Hemp & the Constitution

Ninth and Tenth amendments prohibit punishment of crimes without victims. The first amendment protects our right to practice any religion, some of which include the use of marijuana. US Constitution Ninth Amendment stipulates: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."   Hemp is a raw material used for at least 10,000 years for making food, clothing, housing, paper and other consumer goods. The U.S. once had laws requiring farmers to grow hemp, and Presidents Washington and Jefferson, among others, would today be sentenced to death for growing their acreage of this rugged and versatile crop. Every President since Franklin Roosevelt, including Bill Clinton in 1994, has listed hemp as an essential strategic material for the national defense. But it is illegal to grow here and all hemp must be imported. Banning hemp suppresses domestic jobs and enterprise in the hemp industries, at an estimated cost of a million jobs and tens of billions of dollars in business. The Drug War deprives patients of medical marijuana, an effective, natural healing agent. The Drug Enforcement Administration forbids health care professionals from administering or even recommending cannabis, even when they know it will help. The US Constitution First Amendment begins the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".   The government has prosecuted every effort to formulate and establish new religions that involve the use of mind expanding drugs. When Drug War zeal even infringed on the Native American Church by forbidding the use of peyote in its ceremonies, Congress created a special, narrow exemption for its practitioners through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but the Supreme Court in 1997 overturned the law. And what about other religions? The Drug War has effectively outlawed traditional cannabis-based religions such as the Rastafari, Coptic Christians, Sufi Moslem, Sadhu Hindu, etc. Members of these churches are singled out and prosecuted for practicing their religions by partaking of their sacraments. Frequently they are targeted for harassment, surveillance and entrapment, and courts routinely exclude any testimony or reference to their religious motives when "the facts" of a case are presented to a jury. Once members of a congregation are convicted felons, as a condition of parole after serving a prison sentence, they are forbidden to associate, congregate or worship together, or even remain in contact. US Constitution Tenth Amendment stipulates: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This amendment states that if a power is not stated in the Constitution, it belongs either to the states or the people. One of the major arguments between those who interpret the Constitution is whether the powers have to be specifically stated or whether they can be implied.