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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big Lie

In honour of the long-overdue announcement that federal raids on medical marijuana America have ended, I thought I would post an excerpt on the origins of marijuana prohibition from Peter McWilliams' outstanding book, Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do, the text of which is available online through that link (but it's well worth purchasing).

The chapter of the book from which I'm drawing the following excerpt lays out the steps through which the Marijuana Tax Act (which banned cannabis in the United States) went before it was passed under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Harry Anslinger, and the false premises and outright bullying to which the FBN had to resort to get the act passed and force medical professionals to get on board.

... how many doctors were heard in the congressional hearings in 1937? Precisely one. He represented the American Medical Association. The AMA opposed the bill. At least twenty-eight medicinal products containing marijuana were on the market in 1937, the doctor pointed out; drugs containing marijuana were manufactured and distributed by the leading pharmaceutical firms; and marijuana was recognized as a medicine in good standing by the AMA. [...]

[...] Like the Harrison Narcotics Act before it, the Marijuana Tax Act claimed—even in the title of the bill—only to tax marijuana. It was yet another deception perpetrated on Congress and the American people: the intent of the bill was never to tax, but to prohibit. Beyond mere deception, however, the Big Lie to Congress was yet to come.

In testifying before the congressional committee, the doctor sent by the AMA said the AMA had only realized "two days before" the hearings that the "killer weed from Mexico" was indeed cannabis, the benign drug used and prescribed by the medical profession for more than a hundred years. Said Dr. Woodward,

We cannot understand, yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the [medical] profession, that it was being prepared.

Anslinger and the committee chairman, Robert L. Doughton, DuPont Dynasties, Robert Doughton was a key DuPont supporter in Congress denounced and curtly excused Dr. Woodward. When the marijuana tax bill came before Congress, one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?" Representative Vinson answered for the committee, "Yes, we have . . . and they are in complete agreement."

The Big Lie. The bill passed, and became law in September 1937.

Anslinger was furious with the AMA for opposing him before the congressional committee. As the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he could prosecute any doctors who prescribed narcotics for "illegal purposes." Which purposes were "illegal" was pretty much Anslinger's call. From mid-1937 through 1939, more than 3,000 doctors were prosecuted. In 1939, the AMA made peace with Anslinger and came out in opposition to marijuana. From 1939 to 1949, only three doctors were prosecuted by the FBN for drug activity of any kind.

McWilliams, for those who don't know, passed away in 2000. He had AIDS and cancer and had been successfully using marijuana (legal under California law) to control his nausea, but switched to Marinol after a federal investigation and a judge ordered him to do so. Marinol was only effective about a third of the time for McWilliams and one day shortly after he switched medications he began vomiting and choked to death.

For all the economic damage he's likely to do, Obama's policy on letting the states legislate on medical marijuana would have saved Peter McWilliams' life, and will save lives that would have been lost. If I had a hat, I'd tip it to Mr. Obama today.

Posted by Janet Neilson on February 27, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

"1. Many of your “facts” about the hemp plant in general are dead wrong, easily debunked, and I notice you haven’t uttered a peep about them since I first debunked them."--Shane


Sorry it took me so long to get back to the points about hemp but I've been rather busy exposing your ignorance on several points and providing the documentation to support that.

First neither you nor 419 have been able to rebut a single point I made about the many uses of hemp and your misinformed rhetoric will not survive my actual documentation.

Hemp as bio fuel:

Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol

Another approach will involve conversion of cellulose to ethanol, which can be done in several ways including gasification, acid hydrolysis and a technology utilizing engineered enzymes to convert cellulose to glucose, which is then fermented to make alcohol. Still another approach using enzymes will convert cellulose directly to alcohol, which leads to substantial process cost savings.

Current costs associated with these conversion processes are about $1.37[vi] per gallon of fuel produced, plus the cost of the feedstock. Of this $1.37, enzyme costs are about $0.50 per gallon; current research efforts are directed toward reduction of this amount to $0.05 per gallon. There is a Federal tax credit of $0.54 per gallon and a number of other various incentives available. Conversion rates range from a low of 25-30 gallons per ton of biomass to 100 gallons per ton using the latest technology.

In 1998 the total California gasoline demand was 14 billion gallons. When ethanol is used to replace MTBE as an oxygenate, this will create California demand in excess of 700 million gallons per year. MTBE is to be phased out of use by 2003 according to State law.

In this case we can consider biomass production from a much broader perspective. Sources of feedstock under consideration for these processes are:


We will address these in turn and show why a dedicated energy crop holds important potential for ethanol production in California, why hemp is a good candidate as a dedicated energy crop, and how it may represent the fastest track to meeting 34% of California's upcoming ethanol market demand of at least 580-750 million gallons per year.[vii]

http://fuelandfiber.com/Hemp4NRG/Hemp4NRGRV3.htm

Bottom line: The United States has 60 million acres of idle arable land. Energy crops tend to prevent erosion, so the goal is to use those 60 million acres to experiment with different energy crops and different ways of integrating land and technology to produce energy. While the theoretical standard for bulk biomass production exceeds the standards for hemp production, hemp is very competitive with the actual yields of experimental energy crops. Factor in hemp's diverse ecological adaptability, and it becomes a very appealing energy crop.

Bottom line: The United States has 60 million acres of idle arable land. Energy crops tend to prevent erosion, so the goal is to use those 60 million acres to experiment with different energy crops and different ways of integrating land and technology to produce energy. While the theoretical standard for bulk biomass production exceeds the standards for hemp production, hemp is very competitive with the actual yields of experimental energy crops. Factor in hemp's diverse ecological adaptability, and it becomes a very appealing energy crop.

Here are some interesting facts both about hemp generally and about hemp's ability to become an alternative fuel for America:

............

1. "Since 1937, about half the forests in the world have been cut down to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most would still be standing, oxygenating the planet." - Alan Bock.

2. Historical tradition, if not current federal law, favors hemp. The [first drafts of the] U.S. Constitution, [and] the Declaration of Independence [the final drafts were on animal skin], The Gutenberg Bible, and Old Glory (our nation's first flag) were all made from hemp - as was the favorite fuel of Henry Ford, the reading lamp oil of Abraham Lincoln, the paints used by Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and the parachute webbing that saved the live of George Bush.

3. Hemp canvas covered the Westward-bound wagons, the tall sailing ships, the bi-planes and zeppelins of World War I, and provided the original Levi pants worn by California goldminers in 1849.

4. Hemp was so crucial to colonial America that its cultivation was mandated by law.

5. As an agricultural commodity, hemp is arguably the world's top renewable resource for fuel, paper, cloth, paint, plastic, protein, soap, oil and over 25,000 other products.

6. Anything made from oil or wood can be made from hemp.

......

8. Hemp fiberboard is stronger than wood; hemp houses are as strong as cement houses and better insulated.

......

10. Hemp paper will last up to 1,500 years; hemp cloth is stronger than cotton. Cotton requires more pesticides than any other agricultural product (39 million pounds in 1993).

11. Hemp grows without pesticides. Hemp's long taproot improves soil quality and reduces erosion.

......

24. One tank of gasoline generates up to 400 pounds of CO2. During the 1930s, Henry Ford grew hemp on his estate to demonstrate the efficiency of methanol production. Both Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) intended to power their vehicles with plant-based fuels.

25. Hemp biomass grown for fuel would reverse global warming by converting CO2 into oxygen during the growing cycle. Hemp is one of the richest biomass sources. Each acre of hemp yields 10 tons of biomass (1,000 gallons of methanol) in 4 months.

26. The gas turbine generates cost-competitive electrical power using biomass fuels. Researchers at Princeton University estimate that biomass fuels combined with advanced gasifier-gas turbine technology could compete in cost with coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric power in both industrialized and developing countries.

27. If vehicle fuel efficiency were doubled, biomass energy could replace all fossil fuels now used in cars and all coal burned for electricity in the U.S. To maximize efficiency, plant-based methanol, plastic, rayon and electrical production could occur at the same facility.

28. Hemp biomass farms would abate foreign oil dependency, soil erosion, acid rain, air pollution and global warming, while laying the groundwork for revitalized rural communities. Rural pasture land (7% of U.S. acreage) could produce enough biomass to end U.S. dependence on gas and oil.

29. By converting cotton, tobacco, sugar and cattle feed production into biomass, energy independence would be within reach. The least valuable hemp product is biomass fuels. Each acre of hemp grown for fiber and pulp is worth $750 - considerably more than each acre of corn or wheat.

http://www.lightparty.com/...

.............

