Origins of Pot Legalization

A typical headline story in the Bangor Daily News

As a resident of Bangor Maine now, a fair number of my taxi customers use clinics that dispense drugs that help regulate addiction to heroin and opioids that have become standard fare for a population that has been been largely reduced from people that led productive lives in manufacturing, lumbering, or farming to dregs of the post-industrial society which began in the early 1970’s. To get at the origins of where we are today, I thought it wise to see where this came from versus the soft-sell by the Bangor Daily News in their recent “historical” article about marijuana. This is a reprint from the magazine War On Drugs which was published by the Anti-Drug Coalition, a part of the Lyndon LaRouche political movement that was shut down by the Bush/Kissinger governments illegal bankruptcy operations, particularly, the publishing companies run to create and distribute books and pamphlets. Given that the article is from the 1980’s, it doesn’t reflect the increasing role of financiers like British agent George Soros to bankroll the entire drug legalization movement and sponsor numerous state initiatives geared toward legalization.

Why British Aristocrats invented “Decrim” by Karen Steinherz

The idea of “decriminalizing” marijuana and pushing it as a “soft” drug was hatched almost a century ago by the British elite to undermine America’s commitment to progress.

In last November’s issue of High Times, the director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Gordon Brownell, outlined his lobby’s “agenda for the ’80s.” Among NORML’s goals, Brownell listed: “Repeal of all state and federal laws restricting possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use.

“Amending the UN, Single Convention treaty, a set of restrictions on the drug trade , . in order to permit total legalization of marijuana, “The development of marijuana as a cash crop, especially in less developed areas of the world as well as domestically” (emphasis added). In an August issue of the New York Times, Richard Evans, an attorney for the International Cannabis Alliance for Reform (ICAR), called on the next President of the United States to approve a completely legal, “regulated” marijuana market as a way to collect “billions of dollars every year in new revenue.” Evans, who describes himself as a libertarian, hopes taxable pot will soon become the “ripest plum this side of capital gains.”

At first glance, it might come as no surprise to most readers that NORML and ICAR, two of the more prominent components of the “pot lobby,” are espousing legalized marijuana, But on closer inspection we notice that the marijuana lobby is no longer talking about decriminalization, Legalization is now the goal. Previously, for almost a decade, NORML, ICAR, the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT), and similar organizations had been careful in their public pronouncements to emphasize that they did not advocate the consumption of drugs nor its legalization. During that time, we Americans were told by the drug lobby and its apologists in public office that marijuana decriminalization had nothing to do with legalizing the drug, Now the truth is out.

The truth is that decriminalization was a hoax from the beginning. The very idea was designed as merely the first step toward legalized dope. Whether a “decrim” activist spins stories about innocent teenagers getting caught with a joint and being thrown into jail with hardened criminals, or pleads the case of the suffering cancer chemotherapy patient, the fact is that the masterminds behind decriminalization never cared at all about cancer patients, much less the victims of dope retailers.

ICAR, NORML., and their allies have not “changed their line” from decriminalization to legalization; they had their sights on legalizing drugs all along, What we will show below is that the decriminalization hoax was initiated almost 100 years ago as part of a long-term effort to build the myth that marijuana is a “soft” drug. At the same time, it will be seen that the forces behind this “soft” sell are the same circles that built`the world opium and heroin trade in the 19th century: the British East India Company, the most prestigious families of the British oligarchy and their associates, and the top London financial houses, In particular, we will meet the British aristocrat Lady Barbara Wootton and her friends, members of what she calls the “Open Conspiracy,” Wootton, one of the original architects of the marijuana movement internationally, describes frankly how the concept of decriminalization was invented to make marijuana consumption acceptable. The goal of the conspiracy of which she is part is stated straightforwardly: spread mind altering substances throughout the world as a means of maintaining British imperial control over colonized races.

In light of these facts, any attempt to plead that there are “soft” and “hard” drugs is meaningless. The people who first made opium into a worldwide business are the same individuals and institutions that are pushing marijuana. Let the “casual” user of marijuana be advised: regardless of how much he tells himself that marijuana is “soft” and socially “cleaner” and “more acceptable” than other drugs, he might as well try to justify heroin. It’s all the same business.

