David Monson is a North Dakota state legislator who’s been trying to get permission to grow hemp for about 10 years. He may finally be getting close, but first he must go through an onerous set of flaming hoops set up by the DEA.

Last month, the state Agriculture Department finished its work on rules farmers may use to grow industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana that does not have the drug’s hallucinogenic properties. The sturdy, fibrous plant is used to make an assortment of products, ranging from paper, rope and lotions to car panels, carpet backing and animal bedding.
Applicants must provide latitude and longitude coordinates for their proposed hemp fields, furnish fingerprints and pay at least $202 in fees, including $37 to cover the cost of criminal record checks.
Johnson said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still must give its permission before Monson, or anyone else, may grow industrial hemp.
“That is going to be a major hurdle,” Johnson said.

Yeah, the DEA are basically a bunch of assholes when it comes to common sense and hemp. They won’t give permission unless they feel cornered. Keep the pressure on; some more media coverage would be nice.

But all this obscures the larger and more potent question: Why is “marihuana” still illegal? Certainly industrial hemp should be legal since it has none of recreational ganja’s psychoactive properties. But why is cannabis in general illegal? Most people would agree that Prohibition was a titanic failure. But we’re still stuck with many of the after-effects of the prohibition mentality, including the idiotic, wasteful, racist and anti-freedom War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is a total failure and a fraud and even many former cops and DEA agents will testify to that fact.

An excellent article called Why Is Marijuana Illegal? tackles that very issue, with some surprising revelations… Or not-so-surprising. I guess it depends on how jaded you are when it comes to politics and business.

America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were several other “must grow” laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp — try that today!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements – rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.
The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

But racism may have been the weapon that was used most effectively against hemp and cannabis. Harry J. Anslinger (who looks like a gangster/mafioso to me) led the charge against “marihuana” (the word itself is a propaganda invention designed to draw up racial fears).

Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. Some of his quotes regarding marijuana…

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

“Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

There were a lot of lies said about pot back in the day. But it’s 2007 and we know better, so why is it still illegal? I mean, people don’t seriously believe that pot causes “insanity, criminality and death” — everyone knows it only causes the munchies and drymouth. But we still allow the government to lie to us every year and keep spending millions of dollars to send inner city youth to jail for with harsh mandatory minimum sentences? Pete Guither’s article does a great job of explaining how cannabis first became illegal, but it does not really tell us why it’s still illegal 70 years after the Marijuana Stamp Act.

Part of the answer to that question lies with the CIA. The CIA has long turned a blind eye to drug smugglers in exchange for a small cut of the profit. These illicit funds can be used to fund illicit wars around the globe. (Wonderful cycle our dear CIA is engaged in, isn’t it?) The Iran-Contra “affair” was actually a drug smuggling operation to fund an illegal war (is there an echo in here?):

On October 31, 1996, the Washington Post ran a follow up story to the San Jose Mercury News series titled “CIA, Contras and Drugs: Questions on Links Linger.” The story drew on court testimony in 1990 of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, a pilot for a major Columbian drug smuggler named George Morales. As a witness in a drug trial, Carrasco testified that in 1984 and 1985, he piloted planes loaded with weapons for contras operating in Costa Rica. The weapons were offloaded, and then drugs stored in military bags were put on the planes which flew to the United States. “I participated in two [flights] which involved weapons and cocaine at the same time,” he told the court.

Funny how the news doesn’t do investigative reports on stuff you might actually want to know. The press could have found a lot more dirt on this scandal, but they steered clear after a limited hang-out. That’s because the whole system is set up to demonize drugs so that they will be so much more profitable. Legalization would utterly destroy the CIA’s little “fundraising” operation and it would effectively end the careers of many DEA agents, who’ve become like a parasitic wasp, sucking at our nations’ failed and painful drug policy.

It’s time to end the lies, the racism and the idiocy of the War on Drugs and declare peace. It needs to end, and there needs to be an investigation. Those who profited from the war by playing both sides should be punished according to their own rules.

The video above is Dealing with the Demon, an excellent look into the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviets. Perhaps we should not be surprised that Afghan poppy production has exploded since we “liberated” it from the Taliban. How… interesting.

Updated on 1-16-07 with new links, a video and various spelling-error fixes.

Digg this story, man.

