Ethan Indigo Smith, Contributor
The history of marijuana and hemp prohibition is a dark and shady story with all the makings of a diabolical thriller. In a dystopian world, shady oligarchs institute prohibition in order to benefit their institutions in the short-term, leading to the inception of a police state in which sustainable agriculture is ridiculed, shamanic medicine is scorned, and generations are forced into punitive situations as a result of the plant’s contraband status.
Now, I don’t normally dwell in the “what-if’s” and rarely speculate about the “what-might-be’s” either; I think it’s more important to consider the “what-is”. But in fact, if we concentrate on the “what-is”, we can more easily ponder the “what-if” (our potential) and, importantly, more decisively define “what-will-be” (our future).
In order to understand what the prohibition of marijuana and hemp has led to, and in order to understandthe beautiful potential of this suppressed plant, I think it’s important for supporters of marijuana and hemp prohibition (and even supporters of its legalization) to understand the “what-if’s” of legalization — by asking the question‘What if marijuana and hemp had never been prohibited?’
What if marijuana and hemp had never been prohibited?
Hemp is Medicine, hemp is food
If marijuana and hemp were never prohibited, the cancer era may never have been, and certainly would be vastly mitigated. Why? Marijuana and hemp are natural cancer preventatives and curatives that alleviate multitudes of diseases, including cancers. Hempseed oil is one of the richest sources ofessential amino acids and essential fatty acids, providing an excellent balance between omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids,fostering healthy brain function, supporting the immune system, repairing DNA damage and defending against inflammation, a major cause of chronic illness.
If cannabis were never prohibited, which enabled the concurrent rise of pharmaceutical medicine in its place, humanity would still be using ancient herbal cures instead of chemical symptom inhibitors that don’t work. Cancer would be treated naturally and effectively, supporting instead of destroying the immune system in the process. (See: Over 100 Scientific Studies Agree: Cannabis Annihilates Cancer.)
Hemp in Agriculture
An example of an obvious change in the world, had marijuana and hemp ever been prohibited, is the potential vastness of our forests. Practically all the trees that have been cut down for paper and wood products, and to clear space for crops like cotton, might have just been left alone, as humanity utilized versatile, drought-tolerant and pest-resistant hemp to supply the raw material for paper, wood, fabrics, and building materials. (See: Move Over Cotton, Say Hello to Hemp – The ‘Forbidden’ Crop That’s Taking the World by Storm.)
What are the less obvious side-effects of there being more trees and more old growth forests? Of there being a far more efficient crop supplying our materials? Of being able to raise plants for usable materials in a matter of months, rather than over a period of several years? Of agricultural fields producing more than 10 times more oxygen and absorbing more CO2 than common crops? Would the air be more pure? Would we be more self-sustaining? Or live more peacefully?
And what of the wild ecosystem? If marijuana and hemp were never prohibited, they would have never been eradicated from the wilds. Recognized as an important natural flora, the cannabis plant grows like a “weed” — hence the nickname — as nature intended. Animals, humans and especially birds enjoy the seed and plant matter for food, which also feeds the cannabinoid receptors in their bodies that await THC as if it were vitamin C (suggesting there are far wider benefits of THC in the animal kingdom than we humans currently understand.) If marijuana and hemp had never been prohibited, our environment would be flourishing to its own natural design.
No ‘War On Drugs’
If marijuana were never prohibited, there would be no Orwellian private prison system, which relies on the endless ‘War On Drugs’ and an overtly aggressive police force to fill its beds. The prison population would not be skyrocketing, and Americans, in particular African-Americans, would not be locked up at the alarming rates we see today, working for free for the private corporations that contain them. There would be no inexplicable inconsistency between rising prison numbers and a falling rate of violent crimes. The spiritual value of marijuana as a consciousness-altering herb could be explored once more, as it has for millennia, free of legal taboo. Those with genuine substance abuse issues would be offered medical and spiritual treatment, not punitive action. And there would be no motivation for the black market trade of the cannabis plant, removing the criminal element and with that, the motivation to become a criminal. (Please see: The War On Drugs: How the “Land of the Free” Became the “Home of the Slaves” for 2.3 Million
No Petrolithic Era, Nuclear Age or Oil-igarchy
Among the most dramatic paradigms that cannabis prohibition stirred, one which certainly would have never been if marijuana and hemp had never been criminalized, is the institutionalization of global petrolithic and nuclear energy industries. These dirty industries spew all sorts of cancerous toxins into our environment, and remain one of the main contributors to the cancer era they spawned — and that’s when things operate to plan!
