Thursday, November 27, 2008

Following The Yellow Brick Road

This month has flown by and what a full one it has been for me on personal levels. First, a friend dying from severe, chronic, alcohol abuse reminds me that marijuana has never been documented to have killed one person, and yet alcohol has killed millions, fact! Yet, we freely pour the liquor in this country and create alcohol dependancy while raking in the revenue. I used to tell my friend Bob, the one in a coma right now, that if he'd just switch to marijuana, he could stay functional and happier. But, "We all have to choose our poisons", he would say, then a quick toast to, "Eat, Drink & Be Merry". It's true, we really do all choose our "poisons". In a sense they're all around us. Even the air we breathe can be poison. By being born, we choose to arrive whole with the agreement that when our body wears out, we leave, and continue our experiences elsewhere. And, throughout time, humanity has looked for ways to ease the pain of life, both physically and emotionally. To seek a spiritual understanding of who we are and what is our place in this mysterious universe. Seekers have used marijuana for spirtual insight and comfort for at least 5,000 years and most likely closer to 10,000 years ago. In it's whole, unadulterated state, it is a "gift of the gods". And yet, here we are, in a modern, intelligent society, keeping bars of repression around the enslaved god out of fear and ignorance.

I am currently visiting relatives in Kansas and Oklahoma for the holiday season. 4 days before leaving for the very long car trip I got some very wierd health news. I have brain lesions consistent with MS, which explains the terrible migraines I've been getting for 8 months, which is why I had the MRI in the first place. I have many of the symtpoms as well and my neurologist is pretty certain we're looking at a form of MS. He said it so casually, as if he says it a hundred times a day. But the MRI is just the first step in diagnosis other than symptoms. Next is a lovely spinal tap the next time I have a bad "flare-up" so for now, we wait until I have more symptoms. But, all of a sudden, the medical marijuana debate gains even more interest for me as I continue my research on all of the many benefits of Cannabis Sativa by using both the male and female plants. It's fascinating to me that creation would choose to gift us with this plant that was useful to humanity in ancient days and knowing its possibilities are still being explored with positive potentials for commercial, medicinal purposes. All of a sudden, each aspect is equally important to me.

The reason we have not approved hemp production is the fear of the lightening of the dark, black line of demarcation that we've erected around this useful plant. I say it's time to erase the line, once and for all.

As I drove through the small Oklahoma and Kansas towns of my youth, my heart felt so heavy for the plight of the old agricultural community. Blackwell, Oklahoma, a place 15 minutes from my hometown of Ponca City, was once an oil boom town, like Ponca City and many of the oklahoma and kansas towns. The land is also good for agricultural purposes so there are many farms. Yet, in those fields are oil derricks that don't move anymore and have fallen into total disrepair. The small towns have become smaller and at a funeral I attended there on Wednesday I learned, many of the people in the area are big hunters out of necessity and they take great pride in hunting for their own meat and saving their families money. They take pride in knowing that their families will never be hungry as long as they can hunt. I gained a new appreciation for the cruel sport.

Wouldn't it be great if these small towns could be revitalized by the growing of hemp? It could be done, and soon. Much sooner than the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana at the state and federal levels.
I've commented on this subject in most of my posts so I won't rehash since I'm a bit tired from all the Tryptophan in the Turkey tonight but there are some great links to the right if you choose to review.

On this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful to the Spirit of America, the enduring spirit that always finds a way to survive and be fruitful and I am thankful for that Spirit that survives within me, aching to break the barriers of illusion so that my country can become one of true civil freedom and opportunity.

The yellow road to Kansas yearns to be lined with green but the silence in the fields reminds, "You're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy". A few windmills both a reminder of early technology and new technology converging . Next to the old, rusted ones, that sit next to an old turn of the century barn , now sit for those that can afford it, a new, shiny, quiet wind turbine, selling energy back to the local electric co-op.

The new energy economy is waiting here, and there, and everywhere! But it will require we re-examine everything we think we know. Maybe with the new energy and infrastructure will come the common sense that we left at the church door of our ancestors and we"ll dare to breach the traditions that keep us enslaved to ourselves.

