Marijuana is a tricky subject in America.
Based on the way our current federal law is written marijuana seems to be the devil of all plants. It is demonized and believed to be an immoral and destructive drug that should be censored at all costs and by any means necessary to save our nation from destruction!!!
Some of the methods used to control the use of marijuana are very expensive and quite irrational in my opinion. We, the tax payers, have to pay for extra police officers and other law enforcement officers to monitor marijuana use. We have to pay correction officers and maintain prisons to punish offenders who were caught with marijuana. We have the high cost of financially supporting citizens who are healthy and in the prime of their lives and should be working, paying taxes and contributing to their families and communities while they sit around in prisons because they were arrested, tried and committed for possessing a minuscule amount of the plant.
From my understanding, hemp, a natural fiber by product of the cannabis plant (marijuana) could be a very positive, practical and valuable fiber if used for industrial purposes. The cannabis plant, like bamboo, is a very environmentally friendly plant and grows quickly and abundantly. Hemp requires little or no pesticides or herbicides, controls erosion of topsoil and produces oxygen. Hemp can also be used to replace harmful products like tree paper which is processed using chlorine bleach and creates a waste product that is carcinogenic (cancer causing). The strongest chemical needed to whiten hemp so that it can be used as paper is hydrogen peroxide which is harmless.
Hemp can also be used to produce biodegradable plastics (save our land fills!), clothing textiles, rope, canvas, fuel and health food.
Marijuana can also be used for medicinal purposes. The active ingredient in marijuana (THC) and other compounds found in cannabis are legitimate holistic alternatives.
Marijuana and its by-products are suitable for patients suffering from various types of chronic pain, especially those unresponsive to traditional analgesics (pain killers). In addition, cannabis has less negative side-effects than opioids (synthetic/chemical narcotics used to treat pain) – which can be highly addictive – and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can induce stomach ulcers, bleeding and kidney failure.
Just this past week, HB 648, a bill allowing severely ill patients to grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes has won a 13-7 vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee in New Hampshire and heads for a full House vote next week.
The bill requires patients to be certified by a doctor before they can grow or possess up to six plants or two ounces of marijuana. They or a caregiver can grow the plants, and a patient is given the option of obtaining marijuana from another certified patient.
In addition to New Hampshire thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries — businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. These dispensaries are legal under California law even though they are still illegal under federal law.
In the past month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said federal policy will shift, giving states more leeway to pass and enforce their own medical marijuana laws. The Federal government will no longer focus on raids of marijuana clinics but will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state laws.
That is a departure from the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state’s law. California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes even though it’s still is against federal law.
Medical marijuana advocates in California welcomed the news, but said they still worried about the pending cases of those already in court on drug charges.
“Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that’s inconsistent with federal and state law,” Attorney General Holder said.
Kris Hermes, a spokesman for national medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said he welcomed Holder’s perspective and that “It signals a new direction and a more reasonable and sensible direction on medical marijuana policy.”
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard of anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana. Or anyone getting a disease because of marijuana but I have heard of people who got alcoholic poisoning and died; and people who were DWI and killed other people.
So why not give marijuana the same laws and restrictions as alcohol? Americans can legally brew beer and make wine up to a certain quantity for personal consumption. So why shouldn’t we be able to grow and possess marijuana up to a certain quantity for personal consumption?
Take it out of the hands of the dealers and let law enforcement concentrate on dangerous drugs. In fact, we should legalize cannabis and encourage farmers to plant this very eco-friendly plant industrially as a source for paper and other by-products. Why not?