It’s High Time for A Real Debate on the ‘ECOMONY’


Way back in May, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney got visibly upset attempting to dodge a question about Colorado’s “medical marijuana” law (and sixteen other states, if you count D.C.) by turning the discussion to the economy.  Or, as he so eloquently stated, “the ECONOMY, the ECONOMY, the ECONOMY!”

When the interviewer bravely persisted with the question of medical freedom, he then proceeded to explain that illegal drug use is having terrible consequences here and, particularly, in Mexico.  To which he offered no solutions or even a moment’s contemplation, instead telling the reporter from Denver’s CBS 4 how he has a grand plan to give more people jobs and really turn things around.  If you’re curious about how this wanna-be leader of the free world reacts under pressure, or just appreciate quality entertainment, it’s worth a look.

Sadly, aside from drilling everywhere that isn’t already getting ‘fracked’, the GOP’s nomination for president of these United States of America has revealed no coherent plan whatsoever.  Perhaps even more frightening is the reality that President Obama hasn’t done so either.  Of course he says there’s a plan for fixing the economy.  Which, apparently, just hasn’t kicked in yet.

This is an oversimplification of the truth, as Obama has at least been wise enough to embrace the stark reality that we must end our reliance on fossil fuels by creating truly sustainable energy sources and, therefore, industries.  Yet, neither one of them will even go near industrial hemp or the various industries positively impacted by the growth of it’s medicinal cousin.

Lucky for us, Paul Ryan did the unthinkable:  he told a reporter that states should have the right to decide for themselves.  Maybe the more entertaining debate would be between Romney and Ryan over personal freedom?

Romney, on multiple occasions, has explained his opposition to the plant’s use as medicine or a recreational tool.  Given his religious background, not exactly a big surprise.  However, it is yet another jar of flies when you consider the flipside — Rastafari, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism and the surprisingly large number of other religions which consider the herb to be sacred (or have done so in the past.)  In fact, the University of Jerusalem released documentation back in the early eighties describing how cannabis has been mistranslated from the Old Testament as “sweet cane.”  Apparently it was a key ingredient in the holy anointing oil used by ,um, high! priests including Moses and Jesus.  They have since, to my knowledge, been silent on the subject altogether.  Meanwhile, their economy is profiting off the herb and saving lives in the process; thanks to what is widely known as the most advanced “medical marijuana” industry in the world.

What might be an even better (as in, simpler and much funnier) way to settle this debacle would be to ask old Paul Ryan if he thought adults should have the same sovereignty over their bodies and minds as the states apparently should?  His eyes might just pop completely out of his head.  Perhaps we should focus back on the enigmatic and ubiquitous economy.

Here in my home state of Montana, our economy has experienced some ups and downs over the past few years.  Giving some of us a perspective on this important issue which I feel is quite pertinent to the matter at hand.  Because it wasn’t the famous economic crash of ’08 and ’09 that hit many of us the hardest; rather, it was the complete decimation of our medical cannabis industry by federal and state officials.  Who have spent untold millions prosecuting entrepreneurs, their employees; and even sending their landlords to prison, for following state law.  A case that, unbelievably, these  law-abiding citizens (by virtually all accounts and presented evidence) are not even allowed to state in court.

For more information on how much twisted nonsense continues to plague our state and it’s hard-working residents, here’s a good place to start:  the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, who’s already spent upwards of $1 million dollars fighting our state government to reverse an unworkable law passed by a highly controversial (and time-consuming) session of passionate debate last year.  One in which our state lawmakers accomplished very little progress on any other issues.  The law is so bad, the state’s Republican Party addresses the issue as follows in their official platform:

Medical Use of Marijuana

We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana’s current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.

While the state’s Democratic Party, in the depths of their excessive and puzzling use of legalese, have come to the following profound conclusion:

WHEREAS, the voters of Montana approved by initiative the compassionate use of medical marijuana

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Democratic Party supports the right of qualified patients, with a medical condition where marijuana is appropriate, to have safe access to medical marijuana.

Moving Forward on Economic Development

If you are not intimately familiar with the difficulties of growing medical-grade cannabis, it’s likely hard to imagine just how many different local industries are positively impacted by the herb and it’s legal users.  Electricians, construction outfits, real estate agents, doctors, lawyers, restaurants and even the power company (especially in Montana) lost a substantial amount of revenue when the feds starting raiding people left and right.  But, to be fair, I should also note the players who lost revenue after the industry began booming:  pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco companies, private prisons, body shops and funeral homes (partly because traffic fatalities and accidents decreased, as they have in every state where the herb has become legal for medical use.)

Regarding the medicinal plant’s effect on our local alcohol industry, it is important to note that local “craft” breweries have continued to enjoy vast growth before, during and after the raids.  We are now ranked number two, behind Vermont, for the highest number of breweries per capita.  Obviously, most of the revenue collected by huge pharmaceutical and tobacco corporations was not left in the hands of Montanans.  Whereas, all the profit being made by local (legal) cannabis providers had been going back into the local economy — not the black market and Mexican drug cartels Mr. Romney brought up to, somehow, defend our federal government’s current drug policies…

What fascinates me the most about these economic realities, from the perspective of an “underemployed” mechanical engineer, is that it’s only the tip of a huge iceberg.  One that I would not even believe could exist until studying it closely for the past several years.  Industrial hemp really does have the capability of producing a sustainable and flourishing economy, in part because it’s also possible to harvest the plant’s legendary fibers from medical and recreational cannabis.  Using a process that yields copious amounts of organic fertilizer, to boot.

For more on this idea and how to put it into action everywhere, please contact me at gonzo0013@gmail.com; or leave a comment below and subscribe to this blog for coming updates on my own adventures in business.

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