I am thankful for that vision.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Political Inspiration

Well, we have finally made it to "D-Day". Election day is here and what a whirlwind it has been. For the first time in American history, a black man could become president of this United States. And, not only is he a black man, but a liberally minded black man at that! Is this really the same America?! Some thought it would never happen but here we are and the future is looking bright. For those of us that support hemp legislation and marijuana legalization, we can't help but wonder if this new wave in American politics might be indicative of the possibilities that still await recognition and understanding by the American people and its leaders. Many democrats have supported hemp and marijuana decriminalization efforts in recent years, even a few conservatives, like Ron Paul. And we may have a democratic dominant house and senate in the very near future. So, what does this mean to the pro-hemp agenda? Well, it means that if people will collectively, and loudly voice their desires to see the changes we need in the hemp/marijuana debate, that we just might accomplish this. However, anybody waiting for a politician to risk their reputation or a possible re-election might be seriously disappointed unless the voice of the mass collective demands it from them.
The call for change will continue but we must demand the change that we seek!
Over 20 million americans smoke marijuana on a regular basis, and we are sending atleast $150 million per year to Canada to produce our Hemp for us while American farmers are living in poverty, and foreclosing on valuable, fertile land.
The big buzz word this election campaign has been "Energy Independance" and everyone, both conservative and liberal agree that this must be a top goal of the American machine.
Hemp offers us the energy independance we seek!
We don't have time to keep waiting for change. It's time for us to become politically active about all of the changes we seek as Americans, the time is now!
I hope that everyone will feel inspired enough by this current election to continue being active and that we will no longer sit around waiting for change to happen.
Last night I attended a Tennessee NORML rally here in Nashville. Though it was slightly unorganized and there were only a small handful of people attending, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if that small handful of people felt inspired enough to help create the changes they seek? What could it mean for the state of Tennessee and the entire country?
We've all seen what a grassroots movement is capable of accomplishing. We are watching it unfold right now.
As I said in a previous post, we are sitting collectively on a precipace of great change and the wind is blowing our direction if only we will work to create the needed changes that will move America into the future.
I encourage everyone to start working on the local/regional level. Contact your congressmen/women. Write your senators. Attend rally's, talk about it with your friends, family and co-workers and help remove the stigmas that remain and prevent us from moving forward. Donate to organizations like the Marijuana Policy Project ( , Vote Hemp ( and NORML ( and keep the momentum going.
Read-up on the issues and stay informed. And, show that the demand for hemp products is high, by purchasing hemp products.
I believe that soon, we could watch our farm lands become "fields of green". North Dakota will be one of the first, if the federal government doesn't over-ride the State's decision. Make sure they don't, by becoming politically active as an individual and joining the collective voice of reason. The time is now and for the first time in years, I truly believe that, "Yes, We Can!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Moving America Into The Future

I think one of the major reasons there is resistance to the idea of a Hemp Economy is because many fear that once we legalize Hemp, we won’t be able to make the clear distinction between hemp or marijuana and that the Fields of Green will be flowing with both industrial hemp AND medicinal or recreational marijuana, and if that happens, how do we regulate THAT?!
Regulation is the key word here. In a time when “regulation” is a dirty word, (because regulation means Big Government and people are tired of Big Government, or we like to say we are), most of us would like to see a national healthcare system that requires a Big Government solution. Are we on the edge of a socialistic system that once initiated, becomes a monster at our door, or are we redefining our definitions of socialism in a need for fair and balanced government that cares for the needs of the general population? I wonder if we are beginning to accept the idea that WE ARE the Government. We ARE the people that elect the leaders that listen to our input and enact laws. Many are jaded however, feeling that their ideas have not been represented fairly.
It’s ironic that in the name of taxation and regulation, Hemp farming became a part of America’s past after WWII. The Tax Stamp Act of 1937 was a way of controlling the marijuana industry, a perceived threat to our country since black musicians and Mexican immigrant users were among the most well-known users.

