Dear Neil and friends,
I agree with the idea of increasing American input into the European drug policy discussion for several reasons. Internationalizing the shift in value that has reignited European hemp agriculture and industry, expands consideration of the true costs of prohibition. Weighed against the costly, counter-productive effort, the many practical applications of Cannabis have become common knowledge.
The need for a coordinated global agricultural response to climate change becomes more urgent with every passing spring. The value of Cannabis in regard to climate change is hardly considered -- even by the drug policy reform community -- yet ought to be of universal concern.
The end prohibition of hemp in the U.S. is the obvious next step, leading toward the end of the "drug war" all together. The phrase "essential civilian demand" was used in regard to "hemp" in Executive Order 12919, signed by Bill Clinton in 1994. If the world embraces the idea of a formal, objective, global revaluation of hemp agriculture, ecology, manufacture and trade as "essential" in the context of present crises, then we may yet have time enough to have an effect.
Control of critical resources determines the degree of freedom we're alocated, or in the case of the hemp-deprived U.S. -- lack thereof.
May I suggest a new, international campaign to add dimension and amplify the post-Vienna "Freedom to Farm" campaign. Progressing beyond Vienna 2009 may benefit from transcendent steps in our own thinking.
I offer the broadest possible use of "nothing to fear but the atmosphere itself" as a unifying thought that sums up a vast subject. Some may recognize the similarity of this to another wartime tag line, originating with Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Rossevelt pointed out in the same address that
"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly."
And I propose that now is a time for similar comprehensive honesty. The fact is that Cannabis is the lynch-pin to the drug issue, for several reasons. One reason is that the economic disparity maintaining the status quo would be rebalanced through Cannabis agriculture more broadly and more certainly than any other change that could be made within the time constraints we face.
Perhaps we can fund the drug reform movement in the U.S. by charging the police for instruction in how to distinguish industrial hemp from marijuana -- Rope from Dope 101. Apparently, that's the only barrier blocking the multi-billion dollar hemp industry in the US.