Cannabis prohibition affects every single citizen of the U.S. whether you smoke it or not. If you are not one of the over 102 million Americans (41%) who have ever tried cannabis, then you might be surprised to learn some of the facts. Cannabis helped our land thrive for over 300 years and it’s time to reverse the policies of the past 75 to change our country’s future!!
Food: Cannabis was first cultivated in China more than 6,000 years ago, and was used as a food source long before soy foods. Cannabis seeds are considered to be one of the most nutritious super foods on the planet, packed with protein, vitamin E, Omega-3, and GLA.
Cannabis contains pure, digestible protein, with a good balance of all eight essential amino acids. It is not only delicious, but comprised of smaller-chain edestin and albumin protein, making it the gold standard of plant foods. Cannabis has three times the vitamin E of flax and twice the iron and magnesium (a key mineral often depleted by industrial agriculture) contained in flax.
Cannabis seed can also be pressed into a nutritious oil, which contains the highest amount of fatty acids in the plant kingdom. Essential oils are responsible for our immune system responses, and help clear the arteries of cholesterol and plaque, which reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease.
Medicine: In the entire written history of mankind, there is not 1 death attributed to cannabis use.
Cannabis was America’s number one analgesic from 1842 until the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900. It made up half of all medicines sold, with no fear of its ‘high.’ Today, the U.S. averages about 7500 deaths a year from aspirin and other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines.
The active ingredient in Marinol, a FDA approved pharmaceutical drug, is synthetic THC, which has been found to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy of cancer patients. It has also been approved for curing loss of appetite among AIDS patients.
In November of 2008, Michigan became the 13th state to legalize the physician supervised possession and use of cannabis. More than 60% of Michigan voters decided in favor of Proposal 1. Today the count is 15 states and Washington D.C.
“One of Cannabis’ greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose; Cannabis is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics. The ostensible indifference of physicians should no longer be used as a justification for keeping this medicine in the shadows.” – Journal of the American Medical Association, June 1995
Fuel/Energy: In 1898, Rudolph Diesel designed an engine that could be powered by vegetable and seed oils, including cannabis oil. Today, in 2011, the average price of gasoline in Georgia is $3.76, while the lowest petroleum based diesel price is about $3.95. The national average price of gas is $3.81. All these prices continue to rise.
Methyl esters, or biodiesel, can be made from any oil or fat, including cannabis seed oil. The reaction requires the oil, an alcohol (usually methanol), and a catalyst, which produces biodiesel and small amount of glycerol or glycerin. When co-fired with 15% methanol, bio-diesel fuel produces energy with less than 1/3 as much pollution as petroleum diesel.
Cannabis is the world’s number one biomass resource; capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months. Farming 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops, such as cannabis, would provide all of America’s energy needs.
“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” – Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
Prison/Race Reform: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” – Henry Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, testimony to U.S. Congress supporting Marijuana Tax Act, 1937
In 1978, before the “War On Drugs,” there were only 300,000 people in American prisons for all crimes committed. Today, that total number exceeds 1.4 million. Cannabis arrests account for 49.8% of all drug arrests in the U.S., and about 88% of those are for possession.
During the last 60 years, approximately 50% of all drug enforcement money, both at the federal and state levels has been directed toward cannabis. While African-Americans account for only 13.6% of the U.S. population and about 15% of annual cannabis users, they comprise 23% of all cannabis arrests and 38% of the prison population in the U.S.
In 2005, Fulton County claimed the highest percentage of cannabis arrests in counties over 250,000 with 775.76 per 100,000 arrested. As of 2007, the State of Georgia ranked 15 in the nation with 351 out of every 100,000 persons being arrested for a cannabis offense. 84% of these arrests were for mere possession.
“Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the drug itself; and where they are they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use. Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.” – Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. President
Farming/Fiber: Cannabis is the oldest cultivated fiber plant in the world and can yield as much pulp in 1 acre as 4.1 acres of trees.
In 1619, the Jamestown, Virginia colony made it a law that all settlers had to grow the cannabis crop. The first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper and Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag out of hemp cloth. The original Levi’s were made from cannabis sailcloth.
Until the 1820s, 80% of all textiles and fabrics used for clothing, tents, bed sheets, rugs, drapes, quilts, towels and diapers made in America were principally made from cannabis fiber. In 1916, the U.S. government estimated that by the 1940s all paper would be made from the cannabis plant.
During World War II, in 1942, the U.S. federal government produced a short film entitled “Hemp For Victory.” The film encouraged cannabis as a necessary crop to win the war after Japan cut off the U.S. off from hemp exports. The government distributed over 400,00 pounds of cannabis seeds to farmers to aid in the war effort.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the government paid more than $13 billion in farm subsidies in 2006 and more than $175 billion in a period spanning 1995 to 2006.
“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” – George Washington, 1st U.S. President
Taxes/Economy: From 1631 to the early 1800s, it was legal to pay your taxes with the cannabis crop. Today there are an estimated 25,000 different products made from the cannabis plant.
In February of 1938, Popular Mechanics called hemp the “Billion Dollar Crop.” Today, the estimated market value of cannabis in the U.S. is approximately $35 billion, with California accounting for $13.8 billion in production. In over a dozen states, it’s still the number one cash crop, despite the federal ban.
There have been over 8 million cannabis arrests in the U.S. since 1993. In 2005, there were 786, 545 arrests nationally and 23,977 arrests in the State of Georgia for marijuana. The enforcement of state and local cannabis laws annually costs taxpayers an estimated $7.6 billion, approximately $10,400 per arrest.
“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President
Construction Materials:In 1941 Henry Ford built a plastic car that was dent resistant made of fiber from hemp and wheat straw. This same cannabis based polymer can be used to make PVC piping along with many other plastic products.
Heating and compressing plant fibers, including cannabis, can create practical, inexpensive, fire-resistant construction materials with excellent thermal and sound-insulating qualities. These strong plant fiber construction materials could replace dry wall and wood paneling.
In August of 2010, the first U.S. home made of hemp-based material was completed in Asheville, North Carolina. The 3,400 square foot home was built with Hemcrete, an inexpensive and sustainable building material that’s composed of lime, water and hemp.
Safer Recreation: It is physically impossible to overdose with the cannabis plant, whether smoked or ingested.
In 2000, the number 1 cause of death was tobacco with 435,000 deaths attributed to it. In 2001, alcohol use by Americans directly resulted in more than 30,000 deaths, including more than 330 fatal overdoses. Not 1 death from cannabis in both those years.
Alcohol use contributes to more than 3 million violent and aggressive crimes each year, including incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. Cannabis use does not contribute to such incidents and has actually been found to inhibit violence and aggressive behavior.
“I don’t ever remember going to a house where people are beating each other up because they just smoked marijuana. Marijuana should have been decriminalized a long time ago.” – Ken Robinson, Nederland, Colorado Police Chief
Seen enough evidence? If you still aren’t convinced, do a little research yourself and find out more about the benefits of the cannabis plant for the future of the State of Georgia, our country, but especially our citizens.