There are few mainstream topics so hotly disputed and so shrouded in taboo and misunderstanding as marijuana. This is not a thesis on the health & economic benefits of legalizing this versatile plant, it is simply my opinion on the matter.
Anybody who is not terrified of this plant likely understands why marijuana was outlawed in the first place. In a nutshell, the culprits were William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst Paper Company and the DuPont Chemical company’s successful lobbying attempts in D.C. and the propaganda that accompanied it to demonize marijuana and put fear into the public. Both industries stood to lose billions to a hemp industry – an industry whose cornerstone was to be a raw material far superior and more renewable than timber, coal, and oil (the raw materials that Hearst and DuPont had tapped for their company’s products). The story is much more in depth than that but I doubt you will want to read all of the details.
Through a 2011 perspective, hemp used as a raw material is a safe, practical, green-friendly, and easily renewable raw material that can sustain the continued existence of countless industries that we rely on today for our products from fuel and medicine to clothing and wellness products. Big Business will not allow marijuana to be legalized as an industry raw material without a big fight because they will lose billions to the industries that spring up around it. From a business perspective it makes sense. From an ethical perspective, they are in the wrong; their exploitation of coal, oil and other fossil fuels has done a good deal of damage not only to the earth but to human health as well. They do not care enough to transition to hemp – they are obsessed with keeping it outright banned. That is reckless and certainly not a responsible long-term business plan.
Weed. That word alone is a stigma and continues to shade the public’s perception of marijuana. In the 30’s, the campaign against “marihuana” (as it was referred to back then in an attempt to demonize the plant and confuse those who were pro-hemp) is something that would make you piss yourself from laughing so hard at the absurdity of their attempts to demonize it. Your jaw would also drop at the racism that fueled it as well; wild claims by establishment Caucasians & anti-marijuana proponents that weed was responsible for the murderous rampages of criminals. Typically, they would cite crimes – often made up for the sensationalist Hearst newspaper – committed by Mexicans and African-Americans. Remember that racism and bigotry was far more extreme in that era than it is today. Today, we grow up learning that weed is bad for you. That it is a gateway drug responsible for turning people with no self control onto hard drugs like coke, crack, ‘the Spin Zone’ with Bill O Reilly, and Katie Couric’s baseless and unintelligible rants.
The fear mongering by anti-marijuana supporters is laughable. Sure, when you are high, your eyes become bloodshot, your heart rate can increase, you mellow out, you can even trip. It does not cause laziness. Laziness is due to a person who is predisposed to being lazy. Shall we discuss the health risks of drinking alcohol, which, if abused consistently in the long term is far more damaging to the mind and body? If you are against smoking weed but drink alcohol, you are a hypocrite in my opinion. You consume a substance that has the potential to do far more damage to your body and mind than the substance you waste your time railing against while waving your American flag and Bible around. Without devolving into partisan name-calling, marijuana is not a conservative or liberal issue. If nothing else, it has more to do with the overreach of federal policy into an area that only the states are given the authority to legislate on.
Uncle Sam is not my daddy or yours; if he can tell me not to smoke marijuana, then can he not make it illegal for me to eat Cheez-Its? You stay away from my beautiful Cheez-Its! To burn gasoline since it’s so bad for the environment? To skip school? Why don’t we all give in to the Nanny State and criminalize anything that the D.C. bureaucrats find offensive or detrimental to the human condition. And that’s in spite of the fact that said bureaucrats have engaged in many such ‘vices’ and possibly still do away from the scrutiny of the public eye. “I did not inhale.” Is anybody else tired of hearing that during election time? It’s time to grow up and end ‘Prohibition II’.
Currently playing: “Marijuana” by KiD CuDi.