1920s Drug Fiends

Excerpted from Prohibition and the Crash, by J Henry Phillips

Chapter 18

Drug Fiends

            A five-to-four decision by the Supreme Court in Seattle’s “whispering wires” bootlegging case settled the 4th Amendment issue of wiretapping on June 4. Our highest Court on that day pronounced government skulking over phone lines legal, ethical and good.[1] The Court’s stated position in finishing the work begun with the Sullivan and Marron decisions was that the Bill of Rights was so important that only Congress—certainly not the Judicial branch—had the authority to attribute “an enlarged and unusual meaning to the Fourth Amendment.”[2]

Thirteen Coast Guards were suspended June 2, ostensibly for accepting bribes to overlook smuggling of “liquor” from ocean liners, but that story had been suppressed for over 2 months and had developed an odor.[3] In Buffalo, June 4 was opening day for a conference between U.S. and Canadian customs officials. The meeting was organized by Assistant Treasury Secretary Seymour Lowman. This is the same Lowman, who replaced Lincoln Andrews after Andrews was forced by Elmer Irey – the heavy-artillery agent – to resign. Placed in charge of customs, Lowman’s specialties included narcotics smuggling and dismissing “dirty” agents.[4] When newsmen finally found out about this meeting nearly 3 weeks later, Secretary Andrew Mellon assured them that no railroad men had been threatened and that it “had nothing to do with prohibition or enforcement of the Volstead act.” This naturally raised suspicions about drugs, suspicions reinforced when 6 persons were shot on the floor of the Yugoslav House of Representatives. Yugoslavia was a major exporter of medical-grade opium and was reeling from widespread riots. This news hit reporters even as they tried to pry a scoop on the secret meeting from Secretary Mellon.[5]

In April 1921, the Literary Digest had run an unsigned article “Is Prohibition Making Drug Fiends?” The article raised troubling questions. The State Department understood perfectly well by 1922 that war-fed output and prohibition-enhanced smuggling facilities were thwarting all efforts at narcotics control.[6]

Repeal advocate Franklin Fabian speculated in a 1922 book that prohibition might have something to do with U.S. narcotics consumption being 6 or 7 times as high as in most European nations.[7] The very suggestion was hotly denied by prohibitionist Herman Feldman, who also denied that figures describing the true situation could be had from any source. Feldman relied on the usual apocrypha and anecdotes to shore up his beliefs, and shrugged off any hard data on arrests and convictions as proving only that enforcement was improving. Feldman’s source, a Dr. Kolb, argued that alcohol was actually a sort of gateway drug which led to narcotics use.[8] Nowhere does Feldman explain why no narcotics planks figured in U.S. political party platforms before 1924. Yet that year the Democrats—eager, of course, to exclude Asian immigration—suddenly began railing in their platform against “the spreading of heroin addiction among the youth,” while the Prohibition Party merely blinked and stood mute on the issue.[9] The sight of prisons steadily filling up with “narcotics” convicts led the Democratic Platform Committee and Herman Feldman to diametrically opposite conclusions as to why.

At prohibition hearings held during April of 1926 Congressman William S. Vare of Pennsylvania had declared the “increased use” of narcotics throughout the nation “appalling.”[10] Then on May 14, 1928, Chairman Graham of the Judiciary Committee reported that 28% of federal inmates were “addicts” and pushed for the Porter bill to segregate the junkies on a Kentucky “narcotics farm.”[11]

Yet the wisdom of the Harrison Act stood unchallenged even after 537 pounds of heroin and morphine were discovered in Brooklyn by New York Deputy Chief Inspector Louis J. Valentine’s staff in 1927—the year of the recent “Tong War” on U.S. soil and civil turmoil on Chinese soil.[12] Not only had alcohol prohibition increased U.S. demand for heroin and morphine, but the well-developed channels for alcohol smuggling served even better as conduits for smuggling drugs. It was probably easier to bribe a customs agent to look the other way if the agent believed that rum, not heroin, was being smuggled in.

