Article by Todd Van Luling, Huffington Post
A few of our country’s most notable Founding Fathers ― think George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams ― grew the cannabis plant, hemp, as a multipurpose crop, while colonists from that time could pay their taxes with the plant. Betsy Ross sewed her American flag from hemp.
“If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive today, they’d both be raided by the DEA,” said Ventura, a former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler. “They’d be doing 10 to 12 years in the federal prison for being major drug dealers. Now, does anyone besides Jesse Ventura see something wrong with that picture?”
Ventura’s book, co-written with Jen Hobbs, makes the case for marijuanalegalization in the United States. In it, Ventura provides personal anecdotes, reported stories and gathered statistics on the pros, like potential economic boosts for state governments and health benefits with consumption. For example, a recent Harvard blog explained marijuana’s usefulness for AIDS and cancer patients to stimulate appetite or stave off nausea.
“I’d rather have someone take a hit of marijuana than be on Prozac,” said Ventura. His book also advocates for the societal negatives that would be lost with legalization, such as an end to the collateral damage of the “War on Drugs” and a decreased reliance on expensive pharmaceuticals for conditions that Ventura claims can be treated with marijuana instead.