Some of you may remember Hugh Downs, who used to be co-anchor with Barbara Walters, on ABC's news show, 20/20. Hugh did a nine minute segment on hemp in 1990. Here are some excerpts from his segment:

.............

But the reason the pro-marijuana lobby want marijuana legal has little to do with getting high, and a great deal to do with fighting oil giants like Saddam Hussein, Exxon and Iran. The pro-marijuana groups claim that hemp is such a versatile raw material, that its products not only compete with petroleum, but with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceutical, timber and textile companies.[1]

It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as biomass could replace 90% of the world's energy needs.[2] If they are right, this is not good news for oil interests and could account for the continuation of marijuana prohibition. The claim is that the threat hemp posed to natural resource companies back in the thirties accounts for its original ban.

At one time marijuana seemed to have a promising future as a cornerstone of industry. When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable.

In the 1930s the Ford Motor Company also saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant, that included hemp, at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl-acetate and creosote. All fundamental ingredients for modern industry and now supplied by oil-related industries.[2]

The difference is that the vegetable source is renewable, cheap and clean, and the petroleum or coal sources are limited, expensive and dirty. By volume, 30% of the hemp seed contains oil suitable for high-grade diesel fuel as well as aircraft engine and precision machine oil.

Henry Ford's experiments with methanol promised cheap, readily renewable fuel. And if you think methanol means compromise, you should know that many modern race cars run on methanol.

About the time Ford was making biomass methanol, a mechanical device[3] to strip the outer fibers of the hemp plant appeared on the market. These machines could turn hemp into paper and fabrics[4] quickly and cheaply. Hemp paper is superior to wood paper. The first two drafts of the U.S. constitution were written on hemp paper. The final draft is on animal skin. Hemp paper contains no dioxin, or other toxic residue, and a single acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees.[5] The trees take 20 years to harvest and hemp takes a single season. In warm climates hemp can be harvested two even three times a year. It also grows in bad soil and restores the nutrients.

Hemp fiber-stripping machines were bad news to the Hearst paper manufacturing division, and a host of other natural resource firms. Coincidentally, the DuPont Chemical Company had, in 1937, been granted a patent on a sulfuric acid process to make paper from wood pulp. At the time DuPont predicted their sulfuric acid process would account for 80% of their business for the next 50 years.

Hemp, once the mainstay of American agriculture, became a threat to a handful of corporate giants. To stifle the commercial threat that hemp posed to timber interests, William Randolph Hearst began referring to hemp in his newspapers, by its Spanish name, "marijuana." This did two things: it associated the plant with Mexicans and played on racist fears, and it misled the public into thinking that marijuana and hemp were different plants.

Nobody was afraid of hemp--it had been cultivated and processed into usable goods, and consumed as medicine, and burned in oil lamps, for hundreds of years. But after a campaign to discredit hemp in the Hearst newspapers, Americans became afraid of something called marijuana.

By 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed which marked the beginning of the end of the hemp industry. In 1938, Popular Mechanics ran an article about marijuana called, "New Billion Dollar Crop."[6] It was the first time the words "billion dollar" were used to describe a U.S. agricultural product. Popular Mechanics said,

. . . a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. . . .

The machine . . . is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human labor.

Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope, to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed, contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.

http://www.ratical.org/...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/5/28/154559/717/583/214006

I can do this all day Shane. The advantages of hemp are well documented. However, I do anticipate more of your ad hominieum fallacies of just attacking the sources.

But they will be meaningless unless you can provide documentation that proves these facts to be false.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 9:01:19 PM


"2. The fact that a remedy is old does not make it appropriate for use today."--Shane

The FACT is we have many ancient remedies in use today. The FACT also that credible research by credible researchers have identified several medicinal qualities of marijuana. The FACT that the Scientific Committee of the AMA has recommended marijuana be reclassified as Schedule II. The FACT is while the governing body of the AMA denied that request, the AMA has both called for more research as well as passed a resolution for allowing doctors to discuss Medical Marijuana with their patients as a MEDICAL OPTION. The FACT is the American College of Physicians have taken an official position in favor of Medical Marijuana.

In addition Dr. Petro, a former FDA medical officer, said "Unlike many modern chemicals that have only been used in medicine for short periods of time, marijuana has a history of use in medicine that stretches back at least 5,000 years."....... Most important, Dr. Petro found marijuana's use in the treatment of spasticity is repeatedly mentioned by different writers living in different times and different cultures. Furthtermore, there was an "immense body of medical literature developed during the late-19th and early 20th centuries on the medicinal uses of cannabis."

Lester Grinspoon, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, author of Marihuana Reconsidered (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), responded to statements made at the hearings by government experts. "Claims that there have been no long-term studies concerning the chronic effects of cannabis use are inaccurate. There have been several long-term studies. These studies all involved long-term heavy use of marijuana (daily use over a number of years) and found no evidence of serious adverse, physical, or psychological effects." Many witnesses, including those from the DEA, acknowledged that marijuana has never caused a death, either from chronic use or overdose.

And this from the University of California:

"Recent research, encompassing 28 HIV patients, involved adding medicinal marijuana to the individuals' existing pain medication. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that 46 percent of patients smoking medical marijuana reported clinically meaningful pain relief, while 18 percent who smoked a placebo reported this level of relief.

The research was sponsored by the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research, and the results were found to be consistent with other center studies finding short-term benefits from medical marijuana for neuropathic pain management.

Results of the latest study were published online Aug. 6 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology."

There is no possible way you can deny two things, here Shane. One is marijuana does have a 5,000 year medical history and the other is that modern doctors and scientists have researched marijuana and confirmed it medical viability.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 9:41:23 PM


what does this have to do with "the Big Lie"- the McWilliams claim that marijuana was cheated out of its role in modern medicine? Especially the part where medical marijuana could have saved his life?--
But as you worked so hard, We will comment on a sample of 5 items of your exhaustive presenation...

1. "Since 1937, about half the forests in the world have been cut down to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most would still be standing, oxygenating the planet." - Alan Bock.

** these trees have since been replanted, or the land they were removed from farmed to some extent -- people need the trees for lumber and paper-- do you have a problem with that? they couldn't wait for the hippy hemp miracle scheduled to kick in 70 years into the future..

2. Historical tradition, if not current federal law, favors hemp.
** there was no other choice till cheap cotton planting came in

The [first drafts of the] U.S. Constitution, [and] the Declaration of Independence [the final drafts were on animal skin],
** almost all paper in that era was made from waste rope old rags, worn out sails.- very very very little virgin fibre--.the drafts of the US Constitution as you note were of hemp paper., but so was toilet paper, slave price calalogues, grocery lists-- hempness is not a determining factor here--your founding fathers all wiped their noble arses with hemp-- wheres that in your version of events?


The Gutenberg Bible,

**linen paper from Flax-aka 'Bible paper_its a catagory of world paper characteristically very thin and strong- made from flax, not hemp

and Old Glory (our nation's first flag) were all made from hemp

***your US old glory was made of silk- and misc cloth scraps-- Betsy Ross used ripped up party dresses donated from rich chicks.. - Look it up in a credible source- not the jack herer shortcut show to obliviia - your sacred first flag is _not made from hemp, thats irresponsible projection- it was made from ladies super sissy ball gowns..

as was the favorite fuel of Henry Ford,

** really? and he had gasoline engines installed in every one of the millions of vehicles he ever made? he sure wasted his time loving hemp oil as a fuel..

the reading lamp oil of Abraham Lincoln,

(( maybe-huge maybe- frontier candles were made from pork fat and ashes,,or beeswaX OR READ BY THAT MOST EXCELLENT SOURCE CALLED THE SUN '' . 1830-1890 lamp oil of choice worldwide was whale oil- read Moby Dick- kerosene by mid 19th C- in the cities coal gas--Abe was an urban guy for most of his life- a well off lawyer politician- couls easily afford the reading lamp oils of choice;; hemp oil _stinks when it is burnt in a lamp smokey - last choice of a serious reader

the paints used by Van Gogh and Rembrandt,

((boiled Linseed oil from flax..paintrs still use this linen oil as it works best - linseed oil, poppy seed oil-- _cheap paints used hemp--with red lead for barns.. fine art uses linseed oil

and the parachute webbing that saved the live of George Bush.

