(Ramsey Clark in 1968 - in something of an uncomfortable place that year)
February 18, 1968. In anticipation of another "long hot summer", as had been the case for a few years running, Meet The Press hosted a panel which asked Attorney General Ramsey Clark what was going to be done about the problems with our violent cities, with the protesters, the extremist groups - generally everything that was destined to make 1968 a milestone year.
To say Clark had his hands full is an understatement, but the level of fear and paranoia being voiced by the media was something else. But then, so was the resistance to change in a lot of perceptions.
James Kilpatrick: “Mister Attorney General, in his recent message on crime, the President devoted a significant passage to narcotics laws. In recent months there’s been a considerable controversy about marijuana and its dangers. Some authorities appear to take the view that its non-addictive drug, no more risky to society really than tobacco or whiskey. What is your own view on marijuana?"
Ramsey Clark: "My own view is that the use of marijuana, the sale of marijuana is a federal crime. And we will investigate and prosecute where that use and sale of it is found. I also think in our time, and particularly among our youth, the atmosphere of permissiveness is a danger, a clear and present danger to our kids. Marijuana is so frequently coupled with LSD and other highly dangerous drugs that we have to enforce very effectively in this field to protect those youth from themselves, and to protect our society."
And this was only February.