Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition

First, there has been a bipartisan cosponsored bill introduced into U.S. Congress by the name in the title of this post.

It’s time!  And that time would be 4:20.  🙂

Americans, please look up this bill, then contact your congressmen and senators and your president who is a big States Rights guy and who is also a good listener, so talk to him.  Let them know it’s time to decriminalize this God-given plant.

That’s great that people want to use it for “medicinal” reasons, although I’d much rather see them actually address the root physical, mental, emotional and spiritual causes behind their pain and illness and not depend on weed just to mask pain, etc.  That pain is communicating something to you.  Listen to your body and learn its language.

But products from marijuana are absolutely healthy and good medicine with a variety of uses, including burn treatment and cancer cures, not just providing comfort.

And “recreational” use?  Well, I’d have to say that I’m with Roseanne Barr on this one when she said something to the effect of – ALL uses of marijuana are medicinal.  Ha.  I know it serves my soul.  🙂  It’s a natural connection to both Heaven and Earth.  What’s not to love about this plant?!

And the reasons for its original criminalization had less to do with its “recreational” or “medicinal” uses and more to do with its industrial uses.  It was chemical and petroleum and other industries that pushed for the legislation that made it illegal.  They knew they couldn’t compete with it.  That’s what’s called “private interests” that in no way was in the public’s best interest nor in the planet’s best interest, never has been, never would be.

Time to get over all the reefer madness once and for all.  I had to laugh to hear some Bible-thumper type going on about how the rioters in the streets must be on weed.  Ah, ha, ha.  Oh hell no, the potheads are (in most cases, at home) laughing, singing, painting, writing, munching, crashing, philosophizing (including solving all the world’s problems 😉  ) and staying out of trouble.  lol  The implication that potheads are violent makes me laugh.  As a matter of fact, I was thinking just the other day that weed ought to be used as a military tool, ya know, how they used to drop propaganda leaflets out of airplanes onto civilians from enemy countries?  Well, drop some bales of weed, some pipes, papers and lighters onto their military forces, wait about an hour then just casually walk in and the enemy forces will be all chillaxed and groovin’, happy to see ya all show up and handing ya a j.  “Hello there mate!”  War’s over, you and your newfound tokin’ buddies from, ya know, the “enemy nation”, ha, ha, ha, can go home now and enjoy yourselves.  lol

There is really no reason for this plant to be illegal and most assuredly at a federal level.  This has been and always will be a States Rights issue which the feds never did have any business in.  They created an unconstitutional law.  An unlawful law.  It’s time for the states to take back their state’s powers on this and many other topics and that will help the current president reduce the size of federal government, which he wants to do and that too is long overdue.

 

In the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Presidential campaigns, Dr. Heather Anne Harder ran a grassroots campaign.  I heard of her before the 2000 election and helped her campaign.  She wrote the following about marijuana, which the 2000 Seattle Hemp Fest made as their manifesto.  If you care to, you can read the original by going to the Wayback Machine / web.archive.org and plugging in her campaign site Harder2000.com.

HEMP: A True Gift from God

 Hemp has the potential to be the best thing that has happened to American farmers in recent history. If only we can awaken the people to their political power. Hemp has four major uses, food, fiber, fuel and medicine. This one crop can provide the basics of life—-food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Industrial hemp has little in common with its cousin the “marijuana” plant. Hemp plant can be grown in most climates, requires little fertilizer and water and NO pesticides nor herbicides. De-regulating hemp production only makes sense.

Both Presidents Washington and Jefferson grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during Colonial times. The Federal government even subsidized hemp during WWII. In 1807 California produced 125,000 pounds of Hemp. 40% came from Santa Barbara.

Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginning of pottery. The oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 B.C.

Hemp played a major role in the stabilization and economy of our nation for many decades. It wasn’t until it became a threat to the natural resource companies back in the thirties did it first experience a ban on its growth. After all, hemp oil is clean, renewable, cheap, and clean while fossil fuels were limited, expensive and dirty. Those who stood to make a fortune in fossil fuels couldn’t compete. Also contributing to hemp bashing was William Randolph Hearst. Seems he had a huge financial interest in the timber market. It was his newspapers that spear-headed the hemp bashing in order to influence public opinion. Using the Mexican word for hemp, “marijuana,” Hearst turned the public against hemp by playing on their fears and misled the public concerning the nature of hemp/marijuana. Until then people were comfortable with hemp—but this Mexican marijuana was a whole new ball game.

Hemp fell out of favor and was thus outlawed because of the combined attacks of a handful of these corporate giants, who put their own self interest above the best interests of this nation. These spin doctors together stifled the hemp production in this country. Now we must re-examine the facts and search our hearts for truth. Then we must take action. Only by working together can we break the corporate/financial hold that still controls Capital Hill.

Hemp provides low cost high quality food. Hemp seed can be used for both people and animal food. It is high in many nutrients including protein. Hemp contains all of the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. Hemp can be made into snack bars, cookies, burgers, and porridge or can be roasted and eaten alone. No other single plant source provides a complete protein nutrition in such an easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect ratio for human health and vitality. Hemp can be brewed with coffee or beer. Currently we import hemp seed from Canada. Now it is time to create domestic hemp seeds for our own use.

