You may recall, though you may not have been alive to witness it first-hand, that a while ago there was a controversy over the necessity of physical hygiene and personal grooming. It was a sort of counter-culture movement of very smelly, lazy and generally rebellious individuals known as hippies. It wasn’t a movement in any organized sense, mostly because they were too high on pot to really be cogent. For that and other reasons, nobody tried to stop them; it’s not like a bunch of pacifists are going to cause much trouble.
Long after all the free love and the LSD and the non-violent resistance and been worked out of their systems, the hippies clung to marijuana. They wouldn’t let it go, and the more the government tried to stamp it out, the more the hippies rallied behind it. They became indignant, and wanted to clear marijuana of its befouled name. And so, like little stoned George Washington Carvers, they began discovering new and inventive ways to use all the parts of the hemp plant. Their first attempts were abysmal; horribly scratchy and heavy yarn, which they claimed was infinitely superior to anything made from flax or cotton, better for the environment, more humane than silk or wool, more durable than jute, etc, etc. Nobody cared. Despite this failure, their research continued.
Next came the medical findings, smoking marijuana was better for you than cigarettes, it was a potent analgesic, it cured insomnia and anorexia. With all these data, the hippies were sure they had won their case. They lobbied to make it legal, but gained little more than medicinal marijuana, legal only in a few states.
Unsatisfied with this small victory, the hippies concentrated their efforts in a new direction. They would make hemp pervasive. They created soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, shaving gels and dental floss, all with hemp. Having conquered the toiletries market, they proceeded to include hemp in carpets, area rugs, drapes, tablecloths, towels, and insulation. They figured out how to make hemp into bio-fuel, how to use it to absorb toxic chemicals from the soil, and how to purify our sewage. All this effort, all this money and time spent because they can’t do with hemp the one thing they want to do legally, and that is to smoke it.
So, although I hate hippies, and I don’t agree with their agenda, perhaps we should legalize it, just to get them to shut up about it.