tagged w/ Save the Planet
Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, "dead zones" with too little oxygen for life are expanding in the world's oceans. Read more...Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, "dead zones" with too... more
 Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, AGAINST THE GRAIN; BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF YOUR FOOD [ISBN 1567511503]
 Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, AGAINST THE GRAIN; BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE CORPORATE... more
Lotus rolled out a solar-powered and environmentally friendly concept car which is made up ganja, called Eco Elise, during the British International Motor Show.
Sports cars aren't supposed to be green. They're supposed to snort petrol, belch fire and cause innocent passers by to develop nasty chest infections. So when Lotus rolled up to the British International Motor Show in an a solar-powered Eco Elise made out of plants, it raised more than a few eyebrows.
See those brown bits on the car? That's foliage, that is. And not just any foliage--it's pressed hemp. Yes, hemp--what you make cannabis from. We've no idea if this car's designers had ingested some kind of "hemp" when they came up with the concept of a car made of ganja, but on closer inspection it's actually not a bad idea.
Hemp is a renewable, lightweight material that absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis, which is good for the planet. The particular brand of hemp used is ethically farmed and grown locally to Lotus, so the amount of CO2 needed to transport the raw materials is kept to a minimum. It's good news for the car itself, too. Hemp is very light compared to metal, which improves performance and promotes greener, more fuel-efficient driving. It doesn't compromise on safety, either--all the parts that are important for structural integrity are metal.
The solar panels in the roof are an interesting addition. They can't power the car itself, but they can drive the Eco Elise's electrical subsystems, including the iPod/MP3-compatible stereo. When it's in use, it can also take the strain off the car's alternator so it uses less petrol, and emits fewer harmful particles.
Aside from that, it's a normal Lotus Elise--which is a good thing. If you don't mind sitting in a cockpit surrounded by what could just as easily have been marijuana, and don't mind being constantly pulled over by police with sniffer dogs, we'd recommend it. Unfortunately, you won't be able to buy it anytime soon. It's a concept car, but Lotus promises that "certain features might find their way into future models".
Check the pics over the following pages.
Credit: Rory Reid/CNET UK
Lotus rolled out a solar-powered and environmentally friendly concept car which is... more
Overview of the History of Cannabis Hemp
For the Purpose of Clarity in this Book:
Explanations or documentations marked with an asterisk (*) are listed at the end of the related paragraph(s). For brevity, other sources for facts, anecdotes, histories, studies, etc., are cited in the body of the text. Numbered footnotes are at the end of each chapter. Reproductions of selected critical source materials are incorporated into the body of the text or included in the appendices.
The facts cited herein are generally verifiable in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which was printed primarily on paper produced with cannabis hemp for over 150 years. However, any encyclopedia (no matter how old) or good dictionary will do for general verification purposes.
Cannabis Sativa L.
Also known as: Hemp, cannabis hemp, Indian (India) hemp, true hemp, muggles, weed, pot, spinach, marijuana, reefer, grass, ganja, bhang, the kind, dagga, herb, etc., all names for exactly the same plant!
What’s in a Name?
HEMPstead, Long Island; HEMPstead County, Arkansas; HEMPstead, Texas; HEMPhill, North Carolina, HEMPfield, Pennsylvania, among others, were named after cannabis growing regions, or after family names derived from hemp growing. Overview of the History of Cannabis Hemp
For the Purpose of Clarity in this Book:... more
A Brief Summary of the Uses of Hemp
Our Challenge to the World: Try to Prove Us Wrong
If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation;
Then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meeting all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs; simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time…
And that substance is—the same one that did it all before—
Ships & Sailors
Ninety percent* of all ships’ sails (since before the Phoenicians, from at least the 5th century B.C. until long after the invention and commercialization of steam ships, mid-to late-19th century) were made from hemp.
*The other 10% were usually flax or minor fibers like ramie, sisal, jute, abaca, etc.
(Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, 1980; Herodotus, Histories, 5th century B.C.; Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, 1972; U.S. Agricultural Index, 1916-1982; USDA film, Hemp for Victory, 1942.)
The word “canvas”1 is the Dutch pronunciation (twice removed, from French and Latin) of the Greek word “Kannabis.”*
*Kannabis, of the (Hellenized) Mediterranean Basin Greek language, derived from the Persian and earlier Northern Semitics (Quanuba, Kanabosm, Cana?, Kanah?) which scholars have now traced back to the dawn of the 6,000-year-old Indo-Semitic European language family base of the Sumerians and Acadians. The early Sumerian/Babylonian word K(a)N(a)B(a), or Q(a)N(a)B(a) is one of man’s longest surviving root words.1 (KN means cane and B means two, two reeds or two sexes.)
In addition to canvas sails, until this century virtually all of the rigging, anchor ropes, cargo nets, fishing nets, flags, shrouds, and oakum (the main protection for ships against salt water, used as a sealant between the outer and inner hull of ships) were made from the stalk of the marijuana plant.
Even the sailors’ clothing, right down to the stitching in the seamen’s rope-soled and (sometimes) “canvas” shoes, was crafted from cannabis.*
*An average cargo, clipper, whaler, or naval ship of the line, in the 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries carried 50 to 100 tons of cannabis hemp rigging, not to mention the sails, nets, etc., and needed it all replaced every year or two, due to salt rot. (Ask the U.S. Naval Academy, or see the construction of the USS Constitution, a.k.a. “Old Ironsides,” Boston Harbor.)
(Abel, Ernest, Marijuana, The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, 1980; Ency. Britannica; Magoun, Alexander, The Frigate Constitution, 1928; USDA film Hemp for Victory, 1942.)
Additionally, the ships’ charts, maps, logs, and Bibles were made from paper containing hemp fiber from the time of Columbus (15th century) until the early 1900s in the Western European/American World, and by the Chinese from the 1st century A.D. on. Hemp paper lasted 50 to 100 times longer than most preparations of papyrus, and was a hundred times easier and cheaper to make.
Incredibly, it cost more for a ship’s hempen sails, ropes, etc. than it did to build the wooden parts.
Nor was hemp use restricted to the briny deep…A Brief Summary of the Uses of Hemp
Our Challenge to the World: Try to Prove Us... more
February 1938 - Popular Mechanics Magazine:
“NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP”
February 1938 - Mechanical Engineering Magazine:
“THE MOST PROFITABLE & DESIRABLE CROP THAT CAN BE GROWN”
Modern technology was about to be applied to hemp production, making it the number-one agricultural resource in America. Two of the most respected and influential journals in the nation, Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, forecast a bright future for American hemp. Thousands of new products creating millions of new jobs would herald the end of the Great Depression. Instead hemp was persecuted, outlawed and forgotten at the bidding of W. R. Hearst, who branded hemp the “Mexican killer weed, marihuana.”
As early as 1901 and continuing to 1937, the U.S. Department of Agriculture repeatedly predicted that, once machinery capable of harvesting, As you will see in these articles, the newly mechanized stripping and separating the fiber from the pulp was cannabis hemp industry was in its infancy, but well on invented or engineered, hemp would again be America’s number-one farm crop. The introduction of G. W. decorticator in 1917 nearly fulfilled this prophesy. (See pages 13-15 and Appendix.)
The prediction was reaffirmed in the popular press when Popular Mechanics published its February 1938 article “Billion-Dollar Crop.” The first reproduction of this article in over 50 years was in the original edition of this book. The article is reproduced here exactly as it was printed in 1938.
Because of the printing schedule and deadline, Popular Mechanics prepared this article in spring of 1937 when cannabis hemp for fiber, paper, dynamite and oil, was still legal to grow and was, in fact, an incredibly fast-growing industry.
