Pubdate: Fri, 23 Mar 2007
Source: Austin Chronicle (TX)
Page: 12
Copyright: 2007 Austin Chronicle Corp.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor, Regarding Jordan Smith's March 16 column ["Reefer 
Madness," News], the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world 
that denies farmers the right to grow industrial hemp. Apparently, 
government bureaucrats in Washington can't tell the difference 
between a tall hemp stalk and a short marijuana bush. Prior to the 
passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, few Americans had even 
heard of marijuana, despite widespread cultivation of its 
nonintoxicating cousin, industrial hemp. The first anti-marijuana 
laws were enacted in response to Mexican immigration during the early 
1900s. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have 
been counterproductive at best.

White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be 
entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness 
propaganda. The original reefer madness myths have long been 
discredited, forcing the drug war gravy train to spend millions of 
tax dollars on politicized research, trying to find harm in a 
relatively harmless plant. The direct experience of millions of 
Americans contradicts the lies used to justify marijuana prohibition. 
Reefer madness is a poor excuse for criminalizing Americans who 
prefer marijuana to martinis. There is no excuse for denying farmers 
the right to grow industrial hemp.

For historical background, please visit: For 
additional historical background from an impeccable source, please 
see the Canadian Senate report:

Sincerely, Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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