A University of Toronto sociology professor said Saturday that laws against the use of marijuana have their basis in social and racial hatred and are being used to fight the “beatnik subculture.” Mrs. Shirley Cook made the remark in a Perception ’67 panel discussion on marijuana.
Mrs. Cook said most of today’s marijuana convictions are procured against the beatnik element, which despises the values of normal society. Few users within society, however, are being prosecuted, because they hold acceptable views towards marriage, work and religion and “break the law in discreet ways.”
She said marijuana laws are a hold-over from Victorian society, which held liquor, cigarettes and narcotics as equal evils that endangered the moral and physical health of society…[Toronto lawyer Arthur Whealey, former chief prosecutor for Toronto] said that in 1911, when marijuana was first outlawed, it was estimated that there were 2,500,000 confirmed addicts of marijuana and other narcotic drugs.
Moderator Peter Gzowski, entertainment editor for the Toronto Star, asked how Mr. Whealey could justify “calling marijuana a contraband item while selling booze through government liquor stores.”