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Drug history

 

Editor’s note: This editorial is reprinted with permission from the Lovely County Citizen, a weekly newspaper based in Eureka Springs. It was first published Sept. 1, and was written by Bill King.

In the latest front/affront in the war on a medicinal herb, the U.S. government, with help from the Arkansas National Guard, state police and the sheriff, invaded the gardens of Carroll County residents, terrorizing citizens, endangering lives and wasting resources. Shame on all those participating in these unconstitutional, tyrannical, police state tactics.

Greedy billionaires created the war on marijuana, and more than 70 years later their sham continues to ruin countless lives and make criminals out of productive citizens.

The history of marijuana prohibition is a sordid tale indeed. It wasn't really about cannabis the "drug," but rather the financial impact of hemp on the timber and plastics industries. It was about money for rich people. Some things never change.

Back in the 1930s, new processing technology made hemp a far superior alternative to timber for paper and pulp — cheaper, better quality and much more environmentally friendly.

William Randolph Hearst, for whom the term "yellow journalism" was coined, owned much of the timber industry. He used his newspaper empire to gin up a bogus, and racist, case against cannabis to protect his timber holdings.

At the same time, Dupont had just patented plastic formulas using petroleum products, and hemp oil threatened the enormous profits those patents would reap. Dupont's banker, Andrew Mellon, was also Secretary of the Treasury, and he appointed a nephew to head the new anti-narcotics bureau and the crusade to demonize cannabis. Think Reefer Madness.

In the years since, the government has religiously suppressed the truth about cannabis, and money remains the motivation. Marijuana prohibition brings billions to the police/justice industry; it's a huge boon for lawyers, jail builders and jailers, police forces, probation officers, organized crime and laboratories.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, there were 9.5 million marijuana arrests in the U.S. between 1995 and 2008, 89% for possession. Growing even one plant is a felony. With a 2006 study showing nearly 15 million U.S. residents admitting to using marijuana in the previous month, the economic futures of lawyers, prosecutors, jailers and police look very bright.

Fifteen states now allow cannabis for medical use and the Veterans' Administration acknowledges its medicinal benefits, so it's hard to fathom that this war continues with such ferocity. The evidence of the herb's medicinal value is unquestionable, even with the government suppressing most of the research, including its own.

But, keeping cannabis outlawed benefits wealthy and influential competitors like the paper, pharmaceutical and liquor industries, and exploiting fear and lies helps get politicians elected.

Cannabis is probably the most beneficial and potentially profitable plant on the planet. It grows almost everywhere, is renewable and biodegradable, and requires little irrigation and few, if any, pesticides.

It can be used for fuel, building materials, plastics, paper and clothing. It's a nutritious food source and a safe and effective medicine. Those are the truths the government doesn't want you to know.

Among the tens of millions of marijuana users in this country are doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officials, politicians and every other type of professional. Many long-term, regular users are healthy, productive members of society and pillars of their communities, people who don't buy the government's lies and have embraced a safe herb that relaxes them and helps tap into their creativity.

Alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, all legal, account for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, yet there's no evidence of marijuana killing anyone. Just listen to any commercial to hear the long lists of prescription drugs' side effects; makes mild euphoria and the munchies seem pretty benign.

So why does the government condone the use of far more dangerous drugs while continuing this sham war on marijuana? Follow the money.

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Proponents of prohibition cling to the debunked "gateway drug" theory — that marijuana use leads to harder drugs. Because of prohibition, marijuana users are forced to deal in the same black market that sells hard drugs, but saying that hard drug users started with marijuana is like saying children who shoplift candy become serial killers.

Cannabis doesn't harm society, cannabis prohibition does — it ruins lives and bankrupts poor people. In many places, possession is treated as a minor offense, while growing for personal use remains a felony. This encourages consumers to buy on the black market and enriches the drug cartels the government is purportedly fighting. The best way to fight drug cartels is to allow cultivation for personal use.

Marijuana use is accepted by our society with a nod and a wink, presidents and senators have used it and comedians often make reference to their partaking. It's all kind of a joke — until the laws are enforced. Then lives are ruined.

Government intimidation to stay quiet is intense, but if people don't stand up, this will become even more of a police state than it already is. It's time to declare war on the war on cannibas.

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dusting off my marijuana file

