Posted on June 20 2017
Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis -- the members of the cannabis family. This family of plants have been bundled together with misinformation and outright lies and packaged as “Marijuana” to fool the American public for nearly a century. Finally though, the facade is crumbling and the truths are being revealed. Cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes is creating a snowball effect of legalization -- twenty nine out of fifty states currently support access to legal cannabis in some form, with initiatives ongoing in states across the country. The tides are turning!
Reason One: “Money, Money, Money, Money... Money!”
The legal cannabis industry is not just about recreational use. Medicine, textiles, bio fuel, plastics, food, paper, and building materials and more can all be made from this extremely versatile family of plants. The most useful of the three, Cannabis Ruderalis, isn’t ever even used recreationally unless it has been cross-bred with cannabis indica or sativa.
Medicine can be made out of all three varieties with various effects, from killing cancer cells to alleviating pain, to quelling tremors and more. Cloth and rope created from cannabis is extremely strong and durable. The stalks of the cannabis plant can be used to create ethanol/methanol and bio plastics, while the seeds can be pressed into biodiesel. The cannabis seeds can be eaten and the plant itself can be juiced. The high cellulose content of the cannabis plants makes excellent paper. A highly effective insulation made from the stalks is a great way to build with a very low carbon footprint.
All of the products that can be made from cannabis would create jobs in cultivation, processing, and distribution which would stimulate local and state economies. All of the taxes involved in every aspect of the cannabis industry generate a massive amount of funds that can be used for building and repairing schools and crumbling infrastructure. Along with the taxes gained taxpayers should also be glad that their money isn’t spent on frivolous litigation against non-violent offenders. The cannabis black market is an estimated twenty billion dollar industry! It’d be nice if that money was funneled into our communities rather than into a criminal's pocket.
Reason Two: Health
The main health benefits of cannabis are attributed to the various chemical compounds that are unique to the cannabis family. There 66 different chemical compounds in cannabis, called "cannabinoids," which have been identified thus far. Of course the most popular is tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC) due to the psychoactive effects. Although it is the cannabinoid associated with getting high, THC also offers several important medicinal benefits. THC is a powerful sleep aid, can alleviate pain and nausea, increases appetite, and has been shown to kill cancer cells.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is arguably the most medicinally potent of the cannabinoids. CBD can help ease anxiety, inflammation, digestion, psychotic episodes, and nausea. It has been observed to kill cancer cells and decrease amounts of diabetic instances all while promoting cardiovascular health.
The psychoactive effects of cannabis are released through a process called decarboxylation, which is achieved by applying heat -- this is why you use a flame to smoke cannabis. Therefore, when juiced, cannabis can be consumed at sixty times the normal dose without any psychoactive effect, as the fresh plant and the cannabinoids have not been decarboxylated.
The seeds of the cannabis family contain twenty amino acids and are subsequently a great source of complete protein. Along with numerous other health benefits, cannabis decreases opioid overdoses by twenty four point eight percent in states with medical legalization. Legalization also dismantles the taboo of cannabis and thus decreases its temptation and ease of access to teens.
In environmental terms, cannabis is an extraordinarily ecological crop to produce. In terms of water consumption alone cannabis out produces cotton by five hundred percent. It also thrives without the use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers.
But ultimately, the medicinal benefits of this plant are too great to ignore, from treating chronic pain to epilepsy to Multiple Sclerosis to cancer. The preponderance of evidence is accumulating it will soon be too much to ignore.
Reason Three: Law
The first law concerning cannabis in the Americas was in 1619, declaring that the Jamestown landowners contribute 100 cannabis plants each to England. George Washington cultivated cannabis at his home on Mount Vernon. The first medical cannabis legislation was introduced in the mid eighteen hundreds.
The legislation that first began to outlaw cannabis was introduced in 1937, fueled by lobbying from industries that were threatened by cannabis, such as lumber and nylon. The American people were lied to and told that cannabis cigarettes would cause violence and psychological outbursts. This scare tactic was so successful that even the purely industrial ruderalis strain was outlawed.
But the major death blow came in the early 1970's when the Nixon Administration schemed to outlaw cannabis and keep it a Schedule 1 drug with “no medicinal value.” People within the Nixon administration admit what the famed "Nixon Tapes" also prove -- that Congress was getting ready to legalize cannabis once again, when Nixon single-handedly stopped it! Always paranoid, Nixon was threated by minorities, which were liberal leaning and supportive of legalization: Jews (particularly liberal minded therapists), homosexuals, African Americans, Mexicans and of course those liberal-leaning *gasp* dirty hippies! This is also why they hammered the term "Marijuana" (and "Marihuana") instead of "Cannabis" -- to sound more Mexican, which he could use as a racial slur to make it sound more foreign and undignified and fan the flames of xenophobia. Congress and a special Congressional Commission (the Shafer Commission) had determined that Cannabis ought to be legalized, so Nixon stepped in and crushed the effort. The Commission had come to the conclusion that cannabis was NOT a gateway drug, did NOT cause aggression or increase crime, and did NOT cause personal injury or harm -- pretty much exactly the opposite of Nixon's war on drugs!
Not only does current federal cannabis legislation make little to no sense, it is clogging the legal system with non-violent offenders and placing the burden on the taxpayer. People desperately searching for answers or cures are being ripped away from their families simply because they are easy targets. The justifications for placing Cannabis on the DEA's "Schedule 1" just don't hold water, and the truth is coming out. This argument is now a sinking ship.
Reason Four: Flawed Arguments
"Drugs are bad!" We’ve all heard it and of course any over consumption can be dangerous. Imbibing too much cannabis may send someone into a deep sleep, but it has never killed anyone. The same cannot be said of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or even water. But the reality is that there truly are amazing medicinal benefits in cannabis. It helps quell epileptic seizures, it kills cancer cells, it acts as a pain analgesic, and more. This argument just simply isn't true, and has been exposed.
"It’s a gateway drug!" Actually, studies suggest that addiction and drug-seeking tendencies are more of a product of someone’s environment or community than the actual presence of intoxicants. Over the past 80 years users and advocates of this wonderful family of plants have been dragged through the mud. All to protect harmful and ecologically damaging industries like big lumber, big agro, and big pharma, and to perpetuate racist ideologies.
The industry is moving forward despite the federal government's continued interference. Grassroots movements have been gaining power for years and are breaking through the stigmas once maligning this industry as one of criminals. But the cat is out of the bag, so to speak -- the public now knows the truth and the tidal wave of support is too great to hold back. Truth cannot be silenced, and has a way of finding daylight.
Legalization isn’t just a smart move it is an inevitable one.