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King Hemp IV: Rope and Dope

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King Hemp IV: Rope and Dope


Rand Clifford

Imagine...YOU are the legend, William Randolph Hearst. You unleash an old Mexican slang term—an alien, scary and macabre-sounding word, then hype it relentlessly in your national chain of newspapers...creating a monster to threaten civilization with plagues of rape and murder, mass insanity and boundless violence!  Domestic terrorism...you must kill competition, protect pretty profits standing in your vast acreage of Mexican timber, pulp the trees into paper with the new environmentally-obscene sulfuric acid process patented by DuPont. His tentacles diddle the very heart of American politics....

Your campaign of sensational disinformation—featuring hysteria spiced with racism—works so amazingly well that generations later, history’s King of crops remains exiled from the most influential nation on Earth. One might say you “ran the table” with your invasion of “marijuana”and “Refer Madness”. You certainly made out like a bandit from the prohibition of cannabis hemp...wealthy industrialists still make out like bandits from the prohibition. You and DuPont blindsided The People, but did you ever really imagine the majority of Americans over seventy years later, when hearing the term “hemp”, thinking typically and simply of rope, and dope?

Let’s all sing...
    La cucaracha, la cucaracha                    
    Ya no puede caminar
    Porque no tiene, porque le falta
    Marihuana que fumar.

    The cockroach, the cockroach
    Can't walk anymore
    Because it lacks, because it doesn't have,
    Marijuana to smoke.                             

Yes, The King, cannabis hemp, regal for many thousands of years and without peers, fell under siege just before the Roaring Twenties for threatening profits of rich and ravenous American industrialists with little in their hearts besides timber and petroleum profits. Exile came in 1937, when new machinery promised to free The King’s vast potential from fetters of manual labor.
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Fast-forward to the 1970's, and what is known as “Reefer Madness II”. High school texts were universally cleansed of the word “hemp”. And at the Smithsonian Museum, Jack Herer, author of that touchstone of hemp truth The Emperor Wears No Clothes, asked a curator why “hemp” had been removed from all of the exhibits. The curator replied, “Children do not need to know about hemp anymore. It confuses them.” SAY WHAT? One of the most important aspects of the history of civilization has been cleansed from the Smithsonian Museum so as not to confuse children? Someone decided simple omission was better than “embarrassing questions”? If the truth is embarrassing, doesn’t that imply profound systemic problems? Omission of important meaning is a cornerstone of our corporate-controlled media (CorpoMedia)...but the Smithsonian  Pulling hemp from history left a hole in the Smithsonian Museum big enough to drive cattle through. History is a tapestry of events, and if you pull a thread hooked to so many others it’s no longer a tapestry, but a bunch of threads dangling into a big hole. Omission for convenience changes history to propaganda. And the more we look at such a hole the bigger it gets....

Written language was developed 5,000 years ago by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, what is now Iraq. One of mankind’s oldest root words, K(a)N(a)B(a) is the Sumerian word for cannabis hemp. Writing made possible the intentional recording of history; by the time writing was invented, hemp husbandry had been around a very long time—the oldest relic of human industry is a scrap of hemp fabric 10,000 years old.

About 4,700 years ago, the first written record of cannabis use appeared in the pharmacopoeia of Shen Nung, a pioneer of Chinese medicine. 2,000 years later, the Persian prophet Zoroaster wrote the Avesta, a sacred text with cannabis hemp topping a list of more than 10,000 medicinal plants. Hemp was civilizations largest agricultural crop from over 3,000 years ago, until the late 1800s. The Chinese began making paper from hemp and mulberry about 2,000 years ago; their scholars gained a cheap means of preserving information, allowing Chinese knowledge and science to transcend that of the West for 1,400 years—partly because the Roman Catholic Church prohibited reading and writing for 1,200 years. Something to consider in terms of the Smithsonian Museum cleansing history to avoid “embarrassing questions”....

The oldest known doctor’s prescription is an Assyrian (also Mesopotamia) clay tablet dated around 2,700 years ago, a prescription for “medical marijuana”.

1,200 years ago, Mohammed permitted cannabis use among Moslems, but forbid alcohol. 950 years ago, Moslems started Europe’s first paper mill, using cannabis hemp. Of course hemp paper is what originally led to The King’s exile from America, in the decade following those Roaring Twenties—but still long before:
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The world’s first mandatory hemp cultivation laws were enacted at Jamestown Colony in Virginia, 1619, ordering all farmers to grow hemp or face penalties. Massachusetts passed similar laws in 1631, followed by Connecticut a year later. In 1776, patriot wives and mothers organized spinning bees to clothe Washington’s troops, spinning hemp fiber to save the Continental Army from freezing to death at Valley Forge. That same year, Thomas Paine, in “Common Sense”, listed as America’s four essential natural resources: cordage, iron, timber and tar. “Hemp flourishes even to rankness,” Paine wrote, “we do not want for cordage.”

The first draft of the Declaration of Independence, June 28, 1776, was written on Dutch hemp paper; the version released on July 4 is also written on hemp paper. The War of 1812 was fought mainly because the United States had been cut off from most of its Russian hemp imports. In 1898, the Spanish American War got us to the threshold of American exile of The King when the “marijuana”-smoking army of Pancho Villa seized 800,000 acres of prime Mexican timberland from William Randolph Hearst. For The King, in America, it’s been a miasma of deceit ever since....

Today the themes are the same, but on a much grander scale. The King could be a fantastic boon for The People and the environment—similarly fantastic are his threats to status quo profits. The profit shift would typically be from elite corporations, to The People. Also, hemp being a natural plant rules out patents so coveted by the elite.

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Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novels and earlier essays can be found at http://www.starchiefpress.com/

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The biggest industry opposed to hemp production is... by martinweiss on Monday, Oct 1, 2007 at 11:43:32 AM
I love the original artical and I love your commen... by chessmaster on Tuesday, Oct 2, 2007 at 12:49:32 PM