Yes, race played a big role in the stigma of marijuana. And, if we can’t tell the difference between the two plants how can we control them? So, we threw out the baby with the bathwater so to speak and cut off our nose to spite our face.
So why is it that Marijuana has this stigma as an “evil drug”, even though the scientific research that’s been completed on both sides of the debate have never been able to prove that marijuana is a harmful drug? Even with billions on research, nobody has been able to prove that marijuana smoking causes disease, although both tobacco and alcohol have been PROVEN to cause death and disease. But still the Drug War continues with marijuana at the top of the list, classified as a schedule 1 drug for political reasons, not scientific or reasonable ones.
Former president Bill Clinton was on television the other day while giving a live speech in Florida in support of Barack Obama. With his usual passionate style he told voters that it was time to, “Move America into the future!” I couldn’t agree more Mr. President. Yet, I can’t help but remember that even though you didn’t “inhale”; your administration put more money into the drug war and was responsible for more marijuana arrests than any administration since the drug war began over 70 years ago. A shocking bit of information for me because I thought you insinuated that marijuana should be decriminalized in your famous MTV interview at the END of your second term. Oh I know , you had to choose a conservative to lead up the “Drug War” on your term as a political compromise, what with all the other conflicts you were undergoing. Let’s hope your democratic predecessor has bigger cahones! It’s a risky move for any politician to take but with out-spoken leaders like Barney Frank (D) , Ted Kennedy (D) and Ron Paul (R), I still have “Hope” and isn’t that what inspires our need for change?

The most current statistics of 2007 show that this country’s legal arm makes nearly 900,000 marijuana arrests per year! The numbers of arrests go up each year. That’s approximately 2,390 Americans arrested each day for marijuana, most of which are for simple possession. By October 10, police will arrest the 20,000,000 th victim of marijuana prohibition.
It is time for America to “Move into the future!” because “We are the Change we seek!”
With the new political spirit that seems to have grown in intensity during this current election year, I hope you will take an active role in letting your leaders in congress, senators and presidential candidates know how you feel about Hemp and Marijuana as needless victims of the War on Drugs.
Below is a list of my favorite websites. Please check them out and consider becoming a voice of reason in this time of change.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fields of Green

Records show that humanity has been cultivating marijuana for at least 8,000 years. Most archaeologists agree that the cultivation of the plant probably began in China and spread throughout Asia and into Africa where it moved to South America and up to North America. Evidence has also been found in Southern Russia of marijuana’s cultivation going back to 700 B.C. The Russians were master rope makers and sold hemp products throughout Europe. They also became leaders in early commerce because of their softer hemp fabrics and ropes which made it easier for Italy and England to rule the European seas.
Humans have cultivated Hemp for clothing for at least 2,400 years. Fabric from Hemp predates even cotton. Hemp fibers were the first to clothe humanity in a natural progression from animal skins to fibers grown from the earth.
Paper was soon to follow. For hundreds of years scribes wrote on stone, wood, bamboo, silk or parchment. Records reveal that hemp paper initially appeared around the first century B.C. in China. Hemp fibers were mixed with mulberry tree bark, made into a paste and then spread into molds to dry. The technique remained a secret for hundreds of years but was then discovered by Japan and eventually the Arab world caught on too.1 Hemp paper remained the paper of choice for Europe and the New World for hundreds of years, until the 19th century introduction of the chemical wood pulping process lowered the demand for hemp. Our forefathers drew up the famous Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp and this document survives today.

