Pubdate: Sun, 28 Dec 2014
Source: Morning Star, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 The Morning Star
Author: Cathryn Brown


The election campaign in Canada is in full swing. Colin Mayes' recent
columns about climate change and drug problems (read, "Oh no,
marijuana") echo television advertising currently put out by our
Conservative government and doubtless paid for by us taxpayers. Some
of us see through that ploy.

As a medical cannabis user for three years, I cannot restrain myself
from commenting on less-than-enlightened statements. Mayes'
information regarding cannabis (the actual plant name, as opposed to
the derogatory, slang term marijuana) is possibly even older than that
great propaganda piece, Reefer Madness.

I have researched the background of cannabis use over recorded history
(yes, that long) and feel strongly that, if governments could get past
what Harold Anslinger and the U.S. government did to the cannabis
industry worldwide in the past 80 or so years, then this marvelous
plant could, indeed, save the planet. I urge all of those who still
believe the plant is evil to do their own research. Start with the
fact that the U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper (hemp is an
alternative correct term for cannabis). Then, find out what commodity
allowed the great sailing nations to explore the world (check out
sails, ropes, caulking, shoes, pennants, charts, clothing, and on and

Without canvas (a direct derivation of the word cannabis), much great
art work would not exist.

Henry Ford proved that a hemp-fibre car body was as strong as steel.
In France and elsewhere, companies make a cement replacement material
from hemp fibre. And we haven't begun on the clothing industry or
healthy food products. Last for now, but not least, one acre of
industrial hemp/cannabis can produce in one year - renewably - as much
very high-quality cellulose fibre for use in paper of all kinds as can
five acres of very much more slowly renewable trees. While I have
researched myriad books and sites, one text, The Emperor Wears No
Clothes by Jack Herer, is an excellent beginning which I am proud to
cite as reference.

Oh, and then there's the medical aspect. Studies confirm good effects
in many areas: epilepsy, MS, cancer, to note only the tip of the
iceberg. Again, in fact, one of the first studies to show cannabis
helped in cancer treatment came, in 1975, from a U.S. university. That
study was very quickly shut down.

My own use of cannabis results from living with cancer, and its
attendant digestive concerns, chronic pain and depression. Suffice to
say that I would not willingly return to chemical medications.

The ramifications of legalizing cannabis are huge. One need only
research the benefits Colorado has seen in just one year to begin to

Lest anyone feel I do not understand the dangers, let us merely say
that I do. No I don't believe young people should have open access -
but then, neither should they be out binge-drinking, and they
certainly do that.

Legalizing cannabis is probably the best way to regulate

Please don't allow yourself to be ignorant of a great deal of
information available on what is now a very relevant topic. Go to the
library, use the Internet and become informed, more fully than our
current MP.

Cathryn Brown

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