The Wootton Committee. The first official commission in the world to explicitly recommend the removal of criminal penalties for marijuana possession was a 1968 committee of the British Parliament, chaired by the Baroness Barbara Frances Wootton of Abinger. The Wootton Committee report is the founding document upon which today’s international pot lobby is based. Lady Wootton, a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, may not be well known, but for almost 60 years she has been a key figure in shaping social policies that would turn the United States into a version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World complete with mind-stupefying drugs to pacify the population. Wootton, a disciple of the evil H, G. Wells, a self-avowed agnostic and socialist, and recently a signer of the “Secular Humanist Manifesto,” now sits on the honorary board of the Legalize Cannabis Campaign in England, the British correspondent organization to the American National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Both of these organizations were built around the recommendations of the 1968 Wootton Committee which said: “Some of our witnesses argued that possession of cannabis should be legalised at once. Most of us felt that the uncertainties just mentioned ruled this out in the near future. , . , [But] those of us who did not wish, to rule out the possibility of eventual legalisation agreed that this could not be introduced before an exhaustive study of the problems of transition and of the necessary safeguards have been made. We do not entirely rule out that properly organized research may one day produce information which could justify further consideration of the practical problems of legalisation. The Wootton Committee did recommend two points which have become the rallying call for the pot lobby since that time, and which would “till the gap” until the case could be made for legalization: “The association in legislation of cannabis with heroin and the other opiates is inappropriate and new legislation to deal specifically and separately with cannabis and its derivatives should be introduced as soon as possible …. Possession of a small amount of cannabis should not be normally regarded as a serious crime to be punished by imprisonment.”

These “findings” led directly to the birth of the pot lobby worldwide in the 1970s. The center of this network is the International Cannabis Alliance for Reform, whose members include the U.S. based NORML, the British Legalise Cannabis Campaign (LCC), the tiny West German Initiative for Hashish Legalization (InHaLe); the Italian Radical Party, and smaller groups from the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan.

In December 1979 ICAR held its first international conference in Amsterdam, Holland to launch its coordinated campaign for the next several years. That campaign hopes to break the international law against marijuana the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations, an agreement among nations that prohibits the growing of marijuana anywhere in the world, and which requires that individual countries maintain criminal laws against the use and sale of marijuana and its derivatives, like hashish, within their borders. In its statement of policy, ICAR of the Company, about claims that “the prohibition of cannabis constitutes an infringement of human rights and should be abolished … that cannabis should be removed from the 1961 Single Convention… that those imprisoned under cannabis prohibition laws should be freed immediately and unconditionally…. that no country or its agencies should promote the enactment or enforcement of prohibiting legislation in any other countries,” ICAR already has the open support of international marijuana traffickers, whose “human rights” ICAR is defending. Among the financial backers of the first, international conference of ICAR, which for the first time brought together the pot lobbies of about ten countries, was the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, a bizarre “People’s Temple” style cult which uses ganja (the Jamaican and lndian term for marijuana) in its religious cult rituals.

The Coptic cult, based in Miami, Florida and Jamaica, has been identified by law enforcement officials as one of the largest marijuana producing and trafficking organizations of Jamaican marijuana into the United States. Last year, the Daily Gleaner, Jamaica’s largest daily newspaper, reported that the Coptic cult has marijuana plantations in Jamaica that are among the most highly mechanized farms in the nation. Last October, several heavily armed commandos from the Coptic cult gunned down Jamaican police who were attempting to seize an airplane laden with marijuana on land owned by the Coptic cult. In the United States, the group has been busted on several occasions in Florida for massive stocks of marijuana. Their lawyer is pro-terrorist former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a member of the advisory board of NORML.

In spite of its avowed goal of busting up one of the United Nations’s most important international agreements, ICAR has been granted observer status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), allowing ICAR to attend all U.N. conferences on narcotics abuse and control. On May 30, 1980 ICAR applied for status as a Non-Governmental Organization, which would also make ICAR eligible for very lucrative research contracts with the United Nations.

Why decrim was invented According to spokesmen for NORML, the legalization policy of the drug lobby is based on the “India model,” an elaborate tax system which was imposed on the population of India by the British in 1895, the height of the era when “the sun never set on the British Empire.”

A brief description of the history of how the British Empire used drugs to subjugate populations, and how the international law against cannabis came into effect will make it clear that the impetus behind prohibiting psychotropic drugs was a desire for progress. The countries which fought to outlaw dope recognized that if there were to be progress in a nation, there could not be rampant drug usage. The reverse is just as true: if there is widespread addiction and use of hashish, opium, or heroin, the population of a nation will not be fit to develop the industry and economic and cultural well being of that nation.

In 1893, the British Parliament commissioned what turned into a nine volume study on hemp (marijuana) growing in India, then a British colony. The India Hemp Commission Report, which took more than two years to compile, was an elaborate justification of an extensive hemp tax system and the continued, subjugation of the coolie population by encouraging their use of ganja.

