Article review-Assassin of Youth

read the article and summarize the authors argument with the evidence offered and your reaction towards it.Assassin of Youth Hurry J. Anslinger and I Courtney Ryley CooperIn the 1930s, Hany J. Anslinger was appointed Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Nar- cotics. The following article is one of many that he wrote describing marijuana as a ?Fran- kenstein? drug that was stalking American youth. As a result of Anslinger?s crusade, on August 2, 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was signed into law, classifying the scraggly tramp of the vegetable world as a narcotic and placing it under essentially the same controls as the Hawison Act had done with opium and coca products.!IrThe sprawled body of a young girl lay crushed on the sidewalk the other day after a plunge from the fifth story of a Chicago apartment house. Everyone called it suicide, but actually it was murder. The killer was a narcotic known to America as marijuana, and to history as hashish. It is a narcotic used in the form of cigarettes, comparatively new to the United States and as dangerous as a coiled rattlesnake. How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries, and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can be only conjectured. The sweeping march of its addiction has been so insidious that, in nu- merous communities, it thrives almost un- molested largely because of official ignorance of its effects.?Here indeed is the unknown quantity among narcotics. No one can predict its ef- fect. No one knows, when he places a mari- juana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a philosopher, a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm phi- losopher, or a murderer. That youth has been selected by the ped- dlers of this poison as an especially fertile field makes it a problem of serious concern to every man and woman in America. There was the young girl, for instance, who leaped to her death. Her story is typical. Some time before, this girl, like others of her age who attend our high schools, had heard the whispering of a secret which has gone the rounds of American youth. It promised a new thrill, the smoking of a type of cigarette which contained a ?real kick.? According to the whispers, this cigarette could accom- plish wonderful reactions and with no harm- ful aftereffects. So the adventurous girl and a group of her friends gathered in an apart- ment, thrilled with the idea of doing ?some- thing different? in which there was ?no harm.? Then a friend produced a few ciga- rettes of the loosely rolled ?homemade? type. They were passed from one to another of the young people, each taking a few puffs. The results were weird. Some of the party went into paroxysms of laughter; every re- mark, no matter how silly, seemed excruciat- ingly funny. Others of medimre musical ability became almost expert; the piano dinned constantly. Still others found them- selves Discuss (check for the help you need)ing weighty problems of youth with remarkable clarity. As one youngster expressed it, he ?could see through stone walls.? The girl danced without fatigue, and the night of unexplainable exhilaration seemed to stretch out as though it were a year long. Time, conscience, or conse- quences became too trivial for consider- ation. Other parties followed, in which inhibi- tions vanished, conventional barriers de- parted, all at the command of this strange cigarette with its ropy, resinous odor. Finally there came a gathering at a time when the girl was behind in her studies and greatly worried. With every puff of the smoke the feeling of despondency lessened. Everything89ill90 Part 111: + Marijuanawas going to be all right-at last. The girl was ?floating? now, a term given to marijuana in- toxication. Suddenly, in the midst of laugh- ter and dancing, she thought of her school problems. Instantly they were solved. With- out hesitancy she walked to a window and leaped to her death. Thus can marijuana ?solve? one?s difficulties. The cigarettes may have been sold by a hot tamale vendor or by a street peddler, or in a dance hall or over a lunch counter, or even from sources much nearer to the customer. The police of a Midwestern city recently ac- cused a school janitor of having conspired with four other men, not only to peddle ciga- rettes to children, but even to furnish apart- ments where smoking parties might be held. A Chicago mother, watching her daughter die as an indirect result of marijuana addic- tion, told officers that at least fifty of the girl?s young friends were slaves to the nar- cotic. This means fifty unpredictables. They may cease its use; that is not so difficult as with some narcotics. They may continue ad- diction until they deteriorate mentally and become insane. Or they may turn to violent forms of crime, to suicide or to murder, Mar- ijuana gives few warnings of what it intends to do to the human brain. The menace of marijuana addiction is comparatively new to America. In 193 1, the marijuana file of the United States Narcotic Bureau was less than two inches thick, while today the reports crowd many large cabi- nets. Marijuana is a weed of the Indian hemp family, known in Asia as Cannabis Indica and in America as Cannabis Sativa. Almost everyone who has spent much time in rural communities has seen it, for it is cultivated in practically every state. Growing plants by the thousands were destroyed by law-en- forcement officers last year in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, and the attack on the weed is only beginning. It was an unprovoked crime some years ago which brought the first realization that the age-old drug had gained a foothold in America. An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughter-house. With an ax he had killed his father, his mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze. ?I?ve had a terrible dream,? he said. ?Peo- ple tried to hack off my arms!? ?Who were they?? an officer asked. ?I don?t know. Maybe one was my uncle. They slashed me with knives and I saw blood dripping from an ax.? He had no recollection of having commit- ted the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called ?muggles,? a childish name for marijuana. Since that tragedy there has been a race between the spread of marijuana and its sup- pression. Unhappily, so far, marijuana has won by many lengths. The years 1935 and 1936 saw its most rapid growth in traffic. But at least we now know what we are facing. We know its history, its