I smoke pot. In fact, I am quite stoned as I write this. Colorado medical marijuana is good; does the trick. But frankly, as a connoisseur, what I call “Kentucky Bluegrass” (grown outdoors) is as good as it gets.
It is time to say “The King has no clothes.”
You heard it here first, in Louisville’s own “Highlander”: The King has no clothes.
Most everybody I know smokes pot, and I know a lot of people.
Now, the majority of my pot-smoking friends say they partake for recreation, but in reality, these potheads take medicine from the Earth – God’s medicine – that helps them sleep, helps them get through the day, crushes anxiety and boosts cupcake sales at late-night convenience stores.
Now, let’s take a look at the marijuana PLANT and its history. We will start with the creation of the Earth, how ‘bout that?
According to Judeo-Christian belief, some of the very first words of God in the very first Book of Genesis, Verse 29, instructs:
“And God said, see, I have given you every plant producing seed, on the face of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit producing seed: they will be for your food.”
Wow! Marijuana is a plant. It bears seeds. The Big Guy says it’s OK to consume it ... So brownies are a cakewalk and why not consume by smoking? Some wry hippie once said to me, “God made pot, man made beer, whom do you trust?”
Speed forward some 1900-plus years. American synthetic fiber corporations decided to drive the hemp clothing, rope, etc., industry (a rapidly growing one) out of business, thus cornering the market to make more money (imagine that).
The late great Gatewood Galbraith displayed for me the ancient corporate record books that set out the synthetic fiber companies’ “Final Solution to the Marijuana Problem.” I can almost hear the greedy Wall street Fat Cats ask one another, “How shall we kill the competition?”
They led with the bankrolling, producing, mass marketing and coldly calculated popular viewings of anti-marijuana movies such as “Reefer Madness.” (Rent it from Wild and Woolly Video – shop local and KEEP Louisville Weird.)
For the unacquainted, the smash hit depicts a marijuana-addled smoker maniacally playing a piano with Jack Nicholson eyes. Marijuana was portrayed as but one short step from heroin and the American Public came to view reefer as a threat, especially to whites (only).
These were the days of southern segregation and nationwide overt racism. This was before Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and (my favorite, of course) Malcolm X. This was the 20s and 30s. Part of marijuana demonization was linking the pot dealing to jazz musicians, heroin pushers and “colored men” from across the tracks. Crime stats reinforced the negative societal image since blacks were, then surely more than now, arrested in disproportionate numbers to whites. Catch 22.
Sure enough, blacks were arrested back then for sport.
Let us flash forward to preparation for what the military knew in the 30s was coming: War.
Despite the despicable and damnable demonizing of marijuana, Congress passed what is known as the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Thus “hemp farming” was legalized for a spell before and during WWII. To illustrate, President George Bush the Elder plunged safely into the ocean during the Pacific Campaign in a parachute made of hemp fibers. When his feet hit the surface of the boat that saved him, the troops were clad in boots made of hemp.
Naturally, all of this was driven by market forces – capitalism in the raw. The military industrial complex just didn’t pop up last year. As you see, it is eternal, inherent and quite flexible. After WWII ended, market forces went into play once more, did a back flip, and draconian laws were resurrected to criminalize marijuana possession and sale. It became a felony under federal law to possess a joint.
Then came the latter part of the 20th century. More and more state legislatures started passing medicinal marijuana legislation. In other states, measures were voted on directly by citizens. Then, lo and behold, it now becomes legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington State (Excuse me, readers ... “Angela, did you have a chance to book that flight to Denver? I’ll have something for you to type soon ... it’s on marijuana ... ”)
Sorry readers, office business.
Here’s the punch line: WHY DOESN’T KENTUCKY MANUFACTURE THE HELL OUT OF ALL KINDS OF MARIJUANA FOR HEMP, MEDICINE AND RECREATION, EXPORT IT TO OTHER STATES AND TAX IT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY?
With a stroke of good sense, we could eliminate the state income tax, state sales tax, state inheritance tax and maybe even have change to spare to build a bridge or two across the Ohio River.
Here’s a quiz. What are the top three pot-producing states in America?
Did you guess right?
Kentucky, California and Hawaii. We have the right climate and soil in the Bluegrass State to make Kentucky Bluegrass a worldwide export. Imagine: we could no doubt underbid the California and Hawaii prices and do an astounding business with the states right now that allow marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
And the worldwide export market currently is amazing, expanding and insatiable.
So my question is this: Why is our great Commonwealth saddled with such second-rate leadership that we seem cursed to be last or near last at everything except obesity, lung cancer and incest?
Why just plod along and have our legislature study industrial hemp?
Why not put it on the ballot rather than voting on whether or not the dueling reference should be part of the oath of office?
Let us be allowed to vote. Vote to legalize marijuana – ALL AT ONCE – for hemp, for medicine and, damn it, just for a good time.
The King has no clothes.