I get it. I am entertained by him and he often makes me laugh.
He is in the U.S.A and very passionate about Hemp! I often listen to his youtube video's for material. I am so excited that he will be traveling to Toronto with his lovely companion Pam this summer to attend Toronto's Treating Yourself Expo! He will educate no mater where he is - as it is his passion and from the looks of his students, friends and from what I have learned he is an awesome teacher - with a good heart & enthusiasm that is contagious.
You can't beat that. Enjoy:
Potheads are lazy! -- Weed ruins your memory! -- Just say no! -- Studies prove that marijuana smoke kills brain cells! -- Reefer is a gateway drug! -- Smoking the chronic will give you lung cancer! -- Women, if you smoke that blunt, you will lose your honor! -- The police can’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana! -- This is your brain on drugs! -- The Devil’s Lettuce causes low sperm count and will give you “man boobs!” -- Legalization sends the wrong message to children! -- Smoking that Mary Jane makes you violent! -- Hemp is a niche crop! -- Buying weed funds the terrorists! -- Wacky Tobaccy makes you crazy AND schizophrenic!
If you’re like me, these statements really angry up your blood. For more than 70 years, these absurd “facts” and slogans have been force fed to the public without any opposing arguments or rational discussion whatsoever. The government makes up the lies and the mainstream media all too happily parrots the message over and over until the vast majority of people actually start believing this tripe. The sheer number of lies repeated for so many years has left a seemingly indelible mark on society’s psyche. Many people just can not fathom the fact that cannabis sativa is a relatively harmless herb. Most are members of the older generation, but many are young.
Reefer Madness is a rampant disease that has infected the halls of justice. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted demonizing, harassing, stigmatizing, arresting and incarcerating millions of non-violent individuals (disproportionately minorities). Unbrainwashing society is a very tall order and that's why I’m doing what I'm doing. Even if prohibition ended today, we still have so much more to do to fully utilize the amazing therapeutic properties of cannabis as well as the numerous environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp. We need to reintegrate prisoners back into society. We need to turn Reefer Madness into Reefer Gladness!
The age of enlightenment is upon us. Thanks to the mass communication capabilities of the internet, people are finally able to openly discuss the benefits of cannabis hemp and better document the devastating effects that its prohibition has on society. We need to take the debate to the media. They have owned the issue for far too long and it is time for the hyperbolic hysteria to be replaced by rational discussion. This goes for the pro-canna side too. Cannabis by itself will not solve all of our problems and we have to make sure our statements are verifiable. We don't want to be dismissed out of hand for making unfounded claims. This is a tall order especially considering that its illegality prevents many things from being verified (see Catch-422 below). Fortunately, despite government's best efforts, more and more positive medical marijuana studies are coming out and lots of really great new hemp products are hitting the market all the time.
People could care less about apathy. We need to make people care. Tens of thousands killed fighting over drug profits. Hundreds of thousands arrested each year. Where's the moral outrage? It seems like society has been desensitized to the rampant violence (think Grand Theft Auto on steroids). Where did the "peace, love and bell-bottoms" ethos of our hippy forefathers go?
One person can't everything, but we can all do something. That's the key. I'm not a full time activist. I've got a "square" job. I do research and write in my spare time. The important thing is to determine what you can do. Try not to overextend yourself or over-commit yourself because then you may disappoint others and/or burn yourself out. We all want to do so many things, but we just don’t have the time or resources. It is important to build credibility. Don’t commit to things you can’t do. And try as hard as possible to fulfill the commitments that you do make.
This is going to be a long battle and we need each and every one of you for the long haul. Society wasn’t brainwashed overnight and unfortunately, we can’t just flip a switch and enlighten everyone all at once. But we can all educate ourselves and others. Facebook is a great tool to learn about what's going on all over the world. I've got "friends" in Australia, South Africa, Europe and even Canada, eh? You can also receive a daily listing of news articles by setting a Google News alert or visit the Media Awareness Project’s Drug News Archive.
We need to rebut Reefer Madness. Write letters to the editor, call in to talk radio, talk to your friends, parents and doctors. Work with an activist group like NORML, SSDP, ASA or Vote Hemp. Or, start your own group! Each is a part of the church of cannabis. But I don’t want to be preaching to the choir here. I want to preach to the preachers! I want YOU to become a cannabis ambassador and let others know about this ancient plant with so many modern uses.
