It’s a plant, called cannabis. Quit calling it a “DRUG”
It’s a plant, called cannabis. Quit calling it a “DRUG”
We the People have seem to become a part of a war that we never intended to become a part of. The “War on Drugs” has deemed many of the citizens of the United States to be criminals for such a destructive substance known as “marijuana”. The Reefer Madness, propaganda campaign made famous by Harry Anslinger.
I have yet to find the evidence of the harm that I keep hearing this plant causes, but those looking to keep this plant from the people sure seem to use those same unfounded claims to continue the prohibition of this plant, in turn the prohibition of our rights. I wonder what would happen if we started calling it “CANNABIS” people would start to understand how they have been duped, by their own government since the 30’s about a plant that could literally change and help save the world.
Many years ago there was a document written that outlined specific rights of the people that were to be protected, not only from corporate structures but also limit the power of our government. The Constitution of the United States is missing one important detail, to outline the importance of keeping the cannabis plant in the hands of the people.
It looks like that may now be challenged and a proposal has been written, waiting for the right person to take hold and run with it to the national scene. Are you that person, or do you know that person? Have a look and share it with others if you think this is how it should be.
To hopefully become an initiative and later an amendment to the US Constitution:
“BEING NECESSARY TO THE HEALTH, SELF SUFFICIENCY AND SECURITY OF A FREE STATE ,THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ACCESS, KEEP, GROW AND CONSUME THE CANNABIS PLANT SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”
If you think it’s time for national change. Get involved. Make noise. Force the change you want. It is our right. Don’t let them take it away from us.
Popeye is one of the world’s most well-known and beloved animated characters. Since his creation, the pipe-puffing Popeye has become a global phenomenon, with millions of kids heartily munching on spinach in the hopes that it will make them as strong as the legendary sailor-man.
Yet is the spinach which gives Popeye his super-strength really a metaphor for another magical herb? Have children around the world been adoring a hero who is really a heavy consumer of the forbidden weed – marijuana?
The evidence is circumstantial, but it is there, and when added together it presents a compelling picture that, for many readers at least, Popeye’s strength-giving spinach is meant as a clear metaphor for the miraculous powers of marijuana.
Popeye has gone through many different writers and artists since he was first created in 1929 by cartoonist Elzie Segar. Popeye was originally introduced as a minor character in Segar’s ongoing comic strip, Thimble Theatre. For 10 years Segar had been chronicling the adventures of Olive Oyl, her brother Castor, and her fiance Ham Gravy. At the start of one new adventure, Castor and Ham were to embark on an overseas voyage, and so they went to the docks and hired a sailor named Popeye.
Soon Popeye had become a major part of the Thimble Theatre cast, and within a year Ham Gravy was written out of the strip as Popeye replaced him as Olive’s sweetheart. Wimpy was added to the cast three years later, and baby Swee’pea four years after that.
At first there was no explanation for Popeye’s amazing strength. But within a few years Popeye’s reliance on spinach was entrenched in the strip, and the basis of some ongoing jokes. By the time of the animated cartoons, decades after Segar’s death, the spinach had become an essential part of every plot, with Popeye’s consumption of the magic herb signaling a swift end to his foes.
The original comic by Segar was much more complex and nuanced than the later animated shorts. Segar introduced many strange and wonderful characters into Popeye’s world, including the malicious Sea Hag, whose enchanted flute enables her to fly and do magic; the wealthy Mr. Vanripple, whose beautiful daughter June rivals Olive for Popeye’ affections; the disturbing Alice the Goon who speaks only in squiggles; and the mighty Toar, whose monstrous strength challenges even Popeye’s.
Segar’s storylines were full of adult humor, including Toar having a crush on Popeye, calling him “hot stuff” and kissing him on the head. Popeye’s ongoing adventures included founding his own island nation called Spinachovia, and becoming “dictipator” over a country made up only of men.
Spinach = Marijuana
So from these seemingly innocent beginnings, what evidence is there that Popeye is actually a stoner?
During the 1920s and ’30s, the era when Popeye was created, “spinach” was a very common code word for marijuana. One classic example is “The Spinach Song,” recorded in 1938 by the popular jazz band Julia Lee and Her Boyfriends. Performed for years in clubs thick with cannabis smoke, along with other Julia Lee hits like “Sweet Marijuana,” the popular song used spinach as an obvious metaphor for pot.
In addition, anti-marijuana propaganda of the time claimed that marijuana use induced super-strength. Overblown media reports proclaimed that pot smokers became extraordinarily strong, and even immune to bullets. So tying in Popeye’s mighty strength with his sucking back some spinach would have seemed like an obvious cannabis connection at the time.
Further, as a “sailor-man,” Popeye would be expected to be familiar with exotic herbs from distant locales. Indeed, sailors were among the first to introduce marijuana to American culture, bringing the herb back with them from their voyages overseas.
Segar did make other, more explicit drug references in his comic strip. One ongoing 1934 plotline had Vanripple’s gold mine facing corrupt, thieving workers. Popeye discovers that the mine manager is feeding his men berries from a bush whose roots are soaked in a nasty drug. Consuming the drugged berries removes human conscience, making people more violent and willing to commit crime.
Popeye falls under the influence of the laced berries and becomes surly and mean, striking out at his friends and allies. Yet he still manages to get five gallons of “myrtholene,” a joy-inducing drug which he pours over the plant’s roots. The new berries produce delirious happiness, and as Popeye says, “When a man’s happy he jus’ couldn’t do nothin’ wrong.”
Segar died in 1938, and the strip was taken over by others in the following decades. As the Popeye character was re-interpreted by others in print, animation and film, other indicators of a marijuana subtext have continued to pop up.
For example, in many of the animated Popeye cartoons from the 1960s, Popeye is explicitly shown sucking the power-giving spinach through his pipe.
Further, in the comics and cartoons made during the ’60s, Popeye had a dog named Birdseed. Surely the writers who named Popeye’s dog during this “flower power” era were aware that cannabis was in fact America’s number one source of birdseed until it was banned?
Another slightly different drug reference occurs in the 1954 cartoon, Greek Mirthology. In the cartoon, Popeye tells his nephews the story of his ancestor, Hercules. Hercules, who looks just like Popeye, is shown sniffing white garlic to gain his super strength. By the end of the cartoon Hercules has discovered spinach and switches over to it. Is this a metaphor for the benefits of cannabis over cocaine or snuff?
Another animated film shows Popeye carefully tending a crop of spinach plants reminiscent of a cannabis patch. He carefully takes cuttings, dips them into rooting gel and plants them in his outdoor garden. He even gives each plant a special feeding mix from a baby bottle. Pot growers worldwide would recognize the unique way that Popeye cares for his sacred crop.
I Yam What I Yam
Some have commented on the parallel between Popeye’s famous phrase, “I yam what I yam,” and the statement, “I am that I am,” made by God to Moses in the Old Testament. In the story, God speaks to Moses through a magical burning bush, which was not consumed by the fire. Many different people and faiths, including Rastafarians and various early Christian sects, have believed that the biblical burning bush is a reference to the cannabis plant.
So in this context, the use of phrase, “I yam what I yam,” can be seen as a reference to Popeye’s use of the burning cannabis bush, which creates his higher awareness of the self-reflective nature of the Godhead.
Pure Bolivian Spinach
The only Popeye strip to ever explicitly refer to the pot/spinach connection was published in the 1980s by illustrator Bobby London. The comic showed Popeye and Wimpy picking up a load of “pure Bolivian spinach.”
London did the syndicated Popeye daily strip for King Features from 1986 to 1992, and was known for putting adult, controversial themes into his work. He had previously worked on the short-lived comic book Air Pirates, which showed Mickey and Minnie Mouse having sex, getting high and smuggling drugs.
London was eventually fired from Popeye for writing an allegorical satire about the abortion issue. No new Popeye strips are now being written; those running in daily newspapers are all repeats.
Whether Popeye ‘s many pot references are intentional or not, some see amazing depths and layers of meaning within the Popeye saga. An author and online artist named Michaelm provides the following analysis:
“Popeye characterizes the natural cycle going back through the ages to the ancient mariners … books, [B]ibles, logs, maps, pennants, sails, ropes, paints, varnishes, lamp oil and sealants were all derived from hemp. Bluto represents the greedy toxic corporations, dependent industries and landowners.
