Go back to the Index
If you examine the developments being made in the USA a few years before cannabis was declared a narcotic and prohibited, there are some interesting 'coincidences'.
In 1850 paper mills started making huge profits from manufacturing paper from trees, using dangerous and toxic substances such as sulphites and chlorine.
In 1916 the USDA bulletin called for an increase in the amount of hemp to replace wood in industry.
1920 saw the introduction of the prohibition of alcohol in the USA. The effect was social disaster with a rapid increase in homicides and gang warfare. At the same time the huge company DuPont was experimenting with synthetics.
In 1930 new machines for breaking hemp into its useful parts, was invented in the USA. It became easier to convert the hurds or pulp into paper, plastics etc. There were now about 1200 bars in New York where hash could be smoked.
1937 saw the banning of hemp farming under the Marijuana Tax Act. At the same time DuPont was patenting nylon.
After 1937 massive effort was put into huge campaigns to frighten the public: marijuana / hemp / cannabis was described as a highly addictive and toxic drug which induced 'reefer madness' and even death. Posters were put on trams in New York.
It was necessary to create these lies about cannabis in order to get the public to accept prohibition of the cannabis hemp plant - alcohol prohibition, although having failed badly, must have seemed like the way to eradicate the hemp plant which would otherwise stop the industrialists from getting even richer.
There was a temporary upset in 1943. The USA entered the war for real and it was not possible to produce the necessary rope etc from synthetics alone. The Hemp for Victory program urged American farmers to grow hemp again! Hemp farming was outlawed again in 1955.
Once the massive anti-hemp propaganda machine has successfully spread its lies, the road for the petrochemical and pharmaceutical companies was open to them to make untold billions at the expense of the environment.
By then the majority of people believed that cannabis / hemp / marijuana / hashish were highly dangerous drugs. For years governments told the people that use of cannabis caused insanity and led to hard drug use.
During the 1970 's to the present date campaigners have been spreading news again of the versatility and many uses of cannabis (a lot call it 'hemp' to differentiate between plants with good-fibre-low-THC and those which are smoked, i.e. higher amounts of THC but not such good fibre.) Nowadays, many politicians accept that industrial use of hemp is beneficial. In 1992, Australia licensed hemp farms and in 1993 the UK followed suit.
However, the conspiracy which spread the lies about cannabis was so successful that people still believe them - in the shops goods are mostly labelled as hemp products rather than cannabis.
They banned hemp to rid us of the biomass and fibre, yet now we have greater access to these properties again we still have illegal cannabis. I believe the original intention was not to stop people getting high - it even kept the slaves in America happier to have an evening smoke. People have used cannabis for centuries, as a sacrament and for the high, to no reported harm.
The American experience of prohibition of alcohol suggests that prohibition does not always work. It simply transfers the commodity from the hands of controlled legitimate suppliers to the hands of criminals. The world - wide prohibition of cannabis and drugs and the "War on Drugs" have been disastrous failures. It has led to social unrest and alienation, REPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, OF FREEDOM OF LIFESTYLE, OF MEDICINE AND OF NATURAL RESOURCES. Fining or imprisoning cannabis users does not stop them using cannabis. It merely throws them into the general hotpot of criminality. Prohibition forces up prices and causes a drop in purity with immeasurable social consequences.
Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself ..President Jimmy Carter
Prohibition ... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes..........President Abraham Lincoln (Dec. 1840)
Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political.......... The Economist March 28th 1992
Criminalisation and possible alienation of about 12% of the population especially the young.
Unnecessary use of police and court time at massive expense (in 1994 over half a billion pounds spent on 'fighting drugs' resulted in the arrest of over 72,000 people for cannabis, out of a total of about 87,000)
Overcrowding of prisons; mixing cannabis prisoners with other prisoners.
Young people sniffing glue; people of all ages drinking and taking drugs.
The only supply of cannabis is illegal, often sold by those who sell hard drugs.
Convictions can mean loss of job, alienation, limit on travel (those with criminal convictions are not welcome in certain countries like USA and Australia, and cannot go to live in France).
Loss of revenue which should come from tax on profits.
Illegal profits may finance illegal activities. Illegal suppliers may accept stolen goods.
Destruction of careers as a result of conviction or even suspicion.
Lack of quality control; all the health risks which go with this.
Lack of adequate funding for proper research.
Young people and even children attracted by the glory of illegality, consume in secret.
Lack of proper education and advice from the Government.
Repression of a natural remedy causing UNTOLD SUFFERING.
Repression of religious freedom.
Repression of social intercourse.
I'm sure you can add to this list.