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West Virginia has an excellent opportunity to install an economic diversification program that is a proven producer and taxpayer. Colorado has completely legalized all forms of Cannabis and they are raking in the money. The Colorado solution could serve as a template for the West Virginia wonder.


You have to know a couple things about Cannabis. The human body has its own endocannabinoid system, which means we are made for the plant and the plant is made for us. You also have to know we are dealing with three different parameters of Cannabis Laws; Medical, Recreational, and Industrial Agricultural Hemp.


Medical Cannabis is a no-brainer. It is now a scientifically proven fact that it is a proven remedy for so many different diseases and ailments. Check your humanity. Your average hide bound prohibitionist would sooner see Grandma rot in a hospital bed rather than compassionately offer this plant as a remedy. This prohibition is not an acceptable public policy and it does not represent American common sense.


Recreational Cannabis is controversial. However, it is West Virginia’s number one cash crop and it has been for decades. We spend millions of dollars trying to eradicate it and we have thousands of prisoners sleeping on the jailhouse floor. Colorado is cashing in on it. They’re also experiencing an overall reduction in crime plus a huge increase in tourism.


The real reason Cannabis is illegal is Industrial AG Hemp and a Decorticator Machine that was perfected in the 1930’s. That machine strips the fiber out of the hemp stalk. If you look at the back of a 1914 ten-dollar bill, you’ll see hemp being harvested on the left feeding an industrial plant on the right. But the decorticator increased the harvest efficiency to the point that it rendered many timber and cotton fortunes worth far less than what was acceptable to some corrupt robber barons, politicians, and enforcement goons. They then used racist “Reefer Mania” propaganda to wipe out the most beneficial plant in America. Now, the US is the only industrialized nation without a national hemp program. Unacceptable! Washington, Jefferson, and Adams grew tons of it.


West Virginia has been a Hemp Legal state since 2002, but we have yet to drop the first seed into the ground. This is all due to twisted conservative politics and money. There are millions of dollars sitting at the State line, waiting to be invested in new manufacturing plants right now. But with the politics and flawed laws we have now, there is no way there will be investment.


The best I can say to people is “quit being stupid – just quit”. We’re sitting on a gold mine and we’re wasting time, money, and people. If we were to develop the “Gold Standard” of Cannabis laws, the money would flood in. What other multi million dollar business wants to invest in WV? Colorado has proven this. We can do it better.


There is an election coming up and this issue is not being addressed. Ask your candidate for their position on Cannabis. Some of them will not know the first thing about it or will come up with the same old prohibitionists propaganda. They’re the ones who hold WV back. There are some who get it. They know about the gold mine. They’re willing to bring about a new, bright, and clean Cannabis future. That's the candidate you want to vote for, especially you younger voters. You’re the ones who are targeted for marijuana jail time or for a brilliant future in the cannabis industry. Choose wisely …

Don Smith II Founder  STAG Standard Agriculture Ltd.