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Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it.

To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles.  Most people do not have the courage to face that choice.

Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.  ~ Michael Rivero


Just lookin' for pollen

An interview with Cannabis Sativa L., who describes herself as "a resident of the world, a citizen of adventure, a homegirl to history, pursuer of pollen with a passport to anywhere." The interview was conducted near Hermosa, South Dakota (the acknowledged cradle of civilization).

by Gorman Gomez
Hemphasis staff

This satire appeared in 
Hemphasis v.1.02 (Fall 2004)

Gorman Gomez
This is Gorman's first published writing. 
He says he thinks he'll stick with it.

Gorman: Sorry, but I always have to ask this: Do you have a dog in this fight?

Cannabis: No. Your people brought the dogs. Your people are the dogs; sorry (chuckles). I'm just watching them tear each other up.

Explain, please. It looks to us like the outcome would be of interest to you.

Really, I'm a disinterested party. I mean, the fights are interesting--all that blood, all those bodies--but I'm just looking for pollen.

The U.S. Government has declared war on you. If the wrong person came along now, he'd kill you. Isn't that worrisome?

So kill me. They do it all the time. They hunt me with helicopters. They send out people by the thousands to rape me with weedwhackers. They kill me by the millions with chemical sprays. They put me in big piles and burn me like I'm a witch. I'm still here.

I have to admit, though, that I'm intrigued by the sudden attacks on me, instead of over me.

What do you mean?

Well, throughout history, people, and their dogs, have liked many things about me; so much so that they killed each other to have access to me. People have stolen other people's hemp fields ever since there were hemp fields.

The War of 1812 was largely about U.S. access to Russian hemp. In World War II, after I'd been tax-outlawed in the U.S., Japan took the Philippine hemp fields to deprive the U.S. Navy of vital hemp cordage.

But only in last forty years or so have government agencies acquired the arrogance to try to commit genocide on me. That's funny.

Funny? Doesn't sound funny to me.

I've read a lot about personality disorders. Some folks have used me in their studies of personality disorders. I notice some traits, similar to those of pe
ople with severe personality disorders, in government officials who presume to wipe out an entire species of vegetation.

Larissa, aka Patty Wood (Culebra Is., Puerto Rico),
as she appeared for her interview.
Gorman Gomez photo

They started by sending out cops to chop me down where I grew in city parks and along waterways. Television has loved me ever since they started calling me "Mary Jane", and television loved putting out the pictures of the cops killing me and burning me. TV really loves it when the cops say, "We've burned over 500 'marijuana' plants today. This 'marijuana' would have been worth over half a million dollars on the street. We've kept this 'marijuana' out of the hands of children and severely put a dent in the 'marijuana' traffic in this city."

I started thinking it was funny when I realized that every time they did that, I became more popular, and I started to travel like I never had before. From Vietnam to the United States, from Colombia to the United States, from Mexico and British Columbia to the United States. And inside the United States, wow, I went everywhere.

As I got more popular, government officials got more crazy. They started dropping herbicides on me in fields in other nations, inducing tens and thousands of people to cultivate me in their houses. Now, that's nice! No frost, no darkness, hardly any bugs. I rewarded those people for my comfort by producing more of what they wanted, so they could sell me at higher prices.

Thousands and thousands of people became very rich because of the way the government officials treated me and because of the way the people who kept me fed and warm treated me.

You have to admit it's funny when you realize that if they had never tried to kill me off, I'd just be a valuable, but barely-noticed common textile plant, like cotton, or a valuable, but not-star-quality oilseed plant, like sunflowers.

But the morons told men that if they gave me to women, women would be helpless in their hands. Any fool could have seen that there are more men who'd want to protect a plant that did that than there are government officials. The biggest laugh is that it isn't true. I mean, I'm a pretty good plant, and I can do a lot of things, but I can't make a woman helpless in the hands of a man. Only God, sometimes with the help of tequila, can do that. Just a little jab, God.

The government says you're dangerous. Are you?

God didn't design me to be dangerous, and nothing people have done to induce me to change has made me dangerous in any sane definition for the word.

