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Strategic Value 

As the earth heats up, consider all solutions

The compounding imbalances that we've imposed on Earth's atmosphere threaten everyone with irreversible systemic collapse. If we don't reverse the accelerating climate changes, then the quality of life on this planet will continue to degenerate at an unpredictable rate.

Over the past two decades, the number of days per year that "extreme" levels of UVB occur has more than doubled, and the scale of measurement has been increased to accommodate these higher levels of intensity. Elevated UVB exposure is known to cause genetic mutation, immune suppression, abnormal cell growth, increasing global temperatures and declining crop production.

In 2007, it was reported by climate scientists that fragrant aerosols called "monoterpenes" produced by the world's boreal forests reflect UVB radiation away from the planet and seed cloud formation, shielding the earth from the sun. Since the 1950s, half of the boreal forests have been cut down (mainly to produce paper) or have died from increasing insect pest infestation caused by global warming.

Cannabis is the only crop that has the potential to produce sufficient quantities of monoterpenes needed to replace what has been lost and in the time that we may have left to make a difference. Cannabis hemp is also capable of producing adequate quantities of organic, renewable feedstock needed for making paper, reducing industry pressure for continued forest destruction.

On March 16, President Obama became the seventh American president to sign an executive order acknowledging the "strategic" value of hemp. Three other federal documents pertaining to emergency preparedness reference "essential civilian demand" as a protocol for access to strategic resources.

Science, reason and mobilized public demand must overwhelm the failed rhetoric of an expensive and counterproductive "drug war" very soon. It is critical that people see beyond tired myths about "the dangers of marijuana" to recognize the much greater danger resulting from an imposed cannabis scarcity. Cannabis is, in fact, essential for helping resolve atmospheric imbalances, whose unthinkable consequences our children will otherwise be condemned to endure.

Paul J. von Hartmann is the founder of the California Cannabis Ministry.Open Mic is a weekly feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

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