Sunday, June 28, 2009

34 Harms of Cannabis Prohibition

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Thank you for your courageous acknowledgment of the importance of a Cannabis debate. I am writing to offer my services as an international Cannabis scholar, biodynamic agroecologist, green economist and filmmaker. Please contact me to further understand how important a resource Cannabis truly is.

The following list is meant to serve as an introduction to a vast debate. There are many more harms yet to be articulated. People are being invited to add to this list, so that we may assess the true cost of Cannabis prohibition, in time to avoid extinction.

34 Harms of Cannabis Prohibition

1. Induces essential resource scarcity. Cannabis is not an optional natural resource. Nutritionally, Cannabis seed is both unique and essential.
2. Imposes radical energy inefficiency by limiting regional production and availability of several bio-fuels, including cellulosic hydrogen, ethanol, pyrolytic charcoal, diesel seed oil, methane gas and compost heat.
3. Induces global food insecurity and malnutrition by limiting the production and availability of an unique and essential foods. Three essential fatty acids, the best organic vegetable proteins, critically important vitamins & minerals, and all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts.
4. Induces scarcity of affordable, recyclable and biodegradable building materials.
5. Reduces the carrying capacity of wildlife habitat by reducing the availability of essential food and cover.
6. Institutionalizes a black market economy in god-given herbs by misidentifying them as "drugs."
7. Corrupts governments, locally and globally.
8. Creates radical resource disparity, that inevitably leads to wars over energy, water and other essential natural resources.
9. Creates an economic vacuum that has addicted and corrupted our economic system into dependence on toxic, unevenly distributed, finite resources.
10. Degrades the environment on regional and global levels. "Global Broiling" (increasing levels of UV-B radiation) is perhaps the least discussed example of the "extinctionistic" effects mankind's addiction to chemicals is having.
11. Engenders poverty, illness and violence, where abundance, health and peace could otherwise exist.
12. Causes epidemic malnutrition.
13. Threatens everyone's health by inducing essential food scarcity, which obviates optimum human development and potential.
14. Perverts human social evolution toward synergistic collapse of environment, economics, and social structures.
15. Largely responsible for the rise of GMOs, having created protein shortages.
16. Economically and politically empowers the most greedy, least conscious people.
17. Disrespects and interferes with science.
18. Institutionalizes disrespect for Nature.
19. Inhibits free individual spiritual evolution
20. Robs us of our Natural Rights, which government was founded to protect.
21. Robs the other creatures with whom we share this planet of unique and essential food and shelter.
22. Creates conditions of irrational acceptance of government misinformation, undermining the credibility of government.
23 Accelerates the spread of HIV/AIDS between infected mothers and nursing infants.
24. Creates a "forbidden fruit" which makes adolescent experimentation with 'marijuana' and other psychoactive substances more likely.
25. Makes the wild places into war zones, driving illegal growers further and further back into remote wilderness areas.
26. Interferes with regeneration of damaged lands, and expansion of the global arable base.
27. Cripples organic agriculture by banning environmentally benign biogenic pesticides and interfering with rotational cropping methods.
28. Disrespects the sacrifices made by previous generations, for the freedoms we are losing, because of the counter-productive, hypocritical, selective and expensive "drug war."
29. Results, on average, in the pointless death of one police officer per month, whose lives are wasted enforcing anti-Constitutional laws, that are counter-productive to their own stated objectives.
30. Constricts the global agricultural production of atmospheric aerosols called "monoterpenes" which have been shown to reflect solar radiation away from the planet, and seed cloud formation to protect the Earth from "global broiling" by increasing UV-B radiation.
31. Inhibits the use of a safe and effective herbal therapeutic by people who are intimidated by the misinformation and violence that characterizes 'marijuana' prohibition.
32. Destroys families and undermines social structures that are the most effective means of addressing substance abuse and other symptoms of imbalance.
33. Interferes with the spread of knowledge that is critical to social evolution.
34. Suppresses the peaceful side of human nature. Cultures that use Cannabis are invariably more peaceful than societies that don’t.