It was discovered early on that food could be made from the seeds. Natives of India report that hemp remains the favorite food of Shiva. A special beverage called, “Bhang” is a mixture of marijuana with other herbs and spices. It has been called the drink of the Gods. “Bhang” continues to be a popular drink amongst many Indians today.
Because Hemp seed is high in essential fatty acids, including Omega 3’s, many food products in the natural foods market include Hemp seed or hemp seed oil within the supplements and food products sold. Make-up, shampoo, lotion and other personal care products can be manufactured from Hemp. Bird seed is also a popular item made available commercially. However, because Hemp can’t be grown in the U.S., these product ingredients are grown in Canada and then sold to us for use. Our government has even been known to harass individual citizens who have ordered non-psychoactive hemp seeds from Canada to use for their pets, health or food recipes thanks to an ongoing multi-billion dollar “Drug War” that focuses on eradicating marijuana use as a top concern at the expense of the American tax payer.
Canada is a leader in hemp production and though it’s good to have a friendly neighbor to do trade with, their multi-million dollar hemp industry is costing Americans. Because of our southern state climates and the Mediterranean climate of the West coast, American farmers could be growing hemp year round as an annual crop that requires much less water and fertilizer than both corn and cotton, making it both an economically feasible crop as well as a profitable crop.
By the way, estimates show that Marijuana already is the number one cash crop in the u.s. and it's not taxed. A great profit for some.

The buzz word of American politics right now is, “Energy Independence” and as John McCain said in his first prime time debate last night with Senator Obama, “Everyone is for alternative energy NOW!.” I can remember when this was not the case, and it was not very long ago. I am happy to see that everyone agrees that it is time to become more energy independent and that we are willing to consider alternatives but this will involve thinking outside of the comfortable box of complacency and supervised knowledge.

The current global market for hemp derived products is valued between $100 Million and $200 Million annually. Add the decriminalization of marijuana for personal and medical use and the reasonable taxation of sales and profits, preparation of hemp bio-fuels for use within the fuel infrastructure, including possible exports, and we could “Bail Out” our current economic and political system from further decline. Now that's Independence! We possess the resources to make hemp the number one cash crop in the U.S. Yet, out of fear and ignorance we limit American farmers, retailers and all investors in our economy.
I have a day dream each time I drive past farm land long vacant with “for sale” signs, up sometimes for years, in hopes of a future subdivision or shopping mall venture. Some hit it lucky and become millionaires overnight. Others work the land they’ve purchased or inherited only to find themselves further in debt just to be able to work the land. With the acceptance of hemp and marijuana as cash crops, we can reignite the land and its people. We can save billions each year in the un-necessary prosecution of marijuana “offenders”, (an estimated 700,000 Americans per year), and put the focus back on individual rights and freedoms, leading the way to reason and eliminating the black market and the assorted crimes that come with that market.

I see fields of green as far as the mind can imagine. When I grew up in Oklahoma I used to love the fall wheat fields that would sway like ocean waves across a large field of golden wheat. It’s one of the few things I loved about that landscape but the beauty made an indelible impression on my psyche, as well as the sounds of oil wells right in the middle of those wheat fields, clicking and squeaking throughout the day and night with a rhythmic sound that I’ve often missed at night as an adult. It was my “white noise” as a child, lying in the middle of the dark country night. Now I have the click of the ceiling fan.
It is my dream, within this lifetime, to see fields of hemp, swaying effortlessly in a sea of green. To see open commerce and renewable fuel productions escalate as we become a prosperous and reasonable nation, free of our obsession with foreign oil and the politics that involves. Hemp growing can be “Green” in so many ways, and not just the cash either. A “Green Economy” is the wave of the future, will you be a part of that future? Whether you are willing now or not, you will be involved.

There are many streams of thought and statistics I could insert right now but I have chosen to use this site as a place of introduction though I have begun preparing a website at that can be accessed for more in depth research as I gather my material and complete my book, Marijuana: Green God , “The American Revolution of a Culture Icon.” I will make an announcement when the site is available.