 

[1] (NY World Almanac 1929 91)

[2] (Olmstead et al. v. U.S. 06/04/28 [465])

[3] (NYT 8/15/28 23:4)

[4] (Merz 1931 248-249)

[5] (NYT 6/22/28 31; 6/23/28 34, 52)

[6] (Taylor 1969 150)

[7] (Fabian 1922 77-80)

[8] (Feldman 1927/30 109, 113-115, 111)

[9] (Johnson and Porter 1975 246; 249)

[10] (Feldman 1927/30 101-102)

[11] (NYT 5/15/28 10)

[12] (NYT 7/1/28 14; 1/13/27 4)

Does your company ever need to come to terms with pharmaceutical suppliers south of the border? Why not hire an interpreter familiar with the history and background of many foreign products?

Settled Pseudoscience

Mysticism, not reason

Page 15 of The Church Guardian

Religious truth was in 1890 the same as it is today. Nowadays, its advocates call it “science.” Of course there is disagreement among folks who have rejected reason. Some of them point to “Creation Science” as proof that policemen who–in good faith–believe they detected the odor of a burning bush, should shoot unarmed teenagers and not be liable to criminal charges. It provided the moral basis for the President of These United States to go on the public record advocating the death sentence in 1989 for anyone dealing in agricultural products likely to lower the price of liquor or coffee–with their executioners given immunity. Others are congregants of climate science.

“Climate Science” is a religious truth according to which the entire global population should be forcibly subjected to health hazards in the form of blackouts, brownouts, and reduced access to the very energy that enables people to work for a living. In actuarial math, health hazards are anything that reduces the life expectancy of a population. This rests on the observation that pandemics and power outages alike cause suffering and death.

What we observe today is the merger of two distinct and mutually antagonistic pseudoscientific religions onto one, exactly as occurred in National Socialist Germany in 1933. Religious conservatives declared Germany a Christian nation dedicated to the common good, not personal profit. They wanted the Political State to provide pensions and censor not only fake news but also anything offensive to their ethical and moral feelings. Conservatives emphatically demanded “public health through protection of mother and child,” just like today, with altruist indoctrination a part of government education in Christian Germany.

National Socialists also demanded regulation of all professions, especially journalism–translations of foreign newspapers were banned, under penalties including deportation, and foreigners, especially if selfish–were deported. Asset-forfeiture laws were enacted in support of Germany’s War On Bad Things so that entire companies could be readily confiscated.

All of these things were published by Adolf Hitler in 1920, and read by German voters, some 99% of whom were Christians, 2/3 Protestant and 1/3 Catholic. Less than one percent were Jewish. But though Hitler’s party was repeatedly elected in a landslide by Protestant and Catholic voters for a dozen years, many who claim to speak for Christianity and for Socialism, deny that Hitler and his allies were Christian or Socialist. They evade mention of speeches, writings, photographs and artifacts to the contrary. Can you imagine an atheist, mohammedan or pagan being elected president of These United States today? Nor could German voters in 1928, 1932 or 1933-45. That political science was as settled then as it is today.

narcotic syrup

Page 16 of the Church Guardian, “Advice to Mothers”

And like today, the money behind the propaganda was put up by investors with a stake in the market. Banning alcohol increased demand for other stupefying drugs, such as opium. This ad for Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup is from the next page of the Church Guardian. The syrup contained morphine, which competed for adult market share with beer, wine and spirits.

Behind every prohibition law directing the initiation of deadly force in violation of individual rights you will find hidden persuaders. All such laws are an offer to kill any number of people in order to force the survivors to obey market-distorting orders lobbyists hire politicians to enact. Lobbyists who want to ban coal or hemp are cut from exactly the same ideological cloth.

If you liked this article, you might want to visit my legal and contractual translations website.

