If “medical marijuana” is now legit, why isn’t hemp?

On the Google News page for March, 25, 2010; one of the top stories was the following:  Measure to legalize marijuana will be on California’s November ballot. Below is  a short quote taken from the article, which I personally feel captures the essence of this most recent news coming out of California:

“We’re one step closer to ending cannabis prohibition and the unjust laws that lock people up for cannabis while alcohol is not only sold openly but advertised on television to kids every day,”  Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University.

Sadly, this great victory will belong to Californians alone; at least for this year, anyway.  There is little doubt that groups in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and other “medical marijuana” states are considering similar legislation; but for now most people are content with California slowly being used as a guinea pig for broadening drug policy reform.

Given that popular polls indicate a majority of Californians now favor the decriminalization of cannabis, it is now very possible (even probable) that it will soon be as legal as cigarettes and alcohol in The Golden State.  But even if this does not happen or is somehow shot down by those in either state or federal government, there is a growing consensus that we are already in the midst of a lucrative new “gold rush” in the form of the medical marijuana industry.  And even in my home state of Montana, evidence of this new economic windfall is all around us.

Federal and local governments alike are struggling to adapt to a quickly changing reality, while there is a great deal of fear and wild speculation from within the movement about what might happen next.  In the meantime, countries like Canada and China (along with all other “first-world” nations except the U.S.) are embracing industrial hemp for a number of reasons and across many different industries, with great success and the promise of a sustainable future.

Our failed policies, which continue funding terrorism and organized crime throughout the globe, are also working directly against our farmers and preventing the development of a bio-fuel far superior to E85 that could eventually end our dependence on petroleum altogether.  Indeed, from my perspective after being trained as an engineer, it seems rather peculiar that the federal government is currently more tolerant of the mind-altering cannabis plant than they are of the industrial variety which was reportedly worth billions per year back in the 1930s!


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