Public Enemy #1
- Harry J. Anslinger -
Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
(predecessor to the DEA)
ON FAR LEFT
In the 1920's the Du Pont company developed and patented fuel additives such as tetraethyl lead, as well as the sulfate and sulfite processes for manufacture of pulp paper and numerous new synthetic products such as nylon, cellophane, and other plastics. At the same time other companies were developing synthetic products from renewable biomass resources--especially hemp. The hemp decorticator promised to eliminate much of the need for wood-pulp paper, thus threatening to drastically reduce the value of the vast timberlands still owned by Hearst. Ford and other companies were already promising to make every product from cannabis carbohydrates that was currently currently being made from petroleum hydrocarbons. In response, from 1935 to 1937, Du Pont lobbied the chief counsel of the Treasury Department, Herman Oliphant, for the prohibition of cannabis, assuring him that Du Pont's synthetic petrochemicals (such as urethane) could replace hemp seed oil in the marketplace.
William Randolf Hearst hated minorities, and he used his chain of newspapers to aggravate racial tensions at every opportunity. Hearst especially hated Mexicans. Hearst papers portrayed Mexicans as lazy, degenerate, and violent, and as marijuana smokers and job stealers. The real motive behind this prejudice may well have been that Hearst had lost 800,000 acres of prime timberland to the rebel Pancho Villa, suggesting that Hearst's racism was fueled by Mexican threat to his empire.