Talk:Harry J. Anslinger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


I did some major revising of the article. I did my best to make it seem a little more neutral, and put how Mr. Anslinger acted in historical context. Of course, he was still a very stubborn man, and effectively profited off a base-less fear in marijuana. Regardless, I think now it is important to add information that does not have to do with his anti-marijuana/political attitudes. --Howrealisreal 17:52, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That's a major improvement. Nicely done. -- Xerxes 22:48, 2004 Dec 17 (UTC)

The neutrality of this article seems highly suspect. I mean, he sounds like a bad guy to me, but all the sources are just diatribes by pro-marijuana groups. -- Xerxes 21:54, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)

Any facts, dates or quotes you take issue with? That neutrality label has been so debased at Wikipedia, many more fastidious users won't touch it. Perhaps you'd like to add some more positive data. Wetman 00:56, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A cleanup notice has been applied by User:Poccil.

There is also Harry Anslinger. Howrealisreal 03:33, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

From what I've read, the guy is an awful was of a human being would make a great poster child for retroactive abortion. But my (hyperbolic) feelings aside, the article is simply not acceptable. I'll see what I can do with it over break, but no promises. User:Knotanutt

I hate to break the wikipedia vow of neutrality, but if you read his own memoir, it's hard not to see him as a pretty sleazy figure. He paints himself as a character from Dragnet, but it only take a cursory glance between the lines to see how he supplied drugs and easy sentences to the powerful while coming down hard on the disadvantaged.

How did he supply drugs? (talk) 10:31, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


Opinion within the federal law enforcement community views Anslinger as simply a power-hungry bureaucrat who used the marijuana issue as a means to attain personal power and influence.

Just wanted to point out that seems to be nonexistant any more, because there were two articles there that I relied on, and which now result in default 'error' pages full of ads for other companies/products, claiming 'This page is parked free, courtesy of'. Those two links are closely related to the book written by Profs. Whitebread and Bonnie entitled 'The Marijuana Conviction,' which is thankfully now available on here: which was written after extensive research into the DEA's own library. I highly recommend anyone who wants to be knowledgable on the matter to read it; I got my copy from the link posted above and it cost me under $14, including s/h. I also really need to learn how to edit text wiki-style so i can enhance my posts. User: davesilvan

I found a lot of reference errors in the Whitebread and Bonnie book, which they failed to address in a letter I sent them.
The 2 links to druglibrary above aren't on, and they work fine for me.~Uncle Mike —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Mr. Anslinger's place in history[edit]

Mr. Anslinger has been a source of curiosity to me. Largely because everything we think we know about him comes from pro-Marijuana advocates, including great recorded footage of Anslinger in the 1990 documentary-esque "Grass". Yet for as powerful a post he held for as long as he did—second only to Hoover at the FBI—reference and government sources barely recognized him. Even the Bush II's DEA website makes only a tiny mention of him; Clinton's DEA had a page dedicated to him, with only his picture and years of tenure, not even his birth and death dates. Just the picture.--RickAguirre 17:57, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Removed the following sentence from the intro:

"This is understandable, as those currently fighting the War on Drugs would logically not want to associate themselves with a man who has been so widely discredited."
In fact, Mr. Ansligner has not been "widely discredited" ; moreover, he hasn't received much governmental credit for his role, which is different from being discredited. Further, the statement "would logically not want to associate themselves" is a supposition that suggests POV. This article can further stand to be modified against a few weasel terms; I just haven't gotten around to it yet. --RickAguirre 04:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
As a pro-marijuana activist I hate to put in a good word for Anslinger, but I feel I must. Contrary to what a lot of authors say, Anslinger wasn't fired dishonorably. He was forced to retire amidst the 1960's drug war controversy, but was honorably "cited" for his service by President Kennedy. Surprisingly, the president praised Anslinger stating he was, "a dedicated defender for the interest of people all over the world." Although a lot of his constituants at the time thought Anslinger was terribly misguided in his drug war tactics, evidently they thought his heart was in the right place and cited him for his work at his retirment send off. (Narcotics Bureau Head Retiring, US Bids 400 Map Help for Addicts, New York Times, July 2, 1962, p. L15 & L19).~Uncle Mike

