Past, tense? Future state!

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Note: This article is a transcription of a speech given by Cannabis Curriculum founder John Dvorak, which can be viewed here.

Everyone is welcome on Harry's Hill.

Everyone is welcome on Harry’s Hill.

It’s great to be back on Harry’s Hill!  I can tell we have a lot of free thinkers up here today. That’s why I want to talk to you about time travel.  Who wants to know what society is going to be like 20 years from now?  Well, I got news for you.  I’ve seen the future, and this is it!  It feels like I’m traveling into the future when I come up here from Boston.  Sure, we’re making progress down there, but they are still living in the past.  You’ve seen your future and you’re making it.

People of all ages are welcome on Harry’s Hill.  There’s a great play area for the kids.  The sense of community is incredible.  Harry has created the ultimate hemp friendly experience.  A place where reefer madness has been turned into reefer gladness!  So, thank you Harry.  Thank you Cindy, Elizabeth, Linda, Brian, Hillary, Paul, Catherine, Glenn and everyone else that helped put on this festival.  And thank you to everyone that’s here today!  You are all visionaries and pioneers!

Trust me, it’s not like this everywhere.  Who wants to visit the past? Well, you can. Just head down south into the buckle of the Bible belt where you can still be sent to prison for possessing small amounts of marijuana.   There’s a young man in Texas who’s facing life in prison for allegedly selling hash brownies. That’s insane!  Or, go to New York City where they still arrest thousands every year for possessing marijuana. They are ruining the lives of countless otherwise law abiding citizens, most of them African Americans.  This should serve as motivation to us to create a better future for everyone.

So that’s the past. Do you want to go further into the future?   Well, just take a trip to Colorado.  It’s like stepping into a time warp!  You can legally buy marijuana at any number of stores.  They are opening private clubs and coffee shops where people can puff in peace.  Their farmers are growing hemp!  Thousands of jobs are being created.  Tourism is booming.  And last year, they arrested 10,000 fewer people for marijuana.  That’s 10,000 people that were not fingerprinted, humiliated and stigmatized. Now that’s my kind of future!  In Colorado, they set aside millions of dollars to fund medical marijuana research.  Our federal government won’t allow research?  No problem, we’ll do it ourselves.  Thank you very little.Georgiatoons Brownie

Our opponents are not going to give up without a fight.  They are like a cornered animal that strikes out unpredictably in any direction.  I think the DEA has finally lost it. A few weeks ago they held up a shipment of hemp seed in Kentucky that had been legally imported for research.  And just a few days ago, they stopped another shipment of hemp seed bound for Colorado.  Can you believe that?!?  Now, the DEA is harassing doctors in Massachusetts that are involved with dispensaries.  Well, I’ve got a message for President Obama: if you really care about people like you say you do and you want to be on the right side of history, you will immediately de-schedule marijuana and allow research.  Call off the DEA and end their reign of terror!

The marijuana movement goes forward in small increments.  I call these baby steps.  We pass laws, we hold festivals like this one, we come out of the cannabis closet.  These are all baby steps. Now, a lot of conservative states that were firmly anchored in the past are seeing the future. Even rural rock-ribbed republicans realize reform’s raging.  Alabama, Georgia, Florida, West Virginia and many more states are working to pass laws allowing the use of cannabidiol, or CBD which is very beneficial for children with epilepsy.  Now these kids are literally taking baby steps into the future without seizures.

You’re lucky in Maine because you have politicians fighting for you and not against you. State representative Diane Russell is amazing. She wants to legalize marijuana!  She is short-circuiting the 3rd rail of politics.  Some of you may not agree with the specifics of her bill but you cannot argue with her objective. No law is perfect, but please don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.  Work with Diane Russell to legalize it!

Meanwhile, back in Medieval Massachusetts, Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, is against medical marijuana.  He says that marijuana is a gateway drug that will ruin your life.  Actually, cannabis is proving to be a gateway away from heroin and cocaine, a gateway away from those deadly, hard core pharmaceuticals and a gateway away from alcohol and tobacco.  In states with medical marijuana laws, the suicide rate is going down, drunk driving is going down.  These are good things.  In the future, we need more politicians like Dianne Russell and fewer like Marty Walsh.

Just like everything else, some people abuse marijuana.  They need help.  However, as long as it’s illegal, people can’t ask for treatment.  They may get arrested, lose their job or lose custody of their children.  That’s what I call a Catch-422.  However, when you legalize marijuana, treatment goes up, abuse goes down and people’s overall health is better.  And, as we’re seeing in Colorado, once you legalize, violent crime goes down because police resources are focused on that and not on arresting peaceful cannabis consumers.

Knowledge is the best way for us to go into the future. Ignorance kills.  That’s why I developed the Cannabis Curriculum.  We need to learn about all of the beneficial aspects of cannabis hemp and document how prohibition is devastating society.  You don’t have to be in school to be part of the Cannabis Curriculum.  You just have to be a student of life.

And there are so many topics to choose from.  What subject do you care about?  History?   Well, Maine has a lot of hemp history. The shipbuilding industry was very important in Colonial America.  They built a lot of ships all up and down the Maine coastline.  Thousands of pounds of hemp fiber was needed for each sailing ship. So document the history of hemp in Maine and bring the past into the future with the Cannabis Curriculum.Hemp History

We are creating the entire hemp industry from scratch.  If you ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of anything, hemp is it.  The Cannabis Curriculum needs engineers to invent machinery to harvest and process hemp.  We need people to create new hemp products and start hemp companies.   The potential for growth is incredible but it’s going to talk a lot of hard work.

We’ve got a long way to go.  There’s so much to do. There’s a trillion dollar industry to build, people to heal, prisoners to release and hemp to grow.   They are growing hemp just over the border in Canada, eh?  Maine has passed a hemp bill, so you can grow it for research at the University of Maine.  That would be the Cannabis Curriculum in action!

Green Buffalo Tour 2014One thing that everyone can do to help is to buy more hemp.  Hemp is the Green Buffalo!  Native Americans used the entire buffalo to survive:  hair, snoot, balls and all.  And you can make all sorts of essential products out of hemp:  food, fuel, building materials, biodegradable plastics, clothing, tree free paper and medicine.  That’s why I call hemp the Green Buffalo.  I’m covered with hemp today from hurd to tow.  This morning I washed up with some Dr. Bronner’s hemp soap.  After I shaved, I put some really nice hemp seed oil lotion on my face and I had a big glass of chocolate hemp milk with breakfast.  There are all sorts of great hemp products out there so buy some hemp today for tomorrow’s farmers.

My philosophy is that you have to live for today.  If you live in the past you’ll spend your life not doing anything.  You’ll just sit around thinking about the good old days.  And if all you do is dream about the future, you get passed by.  Pipe dreams are fun, but you have to live for today.  Do things that respect our past while also shaping our future.  Guess what?  These are the good old days!

But what is our future? Where are we going?  Fortunately, we live in a huge and diverse country.  You have the opportunity for time travel.  Take advantage of it.  We’re making history every day as we go into the future.  Does the past make you tense?  Well, I can see the future state right now!

The tide is turning. We’re reaching the tipping point.  The snowball of change is rolling down Harry’s Hill turning into an avalanche of reform.  And just like the Walls of Jericho, prohibition is tumbling down as the benefits of cannabis hemp are trumpeted skyward. So, raise your voice and help end this disgraceful policy.  Hemp hemp hooray! Hemp hemp hooray! Hemp hemp today!

Read past Ladybud coverage of hemp-related topics here.