HEMP CAN SAVE THE WORLD
What if there was another way? What if there was a single sustainable resource that could supply us with all of these things? Well, there is and there always has been…hemp. The importance of hemp in our cultures and societies may have been buried and its once widespread existence outlawed, but the value of hemp in man’s life, from past to present, has been immeasurable.
Did you know, that in 1938, Popular Mechanics published an article promoting hemp as the “new billion dollar crop”? Some interesting comments in the article included:
“Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the wood “hurdes” remaining after the fiber has been removed contains more than seventy-seven percent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to cellophane.”
“It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid peasant and coolie labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land.”
“Cannabis hemp, indeed, marijuana was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry, involving thousands of products and enterprises; producing the overall majority of Earth’s fiber, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense and medicines. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals.”
Jack Herer – The Emperor Wears No Clothes
There is a great paragraph on Jack Herer’s website citing that hemp can realistically replace fossil fuels, tree-based paper, construction materials and thus put a stop to related pollution, deforestation and the “greenhouse effect.” This is how hemp can save the world.
In his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Herer unfolds the true history of hemp and its vital roles in our societies. It’s a short read, loaded with information that we never knew. The gentleman who introduced this to us used to print copies of the book and hand them out, which inspired us to compile it into chapters in the tabs below. If you’d like to see how hemp can actually save the world and how much we’ve depended upon it, up to present day, do read below.
- The Emperor Wears No Clothes – by Jack Herer – Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
Overview of the History of Cannabis Hemp
For the Purpose of Clarity in this Book:
Explanations or documentations marked with an asterisk (*) are listed at the end of the related paragraph(s). For brevity, other sources for facts, anecdotes, histories, studies, etc., are cited in the body of the text. Numbered footnotes are at the end of each chapter. Reproductions of selected critical source materials are incorporated into the body of the text or included in the appendices.
The facts cited herein are generally verifiable in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which was printed primarily on paper produced with cannabis hemp for over 150 years. However, any encyclopedia (no matter how old) or good dictionary will do for general verification purposes.
Cannabis Sativa L.
Also known as: Hemp, cannabis hemp, Indian (India) hemp, true hemp, muggles, weed, pot, spinach, marijuana, reefer, grass, ganja, bhang, the kind, dagga, herb, etc., all names for exactly the same plant!
What’s in a Name?
HEMPstead, Long Island; HEMPstead County, Arkansas; HEMPstead, Texas; HEMPhill, North Carolina, HEMPfield, Pennsylvania, among others, were named after cannabis growing regions, or after family names derived from hemp growing.
American Historical Notes
In 1619, America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, “ordering” all farmers to “make tryal of “(grow) Indian hempseed. More mandatory (must-grow) hemp cultivation laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, in Connecticut in 1632 and in the Chesapeake Colonies into the mid-1700s.
Even in England, the much-sought-after prize of full British citizenship was bestowed by a decree of the crown on foreigners who would grow cannabis, and fines were often levied against those who refused.
Cannabis hemp was legal tender (money) in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s. Why? To encourage American farmers to grow more.1
You could pay your taxes with cannabis hemp throughout America for over 200 years.2
You could even be jailed in America for not growing cannabis during several periods of shortage, e.g., in Virginia between 1763 and 1767.
(Herndon, G.M., Hemp in Colonial Virginia, 1963; The Chesapeake Colonies, 1954; L.A. Times, August 12, 1981; et al.)
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis on their plantations. Jefferson,3 while envoy to France, went to great expense, and even considerable risk to himself and his secret agents, to procure particularly good hempseeds smuggled illegally into Turkey from China. The Chinese Mandarins (political rulers) so valued their hemp seed that they made its exportation a capital offense.
The Chinese character “Ma” was the earliest name for hemp. By the 10th century, A.D., Ma had become the generic term for fibers of all kinds, including jute and ramie. By then, the word for hemp had become “Ta-ma” or “Da-ma” meaning “great hemp.”
The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations”* (minimum 2,000-acre farms) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton. Most of these plantations were located in the South or in the Border States, primarily because of the cheap slave labor available prior to 1865 for the labor-intensive hemp industry.
(U.S. Census, 1850; Allen, James Lane, The Reign of Law, A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields, MacMillan Co., NY, 1900; Roffman, Roger. Ph.D., Marijuana as Medicine, Mendrone Books, WA, 1982.)
*This figure does not include the tens of thousands of smaller farms growing cannabis, nor the hundreds of thousands if not millions of family hemp patches in America; nor does it take into account that well into this century 80% of America’s hemp consumption for 200 years still had to be imported from Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, etc..
Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis. This allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify the need for paper and books from England.
In addition, various marijuana and hashish extracts were the first, second or third most-prescribed medicines in the United States from 1842 until the 1890s. Its medicinal use continued legally through the 1930s for humans and figured even more prominently in American and world veterinary medicines during this time.
Cannabis extract medicines were produced by Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis, Tildens, Brothers Smith (Smith Brothers), Squibb and many other American and European companies and apothecaries. During all this time there was not one reported death from cannabis extract medicines, and virtually no abuse or mental disorders reported, except for first-time or novice-users occasionally becoming disoriented or overly introverted.
(Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, Medi-Comp Press, CA, 1973; Cohen, Sidney & Stillman, Richard, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Plenum Press, NY, 1976.)
World Historical Notes
“The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, which began to be worked in the eighth millennium (8,000-7,000 B.C.).” (The Columbia History of the World, 1981, page 54.)
The body of literature (i.e., archaeology, anthropology, philology, economy, history) pertaining to hemp is in general agreement that, at the very least:
From more than 1,000 years before the time of Christ until 1883 A.D., cannabis hemp, indeed, marijuana was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry, involving thousands of products and enterprises; producing the overall majority of Earth’s fiber, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense and medicines. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals.
According to virtually every anthropologist and university in the world, marijuana was also used in most of our religions and cults as one of the seven or so most widely used mood-, mind-or pain-altering drugs when taken as psychotropic, psychedelic (mind-manifesting or -expanding) sacraments.
Almost without exception, these sacred (drug) experiences inspired our superstitions, amulets, talismans, religions, prayers, and language codes. (See Chapter10 on “Religions and Magic.”)
(Wasson, R. Gordon, Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality; Allegro, J.M., Sacred Mushroom & the Cross, Doubleday, NY, 1969; Pliny; Josephus; Herodotus; Dead Sea Scrolls; Gnostic Gospels; the Bible; Ginsberg Legends Kaballah, c. 1860; Paracelsus; British Museum; Budge; Ency. Britannica, Pharmacological Cults; Schultes & Wasson, Plants of the Gods; Research of: R.E. Schultes, Harvard Botanical Dept.; Wm. EmBoden, Cal State U., Northridge; et al.)
Great Wars were Fought to Ensure the Availability of Hemp
For example, the primary reason for the War of 1812 (fought by America against Great Britain) was access to Russian cannabis hemp. Russian hemp was also the principal reason that Napoleon (our 1812 ally) and his “Continental Systems” allies invaded Russia in 1812. (See Chapter 11, “The (Hemp) War of 1812 and Napoleon Invades Russia.”)
In 1942, after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines cut off the supply of Manila (Abaca) hemp, the U.S. government distributed 400,000 pounds of cannabis seeds to American farmers from Wisconsin to Kentucky, who produced 42,000 tons of hemp fiber annually until 1946 when the war ended.
Why Has Cannabis Hemp Been so Important in History?
Because cannabis hemp is, overall, the strongest, most-durable, longest-lasting natural soft-fiber on the planet. Its leaves and flower tops (marijuana) were, depending on the culture, the first, second or third most-important and most-used medicines for two-thirds of the world’s people for at least 3,000 years, until the turn of the 20th century.
Botanically, hemp is a member of the most advanced plant family on Earth. It is a dioecious (having male, female and sometimes hermaphroditic, male and female on same plant), woody, herbaceous annual that uses the sun more efficiently than virtually any other plant on our planet, reaching a robust 12 to 20 feet or more in one short growing season. It can be grown in virtually any climate or soil condition on Earth, even marginal ones.
Hemp is, by far, Earth’s premier, renewable natural resource. This is why hemp is so very important.
1. Clark, V.S., History of Manufacture in the United States, McGraw Hill, NY 1929, Pg. 34.
3. Diaries of George Washington; Writings of George Washington, Letter to Dr. James Anderson, May 26, 1794, vol. 33, p. 433, (U.S. govt. pub., 1931); Letters to his caretaker, William Pearce, 1795 & 1796; Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s Farm Books; Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, NY, 1980; Dr. Michael Aldrich, et al.
A Brief Summary of the Uses of Hemp
If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation, then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meeting all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs; simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time. That substance is the same one that did it all before, Cannabis Hemp … Marijuana!
Ships & Sailors
From at least the 5th century B.C. until the late-19th century, 90 percent of all ships’ sails were made from hemp. The other 10 percent were usually flax or minor fibers like ramie, sisal, jute, abaca, etc.
(Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, 1980; Herodotus, Histories, 5th century B.C.; Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, 1972; U.S. Agricultural Index, 1916-1982; USDA film, Hemp for Victory, 1942.)
The word “canvas”1 is the Dutch pronunciation (twice removed, from French and Latin) of the Greek word “Kannabis.”*
*Kannabis, of the (Hellenized) Mediterranean Basin Greek language, derived from the Persian and earlier Northern Semitics (Quanuba, Kanabosm, Cana?, Kanah?) which scholars have now traced back to the dawn of the 6,000-year-old Indo-Semitic European language family base of the Sumerians and Acadians. The early Sumerian/Babylonian word K(a)N(a)B(a), or Q(a)N(a)B(a) is one of man’s longest surviving root words.1 (KN means cane and B means two, two reeds or two sexes.)
In addition to canvas sails, virtually all of the rigging, anchor ropes, cargo nets, fishing nets, flags, shrouds, and oakum (the main protection for ships against salt water, used as a sealant between the outer and inner hull of ships) were made from the stalk of the marijuana plant.
Even the sailors’ clothing, right down to the stitching in the seamen’s rope-soled and (sometimes) “canvas” shoes, was crafted from cannabis. An average cargo, clipper, whaler, or naval ship of the line, in the 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries carried 50 to 100 tons of cannabis hemp rigging, not to mention the sails, nets, etc., and needed it all replaced every year or two, due to salt rot. (Ask the U.S. Naval Academy, or see the construction of the USS Constitution, a.k.a. “Old Ironsides,” Boston Harbor.)
(Abel, Ernest, Marijuana, The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, 1980; Ency. Britannica; Magoun, Alexander, The Frigate Constitution, 1928; USDA film Hemp for Victory, 1942.)
Additionally, the ships’ charts, maps, logs, and Bibles were made from paper containing hemp fiber from the time of Columbus (15th century) until the early 1900s in the Western European/American World, and by the Chinese from the 1st century A.D. on. Hemp paper lasted 50 to 100 times longer than most preparations of papyrus, and was a hundred times easier and cheaper to make.
Incredibly, it cost more for a ship’s hempen sails, ropes, etc. than it did to build the wooden parts.
Nor was hemp use restricted to the briny deep…
Textiles & Fabrics
Until the 1880s in America (and until the 20th century in most of the rest of the world), 80 percent of all textiles and fabrics used for clothing, tents, bed sheets and linens, rugs, drapes, quilts, towels, diapers, etc., and even our flag, “Old Glory,” were principally made from fibers of cannabis.
For hundreds, if not thousands of years (until the 1830s), Ireland made the finest linens and Italy made the world’s finest cloth for clothing with hemp. The 1893-1910 editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica indicate, and in 1938, Popular Mechanics estimated that at least half of all the material that has been called linen was not made from flax, but from cannabis. Herodotus (c. 450 B.C.) describes the hempen garments made by the Thracians as equal to linen in fineness and that “none but a very experienced person could tell whether they were of hemp or flax.”
Although these facts have been almost forgotten, our forebears were well aware that hemp is softer than cotton, warmer than cotton, more water absorbent than cotton, has three times the tensile strength of cotton and is many times more durable than cotton.
In fact, when the patriotic, real-life, 1776 mothers of our present day blue-blood “Daughters of the American Revolution” (the DAR of Boston and New England) organized “spinning bees” to clothe Washington’s soldiers, the majority of the thread was spun from hemp fibers. Were it not for the historically forgotten (or censored) and currently disparaged marijuana plant, the Continental Army would have frozen to death at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
The common use of hemp in the economy of the early republic was important enough to occupy the time and thoughts of our first U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, who wrote in a Treasury notice from the 1790s, “Flax and Hemp: Manufacturers of these articles have so much affinity to each other, and they are so often blended, that they may with advantage be considered in conjunction. Sailcloth should have 10% duty…”
(Herndon, G.M., Hemp in Colonial Virginia, 1963; DAR histories; Able Ernest, Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years; also see the 1985 film Revolution with Al Pacino.)
The covered wagons went west (to Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, and California*) covered with sturdy hemp canvas tarpaulins, 2 while ships sailed around the “Horn” to San Francisco on hemp sails and ropes.
The original, heavy-duty, famous Levi pants were made for the California ‘49ers out of hempen sailcloth and rivets. This way the pockets wouldn’t rip when filled with gold panned from the sediment.3
Homespun cloth was almost always spun, by people all over the world, from fibers grown in the “family hemp patch.” In America, this tradition lasted from the Pilgrims (1620s) until hemp’s prohibition in the 1930s. In the 1930s, Congress was told by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics that many Polish-Americans still grew pot in their backyards to make their winter “long johns” and work clothes, and greeted the agents with shotguns for stealing their next year’s clothes.
The age and density of the hemp patch influences fiber quality. If a farmer wanted soft linen-quality fibers he would plant his cannabis close together. As a rule of thumb, if you plant for medical or recreational use, you plant one seed per five square yards. When planted for seed: four to five feet apart.
(Univ. of Kentucky Agricultural. Ext. leaflet, March 1943.)
One-hundred-twenty to 180 seeds to the square yard are planted for rough cordage or coarse cloth. Finest linen or lace is grown up to 400 plants to the square yard and harvested between 80 to 100 days.
(Farm Crop Reports, USDA international abstracts. CIBA Review 1961-62 Luigi Castellini, Milan Italy.)
By the late 1820s, the new American hand cotton gins (invented by Eli Whitney in 1793) were largely replaced by European-made “industrial” looms and cotton gins (“gin” is short for engine), because of Europe’s primary equipment-machinery-technology (tool and die making) lead over America.
Fifty percent of all chemicals used in American agriculture today are used in cotton growing. Hemp needs no chemicals and has few weed or insect enemies—except for the U. S. government and the DEA.
For the first time, light cotton clothing could be produced at less cost than hand retting (rotting) and hand separating hemp fibers to be handspun on spinning wheels and jennys.4
However, because of its strength, softness, warmth and long-lasting qualities, hemp continued to be the second most-used natural fiber until the 1930s. In case you’re wondering, there is no THC or “high” in hemp fiber. That’s right; you can’t smoke your shirt! In fact, attempting to smoke hemp fabric, or any fabric, for that matter, could be fatal!
After the 1937 Marijuana Tax law, new DuPont “plastic fibers,” under license since 1936 from the German company I.G. Farben (patent surrenders were part of Germany’s World War I reparation payments to America), replaced natural hempen fibers. (Some 30% of I.G. Farben, under Hitler, was owned and financed by America’s DuPont.) DuPont also introduced Nylon (invented in 1935) to the market after they’d patented it in 1938.
(Colby, Jerry, DuPont Dynasties, Lyle Stewart, 1984.)
Finally, it must be noted that approximately 50 percent of all chemicals used in American agriculture today are used in cotton growing. Hemp needs no chemicals and has few weed or insect enemies, except for the U.S. government and the DEA.
(Cavender, Jim, Professor of Botany, Ohio University, “Authorities Examine Pot Claims,” Athens News, November 16, 1989.)
Fiber & Pulp Paper
Until 1883, from 75-90 percent of all paper in the world was made with cannabis hemp fiber, including that for books, Bibles, maps, paper money, stocks and bonds, newspapers, etc. The Gutenberg Bible (in the 15th century); Pantagruel and the Herb pantagruelion, Rabelais (16th century); King James Bible (17th century); Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, The Rights of Man, Common Sense, The Age of Reason (18th century); the works of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas; Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (19th century); and just about everything else was printed on hemp paper.
The first draft of the Declaration of Independence (June 28, 1776) was written on Dutch (hemp) paper, as was the second draft completed on July 2, 1776. This was the document actually agreed to on that day and announced and released on July 4, 1776. On July 19, 1776, Congress ordered the Declaration be copied and engrossed on parchment (a prepared animal skin) and this was the document actually signed by the delegates on August 2, 1776.
Hemp paper lasted 50 to 100 times longer than most preparations of papyrus, and was a hundred times easier and cheaper to make.
What we (the colonial Americans) and the rest of the world used to make all our paper from was the discarded sails and ropes sold by ship owners as scrap for recycling into paper. The rest of our paper came from our worn-out clothes, sheets, diapers, curtains and rags, made primarily from hemp and sometimes flax, then sold to scrap dealers. Hence the term “rag paper.”
Our ancestors were too thrifty to just throw anything away, so, until the 1880s, any remaining scraps and clothes were mixed together and recycled into paper. Rag paper, containing hemp fiber, is the highest quality and longest lasting paper ever made. It can be torn when wet, but returns to its full strength when dry. Barring extreme conditions, rag paper remains stable for centuries. It will almost never wear out. Many U.S. government papers were written, by law, on hempen “rag paper” until the 1920s.5
It is generally believed by scholars that the early Chinese knowledge, or art, of hemp paper making (1st century A.D., 800 years before Islam discovered how, and 1,200 to 1,400 years before Europe) was one of the two chief reasons that Oriental knowledge and science were vastly superior to that of the West for 1,400 years. Thus, the art of long-lasting hemp papermaking allowed the Orientals’ accumulated knowledge to be passed on, built upon, investigated, refined, challenged and changed, for generation after generation (in other words, cumulative and comprehensive scholarship).
The other reason that Oriental knowledge and science sustained superiority to that of the West for 1,400 years was that the Roman Catholic Church forbade reading and writing for 95% of Europe’s people; in addition, they burned, hunted down, or prohibited all foreign or domestic books, including their own Bible!, for over 1,200 years under the penalty and often-used punishment of death. Hence, many historians term this period “The Dark Ages” (476 A.D.–1000 A.D., or even until the Renaissance). (See Chapter 10 on Sociology.)
Rope, Twine & Cordage
Virtually every city and town (from time out of mind) in the world had an industry making hemp rope.6 Russia, however, was the world’s largest producer and best-quality manufacturer, supplying 80% of the Western world’s hemp from 1640 until 1940.
Thomas Paine outlined four essential natural resources for the new nation in Common Sense (1776): “cordage, iron, timber and tar.”
Chief among these was hemp for cordage. He wrote, “Hemp flourishes even to rankness, we do not want for cordage.” Then he went on to list the other essentials necessary for war with the British navy: cannons, gun-powder, etc.
From 70-90% of all rope, twine, and cordage was made from hemp until 1937. It was then replaced mostly by petrochemical fibers (owned principally by DuPont under license from Germany’s I.G. Farben Corporation patents) and by Manila (Abaca) Hemp, with steel cables often intertwined for strength, brought in from our “new” far-western Pacific Philippines possession, seized from Spain as reparation for the Spanish American War in 1898.
Hemp is the perfect archival medium.7
The paintings of Van Gogh, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, etc., were primarily painted on hemp canvas, as were practically all canvas paintings.
A strong, lustrous fiber, hemp withstands heat, mildew, and insects and is not damaged by light. Oil paintings on hemp and/or flax canvas have stayed in fine condition for centuries.
For thousands of years, virtually all good paints and varnishes were made with hempseed oil and/or linseed oil.
Paints & Varnishes
For instance, in 1935 alone, 116 million pounds (58,000 tons*) of hempseed were used in America just for paint and varnish. The hemp drying oil business went principally to DuPont petro-chemicals.8
*National Institute of Oilseed Products congressional testimony against the 1937 Marijuana Transfer Tax Law. As a comparison, consider that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with all America’s state and local police agencies, claim to have seized for all of 1996, 700+ tons of American-grown marijuana: seed, plant, root, dirt clump and all. Even the DEA itself admits that 94 to 97 percent of all marijuana/hemp plants that have been seized and destroyed since the 1960s were growing completely wild and could not have been smoked as marijuana.
Congress and the Treasury Department were assured through secret testimony given by DuPont in 1935-37 directly to Herman Oliphant, Chief Counsel for the Treasury Dept., that hempseed oil could be replaced with synthetic petrochemical oils made principally by DuPont.
Oliphant was solely responsible for drafting the Marijuana Tax Act that was submitted to Congress.9 (See complete story in Chapter 4, “The Last Days of Legal Cannabis.”)
Until about 1800, hempseed oil was the most consumed lighting oil in America and the world. From then until the 1870s, it was the second most consumed lighting oil, exceeded only by whale oil.
Hempseed oil lit the lamps of the legendary Aladdin, Abraham the prophet, and in real life, Abraham Lincoln.
It was the brightest lamp oil.
Hempseed oil for lamps was replaced by petroleum, kerosene, etc., after the 1859 Pennsylvania oil discovery and John D. Rockefeller’s 1870-on national petroleum stewardship. (See Chapter 9 on “Economics.”) In fact, the celebrated botanist Luther Burbank stated, “The seed [of cannabis] is prized in other countries for its oil, and its neglect here illustrates the same wasteful use of our agricultural resources.”
(Burbank, Luther, How Plants Are Trained To Work for Man, Useful Plants, P. F. Collier & Son Co., NY, Vol. 6, pg. 48.)
In the early 1900s, Henry Ford and other futuristic, organic, engineering geniuses recognized (as their intellectual, scientific heirs still do today) an important point, that up to 90% of all fossil fuel used in the world today (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) should long ago have been replaced with biomass such as: cornstalks, cannabis, waste paper and the like.
Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol or gasoline at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy, especially when environmental costs are factored in, and its mandated use would end acid rain, end sulfur-based smog, and reverse the Greenhouse Effect on our planet, right now! Government and oil and coal companies, etc., will insist that burning biomass fuel is no better than using up our fossil fuel reserves, as far as pollution goes; but this is patently untrue.
Why? Because, unlike fossil fuel, biomass comes from living (not extinct) plants that continue to remove carbon dioxide pollution from our atmosphere as they grow, through photosynthesis. Furthermore, biomass fuels do not contain sulfur.
This can be accomplished if hemp is grown for biomass and then converted through pyrolysis (charcoalizing) or biochemical composting into fuels to replace fossil fuel energy products. Remarkably, when considered on a planet-wide, climate-wide, soil-wide basis, cannabis is at least four and possibly many more times richer in sustainable, renewable biomass/cellulose potential than its nearest rivals on the planet, cornstalks, sugarcane, kenaf, trees, etc.
(Solar Gas, 1980; Omni, 1983: Cornell University; Science Digest, 1983: etc.)
Also see Chapter 9 on “Economics.”
One product of pyrolysis, methanol, is used today by most race cars and was used by American farmers and auto drivers routinely with petroleum/methanol options starting in the 1920s, through the 1930s, and even into the mid-1940s to run tens of thousands of auto, farm and military vehicles until the end of World War II.
Methanol can even be converted to a high-octane lead-free gasoline using a catalytic process developed by Georgia Tech University in conjunction with Mobil Oil Corporation.
From 1842 through the 1890s, extremely strong marijuana (then known as cannabis extractums) and hashish extracts, tinctures and elixirs were routinely the second and third most-used medicines in America for humans (from birth, through childhood, to old age) and in veterinary medicine until the 1920s and longer.
(See Chapter 6 on “Medicine,” and Chapter 13 on the “19th Century.”)
As stated earlier, for at least 3,000 years, prior to 1842, widely varying marijuana extracts (buds, leaves, roots, etc.) were the most commonly used and widely accepted medicines in the world for the majority of mankind’s illnesses.
However, in Western Europe, the Roman Catholic Church forbade use of cannabis or any medical treatment, except for alcohol or blood letting, for 1200-plus years.
(See Chapter 10 on “Sociology.”)
The U.S. Pharmacopoeia indicated that cannabis should be used for treating such ailments as: fatigue, fits of coughing, rheumatism, asthma, delirium tremens, migraine headaches and the cramps and depressions associated with menstruation.
(Professor William EmBoden, Professor of Narcotic Botany, California State University, Northridge.)
Queen Victoria used cannabis resins for her menstrual cramps and PMS, and her reign (1837-1901) paralleled the enormous growth of the use of Indian cannabis medicine in the English-speaking world.
In the 20th century, cannabis research has demonstrated therapeutic value and complete safety in treating many health problems including asthma, glaucoma, nausea, tumors, epilepsy, infection, stress, migraines, anorexia, depression, rheumatism, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and herpes.
(See Chapter 7, “Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis.”)
Food Oils & Protein
Hempseed was regularly used in porridge, soups, and gruels by virtually all the people of the world up until this century. Monks were required to eat hempseed dishes three times a day, to weave their clothes with it and to print their Bibles on paper made with its fiber.
(See Rubin, Dr. Vera, “Research Institute for the Study Of Man;” Eastern Orthodox Church; Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Plenum Press, 1976; Abel, Ernest, Marijuana, The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, NY, 1980; Encyclopedia Britannica.)
Hempseed can be pressed for its highly nutritious vegetable oil, which contains the highest amount of essential fatty acids in the plant kingdom. These essential oils are responsible for our immune responses and clear the arteries of cholesterol and plaque.
The byproduct of pressing the oil from the seed is the highest quality protein seed cake. It can be sprouted (malted) or ground and baked into cakes, breads and casseroles. Marijuana seed protein is one of mankind’s finest, most complete and available-to-the-body vegetable proteins. Hempseed is the most complete single food source for human nutrition.
(See discussion of edestins and essential fatty acids, Chapter 8.)
Hempseed was, until the 1937 prohibition law, the world’s number-one bird seed, for both wild and domes-tic birds. It was their favorite* of any seed food on the planet; four million pounds of hempseed for songbirds were sold at retail in the U.S. in 1937. Birds will pick hempseeds out and eat them first from a pile of mixed seed. Birds in the wild live longer and breed more with hempseed in their diet, using the oil for their feathers and their overall health.
(More in Chapter 8, “Hemp as a Basic World Food.”)
Congressional testimony, 1937: “Song birds won’t sing without it,” the bird food companies told Congress. Result: sterilized cannabis seeds continue to be imported into the U.S. from Italy, China and other countries.
Hempseed produces no observable high for humans or birds. Only the most minute traces of THC are in the seed. Hempseed is also the favorite fish bait in Europe. Anglers buy pecks of hempseed at bait stores, and then throw handfuls into rivers and ponds. Fish come thrashing for the hempseed and are caught by hook. No other bait is as effective, making hempseed generally the most desirable and most nutritious food for humans, birds and fish.
(Jack Herer’s personal research in Europe.) (Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA, 1972)
Building Materials & Housing
Because one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees,* hemp is the perfect material to replace trees for pressed board, particle board and for concrete construction molds.
*Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin #404, United States Dept. of Agricultural., 1916.
Practical, inexpensive fire-resistant construction material, with excellent thermal and sound-insulating qualities, is made by heating and compressing plant fibers to create strong construction paneling, replacing dry wall and plywood. William B. Conde of Conde’s Redwood Lumber, Inc. near Eugene, OR, in conjunction with Washington State University (1991–1993), has demonstrated the superior strength, flexibility, and economy of hemp composite building materials compared to wood fiber, even as beams.
Isochanvre, a rediscovered French building material made from hemp hurds mixed with lime, actually petrifies into a mineral state and lasts for many centuries. Archeologists have found a bridge in the south of France, from the Merovingian period (500–751 A.D.), built with this process. (See Chènevotte habitat of René, France in Appendix I.)
Hemp has been used throughout history for carpet backing. Hemp fiber has potential in the manufacture of strong, rot resistant carpeting, eliminating the poisonous fumes of burning synthetic materials in a house or commercial fire, along with allergic reactions associated with new synthetic carpeting.
Plastic plumbing pipe (PVC pipes) can be manufactured using renewable hemp cellulose as the chemical feedstocks, replacing non-renewable coal or petroleum-based chemical feedstocks.
So we can envision a house of the future built, plumbed, painted and furnished with the world’s number-one renewable resource, hemp.
Smoking, Leisure & Creativity
The American Declaration of Independence recognizes the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Subsequent court decisions have inferred the rights to privacy and choice from this, the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments.
Many artists and writers have used cannabis for creative stimulation, from the writers of the world’s religious masterpieces to our most irreverent satirists. These include Lewis Carroll and his hookah-smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, plus Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas; such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Gene Krupa; and the pattern continues right up to modern-day artists and musicians such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, Bob Marley, Jefferson Airplane, Willie Nelson, Buddy Rich, Country Joe & the Fish, Joe Walsh, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lola Falana, Hunter S. Thompson, Peter Tosh, the Grateful Dead, Cypress Hill, Sinead O’Connor, Black Crowes, Snoop Dogg, Los Marijuanos, etc.
Of course, smoking marijuana only enhances creativity for some and not for others.
But throughout history, various prohibition and “temperance” groups have attempted and occasionally succeeded in banning the preferred relaxational substances of others, like alcohol, tobacco or cannabis.
Abraham Lincoln responded to this kind of repressive mentality in December, 1840, when he said “Prohibition/goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
Economic Stability, Profit & Free Trade
We believe that in a competitive market, with all facts known, people will rush to buy long-lasting, biodegradable “Pot Tops” or “Mary Jeans,” etc., made from a plant without pesticides or herbicides.
It’s time we put capitalism to the test and let the unrestricted market of supply and demand, as well as “Green” ecological consciousness, decide the future of the planet.
A cotton shirt in 1776 cost $100 to $200, while a hemp shirt cost .50 cents to $1. By the 1830s, cooler, lighter cotton shirts were on par in price with the warmer, heavier, hempen shirts, providing a competitive choice.
People were able to choose their garments based upon the particular qualities they wanted in a fabric. Today we have no such choice.
The role of hemp and other natural fibers should be determined by the market of supply and demand and personal tastes and values, not by the undue influence of prohibition laws, federal subsidies and huge tariffs that keep the natural fabrics from replacing synthetic fibers.
Seventy years of government suppression of information has resulted in virtually no public knowledge of the incredible potential of the hemp fiber or its uses.
By using 100 percent hemp or mixing hemp with organic cotton, you will be able to pass on your shirts, pants and other clothing to your grandchildren. Intelligent spending could essentially replace the use of petrochemical synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester with tougher, cheaper, cool, absorbent, breathing, biodegradable, natural fibers.
China, Italy and Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Russia currently make millions of dollars worth of sturdy hemp and hemp/cotton textiles, and could be making billions of dollars worth annually.
These countries build upon their traditional farming and weaving skills, while the U.S. tries to force the extinction of this plant to prop up destructive synthetic technologies.
Even cannabis/cotton blend textiles were still not cleared for direct sale in the U.S. until 1991. The Chinese, for instance, were forced by tacit agreement to send us inferior ramie /cottons.
(National Import/Export Textile Company of Shanghai, personal communication with author, April and May 1983.)
As the 1990 edition of Emperor went to press, garments containing at least 55 percent cannabis hemp arrived from China and Hungary. In 1992, as we went to press, many different grades of 100% hemp fabric had arrived directly from China and Hungary. Now, hemp fabric is in booming demand all over the world, arriving from Romania, Poland, Italy, Germany, et al. Hemp was recognized as the hottest fabric of the 1990s by Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Paper, Detour, Details, Mademoiselle, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Der Spiegel, ad infinitum. All have run, over and over again, major stories on industrial and nutritional hemp.
Additionally, hemp grown for biomass could fuel a trillion-dollar per year energy industry, while improving air quality and distributing the wealth to rural areas and their surrounding communities, and away from centralized power monopolies. More than any other plant on Earth, hemp holds the promise of a sustainable ecology and economy.
1. Oxford English Dictionary; Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, 1910; U.S.D.A. film, Hemp for Victory, 1942.
3. Levi-Strauss & Company of San Francisco, CA, author’s personal communication with Gene McClaine, 1985.
4. Ye Olde Spinning Jennys and Wheels were principally used for fiber in this order: cannabis hemp, flax, wool, cotton, and so forth.
5. Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA, 1974; U.S. Library of Congress; National Archives; U.S. Mint; etc.
6. Adams, James T., editor, Album of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, 1944, pg. 116.
7. Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA, 1974; U.S. Library of Congress; National Archives.
8. Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, New York, NY, 1979, pg. 72.
9. Bonnie, Richard and White bread, Charles, The Marijuana Conviction, Univ. of Virginia Press, 1974.
When Hemp Saved George Bush’s Life
One more example of the importance of hemp: Five years after cannabis hemp was outlawed in 1937, it was promptly reintroduced for the World War II effort in 1942.
So, when the young pilot, George Bush, baled out of his burning airplane after a battle over the Pacific, little did he know:
– Parts of his aircraft engine were lubricated with cannabis hempseed oil;
– 100 percent of his life-saving parachute webbing was made from U.S. grown cannabis hemp;
– Virtually all the rigging and ropes of the ship that pulled him in were made of cannabis hemp.
– The fire hoses on the ship (as were those in the schools he had attended) were woven from cannabis hemp; and,
– Finally, as young George Bush stood safely on the deck, his shoes’ durable stitching was of cannabis hemp, as it is in all good leather and military shoes to this day.
Yet Bush has spent a good deal of his career eradicating the cannabis plant and enforcing laws to make certain that no one will learn this information – possibly including himself. . .
(USDA film, Hemp for Victory, 1942; U. of KY Agricultural Ext. Service Leaflet 25, March 1943; Galbraith, Gatewood, Kentucky Marijuana Feasibility Study, 1977.)
The Battle of Bulletin 404
In 1917, the world was battling World War I. In this country, industrialists, just beset with the minimum wage and graduated income tax, were sent into a tailspin. Progressive ideals were lost as the United States took its place on the world stage in the struggle for commercial supremacy. It is against this backdrop that the first 20th century hemp drama was played.
The story begins in 1916, soon after the release of USDA Bulletin 404 (see page 24). Near San Diego, California, a 50-year-old German immigrant named George Schlichten had been working on a simple yet brilliant invention. Schlichten had spent 18 years and $400,000 on the decorticator, a machine that could strip the fiber from nearly any plant, leaving the pulp behind. To build it, he had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of fibers and paper making. His desire was to stop the felling of forests for paper, which he believed to be a crime. His native Germany was well advanced in forestry and Schlichten knew that destroying forests meant destroying needed watersheds.
Henry Timken, a wealthy industrialist and inventor of the roller bearing got wind of Schlichten’s invention and went to meet the inventor in February of 1917. Timken saw the decorticator as a revolutionary discovery that would improve conditions for mankind. Timken offered Schlichten the chance to grow 100 acres of hemp on his ranch in the fertile farmlands of Imperial Valley, California, just east of San Diego, so that Schlichten could test his invention.
Shortly thereafter, Timken met with the newspaper giant E.W. Scripps, and his long-time associate Milton McRae, at Miramar, Scripps’ home in San Diego. Scripps, then 63, had accumulated the largest chain of newspapers in the country. Timken hoped to interest Scripps in making newsprint from hemp hurds.
Turn-of-the-century newspaper barons needed huge amounts of paper to deliver their swelling circulations. Nearly 30% of the four million tons of paper manufactured in 1909 was news-print; by 1914 the circulation of daily newspapers had increased by 17% over 1909 figures to over 28 million copies.1 By 1917, the price of newsprint was rapidly rising, and McRae, who had been investigating owning a paper mill since 1904,2 was concerned.
Sowing the Seeds
In May, after further meetings with Timken, Scripps asked McRae to investigate the possibility of using the decorticator in the manufacture of newsprint.
McRae quickly became excited about the plan. He called the decorticator “a great invention. . . [which] will not only render great service to this country, but it will be very profitable financially. . . . [it] may revolutionize existing conditions.” On August 3, as harvest time neared, a meeting was arranged between Schlichten, McRae, and newspaper manager Ed Chase.
Without Schlichten’s knowledge, McRae had his secretary record the three-hour meeting stenographically. The resulting document, the only known record of Schlichten’s voluminous knowledge found to date, is reprinted fully in Appendix I.
Schlichten had thoroughly studied many kinds of plants used for paper, among them corn, cotton, yucca, and Espana baccata. Hemp, it seemed, was his favorite: “The hemp hurd is a practical success and will make paper of a higher grade than ordinary news stock,” he stated. His hemp paper was even better than that produced for USDA Bulletin 404, he claimed, because the decorticator eliminated the retting process, leaving behind short fibers and a natural glue that held the paper together. At 1917 levels of hemp production Schlichten anticipated making 50,000 tons of paper yearly at a retail price of $25 a ton. This was less than 50% of the price of newsprint at the time! And every acre of hemp turned to paper, Schlichten added, would preserve five acres of forest.
McRae was very impressed by Schlichten. The man who dined with presidents and captains of industry wrote to Timken, “I was to say without equivocation that Mr. Schlichten impressed me as being a man of great intellectuality and ability; and so far as I can see, he has created and constructed a wonderful machine.” He assigned Chase to spend as much time as he could with Schlichten and prepare a report.
By August, after only three months of growth, Timken’s hemp crop had grown to its full height – 14 feet!, and he was highly optimistic about its prospects. He hoped to travel to California to watch the crop being decorticated, seeing himself as a benefactor to mankind who would enable people to work shorter hours and have more time for “spiritual development.” Scripps, on the other hand, was not in an optimistic frame of mind. He had lost faith in a government that he believed was leading the country to financial ruin because of the war, and that would take 40% of his profits in income tax.
In an August 14 letter to his sister, Ellen, he said: “When Mr. McRae was talking to me about the increase in the price of white paper that was pending, I told him I was just fool enough not to be worried about a thing of that kind.” The price of paper was expected to rise 50%, costing Scripps his entire year’s profit of $1,125,000! Rather than develop a new technology, he took the easy way out: the Penny Press Lord simply planned to raise the price of his papers from one cent to two cents.
On August 28, Ed Chase sent his full report to Scripps and McRae. The younger man also was taken with the process: “I have seen a wonderful, yet simple, invention. I believe it will revolutionize many of the processes of feeding, clothing, and supplying other wants of mankind.”
Chase witnessed the decorticator produce seven tons of hemp hurds in two days. At full production, Schlichten anticipated each machine would produce five tons per day. Chase figured hemp could easily supply Scripps’ West Coast newspapers, with leftover pulp for side businesses. He estimated the newsprint would cost between $25 and $35 per ton, and proposed asking an East Coast paper mill to experiment for them.
McRae, however, seems to have gotten the message that his boss was no longer very interested in making paper from hemp. His response to Chase’s report is cautious: “Much will be determined as to the practicability by the cost of transportation, manufacture, etc., etc., which we cannot ascertain without due investigation.” Perhaps when his ideals met with the hard work of developing them, the semi-retired McRae backed off.
By September, Timken’s crop was producing one ton of fiber and four tons of hurds per acre, and he was trying to interest Scripps in opening a paper mill in San Diego. McRae and Chase traveled to Cleveland and spent two hours convincing Timken that, while hemp hurds were usable for other types of paper, they could not be made into newsprint cheaply enough. Perhaps the eastern mill at which they experimented wasn’t encouraging – after all, it was set up to make wood pulp paper.
