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Opinion

Marijuana, hemp have useful qualities

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March 12, 2008

Marijuana is bad because it is illegal. Marijuana is illegal because it is bad.

A question that often crosses my mind, and most likely over 80 million other Americans, why is marijuana illegal?

First of all, I am not here to say that marijuana should be legalized, even though once upon a time hemp was a legal form of tender in the United States. It’s not like the U.S. government still retains outdated laws.

In 1937, the federal government declared the illegalization of marijuana possession, distribution, cultivation and purchasing.

A popular reason this occurred is because of racism. With a growing dislike for illegal immigrants in the 30s, the U.S. government put a ban on the product our neighbors south of the border frequented.

Of course, only one year before the law was enforced, the propaganda film Reefer Madness was created to frighten American youth and their attentive parents the dangers of the “drug.”

Viewing this film today, the information presented is obviously exaggerated and is quite comical due to the naivety.

In 1988, Judge Francis Young, an administrative law judge for the DEA, recommended that marijuana should be classified as a schedule II substance on account of its potential medical ailment.

Currently, only eight states in the U.S. (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) have effective control of medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana is known for its positive effects for ailments such as cancer, AIDS and glaucoma.

The marijuana increases appetite and relieves nausea which will allow the patients to regain weight after chemotherapy and aid to symptoms of AIDS.

Marijuana helps glaucoma patients by reducing intraocular pressure that can cause damage to the eye.

There are most likely many more potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana that will go unknown as long as it remains illegal in the majority of the country.

Besides the amazing medical possibilities of marijuana, hemp is a resilient, long lasting fiber of the plant that has a higher yield per acre than most common textiles like cotton.

It also requires very little pesticides and contains less than 1 percent of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

Hemp is used for, but not limited to, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, textiles, cosmetics, insulation, animal feed and, of course, food.

The hemp seed and its oils have been known to be one of the healthiest natural oils on earth. It is high in protein, omega 3, omega 6 and many other essential fatty acids.

Unlike fish and flax oil supplements, the hemp seed tastes good. Unfortunately, approximately 98 percent of marijuana eliminated by the DEA is hemp growing wild across the country.

It has been an ongoing socio-economical issue for too long. The “War on Drugs” has led to an exceeding amount of non-dangerous and non-violent people in jail. U.S. prisons are six times more crowded than any in Western Europe.

Basically, marijuana is illegal because of racism, lack of political advocates and a perception of harm and a war. Yet it aids in bodily dysfunctions and is environmentally beneficial for textiles and personal care products. Hemp is nutritious and delicious.

But most importantly, it makes hectic Mondays so much easier.