Aslinger has been widely discredited, by way of actual medical research, which prove he was absolutely wrong in his assertions that marijuana 'made people crazy' and 'turned them into homicidal maniacs.' Besides, he'd already changed his story after those original claims were rebuked, where he said it would make the user so docile that he would not even lift a weapon to defend his own country in times of war.' User: davesilvan

DuPont/petrochem influence on Anslinger anti-hemp campaign[edit]

I see this assertion repeated here without source or support. While that Anslinger was a demagogue of the worst sort, this claim appears unsubstantiated and, frankly, wrong. Nylon wasn't invented until 1935; by this article as it stands, Anslinger was already ramping up his anti-marajuana campaign before that year. Rayon had been in existence for roughly a decade, but (a) wasn't a major competitor for hemp fiber in its early form (b) is a wood-pulp product, not a pure petro product like nylon. Silverlake Bodhisattva

Silverlake, who commented on this topic at the bottom of this page is correct. The popular theory of the AHD conspiracy to outlaw marijuana has more than a few weak points. How do I know? I also happen to have the largest online collection of documents relating to that, including the most in-depth single piece of research done to date.
You will have to find it on your own though, because the editors here certainly wouldn't let me post it. It would be "spamming", according to them. The Wikipedia article is weak, at best, but it will probably never be corrected.

The idea that there might have been an influential connection between Anslinger, Hearst & Dupont already exists, and this page seems exactly the place to explore how plausible that is, including stating that Nylon had not been invented until 1935 (or mass produced until 1938). Certainly phrases like "There is some belief that Anslinger, DuPont..." (emphasis added) make such contentions less credible.
Nevertheless, Anslinger did marry a Mellon*, and Secretary Mellon's private bank was at that time the principal investor in Irenée DuPont's petrochemical company. Each of these three men held tremendous power and influence, and the idea that these men would not abuse or even use that power to benefit their own interests should not be summarily dismissed. The Great American Streetcar Scandal stands an example—in the realm of reality—of the machinations powerful interests are capable of (to say nothing about the relationship between DuPont and GM). *Whether this Mellon was at all related to Secretary Mellon's family remains to be proven (at least through my research; Wolfman97, if you have evidence that speaks directly to this, please do share). Hearst, meanwhile, doesn't add any ethical integrity to this group, but more importantly, this a fairly fascinating time in history and these conspiratorial elements—true or not, with full or partial evidence—are interesting and deserve mention. --RickAguirre 14:06, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

This reference is marked as "Citation needed". I have the citation "attibuted" to the Harry Anslinger--Andrew Mellon connection. My extensive research has failed to find evidence of their family connection through the marrage of Martha Anslinger (maiden name Denniston). There was no mention of the family connection thought to reside in the Altoona Mirror Newspaper obituary of Martha Anslinger on October 10, 1961 p.22. The source of the reference came from Professor McWilliams' book "The Protectors". As you can see by the e-mail below, he can not prove the conection, so lets drop the citation and any mention of it. (Blank lines and some spaces removed.) 13:38, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Uncle Mike
Dear Professor McWilliams, I'm very interested in history, like you, and greatly enjoyed your book on Anslinger. In doing my own research on the history of marijuana, I have studied many of the sources you referenced in "The Protectors". All but one of the references I was interested in panned out for me. The one reference in question is that of Mellon being related to Anslinger by way of his marriage to Martha Denniston referenced in chapter 1, page 30 as #19 (Obituary of Martha Anslinger, Altoona Mirror, 10 September 1961). I located the obituary on October 10, 1961, page 22, but it didn't include any mention of Mellon. Can you provide me with an original source reference regarding this important connection?
Mike, I appreciate your interest in my work and am pleased it has facilitated your research. As I recall, the Mellon reference was from interviews with several of Anslinger's hometown acquaintances in the Altoona/Hollidaysburg area. I completed my research for "The Protectors" about 15 years ago and no longer have much of what I used for the book. Over the past few years I have gradually been disposing of files I didn't think I would have much use for. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
Good luck with you project.
John C. McWilliams
Associate Professor of History
Penn State University
 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 7 September 2007 (UTC) 

