Did you know that Thomas Jefferson actually drafted the U.S declaration of Independence on hemp paper – a plant that’s actually a variety of cannabis?
Yap, that’s right. Even though it is illegal now, Cannabis was once one of the most commonly used plants of all time. Especially from 1600 to 1800, Cannabis was used to make paper, parachutes, medicine, and even as a replacement for steel. George Washington smoked it, and the King of England, in 1619, ordered farmers in the American colonies to grow cannabis and even allowed them to pay their taxes with it.
So, how does a plant that shows up in the 1913 Federal Reserve 10§ dollar bill become illegal? Well, to answer that question we must first address why it should have remained legal, in the first place…
Why Cannabis Should Be Legal
The use of Cannabis isn’t new. In fact, evidence has been found that the plant has been used for, at least, 10 000 years. It was used as food, textile material, rope, medicine, paper; it even appears in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India. (source)
Clearly, our ancestors understood there was something important about the plant and that it could be of tremendous aid. Fortunately, our science is starting to catch up to it.
In the last few years, the number of medicinal breakthroughs regarding Cannabis has been increasing. From studies showing it could help decrease seizures, combat HIV, protect from Cardiac Arrest, there are already studies showing it can even cure cancer. So, even though with some opposition, people, and especially science, are finally starting to accept what our ancestors already knew thousands of years ago.
But don’t be fooled thinking Cannabis can only be used as medicine. In fact, one of the reasons why it should be legal is because it can be used for so many different things. Clothes can be made out of it, cars, rope, paper, houses – it can even be used as fuel. In fact, Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, in 1925, built the first car that was built with resin stiffened hemp fibre; and even ran it with ethanol made from hemp. And the great news is that products made with hemp would be cheaper, more eco-friendly and healthier than the current materials we use to build these.
So, with so many benefits, how is it that a plant that can do all of this, is illegal?
The Real Reason Why It Is Illegal
Many people believe that the reason Cannabis continues being as a schedule I drug in the U.S (aka with no acceptable medical use in treatment and high risk of abuse) is because it is addictive and would be the gateway for more dangerous drugs. Well, in that case, wouldn’t it also make sense that we considered alcohol, fast-food, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs or excessive time on electronics schedule I drugs?
The truth is, the real difference between Cannabis and all these things can be summed up to two words: corporate greed.
You see, while everyone knows the risks of the things mentioned above (which we have to admit, are much higher than those of a plant), the reason they continue being available for us is because that benefits companies. Whereas, Cannabis is a plant – this means it isn’t possible to patent, and, if it were legal, people could simply start growing their own medicine in their backyard.
Think about this for a second: do you really think that the industry that profits billions from your sickness wants you to have the cure for it sitting on a vase on your front porch? That’s like trying to sell medicine to a person that’s always healthy – not profitable.
So, the real reason why Cannabis is still illegal, so far, is because industries like the pharmaceutical industry, the tobacco industry, even the textile and fuel industries would be at a loss of billions if it were legal.
Check out this video to understand this in more detail:
Why You Should Care
Most people are still unaware of this, but whether or not Cannabis becomes legal is a big deal. I mean, this single plant has the power to heal and improve the symptoms of countless diseases. It could begin an era of more eco-friendly, cheaper fuel, as well as better cars. It could revolutionize the textile industry, and even more importantly – it would help us take back our power.
As we are right now, most of us anyway, are dependent on the current industries to get by. We rely on the pharmaceutical industry to get cures, we rely on petrol to get fuel for our cars… Do you realise what would happen if we all had a free source of those things? For starters, we wouldn’t have to spend enormous amounts of money in pharmaceutical drugs. We’d much more likely grow our own medicine. Even more, we’d likely start eating it on a regular basis; which would probably stop us from running to the doctor so often.
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death nowadays. Do you realise what would happen if people just had free access to a plant that can cure it?
You see, it’s time we realise that we have the power over our lives. And it’s time we realise we can create a change that will better millions of lives. In this case, in particular, legalizing Cannabis would be for the benefit of everyone. Excluding the big industries, of course.
So, the real reason why you should care, is so that you can become informed on what’s going on. Because the more informed you are, the better decisions you’ll be able to make. And, ultimately – the better the impact you’ll leave on the world.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou