By Rand Clifford
crossposted at Thomas Paine’s Corner
Prohibition of cannabis hemp was a mugging, a twisted and diabolical assault on the rights, health and well-being of Americans unparalleled in our history for sheer scope of lasting impact. Never has brazen self interest cost so many people so much for so long. And the number of entrenched industries with profits threatened by hemp have greatly multiplied in number, and political influence.
You might say the assault was officially set in motion by BULLETIN No. 404, released by the United States Department of Agriculture on October 14, 1916, announcing the superiority of using hemp hurds for making paper of highest quality—and cheaply, once mechanization reduced the labor intensity of hemp harvesting. William Randolph Hearst knew the machinery might be at least 10 years away, knew that’s how much time he had to make sure hemp paper did not crush his paper-making empire. He got right to work.
Lies, propaganda and racism Hearst unleashed upon a gullible population with his chain of newspapers was phenomenally effective. The method was exquisitely simple: Because most people knew cannabis hemp as a wonderful resource, change the name of cannabis hemp to “marijuana” then terrorize relentlessly about this horrifying new threat, marijuana…and when the threat of hemp competition became imminent, kill the hemp industry by strangling marijuana. Phenomenally effective, 70 years and counting.
Other muggers joining Hearst on First String were:
Lammont DuPont, president of DuPont Chemical. Their petrochemical synthetics empire was seriously threatened by The King of natural products.
Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury under Hoover, as well as one of only two bankers DuPont has had since 1928.
Harry Anslinger, soon to be nephew-in-law of Mellon, appointed by Mellon to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD). After 31 years in this post, Kennedy fired Anslinger for his racist remarks, which freed Anslinger to reminisce about the FBNDD being a place where young men were given a right to rape and steal. We now know the FBNDD as the DEA, one of the nations greatest threats to birds both wild and domestic (see King Hemp part 1), and us.
Instead of weighing the character of these legendary muggers, let’s use their own coveted trick of changing names to attack innocence. Merely substituting their names for their own operative term, marijuana, we find that:
Hearst goads users to blood lust…and makes fiends of young boys. Hearst is the most violence-causing thing known to man. Hearst makes black men look white men in the eyes, step on white man’s shadows, and look at white women twice!DuPont is more dangerous than heroin or cocaine…adhering to his old-world traditions of murder, assault, rape, physical demoralization and mental breakdown. Users of DuPont become stimulated as they inhale him and are likely to do Anything. Dupont corrupts youth and turns even normal, mild mannered white people into superhuman, psychotic killers. Dupont’s effects on blacks and Latinos are particularly horrifying.
Mellon: Assassin of Youth. Mellon: The Devil’s Weed. Mellon begins his Deadly Work of arousing Sexual Passions…with no restraint as to Color or Race! Under Mellon’s influence, prison inmates fall desperately in love with each other—just as they would with women outside prison walls!
Anslinger makes “darkies” think they are as good as white men. Anslinger is highly intoxicating, and constitutes an ever recurring problem where there are Mexicans or Spanish-Americans of the lower classes. If the hideous monster Frankenstein ever came face to face with the monster Anslinger he would surely drop dead of fright.
Please seriously consider whether the above statements ring a bit more true than the original headlines—or at the very least, ring just as true.
We shouldn’t stoop to calling this team of muggers a bunch of ghouls, but…yes we should—look what they did. In raw self-interest they deprived every American for several generations of the most valuable natural resource on the planet. Take hemp seed for instance, the single finest food a human could eat. If the ghouls had merely robbed us of such an optimum source of nutrition, they should occupy a place of high infamy in The Ghoul Hall of Shame. But fuel, fiber, paper, medicine—we were robbed in countless ways, and the larceny continues….
Soon after the hemp mugging, Americans had The Big War to distract them—the war where hemp was desperately called back into service (CorpoGov’s Hemp For Victory! campaign). So hemp helped us win The War, then was switched back to The Killer Weed From Mexico while Americans dove into Baby Booming. Forest products, petroleum and synthetics kept us up to our eyeballs in consumer goods; there was always another forest over the next hill, another oil field to tap…. Massive industrial pollution?…we were too busy and ill-informed to worry about that. But the Timber Beast’s forest management began to glare, watersheds mangled, water supplies mudding up. And nasty chemicals for better living started getting right in our faces, and bodies. But this was still America, and any time enough injustice prevails, especially where ghouls and muggings cost The People so much, heroes rise.
