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Jan-06-2010 02:13printcommentsVideo

Bradbury Backs Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana

False facts offered to Americans in the first half of the 20th Century were accepted by an otherwise ignorant public, and guided by an industrial desire to rid the United States of the strongest natural fiber known to man.

Bill Bradbury
Bill Bradbury
Photo and video of Bradbury by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - We left messages with John Kitzhaber's campaign for Governor, to ask what his position on medical marijuana is, especially now that the state has passed laws in support of it. The answer? No answer, no reply. It seems the Kitz might see this issue as a hot potato, though it seems a bit late for that.

Former Gov. Kitzhaber will face longtime Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in the next Oregon Democratic Gubernatorial primary, and this equally familiar face in Oregon politics didn't flinch when asked about his position on both Oregon industrial hemp, and medical marijuana.

Changing Laws

For those who don't know, Oregon farmers will soon be able to grow industrial hemp, thanks to recent changes in state law. Hemp was a huge agricultural product in the United States until the late 1930's when the "Marihuana Tax Act" was signed into law.

There's a long and tangled story that goes with all of this. Marijuana was demonized and driven into illegality by a series of public statements by a U.S. politician named Harry Anslinger, who told Americans marijuana was the absolute worst thing in the world, worse than heroin.

Information not terribly different from that is still being preached today by lecturing police, drug counselors and even judges. These people have simply never looked up the facts, or they don't mention them because they are making money from the drug laws and court mandates for treatment.

The false facts offered to Americans in the first half of the 20th Century were accepted by an otherwise ignorant public, and guided by an industrial desire to rid the United States of the strongest natural fiber known to man.

Eleven minute version of Hemp for Victory from 1942

Looking back to the 1920's and 1930's, one of hemp's first rival products was rope. Dupont developed synthetic rope, created in heavy emission factories, and was able to make endless millions if hemp could be taken off the market.

The strangest story of all when it comes to all of this, is how one of the Drug War's Fathers, Pres. George H.W. Bush, literally had his life saved by the cannabis plant.

After WWII began, the U.S. government found itself in sad shape; seems that Dupont synthetic rope wasn't good enough to support parachute operations. So, in an effort to quickly revive the hemp/marijuana industry, Uncle Sam bankrolled a movie called "Hemp for Victory" which was widely distributed across America, particularly in rural areas where farming was prevalent.

When former Pres. Bush was shot down in his Navy dive bomber during WWII he had to bail out, and cannabis/hemp parachute ropes allowed this man a chance to live, and to go on to eventually become the Director of the CIA and the President of the United States.

Based on what we know, from our mentor, Salem-News.com writer Dr. Phil Leveque who is one of the world's most renowned experts on the medical applications of marijuana, to the endless flow of research and stories and news contacts all over the world, we have reached the firm belief that this natural herb is extremely useful in numerous ways. It doesn't exactly seem like rocket science.

The world's leading authority on the story of marijuana in the U.S. is Author Jack Herer, who is recovering from an illness at this time in an Oregon care center. Herer wrote the definitive history of the plant in the book, The "Emperor Wears No Clothes".

I know I still haven't told you what Bradbury thinks about cannabis, I considered literally saving it for the video, but since you read this far I won't make you wait. Bradbury is completely behind both industrial hemp and medical marijuana. At last count, Kitzhaber was not. In fact, as governor, he was clearly behind amping up the penalties against Oregonians over marijuana violations.

I have had personal interactions with John Kitzhaber, he is a medical doctor and a cowboy and he is very hard not to like. I have no doubt that he is a man of the highest integrity and character, but he may be set against the wishes of Oregonians when it comes to the legal use of marijuana, and that is likely to draw little support in this state.

Bradbury is a very dignified person and we have been around him at different times over the years also, for interviews and that sort of thing. I could not like him more. So, since our calls from Kitzhaber's office were never returned, and we were clear about what we were calling for, we have to assume that his position toward this plant has not changed.

Finally, for the sake of clarity, the term cannabis represents this plant best. When it is cultivated for medical use it is considered marijuana, and the desirable part is the flower or bud. Industrial use requires a hearty strain that does not flower. This is in the same family, but it has a very low THC count, which means it doesn't get a person very high, if it does at all.

This type of hemp already grows wild all over the United States, particularly in the Midwest. If you ever take a train from the Bay area of California, to Chicago, you will see a ton of it alongside the tracks. It was the state of Kentucky's number one industry until it was outlawed, there are still state historical monuments there related to it.

The actual U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper, and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers. It is amazing that it was ever outlawed, as the plant has so many uses, up to and including cancer treatment. Of course the DEA still says they will go after anybody and everybody for marijuana violations because it still violates archaic federal law.

