The election campaign in Canada is in full swing. Colin Mayes’ recent columns about climate change and drug problems (read, “Oh no, marijuana”) echo television advertising currently put out by our Conservative government and doubtless paid for by us taxpayers. Some of us see through that ploy.
As a medical cannabis user for three years, I cannot restrain myself from commenting on less-than-enlightened statements. Mayes’ information regarding cannabis (the actual plant name, as opposed to the derogatory, slang term marijuana) is possibly even older than that great propaganda piece, Reefer Madness.
I have researched the background of cannabis use over recorded history (yes, that long) and feel strongly that, if governments could get past what Harold Anslinger and the U.S. government did to the cannabis industry worldwide in the past 80 or so years, then this marvelous plant could, indeed, save the planet. I urge all of those who still believe the plant is evil to do their own research. Start with the fact that the U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper (hemp is an alternative correct term for cannabis). Then, find out what commodity allowed the great sailing nations to explore the world (check out sails, ropes, caulking, shoes, pennants, charts, clothing, and on and on).
Without canvas (a direct derivation of the word cannabis), much great art work would not exist.
Henry Ford proved that a hemp-fibre car body was as strong as steel. In France and elsewhere, companies make a cement replacement material from hemp fibre. And we haven’t begun on the clothing industry or healthy food products. Last for now, but not least, one acre of industrial hemp/cannabis can produce in one year — renewably — as much very high-quality cellulose fibre for use in paper of all kinds as can five acres of very much more slowly renewable trees. While I have researched myriad books and sites, one text, The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, is an excellent beginning which I am proud to cite as reference.
Oh, and then there’s the medical aspect. Studies confirm good effects in many areas: epilepsy, MS, cancer, to note only the tip of the iceberg. Again, in fact, one of the first studies to show cannabis helped in cancer treatment came, in 1975, from a U.S. university. That study was very quickly shut down.
My own use of cannabis results from living with cancer, and its attendant digestive concerns, chronic pain and depression. Suffice to say that I would not willingly return to chemical medications.
The ramifications of legalizing cannabis are huge. One need only research the benefits Colorado has seen in just one year to begin to understand.
Lest anyone feel I do not understand the dangers, let us merely say that I do. No I don’t believe young people should have open access — but then, neither should they be out binge-drinking, and they certainly do that.
Legalizing cannabis is probably the best way to regulate access.
Please don’t allow yourself to be ignorant of a great deal of information available on what is now a very relevant topic. Go to the library, use the Internet and become informed, more fully than our current MP.