Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jun 2000
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2000 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Sean Wagner & Keith Kessler


This Nov. 7, we Alaskans have a chance to vote to fully legalize
cannabis (also known as hemp and marijuana). Over 40,000 signatures
were collected to get this initiative on the ballot. With the passing
of this initiative, any adult old enough to go to war for their
country would have the freedom to choose to use a natural plant that
is far less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.

The economy would benefit from the thousands of products that can be
made from hemp including biodegradable plastic, insulation, glass,
paper, rope, canvas, paints, fuel, soaps and cosmetics. Farmers would
benefit from a new crop that can grow almost anywhere and requires no
pesticides or chemicals. People suffering from cancer, AIDS, anorexia,
glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, etc., would have access to the medicine
that eases their suffering without all the red tape.

Law enforcement officers could focus more of their efforts on violent
crimes. People serving time in jail for marijuana possession would be
decriminalized and returned to their families and their jobs.
Marijuana prohibition brought about by greed and racism in 1937 would
be defeated, and the world would be introduced to a nontoxic
alternative to today's poisoning, pollution and deforestation of our

You can read the actual wording of the full proposition online at

- - Sean Wagner



I support the initiative to legalize hemp on the Alaska ballot in
November. The agricultural, economical, medicinal and environmental
benefits of hemp are incredible. It is an annually renewable natural
resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the
United States' (and the world's) paper and textiles and meeting all of
the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while
simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning
the atmosphere.

Our country's founding fathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
and Benjamin Franklin, recognized the importance of this plant. Hemp
was used in U.S. history for covered wagons, medicine, currency, our
sailors' clothing, our ships' sails, our Bibles, our first flag "Old
Glory," and the first draft of the U.S. Declaration of

With the environmental problems we face today, we cannot continue to
ignore the uses of hemp. I urge you to take this initiative seriously
and educate yourself on the benefits of hemp. The alleged harm from
its use pales in comparison to the harm caused from its prohibition.
We should legalize hemp, tax it, and subject it to some age and use
restrictions instead of continuing to jail decent people and pollute
our planet. This November, vote yes for the environment and personal

- - Keith Kessler

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