In the same way that the British used the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century to turn China into a drugged nation incapable of acting in its own interest, the legalization of ganja was a convenient method of suppressing the population of India. The Commission report, which is currently being held up as a model legalization argument by NORML, was the first comprehensive study of cannabis use, and recommended that cannabis not be prohibited.

The testimony of the pro-marijuana witnesses, many of them plantation owners and tax collectors, aptly illustrates the cynical thinking behind the legalization of mind-stupefying drugs: Mr. John Phillips, tea planter, witness for the report: “I advocate no prohibition on ganja… If prohibited, the health of our coolies would suffer, their lives would be sacrificed, and of course, discontent would ensue.” Rev. J. P. Jones, an Anglican missionary, Sylhet, witness for the report: “I have heard of men giving a few piece to buy ganja for boatmen and others where they require a little extra work from them.” Deputy Commissioner of the Port Akyar, witness for the report: “It [ganja] is now brought in by the crew of the British India Steam Navigation Company,” Mr. Skinner, manager, Gogra Tea Company, Tezpur, Darrang, India, witness for the report: “The castes who use it most are Yoosoahe from Gaya, bricklayers from Calcutta, and of the jungle caste such as the Munhas and Sonthals. I cannot see any harm in the use of the drug. All of those who appear to use it are good, quiet and willing coolies, with no deleterious effects . . .”

During the first half of this century it was far from secret that the United Kingdom officially ran the international traffic of opium and marijuana, with varying degrees of discretion, The problems caused by this drug running were so acute that two International Opium Conferences, in 1912 and in 1924, were held in The Hague, Netherlands to force London to adhere to curbs on drug production.

In both instances, the British openly pronounced themselves in favor of “free trade” for opium and cannabis. At the 1912 conference, which declared a ban on opium production, the assembled nations demanded a study be done of India hemp “with the object of regulating its abuses, should the necessity therefore be felt, by internal legislation or by an international agreement.” Over the next decade and a half, substantial international pressure, particularly by Middle East and African countries whose populations showed the effects of serious abuse of both opium and hashish, came up again and again against the designs of the British Empire. The Second Opium Conference was held under the auspices of the League of Nations, and included countries which had been signatories to the 1912 agreement. At this convention, which was designed primarily to adopt measures that could enforce the opium ban, the Egyptian delegation, supported by the Turks, submitted a proposal that hashish be included in the list of narcotics the conference had to deal with, and that all other “noxious” drugs come under the convention.

As expected, the British delegation made every effort to divert the outrage about marijuana into an investigation that would be a repeat of the 1895 India Hemp Commission Report, but the British proposal was summarily rejected. In 1925 a committee comprised of doctors, professors, and administrators and ministers from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States reported in favor of complete prohibition of the production and use of cannabis resin, Three members of the committee abstained: Great Britain, the Netherlands (Whose Dutch East India Company ran a Far East dope traffic comparable to the British East India Company), and India itself.

Despite the British dominated objections, the overwhelming opinion of the nations that were trying to curtail the devastating effects of cannabis addiction in their populations prevailed. On Feb. 19, 1925, the following measures were adopted as part of the 14th Opium Convention of the League of Nations:

1) To impose international control over the preparation of extracts and tinctures of India hemp; 2) to impose import/export control over Indian hemp; 3) to prohibit the export of hemp resin and its products (hashish and other derivatives) to countries which have prohibited their use, and special import certificate requirements for export destined for medical or scientific application; 4) to exercise an effective control of such a nature as to prevent the illicit international traffic in Indian hemp, and especially in the resin.

This international law against marijuana, despite frequent challenges by the vestiges of the British ruling circles, has been in effect since the 1925 Convention. In 1961, a Plenipotentiary Conference for the Adoption of a Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, held under the auspices of the United Nations, reaffirmed the restrictions on the growing and trafficking in cannabis.

In 1968, once again the UN. Narcotics Commission had to take up the question of cannabis restrictions. The consensus of the world community was once again to stop the spread of marijuana. The report of the 1968 Commission directly took on the growing propaganda that marijuana was not harmful, stating: “Noting that considerable publicity has been given to unauthoritative statements minimizing the harmful effects of cannabis and advocating that its use be permitted for non-medical purposes, “Recognizing that cannabis is known inter alia to distort perception of time and space, modify mood and impair judgment, which may result in unpredictable behavior, violence, and adverse effects on health, and that it may be associated with the abuse of other drugs such as LSD, stimulants and heroin, [the Commission] “1) recommends that all countries concerned increase their efforts to eradicate the abuse and illicit traffic in cannabis; [and] “2) that governments should promote research and advance additional medical and sociological information regarding cannabis, and effectively deal with publicity which advocates legalization or tolerance of the non-medical use of cannabis as a harmless drug.”‘

