Nothing is more scary on Halloween than the undead. Zombies, ghouls, vampires — all were once dead, but were resurrected and now terrorize living society. It is both frightening and frustrating to think you have finally put something evil to rest with a silver bullet or a stake through the heart, only to find that it has risen from the dead and found new life.
So the fright of pro-cannabis voters was real when we saw that the Colorado legislature wanted to resurrect the most heinous and destructive thing in the history of cannabis prohibition: the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary had put this grotesque creature to death in 1969 when he won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case. Now, a similar monster is being revived by the Colorado legislature as the Marijuana Tax Act of 2013, now known as Proposition AA.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was primarily the unholy creation of Harry J. Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. Anslinger had made his career enforcing alcohol prohibition, but when that was repealed in 1933, Anslinger needed a new illegal substance to secure his job.