Also reprinted in this chapter is an excerpt from the Mechanical Engineering article about hemp, published the same month. It originated as a paper presented a year earlier at the Feb. 26, 1937 Agricultural Processing Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Reports from the USDA during the 1930s, and Congressional testimony in 1937, showed that cultivated hemp acreage had been doubling in size in America almost every year from the time it hit its bottom acreage, 1930-when 1,000 acres were planted in the U.S. - to 1937 - when 14,000 acres were cultivated with plans to continue to double that acreage annually in the foreseeable future.
As you will see in these articles, the newly mechanized cannabis hemp industry was in its infancy, but well on its way to making cannabis America's largest agricultural crop. And in light of subsequent developments (e.g. biomass energy technology, building materials, etc.), we now know that hemp is the world's most important ecological resource and therefore, potentially our planet's single largest industry.
The Popular Mechanics article was the very first time in American history that the term "billion-dollar"* was ever applied to any U.S. agricultural crop!
Equivalent to $40-$80 billion now.
Experts today conservatively estimate that, once fully restored in America, hemp industries will generate $500 billion to a trillion dollars per year, and will save the planet and civilization from fossil fuels and their derivatives - and from deforestation!
If Harry Anslinger, DuPont, Hearst and their paid-for (know it or not, then as now) politicians had not outlawed hemp - under the pretext of marijuana (see Chapter 4, "Last Days of Legal Cannabis") - and suppressed hemp knowledge from our schools, researchers and even scientists, the glowing predictions in these articles would already have come true by now - and more benefits than anyone could then envision - as new technologies and uses continue to develop.
As one colleague so aptly put it, "These articles were the last honest word spoken on hemp's behalf for over 40 years..."February 1938 - Popular Mechanics Magazine:
“NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP”... more
The Last Days of LEGAL CANNABIS
As you now know, the industrial revolution of the 19th century was a setback for hemp in World commerce, due to the lack of mechanized harvesting and breaking technology needed for mass production. But this natural resource was far too valuable to be relegated to the back burner of history for very long.
By 1916, USDA Bulletin 404 predicted that a decorticating and harvesting machine would be developed, and hemp would again be America’s largest agricultural industry. In 1938, magazines such as Popular Mechanics, and Mechanical Engineering introduced a new generation of investors to fully operational hemp decorticating devices; bringing us to this next bit of history. Because of this machine, both indicated that hemp would soon be America’s number-one crop! The Last Days of LEGAL CANNABIS
As you now know, the industrial revolution of the... more
Anslinger got his marijuana law…
“Should we believe self-serving, ever-growing drug enforcement/drug treatment bureaucrats, whose pay and advancement depends on finding more and more people to arrest and ‘treat’?
“More Americans die in just one day in prisons, penitentiaries, jails and stockades than have ever died from marijuana throughout history. Who are they protecting? From what?”
—Fred Oerther, MD, Portland, Oregon
Moving to Crush Dissent
After the 1938-1944 New York City ”LaGuardia Marijuana Report” refuted his argument, by reporting that marijuana caused no violence at all and citing other positive results, Harry J. Anslinger, in public tirade after tirade, denounced Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the New York Academy of Medicine and the doctors who researched the report.
Anslinger proclaimed that these doctors would never again do marijuana experiments or research without his personal permission, or be sent to jail!
He then used the full power of the United States government, illegally, to halt virtually all research into marijuana while he blackmailed the American Medical Association (AMA)* into denouncing the New York Academy of Medicine and its doctors for the research they had done.
*Why, you ask, was the AMA now on Anslinger’s side in 1944-45, after being against the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937? Answer: Since Anslinger’s FBN was responsible for prosecuting doctors who prescribed narcotic drugs for what he, Anslinger, deemed illegal purposes, they (the FBN) had prosecuted more than 3,000 AMA doctors for illegal prescriptions through 1939. In 1939, the AMA made specific peace with Anslinger on marijuana. The results: Only three doctors were prosecuted for illegal drugs of any sort from 1939 to 1949.
