As every educated member of the genus Homo sapiens should know, hemp is the world's most important ecological resource — a virtual miracle plant, which, as a Popular Mechanics article pointed out in 1938, can be used to produce over 25,000 products. Industrial applications, which Rowan Robinson lists in The Great Book of Hemp, include textiles; cordage; construction products; paper and packaging; furniture; electrical and automotive applications; paints, sealants and cosmetics; plastics and polymers; lubricants and fuel; energy and biomass; compost; and food and feed.
Hemp was cultivated for fiber and medicine in China as early as 2800 BCE. Its cultivation spread from Central Asia, where it is indigenous, to Africa, Australasia, and the Americas. Evidence in the form of hemp clothing and skeins of hemp fiber found in the Death Mask Mound in Ohio shows that hemp was used in North American as early as 400 BCE.
It is, of course, impossible here to discuss in some detail even the most important uses of hemp. But a brief summary, such as the one given in Robinson's study and Jack Herer's The Emperor Wears No Clothes, an underground bestseller, is a good way to start. Herer reminds us that from about the 5th century BCE to late 19th century, 90 percent of all ships' sails were made from hemp. Hemp fiber is excellent for all kinds of cordage, used for centuries throughout the world.
Until the 20th century, most paper as well as textiles and fabrics used for clothing, bed sheets and linens, rugs, drapes and so on were made from hemp. Hemp paper is much more durable than wood pulp paper, while rag paper (which contains hemp fiber) is „the highest quality and longest lasting paper ever made." The first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, on which were also printed, among many others, the works of Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Rabelais, Victor Huge, Lewis Carroll, and many others.
An acre of hemp can deliver four times as much fiber as an acre of trees, hemp being environmentally very friendly. Drought resistant, it grows quickly and abundantly, requiring few if any pesticides. It chokes out weeds and leaves the soil clear for another cycle of cultivation. It is thus an ideal rotation crop. And it can even clean up polluted soil by drawing up heavy metals through its roots.
Hempseed yields probably the best vegetable oil for human consumption because it is the highest of all plants in essential fatty acids, near-perfect for the human body. It is among the lowest in saturated fats at only 8 percent and contains 55 percent linoleic acid and 25 percent linolenic acid, the highest in total essential fatty acids. „Of the 3 million plus edible plants that grow on Earth," says Herer, "no other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value of hempseeds."
Another very important potential use of hemp is that „on a global scale, [it] produces the most net biomass .. and is the only annually renewable plant on Earth able to replace all fossil fuels." One acre of hemp is said to yield about 1,000 gallons of methanol. As Herer reports, Henry Ford grew marijuana „possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production… He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal." Producing hemp paper will help stop the senseless destruction of the few remaining ancient forests and restore an ecological balance between industrial needs and nature conservation.
Added to this bewildering array of benefits of hemp cultivation and processing should be the impressive medical properties of hemp's close cousin, marijuana. Of little agricultural use, marijuana has nevertheless remarkable medicinal applications. It can reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma, lessen nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, and provide relief for those who suffer from asthma and migraine headaches. It can also be effective as an antiarthritic, antibiotic, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and analgesic.
Contrary to what the U.S. government and DEA spokespeople claim, marijuana is a relatively safe, non-addictive drug — no drug, legal or illegal, being entirely safe. According to World Almanacs, Life Insurance actuarial rates, and the last 20 years of U.S. Surgeon General's reports (quoted in Herer), about 400,000 people every year are killed by tobacco, 150,000 by alcohol, several thousand by caffeine. Even aspirin kills people, but there is no provable case of a single death due to marijuana use.
Other important medical applications are known, but the point should be obvious: the industrial and medicinal potential of hemp and marijuana is nothing short of phenomenal. These plants are unquestionably among Nature's best gifts to humankind.
What more could inhabitants of the planet Earth, who call themselves "sapiens," wish for in their attempts to solve mounting energy and food production problems as well as to stop deforestation and soil contamination and erosion? It is only rational not only to legalize but encourage mass hemp cultivation and permit at least medical uses of marijuana. But since 1937, the United States has done exactly the opposite. The Marijuana Tax Act (MTA) of 1937 launched a vicious, destructive, hysterical, deceitful, and expensive but ultimately useless federal campaign to suppress both marijuana and hemp. The culmination of this anti-human and anti-Nature legislation is the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, which classifies marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs and does not differentiate between hemp and marijuana, both of which cannot be legally cultivated in the United States.
