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Battle against pot started years ago

I agree with John Keane’s argument about legalizing hemp (Letters, Oct. 27). Farmers were allowed to grow hemp during the Civil War and World War I and II because it is valuable for making rope, paper and other products.

Dupont may have had a hand in criminalizing it but William Randolph Hearst had an even bigger hand and his motives were just as scurrilous. Someone had invented a machine to harvest hemp rapidly and economically, but Hearst had vast timber holdings which he wanted to make millions on, selling it to making newspapers and other paper products, and would not allow a cheaper and more ecological source to exist.

So he conducted a huge campaign in all of his newspapers about the “horrors and dangers of hemp and pot” (linking them together). Now we are still cutting our forests down, when we could be saving them and helping the farmers and the economy too. I am completely against drugs but I am also against filling up our prisons with non-criminals and, in some cases, turning them into criminals.

What we are doing now is not working, so unless someone has a better suggestion, I’m with Mr. Keane.

Marcia Winborne-Graven

Auburn