By Jeandré Gerber
These days the information regarding marijuana and hemp is abundant. By simply searching the term “Marijuana” on Google one can find 99,700,000 hits and, similarly, “Hemp” with 39,500,000 hits. This means that anybody with access to the Internet can thoroughly research the topic and receive a wide range of opinions. The majority of the information suggests that marijuana is beneficial for the human body with little to no side effects. Nobody has ever died directly due to marijuana use in the history of mankind and due to current research marijuana has earned its rightful place in the world of medicine.
Hemp (the industrial form of cannabis) is just as versatile as marijuana with thousands of different industrial uses. It is said that Hemp can produce over 5000 different products from its dense fibrous pulp, and over 35,000 products from its cellulose. Some of these products include; paper, cloth, oil, hemp-crete (concrete made from hemp), food, plastics and more. Hemp is not only a renewable resource, it also causes less pollution when processing and requires fewer chemicals as well. For more on the uses of hemp, please refer to “The Many Uses of Hemp” By Nuff Said earlier in this issue.
Yet all this information can be found on the Internet, in libraries, through expert opinion and so forth; however the fundamental principle still remains…it is illegal.
There are many reasons as to why it remains illegal but one major factor is not a concern about public health, but rather the enrichment of greedy politicians and militarists. Every day when you look at the mainstream news you hear about the big marijuana busts with an inflated street value attached to them in order to convince the general public that “something is being done”. The truth of the matter is that absolutely nothing is being done about the apparent “drug problem”. 40 years of history has taught us that this failed strategy is the reason for democratic demise globally, a rise in insecurity and most importantly the systematic dismantling of civil liberties. All over the world people are slowly being deprived of their civil liberties and are subjected to a violent invasion of privacy from their government. The United States created the Patriot Act which allowed them to rape the American Constitution while the country stood by hoping somebody might save them from the ghost called terrorism. Mexico soon followed when they saw the opportunity to attack the evils of organized crime. This June Mexican Congress passed a bill very similar to the Patriot Act which gives the military the right to search anybody without a search warrant, they can also tap cell phones and the list goes on. Currently the United States Patriot Act wishes to classify WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization with the ends of extraditing Julian Assange as a terrorist spy guilty of espionage against the government.
By simply taking a step back and looking at the big picture we begin to notice a ridiculous scenario which acts like a cancer on society. We see several groups fighting the prohibition against marijuana with all a zealous zeal and many battles have been won. The problem is that all of these battles are small compared to the global prohibition machinery that is currently in the seat of power. Every year there is an increase in the budget to battle “drugs”, every year more people are being incarcerated. This is only the beginning of the problem because as jails become fuller and criminal records are stamped on the forehead of simple users, jobs become more difficult to find and more economic stress gets placed on the already fatigued economy. Yet the system continues and the heads of state blindly ignore the science and the economic reason.
To attempt to find the reason behind the madness you will be forced into tunnels of obscure history and economic greed, you’ll come face to face with hypocrisy and injustice. You begin to see how government switched allegiance from the people to that of big corporations in various sectors of society. And you see that regardless of public outcry, the government merely turns a deaf ear.
This reality may discourage people from believing that marijuana might never be re-legalized in the near future, it may even sway some people from being involved with it at all. But there are some out there who regardless of prohibition and the criminal justice system will continue to toke the trees of wisdom until the day they die. The number of these die hard tokers ranges up to the 250 million marker globally. The actual figure might be a lot higher than the above stated number. The point is that drugs will be a part of society now and into the future; in fact public opinion is becoming more tolerant on drug use where as the government policy becomes stricter.
But what can we the consumers of the world do to aid the legalization of Marijuana and Hemp, and all drugs for that matter? We understand that prohibition only causes strife and social destruction, and that if drugs were legal, controlled and regulated then the world as a whole would be safer. Yet it seems that at every attempt we only have government stonewalling as a result.
The first thing that a cannabis user must do is to become educated and shed the rags of “stoner”. Cannabis is a plant of enlightenment and understanding, many smokers know this. Yet the stereotypical image of the lazy stoner still lingers in the subconscious of the moral majority. Thus it is imperative that you the consumer step up the game and become educated and informed about the topic. Learn what marijuana can do, learn about the health benefits, study the industry of hemp and begin to spread the word. Any person you educate on the topic and to whom you reveal the benefits of legalizing one of the most precious cash crops on the planet is a potential vote for any governmental legalization program.
Secondly you must cease to operate within the current system of illegality. You might ask how one can achieve this and I will tell you how. Marc Emery spoke of a concept called “Over Grow the Government” which urges people to grow as much weed as possible. This strategy works in two ways: the first of the two is that the increase of cannabis on the market will devalue the street worth and in turn give less revenue to organized crime; secondly it will force the government to spend all their money in trying to close the grow-ops while overpopulating the jails which will in turn deplete their budget quicker. Although this strategy is a bold move on behalf of consumers there still seems to be a lot of risk involved, besides who wants to go to jail for pot?
In order to successfully stop your participation within the current system you will however need to stop purchasing. Besides the elevated street price of quality cannabis, there is much risk involved going out into the streets to buy your baggy. Thus with modern technology you can now grow indoors in your very own closet sized hydroponic system. One plant can easily satisfy the need for weed for up to 3 people producing, at the low end, 125g per harvest. If you calculate a 3 month harvest period you can see that if 3 people were to smoke from that one harvest, they would each have roughly 41 grams for 3 months. Not only will you control the quality but you can also experiment with variety and in the end will actually save money since your only expenses will be only to maintain the grow-op which will be covered by 3 consumers. Also since the operation is small and no selling would be done but only consumed, the likeliness of getting “busted” is far less than being busted in the streets for possession, especially if you do not boast about your plant in public. This strategy will make the consumer actually boycott the current illegal weed system which in turn will reduce the street value and would effectively decrease the organized crime cash flow. Cannabis constitutes 60% of the cartels’ yearly income, which means if everybody grows their own weed to consume; the drug cartels will take a huge knock.
The result would be a world where the massive influx of cannabis would force the hand of the government to legalize, tax, and regulate the entire ordeal. You can’t be talking rant about the injustice of the current prohibition system if you buy drugs illegally. If you are already breaking the law by purchasing the drug, wouldn’t you rather cut yourself out of the system and provide your own marijuana? It is time that the consumer also assumes responsibility for keeping prohibition afloat. We are just as guilty if we buy on the streets as those politicians who enforce ridiculous laws. It is time to create a movement that will shake the foundations of the political war machine. It is time that a unified cannabis culture emerges that is tired of fighting the system, and rather focuses on creating a new system.
Mother Teresa once said that she would never attend an “Anti-War Rally” but would definitely be there at a “Pro-Peace Rally”. We should rather focus on manifesting the way things are supposed to be as opposed to fighting the way things are. You will only find resistance when speaking to the government and that is ok, but the government cannot stop me from growing in my house a plant that is only good for me. I have the right to decide what I put in my body, I have the right to choose as long as I do not impose on the liberties of others. I choose to be free and I choose to grow my own medicine, my own recreation. The war on drugs has by far been one of the most destructive plagues on the fabrics of society, it has consumed the concepts of freedom and has enslaved us without us even knowing it. Stop participating in the game, and begin to construct the world as it is supposed to be, where freedom was earned through the collective movement of the cannabis consumer, where we all said enough and took a stand. The time is now to start making a change, and by simply supplying your own cannabis, you can be part of the collective push for cannabis re-legalization.
By Jeandré Gerber
Photos courtesy of The Cannabis Breeders Bible and Green Candy Press