to trinidad newspapers concerning legalisation. lets all write some and send them out During the course of human events, people tend to forget their history. But one who does not learn from a mistake of the past, is doomed to repeat it. The factors which gave rise to any event are seldom fully acknowledgeable as these factors are always numerous. This letter has numerous motivators, one of which was an advertisement by a daily newspaper by a firm selling cannabis products which had the following statement: “Educational Warning: Hemp is not Marijuana!”, the other is the Prime Minister’s statement that the recent rise in murders can be trivialised as “drug-related”. People, in general, tend to change their mindsets as facts change. However, the ‘fact’ itself does not change, but usually people are ignorant of the facts. People, therefore, change as ignorance is slowly removed, and facts are presented. It is with the intention of providing facts that this letter is being written. Being stationed at St. Mary’s College for the past 5 years and soon to be out has taught me to be honest and nothing can harm you. This is not an educational warning, this is an educational experience. What is marijuana? Before 1937, the vast majority of hemp users in the world never heard of the word ‘marijuana’. ‘Marijuana was the name chosen to refer to cannabis plants in the ‘Marijuana Tax Act’ of 1937, which effectively prohibited cannabis in the USA. Where did this word come from? It was well known that the Mexican soldiers who fought America during the war with Spain smoked marijuana. Poncho Villa, A Mexican general, was considered a nemesis for the behavior of his troops, who were known to be especially rowdy. They were also known to be heavy marijuana smokers. The word actually came from the lyrics to a song sung by the Poncho Villa revolutionaries, `la cucaracha'. (The song was originally about a Mexican soldier who refused to march until he was provided with some ‘marijuana’ to smoke.) The proposed intention of the lawmakers in the land of the free and home of the brave was to prohibit the psychoactive substance found in the resin of the female cannabis plant. ‘Marijuana’ referred to the reproductive parts of the mature female. It should be noted that the active ingredient had not been even isolated as yet and the ‘American Medical Association’ had only heard of the bill two days before the hearings, and sent a representative to object to the banning of cannabis medicines. But as you may know, ‘marijuana’ (the part of the cannabis plant potent in psychoactive substances), comes from cannabis plants. What, then is hemp? Hemp and Cannabis is actually the same, separating hemp and marijuana is misleading. During the 1970's all mention of the word `hemp' was gradually and effectively removed from high school text books in the United States.Jack Herer, when he asked a curator at the Smithsonian Museum why the word ‘hemp’ had been removed from all their exhibits, got an astounding answer: ``Children do not need to know about hemp anymore. It confuses them.'' Similarly, saying ‘hemp is not marijuana’ is very confusing to a non-legal-oriented mind. If one were to compare a field of hemp and a field of marijuana would understand the predicament the statement, ‘hemp is not marijuana’ would create. In the modern world, ‘hemp’ is used to refer to cannabis plant matter used as its fiber and seed, and ‘marijuana’ is used to refer to cannabis used as a psychoactive substance. How silly it is to refer to the same type of plant by entirely different and potentially-confusing names, simply because its (human) use is different. ‘Cannabis’ has been the traditional scientific word for referring to the plant and shall be used for the rest of this letter. The vast extent of the widely-varied misconceptions of cannabis must be conquered gradually and victory for the truth is nowhere near. However, the circulation of newspapers such as this one to which I am writing, would ensure at least some-one would be a little more well-informed about the pressing issue of cannabis. “The only solution to the drugs problem is the legalisation of all drugs" Sergeant Gordon Payne, Southampton Police. What is our Prime Minister suggesting when he brushed aside rampant murders as “drug related”? What is “drug-related” and what does it have to do with murders? What does drugs have to do with murders? What do drugs have to with cannabis? Perhaps the Prime Minister is somehow misguided, and honestly believes that all persons use cannabis or other drugs specifically for doing naughty things and are sinners and in-line with the Devil and personally he’ll rather not have anything to do with “users”. But the FACT remains that drugs do not cause murders, o naÃ¯ve Prime Minister, drugs laws do. Drug Laws are rigidly enforced by the world’s only dictatorial superpower, so obviously the laws are not going anywhere. But people do tend to forget history. Fortunately, people do change as facts change, as the purpose of this letter is to show, the FACT is cannabis was used as a medicine throughout the United States for decades. Medicinal cannabis has been used by many early U.S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson, proud smuggler of rice from Italy, risked a capital offense when he smuggled high-grade cannabis seeds from the area controlled by the Mandarins. George Washington,in 1794, said: “Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed. Plant it Everywhere” Caroni workers should take heed. Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s only paper mills using cannabis, not trees. Americans now throw away tree-paper newspapers every week which amounts to about 500,000 logs. The U.S. census in 1850 counted 8327 cannabis plantations. Why should they now have a right to sponsor the devastating operations to destroy local cannabis plantations? Who suffers from the ignorant’s prohibition-support? Why should cannabis still be illegal, after there is so long a history of (non-violent) USE of cannabis? All substance medicines have side-effects, some may be negative side-effects, cannabis has negative side-effects, not physical but political. I say to the ignorant, who have nothing better to do than criticise others, and destroy precious cannabis trees: Cannabis can be grown almost anywhere in the world. It was first introduced into the West Indian islands by indentured Indian immigrants, it is not naturally found in the New World. It enriches the soil which usually requires no fertiliser, and is quite pest-resistant so it also requires no harmful pesticides. Cannabis also resists the sun’s UV-B light, which is blocked by the banged-up ozone layer. Please don’t burn down the cannabis trees: Take around 3000 acres and hire some scruffy youths who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do to, produce fabric and then around 1,000,000 jeans and distribute to poor people (for next year Christmas).One acre of cannabis can produce between 600-1200 square metres of extremely strong cloth similar to jeans denim. In fact, the very first Levi jeans was made from cannabis cloth. Cotton uses about half of all pesticides in the U.S., is soil-damaging and requires lots of fertiliser. Please don’t burn down the cannabis trees: take the fiber (bast), hire some scruffy youths who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do to, and make tough paper for sale in industrial purposes. Hemp fiber (bast) paper was the first paper ever made, created in the are we now call “People’s Republic of China”. Also, take the pulp (hurd) and some more youths and make more paper, this cannabis pulp paper is softer, thicker and easier to make that bast paper and preferable for everyday use. The problem with today's paper is that so many chemicals are used to make it. High strength acids are needed to make quality (smooth, strong, and white) paper out of trees. These acids produce chemicals which are very dangerous to the environment, we all hope paper companies do their best to clean these chemicals up before discharging their waste, but why should we use trees when we can use cannabis. Hurd paper is better to use than tree paper because it requires no chemicals, and will not yellow with age, and it costs less. Please don’t burn down the cannabis trees: Hire some scruffy youths who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do and give them some of the agricultural land which is idle and let them plant some cannabis trees. One acre of cannabis trees provides 900-1300 lbs. of seeds. The seeds contain essential fatty oils, as well as protein which is easy to digest. Cannabis seed protein was once called ‘edestine’ and was used by many scientists are the model for vegetable protein. Also, it has extremely low amounts of saturated fat, as a vital source of protein to the diet, cannabis seed can reduce one’s risk of heart disease. A full handful of cannabis seeds is enough protein and essential fatty oils for most adults. After the harvest hire some more scruffy youths who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do, and let them distribute a significant proportion of the seed crop to the poor. For next year’s Christmas, maybe all children can have an opportunity to eat at least SOME food that will help them grow and not help them get fat. Please don’t burn down the cannabis trees: Hire some scruffy youths who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do and let them supply the local cannabis-board industry. Cannabis-board is a type of ‘composite-board’. Trinidad has mostly only been exposed to ‘bagasse-board’, but sugar-cane husks, like the profitability of MODERN-DAY sugar is very poor. Cannabis ‘press-board’ is more flexible and durable than any hardwood lumber. Where is the local cannabis-board industry? Hire some scruffy UWI graduates who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do, use their valuable skills in a valuable (huge potential for growth) industry. A product called ‘Isochanvre’, which is gaining popularity in France mineralizes cannabis stalks into a long-lasting cement. The manufacturing process involves no synthetic chemicals and produces a material which works as a filler in building construction. ‘Isochanvre’ can be used as drywall, insulates against heat and noise, and is made from cannabis trees. Why no hire some more scruffy characters who ain’t have nuttin’ better to do, to build houses from cannabis-board and use cannabis-cement made from scruffy UWI graduates and distribute cheaply to poor people? Cannabis has an amazing variety of uses, it is refered to as the ‘healing of the nation’ by many. Indeed cannabis can perform miracle-cures simply by euphoria and boosting morale in patients. Cannabis may even be able to cure the financial wounds of Caroni (long-dead) Ltd. If its restructuring process involves the substitution of rum for ganja (‘ganja’ or ‘ganga’ is a term derived for the ‘Hindi’ dialect, which refers to the psychoactive parts of the cannabis plant) maybe ‘Indian thing’ could once more be meditation and peace and not rum and roti. If the (mostly) Indian descendants who comprise the Caroni workforce heed advice of George Washington encouraging others to “make the most of the Indian hemp seed”, then maybe we could actually see a profitable Caroni (1975) Ltd. in the next ice age or so. Cannabis may also be used as fuel. Cannabis can substitute for coal quite easily with the benefit that it is many times cleaner than using fossil fuels. Indeed, methanol and methane can be obtained using cannabis. Gasoline can also be obtained using the hurd. Why not develop a public transport system that utilizes cannabis fuels and phase out the nasty fossil fuel use. Why should the occupants of these islands not have safe access to cannabis? Why should cannabis be illegal to possess? In conclusion, I would like to re-emphasise that the war against cannabis is fueled daily by ignorance. However, as research and common sense would show, legalising cannabis would definitely be a step in the right direction. Let me try to get through to our simple-mind Prime Minister: If GOD created the GRASS and MAN created the GUN, who caused the trouble, and associated the two? Lewis Carol #27 Fairy Lane, California.