Sunday, January 11, 2009

Subverting Marijuana Mythology*

Forget everything the government has told you about marijuana (except that it's currently illegal). The government was wrong when it made its bogus case against marijuana 71 years ago, and it's been wrong ever since.

Some basic research into marijuana reveals the following:

• "Marijuana" is a Mexican slang term for the dried leaves and flower tops of cannabis sativa, the common hemp plant.

• Marijuana has demonstrable medical uses and benefits, despite government claims to the contrary.

• Cannabis hemp was a mainstay of economic activity on the North American continent for more than 200 years.

• Unlike alcohol and tobacco, both legal substances that are collectively responsible for as many as 500,000 health-related deaths annually, marijuana has never been shown to be a primary cause of death among its users.

• Cannabis hemp has the potential to reshape and revitalize the economy in myriad ways, including revamped paper and textile industries, new biofuels production facilities, and manufacturing of products for domestic use and for export.

• Society has not collapsed in any country where cannabis is legal.

Despite reams of empirical evidence to the contrary, the U.S. Government persists in perpetuating the myth that marijuana—cannabis hemp—is far too dangerous to be allowed a legitimate place in civil society. And too many fools persist in believing everything the government says is gospel truth.

If marijuana were legalized, the worst that could happen would be the unleashing of a mindstorm of creativity. We might be able to figure out ways to fix our broken political system, our broken educational system, our broken healthcare system.

And the best that can happen? Surely, the best that can happen will arise out of the worst that can happen. Energy independence, a healthier environment, a sustainable culture based on sustainable economic policies and practices are but some of the possibilities.

In short, cannabis legalization—marijuana legalization—would signify the return of sanity to a society gone seriously awry.

*This brief article originally appeared in Petey's Pipeline E-zine, Issue #24, February 06, 2006.

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