April 10, 2001 From: Jason Harewood

Time to shift the cannabis paradigm

It's time to shift the cannabis paradigm, The general population is with this issue, and the corporations and governments will just have to ease up with their control issues, and put more trust in the people!

The majority of people who know any of the facts about Marijuana can see that it is illegal due to intense lobbying since the 1920's by the drug conglomerates who do not want their market destroyed by cheap alternatives to their expensive drugs. Most people calling for it to continue be illegal are ill informed and form their opinions based upon the propaganda coming from these sources, and rarely have any direct experience of the drugs itself or first hand access to the research data.

Cannabis remains illegal because of special interests that profit by keeping it that way. The pharmaceutical companies do not want a natural (free) alternative available at the expense of their patented synthetics. Law enforcement justifies ever-larger budget requests in part by padding "crime" statistics with cannabis arrests. (Over 640,000 last year in the U.S.). Finally, consider the major industries whose profits would fall if there were A natural, low cost alternative to their products, (i.e.-competition) in the Form of cannabis Hemp. Paper, cotton, synthetic fibres, fuels food and the chemical giants whose chemical help to produce these products. All of them major political contributors. Consider these points, and you can see why the government resists every effort to legalise cannabis. It would be biting the hand that feeds them.

The hypocrisy of public policy with regards to soft drug use should end. Nicotine and alcohol are "legal" highs despite their proven dangers. Why not recognises the comparatively benign nature of a drug used by millions of citizens around the world? I'm sure our governments would enjoy the savings in budget expenditures and new taxation income from marijuana. The worst form of civil disobedience to be expected from a recreational user? As opposed to the pub brawls and broken shop windows caused by irresponsible users of alcohol, the worst a marijuana user could do would be to eat all the bar snacks!

What we do with our own bodies that don't endanger the lives of others is not the governments, nor anyone else's business. The outrageous claims that resulted in cannabis being made illegal in most nations have been debunked. Its time to admit that we were wrong in making it illegal, and stop the madness of putting hundreds of thousands of people in jail for a personal choice.

J. Harewood

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