The role of Lady Wootton

In 1968, the Wootton Committee report on cannabis marked the beginning of a declaration of war on the medical and sociological research community which had continually reafirmed the international consensus that marijuana must be outlawed as a harmful drug. It is no coincidence that the Wootton Committee report favoring marijuana legalization appeared only several months following the aforementioned statement by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Over the next ten years, members of the Wootton Committee, including Lady Wootton herself, were deployed to Canada, the United States, and to the United Nations, to create a new volume of “properly conducted research” that would support the pot lobby’s commitment to legalize dope.

The central argument behind the Wootton Commissions soft line on cannabis is that marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs had become drugs of “recreation and conviviality.” ‘I support this idea, there first had to be widespread drug proliferation, As documented previously in a War on Drugs feature, “MK-Ultra Is Alive and Out to Destroy Your Mind” (Vol. I No, 1), the drug counterculture was created by top British intelligence operatives like Aldous Huxley; Huxley’s family doctor, Sir Humphrey Osmond, who became a leading experimenter in the uses of LSD-25 for mind control with U_S. intelligence services in project MK-Ultra; and their proteges like Dr. Timothy Leary, whose association with Huxley in the early 1960s led directly to Leary‘s “turn on, tune in, and drop out” cry for creating the drug counterculture_

Project MK-Ultra was directed, through these operatives, out of British intelligence’s psychological warfare center, the London Tavistock Institute. The significance of Lady Wootton is that she, like Aldous Huxley, was a trainee of a circle of British oligarchs, whose expressed aim was to re-establish the British imperial era. The control of drug traffic and the specific conspiracy to destroy the United States as a world power by introducing wide spread drug addiction among its younger generation are two of the methods used to accomplish this. Like her mentor H, G. Wells, Wootton, who operated in the so-called left wing of this conspiracy, maintained an intense hatred for science and progress, except if it should be under the control of the British Crown’s “elite”. Wells, whom Wootton identities as the “person who most influenced her life,” laid out the plan for the “Open Conspiracy” as early as 1902: “The Open Conspiracy, a convent system of trust-owned business organizations and of universities and reorganized military and naval services may presently discover an essential unity of purpose. I want to suggest a new social organization. It would hold the world together mentally. It is a super-university I am thinking of, a World Brain, no less. The universities and the associated intellectual organizations throughout the world should function as a Police of the Mind.”

As has been documented in Carol White’s book, The New Dark Ages Conspiracy, the top figures in the conspiracy met weekly under the name of the Coefficients Club from 1902 to 1908 to argue their various plans. Around the luncheon table one would find Wells, Lord Milner, Lord Bertrand Russell, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Lord Robert Cecil, and Halford Mackinder, the man who provided the theoretical ideas for Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf. The aims of this elite group were summed up in the 1877 will of South African gold and diamond baron Cecil Rhodes. In fact, the founding of the Coefficients and, later, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, were based on Rhodes’s written will, the trustee of which was Lord Alfred Milner. The objective, wrote Rhodes, was “to establish a secret society, the true aim and object where of shall be the extension of British rule throughout the world and especially the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire.”

In 1922, at the age of 25, Wootton entered the inner circle of the left-wing of the conspiracy through a job with the Joint Research Department of the Trades Union Congress and the British Labour Party, which brought her in close touch with Labour Party Member of Parliament Hugh Dalton, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and, one presumes, Bertrand Russell, Britain’s leading architect of the “new society.” In 1927, Wootton also became a municipal judge, serving for more than 50 years in this capacity, some of the time in juvenile court.

Her avowed agnosticism and rejection of any concept of “natural law” are what completely shaped her view of criminal justice, as later evidenced by her coining of the concept of decriminalization, “It was in my early twenties that I discarded the religion in which I had been brought up and adopted an attitude which could be called agnostic. As I see it the universe in general must simply be accepted as a totally inexplicable mystery. I can see no evidence whatever that it has been created or is conducted by any divine being with a special interest in the human race.”5 Wootton espouses the utilitarian doctrine developed by John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, and .Jeremy Bentham. Bentham’s utilitarian criminal code is based on the principle of “pleasure-pain,” aptly defined by Wootton in her autobiography as “the simple principle that the right action is that which maximizes human happiness or at least minimizes human misery.”