This is an excellent article! I grew up in a cowboy and "oil-hand" world where alcohol was the mood-modifier of choice. Many years of personal observation and experience educated me on the propensity for the consumption of alcohol to pull the combative and belligerent aspects of personalities up to the forefront. Without doubt, it is an empirical fact that the drinking of alcohol and conflict are snug as two bugs in a rug. In comparison, I smoked dope with lots of folks in a broad diversity of situations and locations from the summer of 69' to New Year's Eve 79' and I never once observed that the smoking of marijuana unleashed those combative and belligerent aspects of a person's personality. Even when the person consuming marijuana was typically prone to antagonistic and aggressive behaviour, such behaviour did not manifest. Indeed, it seemed that such behaviour was actually mitigated by consuming marijauana. As a side note... Marijuana played a key role in my waking up to social engineering by my government (although I didn't refer to it as social engineering back then). One day when I was 13 yrs old and attending public school in Siloam Springs, my class and others were instructed to go to the gymnasium/assembly room where we were shown a black propaganda (black because it was full of lies) film about marijuana. Until that day I had never even heard of marijuana nor, I would suppose, had most of the other country bumpkin kids in that assembly. Anyway, this film showed high school students smoking dope then breaking glass soda bottles open and drinking the contents. All the while, of course, their mouths were being slashed by the jagged edges of the broken glass. Furthermore, other kids in the movie were shown getting high, then, believing they could fly, jumping out of a building's windows several stories up and plunging to their death. I tell you, at the time, those images really impinged upon my 13 yr old mind! Well, long story short...when I did eventually overcome my fear of drinking out of broken coke bottles and flying out of windows to my death, (not to mention the act of smoking itself) and smoked my first joint and had the experience for myself....it wasn't long before it occurred to me that my government had lied to all of us that day in the gymnasium back in Siloam Springs. And my view of government has never been the same since. One final thing to mention and that is; smoking marijuana and doing some of the other drugs that I did in a ten year period were, for me, one of the boats that I had to use to get across a particular river. When I reached the other side of this river I got out of the boat and walked on without ever longing to return to the boat. It was a great ride and I have no regrets but it was a finite experience. I have had several other boats and crossed numerous other rivers since those days. Here's a link to an excellent documentary about marijuana. It titled The Union and its 1:45 long. If you haven't yet seen it I highly recommend it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9077214414651731007#
This is an excellent article! I grew up in a cowboy and "oil-hand" world where alcohol was the mood-modifier of choice. Many years of personal observation and experience educated me on the propensity for the consumption of alcohol to pull the combative and belligerent aspects of personalities up to the forefront. Without doubt, it is an empirical fact that the drinking of alcohol and conflict are snug as two bugs in a rug. In comparison, I smoked dope with lots of folks in a broad diversity of situations and locations from the summer of 69' to New Year's Eve 79' and I never once observed that the smoking of marijuana unleashed those combative and belligerent ...>> Read the entire comment.

Thought on pot

Isn't it true that pot is the primary source of income for gangs and cartels, moreso than cocaine and meth? Isn't most gang-related violence related to fighting over drug trafficking territory? People are dying due to a ridiculous law. How much space is taken up in our overcrowded correctional facilities by pot dealers/users? How many more violent criminals could we keep locked away if not for this waste of time and space? The amount of resources - money, manpower, lives - wasted on keeping pot illegal boggles the mind.

Marijuana, Masturbation, Medicine

Published on Thursday, October 21, 2010 by The Nation Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Marijuana, Masturbation and Medicine "A group called MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com is flooding California airwaves with a scary-scary ad against Proposition 19, tthat state's legalize marijuana iaw. We don't know who they are but we do know that there is a former Surgeon General who has come out in favor of Prop 19 . She's Joycelyn Elders, also now a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and an associate at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Here's a rough transcript of her comments today on GRITtv." video and partial transcript available. Find here: http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/10/21-1
Published on Thursday, October 21, 2010 by The Nation Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Marijuana, Masturbation and Medicine "A group called MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com is flooding California airwaves with a scary-scary ad against Proposition 19, tthat state's legalize marijuana iaw. We don't know who they are but we do know that there is a former Surgeon General who has come out in favor of Prop 19 . She's Joycelyn Elders, also now a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and an associate at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Here's a rough transcript of her comments today on GRITtv." video and partial transcript available. Find here: ...>> Read the entire comment.

Willie busted again for pot

Report and commentary from Mike Adams at Natural News: Willie Nelson pot possession charge shows ludicrousness of marijuana prohibition Excerpts: "Country singer superstar Willie Nelson is the latest victim of this police state marijuana prohibition. His vehicle was stopped at an immigration checkpoint (yes, immigration) in Sierra Blanca, Texas, where an officer claimed he smelled pot. A search of the vehicle turned up six ounces of marijuana for which Willie Nelson was arrested along with two other people. "For the record, I'm not a marijuana smoker, and I would never encourage any individual to take up such a habit unless they had a legitimate medical need for pain relief. However, I am totally against the continued persecution of individuals who buy, possess or consume this medicinal herb. They harm no one but themselves, and smoking marijuana produces side effects that are far milder than drinking alcohol." (end of excerpts) http://www.naturalnews.com/030551_Willie_Nelson_marijuana.html
Report and commentary from Mike Adams at Natural News: Willie Nelson pot possession charge shows ludicrousness of marijuana prohibition Excerpts: "Country singer superstar Willie Nelson is the latest victim of this police state marijuana prohibition. His vehicle was stopped at an immigration checkpoint (yes, immigration) in Sierra Blanca, Texas, where an officer claimed he smelled pot. A search of the vehicle turned up six ounces of marijuana for which Willie Nelson was arrested along with two other people. "For the record, I'm not a marijuana smoker, and I would never encourage any individual to take up such a habit unless they had a legitimate medical ...>> Read the entire comment.