Ironically, Oregon cops still prowl the highways and spend millions of our tax dollars jailing people over it. They still harass suspected users and they still receive heavy influence from federal agents who are on the record about not liking state laws or being willing to ever consider or enforce Oregon or California state laws.

I commend former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in his willingness to openly confront hot button issues, and not duck out and fail to even have a subordinate return a phone call. I suspect the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who are tired of the failed war on drugs and mindless jailing of people over marijuana, will toss their votes Bill Bradbury's way during the next election.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Al Marnelli January 7, 2010 1:17 pm (Pacific time)

As a native Oregonian that has been following state and local politics for many decades now, I am always hopeful that good candidates will come forward. So far I have not seen much in the way of any candidate for governor offering much beyond status quo, though was happy to see Sec. Bradbury offering opinions on some difficult issues. Will he have that as a platform plank, only time will tell. In terms of the discussion on global warming/climate change , no doubt this has become an issue that is cooling off, pun intended. In November, a whistleblower or hacker released emails and other documents stored on computers at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The emails show a deliberate effort to falsify data and suppress academic debate in order to exaggerate the possible threat of man-made global warming. Because the emails were written by leading scientists who edit and control the content of the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "Climategate" has caused the scientific case for global warming to come crashing down. On December 20 another collapse occurred — this one in Copenhagen, where representatives from more than 200 countries met but could not agree on a treaty to replace the Kyoto agreement, which expires in 2012. That same day, the Wall Street Journal reported that “White House officials … agree [with Sen. James Inhofe that] a cap and trade bill will not pass the Senate next year.” So is the great global warming delusion over? It should be noted that for several years the artic ice sheet, much of which melts during the summer, has been re-freezing in record time over the last several years. Polar bears have also increased in numbers since the 1950's. Sure it gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer, but the trend on a global level is cooler. Ersun, excellent observations in your below post.


Jeff Kaye~ January 7, 2010 10:34 am (Pacific time)

I think Jim got us a little off-topic with his global warming thesis tangent. The relevant issue here, regarding upcoming Oregon gubernatorial election, is who has the majority of Oregonians' interests, health, welfare and safety in mind, and at heart. While the two-time ex gov. Kitzhaber obviously has backing of unions and other political blocs, he avoids the issue at hand, which is actually manifold issues with ties to everything on Earth; cannabis/hemp issues can and will affect Oregon's overall economic and ecological health (hemp fiber and seed industries have the potenttial to create more "green" jobs than there are jobless) as well as the physical health of its residents in need of non-toxic alternatives to harsh narcotic prescription medications. Not to mention the fact that cannabis is already becoming the nation's #1 cash crop with all its revenues going untaxed and underground. Bill Bradbury doesn't shy away from these issues, and neither should we. I found an informative free book on the web for those interested in more information on this topic;

http://www.hempnowbook.com/index.html

Very informative read, with a few surprising facts about the most versatile plant on Earth and how and why it became illegal in the USA.


Hank Ruark January 7, 2010 9:53 am (Pacific time)

Friend Ersun: You wrote:"Ultimately, the best candidate is not the one who supports this or that issue, but the one who demonstrates the capacity for judgment that will allow them to do what is best on the vast array of subjects that they must face during their term in office." Surely agree comprehensively with your clear statement -- but must still point out that your strong approach must still depend upon individual judgments of major and complex characteristics involved. Which is precisely where continued good-faith dialog, if needed even adding relevant documentation from notables with special experience and training,facilites and time, not to mention professional motivation and its ethical guidance, comes into essential play. To deny that inevitable fact is to defy and defeat the very essence of cogitation, itself built on the foundation of learning from all possible pertinent sources, always the subject of search and then of close, careful, continued application. I.e, for most of issues, problems and even partial solution for 21st Century, of skilled analysis by determined reporter(s) at many levels,all seeking every possible entry into the complexities always, today more than ever, present and powerful.


Ersun Warncke January 7, 2010 5:45 am (Pacific time)

A few notes on this climate change discussion: Al Gore does not have a global warming thesis. The scientific community has a global warming thesis. This distinction should be very clear. It should also be clear that self-interested parties can take any scientific thesis and use it as a foundation for pushing their own agenda. Objective rational analysis of policy proposals cannot be checked at the door just because someone claims that they have a solution to a problem. Almost every single major polluter in the world has now jumped on the climate change bandwagon because they have all found ways to push their own agendas under that banner. The proposed "solutions" to climate change, such as cap and trade, now clearly reflect the influence and input of the very same people who created the problems in the first place. I would not support a politician that denied the possibility of climate change and the need for sensible regulation to protect the environment. I also would not support a politician who advocated for cap and trade. There is no connection between the two things. Climate change and protection of the environment should be taken very seriously, especially since the State is a major land owner, especially of forests, which makes it their direct responsibility. However, cap and trade is an absurd proposal that fails to address core issues, gives monopolies to existing polluters, and creates massive new opportunities for fraud and speculation by the financial sector. The discernment to differentiate between the many conflicting proposals on these crucial issues should be a requirement for any politician, especially the governor of our State. All of the candidates should be questioned on these issues. Ultimately, the best candidate is not the one who supports this or that issue, but the one who demonstrates the capacity for judgment that will allow them to do what is best on the vast array of subjects that they must face during their term in office.


