Don't criminalize marijuana

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2005

Should marijuana users really be given the same punishments as a rapist or pedophiles? If you are going to try and criminalize marijuana again, don't lack the research on the medicinal herb.

I am appalled that the government wants to put me in jail for five years because I have 4 ounces of herb. Personally I get more impaired from legal drugs, such as coffee, alcohol and pharmaceuticals, than I do from marijuana.

However, let us step back from this so-called "drug" and see what products can be made from the plants stalks (hemp). I have split the uses into these categories: food, healing, toiletries, textile, household and industrial. Below are a few products under each category:

• Food: hemp oil is high in essential fatty acids, drizzled over salad, pasta, hummus, and used for baking.

• Healing: aromatherapy, salve, and nutritional healing.

• Toiletries: lipstick, sunscreen, soaps, hand and body lotions and shampoo.

• Textile: socks, shirts, shoes, tarps, wallets, jackets, bags, belts and napkins.

• Household: rugs/carpet, paint, shoe polish, webbing, cordage, candles, crayons and laundry detergent.

• Industrial: pulp and paper, plaster, plastic, concrete, wood chips and bio-diesel fuel.

When will the people realize we are running out of resources? When will we adapt as humans and stop prosecuting others for using much more than a medicinal herb? This renewable resource should be embraced, not criminalized.

William Connor

Fairbanks



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