April 17, 2014
Proposal of Common sense
Imagine you have a product that grows naturally. You also have the ability to produce this product yourself. To add to that, this product has the capability of being used in so many products that it literally could replace many medicines and industrial products, for only a fraction of the cost as you spend on the products already in place. Yet marijuana/hemp is smeared with negative propaganda, hatred, ridicule and, misunderstanding (In the Weeds). In over two thousand years of known historical use and fifty years of clinical research of this plant, there have been no known cases of death or, permanent health side effects caused by exclusive use. Yet time and time again we see the negative, almost mockingly propaganda spewed from our government, our lobbyist groups and, media (Average Price). In this country we are able to purchase hemp products, process it, import and, export it. Yet we are not allowed to grow it. We are the only industrial country in the world that cannot produce hemp/marijuana. In a country were many citizens are in dire need for work, and we have one product that has the ability to employ a big portion of those citizens, this idea is a confusing notion. The Government, lobbyist groups and, the American society as a whole, must yield their efforts to maintain an illegal status of marijuana and hemp, in order to stop the waste of any more American taxpayer dollars fighting an unwinnable drug war, as well as distracting the American public from more pressing social issues. Marijuana/ hemp is the strongest natural fiber in the world (The Union). It has over forty thousand textile uses, which are stronger, and more cost efficient than their synthetic competitors. Ranging from medication, fuel for vehicles building material for homes and offices and, most important for our purposes, paper. To begin to even understand this plant, its uses and, why it is even illegal in the first place it is important to understand America in the early twentieth century. At this time in history our government had very little regulation in any market. In my research I got the idea that the free market was like the Wild West. You could literally sell and market anything you wanted (whether it worked or not). And to understand the real reason for the status of marijuana being made illegal it is important to learn about the man who is responsible for its illegal status as well as the stigma which surrounds this plant, William Randolph Hearst (In the Weeds). This gentleman was the biggest owner in the newspaper industry at the time, acquiring such newspapers as the New York Journal (Eventually becoming the new york times) (Federal Government Attacks). He was also the main proprietor in the creation of Yellow Journalism. In that day and age, if you read a newspaper it most likely came from Hearst’s Company. However, the issue with Hemp/Marijuana is the idea that Hearst did not use the sort of paper, which is made from hemp. Hearst wanted marijuana and hemp to be illegal in all forms so that possible competitors could not have a cheaper alternative to the more expensive paper he used (Federal Government Attacks). The result of all his slander and yellow journalism as well as manipulation of politics, was the implementation of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which stated that “…hemp in all forms poses a direct threat to other industries…”(The Union). This law required farmers who wanted to grow industrial to be approved and to purchase a stamp for production. The only problem with this was that, the government wasn’t issuing any stamps, to anyone (The Union). The major problem with this law is that, it was punishing an industry for simply being the most cost effective and, efficient product on the market. This notion in my opinion is specifically un-American.
Paper is not the only industry, which sees a threat from industrial…