Medical Marijuana, Industrial Hemp, and Legalization
I cannot believe how closed-minded we have been about this issue.
17th to early 18th century it was illegal for refusing to grow cannabis hemp; up to early 19th century one could pay taxes with cannabis hemp!
In the 19th century the national flag was made using cannabis hemp as were 80% of all textiles.
Paper: Paper made from cannabis hemp fiber was used to make stocks, bonds, and bibles (up to 90% of all paper was produced thus till late 19th century). Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Hemp-derived paper lasts longer and can be recycled more.
Paints, varnishes: Cannabis seed oil was the sole source of these materials until 1937.
Marijuana seed has protein content second only to soybeans; it contains highest concentration of food-digesting enzymes. Marijuana seed can be used as farm animal feed for less than 1/5th the cost.
Cannabis hemp is the best source of biomass and can be used to produce automobile fuel which is much cleaner and does not produce acid rain. Cannabis hemp is very easy to grow. It is estimated that if cannabis hemp was grown in 6% of US farmland it would satisfy all of our energy needs. Methanol fuel yield from hemp is several-fold higher in comparsion to corn.
Hemp-derived products can replace any product currently made using wood pulp, cotton, or petroleum. Hemp was considered a billion-dollar crop in late 1930s; with today’s technological advancements it would be worth more.
There are so many other supportive facts, it is impossible to list all of them.
I cannot understand how we lost our way except it appears to be have been related to lobbying efforts in the 1930s by corporations who stood to lose if hemp use continued as before since they were making competing products. Then it seems we just forgot about it. Over time it began being viewed as a taboo and stigma.
Moreover, legalizing marijuana would save billions of dollars related to law enforcement and corrections systems and generate additional billions related to tax revenue ($13.7 billion to be precise according to a petition recently signed by 300 economists including Nobel laureates).
There are clearly harmful effects of recreational use of marijuana; but so are those of smoking and excessive alcohol use. I contend that keeping prohibition does not prevent use- simply creates illegal channels, as we learned from the days of alcohol prohibition. People who are going to use it will find a way to do it anyway and those who do not (like I) will not. Rather, allowing legal use allows it to be regulated, enables control and reduces related crimes. Further it allows for the harmful effects to be better studied and displayed (such as in the case of smoking).
Medical Use of Marijuana
I strongly support the medical use of marijuana. The medical benefits in relation to pain control are well established. Several states already have laws to this effect. However, the Food and Drug Administration has still not classified marijuana to enable medical use. As a country we are behind in this regard. In several developed countries including our northern neighbor (Canada), medical use of marijuana is feasible. In fact, the Canadian government has approved regulations to allow easier access to medical marijuana for patients with terminal illnesses and certain chronic conditions associated with pain.
It is high time we moved with the times and showed that we are kind –so that patients with severe pain due to cancer and other legitimate conditions can get some comfort.
Thus as Governor I intend to strongly promote industrial hemp and approving medical use of marijuana.
And let's legalize marijuana as it was when the father of our country, George Washington, grew cannabis hemp.