Sophie’s worth it

drug tradePeter Day, Assistant Priest at Queanbeyan in the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn, finds the prohibition approach to drugs is not working as it targets the poor and disadvantaged while the drug runners benefit. 

Harry Anslinger’s dream to rid the world of drugs was given legs in 1930 when he was appointed the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

He was a brilliant bureaucrat with a grand vision underpinned by prohibition; a man who single-handedly turned a marginalised, underfunded Bureau into an uncompromising and powerful war machine.

But, as Johann Hari reveals in his compelling book Chasing the Scream – the first and last days of the war on drugs, Anslinger was also a zealot and racist: “The most frightening aspect of marijuana, [Anslinger] warned, was on blacks. It made them forget the appropriate racial barriers – and unleashed their lust for white women.”

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