After posting the previous obituary comment the "Citation needed" was replaced with (#2^ Valentine, Douglas (2004). The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America's War on Drugs. Verso Books. pp. 16. ISBN 1-85984-568-1.)I obtained a copy of Valentine's book "The Strength of the Wolf" for the Mellon reference. Upon my examination of page 16 in the book, referenced as #22, their appeared to be a reference mistake. It would appear that Valentine should have referenced #21 Douglas Kinder, "Bureaucratic Cold Warrior: Harry J. Anslinger and Illicit Narcotic Traffic," Pacific Cost Branch, American Historical Association, Pacific Historical Review, 1981, 172-3." Kinder's book did mention the "Martha Denniston Leet" reference as #5, admittedly though, reference #5 has dozens of references, but near the end Kinder states "Anslingers appointment to the Narcotics Division is explained in John K. Caldwell to Cotton, June 28, 1930, item no. 811.114 n16/1813. box 4917, State Department General Records, decimal file 1930-39, National Archives, Washington, D.C." I obtained a copy of the Caldwell letter, but no mention of Martha was found. I am therefore going to mark the Mellon-Anslinger connection as "Citation needed" again.

Uncle Mike

If it's really been unsourced for almost two years it's better to just remove it.--Sus scrofa (talk) 14:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

After spending so much time trying to find this reference I can't remove it. Still holding out a little hope someone has a good reference for the Mellon-Anslinger family connection. Uncle Mike —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

If anyone agrees with listing reference #2 again as "Citation needed" please do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

I also have interest in a connection, so I started to research. From what I found, there is no family connection between Mellon and Anslinger. Here is the information on Andrew Mellon's Family: Father: Thomas Mellon (banker, b. 3-Feb-1813, d. 3-Feb-1908) Mother: Sarah Jane Negley Mellon (b. 3-Feb-1817, m. 22-Aug-1843, d. 19-Jan-1909) Brother: Thomas Alexander Mellon (b. 26-Jun-1844, d. 24-Jan-1899) Brother: James Ross Mellon (banker, b. 14-Jan-1846, d. Oct-1934) Sister: Sarah Emma Mellon (d. childhood) Sister: Annie Rebecca Mellon (d. childhood) Brother: Samuel Selwyn Mellon (b. 1853, d. childhood) Brother: Richard Beatty Mellon ("R.B.", President of Alcoa, b. 19-Mar-1858, d. Dec-1933) Brother: George Negley Mellon (b. 30-Jun-1860, d. 15-Apr-1887) Wife: Nora McMullen (m. 1900, div., d. 1973) Daughter: Ailsa Mellon Bruce (b. 1901, d. 1969) Son: Paul Mellon (philanthropist, b. 1907, d. 1999)

Supposedly Anslinger married Mellon's niece, Martha Kind Denniston As her last name is listed as Denniston, that would mean that likely if she were a niece of Mellon she would have to be the daughter of one of his sisters who had a last name change when she married a Denniston then had a child. Had she been a child of one of his brothers, she would have the last name Mellon at the time of marriage. He only had 2 sisters, both died in childhood. Mmotley67 (talk) 14:47, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Note in response to previous posters[edit]

For those previous posters who noted that was down for a while let me assure you that it is back up and in operation. Thank you for your concern and thank you for making the effort to keep those documents in public view.

Now we have another issue, of course. Regular readers of know that is has the largest online collection of documents by and about Harry Anslinger (among other things). The reason that collection is there is because I OCRed and/or handtyped most of them from rare originals way back before Wikipedia was even a fond idea.

So -- those of you who know the Schaffer Library and are familiar with it -- you would probably think that it would be entirely appropriate to post a link to the largest collection of personal Anslinger documents in the Wikipedia article on Anslinger. Now doesn't that seem logical? I thought so, so I tried to post the link.

The link was immediately deleted by an editor who claimed that, because the link comes from my site, it is "spamming". Never mind that it links to the most complete collection of relevant documents.

Never mind that the same documents have been linked from other pages on Wikipedia for many years. On one page, my link is OK, on another it is "spam" and I have to post it here in the discussion. Never mind even that my site is already mentioned as a valuable resource on this very discussion page. Go figure.

Perhaps even more interesting was the edit on the book "The Traffic in Narcotics". I put in a link to the full text of Anslinger's own book "The Traffic in Narcotics". That was also deleted. At the same time, they retained the link to an article "The Traffic in Narcotics" that originally came from that book. What was the difference? The article comes from the "neutral" UNODC site while mine comes from a "personal" site. Mine is therefore "spam".

OK, so let's get this settled once and for all. On this page, I posted two links. They were: -- This is the full text of the book "The Traffic in Narcotics" -written by Harry Anslinger - This is a link to the largest online collection of documents by and about Anslinger.

Just for the record, let me note that 1) I put all those documents on the net so, if they are linked from any other site, then that site copied them from mine. 2) All the documents are presented in their full text without my editorial comments. You know, just like you would find in any ordinary library. 3) I don't even agree with some of the documents. My opinion of Anslinger is that he was something of a nut case but I have just presented his writings as I found them so others can read them and make their own opinions. You know, I wanted to be "neutral" in that regard.

Now I would have thought that a collection of Anslinger's personal documents was a perfectly appropriate link for the article on Harry Anslinger. I got told that sort of thing was not allowed, and I have to go through this process and ask permission from the general consensus of readers before posting such "spam". OK, so here it is.

What is the public consensus on putting a link to a collection of Anslinger's own documents on the Harry Anslinger page? How do you vote? Is it:

1) "spamming"

2) absolutely essential to the article

And, just for the record, I have numerous other documents that are simply the best references in the world on the subject. For some examples, look up the Wikipedia articles on the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, the La Guardia Committee Report, the Marihuana Tax Act, etc. I posted all of the original documents on the web and Wikipedia has linked to me since the articles were created.

Just for the record, let's note one obvious error in Wikipedia right now. The Wikipedia article is titled "1937 Marijuana Tax Act". This is the wrong spelling. The US Government has traditionally spelled it "Marihuana" - with an "h". I would try to correct it but I have been told that I am not qualified to do so.

Therefore, can we also have a quick vote on whether Cliff Schaffer -- the largest publisher of the major drug policy research in history -- is qualified to edit Wikipedia articles? How say you all?


 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfman97 15:58, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the above web pages are strongly related to the article. However, they are also heavily commercial. I think links to non-commercial web sites with the same material would be preferable. However, if none exist, then using the links above should be just as acceptable as linking to material on other commercial websites, such as those of various news agencies. -- Moecazzell 06:18, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

"Intense abhorrence"[edit]

Anslinger must be unpopular with some Wiki-editor.

  • First, tell us what you don't know: While little is known about his private life or personal views,
  • Then, the editor avoids the word hate but says so in other words in the passive voice: there are examples in Anslinger's writings and behavior that justify today's intense abhorrence of his character.

If the reader wants to abhor his character, intensely, or moderately, we can let the reader read the article further. patsw 00:48, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of Gossip[edit]

I deleted what can only be gossip, as it is not sourced. The deleted section was a quote attributed to Anslinger about "darkies".

"Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with female students (white), smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result pregnancy"[citation needed]
"Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of marijuana. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis."[citation needed] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Okaythere (talkcontribs)
Those citations seem to come from James A. Inciardi's book The War on Drugs: Heroin, Cocaine, Crime, and Public Policy. Although I don't know anything about this Inciardi, I think those citations may be accurate. Steinberger (talk) 23:46, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely non-neutral POV article[edit]

I deleted the following line a few weeks ago because it is not sourced, but is clearly gossip:

During a conference for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Anslinger was heard saying:

   "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men." 

Since it's not sourced, and there's no evidence he ever said it than it doesn't deserve to be in an encyclopedia. So I'm deleting this piece of slanted, biased slander once again.

I also deleted a number of quotes attributed to Anslinger because once again none were sourced. There's no evidence that he ever said them. Okaythere 22:57, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Appears to be attributed to a quote from Harry Anslinger at a Federal Bureau of Narcotics conference in 1937. It probably appears in Jack Herer's book, but I'm guessing. Another website claims that Anslinger said it in 1931, and cites Grinspoon's Marihuana Reconsidered. Considering the racist arguments used to demonize Cannabis, and further evidence that Anslinger has made other racist arguments in favor of prohibition, if the source can be verified, the quote should be added back into the article with a clear description of its reliability. —Viriditas | Talk 12:06, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

More changes[edit]

I deleted the following lines:

" Currently, many firmly oppose Anslinger's legacy against marijuana, fueling decades of misinformation about the drug. Some contend that Harry J. Anslinger was really just a representative puppet for a thriving political belief. In other words, although it would appear that Anslinger was a conservative who truly believed marijuana to be a threat to the future of American civilization, his biographer maintained that he was an astute government bureaucrat who viewed the marijuana issue as a means for elevating himself to national prominence. "

The reasons for doing so are: 1. The POV in the first line is that there has been "decades of misinformation" about marijuana. Exactly what this misinformation consists of isn't discussed and isn't clear. It's an opinion inserted into an article. "Some contend" in the next sentence is meaningless. If it's to be neutral, then whatever anyone contends about Harry Anslinger should also be included. Since that's clearly not possible, having one negative opinion about him doesn't show a neutral point of view.