By this time Timken, too, was hurt by the wartime economy. He expected to pay 54% income tax and was trying to borrow $2 million at 10% interest to retool for war machines. The man who a few weeks earlier could not wait to get to California no longer expected to go west at all that winter. He told McRae, “I think I will be too damn busy in this section of the country looking after business.”
The decorticator resurfaced in the 1930s, when it was touted as the machine that would make hemp a “Billion Dollar Crop” in articles in Mechanical Engineering and Popular Mechanics.* (Until the 1993 edition of The Emperor, the decorticator was believed to be a new discovery at that time.) Once again, the burgeoning hemp industry was halted, this time by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
• Ellen Komp
A fuller account of the story may be found in the Appendix.
1. World Almanac, 1914, p. 225; 1917
2. Forty Years in Newspaperdom, Milton McRae, 1924 Brentano’s NY
3. Scripps Archives, University of Ohio, Athens, and Ellen Browning Scripps Archives, Denison Library, Claremont College, Claremont, CA
Why Not Use Hemp to Reverse the Greenhouse Effect & Save the World?
In early 1989, Jack Herer and Maria Farrow put this question to Steve Rawlings, the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (who was in charge of reversing the Greenhouse Effect), at the USDA world research facility in Beltsville, Maryland.
First, we introduced ourselves and told him we were writing for Green political party newspapers. Then we asked Rawlings, “If you could have any choice, what would be the ideal way to stop or reverse the Greenhouse Effect?”
He said, “Stop cutting down trees and stop using fossil fuels.”
“Well, why don’t we?”
“There’s no viable substitute for wood for paper, or for fossil fuels.”
“Why don’t we use an annual plant for paper and for biomass to make fuel?”
“Well, that would be ideal,” he agreed. “Unfortunately there is nothing you can use that could produce enough materials.”
“Well, what would you say if there was such a plant that could substitute for all wood pulp paper, all fossil fuels, would make most of our fibers naturally, make everything from dynamite to plastic, grows in all 50 states and that one acre of it would replace 4.1 acres of trees, and that if you used about 6% of the U.S. land to raise it as an energy crop, even on our marginal lands, this plant would produce all 75 quadrillion billion BTUs needed to run America each year? Would that help save the planet?”
“That would be ideal. But there is no such plant.”
“We think there is.”
“Yeah? What is it?”
“Hemp!” he mused for a moment. “I never would have thought of it. You know, I think you’re right. Hemp could be the plant that could do it. Wow! That’s a great idea!”
We were excited as we outlined this information and delineated the potential of hemp for paper, fiber, fuel, food, paint, etc., and how it could be applied to balance the world’s ecosystems and restore the atmosphere’s oxygen balance with almost no disruption of the standard of living to which most Americans have become accustomed.
In essence, Rawlings agreed that our information was probably correct and could very well work.
He said, “It’s a wonderful idea, and I think it might work. But, of course, you can’t use it.”
“You’re kidding!” we responded. “Why not?”
“Well, Mr. Herer, did you know that hemp is also marijuana?”
“Yes, of course I know, I’ve been writing about it for about 40 hours a week for the past 17 years.”
“Well, you know marijuana’s illegal, don’t you? You can’t use it.”
“Not even to save the world?”
“No. It’s illegal”, he sternly informed me. “You cannot use something illegal.”
“Not even to save the world?” we asked, stunned.
“No, not even to save the world. It’s illegal. You can’t use it. Period.”
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great idea,” he went on, “but they’ll never let you do it.”
“Why don’t you go ahead and tell the Secretary of Agriculture that a crazy man from California gave you documentation that showed hemp might be able to save the planet and that your first reaction is that he might be right and it needs some serious study. What would he say?” “Well, I don’t think I’d be here very long after I did that. After all, I’m an officer of the government.” “Well, why not call up the information on your computer at your own USDA library. That’s where we got the information in the first place.”
He said, “I can’t sign out that information.”
“Well, why not? We did.”
“Mr. Herer, you’re a citizen. You can sign out for anything you want. But I am an officer of the Department of Agriculture. Someone’s going to want to know why I want all this information. And then I’ll be gone.”
Finally, we agreed to send him all the information we got from the USDA library, if he would just look at it.
He said he would, but when we called back a month later, he said that he still had not opened the box that we sent him and that he would be sending it back to us unopened because he did not want to be responsible for the information, now that the Bush Administration was replacing him with its own man.
We asked him if he would pass on the information to his successor, and he replied, “Absolutely not.”
In May 1989, we had virtually the same conversation and result with his cohort, Dr. Gary Evans of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Science, the man in charge of stopping the global warming trend.
In the end, he said, “If you really want to save the planet with hemp, then you [hemp/marijuana activists] would find a way to grow it without the narcotic (sic) top and then you can use it.”
This is the kind of frightened (and frightening) irresponsibility we’re up against in our government.
February 1938 – Popular Mechanics Magazine:
“NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP”
February 1938 – Mechanical Engineering Magazine:
“THE MOST PROFITABLE & DESIRABLE CROP THAT CAN BE GROWN”
Modern technology was about to be applied to hemp production, making it the number-one agricultural resource in America. Two of the most respected and influential journals in the nation, Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, forecast a bright future for American hemp. Thousands of new products creating millions of new jobs would herald the end of the Great Depression. Instead hemp was persecuted, outlawed and forgotten at the bidding of W. R. Hearst, who branded hemp the “Mexican killer weed, marihuana.”
As early as 1901 and continuing to 1937, the U.S. Department of Agriculture repeatedly predicted that, once machinery capable of harvesting, As you will see in these articles, the newly mechanized stripping and separating the fiber from the pulp was cannabis hemp industry was in its infancy, but well on invented or engineered, hemp would again be America’s number-one farm crop. The introduction of G. W. decorticator in 1917 nearly fulfilled this prophesy.
The prediction was reaffirmed in the popular press when Popular Mechanics published its February 1938 article “Billion-Dollar Crop.” The first reproduction of this article in over 50 years was in the original edition of this book. The article is reproduced here exactly as it was printed in 1938.
Because of the printing schedule and deadline, Popular Mechanics prepared this article in spring of 1937 when cannabis hemp for fiber, paper, dynamite and oil, was still legal to grow and was, in fact, an incredibly fast-growing industry.
Also reprinted in this chapter is an excerpt from the Mechanical Engineering article about hemp, published the same month. It originated as a paper presented a year earlier at the Feb. 26, 1937 Agricultural Processing Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Reports from the USDA during the 1930s, and Congressional testimony in 1937, showed that cultivated hemp acreage had been doubling in size in America almost every year from the time it hit its bottom acreage, 1930-when 1,000 acres were planted in the U.S. – to 1937 – when 14,000 acres were cultivated with plans to continue to double that acreage annually in the foreseeable future.
As you will see in these articles, the newly mechanized cannabis hemp industry was in its infancy, but well on its way to making cannabis America’s largest agricultural crop. And in light of subsequent developments (e.g. biomass energy technology, building materials, etc.), we now know that hemp is the world’s most important ecological resource and therefore, potentially our planet’s single largest industry.
The Popular Mechanics article was the very first time in American history that the term “billion-dollar” was ever applied to any U.S. agricultural crop! That is equivalent to $40-$80 billion now.
Experts today conservatively estimate that, once fully restored in America, hemp industries will generate $500 billion to a trillion dollars per year, and will save the planet and civilization from fossil fuels and their derivatives – and from deforestation!
If Harry Anslinger, DuPont, Hearst and their paid-for (know it or not, then as now) politicians had not outlawed hemp – under the pretext of marijuana (see Chapter 4, “Last Days of Legal Cannabis”) – and suppressed hemp knowledge from our schools, researchers and even scientists, the glowing predictions in these articles would already have come true by now – and more benefits than anyone could then envision – as new technologies and uses continue to develop.
As one colleague so aptly put it, “These articles were the last honest word spoken on hemp’s behalf for over 40 years…”
New Billion-Dollar Crop
Popular Mechanics, February 1938
American farmers are promised new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land. The machine which makes this possible is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human labor. Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contains more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 produces, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.
Machines now in service in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and other states are producing fiber at a manufacturing cost of half a cent a pound, and are finding a profitable market for the rest of the stalk. Machine operators are making a good profit in competition with coolie-produced foreign fiber while paying farmers fifteen dollars a ton for hemp as it comes from the field.
From the farmers’ point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. It can be grown in any state of the union. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for the next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet about the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack grass.
Under old methods, hemp was cut and allowed to lie in the fields for weeks until it “retted” enough so the fibers could be pulled off by hand. Retting is simply rotting as a result of dew, rain and bacterial action. Machines were developed to separate the fibers mechanically after retting was complete, but the cost was high, the loss of fiber great, and the quality of fiber comparatively low. With the new machine, known as a decorticator, hemp is cut with a slightly modified grain binder. It is delivered to the machine where an automatic chain conveyer feeds it to the breaking arms at the rate of two or three tons per hour. The hurds are broken into fine pieces which drop into the hopper, from where they are delivered by blower to a baler or to truck or freight car for loose shipment. The fiber comes from the other end of the machine, ready for baling.
From this point on almost anything can happen. The raw fiber can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap, used for carpet warp or linoleum backing or it may be bleached and refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It can, in fact, be used to replace the foreign fibers which now flood our markets.
Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacturer of dynamite and TNT. A large paper company, which has been paying more than a million dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota. A new factory in Illinois is producing fine bond papers from hemp. The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.
It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax. Actually, the majority comes from hemp – authorities estimate that more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made from hemp. Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of the burlap we use is woven by laborers in India who receive only four cents a day. Binder twine is usually made from sisal which comes from Yucatan and East Africa.
All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average about $200,000,000 per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over $50,000,000 in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can be made available for Americans.
The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an industry it amounts to over $1,000,000,000 a year, and of that eighty per cent is imported. But hemp will produce every grade of paper, and government figures estimate that 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.
One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable market unless there is machinery to handle the crop. Another obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for preventing narcotic production are rather stringent.
However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated. The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or locoweed which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of hemp, this new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry.
The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be Grown
Mechanical Engineering, February 26, 1937
“Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom” was published in the February 1938 issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine. It was originally presented at the Agricultural Processing Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in New Brunswick, NY of February 26, 1937 by the Process Industries Division.
Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom
By George A. Lower
This country imports practically all of its fibers except cotton. The Whitney gin, combined with improved spinning methods, enabled this country to produce cotton goods so far below the cost of linen that linen manufacture practically ceased in the United States. We cannot produce our fibers at less cost than can other farmers of the world. Aside from the higher cost of labor, we do not get as large production. For instance, Yugoslavia, which has the greatest fiber production per are in Europe, recently had a yield of 883 lbs. Comparable figures for other countries are Argentina, 749 lbs.; Egypt 616 lbs.; and India, 393 lbs.; while the average yield in this country is 383 lbs.
To meet world competition profitably, we must improve our methods all the way from the field to the loom.
Flax is still pulled up by the roots, retted in a pond, dried in the sun, broken until the fibers separate from the wood, then spun, and finally bleached with lye from wood ashes, potash from burned seaweed, or lime. Improvements in tilling, planting, and harvesting mechanisms have materially helped the large farmers and, to a certain degree, the smaller ones, but the processes from the crop to the yarn are crude, wasteful and land injurious. Hemp, the strongest of the vegetable fibers, gives the greatest production per acre and requires the least attention. It not only requires no weeding, but also kills off all the weeds and leaves the soil in splendid condition for the following crop. This, irrespective of its own monetary value, makes it a desirable crop to grow.
In climate and cultivation, its requisites are similar to flax and like flax, should be harvested before it is too ripe. The best time is when the lower leaves on the stalk wither and the flowers shed their pollen.
Like flax, the fibers run out where leaf stems are on the stalks and are made up of laminated fibers that are held together by pectose gums. When chemically treated like flax, hemp yields a beautiful fiber so closely resembling flax that a high-power microscope is needed to tell the difference – and only then because in hemp, some of the ends are split. Wetting a few strands of fiber and holding them suspended will definitely identify the two because, upon drying, flax will be found to turn to the right or clockwise, and hemp to the left or counterclockwise.
Before [World War I], Russia produced 400,000 tons of hemp, all of which is still hand-broken and hand-scutched. They now produce half that quantity and use most of it themselves, as also does Italy from whom we had large importations.
In this country, hemp, when planted one bu. per acre, yields about three tons of dry straw per acre. From 15 to 20 percent of this is fiber, and 80 to 85 percent is woody material. The rapidly growing market for cellulose and wood flower for plastics gives good reason to believe that this hitherto wasted material may prove sufficiently profitable to pay for the crop, leaving the cost of the fiber sufficiently low to compete with 500,000 tons of hard fiber now imported annually.
Hemp being from two to three times as strong as any of the hard fibers, much less weight is required to give the same yardage. For instance, sisal binder twine of 40-lb. tensile strength runs 450 ft. to the lb. A better twine made of hemp would run 1280 ft. to the lb. Hemp is not subject to as many kinds of deterioration as are the tropical fibers, and none of them lasts as long in either fresh or salt water.
While the theory in the past has been that straw should be cut when the pollen starts to fly, some of the best fiber handled by Minnesota hemp people was heavy with seed. This point should be proved as soon as possible by planting a few acres and then harvesting the first quarter when the pollen is flying, the second and third a week or 10 days apart, and the last when the seed is fully matured. These four lots should be kept separate and scutched and processed separately to detect any difference in the quality and quantity of the fiber and seed.
Several types of machines are available in this country for harvesting hemp. One of these was brought out several years ago by the International Harvester Company. Recently, growers of hemp in the Middle West have rebuilt regular grain binders for this work. This rebuilding is not particularly expensive and the machines are reported to give satisfactory service.
Degumming of hemp is analogous to the treatment given flax. The shards probably offer slightly more resistance to digestion. On the other hand, they break down readily upon completion of the digestion process. And excellent fiber can, therefore, be obtained from hemp also. Hemp, when treated by a known chemical process, can be spun on cotton, wool, and worsted machinery, and has as much absorbency and wearing quality as linen.
Several types of machines for scutching the hemp stalks are also on the market. Scutch mills formerly operating in Illinois and Wisconsin used the system that consisted of a set of eight pairs of fluted rollers, through which the dried straw was passed to break up the woody portion. From there, the fiber with adhering shards – or hurds, as they are called – was transferred by an operator to an endless chain conveyer. This carries the fiber past two revolving single drums in tandem, all having beating blades on their periphery, which beat off most of the hurds as well as the fibers that do not run the full length of the stalks. The proportion of line fiber to tow is 50% each. Tow or short tangled fibers then go to a vibrating cleaner that shakes out some of the hurds. In Minnesota and Illinois, another type has been tried out. This machine consists of a feeding table upon which the stalks are placed horizontally. Conveyor chains carry the stalks along until they are grasped by a clamping chain that grips them and carries them through half of the machine.
A pair of intermeshing lawnmower-type beaters are placed at a 45-degree angle to the feeding chain and break the hemp stalks over the sharp edge of a steel plate, the object being to break the woody portion of the straw and whip the hurds from the fiber. On the other side and slightly beyond the first set of lawnmower beaters is another set, which is placed 90-degrees from the first pair and whips out the hurds.
The first clamping chain transfers the stalks to another to scutch the fiber that was under the clamp at the beginning. Unfortunately, this type of scutcher makes even more tow than the so-called Wisconsin type. This tow is difficult to re-clean because the hurds are broken into long slivers that tenaciously adhere to the fiber.
Another type passes the stalks through a series of graduated fluted rollers. This breaks up the woody portion into hurds about 3/4 inch long, and the fiber then passes on through a series of reciprocating slotted plates working between stationary slotted plates.
Adhering hurds are removed from the fiber which continues on a conveyer to the baling press. Because no beating of the fiber against the grain occurs, this type of scutcher make only line fiber. This is then processed by the same methods as those for flax.
Paint and lacquer manufacturers are interested in hempseed oil which is a good drying agent. When markets have been developed for the products now being wasted, seed and hurds, hemp will prove, both for the farmer and the public, the most profitable and desirable crop that can be grown, and one that can make American mills independent of importations.
Recent floods and dust storms have given warnings against the destruction of timber. Possibly, the hitherto waste products of flax and hemp may yet meet a good part of that need, especially in the plastic field which is growing by leaps and bounds.
The Last Days of LEGAL Cannabis
As you now know, the industrial revolution of the 19th century was a setback for hemp in World commerce, due to the lack of mechanized harvesting and breaking technology needed for mass production. But this natural resource was far too valuable to be relegated to the back burner of history for very long.
By 1916, USDA Bulletin 404 predicted that a decorticating and harvesting machine would be developed, and hemp would again be America’s largest agricultural industry. In 1938, magazines such as Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering introduced a new generation of investors to fully operational hemp decorticating devices; bringing us to this next bit of history. Because of this machine, both indicated that hemp would soon be America’s number-one crop!
Breakthrough in Papermaking
If hemp were legally cultivated using 21st century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the United States and world today!
(Popular Mechanics, February 1938; Mechanical Engineering, February 1938; U.S. Department of Agriculture Reports 1903, 1910, 1913.)
In fact, when the preceding two articles were prepared early in 1937, hemp was still legal to grow. And those who predicted billions of dollars in new cannabis businesses did not consider income from medicines, energy (fuel) and food, which would now add another trillion dollars or more annually to our coming “natural” economy (compared to our synthetic, environmentally troubled economy). Relaxational smoking would add only a relatively minor amount to this figure.
The most important reason that the 1938 magazine articles projected billions in new income was hemp for “pulp paper” (as opposed to fiber or rag paper). Other reasons were for its fiber, seed and many other pulp uses. If the hemp pulp paper process of 1916 were in use today, it could replace 40 to 70% of all pulp paper, including corrugated boxes, computer printout paper and paper bags.
This remarkable new hemp pulp technology for papermaking was invented in 1916 by our own U.S. Department of Agriculture chief scientists, botanist Lyster Dewey and chemist Jason Merrill.
This technology, coupled with the breakthrough of G. W. Schlichten’s decorticating machine, patented in 1917, made hemp a viable paper source at less than half the cost of tree-pulp paper. The new harvesting machinery, along with Schlichten’s machine, brought the processing of hemp down from 200 to 300 man-hours per acre to just a couple of hours.* Twenty years later, advancing technology and the building of new access roads made hemp even more valuable. Unfortunately, by then, opposition forces had gathered steam and acted quickly to suppress hemp cultivation.
*See Appendix I.
A Plan to Save Our Forests
Some cannabis plant strains regularly reach tree-like heights of 20 feet or more in one growing season. The new paper process used hemp “hurds”, 77% of the hemp stalk’s weight, which was then a wasted byproduct of the fiber stripping process.
In 1916, USDA Bulletin No. 404 reported that one acre of cannabis hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period. This process would use only 1/7 to 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. All this lignin must be broken down to make pulp. Hemp pulp is only 4-10% lignin, while trees are 18-30% lignin. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp papermaking process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp papermaking process requires), but instead substitutes safer hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process.
Thus, hemp provides four times as much pulp with at least four to seven times less pollution.
As we have seen, this hemp pulp-paper potential depended on the invention and the engineering of new machines for stripping the hemp by modern technology. This would also lower demand for lumber and reduce the cost of housing, while at the same time helping re-oxygenate the planet.1
As an example: If the new (1916) hemp pulp paper process were in use legally today, it would soon replace about 70 percent of all wood pulp paper; including computer printout paper, corrugated boxes and paper bags.
Pulp paper made from 60-100 percent hemp hurds is stronger and more flexible than paper made from wood pulp. Making paper from wood pulp damages the environment. Hemp papermaking does not.
(Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin No. 404, U.S.D.A., 1916; New Scientist, 1980; Kimberly Clark production from its giant French hemp-fiber paper subsidiary De Mauduit, 1937 through 1984.)
Conservation & Source Reduction
Reduction of the source of pollution, usually from manufacturing with petrochemicals or their derivatives, is a cost-cutting waste control method often called for by environmentalists.
Whether the source of pollution is CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) from refrigeration, spray cans, computers, tritium and plutonium produced for military uses, or the sulfuric acids used by papermakers, the goal is reducing the source of pollution.
In the supermarket when you are asked to choose paper or plastic for your bags, you are faced with an environmental dilemma: paper from trees that were cut, or plastic bags made from fossil fuel and chemicals. With a third choice available – hemp hurd paper – one could choose a biodegradable, durable paper from an annually renewal source – the cannabis hemp plant.
The environmental advantages of harvesting hemp annually – leaving the trees in the ground! – for papermaking, and for replacing fossil fuels as an energy source, have become crucial for the source reduction of pollution.
A Conspiracy to Wipe Out the Natural Competition
In the mid-1930s, when the new mechanical hemp fiber stripping machines and machines to conserve hemp’s high-cellulose pulp finally became state-of-the art, available and affordable, the enormous timber acreage and businesses of the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division, Kimberly Clark (USA), St. Regis – and virtually all other timber, paper and large newspaper holding companies, stood to lose billions of dollars and perhaps go bankrupt.
Coincidentally, in 1937, DuPont had just patented processes for making plastics from oil and coal, as well as a new sulfate/sulfite process for making paper from wood pulp. According to DuPont’s own corporate records and historians,* these processes accounted for over 80 percent of all the company’s railroad car loadings over the next 60 years into the 1990s.
*Author’s research and communications with DuPont, 1985-1996.
If hemp had not been made illegal, 80% of DuPont’s business would never have materialized and the great majority of the pollution which has poisoned our Northwestern and Southeastern rivers would not have occurred.
In an open marketplace, hemp would have saved the majority of America’s vital family farms and would probably have boosted their numbers, despite the Great Depression of the 1930s.
But competing against environmentally-sane hemp paper and natural plastic technology would have jeopardized the lucrative financial schemes of Hearst, DuPont and DuPont’s chief financial backer, Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh.
A series of secret meetings were held. In 1931, Mellon, in his role as Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury, appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger, to be head of the newly reorganized Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD), a post he held for the next 31 years.
These industrial barons and financiers knew that machinery to cut, bale, decorticate (separate the fiber from the high-cellulose hurd), and process hemp into paper or plastics was becoming available in the mid-1930s. Cannabis hemp would have to go.
In DuPont’s 1937 Annual Report to its stockholders, the company strongly urged continued investment in its new, but not readily accepted, petrochemical synthetic products. DuPont was anticipating “radical changes” from “the revenue raising power of government … converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization.” *
*(DuPont Company, annual report, 1937, our emphasis added.)
In The Marijuana Conviction (University of Virginia Press, 1974), Richard Bonnie and Charles Whitebread II detailed this process:
“By the fall of 1936, Herman Oliphant (general counsel to the Treasury Department) had decided to employ the taxing power [of the federal government], but in a statute modeled after the National Firearms Act and wholly unrelated to the 1914 Harrison [narcotics] Act. Oliphant himself was in charge of preparing the bill. Anslinger directed his army to turn its campaign toward Washington.
“The key departure of the marijuana tax scheme from that of the Harrison Act is the notion of the prohibitive tax. Under the Harrison Act, a non-medical user could not legitimately buy or possess narcotics. To the dissenters in the Supreme Court decisions upholding the act, this clearly demonstrated that Congress’ motive was to prohibit conduct rather than raise revenue. So in the National Firearms Act, designed to prohibit traffic in machine guns, Congress ‘permitted’ anyone to buy a machine gun, but required him to pay a $200 transfer tax* and carry out the purchase on an order form.
“The Firearms Act, passed in June 1934, was the first act to hide Congress’ motives behind a prohibitive tax. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the anti-machine gun law on March 29, 1937. Oliphant had undoubtedly been awaiting the Court’s decision, and the Treasury Department introduced its marihuana tax bill two weeks later, April 14, 1937.”
Thus, DuPont’s** decision to invest in new technologies based on “forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization” makes sense.
*About $5,000 in 1998 dollars.
** It’s interesting to note that on April 29, 1937, two weeks after the Marihuana Tax Act was introduced, DuPont’s foremost scientist, Wallace Hume Carothers, the inventor of Nylon for DuPont, the world’s number-one organic chemist, committed suicide by drinking cyanide. Carothers was dead at age 41…
A Question of Motive
DuPont’s plans were alluded to during the 1937 Senate hearings by Matt Rens, of Rens Hemp Company:
Mr. Rens: Such a tax would put all small producers out of the business of growing hemp, and the proportion of small producers is considerable … The real purpose of this bill is not to raise money, is it?
Senator Brown: Well, we’re sticking to the proposition that it is.
Mr. Rens: It will cost a million.
Senator Brown: Thank you. (Witness dismissed.)
Hearst, His Hatred & Hysterical Lies
Concern about the effects of hemp smoke had already led to two major governmental studies. The British governor of India released the Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893-1894 on heavy bhang smokers in the subcontinent.
And in 1930, the U.S. government sponsored the Siler Commission study on the effects of off-duty smoking of marijuana by American servicemen in Panama. Both reports concluded that marijuana was not a problem and recommended that no criminal penalties apply to its use.
In early 1937, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General Walter Treadway told the Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee of the League of Nations that, “It may be taken for a relatively long time without social or emotional breakdown. Marihuana is habit-forming…in the same sense as … sugar or coffee.”
But other forces were at work. The war fury that led to the Spanish American War in 1898 was ignited by William Randolph Hearst through his nationwide chain of newspapers, and marked the beginning of “yellow journalism”* as a force in American politics.
*Webster’s Dictionary defines “yellow journalism” as the use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous methods in newspapers and other media to attract or influence the readers.
In the 1920s and ‘30s, Hearst’s newspapers deliberately manufactured a new threat to America and a new yellow journalism campaign to have hemp outlawed. For example, a story of a car accident in which a “marijuana cigarette” was found would dominate the headlines for weeks, while alcohol-related car accidents (which outnumbered marijuana-connected accidents by more than 10,000 to 1) made only the back pages.
This same theme of marijuana leading to car accidents was burned into the minds of Americans over and over again in the late 1930s by showing marijuana-related car accident headlines in movies such as “Reefer Madness” and “Marijuana – Assassin of Youth.”
Starting with the 1898 Spanish American War, the Hearst newspaper had denounced Spaniards, Mexican-Americans and Latinos.
After the seizure of 800,000 acres of Hearst’s prime Mexican timberland by the “marihuana” smoking army of Pancho Villa,* these slurs intensified.
*The song “La Cucaracha” tells the story of one of Villa’s men looking for his stash of “marijuana por fumar!” (to smoke!)
Non-stop for the next three decades, Hearst painted a picture of the lazy, pot-smoking Mexican, still one of our most insidious prejudices. Simultaneously, he waged a similar racist smear campaign against the Chinese, referring to them as the “Yellow Peril.”
From 1910 to 1920, Hearst’s newspapers would claim that the majority of incidents in which blacks were said to have raped white women, could be traced directly to cocaine. This continued for 10 years until Hearst decided it was not “cocaine-crazed negroes” raping white women – it was now “marijuana-crazed negroes” raping white women.
Hearst’s and other sensationalistic tabloids ran hysterical headlines atop stories portraying “negroes” and Mexicans as frenzied beasts who, under the influence of marijuana, would play anti-white “voodoo-satanic” music (jazz) and heap disrespect and “viciousness” upon the predominantly white readership. Other such offenses resulting from this drug-induced “crime wave” included: stepping on white men’s shadows, looking white people directly in the eye for three seconds or more, looking at a white woman twice, laughing at a white person, etc. For such “crimes,” hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and blacks spent, in aggregate, millions of years in jails, prisons and on chain gangs, under brutal segregation laws that remained in effect throughout the U.S. until the 1950s and ‘60s. Hearst, through pervasive and repetitive use, pounded the obscure Mexican slang word “marijuana” into the English-speaking American consciousness. Meanwhile, the word “hemp” was discarded and “cannabis,” the scientific term, was ignored and buried.
The actual Spanish word for hemp is “cáñamo.” But using a Mexican “Sonoran” colloquialism – marijuana, often Americanized as “marihuana” – guaranteed that few would realize that the proper terms for one of the chief natural medicines, “cannabis,” and for the premiere industrial resource, “hemp,” had been pushed out of the language.
The Prohibitive Marijuana Tax
In the secret Treasury Department meetings conducted between 1935 and 1937, prohibitive tax laws were drafted and strategies plotted. “Marijuana” was not banned outright; the law called for an “occupational excise tax upon dealers, and a transfer tax upon dealings in marijuana.”
Importers, manufacturers, sellers and distributors were required to register with the Secretary of the Treasury and pay the occupational tax. Transfers were taxed at $1 an ounce; $100 an ounce if the dealer was unregistered. The new tax doubled the price of the legal “raw drug” cannabis which at the time sold for one dollar an ounce.2 The year was 1937. New York State had exactly one narcotics officer.*
*New York currently has a network of thousands of narcotics officers, agents, spies and paid informants – and 20 times the penal capacity it had in 1937, although the state’s population has only doubled since then.
After the Supreme Court decision of March 29, 1937, upholding the prohibition of machine guns through taxation, Herman Oliphant made his move. On April 14, 1937 he introduced the bill directly to the House Ways and Means Committee instead of to other appropriate committees such as food and drug, agriculture, textiles, commerce, etc.
His reason may have been that “Ways and Means” is the only committee that can send its bills directly to the House floor without being subject to debate by other committees. Ways and Means Chairman Robert L. Doughton,* a key DuPont ally, quickly rubber-stamped the secret Treasury bill and sent it sailing through Congress to the President.
*Colby, Jerry, The DuPont Dynasties, Lyle Stewart, 1984.
“Did Anyone Consult the AMA?”
However, even within his controlled Committee hearings, many expert witnesses spoke out against the passage of these unusual tax laws.
Dr. William C. Woodward, for instance, who was both a physician and an attorney for the American Medical Association, testified on behalf of the AMA.
He said, in effect, the entire fabric of federal testimony was tabloid sensationalism! No real testimony had been heard! This law, passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a potential medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to find which ingredients in cannabis were active.
Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA hadn’t come out against the marijuana tax law sooner was that marijuana had been described in the press for 20 years as “killer weed from Mexico.”
The AMA doctors had just realized “two days before” these spring 1937 hearings, that the plant Congress intended to outlaw was known medically as cannabis, the benign substance used in America with perfect safety in scores of illnesses for over one hundred years.
“We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman,” Woodward protested, “why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared.” He and the AMA* were quickly denounced by Anslinger and the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused.3
* The AMA and the Roosevelt Administration were strong antagonists in 1937.
When the Marijuana Tax Act bill came up for oral report, discussion, and vote on the floor of Congress, only one pertinent question was asked from the floor: “Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?” Representative Vinson, answering for the Ways and Means Committee replied, “Yes, we have. A Dr. Wharton [mistaken pronunciation of Woodward?] and [the AMA] are in complete agreement!”
With this memorable lie, the bill passed, and became law in December, 1937. Federal and state police forces were created, which have incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Americans, adding up to more than 16 million wasted years in jails and prisons – even contributing to their deaths – all for the sake of poisonous, polluting industries, prison guards unions and to reinforce some white politicians’ policies of racial hatred.
(Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, 1979; Lindesmith, Alfred, The Addict and the Law, Indiana U. Press; Bonnie & Whitebread; The Marijuana Conviction, U. of VA Press; U.S. Cong. Records; et al.)
Others Spoke Out, Too
Also lobbying against the Tax Act with all its energy was the National Oil Seed Institute, representing the high-quality machine lubrication producers as well as paint manufacturers. Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1937, their general counsel, Ralph Loziers, testified eloquently about the hempseed oil that was to be, in effect, outlawed:
“Respectable authorities tell us that in the Orient, at least 200 million people use this drug; and when we take into consideration that for hundreds, yes, thousands of years, practically that number of people have been using this drug. It is significant that in Asia and elsewhere in the Orient, where poverty stalks abroad on every hand and where they draw on all the plant resources which a bountiful nature has given that domain – it is significant that none of those 200 million people has ever, since the dawn of civilization, been found using the seed of this plant or using the oil as a drug.
“Now, if there were any deleterious properties or principles in the seed or oil, it is reasonable to suppose that these Orientals, who have been reaching out in their poverty for something that would satisfy their morbid appetite, would have discovered it….
“If the committee please, the hempseed, or the seed of the cannabis sativa l., is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing that for many generations, especially in periods of famine….The point I make is this – that this bill is too all inclusive. This bill is a world encircling measure. This bill brings the activities – the crushing of this great industry under the supervision of a bureau – which may mean its suppression. Last year, there was imported into the U.S. 62,813,000 pounds of hempseed. In 1935 there was imported 116 million pounds…”
Protecting Special Interests
As the AMA’s Dr. Woodward had asserted, the government’s testimony before Congress in 1937 had, in fact, consisted almost entirely of Hearst’s and other sensational and racist newspaper articles read aloud by Harry J. Anslinger,* director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). (This agency has since evolved into the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA]).
*Harry J. Anslinger was director of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics from its inception in 1931 for the next 31 years, and was only forced into retirement in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy after Anslinger tried to censor the publications and publishers of Professor Alfred Lindesmith (“The Addict and the Law”, Washington Post, 1961) and to blackmail and harass his employer, Indiana University. Anslinger had come under attack for racist remarks as early as 1934 by a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Joseph Guffey, for such things as referring to “ginger-colored niggers” in letters circulated to his department heads on FBN stationery.
Prior to 1931, Anslinger was Assistant U.S. Commissioner for Prohibition. Anslinger, remember, was hand-picked to head the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics by his uncle-in-law, Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury under President Herbert Hoover. The same Andrew Mellon was also the owner and largest stockholder of the sixth largest bank (in 1937) in the United States, the Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, one of only two bankers for DuPont* from 1928 to the present.
*DuPont has borrowed money from banks only twice in its entire 190-year history, once to buy control of General Motors in the 1920s. Its banking business is the prestigious plum of the financial world.
In 1937, Anslinger testified before Congress saying, “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
This, along with Anslinger’s outrageous racist statements and beliefs, was made to the southern-dominated congressional committee and is now an embarrassment to read in its entirety.
For instance, Anslinger kept a “Gore File,” culled almost entirely from Hearst and other sensational tabloids – e.g., stories of axe murders, where one of the participants reportedly smoked a joint four days before committing the crime.
Anslinger pushed on Congress as a factual statement that about 50% of all violent crimes committed in the U.S. were committed by Spaniards, Mexican-Americans, Latin Americans, Filipinos, African-Americans and Greeks, and these crimes could be traced directly to marijuana.
(From Anslinger’s own records given to Pennsylvania State University, ref.: Li Cata Murders, etc.)
Not one of Anslinger’s marijuana “Gore Files” of the 1930s is believed to be true by scholars who have painstakingly checked the facts.4
In fact, FBI statistics, had Anslinger bothered to check, showed at least 65-75% of all murders in the U.S. were then – and still are – alcohol related. As an example of his racist statements, Anslinger read into U.S. Congressional testimony (without objection) stories about “coloreds” with big lips, luring white women with jazz music and marijuana. He read an account of two black students at the University of Minnesota doing this to a white coed “with the result of pregnancy.” The congressmen of 1937 gasped at this and at the fact that this drug seemingly caused white women to touch or even look at a “negro.”
Virtually no one in America other than a handful of rich industrialists and their hired cops knew that their chief potential competitor – hemp – was being outlawed under the name “marijuana.”
That’s right. Marijuana was most likely just a pretext for hemp prohibition and economic suppression.
The water was further muddied by the confusion of marijuana with “loco weed” (Jimson Weed). The situation was not clarified by the press, which continued to print the misinformation into the 1960s.
At the dawn of the 1990s, the most extravagant and ridiculous attacks on the hemp plant drew national media attention–such as a study widely reported by health journals* in 1989 that claimed marijuana smokers put on about a half a pound of weight per day. Now in 2007, they just want to duck the issue.
*American Health, July/August 1989.
Meanwhile, serious discussions of the health, civil liberties and economic aspects of the hemp issue are frequently dismissed as being nothing but an “excuse so that people can smoke pot” – as if people need an excuse to state the facts about any matter.
One must concede that, as a tactic, lying to the public about the beneficial nature of hemp and confusing them as to its relationship with “marijuana” has been very successful.
1. Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin 404, US Department of Agriculture 1916; “Billion-Dollar Crop”, Popular Mechanics, 1938; U.S. Agricultural Indexes, 1916 thru 1982; New Scientist, November 13, 1980.
2. Uelmen & Haddox, Drug Abuse and the Law, 1974.
3. Bonnie, Richard & Whitebread, Charles, The Marijuana Conviction, Univ. of Virginia Press, 1974; Congressional testimony, 1937 (See full testimony in Appendix); et al.
4. Sloman, Larry; Reefer Madness, 1979; Bonnie and Whitebread, The Marijuana Conviction, Univ. of Virginia Press, 1974.
The Toxic Alternative to Natural Fibers
The late 1920s and 1930s saw continuing consolidation of power into the hands of a few large steel, oil and chemical (munitions) companies. The U.S. federal government placed much of the textile production for the domestic economy in the hands of its chief munitions maker, DuPont.
The processing of nitrating cellulose into explosives is very similar to the process for nitrating cellulose into synthetic fibers and plastics. Rayon, the first synthetic fiber, is simply stabilized guncotton, or nitrated cloth, the basic explosive of the 19th century.
“Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products,” beamed Lammot DuPont (Popular Mechanics, June 1939).
“Consider our natural resources,” the president of DuPont continued, “The chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.”
DuPont’s scientists were the world’s leading researchers into the processes of nitrating cellulose and were in fact the largest processor of cellulose in the nation in this era.
The February 1938 Popular Mechanics article stated “Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT.” History shows that DuPont had largely cornered the market in explosives by buying up and consolidating the smaller blasting companies in the late 1800s. By 1902 it controlled about two-thirds of industry output.
They were the largest powder company, supplying 40% of the munitions for the allies in WWI. As cellulose and fiber researchers, DuPont’s chemists knew hemp’s true value better than anyone else. The value of hemp goes far beyond line fibers; although recognized for linen, canvas, netting and cordage, these long fibers are only 20% of the hemp stalk’s weight. Eighty percent of the hemp is in the 77% cellulose hurd, and this was the most abundant, cleanest resource of cellulose (fiber) for paper, plastics and even rayon.
The empirical evidence in this book shows that the federal government – through the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act – allowed this munitions maker to supply synthetic fibers for the domestic economy without competition. The proof of a successful conspiracy among these corporate and governing interests is simply this: in 1997 DuPont was still the largest producer of man-made fibers, while no American citizen has legally harvested a single acre of textile grade hemp in over 60 years (except during the period of WWII).
An almost unlimited tonnage of natural fiber and cellulose would have become available to the American farmer in 1937, the year DuPont patented Nylon and the polluting wood-pulp paper sulfide process. All of hemp’s potential value was lost.
Simple plastics of the early 1900s were made of nitrated cellulose, directly related to DuPont’s munitions-making process. Celluloid, acetate and rayon were the simple plastics of that era, and hemp was well known to cellulose researchers as the premier resource for this new industry to use. Worldwide, the raw material of simple plastics, rayon and paper could be best supplied by hemp hurds.