Consciousness of The King started coming back, knowledge of industrial production built on quickly-renewable natural products—production methods squelched by the petrochemical alchemy now threatening the planet’s life-support systems, and killing us.
No person deserves more credit for reawakening people to what was stolen from them, and how it was stolen, than Jack Herer. Jack’s seminal masterpiece The Emperor Wears No Clothes came out in 1985, stimulating the modern hemp movement by getting the Great Information rooted in a new generation. More and more people all the time are helping it grow, but political influence of industries standing to lose market share to superior natural hemp products has grown so enormous that HEMP FARMING IS STILL BANNED IN THE U.S., and cannabis remains a schedule 1 narcotic. An insane situation, but again, this is still America, regardless of corporate influence making America harder to recognize all the time. Heroes keep stepping forth—like the latest farmers to sue CorpoGov for the “right” to grow hemp. Heroism goes automatically with independent farmers still surviving after decades of corporate onslaught—and if farmers once again are “allowed” to grow our most valuable crop, their status could again rise to where justice would have it.
The two North Dakota farmers that filed the federal lawsuit this June 27 challenge the DEA’s ban on hemp because it is the same species that produces marijuana. Hemp can be imported from Canada (with the occasional mindless and spiteful DEA tantrum about ZERO TOLERANCE! for THC), and also Europe and China, but, quoting DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney:
“Hemp is marijuana. There’s no distinguishing feature between marijuana and hemp.”
Of course this is certified, standard-issue DEA pure bullshit. I could very quickly, with 100% accuracy, differentiate between low-THC cannabis hemp grown for industry, and cannabis hemp grown for higher THC—as most anyone could. Also, Mr. Courtney is implying that Canadians and Europeans and Chinese can tell the difference, but in America we’re not smart enough. Stupid posturing to protect corporate profits has become so standard for the DEA that it’s getting harder all the time to be sure if they’re faking it, or if they really are as stupid as they appear.
Get ready for flooding stupidity in terms of why we should not allow farmers to grow our most valuable crop. Not only has the U.S. National Congress of State Legislatures passed a sweeping pro-hemp resolution, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture support commercial production of hemp. So far 15 states have passed pro-hemp legislation. Topping that off, Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, has introduced House Resolution 1009, the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007″. As stated, the bill is: “To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, and for other purposes.” The eleven co-sponsors so far are:
Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D-WI]; Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA]; Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-AZ];
Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D-NY]; Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D-OH]; Rep. James McDermott [D-WA]; Rep. George Miller [D-CA]; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA]; Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D-IL]; Rep. Fortney Stark [D-CA]; Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D-CA].
The bill was introduced February 13, 2007. Right now it remains, “introduced”, awaiting the committees where it will be deliberated, investigated, and possibly revised before undergoing general debate. Those scheduled committees are:
House Energy and Commerce
House Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
The bill is so simple it’s hard to imagine much meaningful deliberation or investigation, only a fog lies. These committees are full of CorpoGov people, thus the most important issues will have nothing to do with benefits to The People. Protection of entrenched profits will override all consideration of giving back to The People nature’s most valuable resource, and the miasma of marijuana propaganda promises to be something like that which ushered in the original mugging. And if the bill lay dying in committee, who will be there to say, “What about all the other countries now growing hemp? What about the burgeoning market in the U.S. for imported hemp? What about a little common sense?
So much at stake—nothing less than The Future of the planet’s Life Support Systems. So many heroes like Jack Herer, and all the other leaders and ground troops of the Modern Hemp Movement; the farmers demanding the right to grow the plant humanity cannot survive without. Representative Dr. Ron Paul and his co-sponsors. All the people who know the truth about the mugging, and are finding ways to help, such as simply spreading the word….
The plant that helped make America great, most valuable crop that can be grown, our key to reversing damage to Earth’s life support systems wrought by petrochemical synthetics along with the gluttony of non-renewable resources—the profit-before-People paradigm. The plant taken away by a mugging of The People to protect profits of a few. And now its future lies in the hands of CorpoGov minions specializing in ripping off The People for the benefit of the ruling elite—who see hemp as nothing more than a menace to profits….
It all promises to remain interesting, educational but not pretty…and to show The People they must fight much, much harder to even affect the grip of CorpoGov and CorpoWorld that is strangling the planet’s life-support systems.
Rand Clifford is a novelist and essayist living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. His novels CASTLING and TIMING are published by StarChief Press: http://www.starchiefpress.com