To refute the LaGuardia report, the AMA, at Anslinger’s personal request, conducted a 1944-45 study; “of the experimental group 34 were negroes and one was white” (for statistical control) who smoked marijuana, became disrespectful of white soldiers and officers in the segregated military. (See Appendix, “Army Study of Marijuana,” Newsweek, Jan. 15, 1945.)
This technique of biasing the outcome of a study is known among researchers as “gutter science.” Marijuana Prohibition
Anslinger got his marijuana law…
“Should we... more
The Body of Medical Literature on Cannabis Medicine
Our authority here is the ‘Body of Literature,’ starting with ancient materia medicae:
Chinese and Hindu pharmacopoeia and Near Eastern cuneiform tablets, and continuing all the way into this century, including the 1966-76 U.S. renaissance of cannabis studies—some 10,000 separate studies on medicines and effects from the hemp plant.
Comprehensive compendia of these works are designated as the prime sources for this medical chapter, as well as ongoing interviews with many researchers. The Body of Medical Literature on Cannabis Medicine
Our authority here is the... more
Therapeutic Use of Cannabis
There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical and herbal treatments. The primary one is THC, and the effectiveness of therapy is directly proportionate to the herb’s potency or concentration of THC. Recent DEA reports of increasingly potent marijuana therefore represent a major medical advance; but, incredibly, the government uses these very numbers to solicit bigger budgets and harsher penalties.
On November 5, 1996, 56% of California citizens voted for the California Compassionate Use Act (medical marijuana initiative) ending all legal state efforts to keep marijuana from being used as medicine by California citizens.
Arizona citizens, in November 1996, also passed, by an even greater margin—
65%—a drug declassification initiative that included medical marijuana, backed by, among others, the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.
Arizona’s governor and legislature, exercising their veto override ability on their state initiative laws for the first time in 90 years, struck down this popular initiative passed by the people. Arizona citizens angrily responded by recollecting more than 150,000 signatures in a 90-day referendum period and promptly returned the medical marijuana initiative to the ballot for November 1998.
The following explains how people will benefit when the freedom of choice of doctors and patients is once again respected.Therapeutic Use of Cannabis
There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in... more
Cannabis Hempseed as a Basic World Food
In 1937, Ralph Loziers, general counsel of the National Institute of Oilseed Products, told the Congressional committee studying marijuana prohibition that “hempseed... is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing this for many generations, especially in periods of famine.”
That was over 70 years ago. Today we know hempseed is the plant kingdom’s richest source of life-giving essential fatty acids, and may well be the cure for cancer and heart disease. Cannabis Hempseed as a Basic World Food
In 1937, Ralph Loziers, general counsel of... more
ECONOMICS: Energy, Environment and Commerce
We have explained what hemp has historically meant to this country’s economy. Now, we must also consider the future of hemp.
We predict that the net effect of ending American hemp prohibition will be to generate “ripple effect” economics—a revitalized American agriculture producing hemp as the raw material for a multitude of industries creating millions of good jobs for skilled and and semi-skilled professional workers throughout America. The resulting wealth will remain in local communities and with farmers, smaller businesses and entrepreneurs like you! ECONOMICS: Energy, Environment and Commerce
We have explained what hemp has... more
Myth, Magic & Medicine:
A Look at the Sociology of Cannabis Use Throughout World History
Contrary to popular perception,” marijuana” is not a phenomenon rooted in the 1960s.
Cannabis hemp is part of our global heritage and was the backbone of our most stable and longest surviving cultures.
Recent psycho-pharmacological studies have discovered that THC has its own unique receptor sites in the brain, indicating man and marijuana have a pre-cultural relationship—indeed, human culture could very well prove to be the blossom of our symbiosis with cannabis. (See Appendix)Myth, Magic & Medicine:
A Look at the Sociology of Cannabis Use Throughout... more
The (HEMP) War of 1812
United States vs. Great Britain
Napoleon Invades Russia...