“Both characters try to swoon the premier oil source, Olive Oyl. Bluto begins to understand Popeye is too competitive so he decides to eliminate him. He chains Popeye down, captures Olive Oyl, and approaches the point of rape. But in the end Popeye manages to suck the ‘spinach’ through his pipe, grows strong with hemp, breaks free and defeats the evil corporations, saving her from industrial pollution and oppression.
“Relieved and happy, she gives herself back to the natural cycle, then Popeye smiles, winks and toots his pipe.”
While this is likely reading far more into the strip than any of its creators ever intended, it is an excellent example of the iconic status that Popeye has achieved among some quarters of the cannabis community.
It is hard to believe only four senators opposed the confirmation of Robert Califf, who was approved today as the next FDA commissioner. Vocal opponent Bernie Sanders condemned the vote from the campaign trail. But where was Dick Durbin? Where were all the lawmakers who say they care about industry and Wall Street profiteers making money at the expense of public health?
Califf, chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University until recently, received money from 23 drug companies including the giants like Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Schering Plough and GSK according to a disclosure statement on the website of Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Not merely receiving research funds, Califf also served as a high level Pharma officer, say press reports. Medscape, the medical website, discloses that Califf “served as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for Genentech.” Portola Pharmaceuticals says Califf served on its board of directors until leaving for the FDA.
In disclosure information for a 2013 article in Circulation, Califf also lists financial links to Gambro, Regeneron, Gilead, AstraZeneca, Roche and other companies and equity positions in four medical companies. Gilead is the maker of the $1000-a-pill hepatitis C drug AlterNet recently wrote about. This is FDA commissioner material?
Califf has gone on record that collaboration between industry and regulators is a good thing. He told NPR, “Many of us consult with the pharmaceutical industry, which I think is a very good thing. They need ideas and then the decision about what they do is really up to the person who is funding the study.” What?
He is known for defending Vioxx which is reported to have caused at least 50,000 heart attacks and events before its withdrawal. (Merck is said to have known about Vioxx’ cardio effects but marketed the blockbuster drug anyway.)
Califf was instrumental in the Duke drug trial of the blood thinner Xarelto and a cheerleader of the drug despite medical experts’ objections to its approval and 379 subsequent deaths. Xarelto’s serious and foreseeable risks were back in the news this week.
Duke, where Califf directed clinical research, is still recovering from a major research fraud scandal that resulted in terminated grants, retracted papers and a “60 Minutes” special. It is the least appropriate place from which to choose an FDA commissioner.
Many had high hopes for the FDA when Margaret Hamburg was confirmed as commissioner in 2009 because of her public health background. But she swiftly moved to loosen conflict-of-interest rules governing those who can serve on FDA expert advisory committees and appointed Califf the FDA deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco as she was leaving.
Califf was also Obama’s choice for FDA Commissioner.
This is not the first time the FDA has brought in a Big Pharma cheerleader to lead the agency that regulates Big Pharma.
In 2005, a 33-year-old Wall Street insider known for recommending hot medical stocks, Scott Gottlieb, was named FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. When a multiple sclerosis drug trial was stopped because three people lost blood platelets and one died, Gottlieb called it “an overreaction” because the disease, not the drug, might be to blame. He rushed Chantix, Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug, varenicline, to market, which was linked to a string of 2006 suicides and the violent death of Dallas musician Carter Albrecht. Gottlieb was forced to recuse himself from planning for a possible bird flu epidemic because of his financial ties to Roche and Sanofi-Aventis and had to bow out of work related to Eli Lilly, Proctor & Gamble and five other drug companies.
Even without a Pharma-funded FDA commissioner, many dangerous drugs approved by the agency have been withdrawn due to great harm. Who remembers Vioxx, Bextra, Baycol, Trovan, Meridia, Seldane, Hismanal, Darvon, Mylotarg, Lotronex, Propulsid, Raxar or Redux?
Califf’s confirmation amounts to a handover of the agency to Big Pharma.
