HALL OF CONSPIRACY

THE MEN WHO CONSPIRED
TO MAKE HEMP ILLEGAL

Public Enemy #1

- Harry J. Anslinger -
Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
(predecessor to the DEA)
ON FAR LEFT

Harry Anslinger was largely responsible for the prohibition era war on the cannabis plant. Along with the Hearst newspaper chain, Anslinger spread horrifying stories of rape and murder by "negroes, mexicans and orientals" who were supposedly under the influence of the terrible drug "marihuana". These manufactured stories came mostly from the infamous "yellow journalism" of the Hearst Newspaper Chain. Anslinger was the nephew in law of Andrew Mellon, the Secretary of the Treasury, owner of Gulf Oil and the richest man in America. Mellon used his influence to get his nephew appointed to his position as head of the newly formed FBN. In addition Mellon owned Mellon Bank and loaned Lammont Du Pont large sums of money to help finance his growing pertochemical business.



William Randolf Hearst and Lammont Dupont

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.


Andrew Mellon - Secretary of the Treasury