To the Editor: Time for a Conversation on Hemp

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Editor,

While reviewing the Shoreline Area News site, I noticed the Blog re: Marijuana: It’s time for a conversation. In fact, I attended this event last Monday (11/16/09). The presentation by Rick Steves, John McKay (former US Attorney), Bud Krogh (a great guy despite his past association with Watergate!), and the Edmonds' Representative who substituted for Rep. Kohl-Wells was intelligent, informative and clear. Likewise, the audience was hardly made up of wild eyed, crazed pot-heads that the few remaining “drug-warriors” that seem to control our government have made supporters of drug policy reform out to be.

As a society, we have been overwhelmed with a completely false view of what is in reality is simply the hemp plant – the same hemp plant that has been vital to human-kind for thousands of years. My roommate is currently doing a research paper on Hemp for a SCC English class. As mentioned at the event and confirmed by her research, the cause of criminalizing this vital plant in 1937 is clear – it was a special interest effort by federal agents (Henry Anslinger, et. al) who were out of work because of the ending of alcohol prohibition and needed jobs. Racism towards Mexicans (hence, the pejorative “marijuana” was used rather than the well known “hemp” in describing the plant) and the famed “Reefer Madness” type propaganda were used as props to very quickly steer this bill through congress before the public even knew they were simply talking about the hemp plant. There is much here for those would want to understand the facts of history including President Nixon’s suppression of the findings of his own commission that called for the decriminalization of marijuana due to its relative harmlessness and dealing with any issues as a health rather than as a criminal problem.

If nothing less, we need to immediately to re-establish a hemp industry in America to simply catch up to the rest of the world. It is well known that industrial hemp cannot be used for its psychoactive effect. I have been eating hemp seeds (“hemp nuts”) for over a year – a very nutritious source of complete protein and high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids – and have found them to be delicious and beneficial (energy/stabilizing).

I would like to know what we can do on a local level to end this wasteful, destructive “war” against the plant that so beneficial for our well-being.

Greg Logan  

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