This is a piece of history that you may have been a bit hazy on when you were taught about it in school. You might well have asked,” What the heck were they fighting about, anyway?”
Here we present the events that led up to the Battle of New Orleans, which, due to slow communications, was accidentally fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814 by the signing of a peace treaty in Belgium. The (HEMP) War of 1812
United States vs. Great Britain
Napoleon Invades... more
Cannabis Drug Use in 19th Century America
Although by 1839, cannabis hemp products for fiber, paper, nautical use, lamp oil, food, etc., were possibly the largest agricultural and industrial businesses in America and, of course, throughout the world, the hundreds of medical uses of cannabis (known for thousands of years in the Orient and Middle East) were still almost entirely unknown in much of Western Europe and America because of the earlier Medieval Catholic Church’s suppression.
However, the 19th century saw a dramatic re-discovery of the benefits of cannabis drugs, which were the number-one medicine in America prior to 1863. It was replaced by morphine when the new injectable needle became the rage, but not before cannabis brought with it healthful elixirs and patent medicines, luxuriant Turkish Smoking Parlors and with them a fountain of literary creativity. Cannabis remained the number-two medicine until 1901 when it was replaced by aspirin. Cannabis Drug Use in 19th Century America
Although by 1839, cannabis hemp products... more
PREJUDICE: Marijuana and the Jim Crow Laws
Since the abolition of slavery, racism and bigotry have generally had to manifest themselves in less blatant forms in America.
The cannabis prohibition laws illustrate again this institutional intolerance of racial minorities and show how prejudice is concealed behind rhetoric and laws which seem to have an entirely different purpose.
Smoking in America
The first known* smoking of female cannabis tops in the Western hemisphere was probably in the 1870s in the West Indies (Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, etc.); and arrived with the immigration of thousands of Indian Hindus (from British-controlled India) imported for cheap labor. By 1886, Mexicans and black sailors, who traded in those islands, picked up and spread its use throughout all the West Indies and Mexico.
*There are other theories about the first known “smoking” of hemp flower tops, e.g., by American and Brazilian slaves, Shawnee Indians, etc., some fascinating - but none verifiable.
Cannabis smoking was generally used in the West Indies to ease the back-breaking work in the cane fields, beat the heat, and to relax in the evenings without the threat of an alcohol hangover in the morning.
The jazz and swing music of “Negroes, Mexicans and entertainers” was declared an outgrowth of marijuana use.
Given its late 19th century area of usage - the Caribbean West Indies and Mexico - it is not surprising the first marijuana use recorded in the U.S. was by Mexicans in Brownsville, Texas in 1903. And the first marijuana prohibition law in America - pertaining only to Mexicans - was passed in Brownsville in that same year.
“Ganja” use was next reported in 1909 in the port of New Orleans, in the black dominated “Storeyville” section frequented by sailors.
New Orleans’ Storeyville was filled with cabarets, brothels, music, and all the other usual accoutrements of “red light” districts the world over. Sailors from the islands took their shore leave and their marijuana there.
The Public Safety Commissioner of New Orleans wrote that, “marijuana was the most frightening and vicious drug ever to hit New Orleans,” and in 1910 warned that regular users might number as high as 200 in Storeyville alone.
To the DA and Public Safety Commissioners and New Orleans newspapers from 1910 through the 1930s, marijuana’s insidious evil influence apparently manifested itself in making the “darkies” think they were as good as “white men.”
In fact, marijuana was being blamed for the first refusals of black entertainers to wear blackface* and for hysterical laughter by “negroes” under marijuana’s influence when told to cross a street or go to the back of the trolley, etc.