What „on Earth" happened?
The CSA categorized all drugs into five „schedules," mainly based upon the drug's potential for abuse and its medical uses. Schedule-One drugs have "a high potential for abuse .. have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States .. and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of [these drugs or other substances] under medical supervision." According to the authors of the CSA, marijuana is such a drug. So is heroin. So are mescaline and peyote and several dozens of such lesser known opiates, opium derivatives, and hallucinogenics as acetylmethadol, etorphine, and psilocybin.
In the group of Schedule-One drugs are also listed tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs), separately from marijuana, even though the plant genus to which marijuana belongs is the only natural source of THCs. Hemp is not mentioned at all, so an argument could be made that hemp was not originally targeted for suppression. However, because hemp may contain trace amounts of THCs, the DEA treats both hemp and marijuana the same: as sources of Schedule-One drugs. This is the basis of the current DEA's stand on hemp.
Only a complete ignoramus, a religious fanatic, and/or despicable hypocrite could claim — today or in 1937 — that marijuana has „no .. accepted medical use." To say that this is so is like arguing that white is black and that the Earth is flat, despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary.
What „on Earth" is going on?
The main problem in any discussion of the U.S.-DEA's ecocidal and fascist-like war on marijuana and hemp is to define the key terms: What exactly is marijuana? What is hemp? Is marijuana the same as hemp?
Many Americans, brainwashed for over sixty years by misinformation and lies told by the U.S. government and the DEA, don't even realize that hemp and marijuana are not the same plants. (Many Americans don't even know what hemp is!) To be sure, hemp and marijuana are both members of the same plant genus, Cannabis sativa L., yet they are not identical plants. In The Hemp Manifesto, Robinson explains the difference in this way:
Think of a beagle and a Saint Bernard-both Canis familiaris, but with utterly different looks, capabilities, and personalities. So it is with hemp and marijuana. Hemp is a stalky crop that has been grown for its fiber and edible seed for millennia; it is incapable of getting you stoned. Marijuana is a bushy form of cannabis that has been grown for its psychoactive and medicinal properties for an equally long time. The two are different plants and in two minutes a state trooper can be educated so that he will never mistake one for the other.
More objectively, hemp (or industrial hemp, as it should be called) is properly defined as Cannabis sativa with a one percent or less (usually 0.3) concentration of the psychoactive ingredient delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. The content of THC in marijuana, on the other hand, may range from 3 to 20 percent. This definition has been accepted by a coalition of farmers, businesses, and environmental groups in a March 6, 2001 letter, asking the Bush Administration to reconsider the current marijuana/hemp laws. Needless to say, the letter — an eloquent plea for sanity-has been predictably ignored by the Bush Administration, which may turn out to be even more foolish in its anti-marijuana campaign than the Clinton, Reagan, or Nixon administrations.
Definitions of hemp and marijuana based upon THC-content help clarify the critical difference between the two plants: while marijuana is a drug, hemp is not. There is just not enough of it for hemp to give you a high. Yet both hemp and marijuana are illegal in the United States — a lunacy in which only the United States among the most industrialized countries continues to persist. Germany, England, Canada, and a host of other countries have recently legalized hemp cultivation. France has never banned it, while Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine are the main European exporters of hemp to the United States.
Whenever the issue of hemp/marijuana legalization comes up, the U.S. government consistently refuses to listen to science and reason. It ignores scientists and medical experts like Dr. David P. West, an eminent plant geneticist, and Lester Grinspoon, a professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, author of Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine. It ignores NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and many other such organizations. Instead, the government relies on DEA directors and, more recently, drug tsars of the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy), as well as other politicians to dictate the terms of our national drug policy debates. But these people are all career politicians. They range from FBNDD head, Harry J. Anslinger, the „first drug tsar," a pathological liar (who before Congress testified that "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" [sic]!); to William Bennett, a sanctimonious Christian humbug; to General Barry McCaffrey, a brutal, ignorant militarist.
These men seem to have no medical knowledge and understanding of the chemical properties of marijuana and hemp. They just repeat mindlessly the criminal falsehoods invented over the last several decades by whoever has had a vested interest in suppressing hemp and marijuana: mainly the spokespersons for the pharmaceutical, lumber, big oil, tobacco, and conservative Christian groups.
To return to the problem of the definition: Dr. West in Hemp and Marijuana explains that Cannabis is „the only plant genus in which can be found the unique class of molecules known as cannabinoids" and that it „produces two major cannabinoids — THC .. and CBD (cannabidiol)." And while THC's psychoactive effect is well known, it is not commonly known that CBD blocks the effect of THC in the nervous system. Concludes Dr. West:
Cannabis with THC below 1.0 percent and a CBD/THC ration greater than one is therefore not capable of inducing a psychoactive effect. Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana, it could be called „anti-marijuana."
While there are other important differences, from a chemical viewpoint it is clear that hemp and marijuana are not the same plants. The current U.S. marijuana/hemp law is, then, seriously wrong. But the problem is more depressing than what appears to be a spectacular stupidity of American hemp and marijuana legislators and DEA's errant warriors.
At the beginning of the 20th century, hemp seemed poised to become an ecological salvation and a multi-billion-dollar industry. What was needed was a technology that would eliminate the intensive labor traditionally required to separate the fibrous bast from the hurds in hemp stalks and thus make large-scale industrial hemp cultivation economically viable.
Even though many hemp processing devices had been patented (including Thomas Jefferson's own hemp break), it was George W. Schlichten, a brilliant German immigrant engineer, who provided a real breakthrough with his „decorticator" in 1915. This „marvelous machine," as described in Robinson's book, remained only a magnificent engineering idea, because no financier could be found. When its industrial potential was re-promoted in the 1930's by the scientific magazines Mechanical Engineering and Popular Mechanics, it was already too late: The MTA killed the budding "Billion Dollar Crop" industry. To Schlichten, who already at that time was concerned about the horror of destroying forests for paper production, this legislation was devastating. Schlichten died, as Robinson says, „a ruined man, and America's future was tragically altered."
But there's more than just plain incompetence and ignorance to account for the MTA. Was there a hidden agenda?
One answer is money, greed, and power — as always in politics. We should never forget that the business of America is business, sometimes at any cost.
In the 1930's the established timber businesses of Hearst, Kimberly Clark, and St. Regis „stood to lose billions," as Herer points out, if the new hemp processing technology was to be implemented. At the same time, as it happened, the synthetic petrochemical giant Du Pont was facing a potentially formidable natural opponent, hemp, to challenge the company's newly patented processes for oil- and coal-based plastics and the improved method of making paper from wood. According to Herer, "If hemp had not been made illegal, 80% of Du Pont's business would never have materialized and the great majority of the pollution which has poisoned the Northwestern and Southeastern rivers would not have occurred."
And so something had to be done to protect the business interests of the richest and most influential people in the United States against the emerging power of hemp industry. Hemp had to be outlawed, even though it seemed like an impossible task to try to ban the most useful crop in the history of humankind.
It is likely that the federal legislative process that would have such horrendous ecological and social consequences not only in the United States but in the world at large was effectively initiated by the richest man in America at the time, Andrew Mellon, secretary of the Department of Treasury, owner of Gulf Oil, and Du Pont's chief financial supporter through his bank, the Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh. It was Mellon who handpicked his nephew, Harry Anslinger — that notorious liar and racist — to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD), the forerunner of the current much-dreaded DEA. Through a series of secret Treasury Department meetings and questionable, if not outright illegal, congressional maneuverings, a stage was set to pass the MTA. The idea was to falsify by gross distortions and unabashed lies the apparent evil of marijuana smoking, and in the process to secretly eliminate hemp.
Another major player in the anti-marijuana hysteria was William Randolph Hearst, another racist who also stood to lose if hemp became a mass produced crop. Hearst owned several dozen newspapers, magazines, and radio stations as well as substantial timber holdings, linked with the paper industry and Du Pont. During his life, Hearst published so many lies about marijuana in his many newspapers across the country that the damage has never been undone. Anything that could help sell his newspapers was fit to print. A typical Hearst lie was the argument that marijuana caused blacks to rape white women. The man responsible for institutionalizing yellow journalism in the United States was also, according to Herer, one of the interests „most responsible for orchestrating the demise of hemp manufacture."
And so hemp was doomed. It had to be eliminated in the land of "free trade," and it was. Marijuana was used mostly as a pretext to get rid of hemp, because both were equally threatening to the established business interests.