By:OCT 9, 2013
It never ceases to amaze me how many people want to use this issue to serve their personal and/or professional ambitions with little regard for the plant or freedom. The parade of plastic Ken dolls and Barbies has begun. Out of the woodwork comes every former pitch man and woman to claim their 15 minutes of fame off the back of countless dedicated activists and supporters. Super.
Some will tell you it is the American way, that it is their God-given right to trample over the message and stake their claim in the green rush. These snakes will justify their existence by claiming that by making it all about themselves they are really helping the movement. They believe their own lies, and they believe they are a gift to us all, that we should be grateful that they came down off of Mount Look-At-Me to save us. Spare me the hyperbole.
The barrage of contrived press releases and PR stunts we see happening around the cannabis issue is fairly disgusting, and at times outright obscene. There is a new breed of self-promoting media whores circling like birds of prey. They look for the latest feel good story or trend, and immediately latch themselves on for the ride. They bully their way into the story with promises and tall tales, only to use the situation to sell themselves and/or a “new and exciting” company.
This is not one or two people either. This is a growing trend in cannabis media relations.
There are more people trying to make a name for themselves with some fabricated bull than I have ever seen in my life. I thought the internet boom was crazy and that the social media game got weird. It is apparent that this industry will make both of those phenomena seem like child’s play in comparison. Every idiot with a story and a product to sell will be out in full force to tell you how they invented purple weed. It is happening. Look around you.
Because of the illegal history of our culture evolving into a legitimate industry, there are a lot of characters and con-men. The outlaws and misfits are meeting the hucksters and charlatans for the first time; and the results are not always pretty. Slick talking city folk are forced to learn the language of the hills if they want to understand what makes the cannabis industry really work. People who have spent their lives fearing prosecution are now being asked to come out of hiding and be the pitch man for this product or that project. We see the rise and fall of many wannabe pot superstars, as the bright lights and fast pace of a growing industry chew people up and spit them out.
It is a brave new world for many who have become one with the plant and who desire real freedom. Do not be fooled by those who promise the world. They rarely have the world to promise.
It is up to us to protect the plant and our movement. We cannot allow for the good will and hard work of so many who came before us to be bought and sold for beads and trinkets. It is up to us to demand ethics and morality from those who choose to be a part of this movement and industry. No amount of money is worth living a lie. When you sell lies for a living, eventually some people will want their money back.
What it boils down to is the basic message that cannabis is a wonderful plant, and that people should be free to use it as they please. We must end prohibition and quit taking people to jail for weed. It is no longer okay for stoners to be treated like second class citizens because they choose to use weed instead of, or even in conjunction with, the many other drugs we tolerate in our society. It is about our love for this plant and the need to free it from the clutches of tyranny.
Anything else is secondary and a distraction. It is not about you. I promise. It never will be. It is bigger than any one of us, and it is the work of all of us that has gotten us to where we are.
There are still tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in jail today. People are still losing their children over weed. Our property is being searched and seized because it smells like weed. People continue to lose their jobs and their standing in the community over weed. Hell, even the NRA doesn’t know you and your gun rights if you use weed for medical purposes.
Billions of dollars continue to be thrown away taking away our freedom over this plant. That should be the focus of every one of our messages and opportunities. People can figure out how to split up the spoils after the war is over, but in case you have not noticed there is still very much a war on cannabis happening. You can either fight or get out of the way. I do not have time for your distractions any more.
Things may get worse before they get better. The cannabis industry can be an insane environment to be a part of on some days. The “get rich quick” or “I can cure you of anything” scammers are out in droves, and cannabis media is eating it up.
It does not have to be this way if we agree to hold ourselves to a simple standard: a plant and some freedom. Is what we are doing centered on the best interest of those two factors? If it is not, we should pause and ask ourselves “why?”
Every day in the United States, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose.
Among those who died from prescription opioid overdose between 1999 and 2013:
Most were ages 25 to 54.
This age group had the highest overdose rates compared to other age groups. However, the overdose rate for adults aged 55–64 increased more than seven-fold during this same time period.
The large majority were non-Hispanic whites.
