大麻正是是你們星球上最有用、最強、最壯、最耐用的材料之一。你們製造不出比它更好的衣料，更結實的繩材，更容易收成的紙漿材料。你們每年砍幾百萬棵樹來做紙漿，好讓你們在報紙上讀到全球的森林是如何被摧折。大麻可以供應你們數百萬份的報紙，而不用砍一棵樹。確實，大麻能以十分之一(1/10)的成本取代非常多的天然材料(Indeed, it could substitute for so many resource materials, at one-tenth cost.)。
不僅你們國家(美國)如此，全世界都一樣。因此，人類所面臨的基本問題是：個人的利益(self-interest)是否可以被最佳的利益(best interests)——公眾的利益(common interest)——取代？如果可以，要如何取代？
Your laws, therefore, do not reflect what your society thinks of itself, and wishes to be—your laws reflect where the power is.
Neale:Then what is the solution?
To have as few laws—which are really limits—as possible.
The reason the first weed is outlawed is only ostensibly about health. The truth is, the first weed is no more addictive and no more a health risk than cigarettes or alcohol, both of which are protected by the law. Why is it then not allowed? Because if it were grown, half the cotton growers, nylon and rayon manufacturers, and timber products people in the world would go out of business.
Hemp happens to be one of the most useful, strongest, toughest, longest-lasting materials on your planet. You cannot produce a better fiber for clothes, a stronger substance for ropes, an easier-to-grow-and-harvest source for pulp. You cut down hundreds of thousands of trees per year to give yourself Sunday papers, so that you can read about the decimation of the world’s forests. Hemp could provide you with millions of Sunday papers without cutting down one tree. Indeed, it could substitute for so many resource materials, at one-tenth the cost.
And that is the catch. Somebody loses money if this miraculous plant—which also has extraordinary medicinal properties, incidentally—is allowed to be grown. And that is why marijuana is illegal in your country.
It is the same reason you have taken so long to mass produce electric cars, provide affordable, sensible health care, or use solar heat and solar power in every home.
You’ve had the wherewithal and the technology to produce all of these things for years. Why, then, do you not have them? Look to see who would lose money if you did. There you will find your answer.
This is the Great Society of which you are so proud? Your “great society” has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to consider the common good. Whenever common good or collective good is mentioned, everyone yells “communism!” In your society, if providing for the good of the many does not produce a huge profit for someone, the good of the many is more often than not ignored.
This is true not only in your country, but also around the world. The basic question facing humankind, therefore, is: Can self-interest ever be replaced by the best interests, the common interest, of humankind? If so, how?
In the United States you have tried to provide for the common interest, the best interest, through laws. You have failed miserably. Your nation is the richest, most powerful on the Earth, and it has one of the highest infant mortality rates. Why? Because poor people cannot afford quality prenatal and postnatal care—and your society is profit driven. I cite this as just one example of your miserable failure. The fact that your babies are dying at a higher rate than most other industrialized nations in the world should bother you. It does not. That says volumes about where your priorities are as a society. Other countries provide for the sick and needy, the elderly and infirm. You provide for the rich and wealthy, the influential and the well-placed. Eighty-five percent of retired Americans live in poverty. Many of these older Americans, and most people on low income, use the local hospital emergency room as their “family doctor,” seeking medical treatment under only the most dire of circumstances, and receiving virtually no preventive health maintenance care at all.
There’s no profit, you see, in people who have little to spend… they’ve worn out their usefulness… And this is your great society—