Hemp is the oiliest plant there is and Rudolph Diesel designed his engines for any oil, but mainly biofuel, and mainly hemp. Rather than ever consider nuclear powered water boilers, if hemp had not been prohibited, industry would have implemented many of the different ways the most oily plant in the world (and plants like it) can be utilized, making petrol and nuclear driven power generation obsolete.
For example, in 1941, Henry Ford built a car that was not only built from ‘hemp plastic’ but also ran on hemp fuel. Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline at a cost comparable to petroleum, and hemp is much better for the environment, burning clean and not emitting greenhouse gases. Hemp can produce 10 times more methanol than corn, and farming only 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America’s current energy needs.
As a result, localization of power sourcing would have been the norm as we would be producing energy locally. (See: Why Governments Promote Deadly Nuclear Energy and Ban Beneficial Hemp.)
Ironically, hemp crops are also effective for soil remediation, removing radiation from nuclear-damaged soil.
No War, Period
If only marijuana and hemp were not prohibited, our need for building materials and energy sources would be satisfied and, in shared abundance, there would be more peace. As a result of energy and resource self-reliance, the idea of competing with other nations for toxic, un-renewable energy resources would be literally unheard of. There would be no global reliance on petroleum extraction industries and, therefore, no strategic wars over oil resources. The military/war complex, the single most environmentally damaging system on Earth, is rendered obsolete.
No Plastic Problems
Plastic is a petroleum product that is not integrative whereas hemp sourced fiber would be environmentally friendly and not infringe on life and the food chain. If marijuana and hemp were never prohibited, we would never have instituted global systems that require the constant burning of petroleum, and thus, we would have never instituted the global use of plastics sourced from petroleum. If marijuana and hemp were not prohibited, we would be producing bioplastics from hemp oil instead of fighting a losing battle against the mounting health impacts and ecological suffering caused by plastic pollution. Hemp derived bioplastics are biodegradable and actually enliven the soil as they decompose. Public service announcements state: “… And remember kids, don’t forget to litter! This is a public service announcement.”
Environmentally speaking, the biggest change, if hemp and marijuana were never prohibited, would be that there are no trash gyres in the sea. The biologically penetrating plastics in our oceans would have never been, with no damage caused to marine ecosystems and the systems they interact with, such as atmospheric and precipitation cycles etc. (For more, please see: Plastic is Killing the Planet and Our Health — Here’s How We Can Turn the Tide.)
The Big “If”
The cannabis plant has traditionally been revered, with many useful applications from agricultural to medicinal to spiritual. Providing nutritious food, potent medicine, sustainable fuel, low-impact building material and consciousness expanding herb, cannabis is a nurturer of humanity. It is no wonder the hyper-masculine, partriarchal corporate-government complexhas dared to outlaw it.
Marijuana and hemp prohibition is like a cornerstone to globalization and the centralization of power, benefiting only the violent, polluting, allopathic, warring, oligarchical institutions that seek to rule our world. For this reason, its legalization would become one of the greatest counters to this trend on every level — consciously, spiritually, physically and environmentally.
Undoubtedly, if marijuana and hemp had never been prohibited, the world would be a cleaner, healthier, less competitive place. We would be dancing more in the trees and fighting less in the desert. And who knows what else, and where else we might be?
What other “what-if’s” do you think might have been, if marijuana and hemp had never been prohibited? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.
About the Author
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher, Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.
Ethan’s publications include:
This article (What if Cannabis and Hemp Had Never Been Prohibited?) was originally created and published by Wake Up World and is re-posted here with permission.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.
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