False facts offered to Americans in the first half of the 20th Century were accepted by an otherwise ignorant public, and guided by an industrial desire to rid the United States of the strongest natural fiber known to man.
We left messages with John Kitzhaber's campaign for Governor, to ask what his position on medical marijuana is, especially now that the state has passed laws in support of it. The answer? No answer, no reply. It seems the Kitz might see this issue as a hot potato, though it seems a bit late for that.
Former Gov. Kitzhaber will face longtime Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in the next Oregon Democratic Gubernatorial primary, and this equally familiar face in Oregon politics didn't flinch when asked about his position on both Oregon industrial hemp, and medical marijuana.
For those who don't know, Oregon farmers will soon be able to grow industrial hemp, thanks to recent changes in state law. Hemp was a huge agricultural product in the United States until the late 1930's when the Cannabis Tax Act was signed into law.
There's a long and tangled story that goes with all of this. Marijuana was demonized and driven into illegality by a series of public statements by a U.S. politician named Harry Anslinger, who told Americans marijuana was the absolute worst thing in the world, worse than heroin.
Information not terribly different from that is still being preached today by lecturing police, drug counselors and even judges. These people have simply never looked up the facts, or they don't mention them because they are making money from the drug laws and court mandates for treatment.
The false facts offered to Americans in the first half of the 20th Century were accepted by an otherwise ignorant public, and guided by an industrial desire to rid the United States of the strongest natural fiber known to man.
Looking back to the 1920's and 1930's, one of hemp's first rival products was rope. Dupont developed synthetic rope, created in heavy omission factories, and was able to make endless millions if hemp could be taken off the market.
The strangest story of all when it comes to all of this, is how one of the Drug War's Fathers, Pres. George H.W. Bush, literally had his life saved by the cannabis plant.
After WWII began, the U.S. government found itself in sad shape; seems that Dupont synthetic rope wasn't good enough to support parachute operations. So, in an effort to quickly revive the hemp/marijuana industry, Uncle Sam bankrolled a movie called "Hemp for Victory" which was widely distributed across America, particularly in rural areas where farming was prevalent.
When former Pres. Bush was shot down in his Navy dive bomber during WWII he had to bail out, and cannabis/hemp parachute ropes allowed this man a chance to live, and to go on to eventually become the Director of the CIA and the President of the United States.
Based on what we know, from our mentor, Salem-News.com writer Dr. Phil Leveque who is one of the world's most renowned experts on the medical applications of marijuana, to the endless flow of research and stories and news contacts all over the world, we have reached the firm belief that this natural herb is extremely useful in numerous ways. It doesn't exactly seem like rocket science.
The world's leading authority on the story of marijuana in the U.S. is Author Jack Herer, who is recovering from an illness at this time in an Oregon care center. Herer wrote the definitive history of the plant in the book, The "Emperor Wears No Clothes".
I know I still haven't told you what Bradbury thinks about cannabis, I considered literally saving it for the video, but since you read this far I won't make you wait. Bradbury is completely behind both industrial hemp and medical marijuana. At last count, Kitzhaber was not. In fact, as governor, he was clearly behind amping up the penalties against Oregonians over marijuana violations.
I have had personal interactions with John Kitzhaber, he is a medical doctor and a cowboy and he is very hard not to like. I have no doubt that he is a man of the highest integrity and character, but he may be set against the wishes of Oregonians when it comes to the legal use of marijuana, and that is likely to draw little support in this state.
Bradbury is a very dignified person and we have been around him at different times over the years also, for interviews and that sort of thing. I could not like him more. So, since our calls from Kitzhaber's office were never returned, and we were clear about what we were calling for, we have to assume that his position toward this plant has not changed.
Finally, for the sake of clarity, the term cannabis represents this plant best. When it is cultivated for medical use it is considered marijuana, and the desirable part is the flower or bud. Industrial use requires a hearty strain that does not flower. This is in the same family, but it has a very low THC count, which means it doesn't get a person very high, if it does at all.
This type of hemp already grows wild all over the United States, particularly in the Midwest. If you ever take a train from the Bay area of California, to Chicago, you will see a ton of it alongside the tracks. It was the state of Kentucky's number one industry until it was outlawed, there are still state historical monuments there related to it.
The actual U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper, and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers. It is amazing that it was ever outlawed, as the plant has so many uses, up to and including cancer treatment. Of course the DEA still says they will go after anybody and everybody for marijuana violations because it still violates archaic federal law.
Ironically, Oregon cops still prowl the highways and spend millions of our tax dollars jailing people over it. They still harass suspected users and they still receive heavy influence from federal agents who are on the record about not liking state laws or being willing to ever consider or enforce Oregon or California state laws.
I commend former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in his willingness to openly confront hot button issues, and not duck out and fail to even have a subordinate return a phone call. I suspect the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who are tired of the failed war on drugs and mindless jailing of people over marijuana, will toss their votes Bill Bradbury's way during the next election.
January 6, 2010