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Ralph Nader Calls to Liberate Hemp

Ralph Nader Cannabis Now Magazine

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Ralph Nader Calls to Liberate Hemp

Photo courtesy of MJ Business Daily

Ralph Nader Calls to Liberate Hemp

Ralph Nader shared his insight that marijuana legalization advocates are going about it unwisely when they emphasize the libertarian privacy argument since that doesn’t persuade the people who need persuading.

Ralph Nader gave the keynote speech at the 2015 Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas in November. He told attendees that he doesn’t use cannabis, being more of a carrots-and-broccoli man. So why was the erstwhile independent presidential candidate there to address a group of cannabis industry members?

A renowned, lifelong consumer and public safety advocate credited with saving countless lives on American highways since publishing his landmark Unsafe at Any Speed in 1965 five decades ago, Nader was there to deliver valuable advice for legalization advocates and those deciding minimum standards for the nascent industry.

Citing his decades-long experience with successes and setbacks alike pushing for industrial hemp legalization, Nader said people still opposed to marijuana legalization on its own merit need to hear how legalization’s side benefits will help advance policy goals they do support.

Hence, Nader’s speech educating industry members on hemp. He explained some of the benefits outflowing from industrial hemp production, including the potential boon to American farmers, the newer healthy food benefits among hundreds of practical consumer uses, and above all, as a way to cut fossil fuel consumption in the face of climate change.

Calling future legal cannabis a “massive gift” to an American society currently operating under “the rule of law gone mad,” Nader noted hemp’s many practical uses. He also pointed out the huge gift legalization would be to America’s broken criminal justice system. But he cautioned the industry to adhere to strict internal standards of integrity if it wanted to succeed. “Proper regulation is the best aspirin you could have,” he said, “other than marijuana.”

“The most important argument you can make is that the legalization of marijuana is a gift, a massive gift to the radicalization of the criminal justice system and to the liberation of industrial hemp for its transformation into food, into fuel, into paper, into lubricants, into hundreds of other products, including parts of the interior of a motor vehicle. A degradable, recyclable product that is the dream of people who are worried about climate change.”

“You liberate industrial hemp as a whole new sub-economy that is environmentally benign, self-sufficient in terms of not having to depend on other countries of the world.”

“The Declaration of Independence had industrial hemp for paper. Jefferson grew it. Washington grew it. And then we moved from the early 18th century to the medieval times of today, where it is put on the proscribed list by the DEA.”

“It’s now legal, and has been for years, to import industrial hemp from Romania, Canada, France, China. But it’s illegal for our farmers to grow it.”

Originally published in issue 19 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence Goodwin

    June 6, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Ralph Nader was right on to emphasize the limitless economic progress at stake in all 50 states. (For almost 80 years ALL domestic cannabis markets have been purposefully smothered by the tyranny of federal “marihuana” law—for the direct economic benefit of corporate giants DuPont, Monsanto, Dow, Pfizer, and many others. Pure fascism, this merger of federal/state/local officials and corporate titans.) I like how Nader so nicely described cannabis plants in general as “the dream of people who are worried about climate change.” Ever since the year 2000 (when I first truly opened my eyes to the information presented in Jack Herer’s legendary book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”), I’ve understood how these plants can eliminate worries and help us live more in harmony with Mother Nature. Yes, I routinely buy several hemp products from a California company: wallets, belts and awesome hats. I cherish my hemp hats because they literally save the top of my balding head from exceedingly dangerous rays of light emitted by our star. This Cali company has a very friendly and efficient shipping team who, every time, get the products to my doorstep in New York within a week. Also, I recently started shopping at a local health-food store for hemp shampoo, soap and body lotion—all manufactured and distributed by another California company. For as long as I’ve irritated the skin on my face with razor blades, I’ve found no more soothing relief after a shave than from peppermint hemp lotion. Every time it’s “ahhh,” so good.

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