The age-adjusted rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons increased 4.3 times, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 6.8 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates more than doubled for non-Hispanic black persons, from 0.9 per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.5 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates increased only slightly for Hispanic persons, from 1.7 per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates for American Indian or Alaska Natives increased almost four fold from 1.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.1 per 100,000 in 2013.
Men were more likely to die from prescription opioid overdose, but the mortality gap between men and women is closing.
Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses among women increased more than 400% during 1999–2010, compared to 237% among men.
Prescription Opioid Painkillers and the Epidemic of Drug Abuse and Overdose
Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2013. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.
There were 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2013. Of these, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to prescription drugs.
Of the 22,767 deaths relating to prescription drug overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid painkillers, and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines.
People who died of drug overdoses often had a combination of benzodiazepines and opioid painkillers in their bodies.
Drug misuse and abuse caused about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits in 2011. Of these, more than 1.4 million ED visits were related to prescription drugs.
Among those ED visits, 501,207 visits were related to anti-anxiety and insomnia medications, and 420,040 visits were related to opioid analgesics.
Benzodiazepines are frequently found among people treated in EDs for misusing or abusing drugs.
Nearly two million Americans, aged 12 or older, either abused or were dependent on opioid painkillers in 2013.
Costs of Prescription Opioid Overdose
In the United States, prescription opioid abuse costs were about $55.7 billion in 2007. Of this amount, 46% was attributable to workplace costs (e.g., lost productivity), 45% to healthcare costs (e.g., abuse treatment), and 9% to criminal justice costs.
Read article here: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html
Could cannabis help with reducing those numbers? According to this Newsweek article,
Is it time to start talking about cannabis yet? Learn more and talk about it with your friends and family. We have lost enough lives because of Big Pharma’s lies. It’s time for a change.
By, The Truth Farmer
Psssst. Hey guys, guess what? The veil of fear and loathing around cannabis is getting shredded.There is just too much evidence that it is actually good for the vast majority of people coming to light. I guess I need to be more patient and remember that it took the FDA 30 years to admit that vitamin c can help fight off the common cold. Why should it be surprising that it takes almost 80 years to get any quasi-governmental acknowledgement that cannabis isn’t really a drug that drives one to prostitution and heroin?
But we still have the issue of whom we trust with our health care and decisions about what we ingest and to whom we give authority over our potential ingestion of this plant. Hemp seed alone is so amazingly beneficial it’s still a wonder that governments have gotten away with controlling it. Unfortunately, it looks like the corporate control and the “Reefer Madness” idiom we have been conditioned to accepting is still winning.
We do not need to have things that are so potentially beneficial for us (raw milk, food directly from the farmer, cannabis, sassafras) regulated and controlled by nameless faceless bureaucracies and legal systems. If we allow the powers that be to control our access to food, education, news, medicine, information(for example, the massive assault on the statement of evidenced benefits from essential oils) and the sharing of these things, then we may as well ask for permission to breathe as well. Potentially, they are already lined up for the license to breathe via the carbon tax mechanism and CO2 as a “dangerous emission”.
In my state, Missouri, we have two initiatives gathering signatures for the ballot in November. One of those (New Approach Missouri or NAM) is not changing the schedule of cannabis, thereby leaving it in the federal realm of a schedule 1 controlled substance that could cause you to lose your right to keep and bear arms should you get a prescription. The other initiative, (Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act or MCRPA) changes that scheduling and does not allow the medical industrial complex further control over your health decisions. The problem is that the controlled and legally dangerous initiative has better organization and funding than the fully grass roots initiative. So, we are likely to get something that will only really benefit a few and keep power and money in the hands of the medical industrial complex, the state and the court system, and prevent people from helping themselves and each other.
Here is an article that pretty well reflects my opinion, and let’s us know about the issue with DARE’s policy change:
I don’t smoke pot, but if I had a medical condition that warranted its use, I would use it without a doubt. I probably would not smoke it as I don’t want to inhale smoke into my lungs. I would, however, find another way to reap all of its amazing therapeutic benefits, such as juicing, capsules, or using its potent essential oil.
I must admit that I would even risk being arrested for the sake of taking responsibility for my health. I am a mother with three children, and if using cannabis effectively allowed me to continue to be a mother… I would not refuse it.
