One for the WTF File

Have you heard this one? The Obama campaign is selling a hemp blend scarf to raise money to get Barry elected, meanwhile the DEA still wont let Americans grow hemp domestically. Yup you can get a cotton/hemp scarf at the Barak Obama Store, but you can only grow half the materials to make it the US.

Putting aside the folly of cannabis prohibition in general, why are we not growing hemp? Very many other countries grow commercial hemp, the hemp in this scarf might have come form Canada or China, but not the US. That’s crazy, really it is nuts. This is not your hippie uncle’s grow patch, hemp will not get you high. So why not, that’s the big question, and again it comes down to the stubborn and wrong headed thinking that cannabis belongs in the Schedule One Drug Class.

Hemp has been a crop since before history was recorded, likely one of the first crops mankind developed. It has nearly limitless uses for us humans, and could help in our struggle to reverse climate change. It is a crop that America needs, and has needed in the past, as demonstrated in the Hemp for Victory campaign, when the US encouraged hemp farming to support its effort in WWII.

If the President is going to sell hemp to help himself get re-elected, I think it’s time he told his DEA to back off, and let American farmers grow the stuff.


Cannabis is Schedule I, Cuz We Say So.

Cannabis plant in flower stage

Cannabis Sativa

In June, DEA chief Michelle Leonhart gave us the now infamous “all illegal drugs are bad” m’kay, in answer to Representative Jared Polis’ question whether marijuana is as dangerous as Heroin. Leonhart’s answers were evasive and obtuse; that heroin is more dangerous than pot is a common understanding, and for her to sit there and try and equate the two bordered on offensive. This is indicative of the status quo, the more people ask why is cannabis prohibited, the more the reply is an arrogant, “cuz”

Video of Leonart’s Congressional testimony

This merely continues a long tradition of the government trying to prove it has just cause to wage a drug war, but coming up with no real evidence to back their claims. When Nixon called for the Shafer Commission to give him empirical proof about the dangers of cannabis use, and why prohibition is necessary. They came back with a report that concluded: cannabis use had no significant dangers associated with it, and they recommended a policy of decriminalization.

 [T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only ‘with the greatest reluctance. 

This didn’t fit the narrative Nixon was spinning, so the recommendations of the report were never implemented, and it met with a great deal of resistance. Nixon went on to launch the Drug War, declaring “we will wage an all-out war on drugs”. A war that more and more is being revealed to be a disastrous failure, with millions having been imprisoned and hundreds thousands dead.

Not the first time governments have asked for scientific basis in order to prohibit one of humanities oldest products, and have been disappointed that the experts don’t agree with the prohibition model in regards to cannabis. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, a 3000 plus page tome, reached the same conclusions the Shafer Commission would later reach. That in all but the rare and extreme cases, there is virtually no harm from the moderate, even habitual, use of cannabis. Both further concluded that the drugs use had near zero effect on society and tended to make its users less violent.

Now just days after Leonhart’s tipsy toeing of the government line on cannabis, yet another study comes out contradicting marijuana’s placement in schedule one of the Controlled substances Act. Drugs in Schedule I of the act are to be ones that have a high risk of addiction and abuse, they are also to have no accepted medical use. A new study released in the government sponsored open Neurology Journal, came to a very different conclusion when it comes to marijuana’s potential medicinal benefits. The report, Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke, concluded: “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

So yet again, the government finances a study that proves its own policy on cannabis is wrong. Lacking scientific reasoning, the only argument left for the continued prohibition and placement of cannabis as a Schedule I drug comes down to: “Because we say so”.