Pubdate: Thu, 07 Dec 2006
Source: Orange County Weekly (CA)
Copyright: 2006, O.C. Weekly Media, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Hemp)


The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that deny farmers 
the right to grow industrial hemp [Matt Coker's "A Friend in Weed," 
Nov. 3]. Apparently government bureaucrats in Washington can't tell 
the difference between a tall hemp stalk and a short marijuana bush. 
Prior to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, few Americans 
had heard of marijuana, despite widespread cultivation of its 
non-intoxicating cousin, industrial hemp. The first anti-marijuana 
laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration during the early 
1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire 
warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been 
counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to 
smoke marijuana until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy 
began funding reefer madness propaganda. By raiding voter-approved 
medical marijuana providers in California, the very same federal Drug 
Enforcement Administration that claims illicit drug use funds 
terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of 
street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important 
than protecting the country from terrorism.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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