Why Did Pot Become Illegal?

Michael Krawitz reviews the historical record:

According to Dale Gieringer the very first anti marijuana law was passed in California in 1913. Dr. Gieringer reports that testimony that led up to the ban included this statement from a California pharmacy official: “Within the last year we in California have been getting a large influx of Hindoos and they have in turn started quite a demand for cannabis indica; they are a very undesirable lot and the habit is growing in California very fast…”

Anti-immigrant sentiment may have started the ball rolling, but it wasn’t long until marijuana was seen as a useful weapon to put the genie of African American civil rights back into its bottle. The well-established industry that provided cannabis as medicine was sufficient to keep cannabis out of the first federal drug prohibition law, the 1914 Harrison Act, but the industry apparently had no fight left in it when, after alcohol Prohibition, federal authorities turned their attention toward cannabis