There is far too much compounding scientific evidence (see below) to support its therapeutic value, and besides… it is natural, who can argue with that?
As more and more states (23 to be exact, plus DC) legalize the medicinal use of cannabis, the pressure is really on the federal government to loosen their restrictions and classification of this herb.
Humans have cultivated and used the flowering tops of the female cannabis plant, known colloquially as marijuana, since history was recorded. Archaeologists in Central Asia even found over two pounds of cannabis in a 2,700-year-old grave of a shaman. Written and pictorial evidence of cannabis use is scattered throughout numerous cultures, indicating a wide acceptance and use of the plant for thousands of years.
“The D.A.R.E. Program and Gateway Drugs”
Most recently, albeit rather quietly, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program
(D.A.R.E.), one of the biggest organized anti-drug groups in the world, erased marijuana from their list of “gateway” drugs. There was no big fanfare, no news conference, nothing. Marijuana simply disappeared off the list on their website, which still contains tobacco and alcohol.
The gateway theory basically states that people who start using “soft” substances like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana will move on to “hard” drugs like cocaine or heroin. For years, the D.A.R.E. program has been teaching that marijuana along with alcohol and tobacco are very dangerous gateway drugs. Two outta three ain’t bad, but there has been a tremendous amount of miseducation taking place. Here is what the D.A.R.E. website had to say about marijuana in 2014:
“While the drug [marijuana] is being legalized in some states for medicinal and, in some cases, recreational purposes, there are many experts who still consider it the path to a life of ruin.”
No need to look at the past, however. I celebrate, along with many others, the fact that the program has taken this step to help end marijuana propaganda that has been going on for a very long time. I am glad that they were bold enough to get off the cannabis-bashing bandwagon and acknowledge what science supports.
Less ammunition for those against legalization
The disappearance of cannabis from the list gives those opposed to legalization of the plant a much smaller platform upon which to stand. Sorry to disarm you Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Schultz, Democratic National Committee chair described pot as a dangerous gateway drug in an interview not too long ago. Here is what she had to say.
“I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs,” Schultz told The New York Times. “We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic.”
But she was actually far off course, studies show that the marijuana-gateway theory is wrong, hands down. Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that most people who use cannabis don’t move on to harder or more dangerous substances. Sadly enough, The Intercept reports that Schultz has been badmouthing cannabis while accepting generous campaign donations from Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco. Now that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Drug classification remains
Although D.A.R.E. has made a courageous and historic stand by removing cannabis from their gateway list, federal prohibitions outlawing the therapeutic and recreational use of cannabis still remain. These restrictions were first imposed by Congress with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Later, the plant’s organic compounds (cannabinoids) were classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
This classification puts the plant in the same pool as heroin and states that cannabis possesses “a high potential for abuse… no currently accepted medical use… [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug… under medical supervision.”
In contrast, cocaine and methamphetamine, which are illegal for recreational use, may be consumed under a doctor’s supervision and are classified as Schedule II drugs. Examples of Schedule III and IV drugs include anabolic steroids and Valium. Analgesics that contain codeine are defined by law as Schedule V drugs, the most lenient classification.
Federal lawmakers continue to use the dated drug classification as a means to defend criminalization of marijuana. However, there appears to be very little scientific basis for the categorization of the plant. As its prohibition has passed 75 years, researchers continue to study the therapeutic properties of cannabis.
There are over 20,000 published reviews and studies in scientific literature that pertain to the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, almost one-third of these have been published in the last four years. A keyword search on PubMed Central (the U.S. government library of peer-reviewed scientific research) shows 2,100 studies alone since 2011.
Joycelyn Elders, MD, former U.S. Surgeon General, wrote the following in a March 26, 2004 article titled “Myths About Medical Marijuana,” published in theProvidence Journal:
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
Ray Cavanaugh, PhD, national director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), wrote the following in a 2002 article titled “The Plight of the Chronically Ill,” posted on the AAMC website:
“Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries able to give up their walkers, AIDS patients able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers.”
The American Nurses Association (ANA) wrote the following in its March 19, 2004 “Position Statement: Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” posted on the ANA website:
“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.”