effects, and its poten- tial victims. Perhaps with the spread of this knowledge the public may be aroused suffi- ciently to conquer the menace. Every parent owes it to his children to tell them of the ter- rible effects of marijuana to offset the entic- ing ?private information? which these youths may have received. There must be constant enforcement and equally constant education against this enemy, which has a record of murder and terror running through the centuries. The weed was known to the ancient Greeks and it is mentioned in Homer?s Odys- szy. Homer wrote that it made men forget their homes and turned them into swine. An- cient Egyptians used it. In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose his- tory is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason. The members were confirmed users of hashish, or marijuana, and it is from the Arabic ?7zashshashin? that we have the English word ?assassin.? Even the term ?running amok relates to the drug, for the expression has been used to describe natives of the Malay Peninsula who, under the influence of hashish, engage in violent and bloody deeds.; Marijuana was States from Mexic ica with incredibl It began with tE the Southwest tll form miracles foi ing them a feelin mental power, st tion, the ability t The peddlers pre: pabilities as a ?lc adventurous, beg? and found some that this was on17 not told that addi lirious rage durii rarily and violent i may take the foi struction or a per. isfied only by t heinous crime. It would be we cers everywhere I hind cases of c During the last ye hanged in Baltim a ten-year old gir was temporarily i juana. In Alamos tally attacked a J influence of the c juana-smoking b( In at least two recent cases of mi tacks, many of th marijuana pro1 cause. Perhaps desperado in Mic ago, caused a reicg burglaries and hc prison for life aft state policemz handcuffing him I box. This young fiend. Asixteen-year ( ifornia for burg12 marijuana he had on the way to st: hended. Then th old addict in Col police respondec1935 and n traffic. re facing. its poten- :ad of this sed suffi- ?ry parent of the ter- the entic- Ich these e must be v constant hich has a i? running:e ancient ner?s Odys- men forget 3 swine. An- year 1090, 2ligious and whose his- ind murder, rnbers were marijuana, hashin? that assin.? Even s to the drug, d to describe I who, under ige in violent: Marijuana was introduced into the United States from Mexico, and swept across Amer- ica with incredible speed. It began with the whispering of vendors in the Southwest that marijuana would per- ??- form miracles for those who smoked it, giv- ing them a feeling of physical strength and mental power, stimulation of the imagina- tion, the ability to be ?the life of the party.? The peddlers preached also of the weeds ca- pabilities as a ?love potion.? Youth, always adventurous, began to look into these claims ad found some of them true, not knowing that this was only half the story. They were not told that addicts may often develop a de- lirious rage during which they are tempo- rarily and violently insane; that this insanity may take the form of a desire for self-de- struction or a persecution complex to be sat- isfied only by the commission of some heinous crime. It would be well for law-enforcement offi- cers everywhere to search for marijuana be- hind cases of criminal and sex assault. During the last year a young male addict was hanged in Baltimore for criminal assault on a ten-year old girl. His defense was that he was temporarily insane from smoking mari- juana. In Alamosa, Colo., a degenerate bru- tally attacked a young girl while under the influence of the drug. In Chicago, two mari- juana-smoking boys murdered a policeman. In at least two dozen other comparatively recent cases of murder or degenerate sex at- tacks, many of them committed by youths, marijuana proved to be a contributing cause. Perhaps you remember the young desperado in Michigan who, a few months ago, caused a reign of terror by his career of burglaries and holdups, finally to be sent to prison for life after kidnapping a Michigan state policeman, killing him, then handcuffing him to the post of a rural mail- box. This young bandit was a marijuana fiend. A sixteen-year old boy was arrested in Cal- ifornia for burglary. Under the influence of marijuana he had stolen a revolver and was on the way to stage a holdup when appre- hended. Then there was the nineteen-year old addict in Columbus, Ohio, who, when police responded to a disturbance com-Marijuana: Assassin of Youth 91plaint, opened fire upon an officer, wound- ing him three times, and was himself killed by the returning fire of the police. In Ohio a gang of seven young men, all less than twenty years old, had been caught after a se- ries of 38 holdups. An officer asked them where they got their incentive. ?We only work when we?re high on ?tea,? ? one explained. ?On what?? ?On tea. Oh, there are lots of names for it. Some people call it ?mu? or ?muggles? or ?Mary Weaver? or ?moocah? or ?weed or ?reefers?- there?s a million names for it.? ?All of which mean marijuana?? ??Sure. Us kids got on to it in high school three or four years ago; there must have been twenty-five or thirty of us who started smok- ing it. The stuff was cheaper then; you could buy a whole tobacco tin of it for fifty cents. Now these peddlers will charge you all they can get, depending on how shaky you are. Usually though, it?s two cigarettes for a quar- ter.? This boy?s casual story of procurement of the drug was typical of conditions in many cities in America. He told of buying the ciga- rettes in dance halls, from the owners of small hamburger joints, from peddlers who appeared near high schools at dismissal time. Then there were the ?booth joints? or Bar-B-Q stands, where one might obtain a cigarette and a sandwich for a quarter, and there were the shabby apartments of women who provided not only the cigarettes but rooms in which girls and boys might smoke them. ?But after you get the habit,? the boy added, ?you don?t bother much about find- ing a place to smoke. I?ve seen as many as three or four high school kids jam into a tele- phone booth and take a few drags.? The officer questioned him about the gang?s crimes: ?Remember that filling-sta- tion attendant you robbed-how you threat- ened to beat his brains out?? The youth thought hard. ?I?ve got a sort of hazy recollection,? he answered. ?I?m not trying to say I wasn?t there, you understand. 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