Reefer Madness dies hard. Such an entrenched narrative is very difficult to overcome. That's why every word, picture and thought is a baby step toward a better society. Are we close to the time when society finally has its "aha!" moment and sees cannabis prohibition for the absurdly cruel and unusual punishment that it is? The house of cards that prohibition is built on is about to fall. Will there be a watershed event that acts as a big gust of wind that blows their house of cards away or will we need billions of baby steps? Just reading this blog is a big baby step because it shows that you give an aeronautical intercourse about cannabis, hemp and humanity.
Kudos to Colorado and Washington state for legalizing cannabis and striking a huge blow against prohibition. A big "atta boy" to the states that have passed laws allowing medicinal marijuana or industrial hemp. The curtain of Oz is being pulled back. The camel is getting its nose under the tent. But, we are still being persecuted. Even in Canada, patients are made to jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops EACH YEAR showing that they “need” medicinal cannabis.
I call myself a "Hempologist" because I study cannabis hemp. I was a typical “hemp friendly” young man doing a lot of the typical things. Attending a Mass Cann/NORML meeting over 20 years ago, I was inspired by the phrase: “If not you, who? If not now, when?” I decided that it was the time for me to do something. But what? I started out tabling at events, helped organize a few of the annual Freedom Rallies on the Boston Common and even started giving speeches about hemp even though I am deathly afraid of public speaking. I figured that if I make a mistake, so what, at least I’m trying. I saw that most of the activists wanted to legalize marijuana and free the prisoners which is great. Others were interested in helping patients get their medical marijuana, which is awesome. After becoming aware of all the great “green” things that hemp could do, my environmental side took over. Biodegradable plastic, tree free paper, concrete, insulation, lightweight and strong composite materials, ethanol, diesel fuel. These are just some of the things that can be made out of hemp. It’s also a freakin’ super food! High in Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, high in protein & fiber, no cholesterol and no known allergies. What’s not to like about that? Living in New England, I was also lucky enough to be somewhere where hemp has a very rich and deep history, so I started documenting and writing about it and about "modern hemp history" in various publications and on my website, Hempology.Org.
A friend of mine is in prison right now. He was sentenced to 5 years and during his trial, the prosecution could not even produce the drugs that he was alleged to have sold! Talk about being railroaded. And yes, my friend is black. Sadly, minorities are arrested and imprisoned at a disproportionate rate. An excellent book about this subject is called the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Everyone should think about how much money is being wasted and how many lives are being ruined because of the war on (some) drugs.
I have a disabled relative that lives in America’s deep south who must spend each day either in bed, in a chair or electric scooter. Talk about being confined and depressed! I used to take the simple act of walking for granted but I now appreciate what I have and try to keep that in mind with every step I take. Since he lives in such a close minded, bass-ackwards state, medical marijuana is not even close to being legal. So, he “gets” to take all sort of super powerful pain drugs that “eff” him up nice and good. They make him groggy and nauseous. He enjoys having a little puff every now and again because it makes him feel better and helps reduce the number of numbing pain pills he takes. But he is so afraid of getting arrested and possibly going to jail that he errs on the side of caution. This makes me so mad I could spit.
If you ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of anything, the hemp industry is it! The possibilities for growth are absolutely staggering. Almost 30,000 acres of hemp were grown in Canada in 2012. This may seem like a lot, but when compared to 300 MILLION acres of corn, wheat, cotton and soy grown annually in North America, it is 10,000 times less! That is a lot of room for growth if you ask me. Thanks to Reefer Madness, the entire American hemp industry has been decimated. We are literally building an industry from the ground up. The challenges are enormous, but the potential payout boggles the mind (think trillion dollar crop).
Hemp really is the Green Buffalo! In order to survive, Native Americans used the entire buffalo: hair, snoot, balls ‘n all! And, like the buffalo, you can make many essentials out of hemp: food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicine. We need people to invent new hemp products. We need people to start new hemp companies. But keep in mind that until American farmers can grow hemp, the deck is stacked against you. One thing that everyone can do is support Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization that lobbies congress and educates the public about the beneficial uses of hemp. And, the more hemp products we buy, the more pressure we’ll be able to put on our legislators to let American farmers once again grow hemp. We all need to work to de-stigmatize the humble hemp seed.
If you are in school or just a “student of life,” the Cannabis Curriculum is for you. It doesn’t matter what class you are taking or what really piques your interest, you can apply it to cannabis hemp and its prohibition. Topics such as History, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Nursing, Nutrition, Sociology, Political Science, Architecture, Economics, Environmentalism, Theatre/Arts, Geography and Legal Studies all have components related to cannabis hemp that need additional study. There is so much research that needs to be done documenting all of the beneficial aspects of hemp. Hopefully, one day I can give my Cannabis Curriculum presentation at your school or at one of your group’s events.
