Our Founding Fathers Would Support Marijuana Policy Reform
This President's Day, we think back to our founding fathers and their visions for America. Former presidents like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison planted great ideas that still live on in our country: freedom of speech, the pursuit of happiness, and...marijuana.
Really? Really. The New York Times explains:
Hemp flourished as a cash crop through American history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp on their plantations. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp-fiber paper. Hemp supplied early Americans with rope, sails, clothing and other necessities.
Hemp is made from the cannabis plant, but only has a trace amount of the chemical compound THC that is commonly found in today's marijuana. Our founding determined the best use for the cannabis plant was to find ways to utilize its unique properties to create products that could be taken to market for the betterment of our fledgling American society.
It's tongue-in-cheek, but it's true: that's the same fundamental goal of marijuana policy reform.
Medical marijuana laws utilize a plant's chemical benefits to treat epileptic seizures, provide relief to cancer patients, and help veterans suffering from PTSD. The number of uses and positive benefits for medical marijuana are as thorough and important - if not more important - than the use of hemp-based products in the late 18th Century.
Thankfully, Congress - in their only real bipartisan action in recent memory - recently ended the federal ban on medical marijuana, clearing the way for states to pursue the policy. Even Texas legislators are finally starting to consider legislation for medical marijuana, now that they see that a majority of Texans support marijuana policy reform.
But like everything in this country, from 1776 to today, nothing happens unless we the people take action.