Pubdate: Thu, 11 May 2000
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Media News Group
Contact:  P.O. Box 9, Chico, CA 95927
Fax: (530) 342-3617
Author: James Vanderhoof


The United States has 2 million human beings in prison. A large
portion of those are there for victimless crimes, such as smoking pot.
The fact is that the legal drugs, i.e., alcohol and cigarettes, are
far more destructive than pot.

Activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill wants to protect the redwoods in
Humboldt County. So do I. But the best way to do this is to
decriminalize pot, or hemp. Why? Because hemp makes the most excellent
and durable sort of paper. The U.S. Declaration of Independence was in
fact written on paper made from hemp. The draconian and stupid laws
against hemp are a relatively recent development in American history
and arose about the time that America decided it had to become a
superpower - not what Jefferson intended.

We don't need to cut down a single tree in order to make paper. We
should be making all our paper from hemp, not from trees. Hemp grows
quickly - it is a weed after all - and requires minimal care.

I don't like the effects of pot myself, but these draconian laws
against an environmentally useful plant are the mark of a police
state, not a republic.

If we had reverence for life we would not act the way we do towards
God's lovely Earth, which we did not create. "Dominion" in the Bible
really means being good stewards or caretakers, not destroyers of the

- - James Vanderhoof, Chico
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