*That’s right; your eyes have not deceived you. Because of a curious quirk in the “Jim Crow” (segregation) laws, black Americans were banned from any stage in the Deep South (and most other places in the North and West also). “Negroes” had to wear (through the 1920s) blackface - (like Al Jolson wore when he sang “Swanee”) - a dye which white entertainers wore to resemble or mimic black people. Actually, by “Jim Crow” law, blacks were not allowed on the stage at all, but because of their talent were allowed to sneak/enter through back doors, put on blackface, and pretend to be a white person playing the part of a black person... PREJUDICE: Marijuana and the Jim Crow Laws
Since the abolition of slavery, racism... more
More than Seventy Years of Suppression & Repression
1937: Hemp banned. Only an estimated 60,000 Americans smoke “marijuana,” but thanks to Hearst and Anslinger’s disinformation campaign, virtually everyone in the country has heard of it.
1945: Newsweek reports that over 100,000 people now smoke marijuana.
1967: Millions of Americans regularly and openly smoke hemp leaves and flowers.
1977:Tens of millions smoke cannabis regularly, with many people growing their own.
2007: One in three Americans, approximately 100+ million citizens, have now tried it at least once, and some 10-20% (25 to 50 million Americans) still choose to buy and smoke cannabis regularly, despite urine tests and tougher laws.
Throughout history, Americans have held the legal tradition that one could not give up one’s constitutional rights—and if someone was stripped of these protections, then he or she was being victimized. However, by 1989, if you signed up for an extracurricular activity in school or applied for a minimum wage job, you could be asked to forego your right to privacy, protection from self-incrimination, Constitutional requirements of reasonable grounds for search and seizure, presumed innocence until found guilty by your peers, and that most fundamental right of all: personal responsibility for your own life and consciousness.
By 1995, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld that these intrusions into your individual privacy were constitutional!
In November 1996, as earlier stated, California passed a statewide people’s initiative that won by 56% of the vote and legalized medical marijuana within the state. Also in November 1996, Arizona passed a statewide initiative (by 65% of the vote) that included medical marijuana but, unlike California law, Arizona’s legislature and the governor (now impeached) can and have since rejected this people’s law. This was the first rejection by the legislature and the governor of any Arizona state initiative in 90 years!More than Seventy Years of Suppression & Repression
1937: Hemp banned. Only an... more
The Official Story - Debunking "Gutter Science"
After 15 days of taking testimony and more than a year's legal deliberation, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young formally urged the DEA to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. In a September 1988 judgment, he ruled: "The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision . . . It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."
Yet former DEA Administrator John Lawn, his successor, Robert Bonner, and current DEA Administrator John Constantine - non-doctors all! - have refused to comply and have continued to deprive persons of medical cannabis, according to their own personal discretion.
Wasting Time, Wasting Lives
More than 100 years have passed since the 1894 British Raj commission study of hashish smokers in India reported cannabis use was harmless and even helpful. Numerous studies since have all agreed: The most prominent being Siler, LaGuardia, Nixon's Shafer Commission, Canada's LeDain Commission, and the California Research Advisory Commission.
Concurrently, American presidents have praised hemp, the USDA amassed volumes of data showing its value as a natural resource, and in 1942 the Roosevelt administration even made Hemp for Victory, a film glorifying our patriotic hemp farmers. That same year, Germany produced The Humorous Hemp Primer, a comic book, written in rhyme, extolling hemp's virtues. (See appendix I of the paper version of this book.)
Yet even the humane use of hemp for medicine is now denied. Asked in late 1989 about the DEA's failure to implement his decision quoted above, Judge Young responded that administrator John Lawn was being given time to comply.
More than a year after that ruling, Lawn officially refused to reschedule cannabis, again classing it as a Schedule I "dangerous" drug that is not even allowed to be used as medicine.
Decrying this needless suffering of helpless Americans, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Family Council on Drug Awareness quickly demanded Lawn's resignation. His successors, Bonner, and now Constantine, retain the same policy.