** cotton webbing, standard mfg in American airforce - - look it up--cotton is lighter, stronger more flexible esp when wet.. anyway Big F deal - thats like four linear feet of whatever fabric..We thought hippies hated George Bush, now you are glad he survived being shot down - make up your mind

3. Hemp canvas covered the Westward-bound wagons, the tall sailing ships,

** yes agreed

the bi-planes
** Bi Planes used exclusively high grade Irish linen stretched over wooden frames,, saturated with amyl acetate- aka Airplane" Dope"-
..and zeppelins of World War I,

** (( again;; ruberized Linen fabric, there is even an official grade of ultra fine line of that era known as " " airplane fabric = super fine tight weave-- its linen,flax plants--
hemp is way too heavy to fly

and provided the original Levi pants worn by California goldminers in 1849.
** Levis Straus denies this hemp heritage allegation- they imported cheap Chinese Cotton " Duck" heavy cloth, manu-factured this cheap coarse cloth into their famous line of work clothes with metal rivits on the pockts.. Levis never used hemp at any point in their manufacturing..they still don't- they are an all cotton outfit..i9\

4. Hemp was so crucial to colonial America that its cultivation was mandated by law
.** and almost nobody fullfilled their obligatioin to produce hemp in America, and this command was upgraded again and again- sure farmers grew a quarter acre foir their own ropes-- and there were a handfull of colonial ropewalks .. but the US was for the most part dependant on English or Russian hemp for the greater part of her history--and for the greater part of her sailing ship history--the US slave system produced only the coarsest cloth bags and tarps- nothing special and not in what anyone would call large ammounts-- the day the US could bring in cheap sisal hemp from Asia, the US domestic hemp fell apart-- and it never returned till those Asian supplies were cut off briefly during WW2==when that war was over- cheap Asian fibre flowed back to America till that was displaced by synthetic fibres..-- faster, cheaper better ..goodbye clunky old hemp and its still gone in 2009..what hemp the US requires in the modern era you gladly buy from Canada-

5. As an agricultural commodity, hemp is arguably the world's top renewable resource for fuel, paper, cloth, paint, plastic, protein, soap, oil and over 25,000 other products.
** if you want to argue- uranium & petrolum make a superior fuel, there i a world over supply of old paper for recylying into new paper-- cloth? cotton and synthetics, maybe hemp would be a great third or fourth choice - plastic? old plastic recycled we still got lots.. soap__ any oil is good for soap, however detergents do not require valuable oil feedstocks --much better cleansing action as well,,

25,000 products? that figure is a projection from Popular mechanics magazine 75 years ago so we hear - what 25K were you suggesting?

hemp had its place - long ago, like horses and barn dances but as you can see, hemp has been supplanted by other products- many of them synthetic-that are easier to create, work store transport and use ..cheaper, faster, easier, more readily available for more people worldwide that equals better'

hemp is good, but it needs a lot of industrial style R&D work to whip it into shape, to even pay its own way- much less cover the earth --and how will you Americans do that when you can't even grow it legally in your country ?? Your constitutions treasure is what is actually written, not what it is written on- hemp is OK, it has its place but it is not ,a industrial/religious experience - if it is to you, maybe rearrange some priorities - save yourself some tears

George Washington, never grew more than a wheelbarrows worth of hemp in his whole lfe - and as far hempseed- he could maybe fill one boot with his entire lifetime output-- it was a hobby- thats all

Tommy Jefferson let his slaves sow hemp and make their own cloths from it on his estates- a backbreaking task but hey, as hardly any other Americans were manufacturing hemp cloth. his "staff" had to DIY or not get anything at all.to wear
. Hemp was always a shakey small enterprise in American history except during a brief desperate flush of activity in WW2--

you don;t have to believe any of this- but it wouldn't hurt to look it up for yourself beyond Wicpiedia and pop culture hemp apologist lit.

We are done here- have a Smurfy day


Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 10:33:24 PM


"3. Illegal markets are created by buyers, not sellers. And without some pressing need or gross violation of civil liberties, there is no reason to break this law. To blame human nature is evasion."--Shane

As I said earlier it amuses me no end that people like you who accuse others of not being able to accept reality due to drug induced euphoria are far more guilty of that with no excuse to fall back on.

The environment for both buyers and sellers is the direct result of prohibition of substances and behaviors.

So let's talk about human nature and "evasion" Shane, and we'll begin with your evasion. I asked you a very simple question Shane and a simple yes or no answer would have sufficed. But obviously you refuse to answer that question so instead I will.

Can you name a prohibition of anything that has ever successfully worked in all of human history?

Obviously the answer to that question is NO.

Let's start at the top. We have laws that prohibit murder with penalties up to and including death. But we still have murders.

We have laws that prohibit rape which also carry very severe penalties. Yet we still have rapists.

We have laws against having sex with children or producing child pornography. Yet we still have pedophiles.

We have laws that prohibit physical assault. Yet we still have violent people.

We have laws that prohibit theft yet we still have thieves.

We have laws that prohibit prostitution yet we still have prostitutes.

We have laws that prohibit gambling, yet we still have gambling.

And yes we have laws that prohibit using SOME drugs. Yet we still have drug users.

Those are obvious realities which you can't deny Shane and so it is also obvious that prohibition of something has never worked and never will work to stop people from engaging in the prohibited behavior.

So we need to look at that list again, because even if the prohibition of the behavior doesn't stop people from engaging in it, there are benefits to most of them that make at least trying to stop them through prohibition and arresting and incarcerating those who violate that prohibition worthwhile to our society.

There are clear advantages for not having murders, rapists, pedophiles, and thieves in our midst. They either harm or hold the potential to harm the person or property of another. The harm or potential harm to society is clearly apparent. It is very worthwhile then to commit the resources in police, courts and prisons to separate these people from ourselves.

But now let's look at the other groups; the prostitutes, the gamblers and the drug users. There is a clear distinction in these groups because there are no victims. There are only willing participants who hold the potential for harming only themselves.

Now always at this point people like yourself will howl but they do harm others. Prostitutes spread diseases and feed organized crime. Gamblers also feed organized crime, as well as bankrupt themselves and their families. Drug users also feed organized crime and also destroy their families.

But when we take a closer look at it that is not actually true. Where prostitution is legal the prostitutes undergo regular medical check ups and practice safe sex. They are not exploited by organized crime or pimps because they are in a regulated business. They are not beaten or abused by their customers because what they are doing is legal and they have police protection. And they pay their fair share of taxes to support those services.

The same thing is true for where gambling is legal. Instead feeding organized crime the gambling feeds thousands of families who have legitimate jobs. It fuels the economy and even builds entire cities. It adds millions and perhaps even billions to tax revenues.

Drugs in the few places they are legal or at least the laws are not enforced do the same thing. But since the prohibited drugs we are talking about are not legal in most places then they do feed organized crime and criminals.

That's half of the equation but I almost hear you saying right now; yes but what about the families, these activities also harm them. That may be true, but we need to look at what that harm is. It primarily breaks down into two categories; creating financial hardship and breaking the family up.

Here's an example. Picture a woman standing there saying that everything was fine in her family until her husband began using drugs. Then they began to lose money, pretty soon they were broke, then he left or they got divorced. It is pitiful.

But now lets substitute drugs for some other words.

Every thing was fine until my husband started using the large breasted red headed neighbor next door. Same result.

Everything was fine until my husband got addicted to the internet. Same result.

Everything was fine until my husband joined a new church and dedicated his life to it. Same result.

We say we want to protect the family from harm and yet we have no laws against large breasted red heads, the internet, religions or cults or dozens of other things that cause the exact same results. Because we can't. We cannot protect the individuals from themselves. So the only real solution for this is for husbands and wives to be more selective and responsible for their choices or they will simply have to suffer the consequences.

Obviously then the benefits we hope to achieve from prohibiting prostitution gambling and drugs are very limited. So what is the cost.

The first cost is the one you harp on constantly. Where ever these activities are prohibited people will engage in them anyway and a criminal element instantly rushes in to feel that void. And since all these activities are out side the law where the legal principles and protections of business to not apply mayhem results. To deal with that we have to expend massive resources to try and stop both the people engaging in the prohibited activities and much more importantly the mayhem that results from that.

So let's not look at those costs. Since the US started the War On Drugs we now imprison more people than any nation on earth. We have so many people in prison now that we are violating both their constitutional rights and human rights due to over crowding. The cost is literally breaking most states and the problem gets worse daily.

In addition, criminologists and even prison officials have noted that many first time non-violent offenders enter prison and while they are there in order to simply survive must resort to violence and gang affiliations. Upon their release an estimated 75% reoffend and end back up in prison. But statistics show that the majority of them are re-arrested for crimes that now do include violence and murder. This is clearly counter productive and makes our society much more dangerous instead of safer.

In addition law enforcement on the outside had been able to identify but not been able to stop international drug trafficking and the creation of ever large gangs to distribute drugs and maintain individual territories.

Studies have actually attributed a decline in street gang related violence and murder to these international prison gangs who have incorporated former rival gangs into common areas of distribution and govern them from behind prison walls.

I would like to say it could not get any worse than this, but that would not be true. One, because more than 90% of the people we put in prison will get out, and they will be worse and more dangerous when than when they went in. And two, the number of assaults, killings and riots clearly show it is the inmates and not the authorities who in actual control of our prisons.

Clearly our prohibition of drugs in this instance is costing us far more then any benefit we could hope for to protect the individual from themselves and even drug addiction.

Especially if we take a cold hard look at addiction. If a person is addicted to a substance that person will stop using that substance one way or the other. They will either stop on their own, like millions of people do every year, get help to stop, and again we're talking millions, or they will die. But either way society's problem is solved and the only one harmed is the individual.

And again we need to look at cost benefit ratio even in this case. Treatments for drug addiction run anywhere from free up to $15,000. Conversely in the US it costs between $20,000 to $50,000 to keep one person in prison for a year. Relapsing back into drug addiction runs about 30%, recidivism in prison runs about 75%.

All we have to do is stop reacting to making sins into crimes and do the math and there is no question that ending prohibition of victimless activities is far more beneficial then prohibition will ever be.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 11:28:39 PM


"Thats right Shane_ Uncle Homer quietly dropped this stance of hemp as wonder crop when we shot it down with marshmallows.., didn't even refute us,"--419

I come back and fully rebut you erroneous claims and then you come back with this.

"what does this have to do with "the Big Lie"- the McWilliams claim that marijuana was cheated out of its role in modern medicine?"--419

You're a complete fraud 419 but an apparently endless supply of laughter/medicine.

You're actually funnier than pot to first time users.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 11:39:31 PM


"4. The atmosphere surrounding marijuana is too intensely politicized at this time to make any change in direction responsible. You have a personal stake in this and your bias and bitterness are evident."--Shane

What an utterly contradiction in terms this is Shane. So much so it renders this statement totally senseless.

The atmosphere surrounding marijuana is intensely politicized. No kidding. But then hasn't that been true at least since the 1960's?

Too politicized at this time to make any change in direction responsible. And why would that be when public opinion for legalization is increasing, so is evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana. So is the fact that we have traded in our conservative reactionary government for a more liberal one with a president who fully supports the use of medical marijuana. No I would say this is the best time in the past 50 years to make a responsible change of direction in our destructive and costly approach to marijuana.

You say I have a personal stake in this and therefore I am bias (but the bitterness part is just your own invention). But you have no personal stake in this? You have no personal bias? Is that what I'm supposed to believe Shane because all evidence points to the opposite.

By the way, its only my personal perception of course but I see you as the one being not only bitter in this discussion but also fearful that change might actually happen.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 11:53:36 PM


This hemp thing has you hooked right through the fucking bag, doesn't it? (Who says it isn't habit-forming?) To listen to you one would think the entire planet was built from hemp. And the only explanation you can offer for this wonder material not being utilized for everything from million-year light bulb filaments to building a bridge from Earth to Saturn is tired conspiracy theories.

If hemp were that good, everybody would be using it. Industrial-grade hemp is not forbidden in most places, including a dozen U.S. states (more if you obtain a DEA exemption). I once went to Tilley Endurables and asked about their hemp hat. It looked breathable. But it was quite coarse and the lady told me it wasn't really suitable for wet weather. Apparently it gets mouldy easily. Our houses have enough mould in them without hemp.

Hemp is not an ideal candidate for biofuels because of its low oil content. It has more than corn, but less than just about everything else, including the lowly peanut. The fact that it is usable does not make it ideal.

If there was an "immense body" of medical knowledge concerning the use of marijuana, why did doctors remove it from the pharmacopoeia in 1942? It had not been outlawed for medical use. The growers were simply licensed and taxed. Exactly the sort of regime many legalization advocates propose.

Sure, anything that can be made from oil or wood can be made from hemp--or any other organic fibre. It's just a question of synthesis and how much glue you throw in the mix. By the way, who here has seen a 300-foot hemp tree? Aren't those made of wood? By the way, most forests were cleared to provide farmland, not paper pulp. Most of the trees were either used in construction or cut up for firewood.

Like most academic types, Homer, you think more is better. Every time I ask you to answer the question, you redouble the length of your posts. It's getting arduous simply to read them. The ultimate goal of any document is to be read, and you are defeating that end, perhaps deliberately out of sheer spite. Trigger all the avalanches you like; you can't answer my question without admitting that you're blaming the wrong people for the drug gangs. There is no other rational explanation, no matter how much you sidestep.

As for whether prohibition has ever been a "success" in history, that depends on how you define "success." No measure is perfect. Always there will be lawbreakers. You know that better than I, being one yourself.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 12:23:20 AM


"5. Your (professed) inability to remember your own insults suggests a lack of short-term memory (a common problem among marijuana smokers),"--Shane

Purely Ad Hominem Shane. I remember perfectly well the few insults I have thrown your way, although they pale in comparison with what is actually your stock in trade. But calling attention to your ignorance and then pointing that out is not a fallacy when it is backed up by facts. And while realize it is painful to you, pointing out our ignorance in certain subject areas and documenting that with facts, is not an ad hominem fallacy. Rather it is more of an act of kindness and compassion lest you go through life believing such ignorance thus making a fool of yourself.

"your profound repository of largely inaccurate facts"--Shane

Here is a very simple task that will reveal the truth to both of us. If the facts I've put up are largely inaccurate then you should have not trouble finding the documentation that refutes those facts and posting it right here. Why don't your do that Shane?

"speaks to a selective cherry-picking of relevant facts from activist websites,"--Shane

Again if I guilty of just cherry-picking facts from only activist websites then you should have no difficulty finding facts that refute them and putting them up right here. I'll be waiting for that Shane.

"your encyclopaedic knowledge of pro-marijuana doctors and officials betrays your own activism (and therefore bias),"--Shane

Actually while I am well aware of the history, and current status of marijuana, I never heard of any of those guys until a searched for documentation of what I had said.

And I am biased there is no doubt. So are you. But I at least provide documented facts in support of my bias while you do not.

"and your inability to spell demonstrates either a poor education or a sloppy and perhaps decaying mind."--Shane

Ok as I said earlier you are obviously not clear on the concept of what an ad hominem fallacy really is. It is more than just attacking a person. There are two parts. One would be attacking the source or a person, but the second part is doing that without addressing any of the information or points of discussion.

So if you'll review what you said above you will have a perfect example of an ad hominem fallacy.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 12:42:47 AM


Now- the weather in Smurfville-- so Uncle fester didn;t say anything at all about the hemp wake up history call- he ignored contrary evidence , not refute-not disprove, not outthink but ignore- thats uncool - and didn't even defend his own version of events- he pretended nothing happened when in fact his pet hemp Americana theories were clear cut, sawn up and stacked in cords for him... no backwash, just big nothing- hoping evidence will go away and not confront fantasy

all he can come up with when its his turn up to bat
heard -it -all -before cheap radical sass..
we can live with that easy enough--after all, Uncle Homer has no hemp, won't get any hemp, and wouldn't know what to do with hemp if he did.. He is a marijuana person looking for validation for a long enduring drug habit-

we hope whatever is wrong with you healing pot can fix.. 37 years of pot use and you are still ill ? maybe consider pot's' not working...maybe its making you worse and you don't even realize it .. just like Mr Anslinger warned us..

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 12:53:55 AM


"This hemp thing has you hooked right through the fucking bag, doesn't it? (Who says it isn't habit-forming?) To listen to you one would think the entire planet was built from hemp. And the only explanation you can offer for this wonder material not being utilized for everything from million-year light bulb filaments to building a bridge from Earth to Saturn is tired conspiracy theories."--Shane

There is no need to get hysterical, Shane. I understand how frightening in can be when one's cherished notions will no longer stand up to documented facts but try to muster your courage and move on. It will be a good growth experience for you and you will be richer and stronger for that experience

"If hemp were that good, everybody would be using it. Industrial-grade hemp is not forbidden in most places, including a dozen U.S. states (more if you obtain a DEA exemption)."--Shane

The DEA does not allow exemptions for growing hemp any more then the FDA allows exemptions for research on it.

But you are correct there are some very limited exceptions including the labratory facilites that have been studying hemp since the 1970's and discovered they could produce ethanol/methanol for $1.37 per gallon (sorry I misquoted that figure3 at $1.47 per gallon earlier). All that was included in the documentation you asked for a I provided.

