While researching this book over the last 33 years, we have talked with and questioned senators, legislators, judges, police, DAs, scientists, historians, Nobel Prize winners, dentists, and MDs. All knew little bits and pieces of the history and uses of cannabis, but virtually no one knew in any depth about marijuana in its 360-degree entirety except long-term medical researchers, such as Ungerlieder, Mikuriya, and writers like Ed Rosenthal, Dean Latimer and Dr. Michael Aldrich.
For example, 24 years ago, at a large California NORML fundraiser in February 1983, we spoke privately with then Senate Majority Whip Tom Rutherford, of New Mexico. He had been a leading pro-marijuana politician for a decade and was, at that time, probably the most knowledgeable elected government representative on the subject of marijuana, in the United States. We asked him why the government didn’t just come out and legalize marijuana, especially with everything we knew medically, industrially and historically about cannabis.
We were shocked when he replied that he was not aware of any argument in favor of the legalization of marijuana, except to just end the lunacy of criminalization for at worst a minor act.
So, we enthusiastically outlined the facts and entire history of hemp/marijuana for him, figuring he must have heard some of it before. He sat literally in awe of the claims he was hearing for the very first time. When we finished speaking, he said, “If I had that knowledge outlined and documented for me as you just told it, the government, police and judicial system would be through persecuting pot.”
“But is it true?” he added.
This was in February 1983 and here were America’s top pro-pot politicians who literally didn’t know enough about hemp to fill a single page of a book, and some left public office in the Reagan “just say no” era before having learned enough to publicly support hemp /marijuana.
But now, many do know hemp is potentially Earth’s number-one crop and that the present laws are totally unjustifiable, and that the government’s position on pot is utterly false and can’t stand the simple light of truth.