History of cannabis questionable

That’s not good science, since data is lacking

History of cannabis questionable

History of cannabis questionable

(Reference your March 31, 2017 issue.)

Art Seger must have great sources of history information, and read them all, to suggest that what he claims was 10,000. years of use of cannabis proves it is not harmful. That’s not good science, since data is lacking — stoned people don’t write history coherently.

It is crucial to recognize use of the “cannabis sativa” plant for fibre – for which it is called “hemp”. And that plants grown for that use may contain very little intoxicating substance, whereas imbibers want plant strains high in the intoxicant.

I doubt Seger’s theory that hemp was banned in the U.S. to protect the cotton industry, since it is a coarser material, very useful for reinforcement and ropes (which the sisal plant competes with, by the way). Rayon is a more likely competitor to cotton; indeed the forestry company Rayonier that once operated in B.C. is named for rayon, which is made from wood fibre — developed by a forestry company on the Olympic peninsula together with a chemical company, before WWII. And nylon was invented in the 1930s. Various conspiracy theories abound, most, if not all, easily discredited. Even where not banned, production decreased due to competition from synthetic fibers.

Hemp was heavily cultivated in the U.S. during World War II, for uniforms, ropes, and such. It has been tried for many things, and is cutesy in some circles today, but it isn’t ideal for everything — with many options today, users will choose the best for their needs.

Note that Canada banned cannabis 14 years before the U.S., for reasons not well recorded.

I’ve no objection to people harming their bodies, because it is their body to kill, as long as they don’t endanger me by stoned driving nor cost me money to deal with the damage they cause to themselves. Washington state has had to deal with driving while intoxicated by cannabis, and there have been cases here. One day in Vancouver 64 people were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of imbibing cannabis.

Something being “legal” does not make it safe for the user or others — witness booze, overuse of OTC medicines, and abuse of prescribed pain killers for example.

Keith Sketchley