Laws Based On Science Don’t Prohibit Symbiosis, Do They?

When I recently discovered that our government considers Ayurvedic medicine a legitimate “whole health system”, it changed my perspective on everything I thought I knew about our government.  Not because of anything other than my own ignorance; however, this has now led me to a simple yet utterly profound realization:  OUR GOVERNMENT PROMOTES THE USE OF CANNABIS AS MEDICINE, LIKELY WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT!

Fact 1:  The National Center for Complimentary Alternative Medicine (NCCAP) states the following on their website:

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/ayurveda

Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India and has evolved there over thousands of years. In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered a CAM whole medical system. Many therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine are also used on their own as CAM—for example, herbs, massage, and specialized diets.

Fact 2:  The use of cannabis for it’s medicinal properties has been inextricable from the entire history of Ayurvedic medicine and many other “whole health systems” that are still popular today.  We may now have a “hot debate” over this particular herb and its uses here in the states, but this is what the folks in India have to say on the subject:

http://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/cannabis.html

    • The most valued property of hemp is its percentage of essential fatty acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world.
    • Among its various uses, it is an antibiotic for gram-positive bacteria, relieves nausea induced by chemotherapy and has been used to treat glaucoma.
    • The principal use of Hemp in medicine is for easing pain and inducing sleep, and for a soothing influence in nervous disorders.
    • It is useful in neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infantile convulsions, insomnia, etc.
    • The tincture helps parturition, and is used in senile catarrh, gonorrhoea, menorrhagia, chronic cystitis and all painful urinary affections.
    • The resin may be combined with ointments, oils or chloroform in inflammatory and neuralgic complaints.
    • Seeds and leaves are used to treat old cancer and scirrhous tumors.
  • Few plants have a greater array of folk medicine uses: alcohol withdrawal, anthrax, asthma, blood poisoning, bronchitis, burns, catarrh, childbirth, convulsions, coughs, cystitis, delirium, depression, diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhea,epilepsy, fever, gonorrhea, gout, inflammation, insomnia, jaundice, lockjaw, malaria, mania,mennorhagia, migraine, morphine withdrawal, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, scalds, snakebite, swellings, tetany, toothache, uteral prolapse, and whooping cough. Seeds ground and mixed with porridge given to weaning children.

Fact 3:  Fatty acids, like those found in abundance within all forms of cannabis, are essential to brain function and are well-proven to help stimulate new brain growth.  Those interested in helping people with serious brain injuries and conditions like PTSD are now being advised (by our government and health professional alike) to promote the use of fatty acids in the following manner:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23032313 (National Center for Biotechnical Information)

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ingestion as a TBI Prophylactic.

Abstract

Given the hazardous nature of combat operations and training exercises (e.g. airborne operations) conducted by the United States military, servicemembers are at high risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, almost a quarter of a million servicemembers have sustained a TBI.1 A large number of TBIs are a result of the concussive forces generated by improvised explosive devices (IED). A smaller number are a result of penetrating head wounds. Others may be caused by activities resulting in powerful acceleration, deceleration, or rotational forces. Therapies for treating TBI thus far have been limited. Much of the research conducted to date has focused on post-injury pharmacological interventions.2 Additionally, better protective equipment could help in preventing TBIs; however, these issues are outside the scope of this paper. A relatively new area of research is investigating prophylactic measures taken to lessen the effects of TBI. One such measure involves nutritional interventions and their effects on TBI severity. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acid intake as it relates to TBI severity.

Shall I repeat the question, or what is it that I’m missing here from the premise that our government is promoting the use of cannabis without even knowing it?  By the way, I credit this sudden burst of mental clarity and “enlightenment” solely to the use of Ayurvedic medicine; particularly the copious amounts of hemp milk (chocolate) which I have now been consuming for the past several months.  Every time credible scientists measure it, cannabis helps promote brain cell growth; even when smoked.  How long can our entire justice system ignore these (relatively) simple facts?

