U.S. Not Going Straight To Pot 

U.S. Not Going Straight To Pot 
Posted by FoM on September 13, 2000 at 16:17:55 PT
By Froma Harrop 
Source: Providence Journal
The movie Saving Grace is a sweet English comedy about a genteel widow who grows marijuana to fight off financial ruin. There's a jovial scene where a starchy doctor, local constable and dowdy garden-club ladies all get high as kites. Lurking in the background are humorless government authorities intent on closing down the merriment. Such conflict may soon be playing at a state legislature near you -- if it isn't there already. For several years now, states have been performing rather elaborate fan dances to legalize marijuana without exposing themselves to charges of being "soft on drugs." 
There are a lot of sour faces opposing these efforts. The most powerful belong to, of all people, officials in the Clinton administration. Possession or distribution of cannabis sativa remains a federal felony. The Feds in general are not at all happy about the growing casual disregard for the evil weed. And there are jobs to protect in the war against drugs. The premier form of rebellion on the state level continues to be the voter initiative. This November, voters in Colorado and Nevada will have their turn at chipping pieces off the federal drug laws. If the ballot initiatives pass, these states will join California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, Maine and Hawaii in allowing doctors to recommend marijuana for patients with certain illnesses. (Actually, Nevadans will be voting on the issue for a second time. State law requires that voter initiatives be approved twice before going to the legislature. The measure easily passed in 1998.) Every day, it seems, the fight spills over into some courtroom. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed California's "cannabis clubs," which openly distribute marijuana to patients. Then, last week, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that federal officials may not stop California doctors from discussing marijuana's medical benefits or promoting its therapeutic use. State legislatures have begun to take the issue over from the more raucous world of ballot initiatives. In June, Hawaii became the first state to sanction the use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes through legislation. What's really going on is a revolution in American thinking about marijuana specifically and perhaps illicit drugs generally. Attacks on the marijuana laws tend to highlight causes more noble than expanding the right to get stoned. You can hardly beat reducing pain and nausea in cancer patients as an attractive argument for legalizing pot. And in the name of helping farmers, several states now support the planting of industrial hemp. This non-euphoric cousin of marijuana can be made into rope, paper, salad oil and any number of useful products. Because of its similarity to the stuff that Clinton says he didn't inhale, industrial hemp is also banned by the federal government. Maryland recently became the fourth state -- after Hawaii, North Dakota and Minnesota -- to allow farmers to grow the crop. (Doing so requires a permit from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.) The Illinois Senate has voted to direct the state university to conduct research on hemp production. Virginia last year called on federal officials to allow that state to run an experiment in hemp production. Claims being made on behalf of the plant's virtues are not without merit. But underlying them is a radical change in public attitudes. Like the lovable English eccentrics who populate Saving Grace , many Americans now regard smoking pot as a naughty but essentially harmless activity. And they think law-enforcement resources could be put to better use than prosecuting the taxpayer who lights up a joint. There's one thing everyone should recognize. Once hemp (or marijuana, weed, pot, call it what you will) becomes widely available, the cat will be out of the bag. Doctors can prescribe it for headaches. And although the type of hemp used by industry contains little of the psychoactive essences treasured by hippies, it looks an awful lot like its mind-bending cousin. Once you have fields of waving industrial hemp, it will be virtually impossible for the law to find sprigs of the wicked stuff tucked therein. The road may not be straight, but the direction is pretty obvious. Some day, the sale and possession of marijuana will be legal from sea to shining sea. Froma Harrop is a syndicated columnist and Journal editorial writer. She may be reached by e-mail at: froma_harrop Published: September 13, 2000Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Copyright: 2000 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comAddress: 75 Fountain St., Providence RI 02902Website: Articles & Web Site:Saving Grace About Marijuana Are Sprouting Like Weeds Grace Delivers Delightful Comic High Medical Marijuana Archives:
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Comment #10 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 14, 2000 at 09:52:43 PT
Legalize it
>>There's one thing everyone should recognize. Once hemp (or marijuana, weed, pot, call it what you will) becomes widely available, the cat will be out of the bag.  Oh no!! What will we ever do when pot is so widely available that even schoolkids and prisoners can score a bag?? Oh, waitasec...  And keep that cat out of the bag! Have you ever inhaled burning cat fur?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 14, 2000 at 08:15:45 PT
Happy Days!
Kanabys, Oh Happy Days! I think that will be a wonderful day!Bah Humbug reality!Everyone looks good in red too!
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Comment #8 posted by Kanabys on September 14, 2000 at 08:01:41 PT
Just daydreaming......
>>Some day, the sale and possession of marijuana will be legal from sea to shining sea.Just the momentary daydream of this statement fills my soul with joy. OK, back to reality now, blah.........
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Comment #7 posted by Morgan on September 14, 2000 at 07:36:38 PT
Fear of Hemp
It's been my contention (which has been vigorously opposed by friends) that the reason our goverment is so opposed to industrial hemp growth (even though through cross-pollination it could destroy nearby dreaded marijuana plants) is that, industrial hemp, and not marijuana, is what they really fear, and is the real main target of this whole drug-war scam.*********************
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 14, 2000 at 06:23:54 PT
Hi Folks!
Here is the registration form. I still am not sure about the colors but this is how you register. Thanks for the compliment i-rule and morning to you Dan! Off to find news!Peace, FoM!PS: After a cup of coffee!
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Comment #5 posted by Dan B on September 14, 2000 at 03:01:16 PT:
To i rule...
The red names are red because those names have been registered with Cannabis News. One can register by clicking "Register Name" just above the comments/below the articles. Registering your name insures us that the message sent in your name was really written by you.You are correct that unless your name is registered, it will appear in green when an e-mail address is included or black when it is not. You make some great comments here; maybe you'll want to register your name, too?Take care,Dan B
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Comment #4 posted by i_rule_ on September 13, 2000 at 22:12:36 PT
Name in green.
His name is in green because he filled in his E-mail address. If you do not fill it in, your name will appear black. I have no idea as to why names appear in red. Tell me, someone? Peace to you all. FoM, you are a great article poster. I have learned quite a lot from your posts. Keep up the good work.Peace, Love, and continue the fight to free the Plant of Life.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 13, 2000 at 21:02:03 PT
One more thing
Cross pollination could devastate outdoor gardens. I guess that is one reason why I never understood why our country fights so hard against Hemp. It would lower the quality and that's what they want. They don't want any illegal smiles.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 13, 2000 at 20:55:38 PT
Hi DankHank!
Hi DankHank! No you don't have to register again. You appear in green to me and most people are red and I don't know why but that's fine. The articles have been so good and detailed recently. It has to give us some hope. I just posted an article about the UK and the US not in agreement over Colombia. That's good news! Plenty of bad news but at least a little is good! Thank Goodness!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #1 posted by dankhank on September 13, 2000 at 19:55:37 PT:
nice article
What a happy article ...Quite a change from the hate and misery directed by our government and documented so well here ...One little problem with the article ...It will NOT be possible to hide the kind bud in fields of industrial hemp, or downwind...By the way, I registered on this site a long time ago ... must I again?Natural pollenation will ensue and ruin the kindbud ... what a tragedy...Peace to all ...
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