Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to stop the drug wars, From "The Economist" March 5th

To stop the drug war, the true value of Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade needs to be recognized for what it is: unique and essential.

In the context of present critical imbalances in environment, economics and social structures upon which our common future depends, Cannabis is beyond the rightful jurisdiction of any court. It always has been.

The freedom to farm "every herb bearing seed" is the first test of religious freedom. The First Amendment ends prohibition of Cannabis as soon as the ancient cultural relationship between religion and agriculture is considered. Without Cannabis agriculture, and a spiritual dimension returned to mankind's economic system, our species won't see the end of this century.

Time is the limiting factor in the equation of survival. Time is the only thing we can't make more of. Every Spring planting season that passes without the many benefits of Cannabis agriculture is gone forever. There's work that needs to begin soon if it's going to get done at all.

An objective, definitive comprehensive, peer-reviewed revaluation is needed by June 2009. The importance of beginning an intensive campaign of Cannabis farming this year is being determined by increasing global food insecurity and malnutrition.

Cannabis is the only common seed with three essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is the best available source of organic vegetable protein on Earth. That makes Cannabis both unique and essential. Since the prohibition of marijuana is largely motivated by industries competitive with industrial hemp, the end of hemp prohibition is prerequisite for shutting down the lifeblood of the so-called "drug war."

Cannabis is enormously significant in that it's the only crop from which food and fuel can be made from the same harvest. This eliminates the trade-off between fuel and food production of other biofuel crops, like GMO corn.

Because the DEA supposedly can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, the world's most nutritious and useful agricultural resource is banned in the U.S. and many developing countries of the world. Even if such an impotent excuse was remotely plausible (which it's not since the plant structures of pot and hemp are entirely different), crippling organic agricultural production for any reason potentiates extinction.

Cannabis is critical for mitigating climate change in ways that are hardly being considered because of prohibition. For sequestering carbon, producing oxygen, and releasing "biogenic volatile organic compounds" (BVOCs) into the atmosphere, there is no other crop that even comes close to Cannabis. The atmospheric aerosols produced, called "monoterpenes," reflect solar radiation and seed cloud formation, protecting the planet from increasing UV-B radiation. "Global broiling" by UV-B has been implicated in genetic mutation, stunted growth and depressed immune response in several indicator species, including plants, amphibians, bats, and insects.

To end the "war on [some] drugs" the legal distinction between "drugs" and "herbs" needs to be established: Drugs don't make seeds. Herbs do.

Substantive due process, strict scrutiny and other legal tenets reinforce the fundamental human right to farm Cannabis. The world's most ancient global culture doesn't require permission to exist from a dysfunctional toxic culture based in chemicals. When does a law become so transparently perverse that it ceases to command respect? Exactly when did the government ever get rightful jurisdiction over unique and essential natural resources?

Sunlight and rain are all that's needed to grow hemp to make fuel and produce abundant essential nutrition while improving the soil. No one needs permission to eat.

Remembering the precious "strategic resource" value of Cannabis (Executive Order 12919) requires immediate global attention and consensus. If this doesn't happen soon, then things could get uglier than imaginable as the synergistic collapse of atmospheric integrity, the terrestrial environment, unfounded economics and collapse of social structures becomes irreversible.

Hemp is good news. Be actively thankful that there's a potentially abundant, globally distributed agricultural resource that can help us. Help to exercise "essential civilian demand" for hemp in 2009. If there's a more cost-effective, time-efficient, globally available response to climate change, I haven't heard it.

If anyone can give one good reason that's true not to grow Cannabis, I'll stop writing about it. Until then, I publicly challenge the U.S. government to take responsibility for the true value of Cannabis. Obama's administration must end Cannabis prohibition or face charges of gross negligence for the delay in recognizing the strategic value hemp agriculture in an era of agricultural necessity.

We have nothing to fear but the atmosphere itself. If we don't solve the problems of global broiling and global warming, then it won't matter what problems we do solve.