The sickening details of this unprecedented and perhaps unparalleled fraud in the history of American legislation can all be read in the two books mentioned at the beginning of this essay, as well as in, for example, Drug Crazy by Mike Gray, and many other printed and electronic sources now easily available for any interested reader.
However, although this conspiracy theory of hemp suppression is well supported and eloquently stated by Herer, Robinson, and others, it does not account for all the facts. So yet another reason must be sought.
One of the often ignored facts in the current discussions of the origin of marijuana/hemp legislation is that the actual movement to suppress Cannabis began at least two decades before the MTA on the local, state level. Many states had already implemented anti-marijuana laws before federal legislation was introduced. According to Schaffer Library of Drug Policy in „History of Marihuana Legislation," "public policy toward the drug was well rooted locally" before Commissioner Anslinger initiated his infamous crusade. „During the 'local' phase of marihuana prohibition, lasting roughly from 1914 to 1931, practically every state west of the Mississippi, except for two, had prohibited use of the drug for non-medical purposes."
It was then ordinary American citizens prompted and supported by such perennial Christian crusaders for moral purity like the Women's Christian Temperance Union who were clamoring for marijuana ban long before the Federal Government made a fateful decision to join the fray. More recently, groups like PRIDE (Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education) and PDFA (Partnership for a Drug Free America) have continued to pour falsehoods and fabrications about Cannabis sativa in general and marijuana in particular. PRIDE, as David R. Ford points out in Marijuana: Not Guilty as Charged, is active with hundreds of thousands of parents and students, and its programs are used in homes and schools throughout the United States as well as in other nations." These groups are well funded and are supported by the DEA. One example of the many dangerous fictions widely advertised by PDFA, was, for instance, the infamous „frying pan" TV ad. As Ford says:
PDFA members apparently felt that fiction was a justifiable means to an end. Hardly scientific, or true. Dr. Donald Blum of the UCLA Neurological Studies Center told KABC news that in another ad, a photo showing the effects of marijuana in fact show[s] the brain waves of someone in a deep sleep-or in a coma. It took weeks before the PDFA removed the dishonest television spot. There was never an apology. Yet such propaganda continues to terrify parents and brings more money to these organizations and to the DEA.
The silliness of Nancy Reagan's highly publicized campaign is yet another example of the same: many Americans pushing for a ban of marijuana and extremely harsh punitive laws to suppress its use, and politicians too eager to oblige them. Perhaps uninformed, incompetent, and vindictive people deserve an uninformed, incompetent, and vindictive government.
It is, of course, possible to argue about what exactly were the causes of the American obsession with fighting Cannabis. Undoubtedly other contributing factors can be mentioned. But it is not possible to question what MTA and CSA and other such federal legislative acts have done to American democracy and its people. Here are only a handful of selected facts:
About half a million marijuana users, usually young people, are arrested each year, an overwhelming majority non-violent and posing no threat to anybody. These arrests and imprisonments have ruined or destroyed thousands of lives and caused needless suffering for the relatives and friends of the arrested. The U.S. prison industry is among the fastest growing in the country. According to Robinson, $5 billion was spent in 1995 on new prisons to accommodate the growing U.S. prison population, which has doubled in the last two decades, an overwhelming majority of whom are marijuana and other drug users. It currently stands at about 2 million, the largest prison population in the world. A new federal prison is being built every two weeks, a de facto prisonification of the United States, the world's leading jailor. About 5 billion is spent annually to enforce marijuana interdiction, while less than 1 percent of the Cannabis eradicated is marijuana. The rest is ditch weed, which is wild hemp. Which is to say, the great DEA warriors and other narcotics agents are engaged in a fierce battle with a .. ditch weed. As Vermont legislator Fred Maslack says: „ As far as the War on Drugs is concerned they [the DEA] would be better off pulling up goldenrod." Indeed, they might just as well chase flies: some 70 million Americans have tried marijuana. It is not possible to eliminate a plant so beneficial to humankind.
Consider now a few individual cases (described in Ford's and Robinson's books), showing the utter horror and inhumanity of the USA-DEA's war on Cannabis sativa:
I am an inmate in an Alabama prison, serving a life sentence without parole for possession of 10.9 pounds of the hemp that grows wild in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and several other states. This all started out as a joke because this stuff looked like marijuana. I brought some of it back from Missouri. It will not make you high no matter how much of it you smoke. The Alabama crime lab said it was marijuana, and the trial judge denied us permission to obtain a sample and have our own testing done to see if it had any drug in it. I feel like the only reason I am here is because I am a poor person and had to have an Alabama court-appointed attorney, He only talked to me two times for less than five minutes at a time before I went to trial. — Vernon McEhay, Springville, Alabama
P.S.: There are several people in the Alabama Department of Corrections, serving life and life without parole sentences for marijuana. One man here got life for one joint.
