Marijuana: Taming the Beast

Introduction

Behind the scenes of our own ignorance lurks a beast, which calls himself the father of our country. This beast is known for his fallacies and his rhetorical speeches. He is known to find corners in cover-ups and conspiracies. The evidence against him is incredible and seeks to find an audience uninterrupted by his scare tactics.

In the late 19th century this beast reared his ugly head through a man known as Henry Asslinger who was a powerful figure confined within the form of this vicious animal. He was a known racist against Blacks and Hispanics, and as marijuana made its way from Mexico and was introduced as a recreational drug in the music scene, composed mostly of black jazz musicians, Asslinger realized his opportunity to convince others of his racist views. A mass hysteria ensued, stirred by Asslinger’s straw for power.

Under the influence of this beast was also a coalition of business owners who were promised great profit in the downfall of one of man’s greatest industrial, medicinal and social treasures on earth. It his here the great beast we know as our government overstepped its bounds in the name of protecting its people.

Acres and acres of hemp were burned down, leaving a smokescreen of manipulation and political propaganda behind them. A new industrial world had begun, built on a toxic chemical known as petroleum. Hemp, which was once a widely used plant utilized for everything from making fiber for clothes, sails, parachutes, paper as well as other useful products like bio-plastic was banned. Instead, it had become known as the wretched surge of marijuana in our youth. It was now a sin, and was the route of all that is evil.

Our very constitution was written on hemp paper. George Washington himself was known to grow fields of it on his plantation

for several reasons, one being his chronic tooth pain. “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!” (Washington, 1794) The founder of this nation might be disappointed if he discovered that hundreds of years later it was considered a criminal act to grow it or possess it. The truth, no one protected hemp in the constitution because no one ever thought its benefits would be taken away.

Now because the beast had come, everyone yielded in an irrational dumbfounded fear; a fear, that still plagues this country today. The growth of hemp has become a bureaucratic time bomb threatening our industrial and social development. It is time to make the tumors in our brainwashed minds, benign. It starts here with a real education. We will take our country from the beast and put him back on leash where he can protect us from one another instead of attempting to protect us from ourselves. Our personal decisions must remain intact. Prohibitions, like those on marijuana, refuse us of our rights to choose, and hinder our further abilities to learn about moderation and control.

We are in a crisis that we have become ignorant too. From a social stance, our children have been exposed to far more lethal drugs while marijuana peaks through the soils of our street. They are not being taught about personal responsibility, and many use marijuana for recreational use because of its easy access. We cannot keep a substance like marijuana under control if we cannot see it. We cannot guide our children in the right direction when we don’t know what streets they are crossing. Marijuana grows within the depths of the darkness of the black market. As a society we are still blinded by this darkness. We must bring it into light where it can be observed.

Beyond the social dilemmas remains an environmental one. If we continue to walk the path of marijuana prohibition, we may have far more environmental issues than we had ever imagined. Our heavens are filling up with toxins. We are filling our landfills with non-biodegradable hazards. We are cutting down all of our trees and destroying our wildlife. We are using non-renewable resources and soon we will be left with nothing but rare consumables. If we continue to abuse our environment in the name of protecting our youth, we may be looking at a future where we remain inside a human manufactured biosphere, which protects us from acid rain and gaseous poisons like carbon monoxide. The issue has already been recognized. We have taken the path of a costly alternative already, with fuel cells and solar panels as well as hybrid vehicles, but we have a much cheaper one, an alternative that was used centuries ago.

All of this has occurred in the name of protecting us from ourselves, because in the eyes of the beast, choice is not an option unless it is made for us. We must take our lives back. We must create a stronger healthier nation and protect our interests not only socially and politically, but environmentally as well. Putting hemp back into our lives will be a start. We must take ignorance by the hand and walk it down the road to the local schoolhouse. We must legalize marijuana and show the beast, we can in fact be a responsible people.

