Citation

Noxious Weeds and Noxious Laws: Cannabis Cultivation and the Botanical Basis of Prohibition in the United States, 1930s-1950s

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

From the 1930s through the 1950s narcotics officials and police in the United States deployed quasi-botanical knowledge of the cannabis plant’s growth habits and dispersal patterns in their efforts to eliminate it from the nation’s farms and roadsides. Claiming it grew wild in all parts of the country but unable to muster strong national cannabis prohibitions, federal officials spearheaded a movement for uniform state laws to categorize cannabis as a noxious weed. Ironically, because the plant grew wild, accused growers could claim that it was merely a weed, that they did not know about its drug uses, and that they played no role in its propagation. Narcotics officials and police thus had to prove that a defendant had knowingly cultivated cannabis plants, and the courts had to decide on matters that were as much botanical as juridical. Police marshaled a wide variety of evidence—much of it spurious—to prove that cannabis plants were cultivated. Just as often, they relied on sociocultural and racial clues instead of either landscape or plant knowledge. If Mexicans or African Americans lived and worked on nearby farms, their presence was prima facie evidence that cannabis plants had been cultivated. Cannabis prohibition enabled the policing of rural spaces, and reveals that the modern carceral state is the result of agrarian as much as urban politics. Using government publications, narcotics bureau reports and correspondence, and court cases, this paper explores how early drug control strategies used (and sometimes ignored) botanical and agricultural knowledge in order to racialize the landscape. At the same time, cannabis growers challenged the botanical basis of the law, requiring that judges grapple with the nature of the plant itself.
Convention
All Academic Convention can solve the abstract management needs for any association's annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: ASEH Annual Conference
URL:
http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170507_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Merleaux, April. "Noxious Weeds and Noxious Laws: Cannabis Cultivation and the Botanical Basis of Prohibition in the United States, 1930s-1950s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170507_index.html>

APA Citation:

Merleaux, A. "Noxious Weeds and Noxious Laws: Cannabis Cultivation and the Botanical Basis of Prohibition in the United States, 1930s-1950s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170507_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: From the 1930s through the 1950s narcotics officials and police in the United States deployed quasi-botanical knowledge of the cannabis plant’s growth habits and dispersal patterns in their efforts to eliminate it from the nation’s farms and roadsides. Claiming it grew wild in all parts of the country but unable to muster strong national cannabis prohibitions, federal officials spearheaded a movement for uniform state laws to categorize cannabis as a noxious weed. Ironically, because the plant grew wild, accused growers could claim that it was merely a weed, that they did not know about its drug uses, and that they played no role in its propagation. Narcotics officials and police thus had to prove that a defendant had knowingly cultivated cannabis plants, and the courts had to decide on matters that were as much botanical as juridical. Police marshaled a wide variety of evidence—much of it spurious—to prove that cannabis plants were cultivated. Just as often, they relied on sociocultural and racial clues instead of either landscape or plant knowledge. If Mexicans or African Americans lived and worked on nearby farms, their presence was prima facie evidence that cannabis plants had been cultivated. Cannabis prohibition enabled the policing of rural spaces, and reveals that the modern carceral state is the result of agrarian as much as urban politics. Using government publications, narcotics bureau reports and correspondence, and court cases, this paper explores how early drug control strategies used (and sometimes ignored) botanical and agricultural knowledge in order to racialize the landscape. At the same time, cannabis growers challenged the botanical basis of the law, requiring that judges grapple with the nature of the plant itself.


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.