Friday, February 5, 2010

Obama: "$77 Billion A Year From Hemp Won't Help Economy!"

Artist Statement

"No other natural resource offers the potential of hemp.

Cannabis Hemp is capable of producing significant quantities of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel. Unlike other crops, hemp can grow in most climates and on most farmland throughout the world with moderate water and fertilizer requirements, no pesticides, and no herbicides. Cannabis Hemp (also known as Indian Hemp) has enormous potential to become a major natural resource that can benefit both the economy and the environment.


President Obama probably didn't anticipate that his brief dismissal of marijuana legalization during the online town hall would light up a potent movement of support for decriminalization.

The fact that he even addressed such a controversial and oft-ignored topic impressed some. But the way he seemed to deride the question angered man who quickly expressed their dissent online in website comments, on blogs and throughout social networks.

"There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation," the president said during the town hall, amongst a thunder of laughter from the crowd. "And I don't know what this says about the online audience." More laughter.

"The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," Obama said.

No further explanation given. Next question.

His short response was not only disconcerting for marijuana supporters but also a bit perplexing. After all, Obama called for marijuana decriminalization during ...

... a debate at Northwestern University when he was running for U.S. Senate in 2004.

The legalization debate is not a new topic for websites like YouTube, Digg and Facebook, where a pot-smoking niche has long congregated. But it has exploded in the days since the town hall.

The Huffington Post prominently featured an editorial titled "Pot Saved My Life, Mr. President." In it, the writer concluded, "The president will be asked this question again, and maybe next time he won't laugh at us."

The Times had a story Sunday quoting former federal judge Jim Gray claiming the war on drugs had failed and that pot should be legal. The so-called failed drug war was, incidentally, the same claim made by Obama in 2004.

The lit-up lobby rages strongly on social networking channels as well. The Facebook page, called M A R I J U A N A, has seen a spike in membership as of late.

And on the social news website Digg, a story about marijuana benefits, decriminalization or reactions to Obama's weedy treatment of the pot question has been voted to the home page every day since the town hall -- and in many cases, multiple times a day.

So what does that say about the online audience? Considering that many political analysts attribute a major part of Obama's election to his popularity on social networks, maybe he shouldn't be so quick to dismiss something they clearly feel strongly about.

-- Mark Milian

United States Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, used products made from hemp, and praised the hemp plant in some of their writings. Under the laws written by today's politicians, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be considered a threat to society--they would be arrested and thrown in prison for the felony crime of growing plants.

From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government's War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship--speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.

The Haight-Ashbury Homepage "

1 comment:

Z.A._ said...

The thing with Obama is that he is doing a good job with basic things other Presidents haven't even considered. In my opinion hes the most competent President we've had Since Kennedy.

But the bar hasn't been set too high with most of the other Presidents. I really admire the man. The main problem I have is with the people (and its' alot) who expect him to save the country and all this other shit. Its' obvious that people aren't trying to govern each other. They want someone else to run their lives.