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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Legalize for the economy

There has been a lot of posting on Facebook lately about the fight to legalize marijuana and hemp. I have seen post after post in favor of ending the "War on Drugs", and the one comment that is almost always made in response to those posts is "we have more important things to worry about right now, i.e. the economy, unemployment, the deficit, etc.".  The ignorance of this response always bothers me greatly.  Hello!  Legalizing marijuana and hemp could actually solve (or at least minimize) all of those problems!

There are currently 30,000 potential uses for the hemp plant and its by-products.  From food (no it won't get you high by eating hemp seeds), to bio-fuels and bio-plastics, from medicine to bio-remediation of contaminated soils.  Despite the totalitarian regulations that make actually studying the true medical effects of marijuana nearly impossible, there is some evidence that it can actually CURE cancer!  Not just, be useful in the treatment of cancer, but actually freaking CURE it!   And its medicinal uses have yet to be actually fully explored, there may be more medicinal uses for this plant than any other substance currently known, but the US government refuses to acknowledge any of them.  Not because they do not exist, but simply because those in control of our government can't figure out how to keep all the profits to themselves.  There has NEVER been a single documented case of pot ever killing anyone, unlike nearly EVERY prescription medication currently on the market.

If the US government would legalize the production of hemp and marijuana, several things could happen.  First we free every prisoner convicted of buying or smoking pot (as for those convicted of selling it, I will give you a grey area on that one because they could just as easily be there for tax evasion since most sellers don't report their sales as income - so I am gonna leave them out of the discussion for simplicity sake).  We also eliminate the massive back-log of criminal cases in every state, by dropping the charges against those arrested for smoking or buying it.  (And sorry, no there will be no restitution for the lives already destroyed by the drug laws. You did break the law as it existed at the time, and while the laws are stupid and as far as I am concerned unconstitutional, it was still the law.  We will remove it from your record, but that's the best you are gonna get.  After all the idea is to improve the economy, not bankrupt the country.)  We have already saved millions of dollars for state and local economies just with this first step.

Now we get into the production, you want jobs?  Here you go, we could literally create thousands if not millions of jobs in the US alone.  Not just the agricultural jobs either, as I mentioned, once it is grown there are thousands of uses for it.  We can build manufacturing back up in this country, from cloth to construction and beyond most peoples imaginations.  We can also wean off our dependence on foreign oil by combining the use of hemp as a bio-fuel with other alternative energy sources.  We can at the very least minimize our need to import oil from other countries.  It can be used to produce plastics which are far less harmful to people and the environment than the current crude oil based plastics.  The bio-mass left over after extracting the oil from the plant can also be mixed with coal to greatly reduce the pollution caused by burning coal alone.

The possibilities of uses for hemp are only limited by the imaginations of the people with access to it.  Of course there is also the "legalize marijuana and tax it like alcohol" argument for the millions (if not billions) of potential tax dollars that alone would generate.  As for the argument that legalizing it will make it more available to kids, I call Bullshit!  It is far easier for any teenager to get pot now than it is for them to get alcohol, legalizing it would allow for greater regulation of who has access to it, not less.  And quite frankly it is a parent's job to monitor their children anyway, I am a little sick of people demanding that the government "protect" their children.  That's your job as a parent, NOT the government's job.  I want the government LESS involved in the raising of my children, NOT more!  The government should be protecting our children from the things we cannot protect them from, like companies who import poisoness  products, or the religious infiltration of our public schools.

I will remain firm in my convictions that the BEST thing we could do for our country, our economy, and the rest of the world for that matter, would be to legalize both hemp and marijuana, IMMEDIATELY!  The dangers are all exaggerated or completely false, and the continuation of this travesty is just unacceptable in the 21st century.  The time has come to give up the failed propaganda war against one of the most useful plants on earth.  End the ridiculous propaganda campaign against it and start utilizing it to its fullest potential.  Free the weed, and free the people! 

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