This argument Wootton applies to a variety of social ills, from sodomy and adultery, and later to the use of psychotropic drugs. For Wootton, there is no “higher order,” no pronounceable human goals to define an individual’s actions. This is the very essence of the decriminalization argument. This is Lady Wootton, the philosophical heir to Bentham and Mill, employees of the opium-running British East India Company; intimate of Wells and the Huxleys, founders of the drug culture; head of the House of Lords committee that concocted marijuana “decriminalization” based on the precedent of the India Hemp Commission Report, written by the East India Company. And it was Lady Wootton who personally directed the founding of the marijuana lobby.

Inside the Wootton Committee Wootton’s top assistant on the committee, Michael Schofield, a Cambridge University social scientist, filed a “dissenting opinion” on the committee calling for full cannabis; legalization. Today Schofield sits on the governing board of the Legalize Cannabis Campaign (LCC) in London. Wootton herself, following the publication of her report, traveled to Canada where she helped to set up the LeDain Commission, which was established by order of the Canadian government in 1969, and which released a report advising that marijuana was not harmful and should be decriminalized in 1973. One member of the LeDain Commission, Marie-Andree Bertrand, A criminalogist who filed a dissenting report advising full legalization of marijuana, is today a leading spokesman for the International Cannabis Alliance for Reform, In 1960, President Richard Nixon, in response to the growing propaganda from the likes of Schofield and other pot lobby activists, created a commission to review the U,S. government’s laws on narcotics. In ln 1972, that body, the Schaefer Commission, using the information established by the Wootton and LeDain commissions, also recommended that marijuana be decriminalized. Even though the Schaefer Commission recommendation was rejected by President Nixon and the U.S, Congress at that time, the pot lobby in the United States, which had provided many witnesses to the commission, was able to use the list of recommendations, starting with the Wootton Committee, to give greater credibility to its arguments before state legislatures, and accomplish decriminalization in 11 states in the U.S.

Not only was the Wootton Committee stacked in favor of marijuana legalization, but the witnesses called before it are notorious for their support of mind-altering drugs. Leading the witnesses were psychiatrist R. D. Laing, trained at the Tavistock Institute, and father of the theory that schizophrenia (like drug abuse) is only “bad” because society defines it that way; and Sir Francis Huxley, one of the infamous Huxley clan and specialist on ancient mystical cults. The chairman of the Research Committee on Cannabis which presented the medical evidence on marijuana was Dr. Joseph H, Berke, M.D., a member of Laings Philadelphia Association, which was established to study Laing’s theories of schizophrenia. Other witnesses included psychologist Stephen Abrams, head of an organization called SOMA (the name of Aldous Huxley’s “ideal drug’ in Brave New World), William Levy, the editor of International Times (a pro-dope precursor to High Times, published in England); and Dr, Robert E. Lister, head of the Applied Pharmacology and Toxicity Division of the Arthur D. Little company’s affiliate in England. At present, the Arthur D. Little parent company in the United States holds the license for the manufacture of synthetic THC.

In the words of Schofield himself, the choice is between a moral society dedicated to industrial progress and a brave new world: Schofield’s book, The Strange Case of Pot reveals that Schofield (who claims not to use marijuana or cannabis himself) sees marijuana as the path to Huxley`s future: “There has been a growing emphasis on the cultivation of aesthetic and mildly hedonistic sensibilities. This is in line with current economic trends. Before long, working hours will become shorter and less important. The old puritan ethic which glorified work for its own sake will be less meaningful and leisure activities will become more important …. In such an atmosphere, the boundaries of permissible pleasure are extended and experimentation is encouraged. The use of cannabis to produce new sensory stimulation is a logical development of this ethic …. Of course there is no such thing as an ideal recreational drug. Cannabis like every other legal or illegal drug falls far short of the ideal. The ideal recreational drug would make us feel relaxed and happy and act as a social lubricant …. Soma, the fictional drug in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World gave great pleasure harmlessly… We have not [yet] come to terms with the idea of recreational drugs and so we cannot start to think out attitudes towards chemical aids to pleasure. Until we have developed a social philosophy, we are unable to make intelligent judgments about their use and abuse.”


1. Appendix II, “History of The Development of International Control,” Report on the Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence, London November 1, 1968

2. H.G. Wells, Anticipation of the Reaction to Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought, London,1902.

3. Carol White, The New Dark Ages New Benjamin Franklin Publishing House (New York), 1980

4. John Flint, Cecil Rhodes, Little, Brown and Co. (Boston), 1974,

5. Barbara Wootton, In a World I Never Made, George Allen and Unwin, Ltd. (London),1967.

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