In time immemorial, growing hemp (Cannabis sativa) was part of the productive heart of many countries, where it was planted as naturally as cotton or vegetables. It was one of the first plants used to extract fibre and was recognized for its resistance in the manufacture of rope, paper and oil for lamps.
The cannabis plant is said to be the plant of a thousand uses. It is a bit like the pig, from which even the gait is taken advantage of. In some countries, its leaves are even observed on the flags of some municipalities (such as Santa Cruz de Los Cáñamos, in Ciudad Real, or Cañamares, in Cuenca) due to the vital importance that the plant supposed for the local economy. The prohibition of cannabis cultivation originates from the United States and is full of racial prejudice, ignorance and also the economic interests of large companies.
It is said that it was Mexicans who, in the early 20th century, brought the habit of smoking cannabis to the United States, unleashing its prohibition. “All Mexicans are crazy and it is this herb that drives them crazy,” said a Texas senator at the time. More than a hundred years have passed. Today we know the benefits of the medicinal use of cannabis: glaucoma, autism, chemotherapy, Parkinson’s, reduction of the risk of obesity and diabetes; It also works for some types of epilepsy and even mitigates menstrual pain, helps in processes of anxiety and depression, etc.
We must continue investigating this line to discover all that it can give us because it is deeply sad that they irrationally deprive peoples of the ability to know and recognize all the attributes that the earth gives us.
The normalization of the cultivation and consumption of cannabis has been increasing in recent years in Spain, showing that society, also on this issue, is ahead of the rulers. On the other hand, processes of regularization of the use and possession of cannabis are taking place in different countries of the world and in Europe. One of the most recent has been Portugal, where they hope that the liberalization of its cultivation will be a boost for the depressed agricultural sector.
We need to remove the legal impediments to the plant that prevent basic and clinical research from progressing. But it is not only about medicinal uses that we are talking about. From cannabis seeds, for example, rich proteins, omega 3 and omega 6, you can get edible oil, flour, milk, bread, cosmetics, soap, lubricants and biofuels. For all this, a comprehensive approach to cultivation is necessary. I am convinced of the need to go beyond legalization by prescription, as cannabis could be an economic boost for the rural world in terms of organic production, marketing and proximity consumption.
Trying to pave the way in this direction, last week, from Podemos we announced the debate that we will have in the European Parliament on the regularization of cannabis in Europe. Although the reactions were positive, most related to cannabis only and exclusively in its therapeutic or leisure facets. Few answers went beyond both conceptions. I think this shows how cannabis has been demonized for a long time and the general lack of knowledge about marijuana (the term that is often used to talk about the varieties of cannabis that are used for smoking).
I think we should widen our gaze and fight for the legalization of cannabis simply for what it is: a plant. To open this debate is to reconcile with nature, with our ancestors and with life. Because the earth is a source of life and observing it, pampering it and studying it without stigma to know how to get the most out of it is, of course, the greatest legacy we can leave to those who come behind. Let us write the future without strings attached and with responsibility.