The Thistle Volume 13, Number 2: Sept./Oct., 2000.

Why Itís Illegal to Save the Planet

What if there currently existed a solution to the deforestation problem? What if this solution could save millions of trees, thereby slowing down the destruction of the earthís forests? You would at least want to hear about it, right? What if there were an alternative energy source that could replace oil, an energy source that could be produce by everyone and that wouldnít wreak havoc on the environment? What if the lumber, oil, and chemical companies fought to keep this solution from being implemented? What if government went along with the companies and made this solution illegal? What if the media helped too, serving to demonize this solution so thoroughly in the minds of the public that there was no desire for public discussion? What then?

The members of the Alternative News Collective believe it is a great injustice that hemp remains illegal, when its environmental, medicinal, industrial, economic benefits have been known now for years. The arguements against marijuana are flimsy at best. For example, hemp is often mistaken for marijuana in the media, but the hemp plant is not the marijuana plant; they are the same species, but are distinctly separate strains. One of the crucial differences legislators have failed to grasp is the inability of hemp to be used as a drug. The hemp plant does not have enough THC to get my cat high, yet hemp remains outlawed along with marijuana, despite its many industrial uses. But that is neither here nor there. The Alternative News Collective is for the legalization of both hemp and marijuana. The restrictions upon medicinal marijuana use in some states are foolish and should be lifted.

But isnít marijuana a gateway drug? First marijuana, then LSD, then heroin; itís inevitable, right? And marijuana use leads to a life of crime, right? And isnít marijuana responsible for a lot of deaths? And it makes you dumb as hell too, no?

It is principally to dispel some of these myths and to expose the truth about marijuana (as well as hemp) that we offer the hemp-issue of the Thistle. The uses for industrial hemp are many, in this issue we look at some of the more important uses. In addition, we look at the forces responsible for making hemp illegal. And as we realize that hemp is but a part of the larger issue of corporate globalization, we try to examine the effects of the drug war in other countries. We also include timely articles on the IMF protests in Prague and the shortcomings of the upcoming presidential debates in Boston.

We understand how easy it would be for people to dismiss this publication out-of-hand as another attempt by a bunch of students to legalize pot so they can ďget high.Ē All that we ask is that the you read the entire issue before forming your foregone conclusions. (Please note that we are fully aware of the hypocrisy of publishing our hemp-issue on non-hemp paper)

If there is a single message to be taken from this issue of the Thistle, it is this: DONíT GROW POT!
The government has made it illegal, and that should tell you it is not right. Some people were talking a long time ago and decided marijuana was wrong. And you canít do anything about it. You are incapable of growing pot, and you must understand this if you are to be a good citizen when you grow up. So get all this pot-growing nonsense out of your head. It doesnít matter how easy it is or what the benefits are, DONíT GROW POT. You probably donít even know where to begin.

Instructions on growing pot (for beginners) that youíre not supposed to follow because you not supposed to grow pot:

1. Find seeds anywhere you can: friends, family, cool professors, etc. Mature seeds are dark brown or grey, immature seeds are white.

2. Germinate seeds by putting them in between six continuously moist paper towels. Cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out, and put in a black container to keep out light.

3. Find a space that can be devoted to growing. The space must be able to be both completely dark, and have the ability to keep in light. A closet in your dorm room is ideal. The space should also have some ventilation to keep humidity low. Fans help. Line walls with aluminum foil. The light should be absorbed only by the plants. Again make sure no light leaks as this will attract attention.

4. As soon as the seeds germinate and the root sprouts (from days to a week), transplant to store bought potting soil (Miracle Grow Patio). Sqaure pots work best, but the bottom of 2 liter soda bottles work too. Maintain continous light in this the vegetative period as plants will constantly photosynthesize.

5. Obtain a couple of full spectrum light bulbs to simulate the sunís rays.Every 500 watts of continuous light used is $20 a month, but you donít pay electricity...Temperature should be at about 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Once the plant is large enough to flower switch to a 12 hr light/dark cycle. Male plants are undesirable, they will have a small preflower that looks like a clover with a small stem under it. Discard the male plants. Female plants are the ones you want. They have a white, wispy pistle emerging from the stem just above a leaf.

7. Whenever you think the plant is tall enough, allow to cool and serve.

(courtesy of Mellow Gold website

As a public service announcement, here are the legal ramifications associated with marijuana in Massachusetts:

Possession of any amount:
1st offense: probation.
Subsequent offense: 0 - 6 months; $500. Probation possible.

Cultivation or delivery or sale:
< 50 lbs.: 0 - 2 years; $5,000
>/= 50 lbs.: 2.5 - 15 years; $10,000; 1 year MMS
>/= 100 lbs.: 3 - 15 years MMS; $25,000
>/= 10,000 lbs.: 10 - 15 years; $200,000

Sale to minor: 2.5 - 15 years; $1,000 - $25,000
Sale within 1,000 feet of school: 2.5 - 15 years; $1,000 - $10,000

Manufacture or sale: 1 - 2 years; $500 - $5,000
Sale to minor: 3 - 5 years; $1,000 - $5,000

License suspensions:
Any offense: at least 6 months.
Delivery of any amount: suspended 2 years.
Delivery of over 50 lbs.: suspended 5 years.

(courtesy of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Lawsí website


The Thistle Volume 13, Number 2: Sept./Oct., 2000.