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By “Thomas Paine”
Hello All Californians.
Sadly, I was never able to your beautiful state in my Earthly lifetime, to my great regret. But you may recall I wrote the book — Common Sense — that sparked the Revolution that made you free.
And I authored the Age of Reason, which had some things to say about the ability of human beings to make rational decisions about their fate.
In that spirit, I have been contacted by my old friend George Washington. Among other things George asked me to write “Winter Soldier,” which helped inspire our troops to continue the fight against the King.
As you all know, we won that one. Big Time.
Now it’s time you exercise the freedom we won you.
George wants me to transcribe our most recent conversation about the Proposition 19 referendum on legalizing smoking hemp, or what you now call “marijuana.”
I must tell you that George, Ben, Tom, Jaimy Madison — all of us! — have greeted with disbelief the news that this crop is somehow illegal. I did all my best writing on paper made from hemp, often while under the influence of the vapors I derived from smoking it.
I will leave it at that for now, as George has asked to be heard:
A MESSAGE FROM THE FATHER OF YOUR COUNTRY:
What a lovely name. I only wish I had seen your countryside in my lifetime.
I am talking to you through Tom Paine to say that it is time to end this silly ban on smoking hemp, or, as you now call it for some reason, marijuana.
In my lifetime, there was no plant for which I had a greater fondness. It was the easiest to grow of all my crops, and the most profitable. We used it for clothing, rope, sails, textiles, feed, food, fuel and much more.
Certainly there was no crop for which our brave American farmers had greater enthusiasm. It was the number one cash crop on virtually all farms in America, and probably the top money earner for all the states taken together.
My good friend Tom Jefferson vastly preferred it to tobacco, or to any other crop he grew. He wrote his wonderful Declaration on paper made from it. Ben Franklin built an entire mill that used hemp as its primary stock.
And though we wrote about it rarely, we all enjoyed smoking a good pipeful at the end of the day. Knowledge of this came to us through the Greeks and Romans, and before that the Chinese and Indians, whose seeds I greatly treasured, and widely recommended. Of course our friends among the native tribes often provided us with the very best of their smoking matter.
Though it is somewhat difficult to retain decorum about this issue, I must tell you that if anyone had walked into our Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and told us that someday, in this great nation we were founding, citizens would be put in jail for possessing this great herb, we would have laughed them out of the room. Now that I see what is being done to innocent citizens who raise and smoke this herb as we did, I am tempted to demand that the authorities responsible for this foolishness THEMSELVES be incarcerated.
So as the Father of Our Country, I ORDER you to vote for Proposition 19.
I realize, of course, that I am no longer Commander in Chief, or even your president, and our great nation is a democracy. So you are free to do as you choose, and I have said this to get your attention.
But how do you think we survived at Morristown and Valley Forge? Under what other influence could I have dared to dream of crossing the Delaware in the dead of winter to surprise the Hessians at Trenton.
I have said enough. I merely wish to remind you that EVERY Founder who had land grew hemp. EVERY drafter of the Constitution, when asked, would wonder how on Earth it ever became illegal.
Your children and grandchildren will someday ask the same. I left this planet knowing future generations would revere us for the wisdom and bravery to stand for what was natural and right.
As a Founder, I expect all Americans to exhibit the same Common Sense. Vote Yes on Proposition 19 and begin the restoration of sanity to this great nation.
May God Bless the United States of America.
PASSIONS OF THE POTSMOKING PRESIDENTS by “Thomas Paine” is at www.harveywasserman.com, along with the infamous PotsmokingPatriots t-shirts.