'Why Not Pot?'

'Why Not Pot?'
Posted by CN Staff on February 19, 2008 at 05:30:17 PT
By Kevin Conner
Source: Quad
Pennsylvania -- I will tell you why. In 1910, Mormons who lived in Utah began traveling to Mexico and coming home with marijuana. This upset the Mormon Church, who quickly voted against the plant's use in their communities. Because the Church and the state of Utah were so united, the first prohibition of marijuana law was passed there in 1915.
Now, states' rights are states' rights, and the Constitution clearly lays this out. The big issue comes into play today because states are losing these rights to reverse their laws against marijuana use, due to the federal governments' ban against the plant. This ban, which is in no way tied to criminal offense or medical history, was passed under the guise of a "tax law," called the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. This "tax law" required all those who possessed, transported or grew marijuana to obtain a 'marijuana tax stamp' to be able to do these activities. The kicker comes in here: The federal government printed only a few of these stamps. And, to get a stamp, you had to already have the marijuana in your possession. That meant you were breaking the law to get a stamp by not having a stamp! All this was being implemented during that strange time in history when the big 'pot scare' was on in United States.Why was this prohibition a tax law? You may be asking. Well, as the Constitution states, "Congress shall write no law," - which is a laugh these days - but back then they still had some sort of audacity to uphold the real writings of our founders. So it is a tax law.I now direct your attention to our country today. Countless cases have been popping up regarding Federal involvement in states issuing medical marijuana. During these 'stings,' our federal government sits outside of medical marijuana facilities and arrests old women and men with glaucoma and muscular dystrophy for possession of marijuana. The purpose of the Constitution was to stop this sort of nonsense from happening by giving the power to the states. But since 'we' decided to ignore that our states are losing their rights to govern themselves. Medical marijuana is no threat to our national security. It is no threat to anything. Who cares if people are smoking a joint to relieve whatever ails them? I surely do not. The next issue is that of the industrial growth of hemp. Hemp is not marijuana. You cannot smoke hemp to get high. Still, it is illegal to grow hemp in the United States. Back in the time of Johnstown, VA there was actually a 'growing law' that said you HAD to grow marijuana/hemp. Inside the laundry list of excellent things hemp could be used for, one sticks out to me as a damn good reason we should allow the industrial growth of hemp. Hemp can be used to make ethanol-based fuels, bio-diesel fuels, that is. This bio-diesel marvel, called Hemp-o-line, is far more efficient that our current corn-based ethanol. Hemp is easy to grow--after all, it is a weed. Hemp is also far less abrasive on the soil in which it grows. Corn on the other hand, pulls huge amounts of nutrients from the soil that can only be replaced by planting legumes such as soy. Even if we could grow enough corn to power our country, which we cannot, the soil would be so depleted that nothing would ever grow again. Hemp does not need nearly the amount space, nutrients or effort to grow - and, it makes a great fuel. There you have it, folks. Why not pot? You got me.Kevin Conner is a third-year student majoring in communications studies with a minor in creative writing. Source: Quad, The (West Chester U, PA Edu)Author: Kevin ConnerPublished: February 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 The QuadWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on February 21, 2008 at 06:45:08 PT
JohnO and Paint with light... Thank you both.
JohnO said, "Thanks Hope! I've read many of your posts and I like the way you put things too, you have a heartfelt love for our community and I have always seen you faithful to the fight against tyranny."Thank you so much. You're comment is so encouraging and empowering.I do love people and I do so despise the thorny whip of tyranny.
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Comment #14 posted by Paint with light on February 20, 2008 at 22:21:33 PT
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on February 19, 2008 at 21:41:20 PT
A Short Canadian History of Prohibition
CN BC: Edu: 100 Years Of Sobriety In Vancouver, The Peak, (18 Feb 2008), JohnO
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on February 19, 2008 at 20:30:59 PT
good going all -
short tv and radio and all other type media spots saying just what you have reported JO --- seems to take about 1-2 minutes-- would be a great help to Jack Herer and to all of us.maybe the guys up in Wash (aclu) will do something like tell who were the lawmakers that voted for this and which ones were the earlyadaptors.a cannabis convention is needed to tell all of the facts -- to give witness to memory before it is lost.maybe Denver -- the National Renewable Energy Lab is in Golden CO and the Rocky Mountian Inst. with Amery Loven would be great keynote speakers.the Norml law crew will be close by
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Comment #11 posted by JohnO on February 19, 2008 at 20:02:15 PT:
Thanks for the warm welcome all!
