On a hemp and L-Tryptophane law correcting opportunity
The particular subject this time is in some ways similar to the laws against the sale and use of the amino acid L-Tryptophane some years back. L-Tryptophane is a nutritional substance critical to mental functioning and sleep quality, among other essential life functions. It is a component of many foods, such as turkey meat; but it is hard to get enough of it for it to function as, say, a sleep aid, without concurrent intake of lots of unwanted stuff like fats along with it from regular food sources. Thus, making L-Tryptophane into a pill for use as a way to enable sleep much better, was in use for a couple of decades serving as a natural and far better way to sleep than were some of the knockout-type drugs sold by the pharmaceutical industry, who railed against the authorities to ban the sale of L-Tryptophane since it was out-competing the highly profitable pharmaceutical knockout sleep drugs. But the authorities had no way to ban L-Tryptophane to comply with the business pressures, until a batch of L-Tryptophane was conveniently made with deadly toxic contamination of a broad-spectrum such that in any one toxic component was just below the detectable levels by standard instrumentation of the time. So when people began to suffer and die obviously from this batch of pills, the authorities did not ban that batch of pills, but instead leapt on the opportunity to ban the sale and use of L-Tryptophane itself, saying it was a toxic substance. Of course, it was the newly introduced contaminant that was the only toxic substance, and the authorities could hardly not realize that, of course. But the pharmaceutical industry is enormously powerful and sleep aids are big business. And although L-Tryptophane has since then been vindicated by exposing the contaminated batch's poisons added by the manufacturer (presumably by accident) and its sale as a supplement has been available again for many years (often with a different name), as far as I know, the law banning the sale and use of L-tryptophane is still on the books. The obviousness of the whole problem could be a bit snidely shown by pointing out that the authorities's laws banning L-Tryptophane, did not also ban the sale and consumption of the Thanksgiving Dinner turkey, which indeed also contains L-Tryptophane. The point is, that the "authorities" don't seem to see the irrationality of some of their rules and resulting justified actions that cause deprivation and other harm to the American people.
So, the current topic is a similar situation about "hemp." The authorities just don't seem to comprehend that hemp is not a viable source of the THC substance that is used to provide some kind of joy or healing to consumers of a similar-looking family-related hemp plant. Hemp, as is well known to those who are not merely knee-jerk repeaters of propaganda of questionable sourcing, is a hardy plant that has a wide range of extraordinary properties useful to mankind, and has been in use in America from long before people from Europe arrived in this land. Hemp was an essential material for native Americans from way back. It was not utilized to enable them to "have a good time" recreationally, since it did not have enough THC to enable that to happen; instead, hemp was used for its outstanding strength, durability and everywhere availability, for making things such as baskets for carrying and storing food. In many ways, hemp is an absolutely wonder agricultural plant, due to its hardy easy cultivation, and its wide range of uses including an outstanding nutritional protein profile and high digestibility of its shelled seeds, even by people whose digestion system has been severely damaged by unwitting consumption of wheat gluten, as happened to lots of other Americans besides me. Hemp is a plant that could be easily grown out in one's backyard, yet its fiber is of extraordinary strength, and when I was a boy, it was the strongest material for its density known, stronger than the finest of steels for its weight. The petrochemical-industry-produced ropes in common use today, are no match to the strength and durability of hemp rope, so the banning of hemp enabled the profitable sale of those oil-product ropes we now have to use, instead of low cost hemp rope that is stronger and more secure from slipping in knots. The petrochemical-product ropes do have one advantage, as they are not so scratchy on the hands when handled; but that scratchiness did not prevent the hemp rope from being constantly used by the fabled American cowboy of frontier days. And that scratchiness did not prevent hemp rope from being a strategic material during WWII such as for tying up battleships to docks when in port. Historically hemp cultivation was considered a strategic resource in America, supplying material for making paper during the Revolutionary War that freed America, making sails for sailing ships for both commerce and warships, and during the Civil War was made into round bales to function as rolling fortresses that was so strong it would absorb bullets and cannon balls, protecting the soldiers behind the hemp bales.
All that was and still is common knowledge, yet "somehow" the hemp plant's cultivation became not just illegal, but imprisonably illegal, and is still on the books, causing incredible grief to the millions thereby in prison, ruining their lives, and even being a heavy burden on the American taxpayer. And so that phenomenon is what provides the opportunity for evaluating "what went wrong" in America's legal system, as well as evaluating why our legal system has been unable to free itself from the burden of enforcing this obviously very bad law.
How did this obviously bad law get on the books? That could be a starting point in the exploration of this phenomenon. Who benefits by it being a forbidden substance in America? (It is not an illegal substance in any other industrialized country, note.) Who is gaining wealth and power from that law, most likely are ones responsible for the law being there, and similarly partly responsible for it not being cleaned off the books, and done instantly, including adequate apologies made to all who have suffered as a result of the goofy bad law prohibiting the cultivation of the hemp plant in America.
Is it simply a matter of the incompetence of the marijuana law enforcers, who apparently cannot take the time to measure if a plant is hemp or its cousin marijuana? Incompetence is of course not a descriptive term acceptable to Ultimate Authority mentality type people. But they can quietly fix their errors and go on their way with minimally ruffled feathers over it all; yet, obviously they have not done so. As the referenced article points out, ""... Special Agent Paul Roach of the Drug Enforcement Agency says federal law does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. "It really doesn't matter whether it looks different or it looks the same," he says. "If it's the cannabis plant, it's in the Controlled Substances Act and, therefore, enforceable under federal drug law....""
Seems like another tough-guys mugging game, much like in the case of L-Tryptophane. Why do they do that? Why can't they quit it?
In my sometimes naive way of attempting to comprehend why people do what they do, it seems possible that part of it all is the need for drama, seeking excuse to engage in the tough-guy stuff to strut one's stuff for all to see, especially the girls to see who are the strong men to be wooed as mates. That is a powerful motivation, of course. (My being the smallest boy in class, the schoolyard bullies come to my thoughts now; even back many decades ago, the girls adored the bullies, and would join in on the ridiculing of the bully's victims, I too well remember, an old schoolyard injury still causing a bit of physical pain to me, as another reminder.)
Tragically, the archetypal pattern most likely to be expressed in response to a post like this one, in the big People Game is "The pip-squeak saying the Big Boys need to clean up their act, will not get the Big Boys to evaluate and correct their goofs, but instead will result in the pip-squeak getting mugged in a way not obviously traceable to the Big Boys." And thus the opportunity to clean up our ways a bit, will again be lost.
Probably this blog post would be tossed off in derision by sneering the label "roper" to it, and intimate the reading of it would put the reader under suspicion. It is all too complicated for me to understand. But in composing this essay, I have attempted to enable a bit more order to the chaos drama of it all. As taught even in math classes, to actually solve a problem, the problem must first be correctly described.