Social & Political Factors

“More than two decades after it was launched in response to the spread of crack cocaine-and in the midst of a brand new wave of methamphetamine use sweeping the country-the government crackdown has shifted from hard drugs to marijuana.” (Dreyfuss, 2005)

The anti-drug war has gone on for years. Time passes and nothing is accomplished accept for a shift into the focus on marijuana and an increase in costs for law enforcement, leaving little funds for the enforcement of more lethal drugs. With costs assessed at $4 billion annually, the growth of marijuana arrests over the 1990’s has not decreased its usage or its availability. As reported by the Drug Reform Coordination Network, it has not demonstrated any impact of usage or any reduction of criminal behavior. “Our analysis of criminal justice processing of marijuana use over the 1990s suggests that the contemporary approach is apportioning resources inefficiently at each stage of the system.”” (Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2005)

Lives are literally stolen; prisons are overflowing; the death tolls are rising. Whatever happened to the heroin pusher across the street anyway? He is probably still there. How do we protect your children by throwing them in jail? We aren’t teaching them not to use marijuana. We are teaching them to disrespect the law and law enforcement. Repeated offenses can attest to this. “Pot now accounts for nearly half of the drug arrests nationwide-up from barely a quarter of all busts a decade ago.” (Dreyfuss, 2005) Scaring them with sentences longer than those who are convicted of murder doesn’t seem to be working.

Maybe we should frighten our youth by telling them that they could be caught in the middle of a drug bust and get shot in a full out shooting spree by the DEA or other authorities. Maybe that would work. DARE to keep your kids off drugs. Marijuana itself isn’t going to kill them, but government officials or a scared dealer will. We can’t tell our youth, no one has ever died as a result of marijuana usage. We can say, however no one has ever overdosed on the substance.

The Bush Administration might be eager to scare your children, but they are more inclined to use guilt tactics. “The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy spent more than $3 million for two TV ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl. One ad asked viewers: ‘Where do terrorists get their money?’ The answer: ‘If you buy drugs, some of it might come from you.'” (Bovard, 2002) Now look around the room and see if your children feel bad about the World Trade Center bombings. It might be time to take control and teach your children the truth.

The truth is that by making it more difficult to traffic drugs, the profit on the drugs goes up on the streets, profiting the terrorists. Who’s really to blame? “Unfortunately, U.S. drug laws have done far more to empower terrorists than Bush & CO. would like to admit. Drug laws are far more effective into putting profit into narcotics than law enforcement is at taking profit out.” (Bovard, 2002)

Gary Cartwright, a writer for the Texas Monthly states in an article, “By legalizing drugs, the profitability in their sale would evaporateâÂ?¦” (Cartwright, 2005) The incentive to grow hemp for recreational use could diminish with one decision. “Schoolchildren can’t buy hard liquor, but hard drugs are as readily available as candy on the black market.” (Cartwright, 2005) If the government legalized pot, not only would the profits recycle into our own country, but also we would be able to better control its consumption.

Though the profitability of drugs still remains, drug costs are at an all time low and drug availability and purity is at an all time high. The governments on its War on Drugs, has been a monumental failure. (Dreyfuss, 2005)

The gateway drug, it is called, a threshold for the more lethal drugs. Our drug czar, Walters will continue to depict marijuana in this way claiming, “Marijuana use, especially during the teen years, can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia.” (Dreyfuss, 20005) There is absolutely no evidence for this claim, yet the American public is still being convinced of this fallacy.

The “gateway” effect of this drug may in fact have nothing to do with the substance itself, rather it may have to do with the exposure of other more harmful drugs during its sale. The truth is tobacco and alcohol, are more commonly used first.

Marijuana is taking over our streets and causing our kids to do dumb things, another claim made by those who are less educated on the subject. Kids do dumb things anyway. We educate them; teach them to be responsible. They must learn through their own drive for experience. Nevertheless, marijuana is taking over our youth. Its bad enough; alcohol and tobacco are also taking over our youth, why legalize yet another substance people will have to go into recovery for?

Considering that marijuana is not addictive, the better scenario might be to have our children go into marijuana recovery, rather than to be there when they deal with a heroin or crack addiction. If the drug continues to be on the streets next to where the heroin is sold, they might not only be withdrawing from the heroin, but they may have contracted AIDS, because they shared a dirty needle. Coincidentally they might be smoking marijuana to boost their appetite because the marinol, which is an FDA approved drug, containing THC, didn’t work. It’s backwards bureaucracy.

If marijuana were legal, it would be out of the hands of drug lords and dealers who profit. It wouldn’t be next to lethal drugs. You will definitely not die as a result of one puff of marijuana. You could however die after the first inhalation of crack, the first sniff of cocaine, the first injection or snort of heroin, the first inhalation of crystal methamphetamine, and the first swallow of a tiny little club drug. These are the drugs that should frighten parents and these are the drugs the Anti-drug war should focus on. Marijuana has no place next to them. We have a choice as parents to stop the radical regimes of a racist founded reform. It is up to you to teach your children, not the government, so educate them with a complete education, and leave nothing out.