We're dealing with facts, not non-sourced editorial opinions.Okaythere 07:38, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

It's poorly written and too wordy, but it is essentially historically accurate. The "decades of misinformation" about marijuana should be explained. —Viriditas | Talk 11:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
The bureaucrat statement is important for NPOV (although it's true it wasn't written in the best way). This is because lots of people tend think that Anslinger personally hated cannabis and that motivated his crusade. On the other hand, that's not what his biographer asserts and it's important to note that he used the anti-cannabis sentiment to become a prominent political figure. I moved this statement (minus the "some contend.." sentence) out of the intro and into an appropriate subheading. --Howrealisreal 18:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Hollidaysburg Mercy Hospital[edit]

Can someone verify the existence of "Hollidaysburg Mercy Hospital", where the article says Anslinger diead? I've lived in Hollidaysburg for quite a while, and I've never heard of this hospital (it certainly doesn't exist today). There was a hospital in nearby Altoona named "Mercy Hospital" (later known as Bon-Secours), perhaps this is the hospital that Anslinger died at.Shanafme 12:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I have Anslinger's newspaper obituary from the Altoona Mirror, Altoona, PA., Nov. 15, 1975, p. 1, The first paragraph reads as follows: "Harry Jacob Anslinger, one of Blair County's most distinguished citizens, died at 1:05 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, 1975, in Mercy Hospital. He was 83." 04:34, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Uncle Mike
It's definitely Altoona's Mercy Hospital then. As far as I know, Hollidaysburg itself never had a hospital. Hospital services are provided by either Altoona Hospital or Bon-Secours (formerly Mercy). I'll update the page.Shanafme 12:56, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Enforcement - First Federal Enforcement Agency[edit]

I would be interested in hearing facts on how Anslinger turned the FBN into a powerful enforcement agency. This article talks about his role with marijuana, but avoids mentioning the indirect role he played strengthen federal power and establishing a interstate and international enforcement agency, predating the FBI. --Rektide 22:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

His opponents has in later years claimed him for a lot of things[edit]

I am removing this paragraph. It is poorly written (poor English) and unrelated. The author of this paragraph implies that the included quote was made by opponents of Anslinger elsewhere on Wikipedia. However, it does not give reference to this alleged Wikipedia material. Nor does it show in what way the alleged opponents connected Anslinger to the Montana Standard's reporting.

Although Anslinger is mentioned many times in the referenced source material (Richard J. Bonnie & Charles H. Whitebread, "II:THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT AND THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE: AN INQUIRY INTO THE LEGAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN MARIJUANA PROHIBITION"), I can find no relationship of the quote to Anslinger in that material.

Please do not reinstate this material without at least fixing the English and properly attributing the quote to the page on Wikipedia to which it allegedly refers.

The section removed follows:

His opponents has in later years claimed him for a lot of things in this process, also when it is very unlikely that he was involved. One example from Wikipedia:

"During the 1920s, an emerging movement of legislators, yellow journalists, and concerned citizens started pressing Washington for federal legislation against marijuana. A publication in the Montana Standard, on January 27, 1929, records progress on a bill in that state to amend the general narcotic law:"
"There was fun in the House Health Committee during the week when the marijuana bill came up for consideration. Marijuana is Mexican opium, a plant used by Mexicans and cultivated for sale by Indians. 'When some beet field peon takes a few rares of this stuff,' explained Dr. Fred Fulsher of Mineral County, 'he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico so he starts to execute all his political enemies...' Everybody laughed and the bill was recommended for passage." (1)

Moecazzell 05:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

This whole article seems slightly biased in his favor, making remarks that go out of the way to defend his legacy, several of them completely unsourced. Agnapostate (talk) 21:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Reference to race appears to lack prior context[edit]

After the heading "Legal history of marijuana in the United States" there is a passage which includes, "Concern about marijuana was related primarily to the fear that marijuana use would spread, even among whites, as a substitute for the opiates."

The article doesn't explicitly mention any racial motivation or subtext to anti-marijuana efforts until later: "A common theme is that Anslinger was responsible for racist themes in articles, not written by Anslinger, against hemp in the 1930s..."

As the article currently stands, the phrase "even among whites" appears to be a non-sequitur. Perhaps other text had been removed, which (before being excised) would have made the earlier reference to race seem more relevant.drone5 (talk) 09:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

[The] reference to race [seem to be] copied from THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT AND THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE: AN INQUIRY INTO THE LEGAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN MARIJUANA PROHIBITION, by Richard J. Bonnie & Charles H. Whitebread, II —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


Although Harry J. Anslinger, from what I've read of him, appears to have been one of the more despicable figures in the United States' long and losing battle to dictate what chemical substances its inhabitants may or may not ingest, the following lines about him, in the first and sixth paragraphs, are way over the top, as well as unprofessional, and appear to be the handiwork of a semi-literate hacker.

"He was . . . an outspoken racist and [sic] ruined many families [sic] lives. He used propoganda [sic] and lies to instill fear in people, similar to adolf hitler [sic] and stalin [sic]. He derserves [sic] nothing more than a life in the fiery depths of hell [sic] with the other monsters of history."

"Anslinger gained notoriety early in his career for being a fucking punk ass racist."

END OF COMMENTS—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Illogical sourcing[edit]

"Today he is most remembered for his campaign against marijuana, but he spent much more time working against illegal trading of heroin, opium and cocaine[1]." Source 1 is from 1953. Anslinger held office to 1962, and continued working against whatever he worked against for two more years. (talk) 18:32, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

The statement seem to be true and even somewhat easy to verify with any book on the history drug policy or, probably, his obituary. But after checking. Yes, the source used was inadequate. Someone have probably taken the easy way and replaced a <cn>...</cn> with a random source with the hope that no one should notice. However, I think the statement in itself should stand. Steinberger (talk) 19:32, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


This is taken almost verbatim from Jonathon Green's book Cannabis.

"Although it would appear that Anslinger was a conservative who truly believed marijuana to be a threat to the future of American civilization, his biographer maintained that he was an astute government bureaucrat who viewed the marijuana issue as a means for elevating himself to national prominence. The two positions are not necessarily incompatible."

It also gives an skewed view of the conservative philosophy. Conservatives are for less government (i.e. less regulation).

Furthermore Anslinger was appointed by a democrat (his political allegiance was most likely to that party).

Look at the context of when he was appointed - 1930's...Harry Truman and New Deal democrats. This is a period of time when the government expanded, and assumed new roles in regulation.

This is clearly a liberal (gov't does more) position.

Burnedfaceless (talk) 15:57, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I know Wikipedia is not a blog, but I can't let this slide. Only in recent times has the generic label "conservative" come to be identified with "libertarian" to the point of synonym. It is both practically possible and philosophically consistent to be a social conservative and a government power-weilding bureaucrat, and also to be a social conservative, power-weilding bureaucrat in an accomodating wing of either major political party.

Snardbafulator (talk) 05:31, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Important Thoughts[edit]

"When did it become the governments right to decide what I (an american adult, perfectly in the right mind to make my own decisions) can and cannot possess, or put into my body? Whats next, no sex before sundown?" Christopher Stephen Haynes

He was a well spoken, highly motiveted, very convincing speaker. He was intelligent, a top notch bureacrat (haha, oxymoron) and a very influential man in his time. He was also incredibly racist. Does that remind you of any one? Dark hair. Little mustache. Swastika on his shoulder. I'm not suggesting he had anything to do with Hitler, but he did spend some time in Germany in the 1930's. He may have sympathized with the German populations racial mistrust. Coming back to America, he sure did preach against the other races, albeit not as directly as Hitler. His way was more subtle, telling scary stories about drugs, and associating them with minorities. Speaking of horrific, and often unsubstantiated murders and other atrocities perpetrated by blacks and hispanics. Telling tall tales about white people diven to rape and murder by smoking marijuana. These people were not driven to anything by marijuana, only their own desires. Just as Harry J Anslinger, was driven to outlaw marijuana. Did a little voice tell him weed was wack?


External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Harry J. Anslinger. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

☑Y An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:51, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Johann Hari - Chasing The Scream[edit]

This article as it reads today is massively POV in favour of Anslinger.

