Protectionism and My Stuffy Nose

So, here’s the latest story in a long running discussion about being able to buy my over-the-counter medications over-the-counter again, rather than be forced to register like some deviant because I have allergies. I like the way this author thinks:

So let me go out on a limb here and say what any reasonable person would strongly suspect. The reason you can’t get Mucinex and Sudafed that work without jumping through hoops isn’t really about stopping basement meth users. It is really about the racket going on in Washington in which the law is used to benefit influential producers in cahoots with the political class at the expense of less influential producers and the American people, who should have the freedom to choose.

The phrase follow the money has proven itself to me time and time again. The German company that makes phenylephrine lobbied hard to get the anti-meth act passed. Imagine that.

Reminds me of the accusations leveled at Dupont and Hearst during the days when Marijuana was demonized:

Interested parties note the aim of the Act was to reduce the hemp industry through excessive taxation[7][8][9] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew MellonRandolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[7][9] The same parties argue with the invention of the decorticator, hemp was an economical replacement for paper pulp in the newspaper industry.[7][10] Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst realized cheap, sustainable, and easily-grown hemp threatened his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in the US, invested heavily in the Du Pont family’s new synthetic fiber, nylon, to compete with hemp.[7] 1916, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created a paper, USDA Bulletin No. 404 “Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material”, in which they concluded this paper from the woody inner portion of the hemp stem broken into pieces, the ‘hemp hurds’, was “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood”.[11] Dewey and Merrill believed hemp hurds were a sustainable source for paper production. The concentration of cellulose in hemp hurds is generally around 35%.[12] Manufacture of paper — on equipment designed to use wood-pulp — with hemp as a raw material shows hemp lacks the qualities needed to become a major competitor to the traditional paper industry. 2003, 95% of the hemp hurds in the EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5% were used as building material.[13] Spokespersons from DuPont and many fiber manufacturers dispute a link between their promotion of nylon over hemp. They explain that the purpose of developing nylon was to produce a fiber competitive with silk and rayon.[14][15][16]

The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the taxation because the tax was imposed on physicians prescribing cannabis, retail pharmacists selling cannabis, and medical cannabis cultivation/manufacturing. The AMA proposed cannabis instead be added to the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.[17] The taxation ‘law’ was passed despite objections of the American Medical Association. Dr. William Creighton Woodward, legislative counsel for the AMA, objected to the taxation on the grounds the bill was written by Du Pont lawyers without the legally-binding time to prepare their opposition to the bill.[18] He doubted their claims about marijuana addiction, violence, and overdosage; he further asserted because the word Spanish word Marijuana was largely unknown at the time, the medical profession did not realize they were losing cannabis. “Marijuana is not the correct term … Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country.”[18]

After hearings with lawyers from Du Pont Chemicals and the Hearst Newspapers Group, the taxation was passed on the grounds of ‘differing’ reports[19] and hearings.[20] Anslinger also referred to the International Opium Convention from 1928 included cannabis as a drug not a medicine. All state legislators approved identical ‘laws’ against improper use of cannabis (for ex. the Uniform State Narcotic Act). By 1951, however, spokespeople from Du Pont, Hearst and others came up with new improved rationalizations, and the Boggs Act superseded the Marihuana Taxation Act of 1937.[citation needed] In August 1954, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted, and the Marihuana Taxation Act was included in Subchapter A of Chapter 39 of the 1954 Code.


Following the money certainly does shed some interesting light on politics. Weren’t we passing these laws to protect the children?

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.

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