Last week President Barack Obama held an Online Town Hall. People were encouraged to write in questions, and "Vote up" other inquiries they liked and were concerned about..
During this historic online affair, when President Obama was asked whether legalizing Marijuana would improve the economy and encourage job creation, he laughingly responded with: "The answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy." He then asked rhetorically what the question says about "the online audience."
You know - the same online audience that had quite a successful impact on his Presidential Campaign and subsequent nomination to the Highest Office in the land.
If you think this is just about a bunch of Stoners trying to get high, well then think again. Environmentalists and people who strive to live as "Green" as possible (as in Carbon Footprint) realize this wonder plant has immeasurable value.
Senior Harvard Economist Jeffrey Miron estimates Federal, State and Local Governments spend roughly $44 Billion per year to enforce Drug Prohibition. These same Governments could make roughly $33 Billion per year in tax revenue collected from legalized drugs. (Assuming these were taxed at rates similar to those on Alcohol and Tobacco) He says if Cannabis was legal, Governments would realize about $33 Billion a year in tax revenue. Estimated profit? $77 billion. I suspect this $$$ amount could be so much more though as Science advances in the investigation of Hemp-based Fuels. Forget Big Oil, we'll be able to run our vehicles using hearty, Earth Friendly Plants. Not to mention how many jobs that can be created by what could be a booming industry.
History Lesson everyone. In 1619 Jamestown Colony, Virginia enacted laws ordering farmers to grow Hemp. Similar laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, Connecticut in 1632 and the Chesapeake Colonies in the mid-1700’s.
Cannabis Hemp was legal tender in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800’s. You could even pay your taxes with Cannabis Hemp.
Hemp then threatened the Dupont Empire back in the 30's. The Dupont chemical company had patented nylon and wanted Hemp removed as competition. Harry Anslinger was a chosen Appointment to the newly minted Bureau of Narcotics. Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had invested heavily in the Timber Industry to support his newspaper chain and didn't want to see the development of Hemp Paper (Hemp can be "cropped out" 3 times a year, opposed to waiting decades for trees to mature) in competition. Telling outright lies about Mexicans and their "Loco Weed" sold newspapers, making Hearst rich. Using Racist tactics and Hearsts' Yellow Journalism Propaganda to pass The Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, this not only outlawed Cannabis, but Hemp as well.
Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association slammed Legislature and the Bureau of Narcotics for using the term "Marijuana" in the The Marijuana Tax Act Legislation and not publicizing it as a Bill about Cannabis or Hemp. At this point, "Marijuana" (or Marihuana) was a "scare tactic" word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people's minds to the Cannabis/Hemp plant. Many people (Farmer's!) who had legitimate reasons to oppose the Bill weren't even aware of it.
There was a brief time when Hemp was once again legal to grow, during the Second World War. In 1942 the US Government strongly requested Hemp Cultivation to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled “Hemp For Victory”.
Ahhhh America, so much Policy is decided on Corporate Gluttony.... the question is, will President Obama recognize Prohibition is based on Greed and Racism? Is he brave enough to ridicule the deception Cannabis Laws are based on? Or, will he continue to let the country falter - when Science and Industry has the potential to give the Economy the much needed financial injection that Hemp can provide?
We'll see... but most likely, he'll just continue to lead The Sheep.
If more people just looked a little deeper for the Truth and stopped believing the Propaganda that is spoon-fed to them we'd all be better off for it. Pass it to the Left.