Paul J. von Hartmann
California Cannabis Ministry

Project P.E.A.C.E.
Planet Ecology Advancing Conscious Economics

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sustainable Agriculture Mitigates Climate Change and has Climate Adaptation Potential

Cannabis agriculture is a critical component of sustainable, organic agricultural rotations. Add to this the production of biofuels and food from the same harvest, and production of atmospheric monoterpenes, and organic hemp agriculture has the potential for making an enormous difference in the quality of life for future generations.

A report by the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO and FIBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland) (2007) provides a detailed assessment of the benefits of organic farming regarding climate change. The benefits are summarized as follows (Khor, 2008):

—Organic agriculture has considerable potential for reducing emissions.

—In general it requires less fossil fuel per hectare and kg of produce due to the avoidance of synthetic fertilisers. Organic agriculture aims to improve soil fertility and nitrogen supply by using leguminous crops, crop residues and cover crops.

—The enhanced soil fertility leads to a stabilization of soil organic matter and in many cases to a sequestration of carbon dioxide into the soils.

—This in turn increases the soil's water retention capacity, thus contributing to better adaptation of organic agriculture under unpredictable climatic conditions with higher temperatures and uncertain precipitation levels. Organic production methods emphasizing soil carbon retention are most likely to withstand climatic challenges particularly in those countries most vulnerable to increased climate change. Soil erosion, an important source of carbon dioxide losses, is effectively reduced by organic agriculture.

—Organic agriculture can contribute substantially to agroforestry production systems.

—Organic systems are highly adaptive to climate change due to the application of traditional skills and farmers' knowledge, soil fertility-building techniques and a high degree of diversity.

The study concludes that: "Within agriculture, organic agriculture holds an especially favourable position, since it realizes mitigation and sequestration of carbon dioxide in an efficient ways. Organic production has great mitigation and adaptation potential, particularly with regard topsoil organic matter fixation, soil fertility and water-holding capacity, increasing yields in areas with medium to low-input agriculture and in agro-forestry, and by enhancing farmers' adaptive capacity. Paying farmers for carbon sequestration may be considered a win-win-win situation as (a) carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (mitigation); (b) higher organic matter levels in soil enhance their resilience (adaptation), and (c) improved soil organic matter levels lead to better crop yield (production)."

Crucially, for farmers who have to face increased climate variability and extreme weather events in the near future, sustainable agriculture, by increasing resilience within the agroecosystem, increases its ability to continue functioning when faced with unexpected events such as climate change. For example, organic agriculture builds adaptive capacity on farms as it promotes agroecological resilience, biodiversity, healthy landscape management, and strong community knowledge processes (Borron, 2006).

Improved soil quality and efficient water use also strengthen agroecosystems, while practices that enhance biodiversity allow farms to mimic natural ecological processes, which enables them to better respond to change. Sustainable farming practices that preserve soil fertility and maintain, or even increase, organic mater in soils can reduce the negative effects of drought while increasing crop productivity (Niggli et al., 2008).

from "Sustainable Agriculture Mitigates Climate Change and has Climate Adaptation Potential"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prohibition is counter-productive and costly -- so what's to debate?

The strongest possible arguments against the prohibition of Cannabis have not yet been articulated. If they had, then the world's most valuable and nutritious agricultural resource would have been made readily available to everyone on Earth decades ago. Failure to communicate the unique and essential values of Cannabis means that weaker arguments for Cannabis "legalization" continue, where the debate could have and should have ended long ago.

It's past time to honor Cannabis-inclusive agricultural economics in full appreciation for the many benefits it affords over chemical-dependent farming and industry. Unless we accomplish that small step in consciousness, as a functioning, rational society, then anything else we might do may be too little too late to avoid synergistic collapse.

I've wondered for decades, what particular combination of words would achieve the fundamental healing in the shortest amount of time, that's so critical to everyone's quality of life? Which aspect of the comprehensive, overwhelming rationale constructed of common sense would result in an uncompromising call for immediate Cannabis freedom, loud enough to reach the hearts & minds of the greatest number of people, in the shortest span of time? Perhaps it is simply the fact that this sudden and extreme shift in values will decide the fate of everyone's children.

