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By Jeandré Gerber

These days the information regarding marijuana and hemp is abundant. By simply searching the term “Marijuana” on Google one can find 99,700,000 hits and, similarly, “Hemp” with 39,500,000 hits. This means that anybody with access to the Internet can thoroughly research the topic and receive a wide range of opinions. The majority of the information suggests that marijuana is beneficial for the human body with little to no side effects. Nobody has ever died directly due to marijuana use in the history of mankind and due to current research marijuana has earned its rightful place in the world of medicine.

Hemp (the industrial form of cannabis) is just as versatile as marijuana with thousands of different industrial uses. It is said that Hemp can produce over 5000 different products from its dense fibrous pulp, and over 35,000 products from its cellulose. Some of these products include; paper, cloth, oil, hemp-crete (concrete made from hemp), food, plastics and more. Hemp is not only a renewable resource, it also causes less pollution when processing and requires fewer chemicals as well. For more on the uses of hemp, please refer to “The Many Uses of Hemp” By Nuff Said earlier in this issue.

Yet all this information can be found on the Internet, in libraries, through expert opinion and so forth; however the fundamental principle still remains…it is illegal.

There are many reasons as to why it remains illegal but one major factor is not a concern about public health, but rather the enrichment of greedy politicians and militarists. Every day when you look at the mainstream news you hear about the big marijuana busts with an inflated street value attached to them in order to convince the general public that “something is being done”. The truth of the matter is that absolutely nothing is being done about the apparent “drug problem”. 40 years of history has taught us that this failed strategy is the reason for democratic demise globally, a rise in insecurity and most importantly the systematic dismantling of civil liberties. All over the world people are slowly being deprived of their civil liberties and are subjected to a violent invasion of privacy from their government. The United States created the Patriot Act which allowed them to rape the American Constitution while the country stood by hoping somebody might save them from the ghost called terrorism. Mexico soon followed when they saw the opportunity to attack the evils of organized crime. This June Mexican Congress passed a bill very similar to the Patriot Act which gives the military the right to search anybody without a search warrant, they can also tap cell phones and the list goes on. Currently the United States Patriot Act wishes to classify WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization with the ends of extraditing Julian Assange as a terrorist spy guilty of espionage against the government.

By simply taking a step back and looking at the big picture we begin to notice a ridiculous scenario which acts like a cancer on society. We see several groups fighting the prohibition against marijuana with all a zealous zeal and many battles have been won. The problem is that all of these battles are small compared to the global prohibition machinery that is currently in the seat of power. Every year there is an increase in the budget to battle “drugs”, every year more people are being incarcerated. This is only the beginning of the problem because as jails become fuller and criminal records are stamped on the forehead of simple users, jobs become more difficult to find and more economic stress gets placed on the already fatigued economy. Yet the system continues and the heads of state blindly ignore the science and the economic reason.

To attempt to find the reason behind the madness you will be forced into tunnels of obscure history and economic greed, you’ll come face to face with hypocrisy and injustice. You begin to see how government switched allegiance from the people to that of big corporations in various sectors of society. And you see that regardless of public outcry, the government merely turns a deaf ear.

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