At various points in history, I've been worshipped, adored, used for just about everything humans use anything for, and vilified. The vilification has always come at the hands of people who have something to gain, usually monetarily, by their success at marginalizing me and those who believe in my value.

They've said I drive people insane. In a way, that seems to be true, but primarily people who hold elective office. They're the main ones saying the crazy things about me, anyway.

They've said that using me for an intoxicant leads to death. I guess so; cops have killed a lot of people to prevent them from getting high.

There are several dozen medical studies in which I've participated. They all conclude I'm not dangerous when ingested (and I love to be eaten). There is nothing in all of medical history that says I have killed anyone who ingested me.

The one thing about that's dangerous, I guess, is that men want me. God made me desirable. People do the rest. Sometimes I think it is people that are dangerous.

Why do they desire you? My whole cannabis experience is sleeping on a hemp mat. It's nice, but I wouldn't die for it.

You might not appreciate the value many humans place on immediate payoffs, even when they must do destructive, self-destructive, things to assure them. It's hard for me to appreciate it, but then I'm just out for the quality pollen.

My stalk is bound in very long, very strong fibers, which work well anywhere humans need cloth or cordage. My fiber has application in all construction trades. The interior of my stalk is about 50% cellulose, ideal for paper.

My seeds are the most nourishing single food item for humans. The oil pressed from them burns bright, fuels and lubricates automobiles, and provides another way for people to enjoy the nourishment of hemp seed.

My flowers are rich in cannabinoids, especially when I'm bred (oooh) for that aspect, some of which provide pleasure to humans, some of which actually cure human diseases or cause them to go into remission.

As I mentioned before, government advertised that I was an aphrodisiac of unprecedented power. That caused about 20,000 times as many people to want as before they started the rumor. Some are willing to risk arrest to obtain large amounts of me to sell at huge profits. Others are willing to shoot or jail them.

I don't see why government officials want to punish people for using me. My cannabinoids affect people, but I've never seen anybody get crazy who wasn't combining me with other plants or chemicals, mostly alcohol, and even then, they were way crazier before they started smoking me. Mostly, people put on a silly grin and get quiet for a few minutes after they smoke me, then they act like they were acting before.

It's easy to understand why people would risk arrest to obtain and use me as a life-extending therapy. Even though I'm short in the emotions department--I'm a plant, I come pretty close to getting mad (as I understand it) at the government officials who say I have "no medical value". I've been in the chemotherapy wards and watched patients who smoke me avoid the intense nausea they were suffering until someone told them about me.

I've seen the glaucoma sufferers brighten up as they could begin to focus. I've wafted around the heads of the spinally-injured as my fumes alleviated them of life-threatening muscle spasms.

People want me for all these reasons, and more. Some will pay large sums for small amounts of me. People want me for that, too.

Ruth Fahrbach, Taos Hemp, fondles Larissa, as she
appeared at 3rd Annual Lakota Hemp Days.
Newland photo

And none of this frightens you, enrages you?

I told you I felt I something like anger about sick people being put in prison for using me. But this is all good for me. As a plant, one of the best things I can do to assure that my genes get passed on is to do what humans want me to do, but not necessarily to the extent they want me to do it. I'll make 'em feel good, but not too good, if you catch my drift. As long as I can do that, humans will feed and water me, keep me warm, and take me on lots of trips where I can meet new stamens,... er, friends. I've been doing it a long time. I think I'm good at it.

But to fall into a deal where government officials are telling men all over the world that women who smoke pot are powerless to resist them…, I mean, you don't have to be good to capitalize on that. I wouldn't have to do a single thing for humans; as long as they believed that one thing they'd take care of me.

But they might not always believe that, so I continue to produce, more reliably than any other plant on earth, everything people use corn, trees, cotton or petroleum for, and the best food on earth, besides.

So, no, I'm not frightened. If they continue to try to kill me, it's the government officials--and the industrial interests who purchase their offices for them, along with the uniformed thugs who do their bidding--who should be frightened. And really, my anger is reserved for rootworms. They remind me of John Walters and John Ashcroft.

One more thing; what's the "L" stand for?


Oh. Pretty name. Well, thanks for your time.

You're welcome. I have plenty of it. Y'know, you're pretty cute for a dog.

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