Nylon fibers were developed between 1926-1937 by the noted Harvard chemist Wallace Carothers, working from German patents. These polyamides are long fibers based on observed natural products. Carothers, supplied with an open-ended research grant from DuPont, made a comprehensive study of natural cellulose fibers. He duplicated natural fibers in his labs and polyamides – long fibers of a specific chemical process – were developed. (Curiously, Wallace Carothers committed suicide in April of 1937, one week after the House Ways and Means Committee had the hearings on cannabis and created the bill that would eventually outlaw hemp.)
Coal tar and petroleum-based chemicals were employed, and different devices, spinnerets and processes were patented. This new type of textile, Nylon, was to be controlled from the raw material stage, as coal, to the completed product: a patented chemical product. The chemical company centralized the production and profits of the new “miracle” fiber. The introduction of Nylon, the introduction of high-volume machinery to separate hemp’s long fiber from the cellulose hurd, and the outlawing of hemp as “marijuana” all occurred simultaneously.
The new man-made fibers (MMFs) can best be described as war material. The fiber-making process has become one based on big factories, smokestacks, coolants and hazardous chemicals, rather than one of stripping out the abundant, naturally available fibers.
Coming from a history of making explosives and munitions, the old “chemical dye plants” now produce hosiery, mock linens, mock canvas, latex paint and synthetic carpets. Their polluting factories make imitation leather, upholstery and wood surfaces, while an important part of the natural cycle stands outlawed.
The standard fiber of world history, America’s traditional crop, hemp, could provide our textiles and paper and be the premier source for cellulose. The war industries – DuPont, Allied Chemical, Monsanto, etc., – are protected from competition by the marijuana laws. They made war on the natural cycle and the common farmer.
By Shan Clark
Encyclopedia of Textiles, 3rd Edition by the editors of American Fabrics and Fashions Magazine, William C. Legal, Publisher Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1980; The Emergence of Industrial America Strategic Factors in American Economic Growth Since 1870, Peter George State University, NY; DuPont (a corporate autobiography published periodically by E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., Inc., Wilmington, DE.; The Blasting Handbook, E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., Inc., Wilmington, DE; Mechanical Engineering Magazine, Feb. 1938; Popular Mechanics, Feb 1938; Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 47, 1984; Polyamides, the Chemistry of Long Molecules (author unknown); U.S. Patent #2,071,250 (Feb. 16, 1937), W.H. Carothers; DuPont Dynasties, Jerry Colby; The American Peoples Encyclopedia, the Sponsor Press, Chicago, 1953.
Anslinger got his marijuana law…
“Should we believe self-serving, ever-growing drug enforcement/drug treatment bureaucrats, whose pay and advancement depends on finding more and more people to arrest and ‘treat’?
“More Americans die in just one day in prisons, penitentiaries, jails and stockades than have ever died from marijuana throughout history. Who are they protecting? From what?”
—Fred Oerther, MD, Portland, Oregon
Moving to Crush Dissent
After the 1938-1944 New York City ”LaGuardia Marijuana Report” refuted his argument, by reporting that marijuana caused no violence at all and citing other positive results, Harry J. Anslinger, in public tirade after tirade, denounced Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the New York Academy of Medicine and the doctors who researched the report.
Anslinger proclaimed that these doctors would never again do marijuana experiments or research without his personal permission, or be sent to jail!
He then used the full power of the United States government, illegally, to halt virtually all research into marijuana while he blackmailed the American Medical Association (AMA)* into denouncing the New York Academy of Medicine and its doctors for the research they had done.
*Why, you ask, was the AMA now on Anslinger’s side in 1944-45, after being against the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937? Answer: Since Anslinger’s FBN was responsible for prosecuting doctors who prescribed narcotic drugs for what he, Anslinger, deemed illegal purposes, they (the FBN) had prosecuted more than 3,000 AMA doctors for illegal prescriptions through 1939. In 1939, the AMA made specific peace with Anslinger on marijuana. The results: Only three doctors were prosecuted for illegal drugs of any sort from 1939 to 1949.
To refute the LaGuardia report, the AMA, at Anslinger’s personal request, conducted a 1944-45 study; “of the experimental group 34 were negroes and one was white” (for statistical control) who smoked marijuana, became disrespectful of white soldiers and officers in the segregated military. (See Appendix, “Army Study of Marijuana,” Newsweek, Jan. 15, 1945.)
This technique of biasing the outcome of a study is known among researchers as “gutter science.”
Pot & the Threat of Peace
However, from 1948 to 1950, Anslinger stopped feeding the press the story that marijuana was violence-causing and began “red baiting,” typical of the McCarthy era.
Now the frightened American public was told that this was a much more dangerous drug than he originally thought. Testifying before a strongly anti-Communist Congress in 1948 – and thereafter continually to the press – Anslinger proclaimed that marijuana rendered its users now violent at all, but so peaceful – and pacifistic! – that the Communists could and would use marijuana to weaken our American fighting men’s will to fight.
This was a 180-degree turn-around of the original pretext on which “violence-causing” cannabis was outlawed in 1937. Undaunted, however, Congress now voted to continue the marijuana law – based on the exact opposite reasoning they had used to outlaw cannabis in the first place.
It is interesting and even absurd to note that Anslinger and his biggest supporters – southern congressmen and his best senatorial friend, Senator Joseph McCarthy* of Wisconsin – from 1948 on, constantly received press coverage on the scare.
*According to Anslinger’s autobiographical book, The Murderers, and confirmed by former FBN agents, Anslinger had been supplying morphine illegally to a U.S. senator – Joseph McCarthy – for years.
The reason given by Anslinger in his book? So the Communists would not be able to blackmail this great American Senator for his drug-dependency weakness. (Dean Latimer, Flowers In The Blood; Harry Anslinger, The Murderers.)
Anslinger told congress the Communists would sell marijuana to group as America’s first truth American boys to sap their will to fight – to make us a nation of zombie pacifists. Of course, the Communists of Russia and China ridiculed this U. S. marijuana paranoia every chance they got – in the press and at the United Nations.
Unfortunately, the idea of pot and pacifism got so much sensational world press for the next 20 years that eventually Russia, China, and the Eastern Bloc Communist countries (that grew large amounts of cannabis) outlawed marijuana for fear that America would sell it or use it to make the communist soldiers docile and pacifistic.
This was strange because Russia, Eastern Europe, and China had been growing and ingesting cannabis as a medical drug, relaxant and work tonic for hundreds and even thousands of years, with no thought of marijuana laws.
(The J.V. Dialogue Soviet Press Digest, Oct., 1990 reported a flourishing illegal hemp business, despite the frantic efforts by Soviet law enforcement agencies to stamp it out. “In Kirghizia alone, hemp plantations occupy some 3,000 hectares.” In another area, Russians are traveling three days into “one of the more sinister places in the Moiyn-Kumy desert,” to harvest a special high-grade, drought resistant variety of hemp known locally as anasha.)
A Secret Program to Control Minds & Choices
Through a report released in 1983 under the Freedom of Information Act, it was discovered (after 40 years of secrecy) that Anslinger was appointed in 1942 to a top-secret committee to create a “truth serum” for the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), which evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (Rolling Stone, August 1983.)
Anslinger and his spy group picked, as America’s first truth serum, “honey oil”, a much purer, almost tasteless form of hash oil, to be administered in food to spies, saboteurs, military prisoners and the like, to make them unwittingly “spill the truth.”)
Fifteen months later, in 1943, marijuana extracts were discontinued by Anslinger’s group as America’s first truth serum because it was noted that they didn’t work all the time.
The people being interrogated would often giggle or laugh hysterically at their captors, get paranoid, or have insatiable desires for food (the munchies?). Also, the reported noted that American OSS agents and other interrogation groups started using the honey oil illegally themselves, and would not give it to the spies. In Anslinger’s OSS group’s final report on marijuana as a truth serum, there was no mention of violence caused by the drug! In fact, the opposite was indicated. The OSS and later the CIA continued the search and tried other drugs as truth serum; psilocybin or amanita muscaria mushrooms and LSD, to name a few.
For twenty years, the CIA secretly tested these concoctions on American agents. Unsuspecting subjects jumped from buildings, or thought they’d gone insane.
Our government finally admitted doing all this to its own people in the 1970s, after 25 years of denials: drugging innocent, non-consenting, unaware citizens, soldiers and government agents – all in the name of national security, of course.
These American “security” agencies constantly threatened and even occasionally imprisoned individuals, families and organizations that suggested the druggings had ever occurred.
It was three decades before the Freedom of Information Act forced the CIA to admit its lies through exposure on TV by CBS’s “60 Minutes” and others. However, on April 16, 1985 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the CIA did not have to reveal the identities of either the individuals or institutions involved in this travesty.
The court said, in effect, that the CIA could decide what was or was not to be released under the Freedom of Information Act, and that the courts could not overrule the agency’s decision.
As an aside, repealing this Freedom of Information Act was one of the prime goals of the Reagan/Bush/Quayle Administration.
(L.A. Times, The Oregonian, etc. editorials 1984; The Oregonian, January 21, 1985; Lee, Martin & Shlain, Bruce, Acid Dreams, Grove Press, NY, 1985.
Before Anslinger started the pacifist zombie-marijuana scare in 1948, he publicly used jazz music, violence, and the “gore files” for five to seven more years (1943-50) in the press, at conventions, lectures, and congressional hearings.
We now know that on the subject of hemp, disguised as marijuana, Anslinger was a bureaucratic police liar.
For more than 70 years now Americans have been growing up with and accepting Anslinger’s statements on the herb – from violence to evil pacifism and finally to the corrupting influence of music.
Whether this was economically or racially inspired, or even because of up-beat music or some kind of synergistic (combined) hysteria, is impossible to know for sure. But we do know that for the U.S. government, e.g., DEA, information disseminated on cannabis was then, and continues to be, a deliberate deception.
As you will see in the following chapters, the weight of empirical fact and large amounts of corroborating evidence indicate that the former Reagan/Bush/Quayle administrations, along with their unique pharmaceutical connections, have probably conspired at the highest levels to withhold information and to disinform the public, resulting in the avoidable and needless deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.
And they did it, it seems, intending to save their own investment – and their friends’ – in the pharmaceutical, energy and paper industries; and to give these poisonous, synthetic industries an insane advantage over natural hemp and protect the billions of dollars in annual profits that they stood to lose if the hemp plant and marijuana were not prohibited!
As a result, millions of Americans have wasted millions of years in jail time, and millions of lives have been and continue to be ruined by what started out as Hearst’s, Anslinger’s and DuPont’s shameful economic lies, vicious racial libels and bigoted musical taste.
The Body of Medical Literature on Cannabis Medicine
Our authority here is the ‘Body of Literature,’ starting with ancient materia medicae:
Chinese and Hindu pharmacopoeia and Near Eastern cuneiform tablets, and continuing all the way into this century, including the 1966-76 U.S. renaissance of cannabis studies—some 10,000 separate studies on medicines and effects from the hemp plant.
Comprehensive compendia of these works are designated as the prime sources for this medical chapter, as well as ongoing interviews with many researchers.
Affordable, Available Herbal Health Care
For more than 3,500 years, cannabis/hemp/marijuana has been, depending on the culture or nation, either the most used or one of the most widely used plants for medicines. This includes: China, India, the Middle and Near East, Africa, and pre-Roman Catholic Europe (prior to 476 A.D.).
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, NORML, High Times and Omni magazine (September 1982) all indicate that, if marijuana were legal it would immediately replace 10-20% of all pharmaceutical prescription medicines (based on research through 1976). And probably, Mechoulam estimates, 40-50% of all medicines, including patent medicines, could contain some extract from the cannabis plant when fully researched.
(Read the U.S. government-sponsored research as outlined by Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, 1976; Roffman, Roger, Marijuana as Medicine, 1980; Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; also, the work of Dr. Norman Zinberg; Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. Lester Grinspoon; and the U.S. Government’s Presidential Commission reports [Shafer Commission] from 1969 through 1972; Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Tel Aviv/ Jerusalem Univ., 1964-97; W.B. O’Shaugnessy monograph, 1839; and the long-term Jamaican studies I & II, 1968-74; Costa Rican studies through 1982; U.S. Coptic studies, 1981; Ungerlieder; U.S. military studies since the 1950s and ‘60s.)
Superstar of the 19TH Century
Marijuana was America’s number-one analgesic for 60 years before the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900. From 1842 to 1900, cannabis made up half of all medicine sold, with virtually no fear of its high.
The 1839 report on the uses of cannabis by Dr. W.B. O’Shaugnessy, one of the most respected members of the Royal Academy of Science, was just as important to mid-19th century Western medicine as the discoveries of antibiotics (like penicillin and Terramycin) were to mid-20th century medicine.
In fact, the Committee on Cannabis Indica for the Ohio State Medical Society concluded that “High Biblical commentators [scholars]” believe “that the gall and vinegar, or myrrhed wine, offered to our Saviour immediately before his crucifixion was, in all probability, a preparation of Indian hemp.”
(Transcripts, Ohio State Medical Society 15th annual meeting, June 12-14, 1860, pg. 75-100.)
From 1850 to 1937, the U. S. Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis as the primary medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases.
During all this time (pre-1000 B.C. to 1940s A.D.), researchers, doctors and drug manufacturers (Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis, Squibb, etc.) had no idea what the active ingredients of cannabis were until Dr. Mechoulam discovered THC in 1964.
20th & 21st Century Research
As outlined in the previous chapters, the American Medical Association (AMA) and drug companies testified against the l937 Marijuana Tax Act because cannabis was known to have so much medical potential and had never caused any observable addictions or death by overdose.
The possibility existed, they argued, that once the active ingredients in cannabis (such as THC Delta-9) were isolated and correct dosages established, cannabis could become a miracle drug.
Twenty-nine years would pass, however, before American scientists could begin to even look into cannabis medicine again.
THC Delta-9 was isolated by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at the University of Tel Aviv in 1964. His work confirmed that of Professor Taylor of Princeton, who had lead the research and identification of natural THC Delta-9 precursors in the 1930s. Kahn, Adams and Loewe also worked with the structure of cannabis’ active ingredientsin1944.
Since 1964, more than 400 separate compounds have been isolated in cannabis from over a thousand suspected compounds. At least 60 of the isolated compounds are therapeutic. The United States, however, forbade this type of research through the bureaucratic authority of Harry Anslinger until 1962, when he was forced to retire. (Omni magazine, Sept. 1982.)
By 1966, millions of young Americans had begun using marijuana. Concerned parents and government, wanting to know the dangers their children were risking, started funding dozens and later hundreds of marijuana health studies.
Entrenched in the older generation’s minds were 30 years of Anslinger/Hearst scare stories of murder, atrocity, rape, and even zombie pacifism.
Federally sponsored research results began to ease Americans’ fears of cannabis causing violence or zombie pacifism, and hundreds of new studies suggested that hidden inside the hemp plant’s chemistry lay a medicinal array of incredible therapeutic potential. The government funded more and more studies.
Soon, legions of American researchers had positive indications using cannabis for asthma, glaucoma, nausea from chemotherapy, anorexia, tumors and epilepsy, as well as for a general-use antibiotic. Cumulative findings showed evidence of favorable results occurring in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Parkinson’s disease, anorexia, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy; plus thousands of anecdotal stories, all merited further clinical study.
Prior to 1976, reports of positive effects and new therapeutic indications for cannabis were almost a weekly occurrence in medical journals and the national press.
National Conference Praised Cannabis Therapy Potential
In November1975, virtually all of America’s leading researchers on marijuana met at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California. Seminars were sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to address a compendium of studies from their earliest to most recent findings.
When the seminars were over, practically all the scientists concluded that the federal government, with the hard evidence collected so far on the therapeutic potential of marijuana, should be rushing to invest tax money into more research.
They felt the taxpayers should be informed that there was every legitimate reason for the field of public health to continue large scale research on cannabis medicine and therapies. All the participants, it seems, believed this. Many of them (such as Mechoulam) believed that cannabis would be one of the world’s major medicines by the mid-1980s. In March 1997, Mechoulam, in a speech at the Bio-Fach in Frankfurt, Germany, still believed that cannabis is the world’s best overall medicine. In 2006 Mechoulam started using cannabis to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Marijuana Research Banned
However, in 1976, just as multi-disciplined marijuana research should have been going into its second, third, and fourth-generation studies (see Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana and NORML federal files), a ”surprise” United States government policy again forbade all promising federal research into marijuana’s therapeutic effects.
This time, the research ban was accomplished when American pharmaceutical companies successfully petitioned the federal government to be allowed to finance and judge 100% of the research.
The previous 10 years of research had indicated a tremendous promise for the therapeutic uses of natural cannabis, and this potential was quietly turned over to corporate hands – not for the benefit of the public, but to suppress the medical information.
This plan, the drug manufacturers petitioned, would allow our private drug companies time to come up with patentable synthetics of the cannabis molecules at no cost to the federal government, and a promise of “no highs.”
In 1976, the Ford Administration, NIDA and the DEA said, in effect, no American independent (read: university) research or federal health program would be allowed to again investigate natural cannabis derivatives for medicine. This agreement was made without any safeguards guaranteeing integrity on the part of the pharmaceutical companies; they were allowed to regulate themselves.
Private pharmaceutical corporations were allowed to do some “no high” research, but it would be only Delta-9THC research, not any of the 400 other potentially therapeutic isomers in cannabis.
Research revealed positive indications when using cannabis for asthma, glaucoma, nausea from chemotherapy, anorexia and tumors, as well as a general use antibiotic; epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, migraines, etc.—all these merited further clinical studies.
Why did the drug companies conspire to take over marijuana research? Because U.S. government research (1966-1976) had indicated or confirmed through hundreds of studies that even “natural” crude cannabis was the “best and safest medicine of choice” for many serious health problems.
1988: DEA Judge Rules that Cannabis has Medical Value
The DEA’s own conservative administrative law judge, Francis Young, after taking medical testimony for 15 days and reviewing hundreds of DEA/NIDA documents positioned against the evidence introduced by marijuana reform activists, concluded in September 1988 that “marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
But despite this preponderance of evidence, then DEA Director John Lawn ordered on December 30, 1989 that cannabis remain listed as a Schedule I narcotic – having no known medical use. His successor, Robert Bonner, who was appointed by Bush and kept in office by Clinton, was even more draconian in his approach to hemp/marijuana as medicine. Bush, Sr., Clinton and Bush, Jr.’s DEA administrators have all upheld policies far worse even than Bonner’s.
So…if all this has been known since 1975, what is our government waiting for?
2007: DEA Judge Rules Against the U.S. Government’s Monopoly on Pot Production
Washington, DC: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled February 12th, 2007 that the private production of cannabis for research purposes is “in the public interest.” Her ruling affirms that the DEA, in 2004, improperly rejected an application from the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst to manufacture cannabis for FDA-approved research.
Protecting Pharmaceutical Companies’ Profits
NORML, High Times and Omni (September 1982) indicate that Eli Lilly, Abbott Labs, Pfizer, Smith, Kline & French, and others would lose hundreds of millions, to billions of dollars annually, and lose even more billions in Third World countries, if marijuana were legal in the U.S.*
*Remember, in 1976, the last year of the Ford Administration, these drug companies, through their own persistence (specifically by intense lobbying) got the federal government to cease all positive research into medical marijuana. It’s still the same in 2007.
Putting the Fox into the Health Care Chicken Coop
The drug companies took over all research and financing into analogs of synthetic THC, CBD, CBN, etc., promising “no high” before allowing the products on the market. Eli Lilly came out with Nabilone and later Marinol, synthetic second cousins of THC Delta 9, and promised the government great results.
Omni magazine, in 1982, stated that after nine years, Nabilone was still considered virtually useless when compared with real, home-grown THC-rich cannabis buds; and Marinol works as well as marijuana in only 13% of patients.
Marijuana users mostly agree, they do not like the effects of Lilly’s Nabilone or Marinol. Why? You have to get three or four times as high on Marinol to sometimes get the same benefits as smoking good cannabis bud.
Omni also stated in 1982 (and it’s still true in 2007) that after tens of millions of dollars and nine years of research on medical marijuana synthetics, “these drug companies are totally unsuccessful,” even though raw, organic cannabis is a “superior medicine” which works so well naturally, on so many different illnesses.
Omni also suggested the drug companies petition the government to allow “crude drug extracts” on the market in the real interest of public health. The government and the drug companies, to date, have not responded. Or rather, they have responded by ignoring it. However, the Reagan/Bush/Clinton administrations absolutely refused to allow resumption of real (university) cannabis research, except under synthetic pharmaceutical studies.
Omni suggests, and NORML and High Times concur, the reason the drug companies and Reagan/ Bush , Sr./Clinton/Bush, Jr. have wanted only synthetic THC legal is that simple extractions of the hundreds of ingredients from the cannabis crude drug would be enjoyed without pharmaceutical company patents which generate windfall monopolized profits.
Undermining the Natural Medicine’s Competition
Eli Lilly, Pfizer and others stand to lose at least a third of their entire, highly profitable, patent monopoly on such drugs as Darvon, Tuinal, Seconal, and Prozac (as well as other patented medications ranging from muscle ointments to burn ointments, to thousands of other products) because of a plant anyone can grow: cannabis hemp.
Isn’t it curious that American drug companies and pharmacist groups* supply almost half the funding for the 4,000 “Families Against Marijuana” type organizations in America? The other half is supplied by Action (a federal VISTA agency) and by tobacco companies like Philip Morris, and by liquor and beer makers like Anheuser Busch, Coors, etc., or as a “public service” by the ad agencies that represent them.
*Pharmacists against Drug Abuse, etc. See appendices.
Poisoning the Third World
Colombia’s largest newspaper, Periodical el Tiempo (Bogota), reported in 1983 that these same anti-marijuana crusading American pharmaceutical companies are guilty of a practice known as “product dumping,” wherein they “sell on the over-the-counter markets of Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, over 150 different illegal, dangerous drugs.” This report has not been disputed by the U.S. government or American pharmaceutical companies and the practice continues in 2007.
Some of these drugs have been forbidden by the FDA for sale or use in the U.S. or its counterparts in Europe because they are known to cause malnutrition, deformities and cancer. Yet they are sold over-the-counter to unsuspecting foreign consumers!
The World Health Organization backs up this story with a conservative estimate: they say that some 500,000 people are poisoned each year in Third World countries by items (drugs, pesticides, etc.) sold by American companies but which are banned from sale in the U.S.*
*Mother Jones magazine, 1979, “Unbroken Circle” June, 1989; The Progressive, April, 1991; et al.
Destroying the Public Record
Some 10,000 studies have been done on cannabis, 4,000 in the U.S., and only about a dozen have shown any negative results and these have never been replicated. The Reagan/Bush Administration put a soft “feeler” out in September of 1983 for all American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries.
Scientists and doctors so ridiculed this unparalleled censorship move that the plans were dropped…for the moment.
However, we know that large amounts of information have since disappeared, including the original copy of the USDA’s own pro-marijuana film Hemp for Victory. Worse yet, even the merest mention of the film was removed from the official record back to 1958, and has had to be painstakingly reestablished as part of our national archives. Many archival and resource copies of USDA Bulletin 404 has disappeared. How many other such priceless historical documents have already been lost?
In late 1995 and early 1996, Dennis Peron, founder of the Cannabis Buyers’ Club in San Francisco, gave California voters Proposition 215, a statewide initiative to make cannabis legal as medicine. The medical marijuana initiative collected 750,000 signatures, made the California ballot and it passed by 56% of the vote in November 1996. Now, in 2007, hundreds of thousands of Californians are growing medical marijuana legally. Nonetheless, the federal government, in clear opposition to the people’s mandate, has found ways to harass and close down many of the 600 + cannabis buyers’/cultivators’ clubs including Peron’s.
Interestingly, in 1996, more voters in California voted for medical marijuana than voted for Bill Clinton.
In August of 1997, almost one full year after the passage of Proposition 215 by the majority vote, an LA Times poll found that more than 67% of Californians would vote for it – an increase of 11% in the first year.
In February of 2007, a Lou Dobbs CNN poll showed that 79% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. (20,146 voted)
An MSNBC Live Vote asked in April of 2007, “Do you believe President Bush’s actions justify impeachment?” 87% voted yes. (425,127 voted) Californians taking advantage of the new medical marijuana law include police officers, district attorneys and mayors. Some of the same people who formerly arrested and prosecuted citizens for marijuana, medical or otherwise, are now using it themselves or for their families in ever increasing numbers.
Upon reentering the United States from Canada, in March of 1998, California resident Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the highest-scoring professional basketball player in history, was busted for possession of a small amount of marijuana. He paid a $500 fine to U.S. Customs and explained to the press that, as a California citizen, he had a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana.
Professional and collegiate athletes who live in California and have a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana theoretically do not have to undergo urine-testing for cannabis.
Author Peter McWilliams, who suffered from AIDS and cancer, said “If it weren’t for the illegal pot dealers (before Proposition 215), there would have been no marijuana and I wouldn’t be alive today. Marijuana eases nausea and makes it possible for me to keep down food and the pills I must take to combat my diseases. Fuck the federal government. Use it if you need it.” He was later arrested by the DEA. His mother put up her house for bail. The DEA said if he was caught using pot she would lose it. He stopped using pot, his health quickly declined, and he passed away in June of 2000.
Therapeutic Use of Cannabis
There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical and herbal treatments. The primary one is THC, and the effectiveness of therapy is directly proportionate to the herb’s potency or concentration of THC. Recent DEA reports of increasingly potent marijuana therefore represent a major medical advance; but, incredibly, the government uses these very numbers to solicit bigger budgets and harsher penalties.
On November 5, 1996, 56% of California citizens voted for the California Compassionate Use Act (medical marijuana initiative) ending all legal state efforts to keep marijuana from being used as medicine by California citizens.
Arizona citizens, in November 1996, also passed, by an even greater margin — 65%—a drug declassification initiative that included medical marijuana, backed by, among others, the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.
Arizona’s governor and legislature, exercising their veto override ability on their state initiative laws for the first time in 90 years, struck down this popular initiative passed by the people. Arizona citizens angrily responded by recollecting more than 150,000 signatures in a 90-day referendum period and promptly returned the medical marijuana initiative to the ballot for November 1998.
The following explains how people will benefit when the freedom of choice of doctors and patients is once again respected.
This Writer, Responsible Scientists and Doctors Advise:
There is no pharmacological free lunch in cannabis or any drug. Negative reactions can result. A small percentage of people have negative or allergic reactions to marijuana. Heart patients could have problems, even though cannabis generally relieves stress, dilates the arteries, and in general lowers the diastolic pressure. A small percentage of people get especially high heart rates and anxieties with cannabis. These persons should not use it. Some bronchial asthma sufferers benefit from cannabis; however, for others it may serve as an additional irritant.
For the overwhelming majority of people, cannabis has demonstrated literally hundreds of therapeutic uses. Among them:
More than 15 million Americans are affected by asthma. Smoking cannabis (the “raw drug” as the AMA called it) would be beneficial for 80% of them and add 30-60 million person-years in the aggregate of extended life to current asthmatics over presently legal toxic medicines such as the Theophylline prescribed to children.
“Taking a hit of marijuana has been known to stop a full blown asthma attack.” (Personal communication with Dr. Donald Tashkin, December 12, 1989 and December 1, 1997.) The use of cannabis for asthmatics goes back thousands of years in literature. American doctors of the last century wrote glowing reports in medical papers that asthma sufferers of the world would ”bless” Indian hemp (cannabis) all their lives.
Today, of the 16 million American asthma sufferers, only Californians, with a doctor’s recommendation, can legally grow and use cannabis medicines, even though it is generally the most effective treatment for asthma.
(Tashkin, Dr. Donald, UCLA Pulmonary Studies (for smoked marijuana), 1969-2007; Ibid., asthma studies, 1969-1976; Cohen, Sidney, & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, 1976; Life Insurance Actuarial rates; Life shortening effects of childhood asthma, 1983.)
Fourteen percent of all blindness in America is from glaucoma, a progressive loss of vision. Cannabis smoking would benefit 90% of our 2.5 million glaucoma victims, and is two to three times as effective as any current medicines for reducing ocular pressure!
Cannabis use has no toxic side effects to the liver and kidneys; nor is there any danger of the occasional sudden death syndromes associated with the legal pharmaceutical glaucoma drugs /drops.
Many California eye doctors, through the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, discreetly advised their patients to use “street” marijuana in addition to (or to mitigate) their toxic legal glaucoma medicines.
Since November 1996, California doctors can legally recommend, advise or tacitly approve cannabis use by their glaucoma patients who may then grow and smoke their own marijuana, or go to one of the 600 plus Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs to acquire medical marijuana.
(Harvard; Hepler & Frank, 1971, UCLA; Medical College of Georgia; U. of North Carolina School of Medicine, 1975; Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, UCLA, 1976; National Eye Institute; Records of Bob Randolph/Elvy Musika, glaucoma patients who receive 300 joints a month from the federal government 1975, 2007), Tashkin, Dr. Donald UCLA, 1976 -2007.
A tumor is a mass of swollen tissue. Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia discovered that cannabis is an incredibly successful herb for reducing many types of tumors, both benign and malignant (cancerous).
The DEA and other federal agencies had ordered these tumor studies done after hearing erroneous reports of possible immunicological problems associated with cannabis smoke. But, in 1975, instead of health problems, an apparent medical breakthrough occurred and successful tumor reductions were recorded!
Following this remarkably positive discovery by the Medical College of Virginia, orders were immediately handed down by the DEA and the National Institutes of Health to defund all further cannabis/tumor research and reporting! Millions of Americans who might be alive today are dead because of these and other DEA orders regarding marijuana.
In 1996 and 2006, the Medical College of Virginia again applied to receive grants for cannabis research and again were turned down by the DEA.
Nausea Relief (AIDS, Cancer Therapy, Seasickness)
Though it is known to be extremely damaging to the immune system, chemotherapy is claimed by practitioners to benefit cancer and AIDS patients. But chemo has some other serious side effects too, including nausea. “Marijuana is the best agent for control of nausea in cancer chemotherapy,” according to Dr. Thomas Ungerleider, who headed California’s Marijuana for Cancer research program from 1979 to 1984. This is also true in AIDS and even in the unsettled stomach common in motion sickness.
Pharmaceutical nausea-control drugs come in pills that are often swallowed by the patient only to be thrown back up. Because cannabis can be ingested as smoke, it stays in the system and keeps working even if vomiting continues.
Throughout the state’s 10-year Compassionate Marijuana Medical law, George Deukmejian, both as attorney general and as governor, with no regard for the suffering of dying cancer patients, made it virtually impossible for them to get cannabis. Former California Governor Pete Wilson was following the same course until the medical marijuana initiative passed in November 1996.
Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Back Pain, Muscle Spasms
Cannabis is beneficial for 60% of all epileptics. It is the best treatment for many types of epilepsy and victims’ post-seizure mental traumas. Cannabis extract is more effective than Dilantin (a common anti-epileptic with severe side effects). Medical World News reported in 1971: “Marijuana … is probably the most potent anti-epileptic known to medicine today.” (Mikuriya, Tod H., M.D. Marijuana Medical Papers 1839-1972, page xxii.)
Cannabis users’ epileptic seizures are of less intensity than the more dangerous seizures experienced by users of pharmaceuticals. Similarly, smoking cannabis has proven to be a major source of relief for multiple sclerosis, which affects the nervous system and is characterized by muscular weakness, tremors, etc.
Aside from addictive morphine, cannabis, whether smoked or applied as an herbal pack or poultice, is also the best muscle relaxant, back spasm medicine and general antispasmodic medication on our planet.
In September 1993, in Santa Cruz County, California, sheriffs rearrested epileptic Valerie Corral and confiscated the five marijuana plants she was growing for medicine even though 77% of the citizens of Santa Cruz voted in November 1992 to instruct local law enforcement not to prosecute medical marijuana users. Charges against Corral had been dropped earlier in March 1993 because she was the first person in California to meet all six points of a medical necessity defense.
In 1997 Valerie, who runs a compassionate use club, was named Citizen of the Year in Santa Cruz.
(Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, 1976; Consult U.S. Pharmacopoeia prior to 1937; Mikuriya, Tod H., M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1839-1972.)
Antibiotic CBD Disinfectants
Young un-budded hemp plants provide extractions of CBDs (cannabidiolic acids). There are many antibiotic uses of the cannabidiols, including treatment for gonorrhea. A 1990 Florida study indicated its use in treating herpes.
The acid side of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiols occur inversely to the amount of the plant’s THC and is therefore more acceptable to prohibitionists because “it won’t get you high.” For virtually any disease or infection that can be treated with terramycin, cannabis derivatives did better in Czechoslovakian studies, 1952-1955. The Czechs in 1997 still published farm crop reports on strategies to grow cannabidiol rich hemp.
(Also see Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana; Mikuriya, Tod H., M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers; Roffman, Marijuana as Medicine, 1982; International Farm Crop abstracts.)
Arthritis, Herpes, Cystic Fibrosis & Rheumatism
Cannabis is a topical analgesic. Until 1937, virtually all corn plasters, mustard plasters, muscle ointments, and fibrosis poultices were made from or with cannabis extracts.
Rheumatism was treated throughout South America until the 1960s with hemp leaves and/or flower tops heated in water or alcohol and placed on painful joints. In fact, this form of herbal medicine is still widely used in rural areas of Mexico, Central and South America, and by California Latinos for relief of rheumatism and arthritis pain.
Direct contact with THC killed herpes virus in University of South Florida (Tampa) research studies by Dr. Gerald Lancz 1990, and Dr. Peter Medveczky 2004, who warn that “smoking marijuana will not cure herpes.” However, anecdotal reports indicate a faster drying and healing of the outbreak after topical application of “strong bud,” soaked in rubbing alcohol and crushed into a paste.
Lung Cleaner & Expectorant
Cannabis is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog, dust and the phlegm associated with tobacco use.
Marijuana smoke effectively dilates the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more oxygen into the lungs. It is also the best natural dilator of the tiny airways of the lungs, the bronchial tubes – making cannabis the best overall bronchial dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor negative reactions).
(See section on asthma – a disease that closes these passages in spasms – UCLA Tashkin studies, 1969-97; U.S. Costa Rican, 1980-82; Jamaican studies 1969-74,76.)
Statistical evidence – showing up consistently as anomalies in matched populations -indicates that people who smoke tobacco cigarettes are usually better off and will live longer if they smoke cannabis moderately, too. (Jamaican, Costa Rican studies.)
Millions of Americans have given up or avoided smoking tobacco products in favor of cannabis, which is not good news to the powerful tobacco lobby. A turn-of-the-century grandfather clause in U.S. tobacco law allows 400 to 6,000 additional chemicals to be added. Additions since then to the average tobacco cigarette are unknown, and the public in the U.S. has no right to know what they are.
Many joggers and marathon runners feel cannabis use cleans their lungs, allowing better endurance.
The evidence indicates that cannabis use will probably increase these outlaw American marijuana-users’ lives by about one to two years – yet they may lose their rights, property, children, state licenses, etc., just for using that safest of substances: cannabis.
Sleep & Relaxation
Cannabis lowers blood pressure, dilates the arteries and reduces body temperature an average of one-half degree, thereby relieving stress. Evening cannabis smokers in general report more restful sleep.
Using cannabis allows most people a more complete rest with a higher amount of “alpha time” during sleep as compared with prescription or sleep-inducing patent sedatives.
Prescription sleeping pills (the so called “legal, safe and effective” drugs) are often just synthesized analogs of truly dangerous plants like mandrake, henbane and belladonna.
As late as 1991, doctors, pharmacists and drug companies were fighting off new legislation to restrict these often abused compounds (L.A. Times, April 2, 1991).
Unlike Valium, cannabis does not potentiate the effects of alcohol. It is estimated that cannabis could replace more than 50% of Valium, Librium, Thorazine, Stelazine, other “-zine” drugs and most sleeping pills.
It is unconscionable that, over the past two decades, tens of thousands of parents have committed their own children, aged 11 to 17, to be treated by massive doses of so-called “-zine” drugs in order to get them off pot, at the urging of parent groups, the PDFA, the feds and administrators and doctors from federally approved, private and high-profit drug rehabilitation centers.
Often, “-zine” drugs do work to stop these youths from using pot. They also stop a kid from loving his or her dog, too – and children stand a one-in-four chance of suffering from uncontrollable shaking for the rest of their lives.* But at least they’re not high.
*The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said that 20-40% of “-zine” drug users have or will develop permanent lifetime palsies (shakes), November 1983. These prescription neurotoxins are chemically related to the pesticide and warfare nerve gas Sarin.
Hundreds of private drug-rehabilitation centers and their leaders keep this policy alive and in front of the media, often quoting discredited reports from NIDA or DEA (see Chapter 15, Debunking Gutter Science) – because they earn fat profits selling their useless or destructive “marijuana treatment” for children.
After all, a relapse just means using marijuana again after a number of bouts with an “authority.” This is mind-control and an attempt to destroy individual free will.
Therapeutic Emphysema Potential
Medical research indicates that light cannabis smoking might be useful for a majority of mild emphysema victims. It would improve the quality of life for millions of sufferers and extend their life spans.
The U.S. government and DEA (since l976) say the side effect of being “high” is not acceptable, no matter how many years or lives it saves; even though some 90 million Americans have tried marijuana and 25 to 30 million still smoke marijuana relaxationally, or use it responsibly as a form of daily self-medication, without one single death from overdose – ever!
All research into the oxygen blood transfer effects caused by cannabis indicates that the chest (lung) pains, extremity pains, shallowness of breath, and headaches we may experience on heavy smog days are usually alleviated by cannabis smoking throughout the day.
Dr. Donald Tashkin, the U.S. government’s leading scientist on marijuana pulmonary research, told us in December 1989*, and again in 2006, that you cannot get or potentiate emphysema with cannabis smoking!
*See Tashkin’s Marijuana Pulmonary Research, UCLA, 1969-1997. Since 1981, this author has personally taken part in these studies and has continuously interviewed Tashkin on cannabis’ medical indications; last personal interview was in 2006.
Stress & Migraine Headache Relief
Most of all: it is best for the world’s number-one killer – stress. It can safely curtail or replace Valium, Librium, alcohol, or even Prozac, for millions of Americans.
While cannabis intoxication varies with psychological set and social setting, “the most common response is a calm, mildly euphoric state in which time slows and a sensitivity to sights, sounds and touch is enhanced.”
In contrast to marijuana’s safe, therapeutic action, benzodiazepine (Valium) abuse is the number-one drug abuse problem in the country, and is responsible for more emergency room admissions in the United States than either cocaine-related problems or morphine and heroin-related admissions combined.
While tobacco constricts arteries, cannabis dilates (opens) them. Because migraine headaches are the result of artery spasms combined with over-relaxation of veins, the vascular changes cannabis causes in the covering of the brain (the meninges) usually make migraines disappear.
Evidence of vascular change caused by cannabis can be seen in the user’s red eyes, which are extensions of the brain. However, unlike most other drugs, cannabis has no apparent effect on the vascular system in general, except for a slightly increased heart rate during the onset of the high.
To Increase Appetite
Users of marijuana often (but not always) experience “the munchies,” a stimulated appetite for food, which, at this time, makes cannabis the very best medicine on the planet for anorexia.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans in old age, convalescent wards or hospital situations have anorexia. Most could be helped by cannabis – yet these Americans are being denied a healthy life by governmental policy dictated by government police!
This effect can also extend the lives of victims of AIDS and pancreatic cancer (eat or die). However, the DEA and U.S. government prevented any research or use of cannabis in pancreatic cancer therapy since 1976.
