Friday, April 21, 2006

Rethink marijuana policy!

Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., opposes medical marijuana initiatives because he thinks they're "a front" to legalize all uses of marijuana. Before I weigh in on the subject, let's define "marijuana."

Marijuana is a Mexican slang term that refers to the leaves and flower tops of cannabis sativa, the common hemp plant. The U.S. Government expanded its definition of marijuana to include stalks, branches, stems, seeds, roots, and root balls of both cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Never mind that only the leaves and flower tops contain enough THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) to actually get someone high.

Rather than using lame-brained arguments to maintain a strict ban on marijuana, maybe we should more closely scrutinize the government's obsession with marijuana prohibition. And maybe we should try to figure out what constitutes "all uses" of marijuana. Does it mean that some people might smoke marijuana recreationally instead of medicinally? So what if they do? Or does it imply that marijuana -- more specifically, cannabis hemp -- has industrial uses that, if allowed free rein in a market-driven economy, would threaten to upset the status quo?

Stay tuned! I'll explore this issue in greater detail in an upcoming issue of Petey's Pipeline E-zine.

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