Hemp is good medicine. Hemp has long been recognized for its medicinal qualities. Hemp relieves side effects or symptoms of glaucoma, AIDS, cancer chemotherapy, migraines, muscular dystrophy, PMS, asthma, and other medical conditions. From 1842 through 1890’s a powerful concentrated extract of “marijuana” was the second most prescribed drug in the U.S. In all the medical literature written, none list any of the ill effects claimed by today’s drug warriors.

Hemp has many non-food uses. Hemp is made into body care products, lamp lighting, printing, lubrications, household stain removers, varnishes, resins, and paint. Back in 1935, approximately 58,000 tons of hemp seed was used just to make non-toxic paint and varnish. When hemp was banned, these safe paints were replaced with toxic petro-chemical versions. In 1930 people did not know about poisoned rivers, or deadly landfills or children dying from chemicals in house paints.

Hemp is most known for its fiber. Hemp fiber is extremely versatile. Hemp fiber is known for its strength, length, durability, and its resistance to rot. Hemp fiber is also made into a wood-like composite which is twice as strong as wood. All hemp products are bio-degradable.

Hemp reduces our dependency on trees. Hemp is made into paper products as well. Using hemp can eliminate our dependence on trees. One acre of hemp produces the same amount of paper as four acres of trees, four times a year, at 1/4th the cost of wood pulp paper and with 1/5th the pollution. Hemp only takes a 90-100 days to mature for harvest, while most trees take 50 to 500 years. Hemp paper can be recycled ten times, as opposed to three times for most tree-based paper. Hemp paper production can reduce waste-water contamination normally associated in paper production. Hemp production reduces the need for acids, and lends itself to environmentally friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds. Hemp paper does not yellow with age and is acid free.1,500 year old hemp paper has been found. Lucky for us our Constitution was written on hemp paper. Hemp crops would save thousands of acres of U.S. forests as well as forests around the world.

Hemp is good for the earth. Hemp anchors soil and protects it from run off. It preserves topsoil and subsoil structure as does forests. Hemp cultivation requires few chemicals. Hemp is easy to grow and actually restores and replenishes soil nutrients. Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic petro-chemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products. These products include plant based cellophane, recycled plastics, resins made from hemp seed oil, to name but a few. The most hazardous toxic waste comes from petro-chemicals and nuclear power. Hemp can safely, cleanly and completely replace them both.

Hemp is good for the American farmer and the community job market. The farmer and even the rural community has the most to gain from the restoration of the domestic hemp production. One acre of hemp produces 3-4 tons of biomass every 90-100 days. Because of hemp’s bulkiness, local processing plants, weaving accommodations and other facilities are needed. This creates a new job market within the existing farm community. This in turn provides a tax base for these communities so that they no longer have to rely on taxing the farmers’ land. The affordability and availability of hemp will create an unprecedented increase in local cottage industries. Everybody wins.

Hemp could end our dependency on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, are non renewable resources since they are the by-product of eons of natural decomposition of Earth’s ancient biomass. Fossil fuel contains sulfur, which is the source of many of the aggravating environmental pollution problems threatening America. When burned the ancient carbon dioxide trapped in these fossil fuels are released and increase the effects of global warming and the greenhouse effect. On the other hand dried hemp biomass burns with virtually no ash or sulfur. Its growth removes carbon dioxide, which it releases when burned. The amount of carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere equals the amount released thus it does not contribute to worsening the global warming or greenhouse effect.

According to Environmental chemist, Stanley E. Manahan, if we dedicated about 6% of continental U.S. land to hemp biomass cultivation could supply all current demands for oil and gas. This production would not add any net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Pyrolysis is the process of converting organic biomass into fuel similar to the process currently used to create charcoal. Hemp “charcoal” has the same heating value as coal, with virtually no sulfur to pollute the atmosphere. Hemp yields approximately 10 tons per acre in four months, is drought resistant and produces a heating value of 5,000-8,000 Btu/per pound of dried hemp. Hemp biomass can also be converted to methanol. Some car manufacturers have already indicated a willingness to make cars that would run on methanol fuel.

Hemp plants could replace all fossil fuels and their harmful by-products, reducing pollution. Using hemp cultivation for the new “energy farming” would create another cash crop for American farmers. Hemp is both beneficial for the American energy consumer, and good for the atmosphere. Hemp is the only crop capable of making America energy independent.

Only politicians and their campaign contributors stand in the way of such radical common sense. (Why do we continue to allow this subversion of our Constitution when their restrictions fly in the face of reason and the best interests of this nation?)

Hemp is good for the tax base of county, state and the federal government. A legally regulated hemp crop would yield billions of dollars in tax revenue. A new hemp industry would replace thousands of jobs being lost in the wood pulp industry and in other agricultural & industrial occupations.

If hemp were de-regulated and taxed at the same rate as pipe tobacco, over ½ billion dollars could be raised annually in Texas alone. Nationwide hemp tax could fund state programs for universal health care for everyone. If hemp were taxed at the same rate as cigarettes, which pose a much greater health hazard, over a billion dollars could be raised just in Texas.

