Good morning/afternoon Mrs ****** and students,
What do Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Barrack Obama and Abraham Lincoln share in common? Well they are all prestigious role models in society that we look up to and admire, but did you know that each of these people and many more prominent figures admit to the recreational use of cannabis or marijuana as it is commonly called? The very people who produce the technology to which we all use on a daily basis, the current president of America and the man who freed slavery all admit to using cannabis in their lives, and yet we have all been led to believe that this plant deserves the slander associated with its name, that this “evil” plant will kill us, that it will destroy our lives and is banned for the benefit of our own good. Well I’m here to explain to you why the greatest dangers associated with cannabis, are related to its prohibition.
As a resource the fibres of a cannabis plant (called hemp) are invaluable to the survivability of the human race. These fibres have been utilised since before the biblical times, before cotton or polyester could be manufactured. It was used in the production of rope, ship sails, paper, clothing and even medicine. Hemp was the ultimate, versatile product with over 30,000 different uses. Anything that a tree can produce hemp can create and more. Hemp is 100% biodegradable, it does not damage the environment to grow, requires no fungicide, herbicide or pesticide to thrive and can live in almost any climate successfully. The oil produced from hemp can be used for fuel; it produces no greenhouse gasses, is renewable and can be processed into a wide variety of different fuels, including liquid fuels and gas. So why do we insist on damaging our earth by burning off our limited fossil fuels and through nuclear power when hemp can be used instead, and burns cleaner and more efficiently than most fuel sources, and is renewable?
Products made from hemp are often of a superior quality; hemp clothing lasts on average 6 times longer than cotton and can then be recycled into paper. The paper unlike regular paper from trees does not yellow with age and is more water tolerant. The fibreboards used in building houses made from hemp are twice as strong as those made from wood and require no addition resins to be added.
However the main benefit of hemp as a resource is in the amount it can produce. 1 acre of hemp will produce 2-3 acres worth of fibre, 2-4 acres worth of trees and can yield crop every 4 months, as opposed to the many years it takes for trees to fully mature.
The founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford was quoted saying.
“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”
But this all sounds too good to be true, I mean if this product were soo good then why did it get banned in the first place, who would push for a product superior to cotton, timber, paper, and petroleum to become prohibited? Well surprise, surprise, the strongest pressure on the government to ban the use of cannabis and therefore hemp was funded by those very industries as well as the alcohol and tobacco industries.
But this alone was not the cause for the prohibition of cannabis.
In the early 1900's Mexican immigrants were crossing the border into America and with the Mexicans came a new use for cannabis. Smoking the plant. Smoking cannabis, or as the Mexicans called it, Marijuana lead to an intoxication caused by the THC found in the plant.
America in the 1900's was governed by racism, the people hated the idea of Mexicans coming into their land, and so in an attempt to stop migrants invading, a push was funded by the people who would benefit the most from the prohibition of cannabis to see its demise. Many racist and false ad campaigns were constructed, combined with religious