Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The author of “Ineffective Legislation” talked about the stiff sentences against marijuana, which is a much milder drug than alcohol. He asked, “Why have we reenacted such ineffective legislation which punishes people more harshly for selling marijuana than for killing with a gun?” The answer to his question lies in the legalization of the drug. About 40 million Americans smoke marijuana occasionally. Why not legalize it?

Cannabis is one of the most ancient and historically important of cultivated plants. From the Cannabis stem comes hemp, a very long, strong fiber used to make rope, nets, cloth and paper of renowned durability. The oldest paper known is made from hemp fibers. Some fine Bibles, rare books and manuscripts and some paper money are still made from hemp fibers. And guess what? An acre of hemp will produce four times the amount of paper as an acre of trees.

Marijuana has also been used over time in the preparation of numerous medicines. The oldest book of pharmacology (the Pents’ao Ching) written about 4,000 years ago in China, prescribes marijuana preparation for the treatment of malaria, constipation, rheumatic pains and “female disorders” (probably menstrual cramps), to name a few. Modern research has also found that marijuana alleviates symptoms of glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other ailments. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively outlawed marijuana and ended doctors’ ability to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes in the United States. But today, 35 states have passed legislation permitting medical use of marijuana. Legalize it for personal home remedies.

By the time of the Civil War, the hemp industry was second only to cotton in the agriculture industries of the South. During World War II, our own government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. The legalization of marijuana could prove to be a worthwhile decision for the government. Through the correct system, this plant could make a huge economic profit for our country and help solve the problems associated with it currently.

This mild drug has never killed anybody in 10,000 years of usage. So why is it treated so harshly by the government? I hope that soon the folly, discrimination and economic insanity of the present marijuana laws will change to a more enlightened and fair system through legislation, regulation and taxation on the production of this desirable weed.

Nathan Bid McConnell

Nathan Bid McConnell
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