My home was raided on September 27, 1991. It was „no-knock" search for marijuana cultivation. I have no left leg and my hips have been replaced, along with my knees, left shoulder and elbow. I have had a kidney transplant also, and smoke marijuana for nausea. These animals put me on the floor and tore my home apart. They found a bong (pot pipe). They gave me a citation and walked out. They left my home with no doors on it, and me on the floor. It took me about 40 minutes to find a way to get off the floor. I spent ten years in the service so that people could live free in this country, but I guess things don't work out that way in America. — Guy, Nebraska (a disabled war veteran).
James Cox, a cancer patient who grew hemp for use as an anti-emetic with his chemotherapy, was convicted for it in Missouri and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Orland Foster, an AIDS patient who also grew hemp for medical purpose in North Carolina, served fifteen months for the same offense. Foster's cellmate served less time — for murder. The case of paraplegic Jim Montgomerry, who smoked marijuana to relieve his muscle spasms, is even more inhuman. Sheriffs in Sayre, Oklahoma, found two ounces of marijuana in the pouch on his wheelchair. He was convicted by a jury that sentenced him to life imprisonment plus sixteen years. The judge later reduced the sentence to ten years. He was released on appeal bond after nearly a year in a prison hospital where he developed a life-threatening infection. The government also tried to forfeit Montgomery's home, which he shared with his widowed mother.
Such stories are not uncommon; they probably happen every day. They effectively demonstrate how low the U.S. government has fallen. If law enforcement agents for a government-imposed morality can invade your house in the middle of the night without a search warrant; if they can forfeit your cash, your car, your house, and whatever else you might own without any evidence other than hearsay; if you can be thrown in prison for the rest of your life (plus another 20 years or some other such sentencing nonsense) for growing or possessing marijuana or hemp, even if only for your personal use — then in what sense is the United States a democracy committed to protecting individual freedom? Excluding torture and outright executions, what is it that DEA's not-evil American boys and girls cannot do that fascists under Hitler, Mussolini or Franco could do?
Of the men responsible for trashing the Bill of Rights, particularly the 4th Amendment, in their attempt to eliminate drug use is President Ronald Reagan, who helped push the Omnibus Crime Bill, which gave the law enforcement the right to confiscate property of anyone suspected of drug violations. As Mike Gray points out in Drug Crazy, property could now be forfeited first, then „charges would be filed, then the evidence would be gathered-the exact reverse of due process." As a result, law enforcement agencies could now focus on asset forfeiture rather than crime suppression; „the cop on the beat now had a cash incentive to capture property instead of criminals," as Gray says. It was "a return to the halcyon days of medieval justice. Generations of property rights going back to the Magna Carta were set aside in the name of legal efficiency." It was the act of using seizures „to finance the king's army .. that led Hancock and Jefferson and Adams to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. If they were with us today, they would surely be at our throats."
In its current war on hemp and marijuana, the U.S. government has fallen even lower than during the McCarthy era or the Prohibition. It has now turned against an average American-and the planet itself-with an unprecedented irrationality and arrogance.
In a 1970 New York Times editorial, Gore Vidal argued prophetically that the drug problem would only get worse, because the U.S. government has a vested interest in not solving the problem of drug abuse through legalization as there is lots of money to be made in waging war on drugs, marijuana in particular. The prospect of fighting sin and making money is the ultimate attraction to American politicians. DEA and ONDCP careerists need money to justify their loony jobs of suppressing hemp and marijuana and of invading medicinal marijuana dispensaries and brutalizing marijuana patients and anybody who, instead of drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco, prefers a joint to get a high, a much safer alternative. The idiocy of allowing alcohol and tobacco while banning natural THC is mind boggling. It is a story from the theatre of the absurd. To throw a suffering, non-violent person in prison just because he or she has smoked pot to relieve pain can only be done by a sub-human monster who has lost all capacity for reason and compassion. In its anti-Cannabis policy, the U.S. government seems to have become such a mindless and heartless monster.