Update 2 (Oct. 30, 2010): In the process of moving this blog over from Blogger to WordPress I imported all posts to the new platform. However, certain posts didn’t survive the process and this was one of them. I have reposted it above, but because the post didn’t transfer correctly I lost all of the comments that were posted to the original. I have a backup of the original so I was able to save them. I’ll post them below (but above WordPress’ comment system) for posterity’s sake:


14  SICK LITTLE MONKEYS SAID:

Anonymous screeched…
funny. no one’s ever just randomly offered me a marijuana cigarette like that poster warns. i must be doing something wrong ….
18 JANUARY, 2007 12:25

Vemrion screeched…
yeah, you better work on that.
this propaganda is only hurting their cause. That dime-store novel looks pretty good, and that tagline is classic: “a cheap and evil gril sets a hopped-up killer against a city.” Nice. I like how they mention that she’s “cheap.” Does this mean she’s a prostitute or a miser? So many questions, I must read it! :-)
18 JANUARY, 2007 21:45

greg screeched…
Just wanted to thank you for the excellent article and let you know that it made the front page on Newsvine.com yesterday, 1/25 — http://rochester92.newsvine.com/_news/2007/01/25/536949-why-is-cannibis-still-illegal-in-2007
26 JANUARY, 2007 18:24

sean paul screeched…
legalize it, time to recognize it!
31 JANUARY, 2007 13:31

Anonymous screeched…
Not many things make me mad. But damnit! Legalize the bloody hemp before I kill ya! :P
03 FEBRUARY, 2007 05:23

Anonymous screeched…
I’m not sure that the government will ever legalize marijuana. Think about it. There is no way (at least at this time) to detect how much marijuana that you had to smoke today. If you have a few drinks, a breathalizer test can be administed or a blood test and you can get a reading of how much alcohol is in your system. Thus, a police officer can determine if you are over the legal limit. With marijuana, you can test positive for it but they cannot tell if you smoked it today or a week ago. For this one reason, I don’t think that the legalization marijuana will happen any time soon.
30 JULY, 2007 12:30

freedom screeched…
Im tired of feeling like im doing something wronge for smoking pot, I think its time for us to realize that we were born FREE… not free to kill or commit true crime, but free to live our lives the way we choose, not the way the govt has choosen for us. What is it going to take to make lawmakers realize that a war on pot hurts people more than pot does. What good is it to throw a person, who has a family, in jail ruin their career and their life over a bag of pot, a bag of naturally grown plants, shouldnt cops be trying to prevent real crime. Im sure in the time it takes a cop to arrest a person for posetion, he/she could have been helping someone who truly needed help. OPEN UP YOUR EYES…FREEDOM
28 AUGUST, 2007 21:27

Anonymous screeched…
ok 1 pot does not make you do ofter druges its the persons dicishion to do otfer druges and 2 pot is better for you then tabaco so they sould make pot legal and tabaco ileagale or both legale
21 OCTOBER, 2007 19:17

snoop dogg screeched…
legalize the danm thing ho!
21 OCTOBER, 2007 19:19

Anonymous screeched…
FUCKING LEGALIZE POT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
21 OCTOBER, 2007 19:20

Anonymous screeched…
I’m very torn on the issue. But I agree with Anonymous on July 30, 2007. If you want to legalize marijuana, someone needs to invent a device to detect current levels in your system so that individuals are not driving under severe influence. This will eliminate at least one (if not the most prevalent) argument as to why marijuana is illegal.
20 NOVEMBER, 2007 17:18

Anonymous screeched…
his topic always fires me up because of how ignorant people can be. Its our decision and making it legal could help hrthe economy, eliminate the badass feel of it that makes people so it just because it is illegal. We need a strong leader who has the balls to speak out about the truth of marijuana. Legalize it now
16 JUNE, 2008 19:42

Anonymous screeched…
Using pot irresponsibly should be regulated the same as alcohol. But a Federal ban against everyone who does use the drug responsibly is wrong. I’ve smoked for years and I’m a productive, functional member of society. If I went to jail for smoking I would no longer pay taxes and more of your tax money would go into the court & correctional systems. And when I got out of prison after a harsh mandatory minimum do you think I’d be a better citizen after hanging out with murderers and rapists for the past 3 years?
No one gets high and beats their wife. No one gets high and passes out in a gutter. People get high and eat too much and annoy their friends who are not high. Just don’t get high when you have something important to do and don’t get high everyday or you’ll become a douchebag hippie. There’s no reason for the government to punish you any further. Being a douchebag hippie should be punishment enough.
20 MARCH, 2009 00:01

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