Editor’s note: Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Users report that marijuana has a relaxing aphrodisiac effect, and its use increases sexual pleasure. The black jazz “reefer music” of the 1930s was in large part inspired by marijuana.
This cultural mix of marijuana, white people liking jazz music and sex all conflicted with the morality of prohibitionists in the 1930s.
How did “male vs. male” sexual competition unconsciously drive marijuana prohibition 75 years ago, leading to the present failed war on marijuana?
This is a historical (circa 1937) psychological deconstruction of the unconscious sexual rationales behind making cannabis — rebranded as evil “marijuana” — illegal.
By examining the marijuana propaganda artwork and “reefer music” of the era through the perspective of evolutionary psychology, a picture of this “sexual threat” emerges.
Besides the known historical reasons for marijuana prohibition driven by the Hearst and DuPont families protecting their private wealth, see “The Men Who Made Weed Illegal.”
An unconscious sexual competition was also taking place between these few white males of privilege and power, which spearheaded the anti-marijuana propaganda and their sexual fear of black males using marijuana to seduce and “mate with” white women.
They perceived that marijuana gave these males an unfair evolutionary advantage, and punishment took the form of prohibition: the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
The early black jazz musicians of the 1920s and 1930s blended their love of marijuana with sexuality. This music broke through the color barrier, and was enjoyed by both white and black audiences. Marijuana was the driving force for jazz, and it was the fear of the mixing of these races that drove the white elite.
In the 1930s the unconscious fear was that marijuana was being used as a “date rape” drug that nonwhite males used to seduce white women, giving these “out-group” males access and an unfair evolutionary advantage to spread their genes instead of those of white males.
In addition, it was feared that marijuana would make white women want to seek out males of color and want to have sex! In the 1930s, no real form of birth control existed, and people were uneducated in the biology of their bodies.
These unconscious sexual fears were the driving force that fueled prohibition. The origins of marijuana prohibition started as a racist law to punish these nonwhite groups.
Marijuana today is against the law due to an inferiority complex that elite white males had in the past against black males in competition for females. To that end they socially engineered their racist views into laws. (See “Cannabis History: How Marijuana Got Illegal.”)
The key point is that repressive males who were able to get such a rule passed would, as a consequence, do better in the fitness stakes. Thus, repressive minds are designed to find such rules appealing.
Imagine that! The whole failed war on marijuana for the last 75 years was caused because a few wealthy white guys were afraid that smoking cannabis would turn white women into sex addicts seeking sex with dark-skinned races!
The racist origin of prohibition makes the present-day laws against marijuana null and void.
The public record statements from the period by Harry Anslinger and the Hearst newspapers reveal this hidden sexual competition and agenda. Here’s how they perceived the sexual marijuana menace:
”There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
“The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
“Colored students at the University of Minnesota partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy.”
“Two Negroes took a girl 14 years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.”
“In at least two dozen comparatively recent cases of murder or degenerate sex attacks, marijuana proved to be a contributing cause.”
”You can crush a man (or people) with journalism.” ~ William Randolph Hearst
“Marijuana influences Negroes to look White people in the eye, step on a White man’s shadow and look at a White woman twice.” ~ Hearst newspaper
“It happened in Colorado. In August, 1936, in Colorado a sex-mad degenerate brutally attacked a young girl. He was convicted of assault with intent to rape, and was sentenced to 10 to 14 years in the state penitentiary. Police officers knew definitely that the man was under the influence of marijuana. It was stated by a resident aug the time that this was one case in hundreds of murders, rapes, petty crimes, and insanity that have occurred in southern Colorado in recent years because of marijuana.” ~ Hearst newspaper
Satanic music…? White women seeking sex with Negroes…? “Degenerate races”…? Not as good as white men…? Interracial marijuana rapes…? Interracial pregnancies…?
Music and culture are the same thing. To call the music of a culture “satanic” is to call their culture evil and in need of control.
And who were the racists who made marijuana illegal? Some background:
The ignorance of the two racists below is the number one reason people, mostly African-American and Hispanic males, are still being imprisoned for possession of a plant!
Assassin of Youth, the 1937 movie inspired by Harry Anslinger, like Reefer Madness, is important, because it shows side by side how elite white people believed what went on when people smoked marijuana vs. the joy of watching Cab Calloway perform live at the Cotton Club.The film’s title refers to an article of the same year by U.S. drug czar Harry J. Anslinger that appeared in The American Magazine and was reprinted in Reader’s Digest in 1938. The movie’s tone echoes those of Anslinger’s cautionary tales.
This Reader’s Digest story quotes the lines from Cab Calloway’s song “Reefer Man.” This story shows Anslinger was thinking about the young Cab Calloway as a threat to his manhood.