Researchers at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research announced findings from a number of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials on the medical utility of inhaled cannabis in 2010.
The studies used the FDA “gold standard” clinical trial design and reported that marijuana should be the “first line of treatment” for patients suffering fromneuropathy and other serious illnesses.
Neuropathy is a type of pain associated with diabetes, cancer, spinal cord injuries, HIV/AIDS and other debilitating conditions. The trials indicated that marijuana controlled pain as well or better than available medications.
Scientists continue to study the effectiveness of cannabinoids all over the world. InGermany there have been over 37 controlled studies, with over 2,500 subjects, assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana since 2005. In contrast, most FDA-approved drugs go through far fewer trials with less subjects but are approved for use.
The research on cannabis has shifted from studying its ability to alleviate symptoms of disease, such as nausea associated with chemotherapy, to its potential role in modifying disease. Medical marijuana has been shown to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and moderate autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Where does this leave us?
Is marijuana a gateway drug? No way. Does it have therapeutic value that we would be foolish to overlook? Most definitely. The decision of D.A.R.E. to remove marijuana from their gateway list sends a message to all engaged in the cannabis debate. As more and more forward momentum is gained and the falsities of this plant begin to fade in the light of the true evidence, there is hope for millions of people who suffer needlessly in pain when a natural and highly effective remedy exists.
Clearly, where conventional medicine has failed or needs help, alternatives such as cannabis can and are starting to fill the gap.
Susan is the Content Director at The Alternative Daily, a Certified Health Coach, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and Master Gardener. With an extensive knowledge of whole foods and wellness, Susan has authored over 3,000 articles and numerous e-books. She presently lives in the mountains of Arizona where she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening and pursuing a healthy lifestyle with her three daughters and numerous animals.
Let’s talk about the most misunderstood plant in the world. The cannabis plant. How much do you really know about it? Listen in and learn more.
(information compiled by Lynn Kempen)
Hemp, formerly the cornerstone of industry and mainstay of American agriculture, can revolutionize today’s US economy.
Cannabis is such a versatile natural raw material it competes with:
* petroleum/fossil fuels * coal
* natural gas * timber
* nuclear energy * textiles
Methane and methanol from hemp could replace 90% of the world’s energy needs.
The threat hemp posed to a handful of natural resource corporate giants in the 1930’s largely accounts for its original ban.
The love of money is the root of all evil. (1Timothy 6:10).
Hemp paper is superior to wood paper (without toxic byproducts that wood paper mills emit.)
The first two drafts of the US Constitution were written on hemp paper (the final draft is on animal skin.) Hemp paper contains no dioxin or toxic residue.
ONE acre of hemp can produce as much paper in one season as 4 acres of trees
that take 20 years to harvest.
In warm climates, hemp can be harvested 2 or even 3 times per year.
In 1937 Dupont Chemical Company was granted a patent on a sulfuric acid process for making paper from wood pulp. At the time, Dupont predicted their sulfuric acid process would account for 80% of their business for the next 50 years. (1937 was a critical year in turning the mindset of the nation against cannabis.)
* Hemp grows in bad soil,
* Hemp restores soil nutrients,
* Hemp even detoxifies land contaminated with radiation! (It has been helping detoxify soil at Chernobyl for well over a decade.)
HEMP IN AMERICAN HISTORY:
A 1619 Jamestown law ordered farmers to grow Indian hemp. One third of crops had to be hemp; in 1631 Massachusetts passed a compulsory grow law and Connecticut followed in 1632. Mid 18th century Chesapeake colonies (Virginia and Maryland) law ordered farmers to grow cannabis.
Township names like Hempstead and Hemphill dot the American landscape, reflective of areas with historically intense marijuana cultivation.
From 1842 through the 1890’s a powerful concentrated extract of cannabis was the second most prescribed drug in the US. Cannabis remained a prevalent ingredient in medicine well into the 1930’s. In all that time, medical literature didn’t list any of the ill effects claimed by today’s prohibitionists.
The last commercial hemp fields before federal prohibition were planted in Wisconsin in 1957.
HEMP AS BIOFUEL:
Hemp is the most efficient biofuel. When Rudolph Diesel created his diesel engine in 1896 he presumed it would be powered by hemp seed oil.
