How Money, Power, and Attention Addicts Criminalized Pot for Fame and Fortune

by Charles Lyell on January 20, 2014

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, 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.” – Harry J. Anslinger

In 1937 Federal agent Harry J. Anslinger hoodwinked a credulous congressional committee by attacking an expert witness who challenged his flimsy deceptions. Indifferent to the ramifications of their heedlessness, the derelict legislators rubber stamped a bill that made marijuana illegal at the federal level. In doing so they rewarded a destructive scamster with abusive powers to persecute, prosecute, and destroy the lives of harmless pot smokers.

The widespread use, criminalization, and decriminalization of marijuana provide valuable insights into neurocentrism, a behavioral model that links everything we do or don’t do to maintaining dopamine flow. For example, despite the threat of criminal prosecution, grass is the world’s most popular illegal drug for a very simple reason — the threat to dopamine flow posed by getting arrested is overpowered by the dopamine triggered by a cheap weed.

Coincidentally, marijuana is illegal because influential addicts (who used safety, power, money, attention, and status to trigger the powerful neurotransmitter) conspired to maintain their dopamine flow.

Harry J. Anslinger was a failed prohibitionist hopelessly addicted to power and attention. As is often the case with addicts, Anslinger’s pathological lying was both a symptom of his disease and the key to his success. Employing lessons learned during prohibition, the crusading opportunist set out to make a name for himself by railing against the evils of drugs. In truth, the only drug Agent Evil cared about was a neurotransmitter he manufactured in his brain with expectations of returning to the good old days. Desperate to feed insatiable dopamine needs, Harry zeroed in on an herb that offered the perfect bogeymen plus a shortcut back to the headlines and power he craved.

In a rational country, Anslinger’s depravity would have landed him in rehab or jail. In a country controlled by safety, power, attention, status, and money addicts, the driven reprobate was promoted to head the newly formed Bureau of Narcotics.

When Harry Met Willy

The world’s first drug czar was assisted by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, an equally maniacal money, safety, power, and status addict. Hearst signed on because his dopamine flow was threatened by an irrational hatred of Mexicans, compounded by rational fears of low-cost hemp competing with his profitable logging interests. As an added inducement, wily Willy was a crafty self-medicator who boosted his dopamine flow by crafting circulation boosting headlines about pot fiends. The trick was to titillate the dopamine flow of racists, bigots, and other safety addicts who couldn’t get enough fairy tales about marijuana turning Mexicans and blacks into rapists, madmen, and killers.

While Willy roused the rabble, Harry used their fictitious crisis to manipulate the dopamine flow of power, attention, and esteem addicts in congress. Politicians’ dopamine flow is triggered by expectations of winning elections (by manipulating voters’ dopamine flow) and threatened by fears of losing elections.

After doing his part to criminalize grass, Anslinger expanded his propaganda campaign to poison the public’s perception about marijuana. By the time he was done, safety addicts, who didn’t know anything about cannabis, were convinced marijuana was a genuine menace and posed a grave threat to law abiding citizens.


For logically illogical reasons, marijuana remained illegal long after Anslinger was exposed as a fraud. Down through the years, criminalization provided an arsenal of weapons to dishonest safety, power, esteem, and booze addicts whose dopamine flow was threatened by minority groups, protesters, hippies, and popular entertainers. For decades, savvy politicians watched honest candidates, who didn’t denounce decriminalization, get trounced by tough-on-crime hypocrites. With the law on their side, paranoid warmongers were free to berate, negate, and incarcerate pacifists whose only crime was using a weed (instead of alcohol, safety, power, attention, status, money, or religion) to score dopamine squirts in their brains.

Recently, referendums to decriminalize the popular herb were opposed by alcohol distributors and for-profit prisons, along with guard and police unions. As expected, business and union leaders insisted they were rightfully protecting workers’ jobs and shareholders’ profits when the only thing the money and power addicts cared about was protecting dopamine flow by protecting their jobs.

The more things change…

Ironically, the current push to legalize marijuana is being championed by addicts who use money, power, status, and (sometimes) pot to trigger dopamine.

Investors Dump Money Into Legal Weed Businesses Colorado Marijuana Industry Gets $1 Million From Investor Group: It’s ‘The Next Great American Industry’

In the past, lobbyists (money addicts) pimping for casino bosses (money and power addicts exploiting alcohol, food, sex, and gambling addicts) seduced governors (power, attention, and status addicts) to sponsor legislation that legalized gambling. Today, lobbyists are using the same formula to win desperate governors’ hearts and minds (bribes + balanced budgets = reelections = dopamine) to legalize marijuana.


Part II: How Honesty and Low-Cost Legal THC Will Transform Human Consciousness


One Response to “How Money, Power, and Attention Addicts Criminalized Pot for Fame and Fortune”

  1. Unpredictable is the key — Dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability. When something happens that is not exactly predictable, that stimulates the dopamine system. Think about these electronic gadgets and devices. Our emails and twitters and texts show up, but we don’t know exactly when they will or who they will be from. It’s unpredictable. This is exactly what stimulates the dopamine system. It’s the same system at work for gambling and slot machines. (For those of you reading this who are “old school” psychologists, you may remember “variable reinforcement schedules”. Dopamine is involved in variable reinforcement schedules. This is why these are so powerful).

    Posted by Tanya Pruitt | January 25, 2014, 5:19 am

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