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Guest Opinion: Media are part of the pot prohibition problem

The constant use of the word “marijuana” in the media is a bigoted and racist word that was used by Hearst Paper Corp., Harry J. Anslinger and others in the early part of the 20th century to create fear in the American public (sound familiar?) only to save their investments in the timber industry.

Please replace this racist word with the scientific name "cannabis," or you can remain part of the problem and refuse to change. I don’t think you will do this, let alone print my letter, in view of The Associated Press' hit piece against cannabis Oct. 18, “Moms fight against and for legal pot.” At least 80 percent of the story was outlining the negative "possibilities" of cannabis with the positive side of cannabis almost nonexistent.

Here are some facts and history you might have missed:

The U.S. National Institutes of Health appropriates millions dollars to fund medical research, not to investigate the therapeutic effects of natural cannabinoids (bad!), but rather to investigate the therapeutic effects of synthetic chemicals (good!) that are designed to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids. Equally ironically, the research took place at Temple University in Pennsylvania — where any use of natural cannabis (bad!) as a medicine is criminally illegal, but where research into the use faux cannabis (good!) is embraced.

Makes sense, right? Well about as much sense as the federal government claiming that cannabis (bad!) has no medical utility while simultaneously patenting certain natural occurring chemicals in the plant (patent #6630507 in 2003 ) — chemicals that the feds and their corporate masters hope they will one day make a profit from as, you guessed it, a medicine!

Get the picture? From the feds and the corporate point of view, Cannabis won't be legal until it is a synthetic chemical, Marinol, currently $93 per pill. Any questions?

The arguments for legalization can be boiled down to this:

  • Prohibition doesn’t work, and has little effect on the market for cannabis. Abraham Lincoln said, “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." He was right!
  • It's a revenue stream to fund long-neglected programs for schools and the poor.
  • Legal alcohol and tobacco kill millions (but are not a national public health issue). Meanwhile, not one cannabis death ever!

Why can’t the powers that be just realize the harm they cause over such a harmless plant? All the proof is there for all to see.

The proof has been there since the "LaGuardia Marijuana Report," 1938-1944. Not to mention thousands of studies suppressed by the government since then.

We need to end the “drug war” in this country. That is slowly happening in spite of the constant stream of lies told by the mainstream media, government officials and the alcohol, drug and energy companies over the past 60-plus years.

Treatment for cannabis addiction? To suggest someone needs addiction treatment for their first cannabis offense is slander. It would be like labeling anyone who uses alcohol for the first time an alcoholic. However, this happens everyday in this countr.

So let’s review, shall we?

Our federal government (with their high moral ground) ostensibly wants Americans to consume less cannabis. So, they spend billions outlawing the plant and driving its producers underground where breeders, over time, clandestinely develop stronger and more sophisticated herbal strains that never existed prior to prohibition. The feds then inadvertently give America’s marijuana growers billions of dollars in free advertising by telling the world that today’s weed is more potent than anything Allen Ginsberg or Jerry Garcia ever smoked in their heyday (perfect government-think).

In response, tens of millions of Americans head immediately to their nearest streetcorner in search of a dealer (or college student) willing to sell them a dime bag of the new, super-potent cannabis they’ve been hearing about on TV.

The feds then demand more of your hard-earned tax dollars so they can get more Americans “off the pot,” but what they don’t tell you is that with all the new laws against cannabis they can take all your property without due process: only accusations and no proof.

When the lawmakers pass laws that make criminals out of millions of American people, it is no wonder the “war on drugs” has created the largest organized crimes against people that the world has ever known; not to mention the largest number of incarcerated people on the planet.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." — Edmund Burke, 1770.

Prohibition of a plant is pure evil. Vote Yes on Proposition 91! Vote for freedom!

R.L. Tokareff lives in Ashland.