(This was originally posted on August, 2012)
For those of you who don’t think the 1% doesn’t have influence in government, read on!
Many years ago, William Randolph Hearst (Yes, the “fictional” character in “Citizen Kane”) was a wealthy publisher of many newspapers in the United States. To make himself even richer, he bought millions of acres of pulp wood forest, insuring an inexpensive source for all of his newsprint paper and allowing him a virtual monopoly in newsprint paper that he could wield against his competitors.
Then, someone developed a much cheaper and better way to make a better quality of paper out of HEMP. HEMP is a close cousin to marijuana. HEMP and Marijuana both come from the same plant – Cannabis Sativa. It looks like a marijuana plant, but doesn’t have the same potency as marijuana. The difference is in its use. HEMP has a wide variety of purposes, including the manufacture of building material, durable clothing, medicine and nutritional products.
Realizing this threat, Hearst, along with the power of his newspapers, set out to outlaw HEMP, thereby preserving his potential fortune in pulp wood forests. He ran stories on the “evils” of Marijuana all of the time in his papers with a definite slant to the “evils” and the need to ban Marijuana to save America’s youths. He was the main financier of the movie, “Reefer Madness” a hilariously inaccurate depiction of Marijuana addiction and the “evil” that it caused.
Given the amount of money that Hearst put into the effort, of course Marijuana and HEMP were banned and they helped to pass the draconian laws that would put Marijuana users into prison, and the sellers into prison for potentially life sentences. All this over PAPER, and someone who was already rich, but wanted to be even richer.
So thanks to the efforts of a rich man to become even richer, we have the mess that we have today.