Education is Key to Effective Reform

What we choose to put into our bodies can have serious consequences.  Prescription drugs have been declared safe by the FDA, yet every year more and more people are dying from their–often downplayed or ignored–side effects.  Apparently, six months of limited clinical testing is not always sufficient for determining the safety of the medication.  Yet, we need medicine and the pharmaceutical giants need to turn a profit.  As do the mega-corporations now in charge of virtually every facet of our endangered (and often deadly) food supply.

Whoever controls your food, controls YOU

(excerpts from an interview with Robert Kenner, documentary filmmaker, about his new film Food, Inc.)

“..A good portion of the film focuses on the dichotomy of cheap food versus expensive healthcare: subsidized crops make certain foods dirt-cheap at the check-out counter or fast food window but wreak havoc on human health and put families into debt.

[That subsidized corn and soy not only goes into hundreds of food products, but it also acts as cheap feed for livestock]. So basically you now bring this artificially inexpensive corn to these feedlots. And when [a small farmer] grows corn on their own property and is not getting a government subsidy you can’t then feed his food to these animals and be in competition to these mega-corporations. So we’re subsidizing food that ultimately turns into sugar in our bodies, and all of a sudden, we’re getting massive amounts of sugar, because of the corn and soy, and that sugar is making us fat.

The film very briefly touches on herbicide and pesticide chemical runoff finding its way into waterways and also mentions that increased cattle grazing has led to deforestation in, for example, the Amazon. But it leaves it at that. Was it a conscious choice to keep the environmental impacts brief?

We could have gone on about the environment. Ultimately, food accounts for a little over 20-25% of our carbon footprint. Like health reform, you can’t have environmental reform without changing the system and what I realized in making this film – perhaps it’s obvious but for me it really hit me – is that this is an unsustainable system. It’s a brand new system. We’ve had agricultural for ten thousand years. This system is about 40, 50 years old. And it’s not working for two giant reasons. It’s based on gasoline, which is a diminishing [resource] and as it starts to run out and as its prices start to get up to those historic highs, we’re going to have very expensive food. It takes so much gasoline to grow and transport this food. Also, there is so much pollution involved with this system; we’re depleting, poisoning the soil, the riverways, the oceans. So there are many things we don’t hit on entirely in the film, but basically what the film is about is connecting the dots to show you that this industrial system is not working.’…”

Below is a trailer for the film, which should be a great catalyst for change in what has become perhaps the most important topics of the day:  health care reform and sustainability.

“Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.”

The President of the United States of America has been widely quoted with the above statement.  In the speech, discussed in the article found here, he also made the following remarks:

“We have watched as scientific integrity has been undermined and scientific research politicised in an effort to advance predetermined ideological agendas,” Obama said.  “We know that our country is better than this.”

Sadly, our country is beginning to look more and more like a  banana republic.  There is also little argument today that this country is facing a number of pressing issues–or, if you’d like to use stronger language–potentially disastrous crises.  The economy, energy supply and even topsoil are all in dire straits.  All of these problems, however, would benefit hugely from an end to our (failed) prohibition of certain drugs; as would the all-important food supply.

The underlying problem, which already appears to be widely acknowledged, is that our federal programs are being dictated from the top-down.  Science, justice and our so-called rights all still take a backseat to lobbyists and campaign supporters; and no amount of fancy words from our new president are going to change the facts of the following article, or the shocking number like it:

The EPA suppresses dissent and opinion, and apparently decides issues in advance of public comment

This article discusses a study which contradicted the current administration’s stance on climate change, and largely centered around the following evidence:

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” – Internal EPA email, March 17th, 2009

Self-preservation is undoubtedly a popular motive within our current culture, but it is also at the heart of the problems we now must confront.  In terms of changing government policy, for example, we have a massive misallocation of funds.

According to the drug czar in a recent interview, the word “legalization” is not in his or the president’s vocabulary.  Just moments after reminding us how important free speech is in our country, he explains that he won’t even listen to any arguments involving the idea of legalization.  Then he quickly steps away from the podium, assuming that he’s successfully defended his precious war once again.  The War which, he said so himself, is now officially over; yet is somehow still effectively in full swing.

In another bit of news, a European group named Charity has stirred controversy yet again by issueing a “Forgetful Politicians” deck of cards with  faces on each card.  The deck of cards is part of their ongoing Nice People Take Drugs campaign, and can be viewed in full on their website at  Obama is the ace of hearts, baby Bush is the joker and Al Gore is the jack of spades.  Every picture also comes with a quote from the corresponding politician, in order to show the depth of delusion these people are apparently under.

For instance, Al Gore claims:

“When I was young, I did things young people do.  When I grew up I put away childish things.”

So, is it any surprise at all that his son was eventually arrested on drug charges?  His argument is simply that he made a childish mistake, but since he got away with it and supposedly doesn’t do it anymore then there’s no problem.  Aside from that whole bit about his son’s life potentially being ruined..

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is the queen of clubs, and is quoted with the following statement of supreme arrogance and indifference towards humanity:

“I was smart enough to use pot without getting caught, and now I’m on the Supreme Court.  If you were stupid enough to get caught, that’s your problem.  Your appeal is denied.”

But perhaps most troubling is the inconsistencies in our newly-elected President’s approach towards drugs.  According to his card, he once stated the following–possibly in one of his books:

“Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when I could afford it…I inhaled frequently.  That was the point.”

Now he has acknowledged the medical utility of cannabis sativa, and even promised to end the DEA raids on clinics which conform to state law.  What he has failed so far to acknowledge, however, is that by agreeing the herb has medicinal use he has directly contradicted its current “Schedule I” classification.  Beyond this, he was also once quoted as saying that “the war on drugs is an utter failure” yet as President has continued pouring money into the very system that is currently destroying Mexico and making us bankrupt (and no, we are not just talking ‘morality’ here.)

Prohibition has Failed; We have now moved on to Addiction Treatment and Health Care Reform

It often seem like the prohibition debate gets limited to cannabis, yet groups such as LEAP and the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, among others, recommend a complete end to the current drug prohibition laws in favor of a health-based approach.  Roughly the same position the U.N. seems to now be taking, and getting awfully close to the latest statements from our own drug czar.

Those asking for a debate or change in laws should perhaps focus on fine-tuning this approach to ensure that our constitutional rights to grow medicinal and even entheogenic (like DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote..) plants are once again upheld by Congress.  We don’t even need to call it legalization, because all that’s required is a removal of the most racist and horrific atrocity that our government is (hopefully) still directly responsible for.

All we need is an open, honest debate and to follow the guide of scientific discovery–which has been in full swing for some time now.  Decades, if your name happens to be Dr. Rick Strassman.  The clinical research psychiatrist, and co-founder of the Cottonwood Research Foundation, is someone our President and other nicotine fiends might want to ask a few questions regarding addiction treatment.

Beyond the President’s own personal health, hopefully a former Constitutional Law Professor can understand that the changes required to once again honor the voice of science and reason will not always be easy.  But, in the case of ending the drug war (by repealing the failed prohibition of some drugs), doing so will save the government billions, if not trillions of dollars.  Or, rather, will allow the government to use our TAXPAYER MONEY to finance something other than a war waged directly against any citizens who do not conform to the dominant (white, European-influenced) American culture of the mid- twentieth century.

This will also free up plenty of money and personnel to deal with the skyrocketing addictions to various prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which is exactly where the newly appointed drug czar has already stated that his focus ought to be.

Anyone else currently employed as a drug warrior and afraid of losing their job ought to keep in mind that the drugs being used throughout our food supply are virtually unregulated–and a much greater threat to the population than any illicit mind-altering substances have ever been.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: