Aside from the American family, the one big loser in the prohibition of cannabis has been the truth. The fact that cannabis is illegal and the ramifications of even admitting you smoke it could jeopardize your employment, your standing in the community, your entire life. All of this, while the agents of misinformation spread their lies.
As a young airman I smoked cannabis while serving in Thailand. I found it to be something other than what I had thought it would be but nothing as harmful as I had heard. Back then there was so much misinformation. Over the years I have smoked off and on but it wasn’t until I met Gatewood Galbraith back in 1990 that I realized just how much I had been lied to.
The problem over those years is no one could speak up. No one dared to, except a handful of activists and over a period of 18 months things changed. The genie was out of the bottle and all the establishment could say is, “It’s a gateway drug.” By then that argument didn’t hold water and since then no one has been able to come up with a good enough reason for the prohibition. It’s as if they have been afraid of the debate, running from it from the president on down.
All we ask is for an honest and open debate. We have heard the concerns of those on the other side and we have answers for you. We want to take this past the Cheech and Chong persona of the cannabis culture. Our evidence is compelling if we can ever get a fair and impartial hearing unlike I have seen lately even in this very paper. The stereotypical “stoner” portrayed in a cartoon with misinformation and innuendo masked as an editorial. This does nothing to further the debate.
To our law enforcement community, whose concerns are that they would have a hard time identifying the medicinal hemp from industrial, I would first of all like to assure them that once the “Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act” is signed into law there will be no need for you to worry as all cannabis will be legal. There would be no reason for you to have to make that call. Cannabis, however, is very easy to detect one from the other. Industrial hemp is grown in dense crops while medicinal is grown with the plant isolated from the male to ensure a high THC content.
The Family Foundation has voiced its displeasure but from their responses I can tell they just need to be educated as well. Cannabis is being proven to be a medicine all across the world. Countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Israel all have done remarkable research. Portugal has gone as far as legalizing and regulating all drugs, treating them on an individual basis, with great success. The folks at the Family Foundation question the motives of Sen. Clark and commented they feared it would be used as relief for jet lag and stress. What I would ask is what do doctors prescribe now for these ailments and if cannabis is deemed a viable cure then why shouldn’t my doctor prescribe it? If the war on drugs has been so good for the family then why haven’t the figures of abuse changed since Nixon first declared a war on cannabis?
The fact is we need to take another course. We need to take a long hard look at this war on cannabis; this war on the American family, this war that has torn this country apart. We can no longer afford to chase down every grower in Kentucky; cannabis will never be eradicated. We imprison more of our citizens than any other country on earth and we call this the land of the free. The drug war is financing our current industrial prison complex. Nothing good has come from it.
“Education Summer” is designed to educate Kentucky about the truth concerning cannabis hemp, the plant that our state depended on for so many years. We are getting the conversation started with volunteers all over the state. The facts are there. Before you judge someone unjustly, do the research and find out for yourself.
Ron Moore is director of the Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana.