Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®


A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

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My goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.


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March 26, 2014


IT'S been said that "crime in America is a sty in everyone's eye". Politicians, for that reason, like to make a case for election or reelection based upon their stance of "being tough on crime!"

It's not easy for a politician to stand up in front of a crowd shouting, "I will assure you, when I'm elected there will be no rapes, no murders, no kidnappings... I will stamp out crime!" The reason it's not easy for a politician to say this is it's a given. These are crimes against humanity; it's expected laws against these types of deviant behavior will be swift and sure.

What a politician needs is a crime that's tangible, one not cast in stone. A crime that has a basis in morality, or principal. A crime such as a poor individual stealing food to feed his family. A crime where public opinion matters. A crime like reading books deemed immoral and dirty. A crime like "using illegal drugs". The former was a crime in America until 1964. The latter crime, use of "illegal drugs", took hold early in the twentieth century. It began with unprecedented legislation called the "Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906", in which all ingredients in a pharmacological mixture as well as food, must be identified and reported on the label. The obvious target of this legislation were "snake-oil cures", which often contained high levels of narcotics, alcohol or WKW (who knew what? snake venom, dung, toe jam, etc).

Narcotics; is a modern day term generally used to denote drugs based upon opiates. The list includes opium, morphine, codeine, as well as coca based extracts such as cocaine.

Opium was once a commonly used "recreational" drug in the old world. The Chinese had the biggest export market on for it. It was as lucrative as oil is today. It could be bought anywhere without question. Another more common name for it was laudanum.

It was actually another pseudo-narcotic that tipped the tide in favor of federal regulation of "drugs" and that was cocaine. The father of all modern "Drug Dealers" could be said to be John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola in the late 1800's. Originally, as many are aware, Pemberton's Coca Cola contained high amounts of cocaine. Until the invention of Coke, coca and cocaine were simply another natural drug available at any store that sold extracts and herbs as medicine. The original Coca Cola soda drink was developed as yet another plant extract elixir, one promising to promote general overall health and a sense of well-being.

"Drug Stores" back in the late 1800's were also the neighborhood soda joint... where one could get a milkshake or ice-cream cone along with whatever medicinal supplies a person or family might need. The pharmacist was also the soda jerk. Unfortunately, Coca Cola proved to be very addictive, much like tobacco is today. John Pemberton himself succumbed to the effects of cocaine addiction and died in 1888 of the complications of cocaine addiction. He wasn't alone. Many died; this was the Industrial Revolution, people worked long hard hours.Unwinding at the end of the day, well just imagine what that must have been like?

Consider our current drudge of a 40-hour work week, with generally fair wages and benefits, though that is up for debate. In the 1880's, according to this research authored by Jeremy Atack and Fred Bateman, the Journal of Economic History, 1992, the average work-week was 60 hours, 10 hours a day, six days a week. One might consider the work environment back then also. The 1800's saw an end to a mostly agricultural society and a certain inseparable connection with nature. It saw a mass migration to an urban lifestyle for jobs, becoming city-dwellers. Sure, many of us know of those times as the Civil War era, the Wild West, Indian Wars, the Gold rush and Global Conquest. However, let's not forget the millions flocking to factory jobs in the cities often with unhealthy working environments and little in the way of regulations.

The result of the Civil War alone left a federal government shaken, and President Lincoln's passage of the Emancipation Proclamation further angered many people, which upset many a politician.

Now, brokering for power, politicians begin to see a hole in the "fabric of society and politics". A lot in this hole is truthfully disturbing, as in not knowing what's in that drug you're taking, or the food you're eating. But it's as if the Pure Food and Drug Act was simply a precursor to what would follow. The fact that the Chinese had taken over San Francisco and made it into an opium den, the fact that people were consuming colas and dying; those and other obvious problems prompted passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act, of 1914, which placed federal control over any drug deemed a narcotic, including opium and cocaine.

Marijuana, then called cannabis or ganja, was not included in this act. It remained legal and was a useful, commonly prescribed drug by a family physician. The most important goal of the Harrison Narcotics Act was to close all Chinese opium dens in America and end the Chinese monopoly on the market. It accomplished both goals.

Considering the "dangers of unregulated use of narcotics", one would think the government got it right for a change. This type of legislation and control of natural medicines was unprecedented in American or any society around the world. And around the world it went, eventually eliminating anything designated as a narcotic from public access, without a doctor's prescription.

Who knows what might have been, if we'd stopped there. But in 1920 alcohol production was made illegal under the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. On the surface alcohol prohibition may seem today like it was out-right wrong, foolhardy and unwarranted. However quite the opposite is actually the truth. 

We've all heard, I think, about the Women's Temperance Movement.

Beginning in the 1820's prohibition of alcohol was being advocated. Hard liquor mostly, but the movement grew. Some of the rationale was moral, in fact a lot of the movement was held on moral grounds; but there were many women admitting their husbands would abuse them when using alcohol.

The Eighteenth Amendment was inevitable, but short-lived. It was rooted in history, slowed by the Civil War when alcohol saw a huge boost in use and acceptance. Prohibition taught us about the human psyche and freedom. The violence that occurred as a result of prohibition was unprecedented. The ingenuity of people to smuggle and distill their own alcohol was astonishing. Despite the hundred year fight by prohibitionists to ban alcohol, in 1933 the Twenty-First Amendment repealed alcohol prohibition.

However, the truth of the matter is, actually, it wasn't the violence during Prohibition that changed the collective mind in Washington, it was the need for money, for taxes. Washington was broke, the Great Depression was ravaging the US. Something had to give. That something was alcohol and taxes. And "getting rid of Mexican immigrants" taking jobs from Americans, and Blacks, who it was determined, being empowered by their new-found "freedom", had decided to take an interest in White girls. This was the early 1900's.

It might have been said then in 1937 with passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, that more taxes were on the same collective mind in Washington. But sadly, this wouldn't be true. A new kind of politics was in America... with a new Federal Bureau of Narcotics headed by the infamous Harry Anslinger - Devil's Weed (or here for the Wiki Link).Marijuana was treated like a machine gun, a "danger to youth", and the tax required growing the plant first, then claiming it in person, product at hand, only to be charged with growing cannabis without a tax stamp. It was expensive, a stamp, and it created "prohibition" as a catch-22 that wasn't found to be Unconstitutional until the 1960's. It was an experiment by governments to see what their limitations were in violating civil rights.

Next up on the chopping block: How Popular is Alcohol anyways??? The Reality of Alcohol and TV, Movies and Real Life Along Side the reality of Marijuana... Add to that 5 seconds of "sex", like a nude body and research indicates, any more than that and Americans start freaking out... okay. So maybe next time I'll spend an hour talking about baseball instead of marijuana or sex... depends upon my audience and my mood.

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