Pennsylvania Green Party Statement on Cannabis/Hemp

The Green Party remains committed to legalized cannabis and hemp. There is no aspect of the failed Drug War more offensive than the lies and propaganda used to continue prohibition of cannabis. The history of human exploitation of the plant for medical, social and industrial purposes is traced thousands of years into that history, through the present. The plant is non-toxic and grows wild on six continents. The Pennsylvania Green Party supports legalized cannabis not only for the reasons outlined below, but also regarding the more fundamental natural rights we believe must be protected. Further, cannabis in its natural form must also be protected from being genetically modified and the exclusive property of agriculture and pharmaceutical companies. We declare the plant to be perfect in its organic or natural state and affirm our commitment to an individual’s right to medicate as he or she chooses, and that interference is a violation of human and natural rights.

Cannabis has proven to be effective and side-effect free relief for numerous illnesses, as well as healthy preventative therapy. Patients can choose various methods of medicating, such as food, tea, oil, inhaled or raw juiced. Therefore, it is essential that Pennsylvanians have access to enough cannabis to effectively receive adequate results regarding health. Cannabis has shown results, or promise in curing various forms of cancer, including breast, bladder, prostate, skin and colon cancer. It has shown to provide relief for chronic pain, MS, HIV, Diabetes and a number of other conditions. Humans are equipped with receptors in the brain and immune system which seek properties contained in cannabis, as do all mammals, affirming the Green Party position of natural rights. Patients have a right to choose their own medicine and therefore medical, organic or natural cannabis must be available.

Hemp, the non-psychoactive form of the cannabis plant, has tens of thousands of industrial applications. Anything that can be done with petroleum, soy, or cotton can be done with hemp, and done much better. Hemp grows without need of herbicide, pesticide or other chemical treatment. It can grow in marginal soil making it perfect for regenerating industrially scarred land. Hemp’s versatility provides economic opportunity consistent with Green Party values of green, local economic development; as opposed to centralized corporate servitude. Hemp is valuable to farmers as a cash crop and is ideal in strategies of erosion prevention. The cannabis/hemp plant is one the world’s most effective in removing CO2 from the air, providing benefit concerning global warming.

Cannabis prohibition pre-dates the Drug War by about 30 years. Initiated just after repeal of alcohol prohibition, its effect has been just as harmful, or worse, than alcohol prohibition. At the beginning of the War on Drugs there were about 300,000 Americans incarcerated in the US. Today that number has grown to nearly 2.5 million. Also, prohibition has fueled organized crime, corrupted police departments and denied tax revenue that would be available with legal, regulated cannabis. The past 20 years have seen an alarming growth in private prisons, which would not be needed if prohibition were repealed. The hypocrisy of legal tobacco and alcohol, which combined result in about 500,000 deaths annually in the US; while criminalizing cannabis, which has never killed anyone due to its non-toxic composition, must be confronted. Prohibition is causing much more harm to our society than cannabis ever could cause.

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