This is an open letter from Greta Gaines to President Obama during the election. I didn't see it during the election but felt it still needed to be posted because industrial hemp is now legal in Colorado. Then candidate Obama may or may not have given the idea much thought. But now that he is forced to face reality, maybe he'll take a closer look!
I've been getting an awful lot of letters and emails from President Obama about what he sees as important, (AND ASKING FOR $13
dollars) so I thought maybe I'd write one to him, about what I think needs to be addressed.
Dear Mr. President:
I have seen the future and it is in the past. A past that included laws mandating all American farmers to grow hemp. A past where hemp was a currency and you could, in fact, as a farmer, pay your taxes in hemp. How many of you out there would be psyched to pay your 2012 taxes in hemp? Our founding fathers considered hemp to be this nation's most valuable crop.
"Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country" - Thomas Jefferson.
"Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere" - George Washington.
Our founding fathers knew that hemp helped win our independence from Britain for it made the ropes and sails and clothing we needed to fight for our freedom. We have always had the ability in America to farm our way to energy independence. We can grow our own fuel. We have the ability right now to run our cars on hemp ethanol for as low as 50 cents a gallon. We can create our own economic prosperity while guaranteeing national security. We are the only industrialized country in the world does not legally grow it's own hemp!!... Consequently we are getting left in the dust on a multi-billion dollar industry. Many of you out there today think that medical marijuana is still federally illegal in this country because it is a schedule one drug with no medicinal value. That's a lie. Marijuana was made illegal in this country in 1937 because hemp threatened the profits of the major industrialists of the time.
Rudolph Diesel created his first diesel engine to run on hemp and that threatened Rockefeller's Standard Oil. The superior hemp pulp
threatened the Hearst lumber monopoly and their newspapers printed on wood pulp. Dupont had created Nylon and hemp threatened their interests. Throw in alcohol lobbyists, cotton cartels and special interest groups and you got the 1937 Marijuana Tax Stamp Act and your looking at the greatest heist of an essential resource in US History.
You need to understand that marijuana is unjustly still a scheduled 1 illegal drug in this country because it's non THC carrying cousin industrial HEMP IS OIL. Think about this...why is industrial hemp still illegal to be grown in this country in the year 2012? We have a 9.6 trillion deficit in this country and with one sign of the pen we could raking in billions of dollars while cleaning up the planet and growing our own oil... SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING WE'D BE ABLE TO AGREE ON.
Re=legalizing industrial hemp in this country could be the cash crop America is looking for. It's a billion dollar crop with 25,000 uses. It can make everything from dynamite to hempcrete for building to cellophane. Add to those dollars the 6.2 billion raised yearly if you tax marijuana like alcohol and tobacco and the 8 billion in savings revenue when you stop arresting people and the 7 billion that would be created in American pot entertainment/hospitality and you've got yourself a real stimulus package Mr. President.You could be the US president to take credit for this amazing crop by re-legalizing the very plant that help build America in the first place.
- Imagine no more oil wars.
- Who's getting rich off of these foreign oil wars?
- Who's paying for them with their lives? We are.
Believe me, hemp is more dangerous to the federal government than medical marijuana has ever been. Too many people in this country are staying wealthy by keeping hemp illegal but the ones suffering for are YOU my fellow Americans. If you look to history, you will understand why---even though a majority of voters are now in favor of marijuana legalization---our government is still arresting 850,000 people a year over a damn PLANT.
A plant that has been serving us as food, fiber, fuel and medicine... from the dawn of mankind.A plant that has never killed anyone. It makes me mad! Do democrats get mad? You should be getting mad enough to get involved. The American drug war has been the costliest war in America's history with over a trillion spent. How about a war we can win Mr. President? How about a war that helps the
American people instead of harms them? How about a war on shitty schools? How about a war on poverty? And hunger?To you Mr. President I will tell you: if you lose this election it will because of frustration over the American economy. Here's a checklist of the money that will be raised if you re-legalize the growth of industrial hemp in America and re-legalize medical marijuana, tax and regulate is like alcohol.- The government spends 8.7 billions dollars enforcing marijuana laws each year.
- Mr. President you yourself have said, "when I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point." Today if a young African American were to get busted for pot possession---there goes the college scholarships due to your unjust and still racist laws for marijuana possession. Does anyone see the hypocrisy here?
- You would save 7.7 billions dollars that the Government is currently spending on prohibition.
- Taxation and regulation of cannabis similar to alcohol would produce combined savings and tax revenue of between 10 billion
and 14 billion dollars.
- You will save the cost of prosecution (and defense!) of accused offenders +
- You will save the cost of incarceration of convicted offenders +
- Hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that would be generated if drugs were legal and taxed +
Even a stoner can see that adds up to a pretty huge number.If you look to history, you should be mad.
- Mad enough to protect patient's rights and stop penalizing dispensaries and states like Montana that passed medical marijuana laws with 81% of the vote. If you keep trumping state laws you lay the seedlings of civil strife. You endorsed gay marriage b/c you know it's ridiculous to be legally married in Vermont and not recognized as married in Tennessee.....It's the same with marijuana.
- Mad enough to fight for clean energy in the form of hemp ethanol.
- Mad enough to understand what a civil liberty is and that it needs protecting, what I do in the privacy of my own home to recreate, what I put in my body is none of your goddamn business. In the words of the late great MCA from the Beastie Boys, my friend Adam Yauch. You gotta get mad enough to... fight for your right to party!!
The cannabis sativa plant could once again be the key strategic and economic commodity of our time. It's one plant. It must be freed in its entirety.... to once again serve us a fuel and medicine. Once freed it can help once again to build America economically. So Mr. President hear my plea to Free the Weed. Say it with me Free the Weed! Free the Weed!! Free the Weed!!
- Stop creating crimes in this country in order to punish them.
- Stop creating crimes in this country in order to profit from them. Yes, I have seen the future and it is in the past.
- Let us go back to grow our own fuel.
- Let us go back to growing our own medicine.
- Let us enjoy the pursuit of happiness unencumbered by your special interests.Let us be free to enjoy the weed God put here for us to enjoy.
God Bless you all and God Bless America.
Information about Greta Gaines, courtesy of NORML:
Greta Gaines is a newcomer to the movement of legalizing marijuana. Having spent the last 20 years immersed in the extreme sports and rock n roll world, however, she has been smoking and thinking about smoking pot for a very long time. As a musician, download favorites from iTunes such as the bong anthem "Wake Up Happy," "Cool Hand Luke" and "I'm High" have all delved into Gaines's fascination with Cannabis. In fact she likes to think of herself as being one of those consistently putting the "Her" in "Herbal." For fun, when she can find the time, between mothering, music, touring, snowboarding and fly-fishing, Gaines spends time with her alter ego "Gigi Ganjay," Host of America's Premier Stoner Crafts and Low-Cal Snacks show that airs on www.CANNIBUZZ.com.
[Greta Gaines is a southern rock musician who has made four albums. She is also a television host; she hosted Free Ridewith Greta Gaines on Oxygen for three years and has been a correspondent on ESPN2. She is also an internationally recognized pro-snowboarder and fly fisherman; she was the Women's World Extreme Snowboard Champion '92.]