They have effectively allowed tens of thousands of people to die each year, denying them the right to live otherwise normal, healthy and productive lives.
To Reduce Saliva
Marijuana smoking can help dry your mouth for the dentist. This is the best way to dry the mouth’s saliva non-toxically in what is known among smokers as its “cotton mouth” effect.
According to the Canadian Board of Dentistry in studies conducted in the 1970s, cannabis could replace the highly toxic Probathine compounds produced by Searle & Co. This may also indicate that cannabis could be good for treating peptic ulcers.
AIDS, Depression & Hundreds of Other Primary Medical Uses
One well known effect of THC is to lift the spirit, or make you “high.” Cannabis users in Jamaica praise ganja’s benefits for meditation, concentration, consciousness-raising and promoting a state of well-being and self assertiveness. This kind of attitude adjustment, along with a healthier appetite and better rest, often represents the difference between feeling like you are “dying of” AIDS or cancer and feeling like you are “living with” AIDS or cancer.
Cannabis also eases small pains and some big ones and helps senior citizens live with aches and pains like arthritis, insomnia and debilitating infirmities, and enjoy life in greater dignity and comfort. Legend has it, and medical evidence indicates, that cannabis is the best overall treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and senility, and for long-term memory “gain” and hundreds of other benefits.
U.S. statistics of the 1970s indicated that you will live eight to 24 years longer if you substitute daily cannabis use for daily tobacco and alcohol use. New research is outlawed, of course.
Every U.S. commission or federal judge who has studied the evidence has agreed that cannabis is one of the safest drugs known. With all its therapeutic uses, it has only one side effect that has been exaggerated as a concern: the “high.” The DEA says this is not acceptable, so cannabis continues to be totally illegal in utter disregard for both doctor and patient.
Every day we trust physicians to determine whether the risks associated with therapeutic, yet potentially dangerous, drugs are acceptable for their patients. Yet, doctors are not allowed to prescribe the herb that Federal Judge Francis Young in 1988 called “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
We don’t put our doctors in charge of stopping violent crimes. The police, prosecutors and prison guards should not be in charge of which herbal therapies people may use to treat their personal health problems.
Cannabis hempseeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect a ratio for human health and vitality.
Hempseed is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids.
Hempseed oil is among the lowest in saturated fats at 8% of total oil volume. The oil pressed from hempseed contains 55% linoleic acid (LA) and 25% linolenic acid (LNA). Only flax oil has more linolenic acid at 58%, but hempseed oil is the highest in total essential fatty acids at 80% of total oil volume.
These essential fatty acids are responsible for our immune response. In the old country the peasants ate hemp butter. They were more resistant to disease than the nobility. The higher classes wouldn’t eat hemp because the poor ate it. – R. Hamilton, ED.D., Ph.D. Medical Researcher-Biochemist U.C.L.A. Emeritus.
LA and LNA are involved in producing life energy from food and the movement of that energy throughout the body. Essential fatty acids govern growth, vitality and state of mind. LA and LNA are involved in transferring oxygen from the air in the lungs to every cell in the body. They play a part in holding oxygen in the cell membrane where it acts as a barrier to invading viruses and bacteria, neither of which thrive in the presence of oxygen. The bent shape of the essential fatty acids keeps them from dissolving into each other. They are slippery and will not clog arteries like the sticky straight-shaped saturated fats and the trans-fatty acids in cooking oils and shortenings that are made by subjecting polyunsaturated oils like LA and LNA to high temperatures during the refining process.
LA and LNA possess a slightly negative charge and have a tendency to form very thin surface layers. This property is called surface activity, and it provides the power to carry substances like toxins to the surface of the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys and lungs where they can be removed. Their very sensitivity causes them to break down rapidly into toxic compounds when refined with high heat or improper storage exposes them to light or air.
Nature provides seeds with an outer shell that safely protects the vital oils and vitamins within from spoilage.
It’s a perfect, as well as, perfectly edible container. Hempseed can be ground into a paste similar to peanut butter only more delicate in flavor. Udo Erasmus, Ph.D. nutritionist says: “Hemp butter puts our peanut butter to shame for nutritional value.” The ground seeds can be baked into breads, cakes and casseroles. Hempseed makes a hearty addition to granola bars.
Pioneers in the fields of biochemistry and human nutrition now believe cardiovascular disease (CVD) and most cancers are really diseases of fatty degeneration caused by the continued over-consumption of saturated fats and refined vegetable oils that turn essential fatty acids into carcinogenic killers. One out of two Americans will die from the effects of CVD. One out of four Americans will die from cancer. Researchers believe cancers erupt when immune system response is weakened. And more Americans are succumbing to immune deficiency diseases than ever before. Promising studies are now under way using the essential oils to support the immune systems of HIV virus patients.
The complete protein in hempseed gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma globulin antibodies.
The body’s ability to resist and recover from illness depends upon how rapidly it can produce massive amounts of antibodies to fend off the initial attack. If the globulin protein starting material is in short supply, the army of antibodies may be too small to prevent the symptoms of sickness from setting in.
The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Hemp-seed protein is 65% globulin edestin plus quantities of albumin (present in all seeds) so its easily digestible protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma.
Hempseed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away. (Czechoslovakia Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955.)
The energy of life is in the whole seed. Hempseed foods taste great!
They will insure we get enough essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, to build strong bodies and immune systems, and to maintain health and vitality.
Please copy. Excerpted from Hempseed Nutrition by Lynn Osburn. Produced by Access Unlimited, P.O. Box 1900, Frazier Park, CA 93225.
Cannabis Hempseed as a Basic World Food
In 1937, Ralph Loziers, general counsel of the National Institute of Oilseed Products, told the Congressional committee studying marijuana prohibition that “hempseed… is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing this for many generations, especially in periods of famine.”
That was over 70 years ago. Today we know hempseed is the plant kingdom’s richest source of life-giving essential fatty acids, and may well be the cure for cancer and heart disease.
Hempseed: Humanity’s Best Single Food Source
Of the 3-million plus edible plants that grow on Earth, no other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value of hempseeds. Both the complete protein and the essential oils contained in hempseeds are in ideal ratios for human nutrition. Only soybeans contain a higher percentage of protein. However, the composition of the protein in hempseed is unique in the vegetable kingdom. Sixty-five percent of the protein content in hempseed is in the form of globulin edestin.1 (The word “edestin” comes from the Greek “edestos,” meaning edible.)
The exceptionally high edestin content of hempseed combined with albumin, another globular protein contained in all seeds, means the readily available protein in hempseed contains all the essential amino acids in ideal proportions to assure your body has the necessary building blocks to create proteins like disease-fighting immunoglobulins -antibodies whose job is to ward off infections before the symptoms of sickness set in.2
Cannabis seed protein even allows a body with nutrition-blocking tuberculosis, or almost any other nutrition-blocking ailment, to get maximum nourishment.*
*Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Plenum Press, NY, 1976; Czech. Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955.
Even more important for building a strong immune system, hempseeds are the highest source in the plant kingdom of essential fatty acids. These essential oils, linoleic and linolenic acids, are responsible for the luster in your skin, hair, eyes, and even your thought processes. They lubricate (clear) the arteries and are vital to the immune system.
These essential fatty acids were used by Dr. Joanna Budwig (nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 1979) to successfully treat “terminal” cancer patients, as well as those suffering from cardiovascular disease, glandular atrophy, gallstones, kidney degeneration, acne, dry skin, menstrual problems and immune deficiency.
This, as well as other research, prompted William Eidleman, M.D., UCLA, and R. Lee Hamilton, Ed.D., Ph.D. Medical Researcher-Biochemist UCLA Emeritus, to speak out on behalf of “the life-giving values” of cannabis hemp. They state:
“These essential oils support the immune system and guard against viral and other insults to the immune system. Studies are in progress using the essential oils to support the immune systems of persons with the H.I.V. virus. So far they have been extremely promising.
“What is the richest source of these essential oils? Yes, you guessed it, the seeds of the cannabis hemp plant … The insane prohibitions against the most valuable plant on Earth, cannabis hemp, must yield to public demand … The promise of super health and the possibility of feeding the world is at our fingertips.” (December 29, 1991 and April 2007)
Hempseed extracts, like soybeans, can be spiced to taste like chicken, steak, or pork and can be used to make tofu-type curd and margarine, at less cost than soybeans. Sprouting any seed improves its nutritional value and hemp can be sprouted and used like any other seed sprout for salads or cooking.
Sprouted hempseeds make milk, just as soybeans do. Alan “Birdseed” Brady of Santa Cruz, California and Abba Das of Colorado use this milk to make a delicious and nutritious ice cream in many flavors that actually lowers cholesterol levels.
Hempseed is ground and used like flour, or cooked, then sweetened and combined with milk to produce a nutritional breakfast cereal-like oatmeal or cream of wheat. This type of porridge is known as a gruel. (Like the fiber, hempseeds will not get you high.)
“Hemp is a favorite [bird seed] because of its nourishing oily content.” (Margaret McKenny, Birds in the Garden, Reynal & Hitchcock, NY, 1939.) Incredibly, when cannabis hemp is grown for seed, half the weight of the mature, harvested female plant is seed!
English and European fishermen who cast in fresh-water lakes and rivers first told me in 1995 that hempseed has always been the preferred bait in Europe for chumming – that is, casting the hempseeds on the water – causing the fish to scramble from all over to get the seeds, thereby getting caught. Not one of the many European fishermen I talked to knew that hemp seeds and marijuana were one in the same. So hempseed is the favorite of fish, as well as, most birds.
The byproduct of pressing hempseed for its nutritious vegetable oil is a high protein seed cake. Hempseed cake was one of the world’s principal animal feeds until this century.* Hempseed can supply a nearly complete diet for all domesticated animals (dogs, cats), many farm animals and poultry, and allows animals maximum weight gain for less than current feed costs. And without any need for artificial growth steroids or other drugs currently poisoning the human race and food chain.
Isn’t it strange – doesn’t it make you mad as hell – that the number one food of all time for most birds, fish, horses, humans, and life in general, is illegal to have naturally and healthfully in the United States of America, as ordered by the Nazi/Gestapo-like Amerikan Drug Enforcement Administration and, through them, the USDA?
*U.S. Agricultural Index; Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA, 1972; Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, Udo, Erasmus, 1996.
Spectre of Worldwide Famine
By itself, widespread use of hempseed food protein could save many of the world’s children now dying of protein starvation! An estimated 60% of all children born in Third World countries (about 12-20 million a year) will die this way before reaching five years of age. Many times that number have their lives dramatically shortened and/or their brains decimated.3
Remember, hemp is a hearty plant that grows almost anywhere, even in adverse conditions. Australians survived two prolonged famines in the 19th century using almost nothing except hempseeds for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.4
Furthermore, recent studies indicate that depletion of the ozone layer threatens to reduce world soya production by a substantial amount – up to 30% or even 50%, depending on the fluctuation of the density of the ozone shield. But hemp, on the other hand, resists the damage caused by increasing ultraviolet radiation and actually flourishes in it by producing more cannabinoids, which provide protection from ultraviolet light.5
It’s no wonder that some Central and South Americans hate America and want us out: they see us as ignorant killers. For years, our government demanded the paraquat poisoning of their lands; lands these farmers had grown cannabis on by law since 1545, when King Philip of Spain ordered it grown throughout his empire to provide food, sails, rope, towels, sheets and shirts – as well as providing one of the people’s most important medicines for fever, childbirth, epilepsy, and poultices for rheumatism – in short, one of the oldest livelihoods, medicines, food staples and relaxational pleasures.
In South and Central America today, anyone who is caught growing their old staple, cannabis, has his land expropriated and is imprisoned by the U.S.-supported government/military leaders who then qualify for more American foreign and military aid in exchange for continuing this policy of wiping out cannabis.
A Fundamental Biological Link in the Food Chain
Our politicians, who made these marijuana prohibition laws based on years of disinformation (deliberate misinformation), may have doomed not only birds but also the human race to extinction from another direction.
Many animals eat birds and their eggs. Birds in the wild are essential to the food chain; and they continue to diminish in population due to, among other things, petrochemical pesticides, herbicides and the lack of hempseed! With hempseed in their diet, birds will live 10-20% longer, have more offspring, and their feathers will have more luster and oil, allowing longer flight.
Prior to 1937, there were more than 10 million acres of seed-laden cannabis hemp growing wild in the U.S. al Earth. Hundreds of millions of birds fed off them as their Footnotes: favorite and most necessary food until our government began its policy of total eradication of this most primary link in the food chain.
Oblivious to these inherent biocidal (killing all life) dangers, our government continues this insane policy to exterminate the Earth’s number-one life-giving plant both here and abroad.
In May 1998, the U. S. asked the United Nations to outlaw cannabis in all forms, including: medicine, food, paper, cloth, and any other use whatsoever. Our government wants to urge the United Nations to begin the largest and most comprehensive program of eradication of any plant in the history of the Earth until not one hemp plant of any type remains. This was the recommendation of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his Republican congress along with many of their Democratic partners in crime against the natural Earth.
1. Walker, David W., Ph.D., Can Hemp Save Our Planet?, citing St. Angelo, A.J., E.J. Conkerton, J.M. Dechary, and A.M. Altschul, 1966; Biochimica of Biophysica Acta, Vol. 121, pp. 181; St. Angelo, A., L.y. Yatsu and A.M. Altschul, 1968; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, vol. 124, pp. 199-205; Stockwell, D.M., J.M. Dechary, and A.M. Altschul, 1964, Biochimica Biophysica Act, vol. 82, pp. 221
2. Morroson, R.T. Organic Chemistry, 1960; Kimber, Gray, Stackpole, Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology, 1943.
3. World Hunger Project, Save the Children, EST, Forum.
4. Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA, 1972; also see Australian history books.
5. Teramura, Alan, University of Maryland study, Discover magazine, September, 1989; Congressional testimony of Ralph Loziers, National Oil Seed Institute, before House Ways and Means Committee, 1937.
ECONOMICS: Energy, Environment and Commerce
We have explained what hemp has historically meant to this country’s economy. Now, we must also consider the future of hemp.
We predict that the net effect of ending American hemp prohibition will be to generate “ripple effect” economics — a revitalized American agriculture producing hemp as the raw material for a multitude of industries creating millions of good jobs for skilled and and semi-skilled professional workers throughout America. The resulting wealth will remain in local communities and with farmers, smaller businesses and entrepreneurs like you!
Energy & the Economy
The book Solar Gas, Science Digest, Omni magazine, the Alliance for Survival, the Green Party of Germany, the United States and others put the total figure of our energy costs at 80% of the total dollar expense of living for each human being.
In validation, 82% of the total value of all issues traded on the New York Stock Exchange and other world stock exchanges, etc., are tied directly to:
•Energy producers such as Exxon, Shell Oil, Conoco, Con-Edison, and so forth
•Energy transporters such as pipeline companies, oil shipping and delivery companies
•Refineries and retail sales of Exxon, Mobil, Shell, So. California Edison, Con-Edison, etc.
Eighty-two percent of all your money means that roughly 33 of every 40 hours you work goes to pay for the ultimate energy cost in the goods and services you purchase, including transportation, heating, cooking, and lighting. Americans (5% of world population) in our insatiable drive for greater “net worth” and “productivity,” use 25-40% of the world’s energy. The hidden cost to the environment cannot be measured.
Our current fossil energy sources also supply about 80% of the solid and airborne pollution which is quickly poisoning the environment of the planet. (See U.S. EPA reports 1983-2006 on the coming world catastrophe from carbon dioxide imbalance caused by burning fossil fuels. The best and cheapest substitute for these expensive and wasteful energy methods is not wind or solar panels, nuclear, geothermal and the like, but the evenly distributed light of the sun for growing biomass.
On a global scale, the plant that produces the most net biomass is hemp. It’s the only annually renewable plant on Earth able to replace all fossil fuels.
In the 1920s, the early oil barons such as Rockefeller of Standard Oil, Rothschild of Shell, etc., became paranoically aware of the possibilities of Henry Ford’s vision of cheap methanol fuel, * and they kept oil prices incredibly low – between $1 and $4 per barrel (there are 42 gallons in an oil barrel) until 1970 – almost 50 years! Then, once they were finally sure of the lack of competition, the price of oil jumped to almost $60+ per barrel over the next 30 years.
* Henry Ford grew cannabis/hemp/marijuana on his estate after 1937, possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production at Iron Mountain. He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal. (Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1941, “Pinch Hitters for Defense.”) In 1892, Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel “by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils.”
By the year 2047, the world will have burned all of its proven petroleum reserves,* while world coal reserves may last 100-300 years longer. But the decision to continue burning coal has serious drawbacks. This high-sulfur coal is responsible for our acid raid which already kills 50,000 Americans and 5,000-10,000 Canadians annually. In addition, the acid destroy the forests, rivers and animals. (Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1986)
*The Independent, UK June 14, 2007
Conversion to biomass fuels should begin immediately to stop both planetary pollution and lemming-like genocide, and to make us naturally energy independent.
Clean, Renewable Fuel Source
Fuel is not synonymous with petroleum and coal. Biomass energy systems can supply a sustainable source of fuel and will create millions of new clean jobs. Hemp biomass derived fuels and oils can replace every type of fossil fuel energy product.
During transpiration, the growing hemp plants “breathe in” CO2 (carbon dioxide) to build cell structure; the leftover oxygen is breathed out, replenishing Earth’s air supply. Then when the carbon rich hemp biomass is burned for energy the CO2 is released back into the air. The CO2 cycle comes close to ecological balance when the new fuel crop is grown the next year. Growing trees keeps 10 times the carbon dioxide in the Earth by keeping the infrastructure of the microbes, insects, plants, fungi, etc. alive for each tree. The older and bigger the tree, the more carbon dioxide is kept out of the atmosphere.
(Not all of the biomass crop gets converted into fuels. Some leaves, stalk stubble and all of the roots remain in the field as crop residues. This carbon rich organic matter adds to the soil fertility, and with each passing season a little more carbon dioxide from the air enters the soil, so the biomass fuel crops slowly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide from our polluted atmosphere.)
Biomass conversion through pyrolysis (applying high heat to organic material in the absence of air or in reduced air) produces clean burning charcoal to replace coal.
Sulfur emitted from coal fired boiler smoke-stacks is the primary cause of acid rain. Measuring acidity on the pH scale, the rainfall in New England falls between household vinegar and lemon juice. This is bad for every cell membrane the rain comes in contact with, doing the most harm to the simplest life forms. Charcoal contains no sulfur so ,when it is burned for industry, no sulfur is emitted from the process.
The biomass “cracking” process also produces non-sulfur fuel oils capable of replacing fossil fuel oils such as diesel oil. And the atmospheric CO2 doesn’t rise when biomass derived fuel oils are burned.
Pyrolysis uses the same “cracking technology employed by the petroleum industry in processing fossil fuels. The gasses that remain after the charcoal and fuel oils are extracted from hemp can be used for driving electric power co-generators, too!
This biomass conversion process can be adjusted to produce charcoal, methanol and fuel oils to process steam, as well as chemicals important to industry: acetone, ethyl acetate, tar, pitch and creosote.
The Ford Motor Company successfully operated a biomass “cracking” plant in the 1930s at Iron Mountain, Michigan, using trees for cellulose fuels. (Earth-friendly hemp is at least four times as efficient as trees for fuel, and is sustainable.)
Progress in Biomass Conversion Vol. 1, Sarkanen & Tillman, editors; Energy Farming in America, Osburn, Lynn, Access Unlimited
Hempseed contains 30% (by volume) oil. This oil has been used to make high-grade diesel fuel oil and aircraft engine and precision machine oil. Throughout history, hempseed oil was used for lighting in oil lamps. Legend says the genie’s lamp burned hempseed oil, as did Abraham the prophet’s. In Abraham Lincoln’s time, only whale oil came near hempseed oil in popularity for fuel.
Biomass for Energy Abundance
Hemp stems are 80% hurds (pulp byproduct after the hemp fiber is removed from the plant). Hemp hurds are 77% cellulose – a primary chemical feed stock (industrial raw material) used in the production of chemicals, plastics and fibers. Depending on which U.S. agricultural report is correct, an acre of full grown hemp plants can sustainably provide from 4 to 50 or even 100 times the cellulose found in cornstalks, kenaf, or sugar cane – the planet’s next highest annual cellulose plants.
In most places, hemp can be harvested twice a year and, in warmer areas such as Southern California, Texas, Florida and the like, it could be a year-round crop. Hemp has a short growing season and can be planted after food crops have been harvested.
An independent, semi-rural network of efficient and autonomous farmers should become the key economic player in the production of energy in this country.
The United States government pays (in cash or in “kind”) for farmers to refrain from growing on approximately 90 million acres of farmland each year, called the “soil bank.” And 10-90 million acres of hemp or other woody annual biomass planted on this restricted, unplanted fallow farm land would make energy a whole new ball game and be a real attempt at doing something to save the Earth. There are another 500 million marginal unplanted acres of farm land in America.
Each acre of hemp would yield 1,000 gallons of methanol, or 500 gallons of gasoline. Fuels from hemp, along with the recycling of paper, etc., would be enough to run America virtually without oil.
Family Farms or Fossil Fuel?
In 2006, when our petroleum resources have dwindled to 20% of their original size, America will have six choices to avoid economic and environmental ruin:
1. Use more coal, further polluting the environment
2. Continue to fund nuclear power and risk annihilation of the planet
3. Convert forests into fuel, permanently altering life-sustaining ecosystems
4. Continually wage wars over foreign oil
5. Build massive wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal energy systems
6. Establish energy farms to grow biomass fuels
The last two choices are the only rational, life-sustaining choices.
Farming only 6% of continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America’s gas and oil energy needs, ending dependence upon fossil fuels.
Manahan, Stanley E., Environmental Chemistry, 4th Edition
Hemp is Earth’s number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in 4 months. Hemp is easy on the soil,* sheds its lush foliage throughout the season, adding mulch to the soil and helping retain moisture. Hemp is an ideal crop for the semi-arid West and open range land.
*Adam Beatty, Vice President of the Kentucky Agricultural Society, reported instances of good crops of hemp on the same ground for 14 years in a row without a decline in yield. Beatty, A., Southern Agriculture, C.M. Saxton & Co., NY; 1843, pg. 113. USDA Yearbook, 1913.
Hemp is the only biomass source available that is capable of making the U.S. energy independent. Ultimately, the world has no other rational environmental choice but to give up fossil fuels.
So, What’s the Catch?
The “catch” is obvious: The energy companies! They own most of the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, liquor and tobaccos companies, and are intertwined with insurance companies and banks.
According to the press, many politicians now in power are bought and paid for by the energy companies, and their U.S. government arm is the CIA – “The Company”– (Robert Ludlum, etc.). The Bush, Sr., Clinton, and Bush, Jr. Administrations were/are uniquely tied to oil, newspapers, pharmaceuticals – and the CIA.
The world struggle for money is actually a struggle for energy, as it is through energy that we may produce food, shelter, transportation and entertainment. It is this struggle which often erupts into open war. If we remove the cause, these conflicts may never occur.
(Carl Sagan; and U.S. EPA prediction, 1983, of worldwide disaster in the making within 30 to 50 years.)
If introduced to Third World nations, hemp biomass could drastically cut our overseas aid and reasons for war, while raising the quality of life there by quantum leaps.
New, non-polluting industries will spring up everywhere. The world economy will boom like never before. The race of man will at last be betting on environmental survival instead of indulging in the lemming-like (suicidal) consumption of fossil fuel, which threatens all life on the planet.
Free Enterprise & High Profit
There are many other areas of the economy that would benefit from ending hemp prohibition and the resulting stimulation of commerce in rediscovered hemp products, according to the Hempstead Company, Ecolution, The Body Shop, Hanf Haus, etc.
Legal hemp will return billions of dollars worth of natural resource potential back to the farmers and bring millions of good jobs in energy production to America’s heartland. Hemp energy farmers will become our nation’s largest producers of raw materials.
Family farms will be saved. Crops can be tailored to the needs of the nation. Hemp can be grown for BDF (biomass derived fuels) resources at about $30 per ton. Hempseed crops will again supply the paint and varnish industries with a superior organic and life sustaining alternative to petrochemicals. Hempseed oil has chemical properties similar to linseed oil. And the market is wide open for highly nutritious and delicious foods made from hempseed with its health-giving essential fatty acids and proteins.
Hemp grown for fiber will take the paper and textile industry out of the hands of the multinational corporations, and back to the local communities.
Research by various hemp business associations indicate there are around 50,000 non-smoking commercial uses for hemp that are economically viable and market competitive. These include:
Long-Wearing High Fashion
Drawing on hemp fiber’s special attributes: absorbency, insulation, strength and softness, clothing manufacturers and designers will once again put hemp into linen to produce new lines of durable and attractive clothing, rugs and textiles of all kinds.
The arrival of imported hemp/cotton blended clothing from China in 1989 marked the beginning of a new era for the rapidly changing world of fashion. And now, in 2007, companies such as Hempstead Company (Laguna, CA), Hemp Connection (Whitehorn, CA), Two Star Dog (Berkeley, CA) and Ecolution (Santa Cruz, CA) all create beautiful and durable fashions and accessories from many varieties of 100% hemp fabric imported from China, Hungary, Romania, Poland, etc.
While we applaud the efforts of these nations in supplying first-rate hemp fabrics, we look forward to the day when U.S. hemp fabric will share the runway!
Outerwear, warm bed sheets, soft towels (hemp is 4 times more water absorbent than cotton), diapers (even disposable ones that you don’t have to cut down trees to make), upholstery, wall coverings, natural rugs, even the world’s best soap – all these can now be designed and made from 100% hemp; generally better, cheaper, more durable, and ecologically safer.
Trade barriers on hemp and laws restricting the use of imported cannabis fibers must be removed.
Right now textiles and apparel are the biggest share of imports into the U.S., at 59%. In 1989, textile imports accounted for 21% of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit. Foreign governments often subsidize their textile industries and do not require companies to follow environmental and health regulations.* Hardy hemp does not cause the huge range of environmental problems associated with cotton.
* The Washington Spectator, Vol. 17, No. 4, Feb. 15, 1991
The United States imports more textiles than anything else. The government no longer obstructs hemp textile and apparel importation. But hemp textiles will not be fully cost competitive until hemp fiber can be grown and processed domestically, avoiding bloated federal import fees and lowering the costs of transportation.
Sturdier Paper Products
The devastated environments and job markets of the American Northwest and other timber regions stand to make a dramatic comeback once hemp is re-introduced to the domestic paper industry.
Recent studies indicate that depletion of the ozone layer threatens to substantially reduce world loblolly pine production (the major source of pulp for paper) by up to 30% or even 50%, depending on the fluctuation of the density of the ozone shield. But hemp not only resists the damage caused by increased ultraviolet radiation – it actually flourishes in it.
Increased UV radiation causes hemp to produce more glandular oils and increases the weight of the plant.
(Teramura, Alan, University of MD study, Discover magazine, September, 1989.)
Paper mills can return to full production levels and loggers will find new work in hemp trades.
Truck drivers can continue to haul pulp to the mills, and lumber for construction, although the price of lumber will go down as other demands on our timber resources are reduced by substituting farm grown hemp for forest grown wood pulp.
(Wm. Conde, Conde Redwood Lumber; Jim Evans, Oregon Hemp)
There will also still be a lot of work to do in reforestation. Our rivers will go through a period of recovery when hemp replaces wood pulp in the paper industry, resulting in a 60-80% reduction of paper-making chemicals being dumped into them.
This means more fish and more fishing, as well as increased camping and tourism in the beautiful and vital new-growth forest regions – and the spared old-growth forests.
Biodegradable Replacements for Plastic
Cellulose is a biodegradable organic polymer. Coal tar, the primary resource for synthetic polymers like nylon, is a non-biodegradable fossil resource. It is not part of the living ecology of Earth. It smothers life wherever it is dumped or spilled.
From hemp, a source of high-grade cellulose, comes paper that is stronger and has better folding endurance than wood pulp paper.* Hemp cardboard and paper bags will last longer, with a more useful secondary life, than similar products made from wood pulp or plastic.
*Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin#404, U.S. Dept. of Ag., 1916.
Spin-Off Trades & Taxes
Biochemical resources obtained from hemp can be used in literally tens of thousands of products from paint to dynamite. Each application means new business opportunities and new jobs.
As each new hemp trade develops, money will flow from it to re-energize seemingly unrelated areas of the economy. The American worker and soon-to-be-rich entrepreneurs will bring millions of new jobs and new products to the marketplace.
They will also buy millions of homes, cars and other non-hemp goods – or will they be hemp also? – thus stimulating a real economic expansion based on the “ripple-out” effect, rather than former President Reagan’s voodoo “trickle-down” economics which, in fact, pumped money directly into the bloodstream of corporate America rather than benefiting America’s heartland.
Revived farms mean more purchases of equipment and each new business creates spin-off jobs in the shipping, marketing and commodities areas.
Farms, banks and investment houses would also realize large profits, and the billions of hemp-dollars in the legitimate economy would increase tax revenues and increase the liquid capital available for investment and purchasing of consumer goods.
Federal, state and local governments would realize a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues without raising taxes or insanely continuing to poison the earth.*
* “If the marijuana market were legal, state and federal governments would collect billions of dollars annually,” said Ethan Nadelmann, former Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University (who is now in 2007 director of The Lindesmith Foundation). “Instead, they expend billions in what amounts to a subsidy of organized criminals.”
(L.A. Times, Nov. 20, 1989, pg. A-18.)
George Soros’ Lindesmith Foundation is supporting many of the medical marijuana and relegalization state initiatives currently going on around the United States.
In fact, the Lindesmith Foundation financially supported Dennis Peron’s medical marijuana initiative (Proposition 215) in California, that passed in 1996.
In 1997-98, Soros funded medical marijuana initiatives in such states as Washington, Oregon, Washington, D.C., Maine and Colorado, and helped fund the referendum that was successful in stopping Oregon’s legislature and governor from re-criminalizing cannabis in June 1997.
When American farmers grow hemp to supply American industries with the primary feedstock for fiber, fabric, fuel, food, medicines, plastics and recreational/relaxational herbal products we will see a rapid greening of the land and economy.
The green economy based upon the use of agricultural resources to supply industry will create a diversified locally based system of production. This decentralized green economy will enable everyone to participate and share in the wealth of a truly free market democracy. For there can be no true democracy unless every citizen has the opportunity to share in the wealth of the nation.
Land & Soil Reclamation
Land reclamation is another compelling economic and ecological argument for hemp cultivation.
Until this century, our pioneers and ordinary American farmers used cannabis to clear fields for planting, as a fallow year crop, and after forest fires to prevent mud slides and loss of watershed.
Hemp seeds put down a 10 to 12 inch root in only 30 days, compared to the one inch root put down by the rye or barley grass presently used by the U.S. Government.
Southern California, Utah and other states used cannabis routinely in this manner until about 1915. It also breaks up compacted, overworked soil.
In the formerly lush Himalayan regions of Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet there is now only a light moss covering left, as flash floods wash thousands of tons of topsoil away.
Bangladesh literally means “canna-bis-land-people” (it was formerly called East Bengal province, a name derived from “bhang” (cannabis) and “la” (land). In the 1970s, Independent Bangladesh signed an “anti-drug” agreement with the U.S., promising not to grow hemp. Since that time, they have suffered disease, starvation and decimation due to unrestrained flooding.
World War II: The Most Recent Time America Asked Our Farmers to Grow Cannabis Hemp Marjiuana
Our energy needs are an undeniable national security priority. But first, let’s see what Uncle Sam can do when pushed into action:
In early 1942, Japan cut off our supplies of vital hemp and coarse fibers. Marijuana, which had been outlawed in the United States as the “Assassin of Youth” just five years earlier, was suddenly safe enough for our government to ask the kids in the Kentucky 4-H clubs to grow the nation’s 1943 seed supply. Each youth was urged to grow at least half an acre, but preferably two acres of hemp for seed.
(University of Kentucky Agricultural Extension, Leaflet 25, March 1943)
In 1942-43 all American farmers were required to attend showings of the USDA film Hemp for Victory, sign that they had seen the film and read a hemp cultivation booklet. Hemp harvesting machinery was made available at low or no cost. Five-dollar tax stamps were available and 350,000 acres of cultivated hemp was the goal by 1943. (See transcript p. 64.)
“Patriotic” American farmers, from 1942 through 1945, who agreed to grow hemp were waived from serving in the military, along with their sons; that’s how vitally important hemp was to America during World War II.
Meanwhile, from the late 1930s through 1945, “patriotic” German farmers were given a comic book-like instruction manual by the Nazi government, urging them to grow hemp for the war. (See a complete reproduction of this 1943 Nazi “hanf” (hemp) manual in the Appendix.)
Hemp seeds broadcast over eroding soil could reclaim land the world over. The farmed out desert regions can be brought back year after year, not only slowing the genocide of starvation but easing threats of war and violent revolution.
Instead of a National Guard, why not establish a Natural Guard of environmental soldiers to be our front line for survival–planting trees, harvesting biomass (e.g., hemp) from marginal farm lands?
A Natural Guard of electricians, plumbers, engineers and laborers who work re-building the infrastructure of America: our roads, bridges, dams, canals, sewers, railroad tracks, etc.
Isn’t this the humane, civilized and socially responsible way to use our human resources, rather than warehousing people like animals in prisons?
Hemp for Victory
The most recent time america asked our farmers to grow more marijuana was in 1942, in a 14-minute propaganda piece entitled Hemp for Victory.
Following is a transcript of the film’s dramatic narrative (courtesy of High Times Magazine).
Long ago, when these ancient Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind. For thousands of years, even then, this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth in China and elsewhere in the East. For centuries prior to about 1850 all the ships that sailed the western seas were rigged with hempen rope and sails. For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable.
A 44-gun frigate like our cherished “Old Ironsides” took over 60 tons of hemp for rigging, including an anchor cable 25 inches in circumference. The Conestoga wagons and prairie schooners of pioneer days were covered with hemp canvas. Indeed the very word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp. In those days hemp was an important crop in Kentucky and Missouri. Then came cheaper imported fibers for cordage, like jute, sisal and Manila hemp, and the culture of hemp in America declined.
But now, with Philippine and East Indian sources of hemp in the hands of the Japanese, and shipment of jute from India curtailed, American hemp must meet the needs of our Army and Navy, as well as of our industry. In 1942, patriotic farmers at the government’s request planted 36,000 acres of seed hemp, an increase of several thousand percent. The goal for 1943 is 50,000 acres of seed hemp.
In Kentucky much of the seed hemp acreage is on river bottom land such as this. Some of these fields are inaccessible except by boat. Thus plans are afoot for a great expansion of a hemp industry as a part of the war program.
This film is designed to tell farmers how to handle this ancient crop now little known outside Kentucky and Wisconsin.
This is hemp seed. Be careful how you use it. For to grow hemp legally you must have a federal registration and tax stamp. This is provided for in your contract. Ask your county agent about it. Don’t forget.
Hemp demands a rich, well-drained soil such as is found here in the Blue Grass region of Kentucky or in central Wisconsin. It must be loose and rich in organic matter. Poor soils won’t do. Soil that will grow good corn will usually grow hemp.
Hemp is not hard on the soil. In Kentucky it has been grown for several years on the same ground, though this practice is not recommended. A dense and shady crop, hemp tends to choke out weeds. Here’s a Canada thistle that couldn’t stand the competition, dead as a dodo. Thus hemp leaves the ground in good condition for the following crop.
For fiber, hemp should be sewn closely, the closer the rows, the better. These rows are spaced about four inches. This hemp has been broadcast. Either way it should be sown thick enough to grow a slender stalk. Here’s an ideal stand: the right height to be harvested easily, thick enough to grow slender stalks that are easy to cut and process.
Stalks like these here on the left yield the most fiber and the best. Those on the right are too coarse and woody. For seed, hemp is planted in hills like corn. Sometimes by hand. Hemp is a dioecious plant. The female flower is inconspicuous. But the male flower is easily spotted. In seed production after the pollen has been shed, these male plants are cut out. These are the seeds on a female plant.
Hemp for fiber is ready to harvest when the pollen is shedding and the leaves are falling. In Kentucky, hemp harvest comes in August. Here, the old standby has been the self-rake reaper, which has been used for a generation or more.
Hemp grows so luxuriantly in Kentucky that harvesting is sometimes difficult, which may account for the popularity of the self-rake with its lateral stroke. A modified rice binder has been used to some extent. This machine works well on average hemp.
Recently the improved hemp harvester, used for many years in Wisconsin, has been introduced in Kentucky. This machine spreads the hemp in a continuous swath. It is a far cry from this fast and efficient modern harvester, that doesn’t stall in the heaviest hemp.
In Kentucky, hand cutting is practiced in opening fields for the machine. In Kentucky, hemp is shucked as soon as safe, after cutting, to be spread out for retting later in the fall.
In Wisconsin, hemp is harvested in September. Here the hemp harvester with automatic spreader is standard equipment. Note how smoothly the rotating apron lays the swaths preparatory to retting. Here it is a common and essential practice to leave headlands around hemp fields. These strips may be planted with other crops, preferably small grain. Thus the harvester has room to make its first round without preparatory hand cutting. The other machine is running over corn stubble. When the cutter bar is much shorter than the hemp is tall, overlapping occurs. Not so good for retting. The standard cut is eight to nine feet.
The length of time hemp is left on the ground to ret depends on the weather. The swaths must be turned to get a uniform ret. When the woody core breaks away readily like this, the hemp is about ready to pick up and bind into bundles. Well-retted hemp is light to dark grey. The fiber tends to pull away from the stalks. The presence of stalks in the bough-string stage indicates that retting is well underway. When hemp is short or tangled or when the ground is too wet for machines, it’s bound by hand. A wooden bucket is used. Twine will do for tying, but the hemp itself makes a good band.
When conditions are favorable, the pickup binder is commonly used. The swaths should lie smooth and even with the stalks parallel. The picker won’t work well in tangled hemp.
After binding, hemp is shucked as soon as possible to stop further retting. In 1942, 14,000 acres of fiber hemp were harvested in the United States. The goal for 1943 is 300,000 acres of fiber hemp. Thus hemp, the old standby cordage fiber, is staging a strong comeback.
This is Kentucky hemp going into the dryer at a mill at Versailles. In the old days braking was done by hand. One of the hardest jobs known to man. Now the power braker makes quick work of it.
Spinning American hemp into rope yarn or twine in the old Kentucky river mill at Frankfort, Kentucky. Another pioneer plant that has been making cordage for more than a century. All such plants will presently be turning out products spun from American-grown hemp: twine of various kinds for tying and upholsterer’s work; rope for marine rigging and towing; for hay forks, derricks, and heavy duty tackle; light duty firehose; thread for shoes for millions of American soldiers; and parachute webbing for our paratroopers. As for the United States Navy, every battleship requires 34,000 feet of rope; and other ships accordingly. Here in the Boston Navy Yard, where cables for frigates were made long ago, crews are now working night and day making cordage for the fleet. In the old days rope yarn was spun by hand. The rope yarn feeds through holes in an iron plate.
This is Manila hemp from the Navy’s rapidly dwindling reserves. When it is gone, American hemp will go on duty again: hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails …
“Hemp for Victory!”
Myth, Magic & Medicine:
A Look at the Sociology of Cannabis Use Throughout World History
Contrary to popular perception,” marijuana” is not a phenomenon rooted in the 1960s.
Cannabis hemp is part of our global heritage and was the backbone of our most stable and longest surviving cultures.
Recent psycho-pharmacological studies have discovered that THC has its own unique receptor sites in the brain, indicating man and marijuana have a pre-cultural relationship—indeed, human culture could very well prove to be the blossom of our symbiosis with cannabis. (See Appendix)
What’s in a Name? (Part 2)
The following is derived from the 1913 USDA Agriculture Yearbook section on hemp by Lyster Dewey, p. 283-293:
The name “hemp,” from the Old English “hanf,” came into use in Middle English by 1000 A.D. and still belongs primarily to cannabis sativa. It is also used to designate the long fiber obtained from that plant: the earliest, best-known and, until recently, the most widely used textile fiber on Earth.
It has long been regarded as the standard among long fibers. As such, its name has come to be used as a generic term for all long fibers, whereas Indian hemp or true hemp denotes cannabis hemp. Now, commodity markets list names like “Manila hemp,” abacá; “sisal hemp,” sisal and henequen; “Mauritius hemp,” for Furcraea fiber; “New Zealand hemp,” phormium; “Sunn hemp,” Crotalaria; and “India hemp,” for jute. All these plants are unlike true hemp in appearance and in economic properties. Curiously, the name hemp is never applied to flax, which is more nearly like hemp than any other commercial fiber. True hemp is known in different languages by the following names: cannabis, Latin; chanvre, French; cañamo, Spanish; canhamo, Portuguese; canapa, Italian; canep, Albanian; konopli, Russian; konopi and penek, Polish; kemp, Belgian; hanf, German; hennup, Dutch; hamp, Swedish; hampa, Danish; tai-ma, dai-ma and tse-ma, Chinese; asa and taima, Japanese; nasha, Turkish; kanabira, Syrian; kannab, Arabic.
First Known Cannabis Users
Ancient and modern historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and philologists cite physical evidence (artifacts, relics, textiles, cuneiform, languages, etc.) indicating that cannabis is one of mankind’s oldest cultivated crops. The weaving of hemp fiber as an industry began 10,000 years ago, at approximately the same time as pottery-making and prior to metal working.*
*Columbia History of the World, Harper & Row, New York, 1981.
By the 27th century B.C., the Chinese cultivated “Ma” (cannabis hemp) for fiber, medicine and herbal use. Approximately 3,700 years later (circa 1000 A.D.), China called cannabis “Tai-Ma,” or “great hemp,” to differentiate it from the minor fiber plants, which were now grouped under the generic fiber term “Ma.” Their pictogram for true or great hemp is a large “man,” indicating the strong relationship between man and hemp.
From at least the 27th century B.C. until this century, cannabis was incorporated into virtually all cultures of the Middle East, Asia Minor, India, China, Japan, Europe and Africa.
Between 2300 B.C. & 1000 B.C.:
Nomadic tribes, probably from central Asia and Persia (Iran and Iraq), referred to in legend as “Aryans,” invaded and overran virtually the entire Mediterranean and Middle East and spread out over the Caucasus and west into Europe.
In the course of these movements and invasions, the nomads introduced cannabis and its various uses north and west through Greece, Europe, the Middle East, to Egypt and Africa, as well as south and east over the Himalayas to India.
Hemp was incorporated into the cultures of the Middle East and India for its vast food, oil, fiber, medicinal and drug uses. Not only was hemp a staple of everyday life; hemp medicines and drugs were a ritual link to the gods.*
*Generally, those who grew and/or used hemp for everyday industrial uses did not know and were not taught (by religious law/threat/taboo) that their priest/shaman/witch doctor/etc. used different extractions from different parts of the exact same plant for sacrament, medicine, unguent, and as a commune with the gods.
Hemp & the Scythe
Cannabis was undoubtedly used by the Scythians for many reasons. For example, the ancient Scythians grew hemp and harvested it with a hand reaper that we still call a scythe. Cannabis inhalation by the Scythians in funeral rituals was recorded by the Greek historian Herodotus in the early 5th century B.C. The nomadic Scythians introduced the custom to other races such as the Thracians.
(Emboden, W.A., Jr., Flesh of the Gods, Praeger Press, NY, 1974.)
From at least the 27th century B.C. up until this century, cannabis was incorporated into virtually all the cultures of the Middle East, Asia Minor, India, China, Japan, Europe, and Africa for its superior fiber, medicines, oils, food and for its meditative, euphoric, and relaxational uses.
Thread of Civilization
Hemp was one of our ancestors’ most important overall industries, along with tool making, animal husbandry and farming.
Hemp to Enforce the Law
The hemp plant has had a curious relationship with the world’s legal codes throughout the ages. As noted before, it has been illegal to grow hemp at different times. But hemp has also played a direct role in law enforcement.
For example: The most serious punishment/rehabilitation meted out in many African tribes for capital crimes was forcing the transgressor to smoke or consume massive amounts of dagga (cannabis) non-stop for hours on end in a small, enclosed hut until he passes out literally unconscious from inhaling the fumes. The equivalent of a year or two’s supply for a heavy American smoker is consumed in just an hour or so. Does it work? African users say the rate of repeat criminal offenses after dagga treatment is virtually non-existent.
European and American cultures used hemp to enforce their laws in a more terminal form of capital punishment: the hangman’s noose* of hempen rope.
*”Merry boys are we…As e’re did sing… In a hempen string… Under the gallows tree.” John Fletcher Rollo, Duke of Normandy; Act III, sc. 3; 1639. “We’re bound to stop this business, or hang you to a man… For we’ve hemp and hand enough in town to hang the whole damn clan.” From a horse thief‘s tombstone in Rapid City, SD, 1877: Shushan, E.R.; Grave Matters; Ballantine Books, NY, 1990. Also see Hemp for Victory, USDA film; 1942.
Cannabis Herbal Medicines
The secret art of hemp medicine was found effective as wound healer, muscle relaxant, pain reliever, fever reducer and unparalleled aid to childbirth, not to mention hundreds of other medicinal applications.
(Mikuriya, Tod H., M.D., Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972, Medi-Comp Press, Oakland, CA, 1973; Shultes, R.E., Harvard Botanical; Ency. Brittanica; Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years;. Plenum Press, 1980; Vera Rubin, Cannabis and Culture, Institute for the Study of Man, 1968-1974 and second studies 1974-1976; et. al.)
The division of information about this sacred herb and its industrial hemp uses were strictly maintained by the priests for thousands of years, up until the last few centuries. Those outside the priestly class who possessed drug knowledge were considered (by the priests, of course) to be witches/soothsayers/outlaws and the ilk, and were often condemned to death.
The Mystic Philosophers
Cannabis legend and consumption are fundamental aspects of many of the world’s great religions. For example:
SHINTOISM (Japan) – Cannabis was used for the binding together of married couples, to drive away evil spirits, and was thought to create laughter and happiness in marriage.
HINDUISM (India) – The God Shiva is said “to have brought cannabis from the Himalayas for human enjoyment and enlightenment.” The Sadhu Priests travel throughout India and the world sharing “chillum” pipes filled with cannabis, sometimes blended with other substances. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna states, “I am the healing herb” (Ch.9:16), while the Bhagarat-Purana Fifth Canto describes hashish in explicitly sexual terms.
BUDDHISM (Tibet, India and China) – from the 5th century B.C. on ritually used cannabis; initiation rites and mystical experiences were (are ) common in many Chinese Buddhist Sects. Some Tibetan Buddhists and lamas (priests) consider cannabis their most holy plant. Many Buddhist traditions, writings, and beliefs indicate that “Siddhartha” (the Buddha) himself, used and ate nothing but hemp and its seeds for six years prior to announcing (discovering) his truths and becoming the Buddha (Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path).
Regarding the ZOROASTRIANS or Magi (Persia, circa 8th to 7th Centuries B.C. to 3rd to 4th Centuries A.D.), it is widely believed by many Christian scholars, commentators, etc., that the three “Magi” or Wise Men who attended the birth of Christ were cult references to the Zoroastrians. The Zoroastrian religion was based (at least on the surface) on the entire cannabis plant, the chief religious sacrament of its priest class, and its most important medicine, (e.g., obstetrics, incense rites, anointing and christening oils), as well as lighting or fire oils in their secular world. The word “magic” is generally considered derived from the Zoroastrians “Magi.”
The ESSENES (ancient Israeli sect of extreme Hebrewites, approx. 200 B.C. to 73 A.D.) used hemp medicinally, as did the:
THERAPUTEA (Egypt), from whom we get the term “therapeutic.” Both are believed by some scholars to be disciples of, or in a brotherhood with, the priests/magicians of the Zoroastrians.
EARLY JEWS As part of their holy Friday night services in the Temple of Solomon, 60-80,000 men ritually passed around and inhaled 20,000 incense burners filled with kanabosom (cannabis), before returning home for the largest meal of the week (munchies?).
SUFIS OF ISLAM (Middle East) – Moslem “mystical” priests who have taught, used and extolled cannabis for divine revelation, insight and oneness with Allah, for at least the last 1,000 years. Many Moslem and world scholars believe the mysticism of the Sufi Priests was actually that of the Zoroastrians who survived Moslem conquests of the 7th and 8th Centuries A.D. and subsequent conversion (change your religion and give up liquor or be beheaded).
COPTIC CHRISTIAN (Egypt/Ethiopia) – Some sects believe the sacred ”green herb of the field” in the Bible (“I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more” Ezekiel 34:29) and the Biblical secret incenses, sweet incenses and anointing oils to be cannabis.
The BANTUS (Africa) – had secret Dagga Cults,* societies which restricted cannabis use to the ruling men. The Pygmies, Zulus and Hottentots all found it an indispensable medication for cramps, epilepsy and gout, and as a religious sacrament.
*These “Dagga” cults believed Holy Cannabis was brought to Earth by the Gods, in particular from the “Two Dog Star” system that we call Sirius A and B. “Dagga” literally means “cannabis.” Interestingly, the surviving Indo-European word for the plant can also be read as “canna,” “reed” and “bi,” “two,” as well as “canna,” as in canine; and “bis,” meaning two (bi) “Two Dogs.”
The RASTAFARIANS (Jamaica and elsewhere) are a contemporary religious sect that uses “ganja” as its sacred sacrament to communicate with God (Jah).
United States government-funded studies at St. Louis Medical University in 1989 and the U.S. government’s National Institute of Mental Health in 1990 moved cannabis research into a new realm by confirming that the human brain has receptor sites for THC and its natural cannabis cousins to which no other compounds known thus far will bind.
In order for a chemical to affect the brain it must bind to a receptor site capable of receiving it.
(Omni, August 1989; Washington Post, Aug 9, 1990)
Although morphine fits the receptor sites of beta-endorphin roughly, and amphetamines correspond loosely to dopamine, these drugs as well as tricyclics and other mood altering drugs present grave danger to the subtle balance of the nerves’ vital fluids. Omni and the Washington Post cited no physical dangers in natural cannabis.
One reason cannabis is so safe to use is that it does not affect any of the involuntary muscles of breathing and life support. Rather, it affects its own specific receptor cites for motion (movement strategy) and memory (mental strategies).
On the molecular level, THC fits into receptor sites in the upper brain that seem to be uniquely designed to accommodate THC. This points to an ancient symbiosis between the plant and people.
Perhaps these neuronal pathways are the product of a pre-cultural relationship between humans and cannabis. Carl Sagan proposes evidence using the Bushmen of Africa to show hemp to have been the first plant cultivated by humanity dating to when he was a hunter-gatherer. Some scientist assume that these receptor sites did not evolve for the purpose of getting high: “There must be some kind of neuronal pathway in the brain that developed, whether there were cannabis plants or not,” speculated mystified St. Louis University pharmacology professor Allyn Howlett in 1989.
But, maybe not. In his book Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise, Dr. Ronald K. Siegel, psycho-pharmacologist at UCLA indicates the motivation to achieve altered states of consciousness or moods is a fourth drive akin to hunger, thirst, and sex. And humans aren’t the only ones to get high. Siegel recorded numerous observations of animal intentionally getting intoxicated during his experiments.
Cannabis hemp is part of our cultural, spiritual, and physiological heritage, and was the backbone of our most stable and long surviving cultures. So, if you want to know the long term effects of marijuana use look in the mirror!
Cloaked in Secrecy
The dawn or basis of religious beliefs in all races and peoples – Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Persian, Babylonian, Greek, Doric, Germanic and other European tribes, as well as African and North, South and Central American tribes arose as a result of accidental discoveries.
There were near-death experiences, deprivations – starvation, fasting, breath control, thirst, fever and uncontrolled revelry due to accidental fermentation or extraction of wine, beer, psilocybe and Amanita mushrooms, cannabis wine (bhang) and other psychoactives – which, when consumed, induced inexplicable, elevated experiences (compared to normal brutish experience). Chemicals in these sacred plants and herbs gave our ancestors unexpected, unprepared-for, unbelievable visions and journeys into the far corners of incredible consciousness and, sometimes, into feelings of universal brotherhood.
Understanding these drug-induced experiences and medications eventually became the most wondrous, desirable and necessary spiritual knowledge for each tribe. Healing! From which extraction? At what dose?
Holding this mystical tribal knowledge for future generations was a priceless task. To know which plants induced which experiences, at what levels and mixtures meant power for the bearer of such wisdom!
Thus, this “sacred store” of knowledge was jealously guarded by the herbal doctor/priest, and cryptically encoded in oral and written traditions and myths. Plants with psychoactive powers were imbued with human or animal attributes, for example, the Amanita Muscaria mushroom ring was represented by faeries.
To keep their political power, the priests, witch doctors and medicine men deliberately withheld these traditions from the “common” tribal members (and all other tribes). This also prevented the dangerous “sin” of accidental ingestion, concoction, or experimentation by the children of the tribe; nor could captured tribal members give up this sacred knowledge to their enemies.
These “old-time” drug and out-of-body religions and rituals, dating back to pre-history, were called “Oriental Mystery Religions” by the Romans from the Caesars’ time on.
Hemp was a major industry in biblical times. As in other cultures throughout the Middle East, the Hebrew tradition of mysticism (e.g., Cabala) was aware of, and entwined with, regional sects using natural intoxicants in their rituals. As usual, they hid this knowledge behind rituals, symbols and secret codes to protect natural sacraments like “sacred mushrooms” and mind-elevating herbs, including cannabis.
Allegro, J.M.; Sacred Mushroom & the Cross, Doubleday Co., 1970.
What Does the Bible Say?
Finding the encoded references to cannabis and other drugs is made more difficult by the lack of botanical names, discrepancy in translations, use of different “books” by different denominations, commentaries added to original texts, and periodic priestly purges of material considered inappropriate.
However, we find that the use of cannabis is never forbidden or even discouraged in the Bible. Some passages directly refer to the goodness of using herbs like cannabis and even go on to predict prohibition.
“And the Earth brought forth grass and herb-yielding seed after its kind and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself after its kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis: Chapt. 1: Verse 12 (King James Version of the Bible, unless noted).
“God makes the Earth yield healing herbs, which the prudent man should not neglect.” Sirach: 38:4 (Catholic Bible.)
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; That which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man.” Jesus, quoted: Matt. 15:11.
“In later times, some shall…speak lies in hypocrisy…commanding to abstain from that which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” Paul: 1 Tim. 4:1
Historians, early artworks, Bibles, manuscripts, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic Gospels, letters from early church fathers, etc., indicate that for the first 300-400 years A.D., many early Christian sects were gentle and loving. They were usually open, tolerant and unstructured: a poor man’s or slave’s religion.
Rome considered Christianity to be simply another bothersome Oriental Mystery cult, like those of Mithra or Isis, then the most popular in the Empire.
The Holy Roman Empire
Faced with a crumbling empire, political corruption and a series of ruinous wars with barbarians, the old Roman Empire hovered on the brink of disaster. The religious contortions undertaken by the ruling body in Rome to maintain its earthly power led the political leaders to crack down on healthy diversity in the field of individual cults and religions.
To save itself politically, the formerly pantheistic (meaning tolerant of different worships) government of the empire changed its policy.
Starting in 249 A.D., various emperors launched a string of bloody persecutions, which included the troublesome Christians. By 306 A.D., it was clear that this was not working. Emperor Constantine called off the executions and began to patronize the Christian clergy, which promptly adopted a dogma lifted from “Mithraism,” among other religions: “Royal Blood by Birth,” or the “Divine Right to Rule Other Humans.”
The ambitious Constantine saw that while underground, the church had developed into an intolerant, tightly-knit hierarchy; a well organized network second in influence only to his own. By combining church and state, each was able to double its power and seek out the crimes/sins of all its political rivals and enemies with the full support/blessing of the other.
Columbia History of the World, Harper & Row, NY, 1981.
Constantine soon converted to Christianity and declared one mandatory, monistic, state-empowered religion: the Roman Catholic Church (R.C.Ch.); literally, the Roman Universal Church (“catholic” is Latin for “universal”). This was now the absolute and official religion of the empire. In one sweep, all secret societies were outlawed which might have threatened his (and Rome’s) mandate to rule the known world, as they had for the previous 400 consecutive years.
After running from the Roman Empire’s police for almost 300 years, Christian Orthodox priests had become their bosses. Starting in the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries A.D., pagan religions and all the different Christian sects, belief systems, knowledge, gospels, etc., such as the Essenes, Gnostics and Merovingians (Franks), were either incorporated into or edited out of official doctrine and hierarchy.
Finally, in a series of councils, all contrary dogmas (e.g., that the Earth was round, and the sun and stars were more than five to 17 miles away) were summarily outlawed and driven underground during the Dark Ages, 400 -1000+ A.D.
By the early Middle Ages, at the beginning of the 11th century A.D., virtually all powers were placed in the hands of the Church and Pope; first by Germanic conquerors, and later by Spanish and French kings and powerful Italian merchants and nobles (the Borgias, Medicis and other megalomaniacs), probably to protect their trade secrets, alliances and sources of wealth.
All European people were forced to adhere to the “Holy” Roman Empire policy: Zero tolerance by a fundamentalist church/police-state with blind faith in one, unquestioned version of how to worship God…and the Pope’s infallibility.
Political rulers aided and abetted the Church in this fraud, as their power now rested only on their new Christian dogma, the patriarchal “Divine right” to rule.
They enacted laws with fantastically vicious punishments for even the slightest infraction or heresy.* Heretics were mercilessly sought out by fanatical, sadistic inquisitors using perverted forms of torture to extract confessions and as punishment.
*Webster’s Dictionary defines “Her-e-sy (her´e se)” as 1: a religious belief that is opposed to church dogma. 2: any opinion (in philosophy, politics, etc.) opposed to official or established views or doctrines. 3: the holding of any such belief or opinion.
This system kept most of the Western world’s inhabitants in a state of constant terror, not only for their own physical safety and freedom, but also for their eternal spirit, with “Hell” lurking mere inches below the surface for those excommunicated by the church.
The Politics of Paper
The masses of people, “the commons,” were kept in check through a dual system of fear and enforced ignorance. All learning except the most rudimentary was controlled and strictly regulated by the priests.
The commons (about 95% of the people) were forbidden to learn to read or write – not even an alphabet – and often were punished or put to death for doing so.
The people were also forbidden to learn Latin, the language of the Bible. This effectively enabled the few priests who could read to interpret the scriptures any way they pleased for about 1,200 years, until the Reformation in Europe, circa 1600.
To prohibit knowledge, people were literally kept in the dark, without a piece of paper to write on. The monasteries preserved and guarded hemp’s secrets. They saw that cannabis held two threats to this policy of absolute control: papermaking and lamp oil.
Something had to be done.
Cannabis Medicines Forbidden
While embracing wine as a sacrament, and tolerating beer and hard liquor, the Inquisition outlawed cannabis ingestion in Spain in the 12th century, and France in the 13th. Many other natural remedies were simultaneously banned. Anyone using hemp to communicate, heal, etc. was labeled “witch.”
Saint Joan of Arc, for example, was accused in 1430-31 of using a variety of herbal “witch” drugs, including cannabis, to hear voices.
Church Sanctioned Legal Medicines
Virtually the only legal medical cures allowed the people of Western Europe by the Roman Catholic Church Fathers at this time were:
1. (a.) Wearing a bird mask for plague. (b.) Setting fractured bones or cleaning burns.
2. Bleeding pints and even quarts of blood from all flu, pneumonia or fever patients (victims) which was the most used treatment in Europe and America by doctors until the beginning of the 1900s. It does not work! And did not work no matter how much blood they took.
3. Praying to specific saints for a miraculous cure, e.g., St. Anthony for ergotism (poisoning), St. Odilla for blindness, St. Benedict for poison sufferers, and St. Vitus for comedians and epileptics.
4. Alcohol for a variety of problems.
In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII singled out cannabis healers and other herbalists, proclaiming hemp an unholy sacrament of the second and third types of Satanic mass. This persecution lasted for more than 150 years. Satanic knowledge and masses, according to the Medieval Church, came in three types:
•To summon or worship Satan;
•To have Witch’s knowledge (e.g., herbalists or chemists) of making, using or giving others any unguent or preparation including cannabis as medicine or as a spiritual sacrament;
•The Mass of the Travesty, which can be likened to “The Simpsons,” “In Living Color,” rap music, Mel Brooks, “Second City-TV,” “Monty Python,” or “Saturday Night Live” (Father Guido Sarducci-type group) doing irreverent, farcical or satirical take-offs on the dogmas, doctrines, indulgences, and rituals of the R.C.Ch. mass and/or its absolute beliefs.
Because medieval priest bureaucrats thought they were sometimes laughed at, ridiculed and scorned by those under their influence – often by the most learned monks, clerics and leading citizens – ingesting cannabis was proclaimed heretical and Satanic.
Despite this centuries-long attack by the most powerful political and religious force in Western civilization, hemp cultivation continued in Northern Europe, Africa and Asia. While the church persecuted cannabis users in Europe, the Spanish Conquistadors were busy planting hemp everywhere around the world to provide sails, rope, oakum, clothes, etc.
Yet, Hemp Endured
The sadistic Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt and, in the 16th century A.D., tried to outlaw cannabis – because Egyptian hemp growers along the Nile were leading tax revolts. The Turks complained that cannabis use caused Egyptians to laugh and be disrespectful to their Sultan and his representatives. In 1868, Egypt became the first modern(?) country to outlaw cannabis ingestion, followed in 1910 by white South Africa to punish and stop the blacks practicing their ancient Dagga cults and religions.
In Europe, hemp was widely used both industrially and medicinally, from the Black Sea (Crimean) to the British Isles, especially in Eastern Europe. The papal ban on cannabis medicines in the Holy Roman Empire in 1484 was quite unenforceable north of the Alps, and to this day the Romanians, Czechs, Hungarians and Russians dominate world cannabis agronomy.
In Ireland, already world famous for its cannabis linen, the Irish woman who wanted to know whom she would eventually marry was advised to seek revelation through cannabis.
Eventually, the hemp trades once again became so important to the empire builders who followed (in the Age of Discovery/Reason, the 14th to 18th centuries) that they were central to the intrigues and maneuverings of all the world’s great powers.
The Age of Enlightenment
The 18th century ushered in a new era of human thought and civilization. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!” declared the colonists in America. “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!” replied their French cousins. The concepts of modern constitutional government, which guaranteed human rights and separation of church and state, were unified into a policy designed to protect citizens from intolerant and arbitrary laws.
In his landmark essay, On Liberty, Ogden Livingston Mills, whose philosophy shaped our democracy, wrote that “Human liberty comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness in the most comprehensive sense: liberty of thought and feeling, scientific, moral or theological, …liberty of tastes and pursuits.”
Mills asserted that this freedom of thought or of “mind” is the basis for all freedoms. Gentleman farmer Thomas Jefferson’s immortal words, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” are engraved into the marble of his Memorial in Washington D.C.
Abraham Lincoln was an avowed enemy of prohibition. His wife was prescribed cannabis for her nerves after his assassination. Virtually every president from the mid- 19th century up until prohibition routinely used cannabis medicines (See Chapter 12: 19th century use).
Close acquaintances of John F. Kennedy, such as entertainers Morey Amsterdam and Eddie Gordon* say the president used cannabis regularly to control his back pain (before and during his term) and actually planned on legalizing “marijuana” during his second term – a plan cut short by his assassination in 1963.
*As reported directly to this author by Eddie Gordon, renowned harmonica virtuoso, member of the Harmonicats, and the number-one harmonicist in the world, who smoked with Kennedy and performed numerous times for him.
More recently, former President Gerald Ford’s son, Jack, and Jimmy Carter’s son, Chip, admit to having smoked pot in the White House. George Bush’s Vice President Dan Quayle* had a reputation for smoking grass and using drugs in college. Ronald and even former First Lady Nancy “Just Say No” Reagan are reported to have smoked pot in the California Governor’s mansion.
*”Smoke Screen: Inmate Sues Justice Department Over Quayle-Pot Cover-up,” Dallas Observer, August 23, 1990. Kelley, Kitty, Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography, Doubleday Co., NY, 1991.
Hindu Vedas; Shen Nung Pharmacopoeia Herodotus; Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years; Plenum Press, 1980; Dead Sea Scrolls; High Times Encyclopedia; Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Pharmacological Cults;” Roffman, Marijuana and Medicine, 1982; Ohio State Medical Society, 1860; British Indian Hemp Report, 1894; Ungerleider UCLA, 1982; U.S. Army, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland (Multiples); Shultes, Harvard Botanical; EmBowden, UC Northridge; Michael Aldrich, Ph.D.; Vera Rubin, Institute for the Study of Man; Wasson, R. Gordon, SOMA, Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Roffman, Marijuana and Medicine; etymologist Jay Lynn; Allegro, J.M., Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, Doubleday & Co., 1970, et al.; “How Heads of State Got High,” High Times, April, 1980 (see Appendix).
ECONOMICS: The Very Model of A Modern Inquisition
For cannabis-related knowledge, or hundreds of other “sins” – owning a devil’s tool (dinner fork), reading a sorcerer’s book or speaking in tongues (foreign language), having a different faith, having the witch’s habit (taking a bath or falling into a river), etc. – from 10% to as many as 50% of the people in Western Europe were tortured or put to death without trial during the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s 500-year Inquisition (12th to 17th centuries).
While most suffered, some profited handsomely. The Pope could declare anything “heresy,” and use it as an excuse to legally rob, torture and kill his enemies or anyone else accused. For over 300 years, inquisitors divided up the property forfeited to them by suspected witches and heretics. Whoever denounced you got 1/3 of your property, 1/3 went to the government and 1/3 went to the Papal hierarchy.
“Beware the scribes which…devour widows’ houses.” Jesus quoted: Luke 20:46
This perverted prosecution-for-profit model, used almost exactly in the same way today by state and federal drug Nazis – and just as self-righteously, was given to us at the insistence of President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was written for Congress by then Congressman Dan Lungren, once California Attorney General. In actuality, once the government seizes a property, more than 90% are never returned by the courts. Everyone from informant, to the police and the prosecutor now share in the bounty of forfeited goods.
In fact, while British common law is the basis for our modern legal system, forfeiture law relies on the medieval concept of the cursed object “Deodand” (from the latin “deo” god, and “dand” give; meaning that any object causing human death was forfeited to the crown). This is the basis for American laws of seizure and confiscation of property, rather than penalties only against persons. Why? Simple. People have guaranteed legal rights; property does not!
The (HEMP) War of 1812
United States vs. Great Britain
Napoleon Invades Russia…
This is a piece of history that you may have been a bit hazy on when you were taught about it in school. You might well have asked,” What the heck were they fighting about, anyway?”
Here we present the events that led up to the Battle of New Orleans, which, due to slow communications, was accidentally fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814 by the signing of a peace treaty in Belgium.
1700s and early 1800s
Cannabis hemp is, as it has been for thousands of years, the biggest business and most important industry on the planet. Its fiber (see Chapter 2, “Uses”) moves virtually all the world’s shipping. The entire world’s economy uses and depends upon thousands of different products from the marijuana plant.
Russia, because of its cheap slave/serf labor, produces 80% of the western world’s cannabis hemp and finished hemp products, and is, by far, the world’s best-quality manufacturer of cannabis hemp for sails, rope, rigging and nets.
Cannabis is Russia’s number-one trading commodity – ahead of its furs, timber and iron.
1740 to 1807
Great Britain buys 90% or more of its marine hemp from Russia; Britain’s navy and world sea trade runs on Russian hemp; each British ship must replace 50 to 100 tons of hemp every year or two.
There is no substitute; flax sails, for example, unlike hemp sails, would start rotting in three months or less from salt air and spray.
1793 to 1799 on…
The British nobility is hostile toward the new French government primarily because the British are afraid that the 1789-93 French Revolution of commoners could spread, and/or result in a French invasion of England and the loss of its Empire and, of course, its nobility’s heads.
1803 to 1814
Britain’s navy blockades Napoleon’s France, including Napoleon’s allies on the Continent. Britain accomplishes the blockade of France by closing its (France’s) English Channel and Atlantic (Bay of Biscay) ports with its navy; also, Britain controls absolute access to and from the Mediterranean and Atlantic, by virtue of its control of the straits of Gibraltar (see map on following page).
1798 to 1812
The fledgling United States is officially “neutral” in the war between France and Britain. The United States even begins to solve its own foreign problems by sending its navy and marines (1801-1805) to the Mediterranean to stop Tripoli pirates and ransomers from collecting tribute from American Yankee traders operating in the area. “Millions for Defense – not a penny for Tribute” was America’s rallying cry, and the incident came to be memorialized in the second line of the Marine Corps’ hymn: “… to the shores of Tripoli.”
Napoleon, needing money to press war with Great Britain and pursue control of the European continent, bargain-sells the Louisiana Territory to the United States for $15 million, or roughly two-and-a-half cents per acre.
This area is about one-third of what are now the 48 contiguous states.
The Louisiana Purchase gives rise to some Americans’ – mostly Westerners’ – dreams of “Manifest Destiny.” That is, the United States should extend to the utmost borders of North America: From the top of Canada to the bottom of Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific (see map on page 81).
1803 to 1807
Britain continues to trade for and buy 90% of its hemp directly from Russia.
Napoleon and Czar Alexander of Russia sign the Treaty of Tilset, which cuts off all legal Russian trade with Great Britain, its allies, or any other neutral nation ship acting as agents for Great Britain in Russia.
The treaty also sets up a buffer zone, the Warsaw Duchy (approximately Central Eastern Poland) between Napoleon’s allies and Russia.
Napoleon’s strategy – and his most important goal with the treaty – is to stop Russian hemp from reaching England, thereby destroying Britain’s navy by forcing it to cannibalize sails, ropes, and rigging from other ships; and Napoleon believes that eventually, with no Russian hemp for its huge navy, Britain will be forced to end its blockade of France and the Continent.
1807 to 1809
The United States is considered a neutral country by Napoleon, as long as its ships do not trade with or for Great Britain, and the United States considers itself to be neutral in the war between France and Great Britain.
However, Congress passes the 1806 Non-Importation Pact: British articles which are produced in the U.S., but which could be produced elsewhere, are prohibited. Congress also passes the 1807 Embargo Act, to wit: American ships could not bring or carry products to or from Europe.
These laws hurt America more than Europe; however, many Yankee traders ignored the law anyway.
1807 to 1814
After the Treaty of Tilset cuts off their Russian trade, Britain claims that there are no neutral countries or shipping lanes.
Hence, any ship that trades with Napoleon’s “Continental System” of allies is the enemy and is subject to blockade.
On this pretext, Britain confiscates American ships and cargo and sends sailors back to the United States at American ship owners’ expense.
Britain “impresses” some American sailors into service in the British navy. However, England claims that they only “impress” those sailors who are British subjects – and whose American shipping companies refused to pay for the sailors’ return fares.
1807 to 1810
Secretly, however, Britain offers the captured American traders a “deal” (actually a blackmail proposition) when they “overhaul” – board and confiscate – an American ship and bring it into an English port.
The deal: Either lose your ship and cargos forever, or go to Russia and secretly buy hemp for Britain, who will pay American traders with gold in advance, and more gold when the hemp is delivered back.
At the same time, the Americans will be allowed to keep and trade their own goods (rum, sugar, spices, cotton, coffee, tobacco) to the Czar for hemp – a double profit for the Americans.
1808 to 1810
Our shrewd Yankee traders, faced with the choice of either running British blockades – and risking having their ships, cargo and crews confiscated – or acting as secret (illegal) licensees for Britain, with safety and profits guaranteed, mostly choose the latter.
John Quincy Adams (later to become President), who was American Consul at St. Petersburg, in 1809 noted:
“As many as 600 clipper ships, flying the American flag, in a two-week period, were in Kronstadt” (the Port of St. Petersburg, once called Leningrad in the former USSR) loading principally cannabis hemp for England (illegally) and America, where quality hemp is also in great demand.
(Bemis, John Q. Adams and the American Foreign Policy, New York, NY, Alfred A Knopf, 1949.)
The United States passes the 1809 Non-Intercourse Act which resumes legal trade with Europe, except Britain and France. It is soon replaced with the Macon Bill resuming all legal trade.
1808 to 1810
Napoleon insists that Czar Alexander stop all trade with the independent United States traders as they are being coerced into being illegal traders for Great Britain’s hemp.
Napoleon wants the Czar to allow him to place…station French agents and troops in Kronstadt to make sure the Czar and his port authorities live up to the treaty.
1808 to 1810
The Czar says “Nyet!” despite his treaty with France, and turns a “blind eye” to the illegal American traders, probably because he needs the popular, profitable trade goods the Americans are bringing him and his nobles – as well as the hard gold he is getting from the Americans’ (illegal) purchases of hemp for Great Britain.
Napoleon’s allies invade the Duchy of Warsaw.
Napoleon orders the Czar to stop all trade with the American traders! The Czar responds by withdrawing Russia from that part of the Treaty of Tilset that would require him to stop selling goods to neutral American ships.
1810 to 1812
Napoleon, infuriated with the Czar for allowing Britain’s life blood of navy hemp to reach England, builds up his army and travels over 2,000 miles to invade Russia, planning to punish the Czar and ultimately stop hemp from reaching the British Navy.
1811 to 1812
England, again an ally and full trading partner of Russia, is still stopping American ships from trading with the rest of the Continent.
Britain also blockades all U.S. traders from Russia at the Baltic Sea and insists that American traders have to now secretly buy other strategic goods for them (mostly from Mediterranean ports), specifically from Napoleon and his allies on the Continent who, by this time, are happy to sell anything to raise capital.
The United States, cut off from 80% of its Russian hemp supply, debates war in Congress.
Ironically, it is representatives of the western states who argue for war under the excuse of “impressed” American sailors. However, the representatives of the maritime states, fearful of loss of trade, argue against war, even though it’s their shipping, crews, and states that are allegedly afflicted.
Not one senator from a maritime state votes for war with Great Britain, whereas virtually all western senators vote for war, hoping to take Canada from Britain and fulfill their dream of “Manifest Destiny,” in the mistaken belief that Great Britain is too busy with the European wars against Napoleon to protect Canada.
It’s interesting to note that Kentucky, a big supporter of the war which disrupted the overseas hemp trade, was actively building up its own domestic hemp industry.
At this time, 1812, American ships could pick up hemp from Russia and return with it three times faster and cheaper than shippers could get hemp from Kentucky to the East Coast over land (at least, until the Erie Canal was completed in 1825; shortening travel time dramatically by as much as 90%).
The western states win in Congress, and on June 18, 1812, the United States is at war with Britain.
America enters the war on the side of Napoleon, who marches on Moscow also in June of 1812.
Napoleon is soon defeated in Russia by the harsh winter, the Russian scorched-earth policy, 2,000 miles of snowy and muddy supply lines – and by Napoleon not stopping for the winter and regrouping before marching on Moscow, as was the original battle plan.
Of the 450,000 to 600,000 men Napoleon starts with, only 180,000 ever ake it back.
1812 to 1814
Britain, after initial success in war with the United States (including the burning of Washington in retaliation for the earlier American burning of Toronto, then the colonial Canadian capitol), finds its finances and military stretched thin – with blockades, war in Spain with France, and a tough new America on the seas.
Britain agrees to peace, and signs a treaty with the United States in December, 1814. The actual terms of the treaty give little to either side.
In effect, Britain agrees it will never again interfere with American shipping.
And the United States agrees to give up all claims to Canada forever (which we did, with the exception of “54-40 or Fight”).
1813 to 1814
Britain defeats Napoleon in Spain and banishes him to Elba, but he escapes for 100 days.
Britain defeats Napoleon at Waterloo (June 18) and banishes him to St. Helena Island off Antarctica where, in 1821, he dies and his hair and private parts are sold to the public for souvenirs.
Tragically for Britain, more than two weeks after the December 24, 1814 signing of the Ghent peace treaty between the United States and Britain, Andrew Jackson defeats a huge British attack force at New Orleans (January 8, 1815) while news of the treaty slowly makes its way across the Atlantic.
American, British, French, Canadian and Russian schools each teach children their own, completely different versions of history with virtually no mention of hemp in this war (nor, in the American versions, at any other time in history).
I wish to apologize to history buffs for all the nuances I have left out from this outline of the 1812 Wars (for example, the involvement of the Rothschilds, the Illuminati, stock market manipulations, etc.), but I did not want to write “War and Peace.” It’s been done.
My intention is that our children are taught a true, comprehensive history in our schools, not watered-down nonsense that hides the real facts and makes the War of 1812 seem totally unintelligible and without rhyme or reason. But it’s no wonder. Our American school teachers themselves often haven’t the foggiest understanding of why this war was really fought. If they do know – or have recently learned – they are generally much too intimidated to teach it.
In 1806, it cost $50,000 to build the U.S.S. Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” and $400,000 to make the sails and rope for that ship. They needed to be replaced every two years. In 1850, it cost $50 to build an uncovered Calistoga wagon in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It cost $400 for the hemp canvas to cover it.
For a broader overview of the subject we’ve outlined in this chapter, read Alfred W. Crosby Jr.’s America, Russia, Hemp, and Napoleon, 1965.
Cannabis Drug Use in 19th Century America
Although by 1839, cannabis hemp products for fiber, paper, nautical use, lamp oil, food, etc., were possibly the largest agricultural and industrial businesses in America and, of course, throughout the world, the hundreds of medical uses of cannabis (known for thousands of years in the Orient and Middle East) were still almost entirely unknown in much of Western Europe and America because of the earlier Medieval Catholic Church’s suppression.
However, the 19th century saw a dramatic re-discovery of the benefits of cannabis drugs, which were the number-one medicine in America prior to 1863. It was replaced by morphine when the new injectable needle became the rage, but not before cannabis brought with it healthful elixirs and patent medicines, luxuriant Turkish Smoking Parlors and with them a fountain of literary creativity. Cannabis remained the number-two medicine until 1901 when it was replaced by aspirin.
Marijuana Medicine in 19th Century America
From 1850 to 1937, cannabis was used as the prime medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases in U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
During all this time (until the 1940s), science, doctors, and drug manufacturers (Lilly, Parke-Davis, Squibb, etc.) had no idea of its active ingredients.
Yet from 1842 until the 1890s, marijuana, generally called Cannabis Indica or Indian Hemp extractums, was one of the three items (after alcohol and opium) most used in patent and prescription drugs (in massive doses*, usually by oral ingestion).
