With my patronym, which means something like "Hempster," I do have a small, proprietary interest...
Cannabis is a plant that can be grown anywhere, in any climate. This plant has been around as long as humans have existed. This is a naturally grown plant, an organic substance that is patented by the United States. Although patented, it is a plant that can be grown freely and may be difficult to control. Whether this is the primary reason why cannabis is illegal by Federal law is yet to be determined.
Cannabis, or its more common term "marijuana", is truly a mystery plant because there has been little information provided to the general population about this plant and both its medicinal and general purpose uses. We are seeing a trend occur here in the United States towards educating the public on the medicinal value and general purpose uses for cannabis. There are more and more states passing laws for medicinal cannabis. California has the Cannabis Tax, Revenue, & Control Act on the November 2010 ballot as well. Will this plant no longer be known as the "mystery plant"? Only time will tell.
The latest breaking news is about legalizing hemp production. Hemp, cousin to the cannabis plant, has scant levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that gets people "high"). Hemp is what may be termed "industrial hemp" for its general purpose uses and inability to get one "high".
Many people may have heard of hemp. Hemp was used historically in the United States to produce paper, rope, clothing, and food products because the seeds and oil provide excellent nutritional value. The cannabis plant naturally provides essential fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp is a cheaper version of cotton and other products as well since it is cheaper to manufacture and produce. Hemp has been known to be the best source for ethanol. As a matter of fact, hemp farming was a hot topic in the news on May 13, 2010. Senator Ron Paul (R-Texas) speaks on his support for cannabis (hemp) farming and about the Hemp Industry Association's (HIA) sponsoring of Hemp History week, May 17-23, 2010 nationwide as well.
Here is the latest news release on this very topic and a quote by Senator Paul on hemp's history in the United States: "Paul alluded to America's long tradition of growing hemp, saying that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson engaged in such activity and that the Federal government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort during World War II."
The mystery of cannabis is not a mystery to those who are medicinal cannabis users. They are aware of the medicinal value of cannabis and use their medicine to resolve numerous medical conditions rather than using more traditional medications that are costly and have innumerable side effects. Here is a list of known illnesses that may be prevented and/or cured by the use of medicinal cannabis:
Here is another site that provides additional information on the medicinal benefits of cannabis: http://http://www.thecureforcanceraustralia.com/index.php?p=1_5_Medical-Cannabis-Cures
The benefits of cannabis are not a mystery to countless hemp farmers and those who are familiar with the history of hemp in our nation as indicated in the articles from HIA and Senator Paul above.
Although there are countless websites on the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the amazing uses available for hemp, there are still millions of people worldwide that do not know about these benefits and uses. Cannabis is truly the mystery plant for many, but it appears the wave flowing through the nation now is to make this transparent to all of us. It is time for us to be educated on cannabis, "the mystery plant".