The Healing Plant

**This post originally appeared on my other blog, JDCommunicator

Cannabis Sativa, more commonly known as marijuana or “weed,” will leave you behind bars despite a recent study demonstrating its ability to shrink lung tumors in mice. Who would have thought that a naturally growing herb could cause such a ruckus?

The fact of the matter is that cannabis is illegal due to economics. One would stumble across various problems in trying to patent a plant, and the pharmaceutical companies would risk losing billions of dollars with the legalization of cannabis.
Studies arguing that the combination of THC and CBD, two psychoactive cannabinoids in marijuana, are more effective in treating cancer patients than traditional chemo-therapy are undoubtedly raising eyebrows.
In one patient, an “extremely aggressive” cancer tumor’s growth was curbed for nine weeks due to the implementation of medicinal cannabis. These are results that cannot be ignored.

There were nearly 900,000 arrests for marijuana violations in the United States in 2007, and approximately 90 percent of the offenders charged with marijuana-related crimes were arrested for possession only. This is a sad and sickening fact. The United States is now privatizing prisons, and prisons are having to be expanded to house all of the inmates, most of which are marijuana-law violators. How much lower can our culture get than profiting from prisons? Perhaps the corporate suits who are ultimately in charge of the prisons are wary of their pockets becoming just a little bit lighter.

The pharmaceutical companies are not the only ones who would be at risk of taking a huge hit financially. The oil and paper companies would likely panic with the legalization hemp, which is not to be confused with marijuana. What exactly is hemp? Can you get high from hemp? Many individuals believe so, but this is not the case. There is no psychoactive ingredient in hemp, but why is illegal? Hemp is the product of vast amounts of misinformation, so this is a great time to clear the air (no pun intended). Hemp is a plant of the genus Cannabis (C. sativa), and the fibrous skin or bark from it is used for making cloth and cordage. The name is also applied to various other plants yielding fiber. Although this definition may seem simple, hemp is a very complex plant in that it has more benefits that virtually any other plant on the face of the earth.

Prior to its ban, hemp was the ideal cash crop for farmers in early America. Not only were our forefathers advocates, but the first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp. Many are not fully aware of the deforestation issues going on in the world today, but everyone, for the most part, is aware of the fuel issues unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years. Hemp can be burned as a fuel, and it could greatly decrease the deforestation taking place around the world. Much of the paper we use today comes from pulp wood, and it takes over a decade from seedling to harvest for the trees to be ready to produce paper. However, you can grow a much larger amount of hemp and yield the same amount of paper in less than half the time. The annual global consumption of paper will rise (from 300 million tons in 1997) to over 400 million tons by 2010, according to the Pulp and Paper Industry. This will increase the problems of deforestation unless another pulp source is realized. Paper made from hemp lasts hundreds of years longer than wood-pulp paper, which decomposes and yellows with age.

Cannabis, in and of itself, is a miracle plant. There has not been a single recorded death due to cannabis since the beginning of written history, and according to one report, it would take 800 joints to kill a person. However, the cause of death would be carbon monoxide poisoning. There are 14 states that allow the consumption, cultivation, sale, and purchase of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and hopefully the remaining states will start being logical and reasonable about the situation.

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    • chris
    • February 26th, 2010

    the younger generations see these issues more clearly than the older and as the older die off laws and policies, and public understanding WILL change

    • Geoff Carr
    • March 25th, 2010

    I thought I’d eventually find this editorial. Worth the wait, though it’s more of a collection of facts than an editorial. If only all your posts were this detailed and thorough.

    forefathers not four fathers

  1. After reading this entry, I found most of what I thought about marijuana was incorrect. I think this post is very informative, and your use of hyperlinks only added to the overall quality. I think this post if informative to those who are often misguided by the “just say no” fanatics that insist weed is deadly. I have never thought about the economical side of legalizing marijuana. This post is very enlightening and overall well written and researched.

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