*Doses given during the 19th century to American infants, children, youth, adults, women in childbirth, and senior citizens, in one day, were, in many cases, equal to what a current moderate-to-heavy American marijuana user probably consumes in a month or two, using U.S. government’s 1983 guidelines for comparison.
Violence was equated with alcohol use; addiction to morphine was known as the “soldiers’ illness.”
And so, during that era, cannabis gained favor and was even recommended as a way of helping alcoholics and addicts recover.
However, cannabis medicines had been largely lost to the West since the days of the Inquisition. (See Chapter 10, “A Look at the Sociology”)
Until, that is, W. B. O’Shaughnessy, a 30-year-old British physician serving in India’s Bengal* province, watched Indian doctors use different hemp extracts successfully to treat all types of illness and disease then untreatable in the West, including tetanus.
*”Bengal” means “Bhang Land,” literally Cannabis Land.
O’Shaughnessy then did an enormous (and the first known Western) study,* in 1839, and published a 40-page paper on the uses of cannabis medicines. At the same time, a French doctor named Roche was making the same rediscovery of hemp in Middle Eastern medicines.
*O’Shaughnessy used patients, animals, and himself for his research and experiments. Incidentally, O’Shaughnessy went on to become a millionaire and was knighted by Queen Victoria for building India’s first telegraph system in the 1850s.
O’Shaughnessy’s medical paper and findings on hemp extracts stunned and swept through the Western medical world. In just three years, cannabis was to become an American and European “superstar.”
Papers written by first-time American users (novices) and doctors using, treating, or experimenting with cannabis, told straight forward accounts of its usually euphoric, and sometimes disphoric, mind and time-expanding properties for both child and adult, as well as hilarity and increased appetites, especially the first few times they tried it.
Interestingly, during this whole period of time (1840s to 1930s) Eli Lilly, Squibb, Parke-Davis, Smith Brothers, Tildens, etc., had no effective way to prolong its very short shelf life and had great difficulty standardizing dosages.
As noted before, marijuana medicine was so highly regarded by Americans (including some Protestant theologians) during the 19th century, that in 1860, for example, the Committee on Cannabis Indica for the Ohio State Medical Society reported and concluded that, “High Biblical commentators [scholars]” believe “that the gall and vinegar, or myrrhed wine, offered to our Saviour, immediately before his crucifixion, was in all probability, a preparation of Indian hemp [marijuana], and even speak of its earlier use in obstetrics.”*
*Reprinted from the transcripts of the 15th annual meeting of the Ohio State Medical Society, at White Sulphur Springs, Ohio, June 12-14, 1860, pg. 75-100.
The main reasons that cannabis medicines fell into disuse in America was the difficulty of identifying and standardizing dosage, e.g., in 1964, 27 years after America outlawed cannabis in 1937, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Tel Aviv University first discovered the THC delta molecules as the active ingredients in cannabis. Also, doctors in the late l9th century could not find a way to inject it into humans with their brand new hypodermic needles…and still haven’t.
By the 1890s, some of the most popular American marriage guides recommend cannabis as an aphrodisiac of extraordinary powers – no one ever suggested a prohibition law against cannabis. And while there was talk of an alcohol prohibition law, a number of women’s temperance organizations even suggested “hasheesh” as a substitute for “demon” alcohol, which they said led to wife beating.
A Popular Inspiration of the 19th Century Literary Greats
From the early 1800s on, some of the world’s foremost romantic and revolutionary writers on individual freedom and human dignity extolled cannabis use. We study their works in schools today as “classics”:
The science of psycho-pharmacology started in France circa 1845 with Doctor J. J. Moreau DeTours, and cannabis became one of the first drugs used to treat the insane and depressed.
Moreau was best friends with Dumas, Hugo, and Gautier, and in 1845 co-founded with them in Paris the first cannabis club in the Western World: Le Club Des Haschischins.
Maple Sugar Hashish Candy
Starting in the 1860s, the Gunjah Wallah Company made maple sugar hashish candy, which soon became one of the most popular treats in America.
For 40 years, it was sold over the counter and advertised in newspapers, as well as being listed in the catalogs of Sears-Roebuck, as a totally harmless, delicious and fun candy.
Turkish Smoking Parlors
World Fairs and International Expositions, from the 1860s through the early 1900s, often featured a popular Turkish Hashish Smoking exposition and concession. Hashish smoking was entirely new for Americans; its effects came on much faster. However, smoking hashish was only about one-third as strong or long lasting as orally ingesting the cannabis extract medicines that even American children were regularly prescribed.
At America’s giant 100-year 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, fair-goers took their friends and family to partake (smoke) at the extremely popular Turkish Hashish Exposition, so as to “enhance” their fair experience.
By 1883, similar hashish smoking parlors were legally open in every major American city, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, and so on.
The Police Gazette estimated there were over 500 hashish smoking parlors in New York City in the 1880s and it was estimated by the NYPD that there were still 500 or more hashish parlors in NYC in the 1920s•more of these parlors than there were “speakeasies” during the same 1920s alcohol prohibition period.
As American as Apple Pie
By the start of the 20th century almost four generations of Americans had been using cannabis. Virtually everyone in this country was familiar from childhood on with the “highs” of cannabis extract – yet doctors did not consider it habit forming, anti-social or violent at all, after 60 years of use.
This leads us to an important question: if it was not fear of health or social consequences that led to the eventual ban of cannabis use in America (and later forced on the rest of the world), what did?
The Smear Campaign
What socio-political force would be strong enough to turn Americans against something as innocent as a plant – let alone one which so many people had an interest in using to improve their own lives?
Earlier, you read how the first federal anti-marijuana laws (1937) came about because of William Randolph Hearst’s lies, yellow journalism and racist newspaper articles and ravings, which from then on were cited in Congressional testimony by Harry Anslinger as facts.
But what started Hearst on the marijuana and racist scare stories? What intelligence or ignorance, for which we still punish fellow Americans to the tune of 16 million years in jails and prisons in just the last 70 years, (786,545 arrested in 2005 alone for marijuana, more than twice as many as 1990) – brought this all about?
The first step was to introduce the element of fear of the unknown by using a word that no one had ever heard of before: “marijuana.”
The next step was to keep the maneuverings hidden from the doctors, scientists and hemp industries who would have defended hemp. This was done by holding most of the hearings on prohibition in secret.
And, finally, prohibitionists set out to stir up primal emotions and tap right into an existing pool of hatred that was already poisoning society: racism.
Marijuana and the Jim Crow Laws
Since the abolition of slavery, racism and bigotry have generally had to manifest themselves in less blatant forms in America.
The cannabis prohibition laws illustrate again this institutional intolerance of racial minorities and show how prejudice is concealed behind rhetoric and laws which seem to have an entirely different purpose.
Smoking in America
The first known* smoking of female cannabis tops in the Western hemisphere was probably in the 1870s in the West Indies (Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, etc.); and arrived with the immigration of thousands of Indian Hindus (from British-controlled India) imported for cheap labor. By 1886, Mexicans and black sailors, who traded in those islands, picked up and spread its use throughout all the West Indies and Mexico.
*There are other theories about the first known “smoking” of hemp flower tops, e.g., by American and Brazilian slaves, Shawnee Indians, etc., some fascinating – but none verifiable.
Cannabis smoking was generally used in the West Indies to ease the back-breaking work in the cane fields, beat the heat, and to relax in the evenings without the threat of an alcohol hangover in the morning.
The jazz and swing music of “Negroes, Mexicans and entertainers” was declared an outgrowth of marijuana use.
Given its late 19th century area of usage – the Caribbean West Indies and Mexico – it is not surprising the first marijuana use recorded in the U.S. was by Mexicans in Brownsville, Texas in 1903. And the first marijuana prohibition law in America – pertaining only to Mexicans – was passed in Brownsville in that same year.
“Ganja” use was next reported in 1909 in the port of New Orleans, in the black dominated “Storeyville” section frequented by sailors.
New Orleans’ Storeyville was filled with cabarets, brothels, music, and all the other usual accoutrements of “red light” districts the world over. Sailors from the islands took their shore leave and their marijuana there.
The Public Safety Commissioner of New Orleans wrote that, “marijuana was the most frightening and vicious drug ever to hit New Orleans,” and in 1910 warned that regular users might number as high as 200 in Storeyville alone.
To the DA and Public Safety Commissioners and New Orleans newspapers from 1910 through the 1930s, marijuana’s insidious evil influence apparently manifested itself in making the “darkies” think they were as good as “white men.”
In fact, marijuana was being blamed for the first refusals of black entertainers to wear blackface* and for hysterical laughter by “negroes” under marijuana’s influence when told to cross a street or go to the back of the trolley, etc.
*That’s right; your eyes have not deceived you. Because of a curious quirk in the “Jim Crow” (segregation) laws, black Americans were banned from any stage in the Deep South (and most other places in the North and West also). “Negroes” had to wear (through the 1920s) blackface – (like Al Jolson wore when he sang “Swanee”) – a dye which white entertainers wore to resemble or mimic black people. Actually, by “Jim Crow” law, blacks were not allowed on the stage at all, but because of their talent were allowed to sneak/enter through back doors, put on blackface, and pretend to be a white person playing the part of a black person…
…and all that Jazz
In New Orleans, whites were also concerned that black musicians, rumored to smoke marijuana, were spreading (selling) a very powerful (popular) new “voodoo” music that forced even decent white women to tap their feet and was ultimately aimed at throwing off the yoke of the whites. Today we call that new music… jazz!
Blacks obviously played upon the white New Orleans racists’ fears of “voodoo” to try to keep whites out of their lives. Jazz’s birthplace is generally recognized to be Storeyville, New Orleans, home of original innovators: Buddy Bohler, Buck Johnson and others (1909-1917). Storeyville was also the birthplace of Louis Armstrong* (1900).
*In 1930 – one year after Louis Armstrong recorded “Muggles” (read: “marijuana”) – he was arrested for a marijuana cigarette in Los Angeles and put in jail for 10 days until he agreed to leave California and not return for two years.
Mexicans under marijuana’s influence were demanding humane treatment, looking at white women, asking that their children be educated while the parents harvested sugar beets and making other “insolent” demands.
American newspapers, politicians, and police had virtually no idea, for all these years (until the 1920s, and then only rarely), that the marijuana the “darkies” and “Chicanos” were smoking in cigarettes or pipes was just a weaker version of the many familiar concentrated cannabis medicines they’d been taking since childhood, or that the same drug was smoked legally at the local “white man’s” plush hashish parlors.
White racists wrote articles and passed city and state “marijuana” laws without this knowledge for almost two decades, chiefly because of “Negro/Mexican” vicious “insolence”* under the effect of marijuana.
*Vicious Insolence: Between 1884 and 1900, 3,500 documented deaths of black Americans were caused by lynchings; between 1900 and 1917, over 1,100 were recorded. The real figures were undoubtedly higher. It is estimated that one-third of these lynchings were for “insolence,” which might be anything from looking (or being accused of looking) at a white woman twice, to stepping on a white man’s shadow, even to looking a white man directly in the eye for more than three seconds; for not going directly to the back of the trolley, and other “offenses.”
It was obvious to whites, marijuana caused “Negro” and Mexican “viciousness” or they wouldn’t dare be “insolent”; etc…
Hundreds of thousands of “Negroes” and Chicanos were sentenced from 10 days to 10 years mostly on local and state “chain gangs” for such silly crimes as we have just listed.
This was the nature of “Jim Crow” laws until the 1950s and ‘60s; the laws Martin Luther King, the NAACP, and general public outcry have finally begun remedying in America.
We can only imagine the immediate effect the black entertainers’ refusal to wear blackface had on the white establishment, but seven years later, 1917, Storeyville was completely shut down. Apartheid had its moment of triumph.
No longer did the upright, uptight white citizen have to worry about white women going to Storeyville to listen to “voodoo” jazz or perhaps be raped by its marijuana-crazed “black adherents” who showed vicious disrespect (insolence) for whites and their “Jim Crow Laws” by stepping on their (white men’s) shadows and the like when they were high on marijuana.
Black musicians then took their music and marijuana up the Mississippi to Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, etc., where the (white) city fathers, for the same racist reasons, soon passed local marijuana laws to stop “evil” music and keep white women from falling prey to blacks through jazz and marijuana.
In 1915, California and Utah passed state laws outlawing marijuana for the same “Jim Crow” reasons – but directed through the Hearst papers at Chicanos.
Colorado followed in 1917. Its legislators cited excesses of Pancho Villa’s rebel army, whose drug of choice was supposed to have been marijuana. (If true, this means that marijuana helped to overthrow one of the most repressive, evil regimes Mexico ever suffered.)
The Colorado Legislature felt the only way to prevent an actual racial blood bath and the overthrow of their (whites’) ignorant and bigoted laws, attitudes and institutions was to stop marijuana.
Mexicans under marijuana’s influence were demanding humane treatment, looking at white women, and asking that their children be educated while the parents harvested sugar beets; and making other “insolent” demands. With the excuse of marijuana (Killer Weed), the whites could now use force and rationalize their violent acts of repression.
This “reefer racism” continues into the present day. In 1937, Harry Anslinger told Congress that there were between 50,000 to 100,000* marijuana smokers in the U.S., mostly “Negroes and Mexicans, and entertainers,” and their music, jazz and swing, was an outgrowth of this marijuana use. He insisted this “satanic” music and the use of marijuana caused white women to “seek sexual relations with Negroes!”
*Anslinger would have flipped to know that one day there would be 26 million daily marijuana users and another 30-40 million occasional users in America, and that rock ‘n’ roll and jazz are now enjoyed by tens of millions who have never smoked marijuana.
South Africa Today
In 1911, South Africa* began the outlawing of marijuana for the same reasons as New Orleans: to stop insolent blacks! White South Africa, along with Egypt, led the international fight (League of Nations) to have cannabis outlawed worldwide.
*South Africa still allowed its black mine workers to smoke dagga (marijuana) in the mines, though. Why? Because they were more productive!
In fact, in that same year, South Africa influenced southern U.S. legislators to outlaw cannabis (which many black South Africans revered as “dagga,” their sacred herb). Many South Africans’ American business headquarters were in New Orleans at the time.
This is the whole racial and religious (Medieval Catholic Church) basis out of which our laws against hemp arose. Are you proud?
Sixteen million years so far have been spent in jails, prisons, parole and on probation by Americans for this absurd, racist, and probably economic reasoning. (See Chapter 4, “Last Days of Legal Cannabis.”)
Isn’t it interesting that in 1985 the U.S. incarcerated a larger percentage of people than any country in the world except South Africa? In 1989 the U.S. surpassed South Africa, and the 1997 incarceration rate was almost four times that of South Africa. Now, in 2007, there are over 2.2 million people incarcerated in the U.S.
President Bush Sr., in his great drug policy speech of September 5, 1989, promised to double the federal prison population again, after it had already doubled under Reagan. He succeeded. In 1993, President Bill Clinton planned to redouble the number of prisoners again by 1996. He did.
Remember the outcry in 1979 when former UN Ambassador Andrew Young told the world that the U.S. had more political prisoners than any other nation?
(Amnesty International, ACLU.) Also, see Appendix: “Fighting the Police State.”
Even though blackface disappeared as law in the late 1920s, as late as the 1960s, black entertainers (such as Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis, Jr.) still had to go in the back door of theatrical establishments, bars, etc; by law!
They couldn’t rent a hotel room in Las Vegas or Miami Beach – even while being the headline act.
Ben Vereen’s 1981 Presidential Inauguration performance for Ronald Reagan presented this country’s turn-of-the-century Blackface/Jim Crow laws in a great story about black comic genius Bert Williams (circa 1890 to 1920).
Vereen had been invited to perform for the Reagan Inauguration and had accepted only on the condition that he could tell the entire “Blackface” story – but the whole first half of Vereen’s show, depicting Bert Williams and blackface, was censored by Reagan’s people on ABC TV, contrary to the special agreement Vereen had with them.
More than Seventy Years of Suppression & Repression
1937: Hemp banned. Only an estimated 60,000 Americans smoke “marijuana,” but thanks to Hearst and Anslinger’s disinformation campaign, virtually everyone in the country has heard of it.
1945: Newsweek reports that over 100,000 people now smoke marijuana.
1967: Millions of Americans regularly and openly smoke hemp leaves and flowers.
1977: Tens of millions smoke cannabis regularly, with many people growing their own.
2007: One in three Americans, approximately 100+ million citizens, have now tried it at least once, and some 10-20% (25 to 50 million Americans) still choose to buy and smoke cannabis regularly, despite urine tests and tougher laws.
Throughout history, Americans have held the legal tradition that one could not give up one’s constitutional rights—and if someone was stripped of these protections, then he or she was being victimized. However, by 1989, if you signed up for an extracurricular activity in school or applied for a minimum wage job, you could be asked to forego your right to privacy, protection from self-incrimination, Constitutional requirements of reasonable grounds for search and seizure, presumed innocence until found guilty by your peers, and that most fundamental right of all: personal responsibility for your own life and consciousness.
By 1995, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld that these intrusions into your individual privacy were constitutional!
In November 1996, as earlier stated, California passed a statewide people’s initiative that won by 56% of the vote and legalized medical marijuana within the state. Also in November 1996, Arizona passed a statewide initiative (by 65% of the vote) that included medical marijuana but, unlike California law, Arizona’s legislature and the governor (now impeached) can and have since rejected this people’s law. This was the first rejection by the legislature and the governor of any Arizona state initiative in 90 years!
The Armed Forces & Industry
The Armed Forces, as well as many civilian factories, will boot you out if you smoke marijuana; even if you smoke it 30 days before testing and while off duty. These tests are done at random and often do not include liquor, tranquilizer or other speed/downer type drugs. However, according to OSHA and insurance actuarial findings, plus the AFL-ClO, it is alcohol (!) that is involved in 90-95% of drug related factory accidents.
In fact, numerous U.S. Army tests of the effects of cannabis on soldiers (through the 1950s and ‘60s) at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, and elsewhere, show no loss of motivation or performance after two years of heavy (military sponsored) smoking of marijuana.
This study was repeated six more times by the military and dozens of times by universities with the same or similar results. (Also, British Indian Hemp Report,
Panama/Siler study; Jamaican study, et al.)
South African gold and diamond mines allowed and even encouraged blacks to use cannabis/dagga which enabled them to work harder.
(U.S. Government Reports, 1956-58-61-63-68-69-70-76.)
Privacy is a Right
Groups like NORML, HEMP, ACLU, BACH and the Libertarian Party (for example) feel that as long as military personnel or factory workers do not smoke cannabis while on duty, or during the period 4 to 6 hours before duty, it’s their own business. This is consistent with the conclusions of the U.S. government’s own Siler Commission (1933) and Shafer Commission (1972) reports, as well as the LaGuardia report (1944), the Canadian Government Study (1972), Alaska State Commission (1989), and the California Research Advisory Panel (1989), all of which held that no criminal penalties are in order for its use.
Inaccurate Urine Testing
Military/factory worker marijuana urine tests are only partially accurate and do not indicate the extent of your intoxication. They indicate only whether you have smoked or been in the presence of cannabis smoke or have eaten hempseed oil or any hempseed food product in the last 30 days. Whether you smoked or ate it an hour ago or 30 days ago – the test results are the same: Positive.
John P. Morgan, M.D., stated in High Times February 1989 (and in 2006 he still says), “The tests are far from reliable. Tampering and high rates of false-positives, false-negatives, etc. are common, and further these testing companies are held to no standards but their own.”
At 20-50 nanograms (billionths of a gram) per milliliter of THC Carboxy Acid (a metabolite) these tests can be read as positive or negative – yet results derived from this part of the scale are known to be meaningless. To the untrained eye, any positive indication sends up a red flag. And most testers are untrained and uncertified. Still, the decision to hire, fire, detain, re-test or begin drug abuse treatment is made for you on the spot.
“I believe the tendency to read the EMIT [the urine test for THC metabolites] test below the detection limit is one of the important reasons why the test was not often confirmed in published reports,” Dr. Morgan said.
In 1985, for the first time, Milton, Wisconsin, high school kids were ordered to have urine tests weekly to see if they smoked pot. Local “Families against Marijuana” type organizations were demanding this testing, but not for liquor, downers or other hazardous drugs.
Hundreds of communities and high schools throughout the country were awaiting the outcome of constitutional challenges in Milton in 1988 before implementing similar testing programs in their own school districts. Because of this ruling in Milton’s favor, testing for high school students participating in extra-curricular activities has since been widely adopted and continues across the United States in 2007.
For instance, in Oregon the testing of high school athletes has spread by court order to any and all extra-curricular activity. Band members and majorettes – even debate team members, some debating on the marijuana issue – can now be tested at will in all states except California, where even a high school student can, since 1996, have a doctor’s recommendation or acknowledgment for the medical use of cannabis.
(NORML reports, High Times, ABC, NBC, CBS News, and L.A. Times, 1981-1998, Oregonian, October 23, 1989.)
Baseball & the Babe
Former Baseball Commissioner Peter V. Ueberroth first ordered in 1985 all personnel, except unionized players, to submit to these urine tests. From the owners to the peanut vendors to the bat boys, it is mandatory in order to be employed. By 1990, it had been incorporated into all contracts, including ball-players.
Now, since November 1996, a professional baseball player (or any other sports player for that matter) in California may take advantage of cannabis as medicine, and continue to play professionally.
Whether you smoked an hour or 30 days ago, the urine test results are the same: Positive.
Aside from the civil liberties questions raised, it is apparently forgotten that Babe Ruth would regularly invite reporters to accompany him while he drank 12 beers prior to playing a game, during alcohol Prohibition.
Many “dry” organizations and even the league commissioner implored him to think of the children who idolized him and stop, but the Babe refused.
If Peter Ueberroth or his ilk had been in charge of baseball during Prohibition, the “Sultan of Swat” would have been fired in shame and millions of children would not have proudly played in “Babe Ruth Little Leagues.”
Tens of millions of average Americans choose to use cannabis as self medication or to relax during their time off the job, and therefore open themselves to the risk of criminal penalties. Job performance should be the principle criterion for evaluation of all employees, not personal lifestyle choices.
The Babe Ruths of sports, the Henry Fords of industry, the Pink Floyds, Beatles, Picassos and Louis Armstrongs of the arts, and one out of 10 Americans have become criminals – and thousands unemployed – for smoking cannabis, even when merely unwinding in the privacy of their own homes.
Robert Mitchum’s film career was almost destroyed by a 1948 marijuana arrest (see page 102). Federal Judge Douglas Ginsburg was on the verge of being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 when it was revealed that he had smoked grass while a university professor and his name was withdrawn from nomination. However, George Bush’s appointee Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ 1991 admission that he smoked marijuana in college was not an issue in his controversial confirmation.
& Splitting Up Families
“Help a friend, send him to jail,” says a billboard in Ventura, California. This is an example of the “zero tolerance” campaign’s inform-on-your-neighbor tactics being used to enforce the laws against the victimless crime of cannabis smoking.
Here’s another example from TV: “If you have knowledge of a felony you can earn up to one thousand dollars. Your name will not be used and you will not be required to appear in court.”* One man received a postcard in jail saying, “Our informant received $600 for turning you in. Crimestoppers.”
*(Crimestoppers, Ventura, California)
Surveillance & Seizures
In rural California, where cannabis growing has supported whole communities, the well-armed CAMP forces go into a thick forest discovering 15-foot tall, lush, hearty eight-month-old plants. These are hacked down, piled up and smothered with gasoline and rubber tires. Uncured, they burn slowly.
Elsewhere, a helicopter pilot circles over a neighborhood, peering into a heat sensitive camera pointed at a house. “We’re looking for the indoor sun,” he explains matter-of-factly.
“We only pursue specific objectives,” houses where grow lights have been bought or some other tangible basis exists to suspect “manufacturing a controlled substance”; a felony.
“Look, there’s the light from the house.” His thermal-sensitive screen shows heat leaking out from under the eaves of the house. Site confirmed.
Next they obtain a search warrant, raid the property, seize the house under civil proceedings, and prosecute its inhabitants under criminal law.
(48 Hrs., CBS television, “Marijuana Growing in California,” October 12, 1989.)
Un-American Policies & Political Extortion
Richard Nixon ordered the FBI to illegally monitor John Lennon 24-hours a day for six solid months in 1971 because Lennon had given a concert in Michigan to free a student (John Sinclair) from five years in jail for possession of two joints.
(L.A. Times, August, 1983.)
The drug, oil, paper, liquor and beer companies want pot illegal forever, no matter whose rights they suppress or how many years we have to spend in prison to assure their profits.
Politicians who are liberal are investigated and, we believe, are blackmailed to keep their mouths shut on this subject and others, or risk being exposed for some past indiscretion by themselves or members of their families – possibly sexual or drug-related.
Police, Secrets & Blackmail
A few years ago, then Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates (1978–1992) ordered surveillance of City Councilman Zev Yarslovsky, City Attorney John Van DeKamp and Mayor Tom Bradley, among others. He monitored their private sex lives for more than a year.
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.” A vocal supporter of marijuana legalization, McCartney has repeatedly been arrested and was imprisoned for 10 days during a concert tour of Japan. The government cancelled his tour and banned him from playing in that country, costing him millions of dollars. To his credit, he has continued to speak out for pot smokers.
(L.A. Times, August, 1983.)
J. Edgar Hoover, as Director of the FBI, did this for five years to Martin Luther King Jr. and, in the most “sick” situation, deliberately drove actress Jean Seburg to suicide with terrible ongoing federal letters and information fed to tabloids exposing her pregnancies and private dates with blacks. In fact, using the FBI, Hoover harassed selected targets for as long as 20 years because of their civil rights stands. The former director of the FBI and also direct overseer of the DEA, William Webster, answered questions in 1985 about the squandering of 50% ($500 million) of federal drug enforcement money on cannabis enforcement this way: “Oh, marijuana is an extremely dangerous drug and the proof [referring to totally discredited brain and metabolite studies by Heath, Nahas] is now coming in.”
Webster then asked for more money and more unrestrained powers to stop pot. (“Nightwatch,” CBS, January 1, 1985.) And more money has been asked for by every succeeding DEA administrator and drug czar up to the present, 2007.
In 2006, the DEA’s budget was almost 2.5 billion dollars and growing.
Entertainers caught with cannabis have had to do a “Galileo”-type recanting to stay out of jail or to retain their television, endorsement, or nightclub contracts, etc. Some have had to go on television and denounce marijuana to stay out of jail (e.g., Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, David Crosby, and actress Linda Carter). Our courts and legislators have sold our American “guaranteed” Bill of Rights, written on cannabis, to secure a cannabis-free world.
“Don’t suspect your neighbor, turn him in.” Any hearsay is to be reported. That which revolted us as children – the spectre of Nazis and Commies asking everyone to spy and inform on one another; Stalin’s secret police taking people from their homes at night to administer stupefying drugs and extort information; a government spreading lies and creating a police state – has now become our everyday Amerikan reality.
And those who dare to stand against the tide of oppression face the prospect of financial ruin.
Seizure: Feudal Law & Order
When the federal government seizes cars, boats, money, real estate and other personal property, proceedings are set into motion based on laws that originated with medieval superstition.
English common law of the Middle Ages provided for forfeiture of any object causing a man’s death. Known as a “deodand,” the object, such as a weapon or run-away ox cart, was personified and declared tainted or evil, and forfeited to the king.
Today’s in rem (against things rather than against persons) forfeiture proceedings are civil suits against the property itself. Relying on analogy to the deodand, a legal “personification fiction,” declares the property to be the defendant. It is held guilty and condemned, as though it were a personality – and the guilt or innocence of the owner is irrelevant.
By applying this civil label to forfeiture proceedings, the government sidesteps almost all the protections offered by the Constitution to individuals. There is no Sixth Amendment guarantee of right to counsel. Innocent until proven guilty is reversed. Each violation of a constitutional right is then used as the basis for the destruction of another.
The violation of the Fifth Amendment’s “innocent until proven guilty” due process standard is used to destroy the prohibition of double jeopardy. Even acquittal of the criminal charges the forfeiture is based upon does not prevent re-trying the same facts, because, even though the government couldn’t prove a crime was committed, at the second trial the defendant must provide proof of innocence.
The Supreme Court holds that it is constitutional to forfeit property in rem from a person who is completely innocent and non-negligent in his use of the property. Lower courts accept prosecutors’ arguments that if it is permissible to confiscate property from completely innocent people, then constitutional protections could not possibly apply to anyone who is guilty of even a minor drug offense.
Unlike civil suits between individuals, the government is immune to counter-suit. The government can use its unlimited resources to repeatedly press a suit in the mere hope of convincing one juror the defendant did not provide a preponderance of evidence.
Forfeitures imposed by the English Crown led our nation’s founders to prohibit bills of attainder (forfeiture consequent to conviction) in the first article of the American Constitution. The main body of the Constitution also forbids forfeiture of estate for treason. The first Congress passed the statute, still law today, stating that “No conviction or judgment shall work corruption of blood or any forfeiture of estate.” However, early Americans did incorporate in rem (proceeding against a thing) procedures under Admiralty and Maritime law, to seize enemy ships at sea and to enforce payment of customs duties.
It was not until the outbreak of the Civil War that these Customs procedures were radically changed. The Confiscation Act of July 17, 1862, declared all property belonging to Confederate officers or those who aided the rebels to be forfeitable in rem. The U.S. Supreme Court held that if the act was an exercise of the war powers of government and was applied only to enemies, then it was constitutionally allowable in order to ensure a speedy termination of the war.
Today, the passions of the “War on Drugs” have caused Congress to once again use in rem proceedings to inflict punishment without the nuisance of the protections provided by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. “We have to save our Constitution,” says Vickie Linker, whose husband served two years in prison for a cannabis offense. “We have the truth.”
Entrapment, Intolerance & Ignorance
When not enough people seem to be committing crimes, the DEA and police departments often resort to entrapment to make criminals out of unsuspecting and otherwise non-criminal people. Government agents have been caught time after time provoking and participating in drug smuggling and sales.*
*High Witness News department, High Times magazine; “Inside the DEA,” Dale Geiringer, Reason magazine, December 1986; Christic Institute “La Penca” lawsuit; DeLorean cocaine trial testimony and verdict of innocence; Playboy magazine, etc.
This constant fanning of public fears of marijuana turns into demands for more money for a “War on Drugs” (a euphemism for war on certain people who freely choose to use selected substances) and political pressure for the permission to use unconstitutional means to enforce the constantly harsher laws.
In an October, 1989, Louisville, KY address to the Police Chiefs of that state, then–Drug Czar and social-drinking, nicotine-addicted William Bennett* announced that marijuana smoking makes people stupid.
*This is the same man who helped engineer a $2.9 million grant for the Texas National Guard to dress its agents up as cactus to patrol the Mexican border. This was the National Guard unit that later shot and killed a young American-born Mexican sheep herder assuming him to be an illegal immigrant.
He offered no proof, and although crack was not a major issue in Kentucky, proclaimed that more money was necessary for the war on drugs because of this new-found marijuana-induced danger – stupidity!
Bennett was seen to brace himself with a late-morning gin and tonic in December 1989, as he tried to pitch a similar anti-marijuana message to representatives of the broadcast and film industries in Beverly Hills, CA.
(High Times, February, 1990. See “Booze Brunch” in Appendix.)
PDFA: Slickly Packaged Lies
Another recent development has been the formation of the PDFA (Partnership for a Drug Free America) in the media. PDFA, with primarily in-kind funding from ad agencies and media groups, makes available (free of charge to all broadcast and print media) slick public service ads directed primarily against marijuana.
In addition to releasing such meaningless drivel as an ad which shows a skillet (“This is drugs”) on which an egg is frying (“This is your brain. Get it?”), PDFA is not above lying outright in their ads.
In one ad, the wreckage of a train is shown. Now, everyone will agree that no one should attempt to drive a train while high on marijuana. But a man’s voice says that anyone who tells you that “marijuana is harmless” is lying, because his wife was killed in a train accident caused by marijuana. This contradicts the direct sworn testimony of the engineer responsible for that disaster; that “this accident was not caused by marijuana.” And it deliberately ignores his admissions of drinking alcohol, snacking, watching TV, generally failing to pay adequate attention to his job, and deliberately jamming the train’s safety equipment prior to the accident. Yet, for years the PDFA has described this train accident as being marijuana-caused, even though the engineer was legally drunk and had lost his automobile driver’s license six times, including permanently, for drunken driving in the previous three years.
In another ad, a sad-looking couple is told that they cannot have children because the husband used to smoke pot. This is a direct contradiction both of the clinical evidence developed in nearly a century of cannabis studies and of the personal experiences of millions of Americans who have smoked cannabis and borne perfectly healthy children.
And in yet another ad, the group was so arrogant in putting out lies that it finally got into trouble. The ad showed two brain-wave charts which it said showed the brain waves of a 14-year-old “on marijuana.”
Outraged, researcher Dr. Donald Blum from the UCLANeurologicalStudiesCenter told KABC-TV (Los Angeles) news November 2, 1989, that the chart actually shows the brain waves of someone in a deep sleep – or in a coma.
He said that he and other researchers had previously complained to the PDFA, and added that a cannabis user’s brain-wave charts are much different and have a well-known signature, due to years of research on the effects of cannabis on the brain.
Even after this public refutation, it took the station KABC-TV and the PDFA weeks to pull the spot, and no apology or retraction have yet been offered for the deceit. Despite having been ordered by the courts to stop, the PDFA has shown this ad continuously, on hundreds of TV channels, throughout the United States, for the last decade.*
*Groups including the American Hemp Council, the Family Council on Drug Awareness and Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) have decided to step up their pressure to expose PDFA lies and get their distortions banned from the airwaves or, better yet, replaced with accurate information on the medical, social and commercial uses of hemp.
Perhaps a more valid ad for the PDFA to produce and the networks to run would show a skillet (“This is the PDFA”) and an egg frying (“These are the facts”).
DARE: Police Propagandists
The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, a national program that was initiated in 1983 by then Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, has become yet another tool for disinforming the public on hemp.
Typically, a police department spokesperson will conduct a 17-week course at a local elementary school to promote personally responsible behavior by young people while irresponsibly giving them distorted information and outright lies about cannabis.
Most of the course does not deal with drugs as such, but rather with making choices about how to act when there are opportunities or pressures to drink, smoke, steal, lie, break laws, etc. However, the program’s truly useful support for good behavior is undermined by an undercurrent of lies and innuendo about marijuana’s effects and users.*
*In an interview, L.A.’s main DARE instructor, Sgt. Domagalski, gave information on the program and made such unsubstantiated – and untrue – statements as marijuana leads to heroin, “The guy across the street or next door has been smoking marijuana for years and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. There is something wrong, but it may not be obvious.” And, “People in the Sixties smoked marijuana and thought there was nothing wrong with it. Now it’s watered and sprayed and tampered with – and they’re not concerned what they spray it with, either. But parents don’t know this. They got all their information in the Sixties, and they’re not interested in this new information.”
(Downtown News, July 10, 1989. See Chapter 15, “Debunking” for the facts on his “new information.”
In 2007, DARE, still consciously teaches these same lies to our children and threatens any community that dares to tell DARE to stop or cease in their school district. However, in 1997 the city of Oakland, California withdrew from the DARE program and has so far suffered no consequences.
For example, according to teachers who sit in on the sessions,* the police officer will remark, “I can’t tell you that smoking pot causes brain damage, because you all know people who smoke pot and they seem pretty normal. But that’s what it does. You just can’t tell – yet.”
*Some of the teachers we talked to find themselves in the uncomfortable position of knowing the real studies, or have used cannabis themselves and know its effects, but cannot openly present their case for fear of being urine tested or dismissed.
No supporting evidence is then offered, and the literature that goes home with the child (and is potentially seen by marijuana-savvy parents) tends to appear more balanced, although it refers to mysterious “new studies” showing the dangers of marijuana.
But throughout the entire course, the police officer refers to lung damage, brain damage, sterility and other unfounded claims of health damage and death being caused by marijuana.
Or they report on studies detailing the cardio-pulmonary risks of using cocaine, then mention marijuana smoke – unrelated except by context. Or the “well-intentioned” officer tells anecdotes about people he claims to know who “started” with marijuana and ultimately destroyed their lives with hard drugs, crime and depravity; then lumps marijuana in with genuinely dangerous drugs and describes how youngsters or fellow police officers were killed by these desperate, drug crazed criminals.
Then the officer encourages the students to “help” their drug-using friends and family by becoming a police informant. These kinds of indirect lies through innuendo and implication are given in an off-hand manner calculated to leave a strong, permanent impression on the subconscious mind, without basing it on any research or other sources that can be objectively studied or directly challenged – just a lasting, indistinct mental image.
What makes the DARE program uniquely dangerous is that it provides some accurate information and has genuine value for young people, but undermines itself and the public record by using these irresponsible, underhanded tactics.
If DARE officials want responsible behavior from students, they must also act responsibly. If they have information about marijuana that is hidden from the rest of us, let’s see it. But, so far as we know, no DARE organization has yet dared to debate any marijuana legalization advocacy group* or include their literature in its program.
*Since 1989, Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) and The Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH) have issued ongoing standing challenges to publicly debate any DARE representative in the Los Angeles area, which have yet to be taken up. These groups have also offered to provide free and accurate literature on cannabis for DARE’s use, but as of July 1998, have received no response.
The Media in a Stupor
Despite a strong injection of reason and fact into the cannabis debate by the media in the 1960s and 1970s, the national media has largely failed to distinguish marijuana prohibition from the broader “drug war” hysteria, which “sold more copy” in the 1980s.
Hemp activists have been ignored, their events censored and excluded from calendar listings – even paid advertisements about events or legal, non-smoking hemp products are refused by news sources. What ever happened to fact checking?
Instead of serving as the probing watchdogs of government and keepers of the public trust, corporate news groups regard themselves as the profit-making tool for forging “consensus” on national policy.
“Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”
—President Jimmy Carter, August 2, 1977
According to groups like Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) and researchers like Ben Bakdikian and Michael Parenti, these corporations define and protect the “national interest” – often meaning their own vested financial interests and political agendas. It must be remembered that many of the largest publishers have direct holdings in timberland for paper development, and the pharmaceutical drug, petrochemical companies, etc. are among the media’s major advertisers.
In an article published in the L.A. Times magazine May 7, 1989 entitled “Nothing Works” (and since mimicked in hundreds of magazines, including Time and Newsweek), Stanley Meiseler lamented the problem facing schools in drug education programs and inadvertently revealed the news media’s own assumptions and bias:
“Critics believe that some education programs have been crippled by exaggerating the dangers of drugs. Principals and teachers, watched closely by city officials, feel pressured not to teach pupils that marijuana, although harmful,* is less addicting than cigarettes….
Failure to acknowledge such information means school programs can lose credibility. But more honest programs could be even more harmful” (emphasis added).
The harm Meiseler predicts is an expected increase in marijuana consumption when people learn the health benefits and lack of physical or psychological risks involved. Many people decide that they prefer pot (which apparently does not need to advertise) to alcohol and tobacco, for which so many advertising dollars are spent.
*No specific studies showing the alleged harmful effects of cannabis were cited in the article. In fact, cannabis was barely mentioned except for this reference and a note that detoxification businesses report some success in “breaking a mild dependence on marijuana and alcohol.”
President Jimmy Carter addressed Congress on another kind of harm done by prohibition and the drug issue August 2, 1977, saying that “penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.
“Therefore, I support legislation amending federal law to eliminate all federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.”
However, his efforts to apply even this bit of reasoning to America’s marijuana laws 30 years ago were derailed by a Congress determined to show that it is tough on crime, no matter whether an action is criminal or poses any real threat to society, no matter how many people are hurt in the process.
And this attitude of intolerance and oppression has escalated in the post-Carter years.
By 1990, some 30 states had established “Special Alternative Incarceration” (SAI) camps (called “boot camps”) where non-violent, first-time drug offenders are incarcerated in a boot camp-like institution, verbally abused and psychologically worn down to break them of their dissident attitude towards drug use. Now, in 1998, there are 42 states with special alternative incarceration camps implementing similar programs.
The inmates are handled with robotic precision, and those who don’t conform are subject to incarceration in the state penitentiary. Most of these young offenders are in for marijuana. Even more states are considering implementing similar programs.*
* In These Times, “Gulag for drug users,” December 20, 1989, pg 4.
What pretext has been used to rationalize this anti-American policy? A handful of official government reports and studies that are touted by the DEA, politicians and the media to show that marijuana really is “damaging to an individual.”
Next, we look at some of these infamous studies . . .
The Official Story
Debunking “Gutter Science”
After 15 days of taking testimony and more than a year’s legal deliberation, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young formally urged the DEA to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. In a September 1988 judgment, he ruled: “The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision . . . It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
Yet former DEA Administrator John Lawn, his successor, Robert Bonner, and current DEA Administrator John Constantine – non-doctors all! – have refused to comply and have continued to deprive persons of medical cannabis, according to their own personal discretion.
Wasting Time, Wasting Lives
More than 100 years have passed since the 1894 British Raj commission study of hashish smokers in India reported cannabis use was harmless and even helpful. Numerous studies since have all agreed: The most prominent being Siler, LaGuardia, Nixon’s Shafer Commission, Canada’s LeDain Commission, and the California Research Advisory Commission.
Concurrently, American presidents have praised hemp, the USDA amassed volumes of data showing its value as a natural resource, and in 1942 the Roosevelt administration even made Hemp for Victory, a film glorifying our patriotic hemp farmers. That same year, Germany produced The Humorous Hemp Primer, a comic book, written in rhyme, extolling hemp’s virtues. (See appendix I of the paper version of this book.)
Yet even the humane use of hemp for medicine is now denied. Asked in late 1989 about the DEA’s failure to implement his decision quoted above, Judge Young responded that administrator John Lawn was being given time to comply.
More than a year after that ruling, Lawn officially refused to reschedule cannabis, again classing it as a Schedule I “dangerous” drug that is not even allowed to be used as medicine.
Decrying this needless suffering of helpless Americans, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Family Council on Drug Awareness quickly demanded Lawn’s resignation. His successors, Bonner and now Constantine, retain the same policy.
What hypocrisy allows public officials to scoff at the facts and deny the truth? How do they rationalize their atrocities? How? They invent their own experts.
Since 1976, our federal government (e.g., NIDA, NIH, DEA*, and Action), police sponsored groups (like DARE*), and special interest groups (like PDFA*) have proclaimed to public, press, and parent groups alike that they have “absolute evidence” of the shocking negative effects of marijuana smoking.
* National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Drug Enforcement Agency, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Partnership for a Drug Free America. All subsequent researchers found Heath’s marijuana findings to be of no value, because carbon monoxide poisoning and other factors were totally left out.
When U.S. government sponsored research prior to 1976 indicated that cannabis was harmless or beneficial, the methodology of how each study was done was always presented in detail in the reports; e.g., read The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana (1976) and you will see exactly what the methodology of each medical study was.
However, when our government bureaucrats deliberately sponsored negative marijuana research, time and time again Playboy magazine, NORML, High Times, etc. had to sue under the new Freedom of Information Act to find out the actual laboratory methodology these “experiments” employed.
What they found was shocking.
Dr. Heath/Tulane Study, 1974
Brain Damage & Dead Monkeys
In 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan was asked about decriminalizing marijuana.
After producing the Heath/Tulane University study, the so-called “Great Communicator” proclaimed, “The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana.” (L.A. Times)
The report from Dr. Heath had concluded that Rhesus monkeys, smoking the equivalent of only 30 joints a day, began to atrophy and die after 90 days.
And ever since, dead brain cells found in monkeys who were forced to smoke marijuana has been given maximum scare play in federal booklets and government sponsored propaganda literature against pot.
Senator Eastland of Mississippi used it throughout the mid-1970s to horrify and stop national legislators from supporting NORML’s decriminalization bills in Congress, mostly sponsored by the late Senator Jacob Javitts of New York.
Reports of the study have also been distributed by the hierarchy of drug rehabilitation professionals as part of their rationalization for wanting to get kids off pot, based on supposed scientific studies. It is used to terrorize parent groups, church organizations, etc., who redistribute it still further.
Heath killed the half-dead monkeys, opened their brains, counted the dead brain cells, and then took control monkeys, who hadn’t smoked marijuana, killed them too, and counted their brain cells. The pot smoking monkeys had enormous amounts of dead brain cells as compared to the “straight” monkeys.
Ronald Reagan’s pronouncement was probably based on the fact that marijuana smoking was the only difference in the two sets of monkeys. Perhaps Reagan trusted the federal research to be real and correct. Perhaps he had other motives.
Whatever their reasons, this is what the government ballyhooed to press and PTA, who trusted the government completely.
In 1980, Playboy and NORML finally received for the first time after six years of requests and suing the government an accurate accounting of the research procedures used in the infamous report:
When NORML/Playboy hired researchers to examine the reported results against the actual methodology, they laughed.
Suffocation of Research Animals
As reported in Playboy, the Heath “Voodoo” Research methodology involved strapping Rhesus monkeys into a chair and pumping them with equivalent of 63 Colombian strength joints in “five minutes, through gas masks,” losing no smoke. Playboy discovered that Heath had administered 63 joints in five minutes over just three months instead of administering 30 joints per day over a one-year period as he had first reported. Heath did this, it turned out, in order to avoid having to pay an assistant’s wages every day for a full year.
The monkeys were suffocating! Three to five minutes of oxygen deprivation causes brain damage “dead brain cells.” (Red Cross Lifesaving and Water Safety Manual) With the concentration of smoke used, the monkeys were a bit like a person running the engine of a car in a locked garage for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time every day!
The Heath Monkey study was actually a study in animal asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Among other things, Heath had completely (intentionally? incompetently?) omitted discussion of the carbon monoxide the monkeys inhaled.
Carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that kills brain cells, is given off by any burning object. At that smoke concentration, the monkeys were, in effect, like a person locked in a garage with the car engine left running for five, 10, 15 minutes at a time every day!
All subsequent researchers agree the findings in Heath’s experiment regarding marijuana were of no value, because carbon monoxide poisoning and other factors were totally left out and had not been considered in the report. This study and others, like Dr. Gabriel Nahas’ 1970s studies, tried to somehow connect the THC metabolites routinely found in the fatty tissue of human brains, reproductive organs, and other fatty areas of the body to the dead brain cells in the suffocated monkeys.
Now, in 1999, 17 years have passed and not a single word of Dr. Heath’s or Dr. Nahas’ research has been verified! But their studies are still hauled out by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the Drug Enforcement Administration, city and state narcotics bureaus, plus politicians and, in virtually all public instances, held up as scientific proof of the dangers of marijuana.
This is U.S. government propaganda and disinformation at its worst! The public paid for these studies and has the right to the correct information and history being taught in our taxpayer sponsored schools.
In 1996, Gabriel Nahas, in France, sued Mishka, the translator of the French edition of this book, “L’Emperor est Nu!” for damages. Mishka wrote that Nahas’ studies were viewed by the world as garbage. The French court, upon hearing all the testimony by Nahas, and after Nahas had spent an equivalent of tens of thousands of American dollars on legal fees, awarded him its highest insult: one franc, the equivalent of approximately 15 cents American for damages, and no legal fees!
Lingering THC Metabolites
It Stays in Your System for 30 Days
The government also claimed that since “THC metabolites” stay in the body’s fatty cells for up to 30 days after ingestion, just one joint was very dangerous; inferring that the long range view of what these THC metabolites eventually could do to the human race could not even be guessed and other pseudo-scientific double-talk (e.g., phrases like: “might be,” “could mean,” “possibly,” “perhaps,” etc.)*
* “May, might, could, and possibly are not scientific conclusions.” Dr. Fred Oerther, M.D., September 1986.
Government’s Own Experts Say That Metabolites Are
Non-Toxic, Harmless Residue
We interviewed three doctors of national reputation either currently working (or having worked) for the U.S. government on marijuana research:
– Dr. Thomas Ungerlieder, M.D., UCLA, appointed by Richard Nixon in 1969 to the President’s Select Committee on Marijuana, re-appointed by Ford, Carter, and Reagan, and currently head of California’s “Marijuana Medical Program;”
– Dr. Donald Tashkin, UCLA, M.D., for the last 29 years the U.S. government’s and the world’s leading marijuana researcher on pulmonary functions; and
– Dr. Tod Mikuriya, M.D., former national administrator and grant distributor of the U.S. government’s marijuana research programs in the late 1960s.
In effect these doctors said that the active ingredients in THC are used-up in the first or second pass through the liver. The leftover THC metabolites then attach themselves, in a very normal way, to fatty deposits, for the body to dispose of later, which is a safe and perfectly natural process.
Many chemicals from foods, herbs, and medicines do this same thing all the time in your body. Most are not dangerous and THC metabolites show less toxic* potential than virtually any known metabolic leftovers in your body!
* The U.S. government has also known since 1946 that the oral dose of cannabis required to kill a mouse is about 40,000 times the dose required to produce typical symptoms of intoxication. (Mikuriya, Tod, Marijuana Medical Papers, 1976; Loewe, Journal of Pharmacological and Experimental Therapeutics, October, 1946.)
THC metabolites left in the body can be compared to the ash of a cigarette: The inert ingredient left over after the active cannabinoids have been metabolized by the body. These inert metabolites are what urinary analysis studies show when taken to discharge military or factory or athletic personnel for using, or being in the presence of cannabis within the last 30 days.
Lung Damage Studies
More Harmful Than Tobacco
According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes and tobacco smoking related diseases kill more than 430,000 Americans every year. Fifty million Americans smoke, and 3,000 teens start each day. The Berkeley carcinogenic tar studies of the late 1970s concluded that “marijuana is one-and-a-half times more carcinogenic than tobacco.”
Not One Documented Case of Cancer
There are lung irritants involved in any smoke. Cannabis smoke causes mild irritation to the large airways of the lungs. Symptoms disappear when smoking is discontinued.
However, unlike tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke does not cause any changes in the small airways, the area where tobacco smoke causes long term and permanent damage. Additionally, a tobacco smoker will smoke 20 to 60 cigarettes a day, while a heavy marijuana smoker may smoke five to seven joints a day, even less when potent high-quality flower tops are available.
While tens of millions of Americans smoke pot regularly, cannabis has never caused a known case of lung cancer as of December 1997, according to America’s foremost lung expert, Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA. He considers the biggest health risk to the lungs would be a person smoking 16 or more “large” spliffs a day of leaf/bud because of the hypoxia of too much smoke and not enough oxygen.
Tashkin feels there is no danger for anyone to worry about potentiating emphysema “in any way” by the use of marijuana totally the opposite of tobacco.
Cannabis is a complex, highly evolved plant. There are some 400 compounds in its smoke. Of these, 60 are presently known to have therapeutic value.
Cannabis may also be eaten, entirely avoiding the irritating effects of smoke. However, four times more of the active ingredients of smoked cannabis are absorbed by the human body than when the same amount is eaten. And the prohibition inflated price of black market cannabis, combined with harsh penalties for cultivation, prevent most persons from being able to afford the luxury of a less efficient, though healthier, means of ingestion.
Lab Studies Fail to Reflect the Real World
Studies have proven that many of the carcinogens in cannabis can be removed by using a water pipe system. Our government omitted this information and its significance when speaking to the press. At the same time politicians outlawed the sale of water pipes, labeling them “drug paraphernalia.”
How Rumors Get Started
In 1976, Dr. Tashkin, M.D., UCLA, sent a written report to Dr. Gabriel Nahas at the Rheims, France, Conference on “Potential Cannabis Medical Dangers.” That report became the most sensationalized story to come out of this negative world conference on cannabis.
This surprised Tashkin, who had sent the report to the Rheims conference as an afterthought.
What Tashkin reported to the Rheims conference was that only one of the 29 pulmonary areas of the human lung studied the large air passageway Did he find marijuana to be more of an irritant (by 15 times) than tobacco. This figure is insignificant, however, since Tashkin also notes that tobacco has almost no effect on this area. Therefore, 15 times almost nothing is still almost nothing. In any event, cannabis has a positive or neutral effect in most other areas of the lung. (See Chapter 7, “Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis.”)
(Tashkin, Dr. Donald, UCLA studies, 1969-83; UCLA Pulmonary Studies, 1969-95.)
Afterwards in 1977, the U.S. government resumed funding for ongoing cannabis pulmonary studies which it had cut two years earlier when Tashkin reported encouraging therapeutic results with marijuana/lung studies. But now the government limited funding only to research to the large air passageway.
We have interviewed Dr. Tashkin dozens of times. In 1986 I asked him about an article he was preparing for the New England Journal of Medicine, indicating that cannabis smoke caused as many or more pre-cancerous lesions as tobacco in “equal” amounts.
Most people do not realize, nor are the media told, that any tissue abnormality (abrasion, eruption, or even redness) is called a pre-cancerous lesion. Unlike lesions caused by tobacco, the THC-related lesions contain no radioactivity.
We asked Tashkin how many persons had gone on to get lung cancer in these or any other studies of long-term cannabis-only smokers (Rastas, Coptics, etc.)
Sitting in his UCLA laboratory, Dr. Tashkin looked at me and said, “That’s the strange part. So far no one we’ve studied has gone on to get lung cancer.”
“Was this reported to the press?”
“Well, it’s in the article,” Dr. Tashkin said. “But no one in the press even asked. They just assumed the worst.” His answer to us was still that not one single case of lung cancer in someone who only smoked cannabis has ever been reported. It should be remembered that he and other doctors had predicted 20 years ago, their certainty that hundreds of thousands of marijuana smokers would by now (1997) have developed lung cancer.
Emphysema Sufferers Benefit
During a later interview, Tashkin congratulated me on the tip I’d given him that marijuana used for emphysema produced good results among persons we knew.
He laughed at me originally, because he had presumed that marijuana aggravated emphysema, but after reviewing his evidence found that, except in the rarest of cases, marijuana was actually of great benefit to emphysema suffers due to the opening and dilation of the bronchial passages.
And so the relief reported to us by cannabis smoking emphysema patients was confirmed.
Marijuana smoke is not unique in its benefits to the lungs. Yerba Santa, Colt’s foot, Horehound, and other herbs have traditionally been smoked to help the lungs.
Tobacco and its associated dangers have so prejudiced persons against “smoking” that most persons believe cannabis smoking to be as or more dangerous than tobacco. With research banned, these public health and safety facts are not readily available.
In December 1997, we asked Dr. Tashkin again, and he unequivocally stated that “marijuana does not cause or potentiate emphysema in any way.” In addition, there has not been one case of lung cancer ever attributed to smoking cannabis.
. . . And So On
Most of the anti-marijuana literature we have examined does not cite as much as one single source for us to review. Others only refer to DEA or NIDA. The few studies we have been able to track down usually end up being anecdotal case histories, artificial groupings of data, or otherwise lacking controls and never replicated.
Reports of breast enlargement, obesity, addiction, and the like all remain unsubstantiated, and are given little credence by the scientific community. Other reports, like the temporary reduction in sperm count, are statistically insignificant to the general public, yet get blown far out of proportion when presented by the media. Still others, like the handful of throat tumors in the Sacramento area and the high rate of injuries reported in a Baltimore trauma unit are isolated clusters that run contrary to all other statistics and have never been replicated.
The spurious results of Heath, Nahas, and the pregnant mice and monkey studies at Temple University and UC Davis (where they injected mice with synthetic third-cousin analogues of THC) are now discredited in the body of scientific and medical literature.
Though these studies are not used in scientific discourse, mountains of DEA and pharmaceutical company-sponsored literature about the long-term possible effects of these metabolites on the brain and reproduction still goes to parent groups as if they were brand new studies. This disinformation is still very much alive in U.S. government, DEA, DARE, and PDFA reports.
(Read the 1982 N.I.H.; the National Academy of Science’s evaluation on past studies; and the Costa Rica report, 1980.) No Harm to Human Brain or Intelligence Hemp has been used in virtually all societies since time immemorial as a work motivator and to highlight and renew creative energies.
Nahas’ Prescription for Bloated Police Budgets
Incredibly, a famous study which found that cannabis reduces tumors (see Chapter 7), was originally ordered by the Federal Government on the premise that pot would hurt the immune system. This was based on the “Reefer Madness” studies done by the disreputable Dr. Gabriel Nahas of Columbia University in 1972.
This is the same Dr. Nahas who claimed his studies showed pot created chromosome, testosterone (male hormone) damage, and countless other horrible effects which suggested the breaking down of the immune system. Nahas’ background is in the OSS/CIA and later the U.S. where he worked closely with Lyndon LaRouche and Kurt Waldheim.
In 1998, Nahas is still the darling favorite of the DEA and NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) yet no anti-marijuana studies of Nahas’ have every been replicated in countless other research attempts. Columbia University specifically disassociated itself from Nahas’ marijuana research in a specially called press conference in 1975!
Old, discredited Nahas studies are still trotted out by the Drug Enforcement Administration today and deliberately given to unknowledgeable parents’ groups, churches, and PTAs as valid research regarding the evils of pot.
The dissemination of Nahas’* dangerous horror stories is paid for with your tax dollars, even years after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1976 specifically forbade Nahas from getting another penny of U.S. government money for cannabis studies because of his embarrassing research in the early 1970s.
* Nahas, in December 1983, under ridicule from his peers and a funding cut-off from NIDA renounced all his old THC metabolite build-up and unique chromosome Petri dish tissue damage studies, conclusions, and extrapolations.
Yet the DEA, NIDA, VISTA, the “War on Drugs,” and now-deceased writer Peggy Mann (in Reader’s Digest articles and her book Marijuana Alert, with foreword by Nancy Reagan) have used these discredited studies on parents’ groups such as Parents for a Drug Free Youth, etc., often with Nahas as a highly paid guest lecturer, without a word of how his studies are really considered by this peers.
This, we assume, is done to scare parents, teachers, legislators and judges, using scientific terminology and bogus non-clinical statistics, ultimately aimed at selling more urine-testing equipment. Therefore, more profits are created for the drug-rehabilitation clinics and their staffs of professionals; and to maintain funding for the DEA, local police, judicial, penal, corrections and other government pork barrel, police state interests.
The “War on Drugs” is big money, so the shameless petitioning for more police and more jail cells continues. And we still have thousands of judges, legislators, police, Reader’s Digest readers, and parents who have for years used and cited Nahas’ studies in particular as the prime reasons to continue these unjust laws and to jail millions of Americans over the last decade.
The DEA, after Nahas’ 1983 waffling renouncement, consciously and criminally continues to use his studies to polarize ignorant judges, politicians, press, and parent groups, who are unaware of Nahas’ denouncement. These groups trust the government to tell them the truth their tax dollars paid for. Most of the media, press, and television commentators still use Nahas’ 1970s, unreplicated studies as gospel, and much of the frightening folklore and street myths that are whispered around school yards spring from the deceitful “scientist’s” work.
Refuted and never replicated results are still taught, while the honest researcher faces prison if he attempts to test any thoughts about the medical use of cannabis.
In fact, using Nahas’ refuted and unreplicated synthetic THC Petri dish studies on the immune system, hysterical Families for Drug Free Youth, or “Just Say No” organizations have gotten the press to say marijuana could cause AIDS – which has no basis whatsoever, but the press published all this rhetoric creating more Reefer Madness!
Gabriel Nahas, in 1998, is living in Paris and goes around Europe teaching as gospel the same old lies to less informed Europeans. When asked to debate us (H.E.M.P.) on cannabis before the world press on June 18, 1993 in Paris, he first enthusiastically accepted until he found out that we would be speaking on all aspects of the hemp plant (e.g. paper, fiber, fuel, medicine). Then he declined, even though we met all of his requirements.
Radioactive Tobacco: The Untold Story
Tobacco smoking kills more persons each year than AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire, and murder combined. Cigarette smoking is as addictive as heroin, complete with withdrawal symptoms, and the percentage of relapses (75%) is the same as for “kicking” cocaine and heroin users.
It is far and away the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. today. Tobacco smokers have ten times the lung cancer of non-smokers, twice the heart disease, and are three times more likely to die of heart disease if they do develop it. Yet tobacco is totally legal, and even receives the highest U.S. government farm subsidies of any agricultural product in America, all the while being our biggest killer! What total hypocrisy!
In the U.S. one in seven deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes. Women should know that lung cancer is more common than breast cancer in women who smoke and that smoking on the pill increases cancer and heart risks dramatically.
Seven million dollars a day promotes the tobacco business, and it is estimated that the cigarette industry needs about 3,000 new smokers a day to replace those who quit or die each day from smoking.
Kentucky’s principal business and agriculture for 100 years (until 1890) was the healthful, versatile, and useful cannabis hemp. It has since been replaced by non-edible, non-fibrous, soil-depleting tobacco, which is grown in soil fertilized with radioactive materials.
U.S. government studies have show that a pack-and-a-half of tobacco cigarettes per day over a year for just one year is the equivalent to your lungs of what some 300 chest x-rays (using the old, pre-1980s slow x-ray film and without using any lead protection) are to your skin. But while an x-ray dissipates its radioactivity instantly, tobacco has a radioactive half-life that will remain active in the lungs for 21.5 years.
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said on national television that radioactivity contained in tobacco leaves is probably responsible for most tobacco-related cancer. No radioactivity exists in cannabis tars.
(National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1964; American Lung Assn.; Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza, U. of Mass. Medical Center; Reader’s Digest, March 1986; Surg. Gen. C. Everett Koop, 1990.)
Some Studies the Feds Don’t Talk About
The Coptic Study (1981)
No Harm to Human Brain or Intelligence
Hemp has been used in virtually all societies since time immemorial as a work motivator and to highlight and renew creative energies.
(Jamaican Studies; Coptic Studies; Costa Rican Studies; Vedas; Dr. Vera Rubin, Research Institute for the Study of Man; et al)
In 1981, a study showed that 10 of American’s heaviest pot smokers (from the Coptic religion and residing in Florida) actually believed that using 16 huge high potency spliffs* a day had improved their minds somewhat over a period of 10 years.
They were studied by Drs. Ungerlieder and Shaeffer (UCLA) and who showed absolutely no brain differences between them and non-smokers nor did it confirm any increase in IQ that the Coptics had claimed.
* One spliff is generally equal to five average American joints.
Longer Life, Fewer Wrinkles
Most studies (matched populations, past and present) indicate that everything else being equal an average American pot smoker will live longer than his counterpart who does no drugs at all; with fewer wrinkles, and generally less stress thereby having fewer illnesses to upset the immune system, and being a more peaceful neighbor.
(Costa Rican and Jamaican Studies)
Definite Benefits for Marijuana Smokers
The most exhaustive study of hemp smoking in its natural setting is probably Ganja in Jamaica A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use by Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas (1975; Mouton & Co., The Hague, Paris/Anchor Books, NY).
The Jamaican study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse, was the first project in medical anthropology to be undertaken and is the first intensive, multi-disciplinary study of marijuana use and users to be published.
From the Jamaican Study introduction: “Despite its illegality, ganja use is pervasive, and duration and frequency are very high; it is smoked over a longer period in heavier quantities with greater THC potency than in the U.S. without deleterious social or psychological consequences. The major difference is that both use and expected behaviours are culturally conditioned and controlled by well established tradition.” “No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style and test of memory.”
Positive Social Attitudes
The study outlines the positive reinforcement given socially to ganja smokers in Jamaica, the universal praise for the practice among users, who smoke it as a work motivator.
Subjects described the effects of smoking making them “brainier”, lively, merry, more responsible and conscious. They reported it was good for meditation and concentration, and created a general sense of well-being and self-assertiveness.
No Link to Criminal Behavior
Vera Rubin and her colleagues found no relation of cannabis to crime (except marijuana busts), no impairment of motor skills, and smokers and non-smokers alike had identical extroversion scores with no difference in work records or adjustment. Heavy use of ganja was not found to curtail the motivation to work.
From the psychological assessment the smokers seemed to be more open in their expressions of feeling, somewhat more carefree, and somewhat more distractible. There was no evidence of organic brain damage or schizophrenia.
No Physiological Deterioration
Marilyn Bowman, in a battery of psychological tests on chronic cannabis users in Jamaica in 1972, found “no impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability and cognitive style and tests of memory.” These Jamaicans had smoked anywhere from six to 31 years (16.6 mean average) and the average age at the first puff was at 12 years and six months.
In the 1975 study between users and non-users, no difference was found in plasma testosterone, no difference in total nutrition, slightly higher performance on the intelligence sub-tests (not statistically significant), and “a basic measure of cell-mediated immunity was no less vigorous in the users.”
Finally, “Users in our matched pair sample smoked marijuana in addition to as many tobacco cigarettes as did their partners. Yet their airways were, if anything, a bit healthier than their matches.”
“We must tentatively conclude either that marijuana has no harmful effects on such passages or that it actually offers some slight protection against the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. Only further research will clarify which, if either, is the case.”
No “Stepping Stone”/Gateway Effect
As to the stepping-stone or gateway drug charges leveled against cannabis: “The use of hard drugs is as yet virtually unknown among working class Jamaicans no one in the study (Rubin’s) had ever taken any narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, barbiturates or sleeping pills.”
In America during the late 1800s cannabis was used in treating addiction. Opiate, chloral hydrate, and alcohol addicts were successfully treated with potent cannabis extracts. Some patients recovered with less than a dozen doses of cannabis extract.1 Likewise, smoking cannabis has been found to be valuable in modern alcohol addiction treatment.2
Costa Rican Study (1980)
The Jamaican results were largely confirmed by another Caribbean study, the 1980 Cannabis in Costa Rica – A Study in Chronic Marijuana Use edited by William Carter for the Institute for Study of Human Issues. (ISHI, 3401 Science Center, Philadelphia.)
Again researchers found no palpable damage to the native population’s chronic cannabis smokers. Alcoholic social problems, so evident on neighboring cannabis-free islands, are not found in Costa Rica.
This study makes clear that socially approved ganja use will largely replace or mitigate the use of alcohol (rum) if available.
The Amsterdam Model
Since adopting a policy of tolerance and non-prosecution of cannabis/hashish smokers (it is available in cafes and bars) and rehabilitation and diversion programs for hard drug users, Holland has seen a substantial reduction in cannabis consumption among teenagers and a 33% drop in the number of heroin addicts. The strategy of separating cannabis sales from hard drug dealers by bringing pot above-ground has been quite successful. (L.A. Times, August 1989). In 1998, despite constant pressure from the U.S. government and the DEA, the Dutch government has totally refused to recriminalize marijuana!
1. “Cannabis Indica as an Anodyne and Hypnotic,” J.B. Mattison, M.D., The St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. LVI, No. 5, Nov. 1891, pg 265-271, reprinted in Marijuana: The Medical Papers, Tod Mikuriya, M.D.
2. “Cannabis Substitution: An Adjunctive Therapeutic Tool in the Treatment of Alcoholism,” Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D., Medical Times, Vol. 98, No. 4, April, 1970, reprinted in Marijuana Medical Papers, Tod Mikuriya, M.D.)
More Prohibitionist Deceptions
Scientific American reported in 1990: “The alarming statistics, cited by testing advocates, to demonstrate the high costs of drug abuse . . . do not always accurately reflect the research on which they are based. In fact, some of the data could be used to ‘prove’ that drug use has negligible or even beneficial effects.” (March 1990, page 18)
One of the examples given is the often cited statistic former president George Bush utilized in 1989: “Drug abuse among American workers costs businesses anywhere from $60 billion to $100 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, drug-related accidents, medical claims and theft.” Yet according to a 1989 assessment by NIDA, all such claims derive from a single study that grew out of a 1982 survey of 3,700 households.
The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) found that households where at least one person admitted having used marijuana regularly reported average incomes 28% lower than average reported income of otherwise similar households. RTI researchers ascribed the income difference to “loss due to marijuana use.”
RTI then extrapolated costs of crime, health problems and accidents to arrive at a “cost to society of drug abuse” of $47 billion. The White House “adjusted” for inflation and population increases to provide the basis for Bush’s statement.
Yet the RTI survey also included questions about current drug use. The answers revealed no significant difference between income levels of households with current users of illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin, and other households.
Thus the same statistics “prove” that current use of hard drugs does not result in any “loss,” in contrast to a single marijuana binge in the distant past!
Official Corruption: Carlton Turner
In all the research this author has done about the misapplication of public funds and trusts, nothing, it seems, compares with the either totally ignorant or willful manslaughter of fellow Americans by the bureaucrats and politicians of the following story:
One Man & His Drug Scams
The U.S. government policy, starting in the Nixon and Ford administrations and continuing under Carlton Turner* (Drug Czar under Reagan 1981-1986), allowed federal medical marijuana, supplied to the individual state marijuana medical programs, to consist only of the leaf of the marijuana plant, even though it’s usually only one-third as strong as the bud and doesn’t contain the same whole spectrum of the “crude drug,” i.e. the THC and CBNs.
* Prior to becoming Special White Hose Advisor (read: National Drug Czar) Carlton Turner, from 1971 to 1980, was the head of all U.S. government marijuana grown for drugs by reason of his position at the University of Mississippi. The U. of Mississippi Marijuana Research Program is directed by state charter to discover initiate or sort out the constituents of THC a “simple” crude cannabis drug that works as a medicine then synthesize the substances with beneficial medicinal properties to attain their full potential for pharmaceutical companies.
For example, the leaf’s relief of ocular pressure for glaucoma patients is much shorter lasting and therefore unsatisfactory, compared to the bud. Also, the leaf sometimes gives smokers a headache. The federal government until 1986 used only the leaf. Turner said to the pharmaceutical companies in an interview, that leaf is all Americans would ever get although the bud works better. Still today in 1999, the seven legal marijuana users in the U.S. only get leaf, branch, and bud chopped up and rolled together. Although buds work better for chemotherapy, glaucoma, etc., the branches can be as toxic as smoking wood.
Turner said, in 1986, that natural marijuana will “never” be given as a medicine and, as of April 1998, it still hasn’t. (Except in California, where citizens successfully voted, in November 1996, to overrule the federal government on medical marijuana!)
The Reasons Given:
– Buds are too hard to roll through a cigarette machine. (Forget the 25 million Americans who do quite well at rolling bud everyday.)
– By extracting compounds from the “crude drug” of the bud, there would be no pharmaceutical patents, therefore no profits. Therefore, his program would have worked against his former employers, the Mississippi University’s legislative charter and funding.
(Interviews by Ed Rosenthal for High Times magazine; Dean Latimer, et al; NORML.)
Although buds work better for chemotherapy, glaucoma, etc., Turner said they will “never” be given. It also became evident the famous marijuana ‘munchies’ (appetite stimulation) were not working for the cancer chemotherapy patients using federal leaf.
And even though no studies have been allowed to compare leaf with bud, we know of doctors who unofficially recommended bud and watch their wasting cancer patients put on weight (NORML).
Poisoning Pot Smokers
In August and September, 1983, Turner went on national television to justify the illegal marijuana spraying (by plane) of paraquat in Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee by the DEA. He said it would teach a lesson to any kid who died from paraquat-poisoned pot. Turner was forced to resign after announcing his conclusions in public that marijuana caused homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and, therefore, AIDS.
Looking into the therapeutic potential of cannabis is the most controlled and discouraged research, but any tests pursuing negative or harmful effects of cannabis are promoted. Since these tests often backfire or are inconclusive, even this research is rare.
Turner quoted “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” to show how jazz (rock) singers are eroding the America “he” loves with this hallucinogenic drug marijuana! Which he meant to stamp out.
Phony Paraquat Kits
During the 1978 Mexican marijuana paraquat scare, and while still a private citizen working for the state of Mississippi marijuana farm, this same Carlton Turner called High Times magazine to advertise a paraquat tester. Unknown to Turner, High Times was not accepting ads for any paraquat testers because all evidence showed the testers didn’t work.
Dean Latimer then a High Times associate editor, strung Turner along in virtually daily phone conversations for a month, listening to Turner talk about how much money Turner was going to make from sales of the device.
High Times wanted to see a sample. When Turner delivered his prototype version of the paraquat test kit to High Times, it was a total “Rube Goldberg” type rip-off, “just like the dozen or so phony kits other companies tried to buy ad space for at this time,” wrote Latimer in an article published in 1984.
Turner apparently never thought High Times was ethical enough to check the contraption out. He assumed they would just take the ad money and run print the ad and make Turner rich.
He didn’t care if some kid died or was bilked out of money believing in his bogus paraquat test kit.
After this attempted mail fraud, this man became President Reagan’s national drug czar in 1981, recommended by George Bush and Nancy Reagan.
A Wanton Disregard for Life
Turner even said that he doesn’t even care if hundreds of kids die from smoking pot the federal government has deliberately sprayed with paraquat.
Then at the April 25, 1985, PRIDE conference in Atlanta, Georgia, with Nancy Reagan and 16 foreign First Ladies in attendance (including Imelda Marcos), Turner called for the death penalty for drug dealers.
Turner was, after all, Reagan’s, Bush’s, and the pharmaceutical companies’ own hired gun, who saw his entire mission as not against heroin, PCP, or cocaine, but to wipe out pot and jazz/rock music.
Carlton Turner was forced to resign after Newsweek magazine excoriated him October 27, 1986, in a large editorial sidebar. His resignation was a foregone conclusion after being lampooned in the Washington Post and elsewhere as no other public figure in recent memory for his conclusions (in public addresses) that marijuana smoking caused homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and, therefore, AIDS.
He resigned December 16, 1986. What should have been front page headline news was buried in the back pages during the Iran-contra scandal that exploded that week.
Urine Testing Company
After his resignation, Turner joined with Robert DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger, to corner the market on urine testing. They contracted as advisors to 250 of the largest corporations to develop drug diversion, detection, and urine testing programs.
Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty.
Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.
This kind of business denies the basic rights of privacy, self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment) rights, unreasonable search and seizure, and the presumption of innocence (until proven guilty).
Submission to the humiliation of having your most private body parts and functions observed by a hired voyeur is now the test of eligibility for private employment, or to contract for a living wage.
Turner’s new money-making scheme demands that all other Americans relinquish their fundamental right to privacy and self-respect.
Bush Strikes Again
President Ronald Reagan, at the urging of then Vice President George Bush, appointed Carlton Turner as the White House Drug (czar) Advisor in 1981.
At conventions (1981-1986) of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyist the American Chemical Manufacturers, Turner promised to continue the research ban on the 400 chemical compounds of cannabis.
Bush managed to continue to direct this effort, simply by not allowing any grants for private or public research with a positive implication to be issued by NIDA or NIH, or approved any recent FDA applications unless they pursued negative results. As of this writing (July 1998) President Clinton’s policy has remained the same.
Comparison to Alcohol
There are many terrible drug habits. The worst of which is alcohol, in both numbers of users and the anti-social behavior associated with extreme use. Alcoholism is the leading cause of teen-age deaths: 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and 40,000 are maimed from mixing alcohol and driving. (MADD, Mothers against Drunk Driving; SADD, Students against Drunk Driving; NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, etc.)
In fact, U.S. government/police statistics confirm the following strange numbers:
The mortality figure for alcohol use is 100,000 annually, compared with zero marijuana deaths in 10,000 years of consumption.
From 40-50% of all murders and highway fatalities are alcohol related. In fact, highway fatalities that are alcohol related might be as high as 90%, according to the Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times.
Alcohol is also indicated in the majority (69-80%) of all child rape/incest cases; wife beating incidents are in great majority (60-80%) alcohol influenced.
Heroin is indicated in 35% of burglaries, robberies, armed robberies, bank robberies, grand theft auto, etc.
And there were more than 786,545 arrests for simple marijuana possession in the U.S. in 2005 (up from 400,000 in 1992), according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Alternatives to Prohibition
In conclusion, we see that the government’s case against marijuana is woven of transparent lies. In this chapter, we bring to light some research that the government does not like people to know about. Then we talk about some realistic alternatives.
But first, a brief fable:
The Story of the Emperor’s New Clothes
(Paraphrased from Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale)
There once was a very, very vain and terrible King/Emperor who heavily taxed his subjects in order to pay for his incredibly fine wardrobe made from the most expensive fabrics.
One day, two swindlers, representing themselves as great tailors from afar, arrived and sought an audience with the Emperor. They told of an amazing new fabric they had invented, made of a very expensive gold fiber that only the best, purest and wisest of people could see. Excited, the Emperor asked to see a sample, and the men brought forth an empty spool. “Ah, isn’t it lovely?” they asked the Emperor.
The Emperor agreed, afraid to admit that he did not see anything because that would mean he was a dull and stupid person.
So, to test his ministers, the Emperor brought them all in to get their opinions. Once the power of the fabric was explained to them, all agreed that this was, indeed, the finest and most beautiful cloth in the whole world.
The Emperor ordered that much of the gold from the treasury be given to the supposed tailors to be spun into thread. They set about at once working day after day, pretending to cut and sew, while the Emperor and his ministers periodically came by to admire their handiwork – and to pay the enormous bills the merchants were running up in the course of their activities.
Finally, the big day came when all the people in the land were ordered to gather to see the Emperor’s new outfit, which they had paid so much for and heard so much about.
When he nakedly strode forth, all the people looked in disbelief and said nothing. Then they sang the praises of the miraculous new cloth. “It’s the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen!” “Magnificent!” “I wish I had such lovely fabric!” They all cheered, afraid of being denounced and called stupid and impure if they did otherwise.
And the Emperor proudly paraded in front of his -subjects, secretly worried – afraid that he would lose the crown if the people knew that he, himself, could not see the cloth that draped his body.
As he passed through the crowd, a small boy perched on his father’s shoulder cried out, “But the Emperor has nothing on!”
“Just hear what the innocent says!” said the father. And each person whispered to another what the child had said. The word spread throughout his subjects what the little boy had said.
Then, everyone knew that the Emperor and all his ministers had been tricked by swindlers. Now his guards and ministers, as well as the people, realized that the swindlers had not only tricked the Emperor, but he, the Emperor, had spent all their tax money, wasted on this farce. The Emperor heard the people laughing and murmuring. He knew they were right, but he was too proud to admit he was wrong and had been made the fool. So he drew himself up to his full height and stared down at his guards, until he caught one guard’s eye.
The guard, looking nervously around, realizing this vain Emperor could have him imprisoned or even beheaded, averted his eyes and looked down at the ground. Then another guard, seeing that his fellow guard wasn’t laughing anymore, got scared and lowered his eyes to the ground, too. Soon, all the guards, ministers, and even the children pretending to carry his invisible train of gold cloth, were staring at the ground.
The people, seeing the ministers and guards, who a moment ago were laughing at the Emperor with them, now staring down at the ground, quaking in their boots, stopped laughing and quickly bowed their heads, as well.
