Cannabis sativa: Grass, pot, weed, hashish, boo…
In spite of rhetoric to the contrary, the American government loves war. One of its favorites has been the endlessly unsuccessful War Against Drugs. Marijuana is an enemy in that war. In America, it is illegal to possess the flowers, buds, or leaves of the “cannabis sativa” plant which have been legally defined as Marijuana. The word Marijuana coined during the 1930s was derived from a Mexican slang expression for a tobacco-like product from the flowers, buds, or leaves of the Cannabis plant.
Hemp is a product of the stalk of cannabis sativa. It is widely associated with rope but has been used in a variety of other useful and durable products like canvas, blue jeans, various cloths, and for the production of high quality paper.
Cannabis also produces seeds which are rich in protein and well suited to vegetarian diets. They can be used to make oil which can produce a diesel like fuel and also be used in paints, soaps, varnishes, and as a diet supplement.
Along with being a potent intoxicant the flowers, buds and leaves are useful for medicinal purposes.
In 1937 the United States Congress passed laws against Marijuana. Current law does not ban the use or possession of the Cannabis roots, stalk or stems but possession of the seeds is illegal unless they have been sterilized. Since the roots, stalk, and stems are integral parts of the same plant, it has been impossible for Americans to grow it without violating the law. The 1937 laws were reportedly passed in response to public outrage created by the newspaper empire of William Randolph Hurst using information supplied by a U. S. Government official named Henry Anslinger.
DuPont had developed a lucrative business making the chemicals needed to create paper from trees. William Randolph Hurst owned huge tracts of forest in the Pacific Northwest. Henry Anslinger, Andrew Mellon’s nephew by marriage, had been appointed head of the newly created Bureau of Narcotics by his uncle who occupied duel positions as head of the Mellon Bank and head of the US treasury. Mellon Bank had large outstanding loans to DuPont. Since Hemp offered an excellent source for the fiber needed to produce paper and for the constituents of cloth, Dupont’s monopolies in the nylon and chemical business could have been threatened as well as Hurst’s lumber holdings.
Today, Hemp is being touted as a potential fuel for automobiles. In a 1991 newscast Hugh Downs said, “It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as bio-mass could replace 90% of the worlds energy needs.” Hemp is said to be easy to grow and does not require fertilizer. Following harvest, it leaves the soil in excellent condition and can be grown each year on the same acreage for decades. An acre of hemp will produce more pulp for paper than four acres of trees and two to three times more fiber than cotton.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich has written an article outlining the multiple potential uses of hemp. He recommends that drug use be decriminalized.
Following are some of the problems for which Hemp advocates claim it is a panacea:
“We have cut down vast tracts of the original forest cover to make paper that we could have been making from hemp.”
“We produce plastic that does not biodegrade and harms us by introducing chemicals into our food and our environment that we could have made 100% biodegradable from hemp.”
“We produce toxic based paints that poison our air and water and houses that could have been made from hemp oils.”
“We make things like Styrofoam, diapers, car parts, computer parts, and thousands of other items that, if they were made from hemp, could return to the soil as fertilizer after their use.”
“We run our cars on a polluting non-renewable source of fuel when we could be using unrefined vegetable oils like hemp oil in slightly modified diesel engines. Diesel engines were invented to run on vegetable oils but were modified early on to run on diesel fuel, a byproduct of gasoline refining.”
“We feed 40% of the world’s grain production to cattle for a protein source (which is enough to feed 3 billion people) when we could be getting that same protein in a more digestible source from hemp seed .”
“We have weakened immune systems from eating over-processed foods devoid of any Essential Fatty Acids when we could have a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids simply by adding hemp oil.”
“We dump half the worlds pesticides on cotton, when we could be using a by-product of the hemp paper industry to make strong, comfortable clothing.”
Both Rudolph Diesel and Henry Ford designed engines to be fueled with vegetable oils including hemp. There is no doubt that vegetable oils are an alternative engine fuel and that hemp might be an excellent source. Though several hemp promoters claim the potential of cheap fuel, other sources calculate it as more expensive.
In the case of Cannabis Sativa it certainly appears we may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
The War on Drugs is in practice a second cousin to the former international policy involving a balance of power. Why do I make that statement? There is adequate evidence available that our ownCIA might be involved in importing the drugs against which our government has declared war. The War in Iraq involves a similar situation. Invading and occupying Arab land actually foments the terror we are supposed to be fighting. We are living under a regime that seems to create the enemies it then sends our citizens out to fight.
When there is demand for a product it is impossible to eradicate its use. The War on Drugs cannot be won and should never have been started. It is tantamount to Prohibition and is creating many of the same problems. If the laws governing our nation were proper and properly enforced there would be no need for a war on drugs.
Under God’s legal system intoxicated (by any means) drivers responsible for the death of innocents would be subject to the death penalty. Losses sustained by innocents would require a remuneration of several multiples. It would not be the substance or the use of the substance that would be illegal but the actions of the citizens involved. Under God’s legal system individuals are responsible for their own behavior. Actions are illegal not inanimate objects. The Bible condemns drunkards not wine.
Even though there is a temptation for writers with an agenda to overemphasize in favor of their position, it appears the Cannabis Sativa plant has potential benefits Americans ignore to their own detriment.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”