More than Blowing Smoke

Now, I’m not going to try to rationalize the use of drugs – though I can attest from personal experience that marijuana has several therapeutic, recreational, and creative uses – and I would never want to put marijuana in the same class as any other drugs, like cocaine or heroin. Marijuana is a plant. It is a natural, living organism, designed by God, or Nature, or whatever you believe causes life to happen. You can grow it in your own backyard, provided you want to serve the prison time. It can be used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, and an assortment of other ailments that are affecting our culture in more ways than I could possibly name because, frankly, it gets me depressed just thinking about it. Marijuana, cultivated and used with knowledge and responsibility, could help a lot of people for the price of a seed and the patience it takes for it to grow.
I’ll bet the pharmaceutical companies aren’t really pushing for that to happen. If Americans are given back the right to care for themselves, pharmaceutical companies as we know them are going to be out a hell of a lot of money. The people afflicted with those anxiety disorders that they’re currently paying eighty bucks a month to medicate – which only serves to increase the anxiety they are trying to cope with – probably won’t be valued customers anymore. If Americans are given the right to cultivate their own pharmaceuticals, how will these companies make money? How will the government be able to tax us as we strive to make ourselves better on our own?
Yet there are still nay-sayers. There are still those who think Reefer Madness was a documentary. I’ve got news for you. Reefer Madness is to marijuana as Friday the 13th is to summer camp.
Along with marijuana, our country has deemed it necessary to outlaw the cultivation of hemp – the part of the plant that isn’t as fun to smoke. In 1640, the Governor of Connecticut declared that every citizen should cultivate his own hemp. There are currently thousands of possible, environmentally friendly uses for hemp, from clothing to fuel. In California, Woody Harrelson’s driving around in a hemp-powered bus. Yet, for the majority of our country, hemp is illegal. Sure would have been nice if the Exxon Valdez spilled hemp instead of oil. I’m sure the fish would have been a lot happier.

This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. Buy your copy of the eBook on


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