Despite the 1st Amendment's legal provision for church-state separation, the U.S. government has never really abandoned the preposterous Puritan idea that the business of the government is to impose a Christian morality on the whole nation, to care for its „moral fiber," to eradicate sin as defined by the Bible or a Bible-reading politician. The war on marijuana and hemp is also motivated by a desire of the government to ensure moral standards according to the corporate and political interests of those who wield political power. Hemp was once considered very important for America, as for example in the "Grow Hemp for the War" campaign during the Second World War. Then the government reversed itself, once the military threat was over, and banned hemp cultivation.
Likewise, marijuana was first feared and banned because of its presumed ability to induce violence in its user. When this became transparently untrue, public policy shapers came up with another falsehood, that marijuana would induce indolence and pacifism, as if being a pacifist was some kind of crime. (Well, it may be a crime, because pacifism will be a threat to the glorification of the military in American culture and so a threat to established political and military interests.)
Whatever the causes of the USA-DEA cabal's war on American people, this much is clear: contrary to the endless talk about freedom, free market, and individual self-reliance-for which presumably the U.S. government stands-the beneficiaries of the established political order in the United States would be terrified if both individuals and states could actually become self-reliant, democratic, and free to compete honestly in a real free market economy. Here's why:
A self-reliant American could purchase a few good marijuana and hemp seeds, and this initial investment of a few bucks will provide a lifetime medication for pain, asthma, nausea and the several other uses mentioned above, as well as a variety of other benefits, including very nutritious food, a cleaner environment, and perhaps even artistic inspiration, as was documented by brilliant American jazz musicians who smoked pot in defiance of the inhuman American drug laws and that pathetic jazz hater, Anslinger.
But powerful pharmaceutical companies would not make much profit if marijuana became legal medicine. If it did, you could smoke a joint for medical reasons for perhaps 30 cents (or nothing if you grew your own marijuana), instead of swallowing a much more expensive capsule with synthetic Unimed-made THC (Marinol), incomparably less effective than smoking natural THC. And while drug companies patent a synthetic THC (or any synthetic medicine) and make millions of dollars, they cannot patent marijuana, which grows free for all. Interestingly, as Ford reports in his book, the U.S. government produces synthetic THC for only five cents a dose, while allowing Unimed Pharmaceuticals to market it for up to $8 a capsule. As a result, taking Marinol, Ford says, can cost a person thirteen thousand dollars a year, from which a nice profit can be made by a corporation in a lucrative, mutually supportive corporate cooperation with the U.S. government, which is what our government is particularly good at.
Marijuana being a better, cheaper, and, in particular, safer alternative, a self-reliant American may not be much interested any more in buying alcohol or tobacco (thus threatening other corporate interests). Individual freedom and self-reliance could be very cheap-and very dangerous to the government and big business. All this is really common sense, which-as we, rationalists, know very well-is extremely uncommon.
On the state level, real democracy, freedom, and free-market economy pose even worse threats to the established corporate, U.S.-dominated world order. As Stephen H. Kawamoto argues in „The Great Marijuana Conspiracy":
Cannabis … legalization could change the world economy drastically… Cannabis legalization is a threat to the New World Order because it represents a green industry that could help a nation abandon its dependence on a petroleum-based society that supplies the pharmaceutical and plastics industries… In fact, it could strengthen each nation, making each one sovereign. And this, more than anything is what the financial capitalists fear the most.
Kawamato's argument is, of course, likely to be ridiculed by the corporate media's pundits, who have a vested interest in supporting the status quo. But in the long run, only fools and ignoramuses will not take advantage of the many benefits that marijuana and hemp can offer. Right now, the only industrially advanced country to ban both marijuana and hemp is the United States, which is incontrovertible evidence how dangerously destructive and ecocidal our government has become.
To a Vietnam veteran, an AIDS or cancer patient, or a non-violent recreational user of marijuana-an innocent citizen-the worst enemy may not be Allah-worshipping suicide terrorists but the home-grown 100-percent Christian, god-loving Americans running the government prostituted by money interests. It could be an unforgiving, cruel, and immoral enemy. It is an enemy even a dying war veteran or cancer patient should fear. It is an enemy of compassion and reason, even common sense. It is an enemy they should not love.
And neither should you.
Originally published in YellowTimes.org (2002) and The American Rationalist ©
(Last change: 06-10-2003)