Why Cannabis is still Illegal
“It’s a weird thing you do… when you make nature illegal.” –Joe Rogan
Cannabis Sativa, or as it is more commonly known, Marijuana. This is a subject that I’ve wanted to weigh in on for a while now. On the surface, it may appear to be a trivial issue, but the deeper you dig, the more the more it becomes apparent that the roots on this plant run deeper than we ever would have imagined…
I began exploring the bigger picture behind Cannabis a few months ago, already convinced from my own experience that
A) it is not a dangerous substance to have publicly available, and
B) that it is a naturally occurring part of nature- therefore, making it illegal intrinsically struck me as one of the crazier things our government has ever done (and boy is that ever saying something).
Debate around this issue generally centers on concepts like “the gateway” to other drugs, or the growing THC content of hybrid strains. Let me save you some suspense- marijuana laws are not, and have never been based on any kind of scientific data regarding physical or mental health.
In this article, I outline some of the lesser-know capacities of the Cannabis plant, and expose the financial interest which they threaten- for in case you haven’t noticed, this [socioeconomic control] is what is always comes back to. Cannabis laws were based on special (read: financial) interest when they were made, and stay in place for the same reason.
First things first, however, we should be clear on terminology. The word Hemp refers to strains of the Cannabis plant with THC concentrations which are so low that smoking it would have no noticeable effect. This is approximately 90% of the over 2000 known varieties of the plant in existence . Marijuana, on the other hand, refers to that other 10%- that have higher concentrations of THC, and have noticeable psychotropic effects when ingested through various methods.
Okay, let’s get down to it:
1. Manufacturing Materials: Marijuana was made illegal on August 2nd, 1937 through the Marijuana Tax Act. Prominent supporters of the bill included William Randolph Hearst a newspaper tycoon who also had large investments in the timber industry, various cotton industrialists, and Dupont Chemical Company, which held the patent for nylon . In all three cases, anyone who looks back on this issue can see the strong financial interest to make hemp fibers illegal, not because of any concern for public well-being, but for their own earnings sheets.
Today, cities and roads around the world are covered in concrete, houses are constructed with gypsum drywall, and all manner of commercial products are made with petroleum plastics. What do these materials all have in common?
1) They all contain considerable quantities of toxic chemicals and don’t biodegrade well
2) A more ecologically harmonious alternative exists for all of them… using hemp .
Imagine if old buildings could be demolished and sent to a composting facility. Imagine if you could simply toss a plastic bag into your backyard compost bin… these concepts can and will come to fruition when we begin to harness the power of this amazing plant.
2. Bio-Fuels: The unsuitability of petroleum-based fuel has gotten no shortage of attention. What people are far less aware of, however, is the diversity of viable solutions available to us. Every internal combustion engine currently in existence is already capable of running on a bio-diesel or ethanol fuel. Deriving these products from soy and corn, as has been most widely publicized, is not, in fact, our best option. Those more common methods rely on GMO agriculture, and petrochemicals (derived from fossil fuels) for production.
Fortunately there are much better alternatives for agricultural crops to create biofuels. Options include algae, certain strains of fungus, and, you guessed it, HEMP .
Between fuels and plastics, hemp has the potential to effectively rid us of our dependency on petroleum. Imagine that.
3. Medicine: With the growth of medical marijuana as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to treatment for many chronic pain conditions, people are beginning to question the non-holistic approach of big pharmacy. Thousands are now turning to naturally occurring THC rather than semi-synthetic opiates which are phenomenally more impairing of physiological and cognitive function. Greater still is the potential impact of Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the leaves of the cannabis plant. It is one of the most powerful alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous compounds known to man. Watch this phenomenal excerpt on Raw Cannabis from the documentary, American Drug War II
4. Awakening: This final point is largely based on theory and personal experience, rather than scientific data, however I feel it is as relevant a concept to this conversation as any so far mentioned. I am of great belief that as a species, humanity is extremely programmed. From the time we are born, we are indoctrinated by other “programmed people,” to support our government, economic system, educational paradigm, big corporations, and, in the most general sense, a state of subordination.
The conventional western upbringing discourages present moment aesthetic experience, and mandates the incessant use of left-brained thinking mind. There is nothing wrong with utilizing your analytical capacity; the problem is simply how much of our “thinking content” is instilled in us through education and media. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but the vast majority of human thought and conversation is profoundly unoriginal.
Pharmaceuticals and the “legal drugs,” also support this dynamic. All pain-killers, stimulants, anti-depressants, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine- these are all anesthetic drugs- they make you less connected to your sensory experiences. Marijuana, on the other hand, along with drugs like MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and DMT- is an aesthetic drug- it enhances sensory perceptions, pulling you into the present moment, rather than cutting you off from it. Now I have never used any powerful hallucinogens myself, but include them here because the logical implications would be incomplete if I did not note that they fell in the same category. I do not recommend their use, consult your doctor, bla bla bla…
But getting back to the point, when people have experiences with these drugs, they tend to “step out” of their left-brain thinking and into that aesthetic experience. What I believe is also happening is that they are stepping out of the “programmed,” area of their mind. Many people who have used psylocybin, LSD or DMT talk about a phenomenon called an “ego death.” Whether it happens all at once (such as in these more extreme cases) or gradually, this concept of “de-programming,” is, I believe, very much connected to the enhanced aesthetic experience that these drugs create. Am I saying that getting high is essential for your spiritual evolution? No. But can it be a facilitator for that process? I believe it can.
Conclusion: Discussion over whether or not Marijuana should be legal predominantly centers around its effects on human health. This is not the real issue. No one has ever died from smoking weed- not even lung cancer has ever been linked to it. The cannabis plant is illegal because it is one of the single greatest threats to the financial establishment of our world, most directly the industries of pharmaceuticals and fossil fuel. What’s more, THC can, I believe, play a facilitating role in the deprogramming and awakening of those who bring attention to that experience.
What could be more threatening to financial establishment than that?