Cannabis is unique and essential for several reasons. Nutritionally, Cannabis seed is unique in that it is the only common seed with three essential fatty acids (EFAs), making it essential for optimum health from conception to death. Cannabis unique in that it is the only agricultural crop that sustainably, organically produces the greatest abundance of food and fuel from the same harvest in the widest variety of soil and climate conditions. Cannabis also produces more atmospheric monoterpenes than any other crop, offering a proportionate agricultural response that is essential for resolving problems of climate destabilization.

We now know that our present leadership is leading us towards global extinction. Why would we continue to think that the solutions to our problems will come from the system that has brought us to the brink of catastrophe? Since Cannabis has been in the service of mankind for Centuries, why would the world's oldest global culture suddenly need permission from a dysfunctional government to exist? That Cannabis is considered both a "strategic food resource"* and a "Schedule One drug"** demonstrates the contradictory values that have resulted in counter-productive policies in the U.S. and created misery in countries that replicate U.S. drug policy.

What has been presented as true by the succession of predominant leadership for the past seventy years, stated as false and continues to be false. Cumulative knowledge and empirical data gathered over more than eighty years of prohibitions, obviate the option of continuing the most destructive policy ever. While it may not count for much with some people, I recognize that total Cannabis freedom is by far the best available, cost effective and time efficient remedy for the scarcity that's being imposed under false pretenses.

The false claim that Cannabis is a "drug," and an undesirable "weed" that's bad for our health has been disproved many times over in several countries. It wouldn't matter even if that were true. People will always have unlimited access to marijuana, and young people will want it all the more if it's made a "forbidden fruit." The glamor of money surrounding the black market makes 'marijuana' even more attractive to young people.

Drugs don't make seeds. Herbs do. That fact makes it impossible to keep people from growing pot, and the harder you try to, the stronger the black market gets. Leadership that doesn't recognize this is either corrupted, confused or ignorant. Prohibition laws that cripple America's organic agricultural industries is clearly a threat to national security and Earth's Natural Order.

So what's The Answer? How do we end prohibition immediately? I believe the solution is so simple it's practically invisible: our common future depends on a simple shift in values. What was once considered an undesirable "drug" can now be recognized as our best chance for survival, and a tool for achieving sustainable existence.

By recognizing the true essential value of Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade in the context of 21st Century crises, prohibition will give way to a better quality of life for everyone. It's our choice to open the bag of hemp seed with which to heal Earth Island, or not. It will be our children who pay the price for our failure to consider the true value of Cannabis in time to avoid synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures upon which we all depend.


*Executive Order 12919 (Clinton 1994)

** Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule of Drugs [sic]
Schedule I
(a) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(b) The drug or other substances has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(c) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NORML, MPP, DPA, and ASA are indeed part of the problem

First of all, I honestly appreciate Mr. Amentano's talent and ability in arguing for a normal relationship with Cannabis -- as far as you go. It's not nearly far enough since we are still arguing over "legalization" after decades of "drug war" induced negligence. NORML, MPP, DPA, and ASA have all conceded rightful jurisdiction over unique and essential natural resources. How do you justify that?

Do you accept that an agricultural crop identified as a "strategic food resource" (EO 12919) is also a Schedule One drug? If not then why not force the DEA to resolve this obvious contradiction. Do you really believe that cops can't tell the difference between "rope&dope"? That flimsy excuse is all that blocks a trillion dollar green energy industry from reawakening in the USA.

By misdirecting the Cannabis culture into an endless political morass, the world's oldest global culture is begging legitimacy from a dysfunctional, corrupted government at the helm of crumbling economic and social structures, potentiating extinction. Why not revalue Cannabis as unique and essential and finish the argument?

What I fail to understand is:

How & why you, NORML, and others in the reform movement fail to make the obvious connection between "every herb bearing seed" and the First Amendment. Drugs don't make seeds, herbs do. Not another law needs to be passed to end prohibition of the world's most nutritious and useful agricultural resource. Period.