Marijuana is not the greatest drug, but neither is alcohol or tobacco. Not everyone becomes an alcoholic, or a smoker. We must be given the chance to learn responsibility and moderation as individuals. With choice, we will grow, as individuals, as a society, and as a nation. Without it, we will depend on another force to continue their control and we will be left helpless within its grip with no minds left of our own. The tumors of indoctrination will grow, becoming a lethal carcinogen poisoning any ability to make wise decisions.

Still some people are fighting to keep money in the pockets of politicians, under the influence of bureaucratic brainwashing. Petroleum junkies pay ignorance to stick around for the propaganda parade. Drug education is filled with fallacy, rumor and vague ill stated claims. Marijuana remains the focus of an anti-drug war that only acts as a precipitant for lack of respect for the law.

“Dare to keep kids off drugs” is a challenge successfully making false innuendos that create a barrage of confusion for our youth. Their logic is based off of the same unfounded fears that started the marijuana prohibition. It is based off of correlations manipulated to create a supportive statistic. Information is coincidentally left out to create a more persuasive conclusion. It will kill you. It will make you lazy. It will make you insane. It will cause your children to become depressed, and suicidal. It could make your child a schizophrenic. Cut it down, burn it.

Plastered all over DARE’s website are headlines like “girl is charged in teen’s death; Police say marijuana is a factor”. Coincidentally marijuana was not the only “factor”, but it was one worth mentioning for their purposes. The girl ran a stop sign. She was an inexperienced driver, and a young teenager distracted by friends. The article states significant amounts of marijuana were found in her system. For anyone uneducated about how marijuana is detected through testing, it might seem like a good argument, but if someone understands that marijuana can be in the system for weeks, and blood testing detects inactive metabolites of cannabis and not active metabolites, as well as the fact that lab testing for metabolites is often inaccurate because certain substances give inaccurate positives, it doesn’t seem to be a reputable claim. Blood tests tell us how many metabolites are in the system, but it isn’t a record of recent intake, rather a record of intake over time. How can the police tie this inconclusive evidence to the case?

If marijuana is truly the cause, a lesson is to be taught. It is a substance that one needs to be responsible about. Even our parents are confused about it though, they have fear clouding their judgment.

Is it really a “factor” without a definition? These questions go unanswered. Seemingly significant information pertaining to the real truth of this case is left out, leaving the reader into a hyper-hysteria about how a teenager smoked some marijuana, ran a stop sign, crashed into a bus, and then killed one of her friends, and left the others badly injured.

DARE may claim that legalization would further confuse our youth. What’s more confusing to our youth is the lack of legalization for marijuana while more harmful chemicals such as tobacco and alcohol are available with a little extra tax. Marijuana’s adverse effects fall into the same range as those allowable by other legal drugs, yet it is still “too harmful” to legalize.

It is amazing how the government can claim that a substance such as marijuana, can make you stupid, when the government allows tobacco companies to spike tobacco with addictive and harmful substances with little to no penalties, and then spends billions of dollars on a drug war whose focus is on a substance that isn’t addictive. The government then has the audacity to claim that the drug is a gateway drug when statistically our youth smokes tobacco and drink alcohol before they engage in smoking marijuana.

These cases have nothing to do with marijuana. They are cases about government control. They are cases about personal responsibility. One must be responsible with marijuana as one must be responsible with alcohol or any other substance consumed that can affect oneself in a potentially negative manner. As a famous comedian once pointed out, “This is not a war on drugs, it is a war on personal freedomâÂ?¦” (Hicks, 1990)

Environmental& Political Factors

It isn’t too harmful to legalize. The truth starts here. We are a petroleum-based country and our tankers are already capsized. Thank you President Bush for your kind offering about becoming a non-dependent nation. Put your money where your mouth is, step off your podium and start planting some hemp seeds. Tell the American public if we had fields of hemp we could combine the hemp seed oil with 15% methanol, cheaper and more easily, and make a diesel fuel substitute that burns %70 cleaner than our petroleum based diesel. In fact, the hydrocarbons found in hemp can be used to make a variety of fuel sources. In addition to a reduction in acid rain our conventional fuel plants release poisonous CO2 into the atmosphere while hemp flues maintain a natural O2/Co2 balance. Instead of protecting our youth, you are in fact putting our entire society at risk with an environmental crisis.

