Cannabis Grow Rights Contribute to Self-Reliance by Wendy Love Edge
We know that all human beings must eat to survive. I feel it also stands to reason, that human beings must have the ability to grow their own medicine to take care of themselves. The ability to attain self-reliance, should be self evident to all, and a necessary goal. But alas, it is not. When we think about this planet,this country that we live in, it is easy to see the classism that is built into the food and medicine supplies. Because of this, it is astounding to me that anyone but the elite are thriving, or even surviving. The truth is, the quest for self-reliance is often squashed in individuals, by the uneven hand in the access to proper healthy food and medicine, and then dependence on those that control the food and medicine supply is inevitable.
My parents taught me the value of having your own garden to grow food and herbs, from the time I was a small child. The abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit at harvest time was exciting and nourishing. It was a less complicated time. No one was talking about organic vs non-organic seeds, GMO’s, or even questioning if seeds could be found for certain plants. My family used shoe leather dust and fish for fertilizer, and everything grew inside the fence beautifully without much trouble from pests or use of pesticides. The ability to grow your own food, it was clear to me, was a part of self-reliance. It was also a family and community bonding experience like no other. Our surplus was shared with neighbors, and theirs was shared with us.
When we discuss cannabis and grow rights, to me it is no different than other food. The cannabis plant is so versatile and useful for every household. Hemp can be grown and used for hempcrete, paper, clothing, medicine, food, and more. Community can share in processing resources and goods. Cannabis sativa and indica can also be grown for medicine. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system set up to receive this medicine. And yet mankind treats it like a commodity and wealth builder, rather than a necessary food and medicine. Many states in the U.S. have restricted laws that don’t allow people to take care of themselves, and grow their own cannabis. The states have rules, and restrictions, and costs for licensing hemp too- even though federal prohibition of the crop has already ended. These unjust restrictions make self-reliance nearly impossible.
Legalization of cannabis does not equal access to the medicine. Legalization is often a trap to continue to feed the drug war, by having different rules and regulations in different states- and sometimes cities and counties. Because the rules change by geography and not by logic, people can easily break these arbitrary rules about the plant, many times without their knowledge. Then they have to pay fines or face jail time. It is truly a travesty for this nearly universally useful plant- that access is denied to so many, and others are punished for attempting to use the medicine or assist others to access it.
Precluding grow rights from any laws or amendments that pass, is just another way for the government to keep control of this healing plant and to keep us all from true self-reliance. We must end federal prohibition of cannabis, deschedule the medicine, allow universal grow rights, and expunge the criminal records of those that came before us who were, in most cases, simply seeking self-reliance. It is truly the only fair and equitable way forward.
Grow rights are human rights. As patients, activists, healers, and citizens we must never falter on stating to all who will listen, and some who won’t, that grow rights are human rights.