Pubdate: Sun, 15 Apr 2001
Source: Star (IL)
Copyright: 2000 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: Brad Wargin


The letter headlined "Industrial hemp legislation raises major substance 
abuse questions" by "president, chief executive officer" of South Suburban 
Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, states, "Industrial hemp is 
produced from the same 'plant' as marijuana."

My dear chief executive officer, there is no "marijuana plant," it is 
"hemp" or cannabis. So, where did the "M" word come from?

The "M" word was created in the mid-1930s to tarnish the good image and 
phenomenal history of the hemp plant. Why? Because of the many industrial 
uses of hemp, and of hemp's threat to certain enterprises.

Andrew Mellon became Hoover's Secretary of the Treasury and was also 
Dupont's primary investor. Mr. Mellon appointed Harry J. Anslinger to head 
the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and after secret meetings with those 
motivated by profits, took an obscure Mexican slang word marihuana and 
pushed it into the (un)consciousness of Americans, and all of hemp's "dangers."

Yes, money is the answer to all things, Why doesn't the "chief executive" 
look at the February 1938 Popular Mechanics article, "The most profitable 
and desirable crop that can be grown," or the 1941 Popular Mechanics 
article on Henry Ford's first Model-T that was built to run on "hemp" 
gasoline, and constructed from hemp plastics?

As to substance abuse, it is a known fact that there are far more people 
addicted to legal prescription drugs then dope. 1995 statistics showed 
14,000 people reported to have died from the effects of dope, but 140,000 
that died from "legal" prescription drugs.

Mr. Chief Executive, just follow the money trail and you will have your 
answers, if indeed that is what you want. Oh, one more question: If it took 
a constitutional amendment to make alcohol illegal and a constitutional 
amendment to make alcohol legal again, how did hemp become "illegal" in the 
first place?

Brad Wargin, Frankfort Via e-mail
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