Saturday, June 21, 2008

Of the Earth

Image:Cannabis sativa2.JPG

Human law is often puzzling, irrational and, sometimes, contradictory. In Alabama, it's illegal to play dominoes on Sunday. In Michigan, you may not swear in front of women and children. In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death. In North Dakota, it's illegal to fall asleep with your shoes on. But one law has never ceased to confused me: under United States federal law, it is illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana. Even with the medical marijuana rise, the decriminalization of it in certain states, and Alaska's wacky guidelines, at the end of the day marijuana is still considered a schedule 1 narcotic, and therefore, illegal. 

Despite the fact that THC is not physically or psychologically addictive, nor does it present any health concerns that nicotine does not, the real reason this law confuse me is the fact that cannabis grows right out of the earth. I suppose the government does what they can, prohibiting the farming and selling of the plant by humans and so forth, because that's human intervention, but how can something natural be illegal? Why should what grows in our backyard be plucked up? Because it's dangerous? Should Poison Ivy be illegal? Or Nightshade? If something creates itself autonomously how can people slap jurisdictions on it? It's like saying sunshine or wind is illegal. 

Obviously the same thing can be argued for the sake of heroin, cocaine, and the whole slew of other things  that are derived from the earth, but in the case of marijuana it doesn't go through as rigorous a process to become a "drug" and it is not nearly as dangerous.  

I guess it all has to do with the human domination of earth and their quest to reverse the order of nature, but unless they plan to put everything they find disagreeable about nature into extinction (which is certainly possible, and may even become a reality within our lifetime), I think people should be more concerned about playing dominoes on Sunday than sparking up.    

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