For blog purposes, this is but a hint at the information that is available. A few simple google searches and anybody can become educated about the possibilities of hemp production, medical & recreational marijuana etc. There are some dedicated individuals out there that have been fighting this fight a very long time.
Much of what I will be sharing is nothing new. The Hemp Revolution has been occurring for thousands of years and for us as a nation, since the inception of the first colonists onto a land whose keeper, the American Indian, had been using the sacred plant for generations. The “Revolution” continues as the human evolution continues with cycles of birth and rebirth, death and regeneration. This amazing plant calls to all who are willing to listen. We sit at a precipice in this cycle of regeneration. Do we fall or greet the dawning of a new age in reason where knowledge is power?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Hemp-Rich America

It's an unprecedented and interesting time in this country we call home, "Land of the Free".
Along with un-necessary war debt that reaches 10 Billion per month, environmental disasters both natural and man-made, and a political system that is out of date and in control of a failing economy, "The Big Bail-Out" could prove to make us even more dependant on a system that is not working and some say this financial crisis could lead to the biggest "Great Depression" this country has ever seen. But many of us have "Hope" and are ready for "Change" this election season and we all seem to be holding our breaths, if ever so slightly, as we wonder HOW we are going to make the changes that are going to renew America's strength within and abroad.
CNN pundit Glenn Beck said tonight that this is "The Perfect Storm" that we've all feared, with our self-fulfilling prophecy's seemingly manifesting right before our eyes.

Here in "Nash Vegas", as we like to call our big-little city of Nashville, TN, we've just experienced our first official "Gas Crisis". Liken to the chaos of California in the 1970's, 80% of our gas stations were out of gas last week. IF you were lucky enough to find a place that had gasoline available you found your self stuck in a long line that took and hour or even 2 to get through. Gas prices rose minute by minute and in a matter of a few days, it went from $3.70/gal to an avergage of $4.19. One location, the only station with gas in a long stretch on a very busy road couldn't resist a price gauge at $4.59/gal. Apparently Hurricane Ike damaged oil lines as well as halted production. One story on the local news informed us that it was the stations themselves opting not to purchase the gas that was available. I'm still not sure what this is about but they say the crunch should be over by Friday, tomorrow.

As I've driven around Nashville lately and enjoyed the cooler mornings and evenings as Summer wanes and Fall prepares the regions hills with hints of color-change in the rich, green landscape that looks emerald with its lush variety of vegetation, I can't help but imagine the fields waving with tall hemp plants as high or higher than corn. The farmers here had it really tough last year. Because of the drought, the Corn fields that everyone planted due to the high demand for corn- based products, including ethanol, dried up and looked worthless.
This year's wet summer has been better for the crops and corn is king again. But, what if farmers could choose to grow Hemp or Marijuana alongside their corn crop and the Hemp needed less water and fertilizer? Could they still make a profit in a year where the corn dried up too early? I say they can. I would love to hear from farmers by the way.

I can't help but wonder, what if Tennessee farmers and those in other American States were allowed to choose Hemp as a legal crop that could be sold for biofuel? Because of the large number of other uses for Hemp, could American farmers begin seeing better returns on their yields? Research says they can produce 10-15 barrels of oil from one acre of hemp. What if at my local gas station, there was a pump labeled "Hemp Bio-Fuel" so that if (or before) we were having a gasoline shortage, we could convert our automobiles with a slight modification to accept bio-fuels, and at a much cheaper cost than gasoline? The answers to these questions might surprise you and the research and innovation is available to provide us the answers to the problems we face as a nation and as a society.

In my working-title book, "Marijuana: Green God" (The American Revolution of a Culture Icon), I am laying out the answers to many of the dilemmas this country faces as well as raising new questions while re-examining the past.

I have chosen today to begin this blog because I feel that there is so much happening right now in our country with its calls for change, and it is my hope that this work will begin a new dialog between all of us about the potential benefits that Cannabis Sativa offers and has offered us for thousands of years. With this new dialog, I hope that we can be bold enough to consider re-examining our prejudices and lack of full disclosure in regard to this mysterious "Green God" .

In the future I will begin posting sample chapters of my book and essays.
Much of the book reflects a psycho-spiritual and psycho-social theme as we explore marijuana's influences individually and collectively. The goal of this information is to educate and to lift the demonization myth of a truly powerful plant that has the potential of creating a new American spirit of cooperation and allowance.

I look forward to this dialog and hope you will feel free to offer your comments and feedback as we go along.

Kim West