It needs updating with the carefully-sourced material in Johann Hari's book Chasing The Scream, including Ansligner's war on Billy Holiday, his racist remarks when drumming up anti-marijuana panic, his misrepresentation of the medical material about marijuana at the time, his misrepresentation of the axe-murderer case, his running out of doctors who were still allowed to prescribe marijuana, etc. Garth M (talk) 04:20, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

No evidence cited, no evidence I could find that Anslinger was a morphine addict[edit]

The first paragraph of the article states that Anslinger was a morphine addict. There are no other references to morphine use in the article, and the citations for the first paragraph do not mention it either. In a quick Google search, I could find no references saying Anslinger ever used morphine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Might be he used painkillers in his last years when he was of poor health, but I don't think that counts as an addiction. --Sus scrofa (talk) 20:51, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Mrs. Harry J. Anslinger - Mellon connection?[edit]

Checking out claims that Anslinger married a niece of Andrew Mellon, longtime US Treasury Secretary:

I've confirmed that Anslinger’s wife was Martha Denniston Leet (1886-1961). Her first husband was Leet and she had a son with him named Joseph. Her grandparents were James and Martha Denniston of Hollidaysburg, PA “an old and highly respected family.” Mrs. Anslinger is called the "daughter of John Denniston, of Hollidaysburg” and mother of Joseph D. Leet here: in 1927;

(John Denniston's grave is here: and Martha’s and Harry’s too in the same cemetery:

I looked at the Mellon family tree at: and see no Dennistons, or Marthas there.

Larry Slocum in Reefer Madness puts Denniston as a child of steel fortunes, and that checks out better, as Harry Alexander Laughlin (1838-1922), son of James Laughlin of Jones & Laughlin Steel Co., married an Alice B. Denniston on 9/10/1860.

Margaret Mellon (1901–1998), a grandniece of Andrew’s, was married to an Alexander Laughlin Jr. on 6/21/1924 and had a son with him (probably Alexander Mellon Laughlin),802034;; (there was an Alexander Mellon Laughlin Jr. Andrew Mellon was at their wedding, as was Miss Alice Denniston Laughlin, a daughter of James Laughlin & Alice Denniston.

Margaret’s obituary,802034 says her husband was the grandson of the founder of the Central Tube Co. in Ambridge. According to one account, that Alexander Laughlin was not directly descended from the Laughlin who married a Dennison; rather he was the son of another Alexander Laughlin who was born in 1866 in Wheeling, WVA.

So Anslinger probably married into a swanky set with some connections to the Mellons, but nothing direct. The fact that both Andrew Mellon and a Denniston were at the wedding of Margaret Mellon and Alexander Laughlin connects the families.

UPDATE 9/14/17 - I heard back from researcher Doug McVay who writes: Thomas Mellon, Andrew's father, married Sarah Jane Negley (b. 1817) in 1843. Union Trust was established by Thomas's son Andrew W. Mellon in 1889. Samuel Philip Gerst was an assistant treasurer at Union Trust, worked there 43 years. Gerst's sister Sarah Margaret (b. 1874) married Edward C. Negley. Martha Kind Denniston Leet Anslinger's mother was Florence Gerst (b. 1861). You can find all that in a couple of hours via google. I've seen "cousin" and "relative" used to describe the relationship between Martha Denniston and Andrew Mellon. My guess without looking is that it's likely to be something like a second or third cousin once or twice removed.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by VIPelle (talkcontribs) 06:18, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Anslinger's wife, Margaret, was distantly related to Andrew William Mellon by the marriage of her aunt and her uncle into the Negley family.

Margaret's aunt, Sarah Gerst (1872-1954), married Edward Cox Negley (1874-1942). Edward Cox Negley was the great-grandson of John Jacob Negley.

Margaret's uncle, Eugene Gerst (1864-1942), married Kate Edna Negley (1871-1940). Kate Edna Negley was the great-granddaughter of John Jacob Negley.

In other words, Margaret's aunt and uncle married Negley cousins.

Those Negley cousins were cousins (one generation removed) of Andrew William Mellon. Mellon was the son of Sarah Negley (1817-1909), and the grandson of John Jacob Negley. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carolyn E Miller (talkcontribs) 17:19, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Harry J. Anslinger. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 17:51, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Harry J. Anslinger. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 22:20, 11 December 2017 (UTC)