Anslinger is the person responsible for rebranding the word cannabis as “marijuana,” a racially charged word that rebranded cannabis as an “evil Mexican drug.”
The prohibitionists deliberately used a Mexican name for cannabis in order to turn the U.S. populace against the idea that it should be legal, by playing to negative attitudes toward that ethnicity.
William Randolph Hearst was a racist who hated minorities, particularly Mexicans, both native-born and immigrants. He frequently used his newspaper chain to stir up racial tensions.
Hearst’s newspapers portrayed Mexicans as lazy, degenerate and violent marijuana-smokers who stole jobs from “real Americans.”
Hearst’s hatred of Mexicans and his hyping of the “Mexican threat” to America likely was rooted in the 800,000 acres of timberland that had been confiscated from him by Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.
The Hearst papers carried paid-for columns by both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, rationalizing his relationship with the two men as one of “helping to fight Communism.”
However, during a continental tour Hearst actually attended the Nuremberg rally of 1934. He later completed a newsreel deal with Hitler during the trip!
Interracial relationships and interracial sex were still illegal in the United States from 1913 until 1948. Thirty out of the then 48 states enforced such laws. It took the Supreme Court until 1967, with a unanimous ruling in Loving v. Virginia, to determine that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.Interracial sex, circa 1937, is against the law in most places in the U.S. Being pregnant with an interracial baby was seen as an act of betrayal against your in-group, and white males felt they needed to stop this from happening. All of these sexual fears of elite white males were projected onto marijuana. If they could make marijuana illegal, it would supposedly shut down this sexual threat.
And who was the 1937 black star who was the model for stealing white women by using the reefer music that Hearst and Anslinger feared?
Cab Calloway — that funny, funny Reefer Man!
Evolutionary psychology holds that males need to display their good genes to a female in order for the female to want to choose him as her mate — just as peacocks show off their plumage to attract a peahen.
Calloway showed off his good genes through risqué singing, dancing, charisma and fashion, as can be see in this video:
This song is from the movie International House , a comedy that was produced in the days before the production code fully controlled filmmaking, and is notable for the kind of risqué humor associated with pre-code Hollywood. In “Reefer Man,” moreover, bass player Al Morgan performs as if in a trance and Calloway sings about him being “high on reefers.”
In 1937 at the Cotton Club in Harlem with his wildly energetic scat singing and recording “Minnie the Moocher,” Cab Calloway was propelled to national cult status.
Cab Calloway: Sketches on PBS American Masters
The Reefer Music of the 1930s had to be controlled, and that struck fear into the hearts of Harry Anslinger and Randolph Hearst.
The large number of songs glorifying marijuana use in the decade leading up to cannabis prohibition shows what a large part marijuana played in black culture and music.
These songs are still good listening when in the flow.
Now, find the person you love and enjoy responsibly!
Here, apparently, is a medical plant that appears to give humans an evolutionary edge. It filled Cab Calloway’s heart with joy and the smile of happiness, creativity, energy to dance and sing, the ability to experience and express happiness to others, and yes, a desire to want and enjoy sex — which directly leads to more children and greater reproductive success.
Marijuana is an agent that boosts vitality, quality of life and, I predict, longevity. People have been using this plant for the past 10,000 years. For it to be illegal for the past 75 is an anomaly and it will be changed as people are rapidly becoming aware of the medical uses of this plant. Present prohibition only serves the needs of repressive groups who want to enslave the masses for their own gain — then and now.
The New Orleans-born trumpeter Louis Armstrong first smoked gage or “shuzzit” in his early 20s when he lived in Chicago. “We did call ourselves vipers,” Armstrong explained in Max Jones and John Chilton’s Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story, 1900-1971.
“Which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected gage. That was our cute little name for marijuana, and it was a misdemeanor in those days. Much different from the pressure and charges the law lays on a guy who smokes pot — a later name for the same thing… We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.” ~ Louis Armstrong
In a letter, Armstrong also famously called on President Dwight D. Eisenhower to legalize marijuana.
“It makes you feel good, man,” Armstrong said about marijuana. “[It] makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro. It makes you feel wanted, and when you’re with another tea smoker, it makes you feel a special kinship.”
Editor’s note: Ron Marczyk is a retired high school health eduation teacher who taught Wellness and Disease Prevention, Drug and Sex Ed, and AIDS education to teens aged 13-17.
He also taught a high school International Baccalaureate psychology course. He taught in a New York City public school as a Drug Prevention Specialist.
He is a Registered Nurse with six years of ER/Critical Care experience in NYC hospitals, earned an M.S. in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology, and worked as a New York City police officer for two years.
Currently he is focused on how evolutionary psychology explains human behavior.