NYT: Mexican Family Go Insane

The Grey Lady at her best: regurgitating Harry Anslinger's press releases in 1927. (Via The World's Best Ever)


  1. I heard the mom also gave anglophonic white men an uppity attitude, just like those unruly blacks, looking at white women and all that business. Frankly, she deserved it.


  2. Well shit, with news “reporting” like that, it’s no wonder they made it illegal.  I always knew there was hysteria around it, but I had no idea it was that absurd.

    1. Yeah… its a pretty depressing history. The only medical “expert” that Anslinger brought to testify to congress was a vet who straight-up lied about weed’s “irreversible” effects on dogs. Meanwhile a doctor from the AMA testified to say that criminalising weed would halt any research into it as an effective and cheap medicine, and that there was no evidence that it presented a public health issue.

      Did you also know that during the Clinton and Bush years TV and movie producers were able to cash-in to the tune of million of dollars for inserting anti-marijuana messages into their scripts? The history of the misinformation war on marijuana is simply dumbfounding and US taxpayers have been funding it, on behalf of the alcohol industry, for far too long.

      In every way alcohol does more damage to society than weed does.

      1. “In every way alcohol does more damage to society than weed does.”

        As soon as marijuana is legal it will catch up.

        1.  Nope.

          Good original point… it had as much referencing material as Jake’s comment so don’t pretend like you’re adding anything to the discussion.

          Read this if you know to know why you’re wrong:

        2. Never once heard of a stoned father beating and raping their daughter*. Sorry, bub. You’re going to have to do a little better than that. Unless you’d like to argue about how crazy and out of control Colorado and Washington have become.

          *have heard of this and many other horror stories of those under the influence of alcohol, it is easily one of man’s worst evils

          1. Dude, you clearly get it… read the book I linked (its a pdf on TPB).

            The foreword is written by an ex cop who makes the EXACT point you do and it provides a wealth of facts to shoot down the tired roll call of ignorance that anti drug advocates trot out to make their argument.

        3. The places where pot is de jure or de facto legal are a glaring refutation of your uninformed assertation. As is all the evidence of alcohol’s damage to the individual, vs. that of marijuana.

  3. Same thing happened to me.  Only no one died and I got better pretty quickly.  The movie Brazil will seem insane for the rest of my life, however.

    1. I’m… uh… I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be on anything for that movie to seem a bit insane…

  4. The doomed family’s home was unfortunately located in the Cypress Hill section of Mexico City.

  5. You think that’s bad. How about the NYTimes’ Judith Miller and her love affair with the Iraq war and the quest for WMD’s? Tom Friedman, too. This was just one family going “insane.” What about the 100K fatalities, and billions of dollars going down the rat hole?

    1. I don’t know if you’re getting the context. The Times didn’t kill this family the way the Iraq conflict did. Instead, it was complicit in Anslinger’s lying propaganda machine, which provided a launching point for the war on drugs, which has led to immeasurable fatalities, millions incarcerated, and a trillion dollars (and counting) down the rat hole.

    2. You think that’s bad — what about commenters who hijack an article merely to vent about something completely unrelated? 

    1. Yep, there it is, Reefer Madness.
      Oh, and of course it “happened” conveniently far enough away so that it would be highly improbable that anyone in 1927 would or could disprove the article. Seems classic, doesn’t it? So who wrote it, Judith Miller’s grandmother?

  6. Johnny says “I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more.”

    How many joints did Johnny smoke in total?

    A. 2
    B. 4
    C. 6
    D. Johnny will be insane for the rest of his life.

      1. Hee hee. Haw haw, heh. Haw, hahahahahahha. oh, Hee heee hee. Hoo hoo. ha ha ha. Whee. Shut up.

    1.  This is what I was thinking.  Floripondio is common and if they ate even a whole flower, they would be trippin’ balls.  It makes the whole article make sense.

    2.  lol @ TCM:

      Medicinal use

      D. metel is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called yáng jīn huā (洋金花). However, the ingestion of D. metel in any form is dangerous and should be treated with extreme caution.

