Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thinking Outside the Bong

Why a comprehensive rationale is needed to end Cannabis prohibition in Spring 2010

Decades of grassroots activism, public education and scientific research have failed to end Cannabis prohibition in the United States and at the United Nations. There is obviously something broken in a system of governance that fails to acknowledge the true value of an uniquely essential, "strategic food resource."

Prolonged essential resource scarcity is threatening the world with sudden, unpredictable, unresolveable, synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures upon which we all depend for survival. Because 'time' is the limiting factor in the equation of survival, a comprehensive and conclusive analysis of Cannabis is urgently needed to end the prohibition of hemp in Spring 2010.

The most fundamentally destructive policy in human history, prohibition of the world's most nutritious and useful agricultural resource has imposed essential resource scarcity, banned research and impeded public awareness of critically important nutritional information for more than seventy years. Inflicting imbalance at every level of our existence, the prohibition of Cannabis -- both low-THC "industrial" hemp and high-THC 'marijuana' -- has engendered crises that can best be addressed by a simple shift in values.

Reconnecting agriculture to ancient spiritual dimension of proportionate gratitude for the succession of miraculous events that result in an abundant harvest, affords the Constitutional freedom to farm "every herb bearing seed" under protection of the First Amendment. Giving thanks for the true value of Cannabis in a meaningful way, demonstrates respect for Nature and the processes that our present system of values is antagonistic toward.

Attacking the Natural Order as we have done and continue to do is self-defeating and unnecessary. There are resources and sustainable methods of agriculture that can provide what we need to live, without damaging the operating systems of the Earth. Shift our perception of Cannabis value will do more to afford balance in environment, economics and social evolution than any other single change in policy that we could make. Affordable, timely, and urgently needed, ending Cannabis prohibition must be recognized a s a global priority, followed by intensive, widespread organic cultivation, without crippling government regulation.

Since American farmers are still hobbled by hemp prohibition, it can be concluded that intimidated reasoning which fragments understanding of Cannabis value, rather than clarifying it, hasn't worked. A few years ago, concerns about "confusing the public with information" may (or may not) have been a legitimate concern, though undoubtably insulting to people's intelligence. In the current state of increasing public awareness about hemp seed nutrition and industry, we only perpetuate the stigma against hemp by accommodating a disingenuous, limited conversation.

Perhaps the most obvious impacted lie resulting from divisive attitudes toward Cannabis, has been to allow law enforcement/prohibitionists to perpetuate the myth that industrial hemp is difficult to distinguish from marijuana. This is simply not true.

Hemp is sown four inches apart over vast expanses of farm land; grows a single, unbranched stem 12-18 feet tall; and the single hemp bud is either covered with seeds or kicking out copious quantities of pollen from the male flowers growing among the female plants.

This lie is all that prevent you and I from feeding our families the freshest, fertile hemp seed possible from our gardens. Sterilized hemp seed has begun the process of oxidization, making health-building "cis-fatty acids" into toxic "trans-fatty acids." What power on Earth has the right to sabotage our well-being and our basic human right to eat, at such a fundamental level? Inducing scarcity of essential nutrition is far beyond the accountability of any court.

If put to judgement in the court of informed public opinion, considering the opinion polls concerning both marijuana and industrial hemp, I think our "fearless leaders" would be faced with the choice of becoming political dinosaurs, or stepping into a 21st Century understanding without the hangover from the "Reefer Madness" of previous generations.

That the UNFAO fails to recognize an ancient source of complete nutrition as fit for human consumption is the result of failing to distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. 950 million people go to bed hungry every night. One in six people on Earth are malnourished. One in three dies of cancer. How bad do things have to get before the UN is held accountable for the true value of hemp seed?

Cannabis is also the only crop on Earth that produces both fuel and a complete food from the same harvest. This eliminates the argument against agricultural production of biofuels causing food insecurity. Regional production of hemp biofuels and would dramatically decrease fuel costs, enable efficient regional energy production/consumption, increase food security and improve nutrition.

Failing to acknowledge differences between low-THC hemp and marijuana obviates consideration of cross-pollination between low- and high-THC strains as the most effective strategy for discouraging pot plantations in wilderness areas.

A week-long series of educational events and media, culminating in a formal challenge of rightful jurisdiction will be backed-up with a non-violent demonstration of civil disobedience. Planting industrial hemp on the steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento (as I did with the help of the Sacramento Green Party for Earth Day 1993) will provide a forum for people's legitimate questions and concerns to be responsibly addressed, while punctuating the end of hemp prohibition by formal public exercise of essential civilian demand.

The Attorney General of California, Jerry Brown has been notified (by registered mail) that it is criminally negligent to ignore the true value of hemp, considering the threat to national security imposed by present Cannabis policy. It is in fact a "misprision of treason" to fail to act in ending prohibition of a known "strategic resource" value in the context of the national and global crises we face.

Accepting an artificial, impotent, pigeon-hole approach to discussing Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade, rather than a realistic, comprehensive evaluation of Cannabis policies, will only perpetuate confusion and increase the dysfunction afflicting our world and threatening our children's future. Considering Cannabis in relation to climate change mitigation, food security, health, ecology, economics, and other major facets effecting our lives is perhaps the most direct route for getting from where we are to where we need to be to avoid extinction.

An iron-clad Constitutional legal strategy is currently in force that secures agricultural exercise of religious freedom. I will try to raise funding through a public speaking tour that begins at Humboldt State University in April 2010. Your help in sponsoring "Hemp is Our Legacy Week" could mean the difference between a conclusive, broad-based grassroots action and just another exercise of our "freedom to complain.

Timely Cannabis policy reform depends more than ever on practical support and encouragement from those who recognize the strength in persisting in a comprehensive, objective, science-based rationale. Please do what you can to help me help you help everyone.