Hemp is good for the national economy. Hemp production proponents claim that hemp could be worth considerably more than $40 billion a year and yield 50,000 safe products. We currently import hemp products from China, Thailand, England, France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Canada, and Australia. Hemp is grown legally in most industrialized countries of the world. What do these countries know that we don’t?

In 1942, after Japan cut off our imported hemp supply, and our national prohibition of hemp production was in place, we experienced a dangerous shortage. Our legislators waged a national campaign and literally begged and bartered with farmers to once again grow “Hemp for Victory.” Farmers and their sons who agreed to grown hemp were given a waiver from serving in the military. We even asked kids in the Kentucky 4-H club to grow at least a half-acre but preferably 2 acres of hemp each. Amazingly, growing hemp was bad, but it became good, but after the war was over it became bad again. Only in Washington could such irrational behavior under mounting evidence be rationalized. We can no longer afford to allow the hemp production to remain a matter of ignorance verses politics. This insane prohibition against one of the world most valuable plants must stop.

Even Thomas Jefferson smuggled special high quality fiber strain hemp seeds from France for American use. Jefferson knew, as do many people now living, that hemp has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope to fine lace. The woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contains more than seventy-seven percent celloulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.

Hemp is already a profitable cash crop in several American states—why not let all states have the choice to grow hemp? After all hemp has been around for a long time. If offers little surprise to the American consumer. Humans have safely used hemp for thousands of years, for food, fiber, fuel, food and medicine. It is only our archaic preoccupation with someone’s potential use of recreational use of marijuana that keeps us from opening this wondrous crop to all farmers. Some law enforcement officer is afraid someone may grow the wrong kind of hemp rather than industrial hemp. This is ridiculous.

In the puritans time it may have been considered prudent to stop someone from getting high—but in this day and age it makes no sense to lock up non-violent hemp offenders. Over 300,000 Americans a year are arrested for marijuana possession, at a cost of $840,000,000 to taxpayers. At a time when prison costs are skyrocketing and we are forced to release violent criminals because of prison cell shortages, we must reconsider our priorities. Once-productive citizens become wards of the state, sometimes along with their families.

I have never used drugs of any kind, not even not inhaled, but going to Indiana University during the sixties allowed me to watch my classmates who did. I truly only knew of one other person on campus who chose not to partake. (It is said that if you can remember the sixties you really were a part of them.) Like all college students before and after them, these marijuana smoking students grew up and became productive citizens with few exceptions. I do not support the use of drugs but I strongly oppose our government’s refusal to succumb to common sense. They have no Constitutional authority to determine our behavior or to regulate what we can do with our bodies. To add insult to injury they refuse the fundamental rights for farmers to grow such a miraculous plant because it looks like one that may make people high. Instead they sit by (probably counting their campaign contributions) while our land, water, and air are polluted. This nation grows ever more dependent on foreign imports and 500 farmers go under each week! If I were in Congress, I would be deeply concerned about the karmic dept that these collective actions will reap.

How long will the American people sit back and take this subjugation from those who are elected to “serve and represent” them?

The criminalization of hemp is unconstitutional and its continuation is perpetuated by corrupted influence of campaign contributions. The hemp industry in America could supply jobs, strengthen the economy and help restore a more peaceful and healthy environment. Henry Ford once said, “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forests and mineral products in the annual growths of fields?”

A few states are beginning to grow hemp but without federal deregulation these attempts are minimal at best. We as a nation must ask ourselves some important questions. Whose campaign contributions are preventing our legislators from opening up our farms to grow hemp? Who benefits from these restrictions? Why on earth are we subsidizing tobacco growers while blocking the legal and profitable production of hemp?

At a time in history when we can map the genes in a plant, I find it inconceivable that our legislator’s can’t tell the difference between industrial hemp and the high-inducing “marijuana” plant. In 1937, when hemp was first outlawed, our legislator’s stupidity could be rationalized, but not in the year 2000.

People must begin to become vocal and outraged against these federal intrusions on our freedoms. Hemp is good for everybody.

What the world needs now is love sweet love-–and the decriminalization of industrial hemp!

***

 

Heather’s comments: Each of my position statements have started from being asked the same question repeatedly. Thus I write on the topics that people want to know about—except this one. I have seldom been asked about my stand on hemp production in this country. Instead it grew out of my farm position paper. In it I suggested we allow farmers to choose to grow hemp. I wanted some facts and figures so I began to read on the topic. In that research I became aware of really how badly this country needs this crop. Hemp holds the solutions to many environmental and ecological problems that we now face. I am now a impassioned proponent of hemp. I am ready to march on Washington on this issue alone. Why haven’t you, the voter, asked the other candidates and me about hemp? Hemp is important for the future of this nation and our sustainable future. It is time we demand accountability from our legislators and the truth from our candidates! We do not need their moralistic rules and restrictions nor their unfair and sometimes unholy alliances with self-serving big business. We need hemp. This country’s future depends on it!

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