Thanks Hope! I've read many of your posts and I like the way you put things too, you have a heartfelt love for our community and I have always seen you faithful to the fight against tyranny. Good to meet you Paint with light, thanks for the reminder that those who neglect history are doomed to repeat it. The themes of tyranny are like a wheel, they go around and around. They repeat often, but if we pay attention, and remain vigilant and outspoken, I think we can repeal it rather than repeat it. Reverend Bud Green, thank you for the welcome, and for the check on my attitude. I agree we should mentor the young, no argument there. As far as my brazen critique, I suggested he do better because his facts seemed to be somewhat confused and believe we should strive to be right, since our cause is more just than those who are against us. To say; *So it is a tax law.* Is just not correct. I stand by my first posting for that reason. Not to say he was totally wrong, but his article was misleading, maybe a little more research was in order. Kevin's facts on bio fuels is right on, hemp is definitely the salvation of our current fuel problems. The problem with his presentation was that opposition against hemp production in the US is based on ignorance, on both sides. One side says it is cannabis/marijuana and therefore a drug, the other side declares it is cannabis/ a *cousin* of marijuana and not marijuana at all. Both are wrong and yet both are correct because marijuana is the flowering tops the female cannabis plant. Thomas Jefferson knew how to make marijuana from hemp, and so do you. It's really not a *cousin* at all, but the natural result of a wonderful thing, when properly produced. We can allow for the truth, we can say what we think and defend our position, but only when we are on solid ground. Using euphemisms to hide truth is the tactic of yesterday's politicians. Everyone knows when a politician is lying, they also know when our side is lying, Kevin himself in his article stated poorly on these facts. The following two quotes are snipped from his article; *Hemp is not marijuana.* And the very next sentence simply threw dust in the eyes of the reader; *Back in the time of Johnstown, VA there was actually a 'growing law' that said you HAD to grow marijuana/hemp.* To the uninitiated mind, somebody is either terribly confused or a very bad liar. To quote my wise Grandfather, "Is it is, or is it ain't?" I sincerely believed that article is just one more of so many I have read in recent years which have had the stage and yet fell short of the glory. I might have said nothing yesterday, but today was my time on the stage. Perhaps I seemed proud or insolent, I'm sorry to have shown that side of me. In the future if I post again I'll try a bit more restraint, since, for God's sake this is about us, not me. Good to meet you one and all, God bless us, and them. JohnO
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on February 19, 2008 at 18:08:16 PT
Younger ones coming up to help ...
in the struggle to right a terrible wrong.I'm so thankful. 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on February 19, 2008 at 17:49:00 PT
JohnO and Paint With Light
I like the things you're saying and the way you're saying it. You are saying some things that haven't been said quite like you guys have put it... and I can see your voices will be and are very valuable to all of us. Thanks for speaking up and sharing your ideas and thoughts with us. I, for one, really appreciate it. Keep it up, please. 
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Comment #8 posted by BGreen on February 19, 2008 at 14:56:15 PT
Welcome, JohnO
I think you ought to cut this kid some slack. There's nothing wrong with his facts and there's nothing in his story that makes me think he still thinks the Marijuana Tax Stamp law is the reason cannabis is still illegal. Examining the Marijuana Tax Stamp law just exposes the fact that cannabis never should have been made illegal in the first place.Kevin Connor has a limited amount of space to fill with his words and as a result he can't tell the whole story. I think we ought to congratulate a young person for getting off of their ass and speaking up for our cause.I understand where you're coming from, JohnO, but I don't think Kevin's story is as bad as you do.I would suggest that you write Kevin Connor an email and try to educate him in a nice way. Try to be more like a mentor than somebody scolding him. We need young people join us, so why not try to lift them up instead of tearing them down?Cheers,The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #7 posted by JohnO on February 19, 2008 at 14:02:03 PT:
Many thanks runruff
Thanks for the compliment runruff, and a pleasure to meet you too! I have been a regular visitor here for at least five years, I rarely post, not sure why. Most times everyone has pretty much said all that is needed. This time I saw a weak effort by a college student who is just barely getting by. I hope my tone was not so insolent, but I just hate to see us go around giving the prohibitionists more reason to ignore us. Are our college students of today achieving higher learning or are they wasting their time learning to get high? While I am not opposed to getting high, I am opposed to allowing it to effect our intelligence in a negative way, or worse, help the antis to claim we are a sad collection of intellectually lazy clods. I do not doubt the validity of his statements on the LDS church, but the larger point was totally botched!
I think we can do better than that. 
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Comment #6 posted by Paint with light on February 19, 2008 at 13:51:39 PT
Thanks for the history refresher JohnO. 1971 was about the time I first experienced MJ. If we don't learn our (from our) history we are doomed to repeat it.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on February 19, 2008 at 13:01:47 PT:
Hey JohnO!
