Marc Emery is a Modern Thomas Jefferson
America's Founding Fathers used cannabis for many practical, everyday things, and to get high. If they could see us now, sending former cannabis seed retailer Marc Emery to rot in the godforsaken gulag of America, the world's largest jailer, they would be spinning in their graves so fast that we could solve climate change by generating energy from the spinning corpses of America's Founding Fathers.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce were early American presidents and cannabis users, according to Dr. Burke, president of the American Historical Reference Society and a consultant for the Smithsonian Institute.
According to MarijuanaLibrary.org, "Hemp farmer Thomas Jefferson and paper maker Ben Franklin were ambassadors to France during the initial surge of the hashish vogue. Their celebrity status and progressive revolutionary image afforded them ample opportunities to try new experiences. Jefferson smuggled Chinese hemp seeds to America and is credited with the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." " Thomas Jefferson and George Washington used to exchange gifts of hemp smoking blends.
The Chinese valued their cannabis genetics so much that it was a capital offense to smuggle hemp seeds out of the country. Should Thomas Jefferson have been executed by the Chinese for smuggling the hemp seeds that were so essential to many aspects of early American everyday life? Should Marc Emery be jailed because he was fundraising for the legalization movement?
Here are some pro-cannabis and anti-prohibition quotes by some of America's most influential historical and contemporary figures.
"Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!"
- George Washington, U.S. President, in a note to his gardener at Mount Vernon
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." - Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President
“Some of my finest hours have been spent on the back of my veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as the eye can see.” - Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President
"We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption." - John Adams, U.S. President
"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." -Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President, from a letter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the Hohner Harmonica Company in Germany
"Prohibition... goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded" -Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President
"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marihuana in private for personal use... Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marihuana." - Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
"I inhaled frequently. That was the point." - Barack Obama, U.S. President
"The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our nation's marijuana laws." -Barack Obama, U.S. President
"The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world." - Carl Sagan, renown scientist, astronomer, astrochemist, author and TV host
"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?" - Henry Ford, whose first Model-T car was constructed from hemp fibers and built to run on hemp gasoline
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." - Albert Einstein, famous theoretical physicist
“Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” William F. Buckley, Jr., prominent conservative, author, commentator and TV personality
"That is not a drug. It's a leaf." - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
Feel free to post more pro-cannabis quotes or criticism in the comments section.