steps to get to this point today obviously but the DEA continues to try and combat the issue even with something like industrial hemp which was legalized in all other industrialized nations really in the early 1990s in 2004 the u.s. hemp Industries Association actually had to sue the DEA because the DEA would not allow him foods on store shelves even though every other country in the world was growing it selling it and eating it and studies had come out saying it's a superfood as all your essential amino and you're perfect in maybe six to omega-3 ratio and high in protein but yet it's a drug everyone fortunately in 2014 the farm bill passed which actually opened up production for him at pilot scales and for research services George is a federal law and so formers and processors in states with proper legislation started to grow to sprout the DEA continued to step in by preventing seeds from being imported into the US so that the farmers could actually grow it in addition they tried to mess with interstate commerce and so year over year over year the federal spending bill had to put clauses in to protect the pilot program as well as many of the marijuana states from interfering with Interstate Commerce of course marijuana can't have interstate commerce but there was banking and other things like that that were interfere with so even with this federal legislation the DEA continues to hammer down the door trying to prevent any action against any form of cannabis whether intoxicating or not meanwhile
the US Department a mister health and Health and Human Services has a patent on cannabinoids as an antioxidant and a neuro protective cannabinoids like THC and CBD that are found within canvas and more recently the World Health Organization put out a report stating that that CBD was non-intoxicating was safe and people had generally well tolerances and consuming the compound in addition they found that it had medical benefit for epilepsy and therapeutic benefit for 18 different problems from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's to pain to anxiety to inflammation even drug addiction so it's
pretty unbelievable when you start to look at what has happened in the past and the direction that we have come about but you can also start to realize how and why cannabis is still regulated with in this case drug category we couldn't synthesize it and therefore patent it until 1965 really they discovered the endocannabinoid system in the way that it interacts with the human brain in the early 1990s then suddenly the US government comes out with a patent on on these compounds and now future in the next couple months really probably the next month there will be another pharmaceutical pharmaceutical drug called epidemics that will be approved for consumption it will likely be scheduled as a three similar to Marinol or maybe even not even on the Controlled Substances Act because it's CBD and it's not intoxicating however CVE derived from either hem or marijuana or THC derived from usually marijuana it's still a Schedule one I'm going to leave it at that so that you guys can think about it a little bit more but it's up to you to decide and I'm going to leave you all with some different areas if you want to take action or learn more I definitely would recommend you all getting involved think MP thoughts is my personal blog there's a lot of information mostly about him but it is also a hub of my podcast Anslinger the untold cannabis conspiracy you can if you want to get involved with actions for supporting the hemp industry visit him support org and try and contact your local representatives to get them behind the 2018 farm bill which is going to be passed which will officially remove him from the Controlled Substances Act it is set to be hopefully approved by the end of September if not then by the end of the year because the farm bill is it must pass you can also check out normal org for any sort of Marijuana action and drug policy towards the drug policy Alliance they're a fantastic organization working very hard to help re-establish cannabis and other drugs that were wrongly accused as demonizing natural plants in addition if you are
looking for CBD you can visit a nabi market calm it's my market place we sell premium verified temperature I've CB so it's all legal under the 2014 farm bill no matter what the DEA says and of
course if you enjoyed this subject and want to learn more I definitely suggest to tune in to the podcast series Anslinger the untold cannabis conspiracy it's available on Google stitcher Google Play stitcher and iTunes you can also find me on social media and email if you have any thoughts questions concerns or general wonderment yeah so thank you all for listening for questions two types of questions yep and so anyone have questions like why did they create parable so it's interesting because actually I'm going to go back to that thank you because a lot of what happens today is that they have a hard time studying plant derivatives like opium and cannabis because the quality and consistency is difficult to measure time over time and have that give it to a test subject and have them have the same experience so this person have the same experience is that person is that person because there's so many things that could play into that into that however if you can create a synthetic compound it has that inherent consistency that what we believe is is good because it's been manufactured in a lab as opposed to grown in a field and that's still something that is in play today actually a lot of times when they're trying to do these medical trials on or any sort of research on cannabis for instance there was a researcher who was trying to determine the what the prenatal Howell THC affected prenatal development and this individual actually had a very difficult time first getting the funding to study cannabis period because in order to get funding for Schedule one narcotic you actually have to try and prove something negative so you have to - so like oh we think that prenatal development smoking pot during pregnancy is going to cause problems down the road yeah okay we'll give you that funding if you're like oh no you think it's gonna do good things right yeah um but during this process her first he had a really hard time getting the grant and when he finally got the grant he actually was trying to just get the flower because that's what people use you know they're not smoking para hexyl but when he there was so much paperwork involved and roadblocks that he actually had to switch to a synthetic form of THC because it was too difficult to actually acquire that and so not only is it like in a laboratory setting there is that consistency in quality control that they won to actually you know schedule that research but also there's so many roadblocks to even acquire that plant material that it's almost not worth it for the researcher to continue so does that answer your question I didn't know any other questions alright cool well I've got some business cards up here if you owe money as well stickers thanks for coming out guys [Applause]