Poison Pot

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jul 10, 2001.

  1. By Joel Miller
    Source: WorldNetDaily

    Authorities in England announced last week that they would no longer bother chasing after smugglers and dealers of cannabis. Apparently, time, personnel and resources are better spent elsewhere – maybe, if I might suggest it, knocking some sense into the hard heads of American drug warriors.
    Next time you hear about a neighbor robbed, a shop burgled or see the mug of some victim of violence flashed on the TV news, be thankful that your local law enforcement are on the case, "searching trenches, roadways and farm fields for suspects."

    Er, scratch that.

    According to the July 6 Munster, Ind., Times, "law enforcement officials have begun searching trenches, roadways and farm fields … for … ditch weed."

    That's right friends, while shoplifters lurk, crooks creep and purse-pinchers prowl, Indiana cops are tossing time and manpower after an effort to poison wild-growing hemp plants – which, if you're up on your botany, you know don't have enough THC (marijuana's active ingredient) to get you any higher than eyelevel to an earthworm. Nonetheless, armed with an annual budget of $330,000 state police are quick to affix brown thumbs to their blue arms as they spray herbicide up and down the territory. In 2000, DEA shelled out $13 million to aid local efforts like Indiana's.

    Nearly a decade ago, Indiana destroyed some 23 million plants, which the Munster Times credulously reported had a street value of $10 billion. Never mind that no one in his right mind is going to waste good money buying ditch weed. It was, in reality, worth no more than garden mulch because, for drugs, people don't pay if there's no play.

    And play there isn't.

    It takes four or five hours for a sprayed plant to die, according to Indiana state trooper Don Hartman, who said that the poison won't kill someone who tries to smoke a treated plant, but "They won't get the same high," he chuckled. Of course, they wouldn't get high anyway. Since hemp only contains trace amounts of THC (just as the poppy seeds on your muffin contain trace amounts of opium), people who pick the leaves in hopes of a cheap high wind up with the same sense of euphoria that comes with raging headaches and sore throats. All of that dopeless smoke only makes you sick.

    At least for those foolish enough to try, the results are only temporary and instructive – one more valuable, but basically harmless, lesson from the school of hard knocks.

    The same cannot be said with the drug warriors' penchant for poison. In the late '70s, the U.S. was actively helping Mexico obliterate its cannabis and opium crops with logistical and technical advice on the use of the very same chemicals we had stopped using only seven years prior in Vietnam, partly because of their awful effects on the civilian population. I wonder if Mexican authorities were told by the U.S. about the sickly citizens of Vietnam, their defoliated food crops and deformed babies?

    As the April 17, 1978, issue of Inquiry magazine pointed out, some of this nastiness no doubt came home to roost. It was estimated at the time that more than 50 percent of cannabis in the rolled paper and bongs of America's estimated 15 million marijuana smokers came from Mexico. In an all-new sort of Montezuma's revenge, the principal poison used in Mexico's herbicidal cocktail was paraquat, which, when ingested, causes irreversible lung damage.

    In 1971, President Nixon quit poisoning Vietnamese peasants. Still, even after admitting the dangers again in 1978, the Carter administration refused to stop the spraying in Mexico – a position more than a little ironic and hypocritical from, as Inquiry observed, "a President who has called for the 'decriminalization' of marijuana, on the grounds that it is a relatively harmless substance. …" Apparently, Carter's convictions didn't stay too warm under that cardigan.

    Likewise today, as part of U.S. antidrug efforts in South America, natives along the Colombia-Ecuador border are suffering the ill effects of mass-defoliant spraying. According to one study reported by Kintto Lucas for the July 5 Inter Press Service, 6,000-some residents along the border showed symptoms of poisoning. Lucas reported last year in October that at least seven deaths had been attributed directly to the herbicide fumigant on the Colombian side alone.

    It's easy to forget Carter's poisoning; it was a while ago. It's easier still to overlook Plan Colombia's poisoning; it's far away.

    But when state police pull into your town armed with tanks of herbicide looking for ditch weed, think about your kids running through a field or along a roadside rubbing up against those chemicals. Think of the effects such promiscuous spraying has in your local area.

    It's easy to blame the Brits for all sorts of stupidity. But while they're moving in the right direction, we're being taxed so the DEA can send money to states to hire folks to stand along the roadside, squirting poison on a bush that won't get you any higher than crabgrass.

    Worse, instead of tracking down real offenders and harmful criminals – people actually endangering property and lives – cops are making out like the Keystone Gardeners, piddling away time and resources after a harmless plant, while possibly exposing the same people they are charged to protect to poisons that could harm them.

    Someone should tell me if I'm missing something here.

    Joel Miller is the commentary editor of WorldNetDaily. His publishing company, MenschWerks,recently published "God Gave Wine" by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.

    Due to time constraints, he cannot get back to every reader's e-mail, but he does enjoy receiving feedback – both pro and con – and swears that's what keeps the joy in it.

    E-mail: jmiller@worldnetdaily.com

    Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)
    Author: Joel Miller
    Published: July 9, 2001
    Copyright: 2001, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
    Contact: letters@worldnetdaily.com
    Website: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/

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