September 1, 2009 – With the economic crisis we are in, researchers have been looking for more ways Americans can generate income and stimulate our economy. One option that seems to be foreign debtoverlooked is the decriminalization of cannabis and possible benefits we could get from it.

Our earliest founders used various forms of cannabis in their everyday lives. George Washington once told his farm manager to “Make the most you can of the Indian hemp [hashish] seed. Sow it everywhere.” Thomas Jefferson also cultivated cannabis.

Benjamin Franklin, who started the first paper mill, did so using cannabis exclusively.

Nothing has changed with the plant, yet our civilization seems to think that those who enjoy are criminals. I bet our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves knowing how we criminalize those who participate in this activity.

Various Acts from the 1920s and 1930s were passed in order to criminalize marijuana and its use.

At first, it was merely a simple, revenue-producing move. As the years went by, states were encouraged to impose punishment to those who were caught enjoying its benefits. What is so wrong with it?

I’ve heard the arguments that it is a gateway drug leading to the abuse of other substances, but how valid is that? I know of lots of people who enjoy marijuana-students, parents, grandparents, teachers, CEOs, even lawyers and politicians. Television shows and movies have no problem showing characters taking pleasure in marijuana as if it were common knowledge and an everyday occurrence, WHICH IT IS.

Why is hemp illegal and not just marijuana? The answer is so simple it makes me writhe with anger.

It looks too much like marijuana. I think it is ridiculous that such a thing that could help millions is not legal because of its appearance.

What benefits are associated with cannabis? Marijuana is not the only form of cannabis. Various forms of hemp are also included in the category.

Did you know that hemp can be used to make paper, plastic-like material, toiletries, cloth, and even fuel? The recent financial activity of our nation is looking for ways to answer this recession and come up with some new sources that not only help make money, but also create jobs. Legalizing cannabis would solve a lot of these issues!

Cultivating hemp to make products we use every day would not only solve the money and job problems, but we might also be able to save some of our forests from destruction. Animals would have homes-homes that would have otherwise been destroyed! So many of our every day belongings and habits can be made of or fueled by a product of hemp.

We can use hemp to create material necessary to build sustainable homes and office buildings that are aesthetically pleasing and strong enough to endure earthquakes and home fires.

Plastic-like material can be made from hemp, too! Biodiesels produced from hemp can help decrease our dependence on foreign oil, not to mention the actual necessity of it.

For the many people who are jobless or looking for a better-paying position, look no further than hemp. The best solution, yet the only one not considered. I can’t help but be disappointed that our leaders have been so blind to the opportunity hemp can offer.

For now, I guess we’ll just have to keep polluting the air with our vehicle emissions and simultaneously killing innocent animals by knocking down the trees that provide them their homes.

Wake up America! Its 2009!

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