"I once went to Tilley Endurables and asked about their hemp hat. It looked breathable. But it was quite coarse and the lady told me it wasn't really suitable for wet weather. Apparently it gets mouldy easily. Our houses have enough mould in them without hemp."--Shane

This is a rather ridiculous analogy don't you think Shane? There are numerous products made of hemp, including canvas, which gets its name from cannabis, that are quite suitable for moisture, which is why they have used it for sails for more than 500 years.

But obviously the plastics, the fiber boards, and the other building materials that can be made from hemp will resist both moisture and mold.

"Hemp is not an ideal candidate for biofuels because of its low oil content. It has more than corn, but less than just about everything else, including the lowly peanut. The fact that it is usable does not make it ideal."--Shane

If you can show me anywhere I said hemp is the "ideal" source for biofuel you would have a point, but since you can't you don't.

What I have said is that hemp has many advantages over most other biofuel sources currently available when it comes to production, 10 times more productive than the corn we are currently using, when it comes to suitable land, and when it comes to the amount of water and fertilizer required. The advantage that hemp does have over all those other sources, however, is its versatility and the rather amazing amount of things that can be made from it.

It was all in the sources I provided Shane.

"If there was an "immense body" of medical knowledge concerning the use of marijuana, why did doctors remove it from the pharmacopoeia in 1942?"--Shane

That was clearly explained in the blog that began this discussion It had not been outlawed for medical use. Marijuana was removed due to pressure from Harry Anslinger.

"The growers were simply licensed and taxed. Exactly the sort of regime many legalization advocates propose."--Shane

This is only true in theory. There were no tax stamps issued. Plus the way the law was written in order to get the marijuana tax stamp one had to be in possession of the marijuana first. But to be in possession of the marijuana before you had a tax stamp for it was against the law. This was why the marijuana tax stamp act was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1972 (I think but I would need to check the date to be sure).

"Sure, anything that can be made from oil or wood can be made from hemp--or any other organic fibre. It's just a question of synthesis and how much glue you throw in the mix. By the way, who here has seen a 300-foot hemp tree?"--Shane

No one has seen a 300 foot hemp tree but the fact remains that hemp which is renewable annually still has a 4 to 1 production ratio over trees and a 10-1 production ratio over corn. And again hemp only takes four months to grow and a 300 foot tree would take a hundred years or more.

By the way how many 300 foot trees are there anyway Shane? Would you say lots of them?

"Aren't those made of wood? By the way, most forests were cleared to provide farmland, not paper pulp. Most of the trees were either used in construction or cut up for firewood."--Shane

I'm afraid you need to provide sources for that claim Shane.

But it would not matter trees are much less productive then hemp in everything from paper and fuel to actually building materials because hemp is renewable annually while it takes 5 years to grow a tree with enough fiber to make paper on tree farms and 20 years to grow trees big enough for lumber.

And deforestation is a serious problem in the US and I suspect in Canada but even if its not it is in the rest of the world especially the rain forests.

"Like most academic types, Homer, you think more is better. Every time I ask you to answer the question, you redouble the length of your posts."--Shane

I have addressed your "question" twice now Shane. Pointed out the two logical fallacies it contains, as well as the points at which your logic fails and thought a longer explanation would clarify things for you.

But really Shane I've noticed you're pretty wordy yourself.

"It's getting arduous simply to read them. The ultimate goal of any document is to be read, and you are defeating that end, perhaps deliberately out of sheer spite."--Shane

Shane, I rather doubt that anyone other than you and I are reading any of this. And you can give up any time.

"Trigger all the avalanches you like; you can't answer my question without admitting that you're blaming the wrong people for the drug gangs. There is no other rational explanation, no matter how much you sidestep."--Shane

Try to prove this rational wrong and if you can you win. Prohibition of substances or behavior creates an environment where if people choose to ignore the prohibition a black market will be created to supply the demand.

"As for whether prohibition has ever been a "success" in history, that depends on how you define "success." No measure is perfect. Always there will be lawbreakers. You know that better than I, being one yourself."--Shane

I already answered that for you Shane. The answer is NO, prohibition has never worked to stop any human behavior and never will. Despite that failure some behaviors are worth prohibiting, while other behaviors that only harm the individual cause more harm than good.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 1:31:14 AM


"Like most academic types, Homer, you think more is better. Every time I ask you to answer the question, you redouble the length of your posts."--Shane

Shane, let me just ask you another little question here. How many "academic types" do you know that work nights?

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 1:41:23 AM


Shane,

I'd like to correct another one of your misconceptions for you.

In one of our discussions I said that if marijuana were legal, or even if the penalties for growing it were far less severe, many, perhaps even most people would just grow their own.

You countered saying that is not true because most marijuana smokers are city dwellers in apartment buildings and such and do not have room for a two or three meter plant in their apartment which is what it would take to supply their personal demand.

That is where you misconception is. Enough marijuana to meet personal demands can actually be cloned and grown in a closet with grow lights, using plants that bush out and flower instead of growing tall.

Not that I would know anything about that personally you understand. Its just something I've seen and heard tell of.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 2:48:39 AM


Janet,

Although we have never met, I imagine you have long since forgotten this blog and moved onto your next topic. And I regret not taking the time to complement you on what I thought was a very good article earlier. Peter McWilliams would have been proud of you for using Aint Nobody's Business If You Do. (And from the emails we exchanged, I don't think he would mind me plagiarizing a few sections of it).

Endeavor to preserver, Janet, and don't let them bluff you.

Uncle Homer

PS I tried several times to post a rather lengthy (go figure) response. The last I saw of it I was told it was suspected spam and would be sent to you for your approval. If you do happen to see it you will see it contains no spam and if you could would you post it for me.

Either way thanks.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 8:18:42 AM


"...I understand how frightening in can be when one's cherished notions will no longer stand up to documented facts but try to muster your courage and move on..."

admitting it Uncle H is half the battle..Can you get a bumper sticker with quote and paste it on your screen.. It would help you ease into a beyond the 70s world -

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 9:09:18 AM


"...Shane, let me just ask you another little question here. How many "academic types" do you know that work nights?..."

uh, Uncle Fester- what is it you do at night that lets you goof off and write long windy holistic economic texts on the internet ? You post enough entries in a row to basically shirk all your duties

We guess saving the planet with hemp is worth it.. oops union break time: be right back ( huff huff cough cough ) global inspiration break - hope it isn't operating machinery or working with sharp onjects

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 9:22:21 AM


419 it is redundant for me to respond to you because every time I euphemistically kick Shane in the ass it breaks your nose.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 9:26:20 AM


Homer,

1. What??!!! Me hysterical???!!?!?!? Seriously, though, when you take an entire post to respond each couple of sentences (you have responded to each of my numbered paragraphs in a separate full-length post), that betrays a certain obsession. Effective communication is brief. Unless, of course, you don’t mind if no one reads it. I’m just skimming them at this point.

2. You recently posted that the FDA has strongly encouraged further research into the medical properties of marijuana, supplying an exhaustive list of FDA doctors and officials who support medical marijuana. THC-containing medications have already been approved. Marijuana itself is not likely to be approved as medical associations take a dim view of smoking.

Marijuana for research is currently available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The pot is reported to be extremely poor; a similar claim was made of the medical marijuana grown by the Canadian government. But those claims might just be sour grapes from those who resent not being able to produce their own.

Hemp is indeed a tough material and was used for ropes and sails, but only because of the absence of anything better. Hemp ropes had a short lifetime and were in constant need of replacement and sails certainly didn't last a lifetime. Know why the hemp industry was so large? Because hemp products were constantly wearing out.

As it was, hemp ropes were dipped in pitch to prolong their life. Not necessary with nylon. And as for strength, consider the following historical example. John A. Roebling, designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, once visited the portage railway of the Erie Canal. In several places the barges were hauled up hills by immense hemp hawsers nine inches in diameter. Each of these hawsers cost three thousand dollars (in 1839!) and lasted about a year. Roebling fashioned an iron cable only an inch thick that lasted far longer. (Frances McCullough, The Great Bridge.)

Biofuel production on a scale necessary for a country of 330 million, where virtually every family owns at least one car, is not practical with any terrestrial plant. Today's car market is not what it was in 1910. It could make a dent, but no more than a dent. Blue-green algae in vats is far more promising. And even among the foodcrops, hemp produces low yields per acre (Biodieselmagazine.com, “Hemp Biodiesel: When the smoke clears.”)

I agree that making paper from trees when you can make it from an annual plant is folly, especially considering how much paper the “paperless” office burns through in a day. And prior to the arrival of Europeans, the West Coast was covered with 300-foot trees. As for deforestation, Europe was once covered with oak forests, but these were largely cleared before the early modern era, at a time when paper was much rarer than today and usually made of something other than wood pulp (among other things, hemp). The trees in the Amazon are mostly hardwood and not well suited to paper-making. In early modern Europe and contemporary Brazil, the goals are the two F’s: Farmland and firewood. I don’t need a citation to tell you what any farmer or developer knows. It would be like requiring a citation to confirm the location of the Statue of Liberty.