Why don't patients have access to a safe, effective, natural and inexpensive medicine? Why can't American farmers grow an environmentally friendly and economically beneficial crop? Why are thousands killed each year in gang violence? Why are our prisons overflowing with non-violent offenders? The resounding answer to these and many related questions is: It's the prohibition, stupid!! Prohibition is the key concept that I want to drive home. The prohibition of cannabis, the stigmatizing of its users, the way that the entire cannabis culture is derided. In order to fight against this, we need to learn as much as possible and we need to share our knowledge far and wide. Sow the (hemp) seeds of education, enlightenment and empowerment.
Our government has created a phenomenon that I call Catch-422 (tip of the hempen chapeau to Joseph Heller). They put up as many roadblocks as possible in an effort to stifle our progress. For instance, the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic which, by definition, means there is no currently acceptable medical use. Everyone knows this is total bullshit, but when researchers ask for cannabis to perform studies, they're told they can't have it because, of course, marijuana has no medical use: Catch-422. This circular logic jerks patients around to no end.
Our government says that hemp is the same as marijuana. They claim that growing hemp will confuse the police even though this is not an issue in Canada or Europe where it is legal to grow industrial hemp: Catch-422. United States Department of Agriculture studies call hemp a niche crop without fully investigating its myriad uses: Catch-422.
Another Catch-422 is the institutional hypocrisy that prevents people from coming out of the cannabis closet. Consider this: Mere possession of marijuana is a violation of federal law! It is very difficult for someone to promote an illegal activity. You expose yourself to public ridicule or worse. For many, testing positive could result in the loss of their job, children or government benefits. Similarly, the IRS has ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries cannot deduct business expenses because possessing and distributing cannabis is against federal law: Catch-422. Banks and credit card companies are refusing to do business with dispensaries for the same reason: Catch-422. We need to recognize this for what it is: a blatant and callous effort to impede our progress. Fortunately in the privacy of the voting booth, people are electing to choose cannabis and give a collective middle finger to the powers that be.
Do you want to be a pioneer? A trendsetter? A visionary? A leader that seeks only fairness and opportunity? You have a unique opportunity to become a member of a small (but growing!) vanguard that is working peacefully against a vicious opposition that thinks nothing of imprisoning our brothers, poisoning our sisters and killing our offspring. We know that prohibition is immoral. We know we are right. The truth is on our side. It's not very often that one has an opportunity to become part of a movement and actually make history, but that's what we're doing. Other epic social revolutions also involved individual rights: slavery, women, LGBT. There are many similarities between these struggles and the fight for cannabis rights. Constant vigilance is needed to ensure that the advances we have made are not eroded and that we continue to move in the “right” direction.
Positive changes are happening at a frenetic pace on all fronts. We are at a tipping point. This is great! We can and will win. However, fully removing the stigma associated with cannabis will take time. The derisive pothead references will remain long after marijuana is legalized. We need to keep the historical perspective of Reefer Madness in mind as we move into the future. It’s time to make cannabis prohibition history!
Many thanks to GeorgiaToons for the opportunity to share my story with you on her blog. Her cannabis cartoons are drawn with love and dedication and I draw strength from her and her drawings. Keep up the fight, peace and all the bast!
Articles written by JD:
1996 Cannabis Cup
1997 Bioresource Hemp Conference
Hemp's Harried History
Hemp Food Article
Hemp, A Concrete Solution
Hemp, The Green Buffalo
2010 National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics Report
It’s the Prohibition, Stupid!
Cannabis Curriculum @ Harry’s Hill in Maine - August 2012
A Day in the Life of a True Hempster
Cannabis Curriculum @ 2012 CannaMaineia Expo (21 mins)
Cannabis Curriculum @ 2011 Maine Homegrown (Medicinal emphasis - 20 minutes)
Cannabis Curriculum @ 2011 Boston Freedom Rally (5 mins)
It’s the Prohibition Stupid @ 2010 Live Free or Die Rally in New Hempshire (17 mins)
Let’s Talk Hemp @ the 2009 Live Free or Die Rally in New Hempshire (11 mins)
Boston's Hemp History (10 mins)
Hemp Interview (11 short parts) with Susie Codie of hempirestate.org
2012 Hemp Video Shorts with Francis Fu of Northwestern SSDP
Hemp Ice Cream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eixoqNLh4xk
Hemp Houses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM0SrMixql0
Hemp History: http://hempology.org/
Cannabis Curriculum: http://hempology.org/CANNABISCURRICULUM.html
Please “like” my Cannabis Curriculum Facebook page: