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Benjamin Pope

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Do the benefits of the Hemp plant and its derivatives outweigh the dangers involved? or is the prohibition simply something else entirely?

My curiosity stems from a recent study that was done where cannabinoids were used effectively to treat MRSA, (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which has proven resistant to most antibiotics. MRSA kills around 20,000 people in the U.S annually, which is more than AIDS related deaths. I feel like it is time to revisit our current policies regarding this plant.


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    Aug 29 2011: politicians make more money off its illegality than its legality. if iot was legalized the war on drugs wouold end which means the kickbacks and payoffs would end for many govt officials. this is their "bread and butter". i am a gardenerr at heart. i studied green house tech and management in vocation school. i would rather grow dope and get high than work for someone else and make "money" to buy dope. than i could use all my free time to study nature, raise my kid, instead of trusting a public school. our current economic formula makes parents dependant on public schools as babysitters so the adult can work. this is wrong. i smoke and i figured this out. am i stupid? no. i dont know anyone my age who has read ayn rand or rob roy. yet dope makes you stupid? maybe im what you call a singularity? maybe im just crazy. either way to make it illegal to grow a plant yet profitable to drill oil. when the latter is UNDENIABLY LETHAL. is assinine.
    • Aug 29 2011: Marijuana doesn't make you stupid. Stupid people are already stupid, and some of them smoke, and it doesn't make them more intelligent. I also smoke(d) until this week actually – I have temporarily given it up as I have discovered a fertility issue that might be resolved, and there is some evidence to suggest that it can have this kind of effect, but I refuse to believe it makes people stupid. Thats propaganda, and it's weak at that. It is so ubiquitous, and so few ill effects are felt, that in my opinion it undermines some of the more sensible drug policies in existence because people just don't believe the harm is real.

      The hemp plant has more uses than any other, as far as I am aware. William Randolf Hearst is the culprit. He was a newspaper man, and owned a logging company too, and used his newspapers to spread lies about the dangers of hemp to secure his own business interests in poor quality paper, thereby denying mankind a powerful fuel, medicine, fibre and god knows what else. It is criminal, in my opinion, to deny these things to people, and thats before we get down to the benefits of smoking it. We could erase our econimic problem in the UK if they legalised and taxed it for example, saving money policing it (thats laughable) and prosecuting into the bargain.

      It has opened your mind Joseph, not made it dull. Bill Hicks said, “They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.” Amen, I say. They want you out there paying taxes, my friend. The last thing that a government needs is open minded, questioning people in the ranks. They cause too many problems.
    • Aug 30 2011: The cost of the war on drugs (a battle several times admitted as a loosing one) has been compared to the entire american deficit. (this was before the war on terror) I have no idea of the validity, but realize the majority of people in prison are there on drug related charges... each one costs the system x$ per day and at least in the case of marijuana never hurt anyone but the tax man. Even once out, they now have a criminal record and can not work in the high paying and therefore tax generating jobs, potentially leading to hopelessness and thus actual crime and at least costing the system in the end through tax refunds.
      • Aug 30 2011: In the UK, like in the US, we are starting to build privately owned prisons too. This is appalling in my opinion, but they are doing it. These businesses will need a steady stream of 'criminals' to remain profitable, so no doubt drug laws will be enforced harder and harder to keep them flowing.

        And the crazy thing is? The public are practically begging for it. The police arrested 1000+ people in the riots, and our prison service is at almost max capacity with around 80k prisoners. 1/80th of your prison population in one go, so where do you put them? The government will be paying these private prisons huge amounts of money to keep people locked up, and our drug policy is a major part of the problem. If we could be forward thinking enough to properly address it, we could solve literally all of our financial problems, and we wouldn't be jeapordising the future of people who just want to experiment and to open their minds. And marijuana is just one.

        You might want to check out Ibogaine, which is looking like the best cure - and I mean cure - for addiction. 80% success rate for treating Heroin addiction, that pharmaceuticals can't even come close to. Psylocibin, to be found in any number of psychoactive mushrooms around the world, brings instant and long lasting relief to sufferers of cluster headaches and migraines.

        The public are scared because they have been repeatedly lied to about these substances so that we demand expensive alternatives. And this allows not only poor quality medicines, but any number of other benefits have been lost. Hemp paper is the strongest and toughest and most environmentally sustainable there is. Bio fuels made from hemp will not need us to make a choice between food and fuel like we do currently. And we are missing out personally. All great civilisations have had mind altering and enhancing substances at the root of their culture, except this one. I can't see alcohol, tobacco and prozac driving us into anything except an early grave.
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          Aug 30 2011: well, as plato said. those who are too smart to engage in politics, are usually punished by being governed by those who are not. in my state of kansas, no politician or official would ever read this comment strand without clinging to his "values". the older generation, babyboomers in america, have been stigmatized. some have not. the ones that have felt the need to run for political office. we are just now in the past 10 years seeing loosening of drug laws, but only on a local govt basis, it is illegal with the dea and federal government. which arises another question. How can we have two masters and remain loyal to both?

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