Trying to disassemble the question and rule it inadmissible or deficient owing to “fallacies” is not addressing the question. It is evading the question. Argument, commentary, or opinion are not answers. And you’re in no position to talk about being wordy, Mr. I’ll Take Your Sentence and Raise You a Term Paper. As I said, I’m basically skimming at this point.

And why should we take your idea of “success” over mine? For that matter, if prohibition has never stopped any human behaviour in history, why outlaw anything? Why would it be worth prohibiting it if it won’t do any good? This is your great fallacy. And which “sins” should we avoid making into “crimes”? Murder? Stealing? Giving false testimony? Or do you only consider “victimless” acts to be “sins”?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 10:07:44 AM


419 it is redundant for me to respond to you because every time I euphemistically kick Shane in the ass it breaks your nose. - Don't fall off your ego, dude. A B-52 Stratofortress has less depth under keel than your opinion of yourself. Also, don't strain yourself—you mustn't engage in pugilistic activities in your condition. Especially when your proposed sparring partner is a 315-pound ex-soldier. :-D

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 10:11:44 AM


"...Shane, let me just ask you another little question here. How many "academic types" do you know that work nights?..."

From what I understand there are more than a few Ph.D.'s flipping burgers at McDonald's. Must rankle.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 10:12:58 AM


By the way, its only my personal perception of course but I see you as the one being not only bitter in this discussion but also fearful that change might actually happen. - It's not change that worries me, but change for the wrong reason. Politics being the game it is, it usually is for the wrong reason. I am intensely distrustful of anyone who brings passion into the debate, because their motives are not pure.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 10:14:43 AM


well so much for hemp and marijuana again.. we note there is usually some big lie associated with this plant simmering away at any given moment, projected by its feverish fans-
animals don't usually eat it-but some people will tolerate the poisonous effects on their central nervous systems and imagine it as uplifting..but as we can see here- cannabis is a potent notion laxative-bypassing the rational brain and going directly to the keyboard..

No wonder potheads get ignored-
everything is redundant to them except themselves
the big lie is engraved in stoner history-
they lie when they ignore what they dislike which is basically- any challenge to their brittle fairytale

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 10:58:13 AM


My mistake. It was not the Erie Canal, but the Allegheny Portage Railroad, that Roebling visited.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-07 12:34:42 PM


Shane: tbe Erie Canal was a horse drawn r barge system-- there are still " towpath Roads" along the banks.. at last near Buffalo New York.. for your true hemp history pleasure- near Buffalo was ropewalk the Seneccas ( Six nations Iroquois ) owned & operated prior to the Americans settling in the area- they learned how to grow and process hemp for rope from the French their preferred trade partners... a lot of the early era US hemp cordage was made by Iroquois First Nations and their European friends- The German Moravians.. in PA.. These Moravians eventually settled in British Ontario by special invitation after they had been repeatedly molested by the Americans in their pacifist frontier colonies.

Why, when the British Navy required hemp to fight Napoleon and his US allies they were able to generate hemp in such quantities from Canada : almost all the New World hemp providers had quit the US & were living in Canada..

** Do I have proof? indeed I do/ lots - from original 19th C sources- Ontario settlement history, Moravian colony history- etc.- more than enough to back this all up and shoot down the hippy version with marshmallows..


Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 4:28:04 PM


Shane,

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt my friend. But I do find it ironic that you would bring the Erie Canel into the discussion because you have backed up from your original arguments approximately from Ontario to there.

And by the way brevity is not one of your fortes either.

Neither is accurately comprehending and articulating what others say during discussions. So once again let me correct your misstatements and ignorance of this subject matter.

For instance, I have never said the FDA has strongly encouraged further research into the medical properties of marijuana. Why would I say that when the exact opposite is the truth. The documentation and links I supplied show the FDA has consistently refused to allow researchers access to marijuana in order to conduct research. In addition as you say the marijuana grown by the government is of very poor and inconsistent quality. This obstruction of marijuana research dates back to Harry Anslinsger himself which after the LaGuardia report came out in 1944 vowed that there would be no more research done on marijuana. And when you look at the results of the report it a clear why Anslinger would take that position.

Here are the conclusions of that report:

From the foregoing study the following conclusions are drawn:

1. Marihuana is used extensively in the Borough of Manhattan but the problem is not as acute as it is reported to be in other sections of the United States.
2. The introduction of marihuana into this area is recent as compared to other localities.
3. The cost of marihuana is low and therefore within the purchasing power of most persons.
4. The distribution and use of marihuana is centered in Harlem.
5. The majority of marihuana smokers are Negroes and Latin-Americans.
6. The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy.
7. The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word.
8. The sale and distribution of marihuana is not under the control of any single organized group.
9. The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking.
10. Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes.
11. Marihuana smoking is not widespread among school children.
12. Juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marihuana.
13. The publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is unfounded.
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/lag/conc1.htm

Of course I'm sure you will try to claim that a report done in 1944 is outdated but a study commissioned by Richard Nixon in 1972 came to the conclusion that marijuana should be decriminalized. So have dozens of other reports came to the same conclusion all over the world including Canada.

http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3382
(By the way I anticipate you ad hominem attack on this particular source. But it will be unfounded because you can easily just follow the links to the actual reports).


But then again you don't appear to be too good at looking at information or following links, otherwise you wouldn't still be trying to claim that THC containing medicines are a suitable substitute for actual marijuana when credible peer reviewed research has shown otherwise.

And that is again evident when you claim that Marijuana for research is currently available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. If you had actually read the information I provided and followed the links you not still be trying to argue that marijuana is available for research, when the quality is substandard and the government agencies routinely deny requests for marijuana research.

Its also interesting to me that by now you have given yourself enough information on hemp rope to hang yourself with. Because if rope was the only thing we could be producing from hemp you might have a point, but since there another dozen uses for hemp you don't.

And even your rope information is faulty. Venture out into the oilfield and you will find that hemp rope is still very much in use on drilling rigs because there is nothing better. You can not use a nylon rope or a steel cable on a cathead.

And while you may have a point about hemp fabric wearing out, you neglect to acknowledge that while that may be true at the same time it outlasts all other natural fabrics.

And Shane, as you say by this point you are only skimming what I write but I would point out it would be far less embarrassing for you if you would actually take the to read.

If you had you might have noticed that not once in this long discussion of using hemp as bio fuel have I even mentioned the word BIODIESEL and that is the product being discussed in the article you provided.

I haven't proposed biodiesel as a viable product of hemp (at least at this point in our development)because biodiesel is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and at the current stage of production and technology biodiesel from hemp costs a little more than $5.00 per gallon to produce. And while diesel prices are not far off that mark and will surpass it as the world supply of oil continues to dwindle at the present time it is not economically viable.

But ethanol/methanol is because it can be produced at $1.37 per gallon.

Even so you apparently skipped right over these statements in the article you provided:

"Hemp literally produces a “green” product when it’s used to make biodiesel. Despite the allure of the green-hued fuel, a close examination of the controversial crop reveals several barriers for its use as a biodiesel feedstock in the near future. However, as movers and shakers attempt to legalize hemp farming in the United States, those barriers could go up in smoke.

Today, high demand within the food market, limited production and low yields per acre make industrial hemp unattractive as a viable option for biodiesel production. That could change, however, if states like North Dakota can overcome federal road blocks to produce industrial hemp in the United States."

And while the only product you seem to accept from hemp is paper you really miss the most important points of why we should be producing and using massive amounts of hemp for a whole range of products.

The most important being this. When it comes to fuel we are currently addicted to fossil fuels, primarily oil and coal. These fuels are a net gain in CO2 emissions which are fueling Global Warming/Climate Change. Bio fuel from hemp also emits CO2 although in less amounts but the major difference is that at least while it is growing it extracts CO2 from the atmosphere and produces Oxygen. In other words it balances its emmissions. Hemp used for other products would result in a net gain of replacing CO2 for O2.

(Of course let me anticipate that you will also be one of the remaing few that will contend that the thousands of scientists from more than 100 other countries that have studied Global Warming for more than 20 years are all wrong).

And Shane, I have not disassembled your argument about marijuana smokers fueling violent drug dealers. I have dissected it, clearly shown where your fallacy occurs, and also pointed out the numerous places where your logic fails.

I realize it is one of your most cherished notions but that does not change the logical fallacies included in it. You may cling to it all you want but that will not change the fallacies or logical errors.

Finally, I carefully, and at some length explained why even though prohibition of behaviors has never worked and never will, why it is necessasry and desirable when it comes to some crimes but not desirable and actually causes far more harm then good in others, especially if those crimes are only crimes because some people actually consider them sins when in reality they do not harm the person or property of another or have significant.

It is fallacy and always has been to try and base laws on the bible and religion instead of logic and reason. But since people like you insist on doing so, you should at least read the bible and then you would notice that nowhere in the ten commandments for example does it say Thou Shalt Not Get High.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 9:39:21 PM


"Also, don't strain yourself—you mustn't engage in pugilistic activities in your condition. Especially when your proposed sparring partner is a 315-pound ex-soldier. :-D"--Shane

Really? 315-pounds? Are you also more than 7'-6" inches tall, because you would have to be in order for that to be a "healthy" weight.

And if you're not at a healthy weight that should be a concern to both of us. You for your own well being but me as just a member of society which has to pick up the additional medical costs you will foist upon us.

In the world of statistics here's a couple most of us never hear. "Food addiction" in other words obesity, and the complications that arise from it are the number one health care cost. Far more than drug addiction, even tobacco addiction.

In fact an active pack a-day cigarette smoker has a longer life expectancy and fewer health care costs than an overly obese person with a sedentary life style.

So by all means try not to spend so much time at McDonalds even if you do think PHD's work there.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-07 9:51:11 PM


"...in fact an active pack a-day cigarette smoker has a longer life expectancy and fewer health care costs than an overly obese person with a sedentary life style..."

Uncle Homer:
you must forward this to the United Nations immediately- especially since its a fact..

( Psst_Try this place: )
http://forums.cannabisculture.com/forums/

you will right at home with your level of research . Be sure to tell them that you were abused here by 7 foot tall prohibitionist meanies who don't appreciate your wipehead wonderfullness.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-07 11:15:15 PM


I was just wondering 419, how much do you weigh?

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-08 1:22:15 AM


My Mom told me not to give out personal information over the internet

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-08 5:00:13 PM


It is fallacy and always has been to try and base laws on the bible and religion instead of logic and reason. - Now I know for certain you do not know what "fallacy" means. "Folly" is a better fit to your meaning.

And if we were to base laws on logic and reason, then all criminals would be put to death instantly, because it's less expensive than feeding them in prison.

I don't expect you to understand morality, Homer. By most accounts it is quite lost on your generation.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 5:46:02 PM


For instance, I have never said the FDA has strongly encouraged further research into the medical properties of marijuana. Why would I say that when the exact opposite is the truth. - You're right. You said it was the AMA. Next.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 5:48:55 PM


Homer, I notice you're very good at providing reports recommending that marijuana be decriminalized. Where are the reports saying it should remain criminalized? You haven't pointed at a single one. Are you saying there are none? Or just that your experts are smarter than my experts?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 5:50:21 PM


And Shane, as you say by this point you are only skimming what I write but I would point out it would be far less embarrassing for you if you would actually take the to read. - No point. If I pay too much attention to your writing I notice gems like the one above. Believe me, it's better for your ego if I don't notice your substandard writing skills.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 5:51:34 PM


If you had actually read the information I provided and followed the links you not still be trying to argue that marijuana is available for research, when the quality is substandard...

In what way?

...and the government agencies routinely deny requests for marijuana research.

And never grants them?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 5:52:40 PM


Its also interesting to me that by now you have given yourself enough information on hemp rope to hang yourself with. Because if rope was the only thing we could be producing from hemp you might have a point, but since there another dozen uses for hemp you don't.

So your argument is that hemp rope rots, but hemp sails, hemp paper, and hemp clothes don't? Proof, please.

I'm not saying that useful products can't be made from hemp. I'm just saying that you're overstating its usefulness. In any case, since industrial hemp is long and stringy and almost THC-less, whereas marijuana is short and bushy and useless for fibre content, a discussion on hemp is sidetracking the basic discussion, so let's waste no more time on it.

P.S. I'm well aware of the carbon cycle. But you realize the other side of the coin: the carbon trapped below the ground in today's fossil fuels was once part of the atmosphere. We're not doing anything to the Earth that it hasn't done to itself in the past.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 6:04:55 PM


Really? 315-pounds? Are you also more than 7'-6" inches tall, because you would have to be in order for that to be a "healthy" weight.

I can do the Grouse Grind (with a light load), which is an 850-metre elevation gain over less then 3 km. Call it foolish pride, but I'm thinking anyone ill enough to require "medical" marijuana probably isn't up to such a task.

You're also much more likely to be a burden on the health care system than I. You're an excellent candidate for long-term palliative care, as are people that live into their eighties and beyond. 24-7 care entails enormous labour costs and is extremely expensive. People like me, on the other hand, actually save the system money by crapping out early.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, though, as it sounds like I will outlive you. And it's "Ph.D.," not "PHD," smartass.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 6:13:57 PM


And Shane, I have not disassembled your argument about marijuana smokers fueling violent drug dealers. I have dissected it, clearly shown where your fallacy occurs, and also pointed out the numerous places where your logic fails.

You've done no such thing; as your "basing laws on the Bible" post shows, you don't even know what a fallacy is. You use the word the way some people use "sexist," "bigot," or "intolerant," but you don't even know what it means. To you it's just a magic word that, once invoked, is supposed to silence all opposition.

I'll spell it out for you: A fallacy is an error in logic, not an error in judgement. There are many kinds of fallacies, but apart from the universally known "ad hominem," you haven't been able to categorize a single one. Your position seems to be that outlawing anything will only increase its frequency, but that it's still okay to outlaw some things, just because "it's worth it." And that is a fallacy, specifically a relativist fallacy.

Unless you can prove that the drug user is somehow coerced into doing something he knows will result in violence and mayhem, then he, as the buyer, bears the ultimate responsibility. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than blaming the lawman, who's only trying to keep peace and order.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 6:26:39 PM


And while you may have a point about hemp fabric wearing out, you neglect to acknowledge that while that may be true at the same time it outlasts all other natural fabrics.

But not synthetic fabrics. In fact, one of the reasons nylon replaced hemp was the former's imperviousness to rotting. Wool, cotton, and linen between them provided a good selection of quality clothes that provided initial off-the-rack comfort superior to hemp.

Neither Aslinger nor DuPont cannot be blamed for the demise of the American hemp crop. The industry was in retreat before anyone concerned was out of diapers.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 6:42:49 PM


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_Matthews

Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-03-08 7:06:14 PM


Hah! I wish I could say that was me. He's just about the right age, though.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-08 11:08:36 PM



--- advertisemnt ---

.. ball tossing excellence aside, Shane knows his freaking history- has actually read and critically reviewed basic economic botany- and the guy has made carefull reasonable social observations about cannabis intoxication.. that stance is very dangerous to the morally uncertain.. and its no bloody wonder the legions of stoner idiots throw their mental waste products around like bears do their food

I have never met the guy, had no idea who he was, where he lived or what he did in this life to bring him to this forum to challenge the wipehead retards who regularily roll in here with their often sketchy views of history, comic book rebel economics, and pop culture grandstanding for the captians of criminal industry =

This Shane guy has morals, and if you don't know what _that means- look it up- or better still- ask your parents- and if they don't know-- well briefly...morality is something like being kind to animals only that it's directed at people.

' Now don;'t make me say nice things about about anyone during a debate again..It's cheap and coarse -
....but hey,
..... I am cheap & coarse

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-08 11:21:25 PM


---- correction ----

Ya? not theFlorida ball tossing superstar? I don't anything at all about sports so I messed up on the footsball reality, but I stand by the rest.
I sort of wondered how a sports person found the time to read operate a printing press, join the army and loose 100 lbs

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-08 11:25:10 PM


"And if we were to base laws on logic and reason, then all criminals would be put to death instantly, because it's less expensive than feeding them in prison.

I don't expect you to understand morality, Homer. By most accounts it is quite lost on your generation."--Shane

Here's the first problem with that; we're all criminals. Well, maybe not you. Maybe you never J walk, never exceed the speed limit, pay every cent of taxes you're supposed to, leave all your mattress tags on. But you might be the only one, so you'd get pretty lonely.

The other problem is that in the US over the past 30 years of so there have been close to 200 people that were sentenced to death and then later proven innocent of the crime they were convicted of. What's moral about killing innocent people, Shane.

And can you imagine if there are that many people wrongly convicted of capital punishment cases, how many innocent petty criminals you would kill.

What's moral about being a murderer, Shane?

