Dec 1, 2012
Cannabis and Legalization
In spite of its many useful attributes, whether it is industrial or for medicine, marijuana has been criticized and attacked very harshly in the United States for the better part of a decade. The Federal government has maintained their unwarranted fear and hate of marijuana despite the many reports and studies that show how legalization would really benefit America.
Marijuana has a long history but I’ll try and keep it straight to the point as much as I can. I really want to touch base on the basics such as the economic impact/benefit marijuana and the prohibition of it. I also want to talk a little bit about the medicinal applications that cannabis’ active ingredient THC, or Delta 9-tetrahydrocannibinol, as well as the industrial uses. In this paper I would like to inform you about the positive things that marijuana offers to people in general and America as a whole.
Marijuana comes from a hemp plant. This plant is also known as “cannabis sativa”, and it has been used by humans for many years. There are other plants that are called “hemp” plants but cannabis sativa is the most durable and useful of the variations. Cannabis produces three things, pulp, seeds and medicine and all of them are useful in one way or another. Cannabis is a very resilient plant and is grown all over the world in a variety of climates. It literally grows like a weed.
Marijuana has been used in China as food as far back as 8000 years ago and they started using it for textiles about 6000 years ago. The first recorded use of marijuana being used as a medicine in China was roughly 2730 B.C. and they began growing and cultivating for fibers and food on a large scale since around 1500 B.C.
Hemp has many uses and our forefathers recognized this. George Washington cultivated it at Mount Vernon and another farm near Monticello. In fact there are written accounts from President Washington regarding the cultivation and harvesting of hemp for industrial purposes and refusing to grow hemp in the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law. “You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon”. In the colonial days citizens had to grow hemp by law and in World War II the federal government ordered a million acres of hemp to be grown and subsidized the farmers that helped.
Hemp is also unbelievably diverse. It grows incredibly quickly and has roughly over 25,000 uses. Almost anything that can be made from petroleum, wood or cotton could be made with hemp, including biodegradable plastics.
Hemp is also incredibly practical as far as growing and producing. While trees take 50 to 100 years to grow, cannabis can grow in 120 days. It is estimated that if the hemp pulp paper process reported by the USDA in 1916 were legal today it would replace 70% of all wood paper products. Unfortunately this has done little to sway the mindless drones in the federal government and the mass cultivation of hemp has remained illegal despite the positive impact it could have on America and its economy. The founder and president of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, Glen Levant, is quoted saying “Hemp is marijuana”. This quote just shows how close minded this man is when you realize that the THC level in industrial hemp is next to nothing. Another DEA special agent by the name of Philip Perry has been quoted as saying “The effort to decriminalize hemp is "no more than a shallow ruse being advanced by those who seek to legalize marijuana"…and this is just the tip of the ignorance iceberg.
On a side note, in the U.S. it is not illegal to sell products made out of hemp and about 120 million dollars’ worth of hemp goods are sold annually in America.
So let’s get to talking about prohibition and how it all came about. Recreational marijuana use was prohibited in most...