Useless Drones Claim to Represent Science Beehive–as reported by Ron

This week the AMS (American Meteorological Society) sent a letter chastising Scott Pruitt for keeping an open mind on the question of man-made global warming/climate change. The letter (here) referred to the AMS institutional statement on the matter, and summarized their position in this paragraph: In reality, the world’s seven billion people are causing climate […]

via The Weathermen vs. EPA’s Scott Pruitt — Science Matters

Prohibition and the Crash–guest appearance

The following post The Drug Problems Jeff Sessions Complains About Are Caused By Prohibition appeared first on A Libertarian Future at A Libertarian Future – Spreading a Libertarian message across the internet.. Many libertarians were upset with Rand Paul for voting to confirm Jeff Sessions because the Attorney General has an enormous amount of leeway…

via The Drug Problems Jeff Sessions Complains About Are Caused By Prohibition — A Libertarian Future

Religious conditioning v. science, by Ron

The confirmation hearings with questions from global warming zealots reminded me of Bertrand Russell’s teapot analogy. The notion of global warming/climate change resembles closely that mythical teapot. People like Lewandowsky and Oreskes psychoanalyze unbelievers. And public hearings are conducted to uncover unseemly heresy inside political appointees. At least when religion is recognized as such, and […]

via The Climate Change Teapot — Science Matters

Letter to Democrat voters

Howdy Dem Buckaroos, Thanks for reading my material on how–a month after the Libertarian Party managed to acquire a single electoral spoiler vote–the Republican Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in favor of individual rights. In November your prohibitionist Luddite puppet lost by 77 votes. God’s Own Prohibitionists’ puppet got enough excess electoral votes to beat your half of  The Kleptocracy 77 times. Your candidates lost because of this anti-rights platform:

As we continue working to reduce carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gas emissions, we must ensure federal actions do not “significantly exacerbate” global warming.
…carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons. We will support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, deploy more clean energy, and invest in climate resilience and adaptation.
…bold steps to slash carbon pollution and protect clean air at home, lead the fight against climate change around the world
To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws…

True, the Democratic platform did stand up for the individual rights of women threatened by the coercive zealotry of mystical fanatics. But clearly the higher priorities of the Democratic party were leaving These States without electricity, and  disarming citizens like Kristallnacht National Socialists in violation of the Second Amendment. You also supported continuing the prohibitionist asset-forfeiture looting George Bush used to completely wreck the economy in 2007. And you wanted to lecture others about Alexander Hamilton to panhandle electoral votes?

I suppose it never occurred to you the panhandling idea might have originated in the Republican camp? The GO-Pee and its faith-based fanatics bore the brunt of the 1972 Libertarian Electoral vote. We had the pro-choice woman candidate  (Toni Nathan) and the economic freedom platform that terrified Nixon’s Party and its Suprema Corte into legalizing individual rights. Did they learn from this? You betcha! By loudly tricking your dupes into trying to transfer electoral votes to the other looters, they goaded the Christianofascists into circling their wagons and chambering a round. They also tricked your own totalitarian sympathizers into likewise refraining from transferring electoral votes from the sinking ship Altruria to the ONLY party left standing up for the individual rights of pregnant women. Thanks for telegraphing where your loyalties lie. We’ll remember that.

butthurtsalve16Here’s a little something to make you and your Chinese environazi handlers feel a little better. It’s a salve from the political party whose fascist agenda YOU helped to further! You wanted the cops to keep shooting kids and confiscating assets? YOU GOT IT! You wanted huge pseudoscience bureaucracies to rob us at gunpoint? YOU GOT IT! That’s the prohibitionism your party and the GO-Pee both supported, and YOU GOT IT!  You wanted to force idiotic legislation on the rest of the world?  YOU GOT IT! You wanted high taxes to support genocidal policies? YOU GOT THEM!

Congratulations, Democratic, Green and Communist Party USA! My schadenfreude goes out to you: both barrels!