New, Bonus Fact:

Chairman David Howard, R-Park City, a former FBI agent, criticized marijuana as “a joke.”

“This stuff is disguised as medicine,” Howard said. “It makes you delusional. It is psychologically addicting and physiologically addicting and it absorbs in your fat cells, which is the most dangerous drug there is. This is not a drug. It’s a poison.”

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Driving Home An Unprecedented Victory — Cannabis FACTS Are Undeniable, Even at the White House

In response to a recent guest commentary which appeared in The Tennessean, the White House released a statement titled:  Movement for legalized marijuana ignores dangers .  Below is, in my opinion, the most impressive paragraph I have ever read anywhere; written by David Mineta, deputy director for demand reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington.

Mr. Mineta probably has the most frustrating (i.e., impossible) job on the planet.  Which might just explain his real reason for the following gem:

“..Would marijuana legalization make Tennessee healthier or safer? One needs to look no further than Tennessee’s current painful experience with prescription drug abuse. In Tennessee, prescription drugs are legal, regulated, and taxed — and yet rates of the abuse of pain relievers in the state exceed the national average by more than 10 percent…”

Out of context, doesn’t this sound like he is actually arguing that marijuana legalization will make Tennessee healthier and safer?  Given the overwhelming statistics which prove marijuana’s safety relative to all other drugs, legal or otherwise; it is easy to understand why a truly dedicated government official might publish such a contradictory statement.

Not only is this reasoning obviously illogical, it suggests that the individuals entrusted with upholding the constitution and protecting the interests of the citizens whom they represent are sadly incapable of making rational decisions.   Either they fail to understand plain English and common sense, or they are lying through their teeth for the sake of some hidden agenda.  Both of which are absolutely unacceptable excuses coming from public servants whom are purported to be held at the highest levels of scrutiny and accountability.

How much more of their insanity do they think the public will endure before declaring an open revolt?  Or is this merely their latest attempt to incite violence and impose martial law?

Either way, the most expedient method of legalizing marijuana is likely through the court system rather than relying on the political circus.  Because in a court of law, with a jury who has been well informed of their duties and privileges, the facts are still ultimately what matter.

After all, a large part of what finally brought down alcohol prohibition was jurors who openly questioned the validity of our brutal government policies.  Something I learned about only last year, when a jury right here in Missoula, Montana told a District Judge they would not convict a man for possession of cannabis.  The case was thrown out and the judge speculated that it would have a definite impact on future cases..

Click below for Paul Armentano’s recent article discussing the escalating war of words:

Drug Czar’s Office to NORML:  ‘We Can’t Legalize Marijuana Because Some People Abuse Prescription Drugs!’  Wait, Huh?

Utilizing the Vehicles of Power and Control

A little less than two weeks ago, President Obama announced a virtual “townhall” meeting to take place on Wednesday, April 20th at 1:45pm PDT; 4:45pm EDT.  And the floodgates for questions, comments and wide-ranging debates about our government flew wide open.

The focus of the meeting, according to the Facebook page where it is being hosted, will be the following:

President Obama will connect with Americans across the country to discuss the tough choices we must all make in order to put our economy on a more responsible fiscal path, while still investing in areas like innovation that will help our economy grow and make America more competitive.

Once cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs picked up wind of this pow-wow about growing the economy to take place on 4/20, many took it as an indication that our President might just have a clue after all.  Leading to an overwhelming response from all sorts of people throughout the country and beyond.  An impressive show of force which leaves this particular cannabis crusader in awe of how far we have come in the two short years since Obama took office.

While I by no means credit the president alone with bringing the drug policy reform movement to its presently powerful position, it is important to keep in mind that it was his administration’s infamous memo from October of 2009 which really kicked drug policy reform into high gear — by giving investors (seemingly false) assurances that the feds would look the other way for legitimate, state-approved use of the herb.

At the time this happened, myself and many others attempted to point out the glaring contradiction and hypocrisy engendered by this insidious approach to “honesty” and transparency in government.  Yes, the memorandum was made public from day one; but given the failures of our drug prohibition and lessons we’ve learned from alcohol (proven to be a far more dangerous, addictive and destructive drug), it’s sheer existence makes no sense whatsoever.

Think about it:  the (stated) subject of the memo is the use of ‘marijuana’ as medicine in states where it is presently legal.  Yet, in the body of the memo it is clearly stated that our federal government recognizes absolutely NO medical usage of the plant.  A statement provided, according to the document itself, as proof that the plant still fits the strict requirements of its present “schedule I” classification.

In any sane world, newspapers from all over the place would zero in on the obvious reality that they are using reverse logic in order to maintain the status quo.  But instead we live here in America, where nothing seems to make any sense anymore.  Least of all our ‘watchdog’ media..

As luck would have it, the media of the 21st century is belonging more and more to us measly “consumers” every day.  Such is the nature of evolution.

In other news, Google CEO Larry Page seems to have an awful lot of people wondering what he’s up to these days.  As he attempts to position himself and the internet behemoth to ride the next technology trend, or who knows what else, I keep wondering if he’s going to be a major player in today’s unprecedented (yet still growing exponentially) “gold rush” — medical cannabis, industrial hemp and all related industries.

For those unfamiliar with who the heck Larry Page is in the first place, he was one of the original founders of Google — the one who’s current wealth is estimated to be $19.8 Billion dollars..  He originally helped run the company with co-founder Sergey Brin, but stepped down “when they hired Eric Schmidt as Chairman and CEO of Google.”

His Wikipedia entry goes on:  “In January 2011 Google announced that Page would replace Schmidt as CEO in April the same year.[18] Both Page and Brin earn an annual compensation of one dollar. On April 4, 2011, Page officially became the chief executive officer of Google, while Schmidt stepped down to become executive chairman.”

Given his unique position from which to view our viciously capitalistic society, it’s no real wonder why so many people are wondering what’s on his mind.  Here’s the example that got me wondering as well:  An Open Letter Seeking Insight Into Google’s CEO Larry Page.

Living in one of the growing number of states which have passed laws protecting the cultivation of industrial hemp, it is my great privilege to presently be developing a small business that will (among other things) provide a facility for the processing of raw hemp material into food and other finished goods.  Anyone interested in this venture is encouraged to leave a comment and/or contact me via gonzo0013@gmail.com.

Below are just a few of the reasons why cannabis seems like such a promising investment:

Hemp technologies lead to sustainable industry, prosperity and a far healthier future

“Harmless hemp fibre forms car’s body: Laws that outlaw the growing of hemp fibre -marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin -on U.S. soil are standing in the way of a new generation of organic fibres that are lighter and stronger than steel, yet cost less to produce. Calgary-based Motive Industries has developed a prototype lightweight threedoor hatchback with 25-30 per cent better economy than a comparably sized car made from steel. Hemp grows like a weed, pardon the pun, even on marginal soil, and is cheap to produce, says Motive president Nathan Armstrong. With its prototype nearly complete, Motive plans to have its electric-powered Kestrel car on Canadian roads by next year. Question is, will they be allowed into the United States?”

Read more at:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Shift+listen+Green+colour+nerds/4606382/story.html#ixzz1Jknv5mbp

While this plant is kept illegal for reasons that are childish at best, most of us are getting our protein from meats that a recent study has shown are contaminated with “Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause serious illnesses in humans…The results showed that 47 percent of the samples were contaminated with S. aureus, and that 52 percent of the bacteria were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics…”

read more at:  http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/651982.html

Talk Back: Drug-resistant staph in meat and consumer responsibility — where’s the line?

“..A new study bolsters the theory that some antibiotic resistance stems from the drugs’ use in agriculture. If the meat industry is trying to respond to Americans’ insatiable demand for cheap meat, and no doubt it is, perhaps the  responsibility should be shared.

What should consumers do?

