Reviewing Marijuana Biz Magazine
I cannot forget the impact of that moment on me. He sounded like Moses in the movie screaming at the top of his lungs at the government saying, "LET MY PEOPLE GROW!"...and the echoes bounced off the buildings as we felt it to our core. It lit us up like an unstoppable prairie grass fire in a hundred mile an hour wind. And we were inspired by this man more than anyone we had ever met.
Written by Roger Lothamer
Being 67 years old, I remember all the old days of very illegal pot smoking. I bought my first kilo in Tucson for $50. Right from the get-go there was always the stigma of possibly going to jail. So it always had a sort of "can I get away with this" vibe hanging around it.
The most obvious thing was that my body told me it was good for me. For years I self-medicated without realizing I was a medical marijuana patient. Then I met Jack Herer, the Hemperor of pot. He challenged me to be real about marijuana.
Being a charismatic speaker, Jack was impossible to listen to without being deeply affected by his knowledge of hemp and his passion for legalization of cannabis. Jack created more activists for the marijuana initiative movement than anyone in history. His fervor was contagious, and I became an activist.
I remember the tears I could not hold back when old ladies with glaucoma asked me how they could get the medicine, because they were totally straight and did not know any hippies. Their pain was obvious, their relief when smoking pot was obvious, and their dilemma was how to get access to the medicine without going to jail.
That inspired me to create a video about Jack and his gang of activists. I went to L.A. for the first rallies of Jack's initiatives and interviewed the main speakers on video. I handed out hundreds of petitions, gathered thousands of signatures, and spoke to countless people about the cause.
I travelled around to the hemp festivals selling my video and talking about hemp/cannabis. The young folks at that time were jumping on Jack's bandwagon because it was science and fact based. The cause was spearheaded by young hippies canvassing with petitions--and those that turned in enough signatures were treated to an exclusive and very special hemp festival and celebration.
Jack did things with a certain flair, taunting the government, and standing up for our rights to petition and gather signatures. I remember one rally in the Park in San Diego, where a park cop tried to stop Jack and crew from gathering signatures. Jack stood his ground because he knew his rights.
The cops said the city had a law about public petitioning in that park. But Jack attacked verbally with all his legal knowledge and the cops just had to allow it, because his lawyers had already been through the court processes and had won the cases for petitioning based on the Bill of Rights.
The cops felt emasculated and disempowered. Then my memory brings up the image and sound of Jack speaking—no--yelling at the top of his lungs--as he spoke from the podium on the Federal building steps--the microphone sending his voice like an erupting volcano that bounced off the canyon of skyscrapers in downtown L.A.--"They lied to you about hemp. The ships that brought the colonists to America were powered with hemp sails and ropes! Throughout history, hemp has been used by humans!"
Today, January 28th 2015, things are very much different. I opened the new CannaBusiness Magazine issue and ...obviously the world is changing about cannabis/hemp. The magazine covers the latest news on the cannabis/hemp industry.
Apparently someone in the government forgot to include CBD as a "controlled substance" and the feds have respect for it, mentioning it even in their patent as a beneficial medicine. That is a real indicator about the government's intentions. That is why Obama gave out the first permit recently to the CBD company in San Diego, who is now selling it online.
The articles in the magazine cover "the challenges of a growing economy", "dispensary business", "zoning issues", "taking it to the mass market", "prices in the states", "auxiliary resources for the industry", "lessons learned from cannabis vets", "7 important things from the National Cannabusiness Conference", "the main D.C names to know", "cannabis opportunities around the country", and some great advertisers with real cannabis businesses and resources to share.
Amazing that such a classy, business magazine now exists to help the emerging cannabis/hemp industry. And the Colorado model is definitely beating the socks off anything else. One thing is sure: the snowball is huge and going down the hill now with so much momentum that it is bound to be a real impact on our culture and economy.
However, the drug aspect of cannabis is really minimal compared to industrial hemp. Sure, it is a fact that cannabis and the CBDs in it are the most powerful medicine for most ailments. The clinical tests prove it. But that is going to be eaten up by big pharma. Mom and pop cottage industries will be minimal.
BUT hemp is much more profitable and has so many niches that can be explored. Literally there are thousands of types of hemp products already in existence, and much more to come. The future for hemp is much brighter than even the powerful medicine it can give us.
Houses, schools, all buildings in fact could be made of hemp. We already know about the fiber and the seed protein, and the paints and sealants, and the fuel, and the animal fodder, and hemp-crete--perhaps the most sensible building material ever.
And that only scratches the surface. Hemp plastic already exists, and current industrial plastic in America is a major petro-chemical, toxic, non-renewable resource. Hemp seed is available as well, but who is making any foods from hemp seeds? Not yet, but soon you will see the humble hemp seed become the major replacement for animal meat and humans' needs for protein.
Cheech and Chong style thinking has left the building, the hemp industry is now competing with medical and recreational cannabis. Sex, drugs and rock and roll sell! But hemp roads that the ancient Romans made still exist. So, eventually all the tar and concrete and pollution from automobiles could be cleaned up--hopefully before the toxins kills us.
Obama may be the most sensible president ever. Instead of making it a main issue, he has herded the whole cannabis/hemp thing into a no-brainer that even the top comedian pundits applaud with gusto. Forget the bias and prejudice pot used to be burdened by, finally it has gained an acceptance for what it is: the world's #1 natural renewable resource.
And now our economic problems can be solved by applying the science of Industrial Hemp. It is indeed a new day dawning. Of course there will be mistakes and losers in the cannabis gold rush, but the future really is brighter with Industrial Hemp.
The cottage industries in hemp will help the sustainability of our communities. In fact, hemp can be the major renewable natural resource for more communities than any other plant. It can be grown in more environments geographically than any other plant as well.
I don't know about you, but now when I smoke pot I feel safer, I am not worried about jail anymore. Imagine how many people like me feel less stress now. Stress is the major influence for illness, and Jack always said he had to tell us: "to smoke pot because it relieved stress and helps you live longer."
And when I think about Jack, as I read this new cannabusiness magazine, I am grateful, thankful, and extremely appreciative for the insistence and persistence that Jack Herer had, encouraging me and so many others to demand our rights and challenge authorities with the facts.
Isn't that what America is really all about? We the people must redress grievances through peaceful assembly, as is outlined in our Bill of RIghts. And for there to be peace in the nation, the government must listen to the people, when they present facts--or lose all credibility. In that respect, the legalization of marijuana is actually "As All American" as it can get.
Thanks to all the hemp/cannabis activists for this new day. Thanks for all those who still continue educating the public on the most amazingly prolific plant on Earth and the benefits it can give us.
Sometimes I can almost see Jack dancing on Anslinger's grave now. I just have to chuckle about the absurdity of hemp prohibition's short 80 years, compared to the reality that it is the oldest plant species that humans have ever used consistently, and that some countries like China NEVER stopped growing and using, in spite of Anslinger's efforts.
It really is summed up by "God" in the Bible, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed for your sustenance." Re-legalizing hemp/cannabis is apparently in line with the Divine plan too. Halleluiah!