Tip of the Spear: Cannabis Hemp History in the Making

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Congratulations!  If you’re reading this, you’re one of the few people that actually gives an aeronautical intercourse about cannabis, hemp and it’s prohibition.  An overwhelmingly large swath of the population couldn’t care less about it.  Actually, they could care less and they will if we let them.  Fortunately, hardly a day goes by without news touting hemp’s nutritional and environmental benefits or studies showing how medicinal cannabis is treating different ailments.

A few years ago, after giving one of my Cannabis Curriculum talks for a medical marijuana group in Rhode Island, an older man came up to me and thanked me for what I was doing.  He really liked all of the hemp products and samples that I had in my Traveling Hemp Museum and he knew that cannabis was a safe and effective medicine for him.  I felt so good that he was thanking me for being such a forward-thinking person. He then told me that I was 20 years ahead of my time. He said that society just wasn’t ready for all of the radical changes I was describing: legalizing marijuana, taking advantage of all of the therapeutic properties of the cannabis flower and growing millions of acres of hemp.  

I thought: “Dang! I’ve already been working on this for 20 years.  Does that mean I’ve got another 20 years ahead of me talking to small groups of true believers?”  But he could be right.  


PHOTO: Dan Iggers

PHOTO: Dan Iggers

The negative stigma of marijuana use and the brainwashing of Reefer Madness runs deep. The cannabis hemp movement is growing but historically speaking, it is still in its infancy. We are at such an early stage of development with so many opportunities in so many areas.  There is a need for people of all persuasions and interests: researching the myriad uses of medicinal cannabis, growing and selling cannabis, exploring the burgeoning recreational market, inventing new hemp products, starting hemp companies, developing machinery to harvest and process hemp, utilizing hemp’s ecological benefits, incorporating the humble hemp seed into our diets. The list goes on and on.

Find a subject that you are passionate about and integrate cannabis hemp into it. That’s what the Cannabis Curriculum is all about: Showing people the many ways that they can highlight  the beneficial aspects of cannabis hemp while also recognizing the devastating effects that its prohibition has on society and communities of color in particular.  

In the (hopefully) not too distant future, we’ll be using hemp for everything.  Hemp is the Green Buffalo, after all.  We’ll be remembering when it was illegal, and people will say: “wow, you’ve got to be kidding to me.”  I think we’re still in the dark ages, but believe it or not, these are the “good old days.”  

More and more products are hitting the market every day.  The potential for growth truly boggles the mind.  We are literally creating several entirely new  industries  from the ground up.  That doesn’t happen very often or without a lot of fits and starts.  However, as long as we continue to move forward we’ll begin to see ever increasing rates of growth.  With sales of legal medical marijuana in America estimated at $1.5 billion a year and hemp products chipping in another $500 million, we are 0.2% (1/500th) of the way to making cannabis hemp a Trillion Dollar Crop.   And that’s not counting the unprecedented growth in ancillary businesses that range from gardening supplies and hydroponics to delivery systems such as vaporizers.  

Fortunes made by “selling picks to the minors” during California’s Gold Rush will pale in comparison to the Green Rush.  The recreational use scenario is set to explode as more states (and countries) realize the win-win-win situation associated with legalizing marijuana:  lower law enforcement & incarceration costs, higher tax revenue from sales and an overall increase in public health due to a reduction in the use of alcohol and pharmaceuticals.   

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow often can someone look at what they are currently doing and visualize that in “x” years, people will look back at them as a trailblazer, a pioneer, a trend setter? That is quite a moment of self-awareness.  We are the vanguard. We are literally making history. Consider that phrase for a minute. Making history.We’re setting society on a new path of peace, understanding, compassion and cooperation.  We have an opportunity to be at the forefront of a movement that has vast social and economic implications.

But for this is to happen in the future, I need you to step up today.  YOU need to make history.  Who will be the Rosa Parks of the Hemp Revolution?  There are tremendous opportunities but also great responsibility.  Because the cannabis hemp industry is emerging from the shadows of the black market we are under increased scrutiny.  We will be held to higher ethical standards.

Those who benefit from prohibition as part of the pharma-prison-industrial complex are not about to go gently into the night. Rather, like a cornered and wounded animal, they will lash out in any way they can, without regard for their actions.  They will use their Catch-422 logic to put more barriers in our way.  Their efforts will fail because truth, fairness and education will prevail over greed, subjugation and ignorance.

WE are the Tip of the Spear that is going to pierce the heart of prohibition: releasing the prisoners, healing our bodies, opening our minds, cleaning our environment, and strengthening our economy.  The Tip of the Spear will burst their bubble of control and expose their abuse of power.

Come on, let’s make some history together!