By John E. Dvorak

I liken cannabis hemp prohibition to a tree. The tree is immensely huge and has many branches. Its roots run deep through America's Psyche. The prohibition tree stands as a monument to America's zero tolerance approach to a plant that has numerous industrial and therapeutic applications. The prohibition tree, which was seeded with malice, prejudice, contempt, and greed, is watered with the blood of the 10 million Americans who have been arrested for marijuana related offenses. It is fertilized with petrochemicals that poison the land, sea, and air. It casts shade on the fat cats who profit from property forfeitures and prison slave labor.

We must fell the tree of cannabis hemp prohibition, but how?

Go out on a limb for cannabis hemp, and jump up and down. As more people climb out on the limb, the collective weight will cause it to break. We have to do it together. The prohibition tree is America's Iron Curtain. Just as Germany was reunited when the Berlin Wall suddenly fell, America's non-violent drug offenders stand to be reunited with their families when the prohibition tree falls. Climbing out on the limb as an advocate of cannabis hemp is similar to a homosexual "coming out of the closet." Great risks are involved, as the first people to speak up are more likely to be the first people to be put down. However, for people who care about true freedom, the benefits of staying silent are outweighed by the possibility of bringing about real, positive change. Unfortunately, of the millions of Americans who think that cannabis hemp should not be prohibited, only a tiny percentage have ventured onto the limb. Actions as simple as purchasing hemp products is a good way to go out on the limb without personal risk. Try to find a way where you can support the movement and get out there on a limb or two.

Every lie that we expose strips another leaf off of the prohibition tree. Authorities in other countries CAN tell the difference between industrial hemp and smokable marijuana. Marijuana DOES have numerous therapeutic benefits. Medical research HAS been performed. Marijuana is NOT a gateway drug. In this context, the book, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts by Lynn Zimmer and Dr. John Morgan, has the defoliant impact of Agent Orange. Once we lay it bare, the tree will cease to grow. Cannabis prohibition is in the Autumn of its life.

Another approach is the chainsaw method where limbs (and perhaps the entire tree) are decisively cut off. In Canada, Chris Clay and others are filing Constitutional challenges that may permanently splinter cannabis prohibition. Take your proverbial chainsaw to court and let 'er rip!

Bark about prohibition! Demand to be heard. Contact publications and the news media and inform them why cannabis prohibition is wrong. Ask your political representatives where their compassion is for America's farmers, patients, and non-violent drug offenders. Let's "tree" moralistic mongrels like Slick Willy Jism Jefferson Clinton and Drug Czar Fubar Barry McCaffrey before they can do any more damage.

The cannabis hemp movement is moving forward. Make no mistake about that. 1997 saw tremendous advances in every "branch" of the reform movement. Hemp cultivation around the world is increasing and newer, more innovative products are constantly being developed. Hemp symposia and conferences are occurring at a frenzied pace as farmers, scientists, manufacturers, and retailers share information about cannabis hemp. On the medical front, doctors, patients, legislators, and activists are demanding that suffering people be allowed access to a proven remedy for numerous ailments. While people like Dennis Peron and Dr. Lester Grinspoon have been out on the limb for years, they can not do the entire job. They need your assistance. Groups, such as Mass Cann/NORML, are holding the largest anti-prohibition rallies ever held. However, a vast majority of rally attendees leave the event with no inclination to take another step out on the limb.

I'm going to go out on a limb now. I predict that 1998 will see a significant increase in the number of people who dare to join us in our fight. There IS power in numbers. 1998 will be the year that "TIMBER" is heard around the world!