Great post! Way to keep history straight! I see you've done your homework. I really couldn't find anything wrong with your information, you are right on.
If you sit down and read the control substance act and place it into the context to which it has been placed, the commerce clause of the constitution, you see that it really has nothing to do with commerce but everything to do with controlling personal behavior, protecting the pharmaceutical companies, and giving the United States government an excuse to enact a police state. And creating the Dea.
The way the CSA has been whittled and crammed into the commerce clause I've always likened it to forcing a square peg into a round hole.
I don't know you but it's a good to meet you.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on February 19, 2008 at 12:43:33 PT
Under the Banner of Heaven ,a story of violent...
faith - by Jon Krakauer have not read this book yet but, bought it on good recommendation of friends who live in Utah. It is about a Mormon murder case. This writer is known for the in depth, thorough research he does on his subject matter. It should be quite fascinating, based on what I've already learned about LDS. It's the next read on my to-do list. 
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Comment #3 posted by JohnO on February 19, 2008 at 12:31:10 PT:
What facts are true? 
As much as it is laudable to oppose marijuana prohibition in any form, I think accuracy should be a prerequisite for a historical dissertation on this very important topic.  Kevin Conner states facts about the marijuana tax act of 1937 and led the reader to believe that taxation was and still is the foundation of our problematic Federal drug laws. That is not the case. While it is true we still have to be wary of our Federal Government, it is not for the reasons stated in his article. This is important because to argue a case effectively, you simply must have the right facts.
The Marijuana tax act of 1937 was overturned by the US supreme court on fifth amendment grounds against self incrimination, Kevin did not mention this fact, and obliquely referenced the first amendment against regulating speech or religious affairs as some sort of reasoning in congress for the tax act. Their true reasons were economic and racially motivated. The first amendment was not an issue at all. The tax act Conners mentions is not the law of the land today as he may have led the reader to believe. That was overturned by the US supreme court in May of 1969. Timothy Leary was the man of the hour who stood against the behemoth Government and forced them to show their bluff. The following (in quotes)is snipped from Wikipedia;*Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of Marihuana Tax Act. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marihuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary's conviction was overturned. However, Congress responded shortly after by passing the Controlled Substances Act to continue the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.*Leary won that battle, but lost the war. His success prompted the President (Nixon) to sign an executive order to reinstate marijuana (and other) laws under a different mechanism. 
The following is snipped from the DEA.GOV web page. To wit; *Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (1970)
In response to America's growing drug problem, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. It replaced more than 50 pieces of drug legislation, went into effect on May 1, 1971, and was enforced by the BNDD, the DEA's predecessor agency. This law, along with its implementing regulations, established a single system of control for both narcotic and psychotropic drugs for the first time in U.S. history. 
It also established five schedules that classify controlled substances according to how dangerous they are, their potential for abuse and addiction, and whether they possess legitimate medical value. Twenty-eight years later, the CSA, though amended on several occasions, remained the legal framework from which the DEA derived its authority.*Most users of this website are familiar with these facts, I could wish that college students who major in communications and minor in creative writing could learn to use the school library to research papers before they write them, but that might be pushing the envelope of literacy too far. My second problem with this article deals with hemp. Too many times people claim that hemp is not marijuana, or a *cousin* of marijuana. False, Hemp is Cannabis, (sativa, indica, ruderalis.) The main difference is that it is grown for it's industrial grade fibers and is not selectively bred for the THC trichomes which will eventually appear after years of effort to do so. There is evidence that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were doing exactly that. While both hemp farmers, they discovered that destroying the males (plants) while keeping the females allowed them a sort of (unstated) advantage. Apparently it was their little secret. I like the way they were thinking, in fact I recommend it. No one could effectively argue that cannabis use harms mental acuity and as evidence, one would be hard pressed to find anyone today with the sort of intellectual prowess of either of those two great historical figures, I surmise their strength of mind was greatly aided by the smoking of cannabis. Grow, Smoke, Think. JohnO
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on February 19, 2008 at 12:04:25 PT:
The Baaa factor!
It does seem to me that somewhere back in the devlopment of the human race there might have been a genetic crossover between humans and sheep. We do seem to behave like sheep sometimes.I've researched the history of the Mormon Church and it's inventor Joseph Smith. It is a very interesting fairytail.
This fellow with his very active and creative imagination was able to create a new religion out of whole cloth.If he were alive today he might be a famous screen writer or novelist like Steven King. Maybe another Jim Jones or a David Koresh?
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Comment #1 posted by Max Flowers on February 19, 2008 at 11:13:33 PT
Anything the Mormons dislike, I like
This upset the Mormon Church, who quickly voted against the plant's use in their communities.Excellent reason to love the plant, among many others...
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