Obama Will NOT Tackle the Drug War

Today GQ reports:

According to ongoing discussions with Obama aides and associates, if the president wins a second term, he plans to tackle another American war that has so far been successful only in perpetuating more misery: the four decades of The Drug War.

To believe Obama on this issue is to ignore the blatant hypocrisy of Obama’s drug policies and enforcement through his Administration. Obama’s campaign rhetoric in 2007 proved to be wildly off course from the policies he pursued as President. The Justice Department, per Obama’s orders, are raiding and shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries in  states such as California that have nullified federal anti-marijuana laws to allow the sale of medical marijuana to licensed individuals. Here is a dispensary establishment in Sacramento, California, that was shut down earlier this year following the new policies established by Obama and the Justice Department:

Even the Bush Administration let states set their own course with medical marijuana policy; thanks to Obama, the federal government is overriding state policies that have allowed for the peaceful sale of medical marijuana. Obama’s actions as President (not campaigner or politician) have deliberately propagated and expanded the Drug War to new heights in its abuse of peaceful individuals, community destruction, and ignorance of the facts.

Barack Obama Smoking Marijuana Joint

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Hemp for Victory (1942 USDA Film)

Hemp for Victory was a 13 minute propaganda-esque film released by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1942, urging U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp for the war effort. Of course, it was just five years earlier in 1937 when the anti-Cannabis campaign efforts of Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics successfully culminated in the early stages of both hemp and marijuana prohibition. Because industrial hemp is immensely productive, the federal government recognized that it needed all the hemp it could get its hands on to get an upper hand in World War II.

Essentially, the message here is a product will be legal and production encouraged so long as the government can benefit from it during wartime. Otherwise, it’s the middle finger to the people and the economy.

Hemp for Victory - USDA 1942 Film

Title screen of Hemp for Victory.

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There Never Was a Good War or a Bad Peace

Benjamin Franklin

“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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The Wisdom of Tom Woods

“There are some corporations that would rather see the whole world burn to the ground, than have a free market.” ~ Thomas E. Woods Jr.

Tom Woods, one of the leading independent voices in the libertarian and Austrian Economics movement today, is both entertaining and uncanny in his ability to convey knowledge. Watch this fantastic talk Woods gave in 2009 that explains why you’ve never heard of the Great Depression of 1921, and how central bank and governmental intervention in the economy inevitably leads to bubbles and busts:

Tom Woods

“If the Tenth Amendment were still taken seriously, most of the federal government’s present activities would not exist. That’s why no one in Washington ever mentions it.” ~ Thomas E. Woods Jr.

Tom Woods

“No supporter of the free market can look at military procurement and the military-industrial complex in any detail… without recoiling in utter disgust.” ~ Thomas E. Woods Jr.


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Follies of Obamacare and Government Medical Care

Thomas Sowell

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” ~ Thomas Sowell

Love the friendly service of the TSA? Can’t get enough of the efficiency of the DMV? Enthralled with the compassion and unmatched results of the Department of Education?

Good, because your healthcare is now in their hands!

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Chief Joseph: “Let me be a free man”

Chief Joseph

“Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.” ~ Chief Joseph

The white man has no right to come here and take our country. We have never accepted any presents from the Government. Neither Lawyer nor any other chief had authority to sell this land. It has always belonged to my people. It came unclouded to them from our fathers, and we will defend this land as long as a drop of Indian blood warms the hearts of our men.


You might as well expect all rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me.


Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.

~ Chief Joseph, Nez Perce; 1879, Lincoln Hall (Washington D.C.)

Of all the atrocities committed by governments through world history, few can compare to the travesty of the treatment of Native American tribes between 1500 and 1900. Within 400 years an entire culture made up of decentralized yet highly coordinated tribes was nearly wiped off the face of the American continent. The displacement, removal, and outright extermination of Native Americans remains one of the deadliest and most vile actions perpetrated by the U.S. government.

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Using Hemp for Building and Insulation


Some of the building and insulation uses of hemp.

Just a few of the products hemp is capable of making. Due to excessive regulations and abstract and inane laws (if not outright prohibition as in the U.S.), countries that have somewhat legalized hemp still heavily limit the amount of hemp that is able to be grown and processed into products such as textiles, building materials, food, and many other items.

In Quebec, which I have had the pleasure of visiting numerous times, hemp is lightly legal but it cannot be grown within a mile of any educational establishment, the hemp leaves have to be burnt twice every year, the government constantly tests the hemp’s THC, and farmers are restricted to growing only certain amounts of hemp. It is no wonder with these frivolous and meaningless regulations that only low capital hemp products are available in the marketplace.

Hemp cannot ever be used as a psychoactive drug, yet in the best circumstances today hemp’s growth is still heavily restricted and needlessly limited by governments around the world. The U.S. federal government (through the DEA) maintains its complete regulatory prohibition of hemp, which has been in place since World War II (when the government released a propaganda film, Hemp for Victory, encouraging Americans to be patriotic and grow hemp to help the government’s war effort).

So long as hemp is hindered by needless regulations, controls, and prohibitions, few (if any) hemp products that require extensive capital and investment will make it to market. Farmers will not take the risk to grow a crop that requires such expensive upkeep due to rigid governmental rules. If farmers accidentally break one of the many arbitrary rules they may lose their farm and even be thrown in prison. To flourish, hemp must be free of intrusive and unnecessary government regulations.

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Jesse Ventura’s Efforts to Promote Hemp

Jesse Ventura

“Industrial hemp is a very useful plant. I challenged the attorney general to get rid of the criminal stigma associated with hemp so we can look at it in terms of how it might be useful.” ~ Jesse Ventura

During his stint as Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura undertook efforts to promote and educate people about hemp. Ventura made an appeal for hemp to President Bill Clinton in this 1999 letter.

Dear President Clinton:

It is no secret that farmers in Minnesota and around the country are looking for creative answers to the farm crisis. Prices for corn, soybeans and other commodities continue to wallow far below break-even levels, and for an alarming number of producers, the financial crunch is devastating. Minnesota farmers pride themselves on their self-sufficiency, and as days go by, more and more of them are looking for new ways to attack the price problem. For many, the idea of growing alternative crops is attractive.

The 1999 Minnesota Legislature passed a law directing the Governor, in consultation with the Commissioners of Agriculture and Economic Development, to prepare an application to the federal government to authorize growing experimental and demonstration plots of industrial hemp. After researching the federal permitting process, we learned that individual producers must apply on their own, and that a state cannot apply for a general permit.

In the next few weeks, my administration will hold a public meeting to talk with interested farmer about the state and federal permitting process required to grow industrial hemp. We are also exploring opportunities to streamline the permitting process. The hope is that experimental plots will one day lead to an exciting economic opportunity for Minnesota farmers to produce this potential alternative crop that once thrived around the world.

Industrial hemp is a hardy crop that was once grown around the world for a wide variety of uses. In America, it was grown during World War II for fiber. Today, industrial hemp products are being sold across the nation, yet few states have actually passed legislation allowing the crop to be raised.

Industrial hemp has a number of uses, ranging from construction materials and cosmetics to papers and textiles. According to a study completed by North Dakota State University’s Institute for Natural Resources and Economic Development, retailer sold $75 million in hemp products in 1997. This figure is estimated to grow to $250 million by next year. Clearly, additional research and development needs to be done with regard to marketing and processing opportunities, but I believe that industrial hemp can become a lucrative alternative for Minnesota farmers.

Our neighbors in Canada are ahead of us in the effort to establish industrial hemp as an alternative crop for farmers. They have already given their producers the opportunity to grow industrial hemp, and I understand their process is working well. Given the success we have seen in Canada and the continuing economic challenges Minnesota farmers face, I am anxious to move forward on the opportunity to grow experimental and demonstration plots of industrial hemp. I look forward to the day when our producers can grow this crop as a profitable alternative to corn, soybeans and wheat. I anticipate that a crop of industrial hemp from Minnesota could be used to fulfill many of the 25,000 documented uses for this crop.

I realize the production of industrial hemp raises concerns in the area of public safety. I have asked the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to work with the DEA to address those concerns directly. However, as we address those concerns we must be careful not to over-regulate or make industrial hemp production prohibitively cost for farmers – otherwise all our efforts could be wasted.

I look forward to working with DEA and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, which regulates the use of controlled substances, to ensure that our producers can grow experimental plots safely and without unnecessarily burdensome regulations. Our producers are looking for economic alternatives, and government should not stand in their way. I hope that by working together in a fair and rational manner, we can create a viable opportunity for industrial hemp production in Minnesota.

Jesse Ventura

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Lysander Spooner: Governments Established Without Consent

Lysander Spooner

“Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.” ~ Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner is a fascinating yet overlooked figure in 19th century United States history. Spooner, a libertarian anarchist, successfully challenged the Post Office’s monopoly on mail delivery by offering superior mail delivery services at a cheaper cost. In addition, Spooner was one of the few staunch abolitionists who supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, while promoting alternative methods to abolish slavery in the southern U.S.

Spooner’s essay, No Treason, is a thought-provoking piece of work that I highly recommend to anyway who is willing to challenge the way they think about politics and government.

Lysander Spooner's American Letter Mail Co.

Lysander Spooner’s American Letter Mail Co.

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Henry Ford’s Hemp Plastic Car (1941)

Henry Ford spent more than a decade researching and building this car whose primary ingredient was hemp plastic. The car weighed 1000 pounds less than a steel car of the same size, yet the exterior body could withstand 10 times the impact. Henry Ford is quoted saying that he one day hopes to “grow automobiles from the soil.” Because of the criminalization of hemp, this car never made it to market.

In my mind, this remains one of the clearest tragedies of hemp’s criminalization. This car, had hemp not been criminalized, would drastically increase the safety and sustainability of the auto industry.

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