Here’s the solution I found over a year ago and have been enjoying immensely ever since:

Living Harvest’s Tempt line of Hemp milk, ice cream and other products made primarily from hemp seeds — which, among many other health benefits, offer the following:

“Hemp seeds are also one of the plant kingdom’s best sources of easily digestible, high-quality protein. Protein helps build and repair tissue and build lean muscle mass. Unlike soy, hemp does not contain enzyme inhibitors and phytates, so the nutrients in hemp can be easily absorbed by the body.”

http://www.livingharvest.com/

And here is a solution I think our President ought to be considering very seriously, which comes surprisingly enough from a recent article penned by one Oliver Stone:

Don’t betray us, Barack — end the empire

“..There are many ways in which Obama can begin overseeing the end of the American empire and the insane militarism that undergirds it. He has been urged to do so by none other than Mikhail Gorbachev, who has pressed Obama to stiffen his spine and pursue bold initiatives. “America needs perestroika right now,” Gorba­chev said, “because the problems he has to deal with are not easy ones.”

The former Soviet leader’s solutions included restructuring the economy to eliminate the kind of unregulated free-market policies that caused the current global economic downturn and perpetuate the unconscionable gap between the world’s rich and poor.

But, Gorbachev warned, the US can no longer dictate to the rest of the world: “Everyone is used to America as the shepherd that tells everyone what to do. But this period has already ended.” He has condemned the Clinton and Bush administrations’ dangerous militarisation of international politics and urged the US to withdraw from Afghanistan…”

My Religion is Science, Therefore I Believe Cannabis to be Sacred–Does anybody have an issue with that?

With the recent release of a University of California study proving cannabis (marijuana) to be a safe and effective medicine for various ailments including chronic pain, any and all laws limiting the availability of this medicine to the general public have been severely called into question.  As if they hadn’t been already.

The state of California is now on the brink of full decriminalization due, in part, to the headaches involved with attempted “medical marijuana” legislation.  Meanwhile, there are a growing number of individuals attempting to claim that cannabis is a part of their religious/spiritual practice.  So far, the courts have continued denying that cannabis can be a legitimate part of one’s spirituality/religious practice–yet the Attorney General’s office effectively condones its use as medicine, and science has proven this to be a very wise decision.

However, some overzealous officials continue persecution of medical users despite federal guidelines suggesting they no longer waste public funds chasing medical marijuana patients where the herb has been recognized as medicine.  A move which seems counter-productive if the “drug warriors” involved are attempting to display the value of their services to the public and perhaps keep their jobs.  Instead of focusing their energy and funding on far more dangerous drugs like meth and heroin, they have gone directly against the administration’s instructions along with overwhelming support for the plant  from both the public and the media.  Then there’s the religious aspect.

Followers of Rastafari who have fought for their rights in court have been repeatedly told that their faith in the plant is either insufficient or insincere, or both.  Members of various other churches which see the plant as divine have enjoyed similar treatment, but now a very lucky few of their fellow citizens have had their right to use cannabis confirmed by no less than the U.S. Attorney General’s office–thanks, according to the memo, to a severe lack of funds and the profound realization that it makes no sense to spend public dollars chasing after cancer patients and the like for choosing their own medicine.  Wow.

When you think about it, that is actually a huge step:  the people in charge finally recognize what a colossal waste of time and resources the drug war has become.  They also recognize that the culturally accepted use of this particular ‘drug’ is not a significant threat to the surrounding community–a direct contradiction to the rationale previously used in court to justify the denial of first amendment rights to so-called “marijuana religions.”

There can no longer be any serious claim at a “compelling interest” to keep certain people from using the same exact ‘drug’ as others who are allowed to use it for a different, ‘legitimate’ reason.  Beyond that, where can you draw the line between medicine and spirituality–or even between science and religion?

Personally, I believe science to be an advanced form of religion itself–exhibiting the same debilitating “orthodoxy” which has plagued organized religions for thousands of years.  That being said, I also rely heavily on the findings and theories of scientific study to help me better understand the world in which we live.  Science may not be able to prove and/or explain everything, but in my opinion it is one of the best generally applicable tools we have at our disposal.