Minimum wage is at a stand still, as inflation creeps across the nation in rising fuel costs. People watch as the prices of products rise as a result. Let’s tell the American public that companies like Sterilite support your DARE organizations because they are afraid they will be impacted negatively with a decrease in profits if a more biodegradable plastic were made out of a hemp plant’s cellulose. Tell them that this technology has been available for years, and about how all of our landfills would have been saved from our countries petroleum based non-biodegradable plastic.

The truth about our dwindling forests is also a concern. More and more trees are cut down to keep up with the demand of paper products. It is such a crisis, that we have measures to prevent their dwindling by circulating the crop. It takes pine trees a 30 year life cycle. That is a large circle of trees to replace. In addition the yield for the fiber produced per acre from pine is only 3 tons per acre. Our solutions never included growing hemp to replace the cultivation of pine fiber at a yield of 12 tons per acre because, despite the fact that the hemp grown for industrial use doesn’t even contain enough THC to get an individual high, growing hemp is illegal. Their argument is that if they allowed industrial hemp to grow then cultivators might be able to hide a more potent crop for illegal use, when in fact the crop would cross pollinate damaging the crop used for industry.

We still use cotton. Why? Cotton only yields .03 tons per acre, a large waste of our time and our land. Hemp’s yield is not only higher, but hemp holds an additional quality that cotton fails to. As our ozone depletes faster because of the chemicals we burn, the sun bombards us with more harmful ultra violet rays, which is blocked naturally as long as a product is made with more than 50% hemp. Cloth made from hemp fiber is more durable. It is stronger, more absorbent and softer than cotton.

With five to ten thousand people dying of cancer related to pesticides each year you would think that maybe we would think twice about the need to keep our cotton pesticide free. Hemp never needed pesticides, and naturally crowded out other weeds that attempted to invade its space. (Rousell, 2005) Cotton takes up quite a bit of water for its growth, yet hemp requires little water and can grow in cooler climates. Cloth made from hemp fiber requires fewer chemicals than cotton. (Rousell, 2005)

With all of these factors, maybe we should open our eyes and make a change. Hemp is one of the primary renewable resources on earth. Its maintenance is simple, its yield is high and its cycle of growth is rapid. Among usages that would virtually replace polluting petroleum, a variety of other uses can be made out of the hemp plant.

Conclusion

Education and moderation is the key to our survival as a society. We must be wise have compassion and not turn our face from possible dangers. We do not take hot ovens out of our houses because we are afraid it will burn our children. We should not take marijuana out of responsible adults hands because some individuals are irresponsible. We should not take hemp out of our industry because it also produces a natural psychoactive substance. The substance may be as useful as the occasional drink at a dinner party. Teaching our youth responsibility is our job as parents and as a society. It is not the governments.

We must utilize this resource and take a chance and not allow the beast to consume us one by one while it lashes out for power and control. Soon we will be locked in our homes out of fear for ourselves and one another propagated by a hysterical exaggerated government scheme. As long as the government continues to make our laws for us, we will lose more and more freedoms. Everything we fought for, for so long, our personal freedom, will be eradicated in one sweeping glimpse as we look back wondering how it happened. Consider yourself educated. We must act now while we have a choice, and make the right one.

References

Bovard, James. “The Bush Administration’s ‘Drugs=Terrorism’ Fraud.” The Future Of Freedom Foundation. (2002). April 2002. http://www.fff.org/comment Retrieved from the WIU Library EbscoHost database September 5, 2005

Cartwright, Gary. “Weed All About It.” Texas Monthly. (2005) July, 2005. (pp.86-88, 99) Retrieved from the WIU library EbschoHost database September 5, 2005.

D.A.R.E The official dare website. “Girl is charged with teen’s death; police say marijuana a factor.” Online Posting. October 9, 2004.

Dreyfuss, Robert. “Bush’s War On Pot.” Rolling Stone Magazine. (2005). July 28, 2005. http://www.rollingstonemagazine.com/politics

Editors. “Greatest American Hero: Bill Hicks”. Stuff Magazine. (2003) February 24, 2003. http://www.stuffmagazine.com/articles/index.aspx?id=296

Roussel, Scott , Roussel, Janice. “The benefits of hemp”. San Diego Earth Times Online Posting. 2005 http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/sdethemp7.htm

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet). “War on Drugs Shifts to War on Marijuana.” Online Posting. May 6, 2005 http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/385/shifted.shtml

Toronto Hemp Company. “Modern Uses for Hemp.” Online Posting. July 25, 2005. http://www.torontohemp.com/hempuses.htm

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