The little boy who had first exclaimed that the Emperor was naked, seeing all the grownups around him, and even his father, completely scared and subdued, bowed his head in fear!
Then the Emperor, again pulling himself up to his full height, announced to his subjects, as he marched proudly through his empire, “Who is to say that these are not the very finest clothes of all?”
The Moral of the Story is…
We cannot simply call the Emperor (U.S. government) on his (its) acts of deceit and manipulation of fact. His guards (FBI, CIA, DEA, etc.) are far too powerful. His fear of shameful discovery so great he ceaselessly uses his power (through funding much of the United Nations and the world’s anti-drug crusades) to buy allegiance through bribery and intimidation (foreign aid, arms sales, etc.).
Those American citizens who would dare speak out against this tyranny are often slandered as “druggies” or “dopers” and may be threatened with the loss of their jobs, income, families and property. To win, we must drive a stake through the heart of (the U.S. government’s/DEA’s) lies, over and over and over again by hammering at them relentlessly with hardcore facts to defeat the evil of this hard-hearted Emperor (unjust cannabis laws) and even imprison these perpetrators, if necessary, to set our people free!
The Logical Analogy
We contend that America’s marijuana/hemp laws are like the Emperor’s clothes! Like tyrants and prohibitionists in the past, this Emperor relies on brute force, intimidation, fear and a virtual police state to maintain his authoritarian, despotic reign while draining the federal treasury, dismantling all vestiges of the Bill of Rights while imprisoning innocent souls.
General Barry McCaffrey, and now John Walters, acting the parts of the Emperor’s advisors, have all upheld the fallacy of the “pure fabric that only the purest eyes may see,” woven for them originally by Anslinger/DuPont/Hearst and their malevolent bureaucrats. Now it is co-maintained by energy, pharmaceutical, alcohol/beer companies, drug rehab professionals, drug testers, police, prison guards and prison builders – all with enormous financial interests and police-state motives.
When agents of the U. S. government deliberately act or conspire this way – be they President, Vice President, National Drug Czar, head of the DEA, FBI, or CIA – they should be imprisoned. And in an honest American society, they would be held accountable for the 16 million years they’ve already sentenced so many Americans to for the “crime” of pot.
Our federal bureaucracies and the U.S. Supreme Court are rapidly chipping away at our freedoms as outlined in the Bill of Rights (written on hemp paper). Hemp/marijuana has become their principal excuse for taking away our guaranteed Constitutional rights – more so than for all other crimes, political actions, insurgencies, strikes, uprisings and wars in the last 200 years combined! And the loss of basic freedoms is even worse in our satellite Central and South American countries, where their leaders have acted at America’s behest.
Truth or Consequences of Prohibition
When DuPont tells you that they bring “Better Living through Chemistry,” they don’t tell you that it’s only for 100 years, then the entire planet dies for their profit.
England and Holland have learned to treat their substance abusers as human beings – keeping them supplied with enough affordable medicants so they don’t disrupt the activities of others. Such policies allow them to lead otherwise productive and normal lives. These policies are now firmly established, effective and popular in those countries. In the mid-1990s, Switzerland began its own experiments in localized tolerance of public drug use.
When the Swiss government tried, in 1997, to re-criminalize cannabis with a ballot initiative, it lost by 79% of the vote!
So, why should other-wise peaceful hemp/marijuana growers and users be labeled and persecuted as lifetime criminals while 35% of all robberies and burglaries are committed by heroin and alcohol addicts, 40 to 55% of murders, rapes and highway fatalities are alcohol related* and hero-in is more available in jail than on the streets. Yet cannabis users statistically have the same or lower incidents of crime and violence as the non-cannabis-using population as a whole.
*FBI Statistics, 2005.
In fact, aside from cannabis usage, take the mob and the dealers out of heroin and other drugs and you reduce as much as 80% of non-alcohol related crime. As a direct example, throughout the “Roaring Twenties” era of alcohol prohibition, the murder rate rose consistently then dropped every year for the next 10 years following prohibition’s 1933 repeal.*
Let’s find another way to deal with drug usage or be prepared for continued exponential erosion of our freedoms, including the rights of self expression, public debate and a free press, including books and songs.
Accept the fact that virtually all drug-related crime ends if you treat addicts and users instead of removing them from society. Help them, educate and encourage them to be financially productive.
In 2006, the top priority of the U. S. government, the DEA and most of the Republican Party is to try to enact legislation that will automatically take away 100% of all citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom from unwarranted search – as if the drug war were a true state of emergency – in order to further their fascistic, police and prison-state agenda.
In order for America to be marijuana free, all of us, smokers and non-smokers alike, will have to give up our Bill of Rights…forever! You will have to conform to the likes of Lyndon LaRouche, Jerry Falwell, Nancy Reagan, Edwin Meese, William Bennett, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, John Walters and minds of that repressive and ridiculous ilk. Each, in their smug ignorance, contributing to the permanent poisoning of the Earth while trying with all their might to completely annihilate the one thing that can save us: HEMP!
The computer, that great boon to mankind, will ironically allow the police to finish, today, the job the Roman Catholic Church’s Inquisition started (see Chapter 10: Dark Ages) because the Church could not stand “commoners” laughing at them, or knowing the secrets of, among other things, hygiene, astronomy and hemp. Using computers, the pot police can peer into an individual’s family background, his sales receipts, his income taxes, and so forth to enable them to blackmail and/or bribe Americans, as well as destroy their politicians, judges and other VlPs by exposing issues like their private sex lives or personal drug use.
For example, the son of Clinton’s former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, was systematically and perpetually badgered, over six months, by his friend (who had been previously busted and forced to work undercover for the DEA, specifically to set up young Elders) to get him to purchase a small amount of cocaine for himself. Elders’ son, who had never been known to deal, consistently refused, but eventually gave in to the friend’s constant pressure.
The government revealed the information about this transaction to no one for another six months until they could use it to directly blackmail Surgeon General Elders into recanting her soft stance on medical cannabis. Instead, refusing to be silenced, Elders resigned. With such blatantly underhanded tactics, the DEA is daily bringing us closer to Orwell’s 1984 nightmare.
Wasting Our Tax Money
Approximately 50% of all drug enforcement money, federal and state, during the last 70 years has been directed toward marijuana!
Some 70-80% of all people now in federal and state prisons in America wouldn’t have been there as criminals until just 60 or 70 years ago. In other words we, in our (Anslinger and Hearst inspired) ignorance and prejudice, have placed approximately 1.2 million of the 1.8 million people in American prisons (as of 2005) for crimes that were, at worst, minor habits, up until the Harrison Act, 1914 (whereby the U.S. Supreme Court in 1924 first ruled that drug addicts weren’t merely sick, they were instead vile criminals).
Eighty percent of these government “War on Drugs” victims were not dealing. They have been incarcerated for simple possession. And this does not include the quarter of a million more in county jails.
Remember, just 29 years ago, in 1978, before the “War on Drugs,” there were only 300,000 people in American prisons for all crimes combined.
Some radio and television preachers have added to the hysteria by calling rock music “satanic and voodoo” and associating it with the drug culture. They want to outlaw rock, burn albums and books, and lock up everyone who doesn’t agree with them. So does Carlton Turner. So does Lyndon LaRouche. So does William Bennett. So does General Barry McCaffrey. So does John Walters.
During the last three generations, Hearst’s and Anslinger’s propaganda and lies have been relentlessly jammed down Americans’ throats as unimpeachable gospel truth – resulting in the massive drain on taxpayer’s money to build the government’s anti-drug machine (see “Fighting the Police State” in the Appendix).
And virtually every state is in the midst of the biggest prison expansion ever in America’s and the world’s history, while political vultures, concerned only for growth of their prison-related industries and job security, demand that we build more prisons and expand tax bases to pursue this “law and order” madness against formerly misdemeanor or even non-existent offenses.
In the 1980s, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist was “nodding off” in court – and sending other druggies to prison for their habits – he kept feeding his eight-a-day Placidyl habit. This was the equivalent in dollars, “high,” and mental effect to that of a $70 to $125 a-day street abuser’s heroin habit.
Placidyl, a cousin of Quaaludes, is known as a “heavy down,” popular on the streets for imparting a very placid feeling in users.
The physical dependency and mental effects of using the legal drugs Placidyl, Dilaudid, Quaaludes, etc., are virtually the same as for the reviled barbiturates, opium, morphine and heroin. In essence, they disturb the body’s “endorphin” (pain-receptors and nullifiers) balance.
Rehnquist, who was said to have used Placidyl far in excess of normal limits, did not have to rob liquor stores, physically assault his fellow citizens, or commit any of the other anti-social behaviors attributed to “junkies.”
His habit was easily maintained because Placidyl was both legally available and within his normal income limits. Placidyl was also well labeled as to purity and frequency of dosage, while people with outlawed drug habits have to get by on a “dime of tar” (a 10 dollar bag) the purity of which – whether 5% or 95% – is unknown. The great majority of drug overdoses are caused by this unknown, unregulated, and unlabeled purity factor.
The government acknowledges that 90% or more of overdoses from illegal drugs would probably be avoided with accurate labels and appropriate warnings.
Policies Based on Ignorance
While researching this book over the last 33 years, we have talked with and questioned senators, legislators, judges, police, DAs, scientists, historians, Nobel Prize winners, dentists, and MDs. All knew little bits and pieces of the history and uses of cannabis, but virtually no one knew in any depth about marijuana in its 360-degree entirety except long-term medical researchers, such as Ungerlieder, Mikuriya, and writers like Ed Rosenthal, Dean Latimer and Dr. Michael Aldrich.
For example, 24 years ago, at a large California NORML fundraiser in February 1983, we spoke privately with then Senate Majority Whip Tom Rutherford, of New Mexico. He had been a leading pro-marijuana politician for a decade and was, at that time, probably the most knowledgeable elected government representative on the subject of marijuana, in the United States. We asked him why the government didn’t just come out and legalize marijuana, especially with everything we knew medically, industrially and historically about cannabis.
We were shocked when he replied that he was not aware of any argument in favor of the legalization of marijuana, except to just end the lunacy of criminalization for at worst a minor act.
So, we enthusiastically outlined the facts and entire history of hemp/marijuana for him, figuring he must have heard some of it before. He sat literally in awe of the claims he was hearing for the very first time. When we finished speaking, he said, “If I had that knowledge outlined and documented for me as you just told it, the government, police and judicial system would be through persecuting pot.”
“But is it true?” he added.
This was in February 1983 and here were America’s top pro-pot politicians who literally didn’t know enough about hemp to fill a single page of a book, and some left public office in the Reagan “just say no” era before having learned enough to publicly support hemp /marijuana.
But now, many do know hemp is potentially Earth’s number-one crop and that the present laws are totally unjustifiable, and that the government’s position on pot is utterly false and can’t stand the simple light of truth.
What is the Law?
“All laws which can be violated without doing anyone any injury are laughed at.” – Spinoza, (c. 1660.)
To control marijuana is to give up our freedoms, for ourselves, our kids, and our kid’s kids, forever.
And that, my friends, is called fascism; and simply put, if the laws on cannabis are not over-turned, and if present Earth-destructive practices, such as strip mining, oil drilling, clear-cutting of trees, industrial pollution of waters, and use of pesticides and herbicides are not discontinued, our planet will soon die at the hands of these ignorant (not-knowing and/or evil) politicians who think they have a right to pass more and more draconian laws to fill more and bigger prisons and jails with some of our most decent citizens. These same politicians portray themselves as being motivated purely out of concern for children. Meanwhile, they promote the massive ongoing environmental poisoning of these same children every day! But to truly understand why tens of millions of Americans are scared silly of pot after 70 years of disinformation that continues to this day, consider the mentality and character of former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates (1978–1992), who has admitted to helping direct a program of squashing accurate hemp information and ordering the arrest and harassment of California Marijuana Initiative workers for acting upon their civic and Constitutional right to collect petition signatures.
In September 1983, on television and through a police spokesman, Gates called hemp reform advocates “well-intentioned but terribly naïve regarding marijuana and [they] really don’t know much about it.”
In January 1984, Gates was asked by a parent at a San Fernando Valley, CA, public school, “What can I do if I find out my child has used marijuana?” He replied, “It’s too late. Once they’ve smoked one marijuana cigarette, they are lost to us forever!”*
*These exact words were also used by L.A. County D.A Ira Reiner in his 1990 campaign for State Attorney General. He lost.
A few months later, then–California Attorney General, John Van de Kamp, suppressed the August 17, 1990 report by his own advisory panel that called for hemp re-legalization. Gates testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on September 5, 1990 that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot.” He held to this position for almost a week, until public outcry for his dismissal* forced him to modify his comment to a call for stricter penalties. Former Drug Czar William Bennett said, “I have no moral problem with beheading marijuana users, arms, feet and legs (seriously!). In July of 1998, Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, on
On March 3, 1991, the world was shocked to learn that Gates’ officers were indeed capable of such brutal and heinous behavior when the video “The murder rate in Holland [where “soft” drugs of Los Angeles police officers savagely beating a defenseless Rodney King (accused of speeding and evading capture) was revealed to the world. A urine test later revealed traces of THC. Gates continued to back his officers in the beating, through the time of the riots.
*Reiner was almost the only official to publicly support Gates.
In July of 1998, Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, on a fact-finding mission to Europe, added insult to ignorance by proclaiming to a Stockholm audience, “The murder rate in Holland [where “soft” drugs are treated as a legal product] is double that in the United States…That’s drugs.” Actually, the Dutch murder rate is 1.7 per 100,000, less than one-fourth that of the U.S.
This was only the latest in McCaffrey’s continuing stream of ludicrous misinformation. In December 1996, for example, he had been quoted in the media as saying, “There’s not one shred of evidence that marijuana has medicinal value…”
On the basis of the information provided in this book, we demand an end to the enforcement of these prohibition laws. All laws regarding the cultivation of the cannabis plant must be stricken from the books, including the U. N.’s Single Convention Treaty of 1961, at which Anslinger represented the United States. Although he was forced to retire by an angry President Kennedy for, among other things, his antics at the Convention, Anslinger’s legacy of lies and deceit lives on in 2007.
Our government owes an apology to all people who spent jail or prison time for cannabis (16 million years in aggregate time so far), had to go through the courts, had their educations, families and professions torn apart and their lives, wealth and health often destroyed.
We also owe an apology to honest-but-ignorant teachers, police and judges for our lack of courage to speak up and educate them. But there is no apologizing for the profit-minded corporate and government leaders who have acted illegally to censor and refute the undeniable truth of hemp.
What Justice Demands
Justice demands nothing less than the lifting of all penalties (criminal and civil) and the removal of all restraints upon the cultivation and use – both smoking and non-smoking uses – of this, our most remarkable plant.
Prisoners being held for the peaceful, non-violent possession, sale, transport or cultivation of cannabis hemp must be released immediately. Money and property seized must be returned. Criminal records must be wiped clean, amnesty granted and some sort of reparations paid for time served. These cannabis prisoners are the real victims of this monstrous crime against humanity called the “War on Drugs.”
In the end, half measures will not be acceptable.
In the meantime, we must begin with a moratorium on hemp/marijuana law enforcement. And we must move swiftly to restore and expand the national archives and historical record on hemp and its multiplicity of uses.
What You Can Do
We think, now that you’ve had a good look at our side and the government’s side of this story (both as we see it and as the media projects it), you’ll want to join us in putting this issue onto the state ballots and into the legislatures of this country, where everyone can express their opinions through registering and voting in the straight-forward manner set forth in our United States’ and individual state constitutions.
Teach hemp to everyone; talk about it – all the time. Look for hemp products, ask for hemp – buy hemp. Defend hemp. And use the information and suggestions about hemp politics and business included in the Appendix at the end of this book.
At the risk of repetition, let us once more state in the strongest possible terms, that cannabis hemp – indeed the plant we denigrate with the slang name marijuana – will become known to future generations, as it was known to past generations for millennia, as the number-one annually renewable, fully sustainable, non pesticide-requiring and most abundant source of paper/fiber/fuel/food/medicine on the face of the Earth; with more overall uses than any other known plant.
In other words, cannabis hemp is the greatest plant on Earth!
Write to your elected officials and to the news media, to help create a more conscious political leadership and favorable news coverage on marijuana and hemp. Give credit for good votes and coverage, and complain about bad. Register, run for office, and always vote!!
Demand that our prisoners of conscience be freed, rewarded and honored. They deserve to be welcomed home as heroes, and as P.O.W.s in this “War on Drugs,” to receive veterans’ benefits and rights – not the DEA or police.
Think of this…
If these “outlaw” citizens had not defied the government and preserved the hemp seed, our government and its prohibitionist policies would already have eradicated this plant from our Earth.
So, the heroes of this war are not William Bennett, Nancy Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Jr., the DEA, or DARE, but those who defied them. These true heroes must have their lives and property returned. For defying these tyrannical laws, they must be remembered by each one of us for all time. For they saved the seed that’s going to save the planet!
Hemp for Victory!
Let our people go. Let our people grow. And never allow our politicians to again impose such fanatical prohibition laws against any natural substance in its natural form.
Democracy doesn’t work – ever – unless it is honest.
And if the suppression of hemp is just one example of the many lies with which American police/bureaucrats have been blackmailing their theoretical bosses – elected politicians and the public – then we are in big trouble!
We have reviewed this “drug war” against cannabis hemp/marijuana as thoroughly as we possibly could, and what we have seen sickens us. And only those with this knowledge of hemp, whose doors of perception have been cleansed, can kick the scumbags (the real criminals) out of office and reclaim our freedoms and our planet.
We therefore agree with the little boy from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale who, while watching the parade pass by, shouted with courageous innocence:
“THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES!”
WHAT DO YOUR OWN EYES SEE?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?!
State of the Hempire, 2007
It ain’t over yet…
As I sit here in July 2007, putting the final touches on this 11th edition, 16th printing of the Emperor, I find myself reflecting again upon all the changes that have occurred since 1985 when the first edition of this book was released.
Hemp awareness has increased dramatically since then – easily 10,000 fold. In 1985, aside from those few items in Captain Ed’s and my store, there were virtually no hemp products for sale in the western world and not many in the eastern part of the globe either. Today, in July 2007, multitudes of hemp products are sold in thousands of stores across America and many more thousands throughout the world, with more stores jumping on the hemp bandwagon every day.
The variety of goods on sale is almost as limitless as the uses of hemp itself: paper, clothing, fiber, fabric, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, body oils, machine lubricants, plastics, and a wide variety of foods of the highest nutritional value.
I am optimistic that cannabis medicines will soon be legal federally and join this list, as it has become legal medicine in 10 states through voter initiatives and in two states, Hawaii and New Mexico, through state legislation. New Mexico’s law went into effect this month, July 2007.
International firms like The Body Shop, with its approximately 1,600 stores, have put their full weight behind hemp, and manufacturers like Hanf Haus, Two Star Dog, Hempstead and Hempy’s, et al., are becoming more prominent every day.
Magazines like High Times (USA), Cannabis Culture (Canada), and Hanf (Germany), Treating Yourself (Canada), etc. provide up-to-the-minute perspectives on the growing battle for utilization and legalization.
But despite all the positive changes these days, it doesn’t take a weatherman, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, to know which way the wind is blowing.
I’m sitting here in Northern California amidst the hottest decade on record – after 15 consecutive years of worldwide record breaking heat. My legal medical marijuana joint is in my hand. Global warming and the Greenhouse Effect, because of the arrogant indifference of government scientists, is increasing by the day, the month, the year.
The Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90% of the world’s ice, is said to be melting 10 times faster than was estimated just 25 years ago. If this continues at the present rate, our oceans won’t be just 1-3 feet higher in 30 years, but as much as 20 to 40 feet higher! Shades of the Kevin Costner, 1995 film Waterworld!
I am very deeply saddened and outraged by the thought that this senseless, exponential destruction of our environment could long ago have been avoided, and possibly even stopped by simply cultivating hemp for our paper, plastics, fiber and energy needs, as the U.S. Government advised us in 1916 to do in Bulletin 404, pages 150-155, and in the February 1938 Popular Mechanics, and in 1942 in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s war movie, Hemp For Victory.
In 1970, the major media outlets were bemusedly tolerant of pot. The youth culture was on the upswing and the meek seemed poised to inherit the Earth from the military-industrial complex. By 1983, avaricious, conscienceless “me-generation” capitalism had turned back the humanist tide. Now in 2007, because of the internet, we once again have hope!
In 1978, after 202 years of Nationhood, there were approximately 300,000 Americans in state and federal prisons and another 150,000 in county jails (for all crimes)! There were only 45,000 prison/jail guards nationwide; approximately one guard per 10 prisoners. At that time, the construction of schools and universities was a thriving growth industry. At least five times more was being spent on building schools than on building prisons.
Suddenly, amazingly, in 1978, the new prison guard trade publication led the new leadership in prison guards unions and correctional officers associations, etc. and molded the previously ineffectual guards into one of, and in some states, the most politically powerful lobbying blocks in the country.
What the new leadership guards wanted in 1978 was longer and longer determinant sentences for less and less serious crimes, and with virtually no time off for good behavior to assure rapidly growing prison populations. In the Reagan years they got
In the last 29 years, these powerful correctional officers unions became the largest single contributors to state legislators – and mostly to the Republican Party. Now in 2007, there are almost 2 million people in prison, 800,000 in jail and the penal system supports 300,000 jail guards, approximately 1 guard per 8 prisoners!
In the last two decades, prison construction and prison employment have been among the largest growth industries in the U.S., while federal and state spending for new schools has dwindled to less than one-fifth that of prison building expenditures. The United States of America (the Land of the Free) has only five percent of the world’s population. And yet, out of all the people incarcerated throughout the world, 25 percent are incarcerated in the U.S. The percentages are out of balance.
What kind of society would rather build jails than schools?
In 2007, the courts are endeavoring to fill up prison cells – literally cramming them full – faster than they can be made available. On average, these mostly non-violent offenders are being held (depending on individual state law) for 2, 3, and 4 times longer than they were in 1978, and 2, 3, and 4 times longer than violent offenders in their state.
In November 1996, California passed the statewide Medical Marijuana Initiative Prop 215 by 56 percent, despite the non-stop personal urgings (on radio, TV, newspapers and magazines) of presidents Ford, Carter, Bush and Clinton, along with Nancy Reagan and Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, who traveled up and down the state imploring Californians to reject the measure. Despite their efforts, the measure passed, giving rise to a multitude of cannabis growers clubs. Today, these clubs have almost all been closed at one time or another by the federal government in blatant defiance of state law and the California voters’ overwhelming majority mandate! Almost all of these clubs have re-opened, after huge legal expenses. Now in 2007, there are over 600 legal medical marijuana clubs in the state of California, and more opening every day.
In November 1998:
The voters of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Arizona (for the second time) passed by large majorities, similar medical marijuana initiatives to that of California’s, which passed in November 1996.
Nevada passed the first of two initiative elections in 1998 for medical marijuana. (By Nevada law, you must win initiatives twice.) It passed again in 2000, and became law in 2001.
Medical marijuana won in Colorado too, but the Colorado Secretary of State refused to certify the petition because of disputes about signature-gathering methods. In June of 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the signature gathering had been legally done. It passed in November 2000.
Washington, D.C. voted on a comprehensive medical marijuana initiative. However, former Representative Bob Barr (Rep. Georgia) added an amendment to a 200 billion dollar catch-all spending bill in late October 1998 that no money from any source whatsoever could be used to count the votes of the Washington, D.C. medical marijuana initiative. Representative Barr and the heavily Republican legislators of both the U.S. House and Senate deliberately and consciously ordered, for the first time in all of American history, that the votes not be counted in an American election…
…Incredible, unbelievable, unconscionable!
Finally, a federal judge ordered the November 1998 D.C. votes to be counted in September 1999, almost one year later, and it officially passed by 69 percent of the vote. In October 1999, Representative Barr asked Republican legislators to again vote to refuse to allow the law to be implemented. Now, in 2007, Bob Barr has flip-flopped 100 percent and is a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project! The Cox News Service reported March 30, 2007 that Barr, whom the Libertarian Party once called the “worst drug warrior” during his eight years in Congress, has now joined the Libertarians and is working with MPP. One of his jobs will be to lobby against the “Barr Amendment” – legislation he introduced in 1999 to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana in the District of Colombia. Barr did not comment on taking the MPP job, but said he had left the Republican Party because of its move “toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties.”
On June 30, 1997, the Oregon legislature voted to end 24 years of decriminalization and to recriminalize cannabis for as little as a seed. “Liberal Democratic” Governor Kitzhaber “reluctantly” signed it into law July 3, 1997. After he signed it, Kitzhaber said, “I think this law is more about search and seizure than it is about marijuana use.”
On July 4, 1997, at a campfire at the National Rainbow Gathering in Eastern Oregon, a number of marijuana/hemp activists including myself, Jack Herer, put up the money to hire petitioners to gather signatures for a referendum to stop cannabis from being recriminalized. The Portland Oregonian, the largest newspaper in Oregon, originally predicted, by their polls, that we would lose by a 2 to 1 margin. What had to be done was to gather enough signatures, approximately 100,000 in the next 87 days, to negate the vote of the legislature and the signature of the governor, thereby keeping cannabis decriminalized until the November 1998 election. The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in Oregon, originally predicted, by their polls, that we would lose by a 2 to 1 margin. In fact, we won by a 2 to 1 margin, defeating recriminalization!
On November 2, 1999, the voters of Maine approved a statewide initiative by an overwhelming 61 percent to make medical marijuana legal by doctor’s recommendation. Medical marijuana is now legal on the entire West Coast, and the East Coast is beginning to follow suit.
On April 25, 2000, the Hawaii Senate passed a bill to remove state level criminal penalties for seriously ill people who use marijuana with their doctor’s approval. It is the first of its kind to be enacted by a state legislature rather than through a ballot initiative. Hawaii’s Governor, Benjamin J. Cayetano signed it into law on June 16, 2000.
Common Sense – a Worldwide Trend
On July 6, 2000, the Portuguese Parliament voted to decriminalize the consumption of illegal drugs such as cannabis and heroin and treat drug users as sick people in need of medical help. Until now, drug users and those convicted of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use could be sentenced to up to one year in jail. Spain and Italy have already decriminalized the consumption and possession of small quantities of drugs.
Even though there have been statewide changes in the medical marijuana laws, there seems to be county by county implementation and interpretation of these same laws. Each county seems to establish their own tolerance level and guidelines for prosecution.
For example, in California alone, we have cities and counties like Oakland allowing 144 plants,
Arcata 44 plants, Tehama 18 plants, Mendocino County 25 plants and Lake County 6 plants (unless your doctor states otherwise on your note), and the list goes on and on.
Since the passage of Prop 215 in California, the arrests of non-medical patients for marijuana pos-session and cultivation have increased by 12% over their already high, record levels.
Medical patients are still being prosecuted for their choice of medicine. Here is a story of a friend of mine. I am sure you all have stories like these. The persecution of the innocent goes on. That is why we must stand up for our rights by changing the laws.
Quality of Life Should Not be Denied the Sick and Dying!
Todd McCormick, 36, suffered from cancer between the ages of 2 through 15, which resulted in his top five vertebrae being fused. In 1978, when Todd was 9 years old, Ann McCormick, Todd’s mom, read in the Family Doctor’s column of the Good Housekeeping magazine, about the use of marijuana for glaucoma and cancer patients taking chemotherapy. The article stated that marijuana helped with nausea and appetite stimulation. These were Todd’s symptoms! He couldn’t eat, felt sick, food made him sick, and the lack of food made him weak.
A few months went by and Todd’s tumors acted up, and chemotherapy began again. After a chemotherapy treatment, and on the way home, his mom told the then listless Todd to get on the floor of the car and smoke a joint. Remember now, and keep in mind, Todd was only 9 years old then. They got home and, for the first time, Todd could actually get out of the car by himself and walk to the house with crutches. Then he even sat down and ate dinner! He actually had an appetite! He hadn’t had one in a long time…
The next day, after the next treatment, Ann again told Todd to sit on the floor of the car and smoke a marijuana joint. Again, Todd showed the same results. It was the marijuana! So ecstatic, Todd’s mom went to see the doctors to tell them what happened. They all got quiet and advised her that the process of obtaining medical marijuana would take too long to be a benefit. In reality, it was the fear of federal law, repercussions, penalties and the threat to their medical licenses and livelihood if they recommended the use of marijuana that motivated their advice, even though marijuana would really help Todd. As she walked away, a doctor came up to her and asked her if she could get more? She was confused, thinking that maybe he wanted some, but said yes. He told her to continue what she was doing and to just shut up about it! That was exactly what she did. Todd used marijuana from that day on to alleviate his pain and suffering. In 1997, in Bel Aire, California, Todd was engaged in experimentation utilizing many varieties of cannabis to discover which plants at which stage (e.g. before they budded, after they budded, in the vegetative state? from the roots? seed? what plant age? and on and on) were most effective for various pains and illnesses; which chemicals in the marijuana plant (e.g. cannabinoids, cannabidiolic acid, and tetrahydrocannabinol, etc.) was effective and was writing a meticulously researched book on the subject when he was arrest-ed by the DEA on July 29, 1997 for federal conspiracy and manufacturing (cultivation) charges.
On November 3, 1999, Todd McCormick was denied any medical necessity defense in court, so on November 19, 1999, he pled guilty, and on March 27, 2000, he was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
In addition, Todd’s publisher, Peter McWilliams, the author of 35 books (five of which made the New York Times Best Seller List), who since 1996 suffered from AIDS and cancer, was himself arrested in July 1998 by the DEA allegedly for conspiring to subsidize Todd’s marijuana “operation” and for manufacturing marijuana with the intent to sell to local buyers’ clubs, all of which – had it been true – would have been his legal prerogative within the state of California. McWilliams flatly stated, and all of his associates, and even enemies, confirmed that he had never grown marijuana nor profited from the sale of even one joint.
Peter was forced to make a plea bargain and faced sentencing in July 2000. He faced 0 to 5 years, with no appeal rights. On June 14, 2000 Peter McWilliams died.
Under the terms of his release on bail (which was secured by his mother’s home of 50 years), he had to abstain from the use of marijuana, which was the only medicine which would alleviate the nausea caused by his treatments for AIDS and cancer. Without smoking marijuana, Peter, along with hundreds of thousands before him, could barely hold down the “cocktails” of chemotherapy he was required to take on a daily basis. Because he wasn’t allowed medicinal marijuana, he got sick and ended up choking on his own vomit and died.
He was in a sense murdered by the government because of the terms of his release on bail. The sick and dying should not be denied the quality of their lives!
On August 9, 1999, the DEA requested that U.S. Customs seize all shipments of hemp seed or hemp seed products at the Canadian border and have them tested for any THC or trace element of THC (10 parts per million). This caused an undue financial burden on the hemp seed companies, putting some of them out of business because of the financial impact of the seizures.
All shipments and carloads were then being seized by U.S. Customs. In December 1999, American politicians got the order overturned and Customs agreed not to hold the products with trace elements, whether it be shampoo, soap, bird seed, hemp food, etc. The products were released in theory, but were still in the U.S. Customs warehouses. On January 12, 2000, the U.S. White House Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, overrode the D.E.A., who had withdrawn their reason for seizing shipments. McCaffrey then personally ordered Customs to seize any product with even a trace amount of THC. Barry McCaffrey says zero tolerance is zero tolerance, even though it would take 39,000 pounds of hemp seeds to obtain enough THC to be equivalent to a joint.
Urine Testing for Hemp Shampoo
According to General McCaffrey, through the urine testing and hair testing of job seekers, employees, parolees, probationees and prisoners, they can detect if these people eat hemp seed or candies or even use hemp shampoo. McCaffrey’s reasoning for the prohibition of hemp products is that it will make the current testing procedures for THC invalid by creating a false positive for THC.
Companies spend millions of dollars on drug testing which will no longer be accurate and therefore the American public is thereby denied the single most healthy food source, not to mention the best paper, fuel, and fiber on Earth, while other nations are using more and more of this nature enhanced God given blessing for humans, birds and fresh water fish.
Positive marijuana research has been deliberately prohibited in the United States since December 1976. Other countries in the world realize medicinal benefits of marijuana and are aware that research must continue.
On November 11, 1998, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, Cannabis, the Scientific and Medical Evidence (9th Report, HL Paper 151 Session 1997-98) made recommendations that “clinical trials of cannabis for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and chronic pain should be mount-ed as a matter of urgency,” and that the government should take steps to transfer cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, so as to allow doctors to prescribe an appropriate preparation of cannabis, albeit as an unlicensed medicine and on the named patient basis and to allow doctors and pharmacists to supply the drug prescribed.” In keeping with U.S. policies and practice, the U.K. Government rejected the Lords’ report. In spite of the initial rejection, in April 2000, the clinical trials of cannabis forms and chronic pain began.
In March 2000, the House of Lords recommendations were borne out by the announcement by Pharmos, an Israeli pharmaceutical company, that dexanabinol, a marijuana constituent, can protect healthy brain cells after a stroke by blocking the production of glutamate, the neurotransmitter of this poison.
A team lead by the British born biologist Aidan Hampson at the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health, in Maryland, discovered that two active components of cannabis, compounds called THC and cannabidiol, will act to prevent damage to brain tissue placed in laboratory dishes. (Hampson, A.J., et al., 1998 Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol are Neuroprotective Antioxidants; proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95 (July 7).
It has since been proven that cannabidiol is the best treatment for other neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The NIMH reported that marijuana smoke is the only medicine we currently know of on Earth that can fully stop the brain damage after a stroke occurs, (1) by causing the arteries to enlarge and allowing virtually any clot to flow harmlessly through the brain and (2) by stopping the production of glutamate, which poisons and kills brain cells after the blood clot is in place.
About 600,000 Americans have strokes every year, while worldwide more than 5 million people suffer each year from stroke, head trauma or other conditions associated with neuronal cell death. About 350,000 of the 5 million happen during or just after an operation because of the thickening of the blood and the anesthesiologist’s slowing down of the metabolic rate, etc. Yet, just one puff of a marijuana cigarette right after a stroke could stop the severe damage which may occur. Even ditch weed from Iowa will stop the aftereffects of 95% of all strokes, virtually ending paralysis, speech loss and coma resulting from strokes. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
People usually don’t realize they are having a stroke because of confusion from the brain damage.
About one hundred fifty thousand people die in the U.S. as a result of strokes or complications from these strokes each year! This number could be theoretically reduced to 7,500 with the use of medicinal marijuana. 150,000 more will become paralyzed or partially paralyzed and have to use canes or walkers. All because they didn’t have access to a joint right after the stroke. It is the only medicine on Earth that STOPS the damage from a stroke, on the spot, within one second! What they are using now takes six hours or longer to begin working, and by then the damage is already done. In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine Report (IOM) stated that there is “no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting!”
The opponents of medical marijuana have been saying that it should not be used medically because it is “addictive.” This argument is totally irrelevant because many highly addictive drugs are used in medicine and the IOM in their report found that marijuana has no significant addictive potential. The report notes that “few marijuana users develop dependence “and if there are withdrawal symptoms, they are “mild and short-lived.”
Gateway Theory is a Social Theory
The IOM report also stated that “the gateway theory is a social theory. The latter does not suggest that the pharmacological qualities of cannabis/marijuana make it a risk factor for progression to other drug use. Instead, it is the legal status of marijuana that makes it a gateway drug.” In other words, the real “gateway” to hard drugs is marijuana prohibition, not marijuana!
The IOM also says that, despite considerable research, marijuana has not been shown to cause immunocological damage in humans. Despite their obsessions with the hazards of smoking, they had to admit that marijuana still has not been proven to cause lung cancer, or any other type of malignancy.
Alison Smiley, a University of Toronto researcher, did a study which shows that marijuana is not a factor in driving accidents. Her findings were presented at a symposium of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Florida in February 1999. Her paper was also published in Health Effects of Cannabis, a publication of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in March 1999.
Recent research into impairment and traffic accident reports from several countries shows that marijuana taken alone in moderate amounts does not significantly increase a driver’s risk of causing an accident – unlike alcohol, says Smiley, an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. While smoking marijuana does impair driving ability, it does not share alcohol’s effect on judgment. Drivers on marijuana remain aware of their impairment, prompting them to slow down and drive more cautiously to compensate, she explains.
“The safety hazards of smoking marijuana and driving are overrated.”
—Alison Smiley, University of Toronto
“Both substances impair performance,” Smiley says. “However, the more cautious behavior of subjects who received marijuana decreases the drug’s impact on performance. Their behavior is more appropriate to their impairment, whereas subjects who received alcohol tend to drive in a more risky manner.”
Smiley says her results should be considered by those debating mandatory drug tests for users of transportation equipment such as truck or train drivers, or the decriminalization of marijuana for medical use. “There’s an assumption that because marijuana is illegal, it must increase the risk of an accident. We should just try to stick to the facts.”
A team led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has demonstrated the prevalence of cannabinoid receptors in the retina, indicating an important role for cannabinoids, a family of compounds which includes the psychoactive components of marijuana and hashish, in retinal function and perhaps vision in general.
In the December 7, 1999 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the UCSD researchers described for the first time the specific distribution and effects on retinal function of the cellular receptor proteins activated by cannabinoids.
These findings may provide a missing link in efforts to unravel the complicated and fascinating machinery by which the retina turns light into meaningful information in the brain.
In the March 2000 issue of Nature Medicine, a research team from Complutense University and Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain announced the findings of a study on rats and mice and stated that marijuana’s active ingredient called THC, killed tumor cells in advanced cases of glioma, a rare malignant cancer which heretofore has been 100 percent fatal.
Researchers injected the active compounds, called cannabinoids, directly into the brain cancers. Lead researcher Manuel Guzman says, “We observed a remarkable growth inhibiting effect.” The THC, for the first time, eradicated the brain tumors in one third of the treated rats and about one third of the treated rats lived “significantly longer” than those given no drug, some up to about three times as long.
Laboratory studies showed that THC killed glioma cells while leaving normal brain cells unharmed. The drug caused a build-up of a fat molecule called ceramide, which provoked a death spiral in the cancer cells.
Guzman tested THC at very low doses and at a late stage, when untreated mice were already starting to die. He predicts that THC should work better if given earlier.
It seems that the more research that is done relating to the medicinal value of marijuana, the more we realize how valuable marijuana is as a medicine (for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer tumors, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, pain, nausea, and as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxer, and who knows what else). We need to demand that research be allowed on marijuana. If it can save a life, or even improve the quality of life of any human being, this medicine must be studied. We must throw away all the years of misinformation and disinformation and seek the truth.
I have talked with so many people who have stated that before using marijuana as a medicine they felt that they were dying of their AIDS or their cancer, yet with marijuana as a medicine they feel they are living with their cancer or their AIDS.
In 2007, while many events on the hemp horizon seem promising, the government and DEA’s insistence in doggedly maintaining Anslinger’s absurd and oppressive laws of 1937 are continuing to inflict pain and suffering upon all Americans despite the fact a recent CNN poll indicates that 95% of U.S. citizens support the legalization of medical marijuana! An earlier poll of Californians showed 40% in sup-port of legalization of industrial, medicinal, nutritional and personal use by adults 21 years and older.
My fervent hope is that we are merely seeing the darkness before the inevitable dawn.
Northern California, July 2007
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