Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Emperor Wears No Clothes

The legalization of hemp is generally viewed as a human rights issue, a constitutional issue, or a crime issue. Jack Herer presents it as an economic and environmental issue as well, in his history of hemp usage The Emperor Wears No Clothes. In it, he implores us to be like the innocent little boy from the fairy tale and expose the lies that the Drug War is built upon. In addition to supporting what I said here, he gives us lots of fun facts like:

  • The word "Cannabis" has its roots in the world's first languages.
  • The widespread use of hemp would solve many problems: it's more renewable than trees for paper, it lessens the need for petrochemicals as fuel, and it would provide jobs and preserve family farms.
  • Before it was banned, cannabis was listed in marriage guides as an aphrodisiac.
  • Ganja as a force for peace began as anti-communist propaganda. At first, weed was banned because of the supposed violence and disobedience it incited in racial minorities, but during the Red Scare it was treated as a communist plot to make us all indolent.
  • Hemp seeds are one of the single most nutritious foods on the planet, and could be used like soy is now. Gruel is traditionally made from mashed-up hemp seeds.
  • Chillums have their origin with Hindu priests.
  • The fact that we have chemical receptors to which THC binds evidences an ancient symbiosis with this plant that humans have been using for 10,000 years.
  • Temperance organizations, during the prohibition movement, recommended hashish as a substitute for the evil alcohol.
  • Army tests administered over a span of two years show that soldiers who regularly smoke pot do not lose any performance or motivation.
Though this book was maybe a little dry, its nontraditional stance on the legalization of marijuana makes it an indispensable read.

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