    3. Hummingbirds sure seem to like it. I wonder if it makes them see people their own size?

  7. That’s a lot of xenophobia and moral panic in just a couple short paragraphs.

  8. That Mexican family should stop growing PCP in the garden if they are going to randomly eat it all, or at least grow more marijuana to help them chill the hell out after mega dosing on the horse tranquilizer.

    1.  Seems like their referring to the collective ‘family’ as if it were plural.  Kind of like one may refer to a band.  Like “Led Zeppelin go to America” or something. 

      Maybe it was more common in the vernacular back then, but it does indeed seem super weird now for it to be written that way.

    2. It would be correct British English as printed. Maybe the NYT hadn’t fully cottoned on to American English back then.

      1. That’s exactly it.  Educated American English in those days was much less removed from Received Pronunciation British English than it is now.

  9. There is a wealth of such drug stories in the early 20th century, usually involving marijuana for hispanics and cocaine for blacks. It’s pretty clear the whole motivation for drug prohibition was fundamentally racism, not the conspiracy theories that cheap hemp would put newspaper conglomerates out of business, or that biofuels were a threat to nascent oil companies. Time and time again, there are stories, from the 1890s on, of how drugs make minorities go on killing rampages against whites.

    1. I’m pretty sure, based on what I’ve read, that the main motivation was Hearst and friends keeping the paper empire, and other corporate interests who were threatened by hemp as a commodity.  They used the racist stories and myths to influence the politicians/public, because it worked well to scare the racist masses into supporting cannabis prohibition.  Racism was the tool, but the motivation was money, pure and simple.

    2.  And this was the respectable New York Times, not even Hearst’s papers which were leading the anti-Mexican anti-Chinese anti-black drug war scares of the time, and which had been the main instigators of the Spanish-American War.

    3. Racism and capitalism go hand in hand; I don’t think either was more the cause of all of this than the other.

  10. In other news, eating infants and people jumping off of buildings has increased 70% in WA and CO, since making marihuana consumption legal.

  11. Was it common grammatical practice back then to use “go” instead of “goes” in a case like this, e.g. when talking about “family” as a substitute for a plurality of family members? Because that read really…weird to my 21st century eyes when I saw that headline.

    1. As Antinous points out above, it’s weird to your American eyes. British & Australian English habitually treats groups of people as plural conceptually, even in this bright, chrome-edged future.

      Here’s a lengthy LanguageLog post on, in fact, plural vs singular verbs used with “family”. To my ears, “family goes insane” sounds very weird – the family didn’t go insane, the members did (of course they didn’t either but that’s not a grammatical issue!)

      Bands and sports teams are similar: I would say “Coldplay are overrated” – in fact “Coldplay is overrated” sounds really weird to me.

      1. Thanks! That article is really illuminating and I found myself nodding in agreement with his assessment/preference for using both forms in the Thanksgiving example. Funny how regional convention so defines the contours of our thoughts.

      2. It probably sounds even weirder to you than to us, because with bands some have plural names, e.g. The Rolling Stones, so to us it doesn’t sound weird to say “The Rolling Stones are still alive.” 

        Actually, that does sound weird, but not for grammatical reasons.

      3. For a Brit it might only be pedantic were a Yank to believe go to be a subjunctive.

  12. Alcohol has always been the skeleton in the closet. Ever wonder why you buy a jar of peanut butter the label tells you EVERYTHING, but you can buy a bottle of Thunderbird (grape juice with 20% grain alcohol and an unknown percentage of ether–latter is trace element in natural wines, thus allowed) and there’s NO label? Err…liquor-industry lobby?

    As for social problems linked to THC, ask yourself this: you’re part of a two-person police crew patrolling a neighborhood. At 1:00 AM, two calls come in: one is a disturbance at a bar,  the other a disturbance at a private residence where the caller “smells marijuana smoke.”

    Which one do you choose? The one with brawling drunks and pool cues (or worse), or the one where a cheery shout of “Dude! The pizza’s here!” greets your doorbell-ring?

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