Hank Ruark January 6, 2010 1:34 pm (Pacific time)

Friend January:
  Casual ref. to proof of what you claim, and denigration of those who disagree with your evaluation of evidence, doth not your image clarify.
  IF you have evidence other than from dollar-denominated sources, why not cite links for "see with own eyes",rather than continue attempt to defy,deny, defeat without real proof ?
  "Reports in public domain" simply ID's cabal propaganda driven by dollar necessities, which most rational, reasonable observers work out for themselves.
  Being "in the public domain" means nothing more than being published, often by biased and paid-for publications, as any professional writer will tell you from own experiences.
  Fact is Earth has been badly plundered by those same dollar driven interests and we now all suffer from their ugly depredations.
  Mssive scientific consensus to that fact is available for those who will but seek it out honestly from reliable sources not necessarily only from "the public domain" dominated by the dollar-driven cabals.
  Which is why use of smear vs Gore is both unethical and cheap-shot, esp. when also used as side-swipe at Tim's honest report --either you are UNinformed, MISinformed --or perhaps Malign-intended ??
  Look in mirror and consult own conscience, if still operational, on this one...

  Words -so-used are often unconsciously revealing, as is your rapid response. That's standard propaganda-analysis technique long used by many...


Jeff Kaye~ January 6, 2010 12:43 pm (Pacific time)

I wish we had a candidate for governor in Texas who had the wisdom and courage to promote industrial hemp and medical marijuana, and know the difference. Any righteous Oregonian of voting age and normal to above-average intellect should come out and support Bill Bradbury for Governor of Oregon this year. Any candidate who won't candidly answer a question (any question) of such pressing relevance to the economic and medical well-being of his state's residents, would not likely have his constituents' interests at heart.


newageblues January 6, 2010 12:39 pm (Pacific time)

It's bad enough that recreational cannabis, so much safer than killer and maimer alcohol, is illegal. The bans on medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp are utter insanity except to the most fanatic of drug warriors. The ban on medicinal cannabis is, plain and simple, sadistic. Thanks to Tim King for providing the historical background in this article. But he may be giving the abominable Anslinger too much credit for causing recreational cannabis prohibition. It was already illegal in most states before Anslinger got going and it may well be that the not particularly tolerant USA of the 1930's was bound to ban this safer competition to alcohol, and bound to ban the competition to pharmaceutical drugs and synthetic fibers as well. Anslinger wasn't the only virulent racist appalled that cannabis users, especially white women and black men, didn't have proper "respect" for the color line.


Jim January 6, 2010 12:13 pm (Pacific time)

I was simply stating reports that are in the public domain. I am still looking forward to seeing more platform info coming from Bradbury. My vote is still looking for a candidate that can help turn Oregon around for we have seen a dirth of leadership for many cycles now. As far as global warming which has been changed to "climate change", I imagine those who have not been following the record cold temperatures and snow accumulation that is happening all over the world as I type this, along without being informed that for the last ten years we have been in a cooling trend, will not care about any actual scientific info that disputes the warming propaganda. Regarding growing hemp commercially, I think that's great, but does Oregon have the type of soil and "climate" that can make that profitable? I think anything that can stimulate our economy and grow wealth will be welcome.


Hank Ruark January 6, 2010 11:11 am (Pacific time)

January: Given ongoing widespread solid scientific consensus re global warming, plus "see with own eyes" ice-sheet and high-piled ice collapse, one can no longer possibly contend that warming NOT happening, far beyond claimed cyclical pattern. Rational, reasonable deep consensus internationally now accepts realities and all new evidence confirms fact of full and futile propaganda effort by those who profit dollarwise and industry-wide from continuing perversion of fact. IF you have proof otherwise, from other than dollar-profit cabals, cite it here for any further dialog. IF not forthcoming,your open attack on Gore, obviously far more informed than you appear to be, can be seen only as cheapshot personal attack distorting facts plainly stated in Tim's strong report.


Jim January 6, 2010 8:18 am (Pacific time)

Bradberry is also a big booster for Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore's global warming thesis, so that clearly demonstrates his level of thinking and analytical reasoning. Of course if you question the science behind global warming and/or man-caused climate change this may cause one to provide some more reflection in their voting process.

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