Andy Caldwell, executive director of COLAB, has had a laudable career for nearly 30 years as the thoughtful and informed voice for the interests of the coalition he serves. However, Mr. Caldwell apparently holds an exclusionary view toward the agricultural business of cannabis, a business that is poised to bring numerous benefits to society after its politically motivated banishment from our culture for nearly a century.
Andy describes cannabis as the “Devil’s Weed.” This is a myopic view of a plant that has a record, going back over 8,000 years, of serving humanity with food, high-grade fiber and medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control states that alcohol-related deaths were nearly 60,000 in 2017. No deaths were cited as being attributable to cannabis.
The study of the health effects and benefits of cannabis is soaring worldwide. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were recently granted $9 million for such research.
Remaining prejudices against cannabis were born of the political campaign to stamp out the hemp (industrial cannabis) industry that competed with other more politically powerful industry interests. The flatly untrue “Reefer Madness”media campaign of the 1930s was developed to further that agenda. And it still influences the uninformed public perception of the cannabis plant today. Calling it the “Devil’s Weed” only exacerbates the ill-founded misconceptions about one of the most valuable plants ever known.