What hypocrisy allows public officials to scoff at the facts and deny the truth? How do they rationalize their atrocities? How? They invent their own experts.The Official Story - Debunking "Gutter Science"
After 15 days of taking... more
The Emperor's New Clothes - Alternatives to Prohibition
In conclusion, we see that the government’s case against marijuana is woven of transparent lies. In this chapter, we bring to light some research that the government does not like people to know about. Then we talk about some realistic alternatives.
But first, a brief fable:
The Story of the Emperor's New Clothes
(Paraphrased from Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale)
There once was a very, very vain and terrible King/Emperor who heavily taxed his subjects in order to pay for his incredibly fine wardrobe made from the most expensive fabrics.
One day, two swindlers, representing themselves as great tailors from afar, arrived and sought an audience with the Emperor. They told of an amazing new fabric they had invented, made of a very expensive gold fiber that only the best, purest and wisest of people could see. Excited, the Emperor asked to see a sample, and the men brought forth an empty spool. “Ah, isn’t it lovely?” they asked the Emperor.
The Emperor agreed, afraid to admit that he did not see anything because that would mean he was a dull and stupid person.
So, to test his ministers, the Emperor brought them all in to get their opinions. Once the power of the fabric was explained to them, all agreed that this was, indeed, the finest and most beautiful cloth in the whole world.
The Emperor ordered that much of the gold from the treasury be given to the supposed tailors to be spun into thread. They set about at once working day after day, pretending to cut and sew, while the Emperor and his ministers periodically came by to admire their handiwork - and to pay the enormous bills the merchants were running up in the course of their activities.
Finally, the big day came when all the people in the land were ordered to gather to see the Emperor’s new outfit, which they had paid so much for and heard so much about.
When he nakedly strode forth, all the people looked in disbelief and said nothing. Then they sang the praises of the miraculous new cloth. “It’s the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen!” “Magnificent!” “I wish I had such lovely fabric!” They all cheered, afraid of being denounced and called stupid and impure if they did otherwise.
And the Emperor proudly paraded in front of his -subjects, secretly worried - afraid that he would lose the crown if the people knew that he, himself, could not see the cloth that draped his body.
As he passed through the crowd, a small boy perched on his father’s shoulder cried out, “But the Emperor has nothing on!”
“Just hear what the innocent says!” said the father. And each person whispered to another what the child had said. The word spread throughout his subjects what the little boy had said.
Then, everyone knew that the Emperor and all his ministers had been tricked by swindlers. Now his guards and ministers, as well as the people, realized that the swindlers had not only tricked the Emperor, but he, the Emperor, had spent all their tax money, wasted on this farce. The Emperor heard the people laughing and murmuring. He knew they were right, but he was too proud to admit he was wrong and had been made the fool. So he drew himself up to his full height and stared down at his guards, until he caught one guard’s eye.
The guard, looking nervously around, realizing this vain Emperor could have him imprisoned or even beheaded, averted his eyes and looked down at the ground. Then another guard, seeing that his fellow guard wasn’t laughing anymore, got scared and lowered his eyes to the ground, too. Soon, all the guards, ministers, and even the children pretending to carry his invisible train of gold cloth, were staring at the ground. The Emperor's New Clothes - Alternatives to Prohibition
In conclusion, we see... more
This documentary covers a whole lot of ground. It deals with every historical and contemporary aspect of hemp usage and cultivation (mainly in the U.S.), which turns out to be a lot. From describing the production of a fibre much more durable and economic than wood, the documentary discusses hemps multilateral uses as e.g. food products, as a non-polluting fuel and as a pharmaceutical product with much less griveous sideeffects than chemical pharmaceutical products. The film also investigates why America went from a country which produced vast quantities of the non-narcotic industrial hemp, to the complete ban on hemp production in 1938. This story in particular is interesting, and it points out that the large oilbased industries actually had a key role in the aforementioned ban. Food for thought! The conclusion of the documentary could be that hemp may prove to be a valid alternative to both oil and wood in the future.This documentary covers a whole lot of ground. It deals with every historical and... more