By Buddy Duzy, Coordinator, The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative
One of the greatest threats to the survival of modern mankind is climate change, specifically, the global warming of our planet. The vast majority of scientists and academics recognize this fact. All their charts, measurements, and statistics point to the incessant burning of the carbon based fossil fuels that power our cars and light our houses, coupled with the harvesting of timberlands and the destruction of earth’s rainforests and jungles, as the primary cause of this recent phenomenon.
Much thought has been devoted to remedying this problem but the solutions, such as carbon taxes, non-combustion energy production, smokestack scrubbers and whatever else, fall far short of a viable solution. At best, they will only slow the growth rate of carbon emissions and won’t do anything to lower the levels of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. Realistically, the only way to stop that growth rate is to stop pulling out and burning the fossil carbon buried deep in the earth, and the only way to reduce the destructive amounts of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is to stop cutting down and clearing our forests, rainforests and jungles.
Now I’m not advocating giving up our cars, and our well lit, well heated houses, and moving into caves. Rather, I’m advocating that we take lesson from our history. The last time we faced a similar situation was when it became clear in the 1800’s that our consumption of whale oil was going to outstrip our supply of whales. Then, almost like magic, we discovered fossil oil, plenty of it, and we’ve been burning it like crazy ever since. So now we’re hitting our limit again, and it’s time to do something new.
Enter the Jack Herer solution, best described in this excerpt from his book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”:
“If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as the deforestation of trees for paper and agriculture are banned from use in order to save the planet and reverse the greenhouse effect: Then there is only one known natural resource able to provide the overall majority of our paper, textiles and food, meet all the world’s transportation, home and industrial energy needs, reduce pollution, rebuild the soil, and clean the atmosphere–all at the same time–our old stand-by that did it all before: Cannabis Hemp… Marijuana!”
In 1985, when this book was written, this statement was just a vision. But again, almost like magic, what was then just a vision of what is possible is a reality now. Now there are industries that convert hemp into fuel. There are industries that convert hemp into building materials such as lumber substitutes and concrete. There are industries for a lot of different hemp uses. But none of these industries exist here in the United States. It’s illegal here.
In 2007 Jack Herer, along with others, drafted this vision into an initiative to allow the people of California the opportunity to vote on legalizing hemp, making it available to the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is California, and to create the industries necessary to make this vision a reality.
There is an obvious reason why hemp is illegal. Big Oil doesn’t want to stop pumping oil from the ground, and the paper, fiber, and lumber industries don’t want to stop cutting and selling their trees. These industries have enormous sums of money and they have enormous influence over politicians. They were able to make hemp illegal in the 1930’s and they’ve been able to keep it illegal. They just renamed it Marijuana, called it an evil drug, and then paid the politicians to make it, and keep it illegal.
For this vision to become reality, this initiative will restrict the politicians from re-regulating the hemp plant to oblivion. This initiative clearly defines that industrial hemp should be regulated like any other industrial crop, that nutritional hemp should be regulated like any other food crop, medicinal hemp regulated like the medicinal herb that it is, and marijuana be regulated like other recreational substances, namely beer and wine.
The initiative also seeks to rectify the injustices caused by hemp prohibition. Prisoners whose only crime was possessing marijuana would no longer be criminals locked behind bars. Job seekers would no longer be disqualified from employment only because they showed signs of past pot use. Drivers could no longer be arrested for DUI based solely on the whim of the arresting officer and convicted only because of past pot use. City governments who decide that they don’t like medicinal pot could no longer over regulate, harass, and sometimes even ban the legal use and distribution of medicinal pot. And farmers will once again have access to a valuable cash and rotation crop.
Jack Herer passed away in 2010, before he could qualify this initiative to become a ballot proposition.
That leaves the rest of us to carry on. And so…
Enter CCHI 2014:
The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2014. It’s our chance to say “enough!” to Big Oil and forest destruction. It’s our chance to tell the government that they can no longer hide behind the lies that hemp is an evil, dangerous and useless plant. It’s our chance to tell the rest of the industrial world that we don’t need their hemp; we’ll just grow our own. And it’s our chance to show the entire world that California knows how to innovate and create new industries, to turn ideas and visions into powerful industrial revolutions. That’s the plan.
It’s up to us, the regular folks. We don’t have big business backing. We may not even have the backing of the pot activists who’ve advocated the ‘go slow and wait’ approach for the last 30 years. The best time is now. We have to put together the army of people both to support and to work toward the goal of putting the Jack Herer Initiative on the ballot for the November 2014 election. What we need right now is volunteers who are ready and willing to organize statewide and to go out and collect the signatures we’ll need to qualify this ballot proposition. We need people of means to contribute the dollars needed for the effort. We need activists, environmentalists, health advocates, third world advocates, and racial equality advocates. We need entrepreneurs and innovators willing to step forward and seize this opportunity. We need police officers and judges who are tired of wasting their time enforcing a policy that they know is a farce.
Everyone has a stake in the success of reforming the world’s anti-hemp policy. It will take years for hemp and other renewable resources to replace oil and deforestation, but every year we wait, our world’s average temperatures and our oceans creep up and up. California has the ability and the means. We took the World Wide Web from nothing in 1995 to where it permeates our lives in less than 15 years. I’m confident that California can do the same with the Cannabis Hemp revolution.
We just need to get started. .
You’ll find more information, a way to volunteer and/or contribute, and additional contact information at the website: