The Smell of Marijuana Reform is in the Air 

The Smell of Marijuana Reform is in the Air 
Posted by FoM on May 02, 2000 at 07:28:01 PT
Staff Editorial Michigan Daily U. Michigan
Source: U-WIRE
There is a war being fought inside America's borders. More than 700,000 are captured every year, with over half a million being taken out of the fight for years at a time. All of this is being carried out by our government on its own people with scare tactics, propaganda, brute police force, prison sentences and the inertia of ignorance and silence. 
All of this means that thousands of otherwise upstanding citizens are being locked away for one reason: a plant. America is up in arms over a little weed, Cannabis, that got caught up in America's "War on Drugs." Many concerned citizens have chosen to break the silence and speak out about a plant that is not physically addictive, has caused zero deaths, grows in almost any climate, provides fuel, food, clothing, shelter and comfort to millions and has been one of history's most useful medicines. They have begun calling for a change in the laws, because it is time for the ignorance and fear to subside, allowing a safe, natural medicine to reach the sick. First, let's take a look at how we got in the current situation regarding Cannabis. According to Jack Herer, an activist and author of "The Emperor Wears no Clothes," Cannabis prohibition began to take shape in the 1930's following a string of racist scare tactics led by William Randolph Hearst, who introduced the word "Marijuana" into major news publications. It was known prior to this time as hemp, a benign plant used as medicine and source of fiber. Hearst used his power to paint a stereotype of the lazy Mexican migrant worker infiltrating America. Also of concern was Cannabis use among African Americans, which was being attributed to Jazz music and Jim Crow law violations. With films like "Reefer Madness" and headlines like "Marijuana-assassin of youth" creating even more public outrage, Congress hastily moved to outlaw Cannabis. In 1937, Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, testified before Congress, saying, "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind." Anyone who has ever smoked pot can refute that outright lie from first-hand experience. The American Medical Association (AMA) made the case that, in effect, federal testimony in those hearings was based entirely on tabloid sensationalism. The AMA revealed that no real testimony had been presented before Congress on behalf of the medical establishment. And since 1937, very little congressional energy has been spent addressing this outrageous situation. In 1976, Congress outlawed all research on the therapeutic effects of marijuana. Since then, coalitions - such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which is funded largely by private interests and supported by major media - have continued denouncing marijuana with scare tactics and "Just say no" campaigns. The hypocrisy of promoting alcohol and cigarette use while condemning marijuana with the same tools of advertising is reprehensible. Unfortunately, companies, as well as prison workers' unions and illegal drug test manufacturers, have a vested interest in maintaining the perceived threat of marijuana. Job security based on increased prison populations and paranoia about pot-smoking workers means big business those profiting in the "War on Drugs." For decades, a movement to educate Americans about the benefits of Cannabis and hemp has been building. In recent years, Alaska, California, Maine, Oregon, and Washington have passed legislation allowing patients access to often-necessary medical marijuana. Local Libertarians have been pursuing an initiative to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Ann Arbor as well. To get the proposal - which would prevent city police from arresting medicinal pot users - on the November ballot, petitioners must collect 4,300 signatures. An initiative is also under way to put the issue to voters statewide. Called the Personal Responsibility Amendment (PRA), this would allow medical marijuana for anyone with a prescription. It would also give any Michigan resident over 21 the right to grow and possess up to three ounces of cannabis, provided it is within the confines of his or her own home and kept away from minors. To get this on the ballot in November, over 300,000 signatures must be collected. The PRA is Michigan's chance to repeal unjust Cannabis prohibition laws. This Saturday, May 6, thousands will flock to over eighty cities worldwide to promote awareness of the medical marijuana movement with the Millennium Marijuana March. Protests will be held locally in Lansing, Flint, Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Traverse City. Anyone outraged by the government's history of Cannabis prohibition should get involved to show support for troops on the front line of this unjust war. (U-WIRE) Ann Arbor, Mich.Published: May 1, 2000(C) 2000 Michigan Daily via U-WIRE Related Articles & Web Sites:Jack Herer Marijuana March 2000 Million Marijuana March Marijuana March News 1999 Million Marijuana March 2000 Vote Sought on Medical Marijuana 2000
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on May 02, 2000 at 17:06:33 PT
me three
You wont see this article in the major media.....dddd
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Comment #2 posted by Kanabys on May 02, 2000 at 10:22:09 PT:
I too...
I too appreciate the honesty of this article. Applause to the author!!! The truth is out there............
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Comment #1 posted by Peace on May 02, 2000 at 08:37:47 PT:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
Thank God...someone has finally put it in historical, factual terms which cannot be debated. Spread the word people. Too few really know and understand the reasons why pot is illegal. When you present it like this, people get interested in how all this hype got started.Thank you to the U-Wire staff. Don't stop!
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