When the scientists come out and tell me that cannabis has proven therapeutic value, I’m apt to believe them.  What’s funny is when cannabis is proven to have therapeutic value (which recently happened and was subsequently reported to the California state legislature), it also means that cannabis no longer meets the stringent requirements for being classified as a “schedule I narcotic.”

Unless they are prepared to declare science an insincere and insignificant belief system, Congress needs to bite the bullet and finally end this ludicrous attempt at prohibition which has been crippling our nation and the rest of the world for at least seventy-five years.

My religion is science, therefore I believe cannabis to be sacred.  If any individual or government entity has got a problem with that, I’d love to hear it.

Federal misstep leads to the end of failed policy

In October of last year, the Obama administration sent out a memorandum to federal prosecutors along with the FBI and DEA instructing them not to waste taxpayer funds going after medical marijuana users who are in compliance with state laws.  Although the Deputy Attorney General was careful to state that this memo is in no way intended to recognize the herb as medicine, the following opening sentence of the memo appears to contradict that very assertion:

“This memorandum provides clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana…”

If this is not a recognition of medical marijuana, then exactly what is it?  While there are a lot of qualifiers and disclaimers throughout the document, there is also the following passage which appears to be further recognizing the medical use of marijuana for a variety of ailments:

“As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana. For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources…”

The memo goes on to state that this recommendation in no way diminishes the ability to enforce the Controlled Substances Act against any individual in any state, regardless of state or local provisions.  However, it also makes it abundantly clear that the reason for this change of policy is due to limited resources–not compassion for the sick or the pursuit of justice.  There is simply not enough money to fight against one of the only booming industries this country has now got, yet there is somehow general consensus among both the House and Senate (not to mention the President’s administration) that ending our failed prohibition of certain drugs is strictly off the table.  Science and sanity have no sway, or so it would seem.

As more and more states follow in the footsteps of California–where the cannabis plant has now become big business, there is bound to be a cascade of legislative documents and legal quagmires which will arise as long as the federal government attempts to turn a blind eye to the appeals of groups such as the American Medical Association; the American College of Physicians; International Paper, Inc.; Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy; and a growing list of others who are demanding that our laws be reevaluated and redefined in light of extensive research which has shown the failings of our current policy.

In addition to the failings of our current system and the lack of available funding (which are deeply intertwined), there are a number of areas where a simple change in policy has the ability to create thriving new industries–some of which could be incredibly beneficial to society, for medical reasons as well as economic and environmental.

Once upon a time our government was forced to encourage the growing of hemp to help fight World War II.  We eventually won and the propaganda machines were once again used to turn this incredibly versatile plant into the “devil weed” which must be wiped off the face of the planet.  But now we have new wars and much bigger problems which can only be addressed by growing lots of hemp and re-evaluating a policy of prohibition that continues funding terrorists and other criminal organizations throughout the world.  There is only one obvious solution, yet it’s anyone’s guess as to how long our national politicians will attempt to keep their heads in the sand waiting for something to happen.

As luck would have it, that is precisely where those politicians will do the most good in the immediate future.  They have already effectively acknowledged that they no longer have an infinite amount of money to continue throwing at this unwinnable war, and have deferred their federal jurisdiction in favor of state laws.  Just like when Roosevelt repealed the prohibition of alcohol, he did so by once again allowing the control of liquor to return to the states.  Although we are dealing with a far different type of document here, the scenario and sentiment are virtually identical.  Prohibition will obviously never achieve positive results and our federal government is willing to let the states help reshape the laws from the ground up.

Whether or not the author would agree with this interpretation of the memo seems inconsequential, as the mitigating factor here is obviously financial and the only wealth being created out of this whole scenario all revolves around the growth of a pseudo-legal plant.  It seems highly unlikely that any of our national politicians would now take a public stance against the growth of industries associated with medical marijuana, but what about industrial hemp–the cousin that Popular Mechanics once claimed was a “New Billion Dollar Crop”–in 1938!!

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