I have faith. I have faith in myself. I have faith in people. I have faith that people want to be educated with truth. Unfortunately, most people have been educated in a system that doesn’t always teach truth.
You may have read my last article. For those that didn’t, here’s a brief synopsis and the follow up about mine and my child’s experience when my child’s teacher asked her “does your mother smoke a lot of marijuana?” based on my political posts on Facebook regarding hemp. I spoke to the teacher as well as the principal the day after the incident. Both were very open to talking as well as meeting to discuss the situation.
I set up an appointment and met with the district superintendent and the principal. I opened my conversation with these gentlemen by introducing my efforts to bring industrial hemp to Washington State. They were both very intrigued and asked many questions, as there was still confusion in both of their minds about the difference between marijuana and hemp. I was able to help them realize the difference and spoke to them about the benefits of bringing this industry to our community/State/Nation. I asked if there was a way we could integrate the history of hemp into the curriculum to help dispel the myths and misguided information. This was not something that was able to be accommodated, as I was told by the superintendent, “we can’t just introduce curriculum that hasn’t been verified for its accuracy and authenticity.”
I looked at the man shaking my head and asked him how the D.A.R.E program was able to make its way into the curriculum…he couldn’t answer that question.
The next day I met with the teacher, principal and school counselor along with my two children. All three educators were mindful, thoughtful, respectful and engaging. They had questions answered, shared their own experiences and what they knew about cannabis. They told me stories about how people they know have been helped by cannabis, told me stories of people they know that are still oblivious, admitting that they too were misinformed on the many aspects of the plant.
One educator was excited to share that she uses hemp oil and eats hemp seeds. One educator told me of how their spouse bought hemp lotion and gave it as gifts as Christmas. One admitted that “grandma had cannabis in her greenhouse”. There was a connection made. It was as if things that seemed taboo to them to talk about and admit, were suddenly acceptable. They didn’t need to hide. They guaranteed that as my project hits the media, if kids are confused within the school system and question what is happening, they will inform them with accurate information and not condone any bullying that could potentially arise from the misconceptions.
I feel the interaction was a great success. The principal told me that with my amount of knowledge and passion he would welcome me to help educate the children. Unfortunately, as the superintendent stated, “we can’t just introduce curriculum that hasn’t been approved for its accuracy and authenticity.”
So while it’s fact that our first three Presidents grew hemp, our first flag was made from hemp, the first drafts of The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence were written on hemp, people were able to pay their taxes with hemp, federal reserve bills were printed on hemp, the US Navy was the biggest importer of hemp, during WWII, “Hemp for Victory” was our Nations motto, Henry Ford built a car from hemp that ran on hemp in the 1930’s, bibles are printed on hemp, 25,000+ products can be made from hemp (from fuel to fiber to food) we are importing over $500,000,000 worth of hemp products into the US every year, hemp can clean the air, water and soil and the United States is one of the only industrialized countries that doesn’t grow hemp. Despite all of these well established “facts” we are prohibited from sharing this information as curriculum. This is where you just have to shake your head.
But,I must reiterate, I have faith. I have faith in people. And I am confident that as the evolution of mankind is taking place right in front of our eyes, that we are witnessing the very essence of humanity. There will always be mistakes. We have the opportunity to not repeat them by educating and learning from the past. That is what life is all about.