The world's oldest global culture has centuries of inarguable precedent, fundamental to the most potent state and federal "substantive due process" defense. Is the drug policy reform reform movement so comfortable collecting membership fees and coordinating conferences, arguing for more laws & regulation, that you fail to see the larger truth?

Cannabis has never been truly illegal because it is too valuable to be within the rightful jurisdiction of any court. Why don't NORML , MPP and DPA use the millions you all have to challenge the rightful jurisdiction of the court over unique and essential natural resources?

Have you forgotten that it is the many uses of industrial hemp that originally motivated marijuana prohibition? Why don't you remember the ancient historical relationship between agriculture and religion and invoke Constitutional protections for Cannabis agriculture?

Why don't you recognize that Cannabis is an essential crop, that may be critical to the continued existence of our species on a livable planet? Cannabis vs. climate change is a broadly compelling argument that has yet to widely considered. Google "global broiling" to find my blog entry on this subject.

Honestly, I get disheartened being denied funding by organizations who seem to think that asking for permission to grow Cannabis and establishing another bureaucracy to tax and regulate 'marijuana' (with no mention of industrial hemp) is the way to end prohibition.

Well, it's not. Taxing 'marijuana' another expensive misdirection. The money to be made from industrial hemp dwarfs the revenue stream from a pot market that allows for home cultivation.

Consider the potential billions to be made from biofuels and protein production, to name just two income streams from hemp, compared with the mere millions to be made from the sale of 'marijuana' -- after people who grow start to share it FOR FREE between friends, as we do RIGHT NOW -- even in a black market.

The freedom to farm "every herb bearing seed" is the first test of religious freedom.

Looking forward to your reply,

California Cannabis Ministry

“The greatest service
which can be rendered any country
is to add a useful plant
to its culture...”

-Thomas Jefferson, Cannabis farmer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An inconvenient solution whose time has come

The wave is finally breaking on the extended credibility of dysfunctional governments. For too long, people have trusted in the promise of moral power. The actions of the United States in waging wars and inflicting harms betray the illusion. Wars are foundational to the chemical industrial economy. The apparent, abject failure of the present system in terms of environmental sustainability invites all solutions to be considered.

Collapsing economies, blatant abuse of power, environmental catastrophe, social upheaval, crumbling infrastructures and rampant illness are among the cruelest returns afforded by the present economic base. A shift in values along with a heathy dose of respect for Nature might still be able to change that.

All "Reefer Madness" misinformation and bad stoner puns aside, what if suddenly, Cannabis agriculture were seen for what it truly is? Cannabis is the most useful, potentially abundant, globally distributed, environmentally beneficial, essentially nutritious crop on Earth. How can a resource this valuable be prohibited? By a simple, persistent, critical mis-valuation.

Rather than acknowledging what the founding fathers knew and wrote about extensively, the present political coterie of chemical economists has pronounced self-serving prohibitions on those "herbs bearing seeds" that were given to mankind to be received with thanksgiving. Doesn't the First Amendment protect that?

From the perspective of an international spokesperson, standing up for the world's oldest global culture for the past seventeen years, it seems to me that the span of time it has taken to get where we are is unacceptable in that such an extended timeframe will not allow for timely
expansion of the arable base.

Comment on 'Water Stress, Ocean Levels to Unleash 'Climate Exodus' on Common Dreams

When things get bad enough for all solutions to be considered, then I recommend we begin by revaluing Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade in the context of 21st Century crises. We must reverse the perception of value that has dominated our degenerative economic disrespect for the Natural Order and snap out of the confused perception that a "strategic food resource" can also be a Schedule One drug.

We all need to start utilizing Cannabis to its fullest potential, or go over the falls in synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures. Cannabis is far too valuable to be truly illegal. Unless mankind faces that reality, then in fact we are doomed much sooner and surer than anyone can imagine. If the nutritional and atmospheric benefits of Cannabis were the only things to consider they would be more than enough, but there's much much more.

Google "global broiling" if you need another thing to be really worried about. Fortunately, there is a solution, but it's an inconvenient one. And time is running out.