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 3:56:09 AM


"Homer, I notice you're very good at providing reports recommending that marijuana be decriminalized. Where are the reports saying it should remain criminalized? You haven't pointed at a single one. Are you saying there are none? Or just that your experts are smarter than my experts?"--Shane

I haven't seen any reports from you that say marijuana has no medical benefits, nor any reports that say it should remain illegal.

If I've missed them please point them out to me. Or if not, find some, post them and let's have a look at them.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 4:00:22 AM


"- No point. If I pay too much attention to your writing I notice gems like the one above. Believe me, it's better for your ego if I don't notice your substandard writing skills."--Shane

Which gems would that be Shane? The one where you got the AMA and FDA mixed up? How about the one you completely blew about bio diesel from hemp supposedly proving me wrong, when actually that was another one of your mistakes, and obvious cherry-picking because the article actually supports bio diesel from hemp when conditions , like legalization would make it more feasible.

See I can't remember you actually proving me wrong on anything Shane where as you proven to be rather error prone.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 4:16:07 AM


"In what way? And never grants them?"--Shane

Once again you need to actually read what I have posted. Really Shane, its intellectually lazy on your part not to read the information and expect me to keep repeating myself. The answer to those two questions are in the links I provided.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 4:19:59 AM


"So your argument is that hemp rope rots, but hemp sails, hemp paper, and hemp clothes don't? Proof, please."--Shane

Hemp rope is part of your argument Shane, not mine. While hemp is useful for a very wide range of products, and good products at that, my primary concern is using it to supply our energy needs with.

And I'm not opposed to your pond scum or whatever it is, but the infrastructure for ethanol/methanol made from hemp already exists and can be expanded on very easily and cheaply. It would be something we could plant this spring and put into production next fall, replacing corn. It also has the advantages of putting the refineries next to the fuel source.

"I'm not saying that useful products can't be made from hemp. I'm just saying that you're overstating its usefulness. In any case, since industrial hemp is long and stringy and almost THC-less, whereas marijuana is short and bushy and useless for fibre content, a discussion on hemp is sidetracking the basic discussion, so let's waste no more time on it."--Shane

No, I'm afraid you miss the point entirely, it was not only marijuana that Harry Anslinger and the other vested interests wanted to ban it was also hemp.

Here's one example. What gave Anslinger the public support he needed was the propaganda campaign personally conducted by Randolph Hearst. Hearst owned a majority of the newspapers in the country, but he also owned the paper mills that produced news print the vast majority of the other newspapers. He also owned the lumber and logging companies and even the forests that were being harvested. It was quite a monopoly he had gong there and he wanted to make sure he kept it that way.

So he flooded the nation with horrible stories about what people allegedly did under the influence of Marijuana. Not all of them happened and one of the most famous ones that did was about a man who killed his mother in Florida. Hearst left out the details that the man had a long history of violent mental illness going clear back to his childhood and long before he ever came in contact with marijuana.

Also, at the same time, down in Mexico, a new machine had been invented that was the equivalent of the cotton gen for hemp. It would have made hemp much more competitive with hemp.

Dupont, whose name you'll see connected with the hearing on the tax stamp act had just filed several patents for chemicals that occur naturally in hemp. Now while you can't infringe on a patent concerning synthesized chemicals, his patents would not pertain to natural chemicals.

Of course probably the major supporters for the Tax Stamp Act was the oil companies, but they had actually started years before being major sponsors of Prohibition. John D Rockefeller contributed millions of 1920's dollars to the effort to get prohibition passed. The reason was because Henry Ford had designed his automobiles to run on either gasoline or alcohol. And as a matter of fact Ford was growing his own hemp and making alcohol from it at the time prohibition was enacted.

The US and I believe Canadian liquor manufactures were also very helpful in getting the marijuana Tax Stamp passed because they also did not want to have to compete with a cheaper and less harmful intoxicant.

So you see Hemp, and what we call Marijuana go hand and hand. Incidentally before Hearst kicked off his propaganda campaign almost no one in the US had ever heard of Marijuana. They knew it as Cannabis, Hemp, or in some cases Hashish. Marijuana was actually a Mexican street slang name for the drug which is what also lead to a lot of confusion about what Anslinger was proposing to out law.

It's all in McWilliam's book, with footnotes and references you can check out for yourself.

"P.S. I'm well aware of the carbon cycle. But you realize the other side of the coin: the carbon trapped below the ground in today's fossil fuels was once part of the atmosphere. We're not doing anything to the Earth that it hasn't done to itself in the past."--Shane

I'd have to check but that just might be the most ridiculous statement you've made yet Shane. What we are burning now was carbon based life forms that extracted CO2 from the atmosphere in most cases and injected O2 back into the atmosphere. Once it became buried and cooked below the surface it becomes a fossil fuel that emits only CO2.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 4:55:07 AM


"You've done no such thing; as your "basing laws on the Bible" post shows, you don't even know what a fallacy is. You use the word the way some people use "sexist," "bigot," or "intolerant," but you don't even know what it means. To you it's just a magic word that, once invoked, is supposed to silence all opposition.[/quote]

Shane I've demonstrate a much better understanding logical fallacies than you have and I did point out your fallacy.

Here, educate yourself:

I. False Cause: the fallacy committed when an argument mistakenly attempt to establish a causal connection. There are two basic interrelated kinds.

1. Post hoc ergo propter hoc: (literally "after this, therefore because of this") the fallacy of arguing that one event was caused by another event merely because it occurred after that event.


1. I.e., mere succession in time is not enough to establish causal connection. E.g., consider "Since hair always precedes the growth of teeth in babies, the growth of hair causes the growth of teeth."


2. Consider also "Every severe recession follows a Republican Presidency; therefore Republicans are the cause of recessions." Accidental generalizations need not always be causal relations.


2. Causal connections are difficult to establish; the nature of causality is an active area of inquiry in the philosophy of science.


3. Non causa pro causa: (literally "no cause for a cause") in general, the fallacy of making a mistake about the ascription of some cause to an effect. This is the general category of "false cause."

http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/cause.html

When you focus only on marijuana smokers buying on the blackmarket you commit the fallacy of false cause. If marijuana was legal there would be no illegal buyers.

"I'll spell it out for you: A fallacy is an error in logic, not an error in judgement. There are many kinds of fallacies, but apart from the universally known "ad hominem," you haven't been able to categorize a single one. Your position seems to be that outlawing anything will only increase its frequency, but that it's still okay to outlaw some things, just because "it's worth it." And that is a fallacy, specifically a relativist fallacy."--Shane

The fallacy you have here is:

False Attribution , Strawman

Description: An argument aimed at dismantling the inaccurately portrayed beliefs of another. Instead of refuting an accurate version of another person's argument, the arguer distorts the opposing views in order to make it easier to defeat."

http://www.freewebs.com/thinkingstraight/Fallacies.htm#False%20Attribution

I have not said that "outlawing anything will only increase its frequency." What I have said is that in the instance of things like drugs, gambling, and prostitution, the reality is that laws against these will not be observed by a significant portion of our society. They never have and the never will. So what prohibition does is create an environment where a blackmarket will form to meet that demand. Since these behaviors hold only the potential to harm the individual or in the case of prostitution, two consenting individuals the actual harm that comes from the prohibition of these behavior causes far more harm then good; i.e. people use drugs so potentially violent gangs form to meet that demand. We go from a behavior that might only harm the individual to creating murder and mayhem.

"Unless you can prove that the drug user is somehow coerced into doing something he knows will result in violence and mayhem, then he, as the buyer, bears the ultimate responsibility. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than blaming the lawman, who's only trying to keep peace and order."--Shane

I'm not blaming the lawman. I blaming moralists like yourself who not only believe they can tell other people what to do with their own minds and bodies, but hold the completely irrational belief that they actually will.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-09 6:09:19 AM


OK, fellas. We're almost 200 comments in and nothing productive has been said in this thread for a very long time. As far as I can tell, the first comment, from Shane, more or less indicates he never even read the post he commented on, as he demands that I address something that was plainly addressed in the post. This was indicative of how related future comments were to the post.

Homer, I appreciate what you're trying to do here, I really do, but you can't help someone who doesn't want your help.

Shane, I will have more patience for this sort of thing when you read and address facts rather than bullying everyone who disagrees with you. You can stomp your feet and insist that's what you're doing all you want, but there's a reason hardly anyone on this blog engages you seriously any more.

Anyway, you two (or three) can continue this elsewhere - perhaps in email? - but there's no reason to continue filling the "recent comments" with a two-way (+ cheerleader) argument, and so I'm closing comments on this post.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-09 7:38:43 AM



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