Letters: Wild and outlandish claims

Marijuana prohibition debate continues to draw responses

Although there was no evidence of a problem of marijuana use in Canada in 1923, its inclusion in the Opium and Drug Act may have been influenced by the writings of Emily Murphy, a crusading Edmonton, Alberta magistrate. In 1920 she published a series of sensational and racist articles in McLean’s magazine on the horrible effects of drug use and the deliberate debauching of the young by evil, often alien, traffickers.

The articles were later expanded into a book, The Black Candle, published in 1922. Her views on marijuana were derived mainly from correspondence with U.S. enforcement officials.

She quotes, for example, the Chief of Los Angeles Police Department:  “Persons using this narcotic (marihuana) smoke the dried leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its   influence, are immune to pain, and could be injured without having any realization of their condition.

“While in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility… If this drug is indulged in to any great extent, it ends in the untimely death of its addict.”

There was absolutely no truth to any of those wild and outlandish claims. It was in this climate of irrational fear that the criminal sanctions against marijuana were enacted.

And see who is continuing this ongoing propoganda… Cpl. Scott Hilderley.

Do you see the connection? Wake up and smell the flowers!

Michael D. Ethier

Cache Bay, Ont.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

Saanich explores options for adding shelters to parks

Covered areas would encourage safe outdoor socializing during rainy season

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Most Read