By volume, 30% of the hemp seed contains oil suitable for high grade diesel fuel, aircraft engine oil and precision machine oil.
In the 1930’s Ford Motor Company in Iron Mountain Michigan operated a successful biomass conversion plant that included hemp, extracting methanol (now used in modern race cars), charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl-acetate, and creosote, all fundamental ingredients for modern industry, and now supplied by oil related industries. Hemp, however, is cheap, renewable, and clean, while petroleum and coal sources are limited, expensive, and dirty.
With this natural, renewable alternative to synthetics and petro products we can say farewell to dependence on big oil, oil spills, and Middle East wars over oil.
HEMP AS TEXTILE:
In the 1930’s, a mechanical device to strip the outer fibers of hemp was invented to turn hemp into paper and fabrics, quickly and cheaply.
Hemp fiber stripping machines were bad news to the Hearst Paper manufacturing division, and a host of other natural resource firms.
To stifle the commercial threat that hemp posed to timber industries,
in 1933 newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst dropped the words cannabis and hemp from his newspapers and began a propaganda campaign against the more exotic sounding “marijuana” (Spanish word) in his over 22 newspapers. This did two things:
1. It associated the plant with Mexicans, so it played on racist fears,
2. It mislead the public into thinking that marijuana and hemp were different plants.
Nobody was afraid of hemp at the time, it had been cultivated and processed into usable goods, consumed as medicine, and burned in oil lamps for hundreds of years. But after a campaign in the Hearst newspapers to discredit hemp, people became afraid of something called “marijuana.”
PAINT AND VARNISH:
Back in 1935 more than 58,000 tons of marijuana seed were used just to make paint and varnish, all non-toxic.
When marijuana was banned, these safe paints and varnishes were replaced by paints made with toxic petrochemicals (poisoning rivers, landfills, and children).
HEMP PRODUCTS, HISTORICALLY:
Oil lamps used to burn hemp seed oil until whale oil edged it out of first place in the mid 19thcentury. Then when the whales were dead, lamplights were fueled by petroleum, coal, and, more recently, radioactive energy (modern electricity.)
Into the 1930’s Cannabis and hemp products were common and familiar.
* ship lines * sail canvas *ropes * lines,
* flagging * nets *rigging
* charts * logs * Bibles.
Today, many of these items are instead made with synthetic petrochemicals and wood.
The word “canvas” is the Dutch pronunciation of the Greek word for hemp, “cannabis.”
400,000 acres of hemp were cultivated between 1942 and 1945.
MARIJUANA TAX ACT of 1937:
The Marijuana Tax Act raised an insignificant amount of revenue, yet marked the beginning of the end for the cannabis industry.
POPULAR MECHANICS HEMP ARTICLE:
In 1938 Popular Mechanics ran an article “New Billion-Dollar Crop.” It was the first time the words “billion dollars” were used to describe a US agricultural product.
Popular Mechanics said
“a machine has been invented that solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. The machine is designed to remove the fiber bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human labor. Hemp is the standard fiber of the world, it has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope to fine laces. The woody parts remaining after the fiber has been removed, contain more than 77% cellulose and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.”
Since the Popular Mechanics article appeared 77 years ago, many more applications have come to light.
In 1941 Henry Ford manufactured a plastic car made from fibers derived from hemp, sisal and wheat straw. The plastic was lighter than steel, yet could withstand 10 times the impact without denting. Hemp also fueled it.
HEMP and WWII:
* Domestic hemp production was crucial after Japan cut off Asian supplies to the US.
* American farmers and even their sons were exempt from military duty during WWII.
* “Hemp for Victory,” a 1942 US Dept. of Agriculture film, extolled the agricultural might of marijuana, calling for hundreds of thousands of acres to be planted.
* 4-H clubs were asked by the government to grow marijuana for seed supply.
* War plunged the government into a sobering reality: Cannabis is very valuable.
* Over 30 million Americans smoke cannabis regularly.
* The underground cannabis industry clears well more than $1.4 billion dollars a year, and that is just the drug (not hemp and all its industrial products and capabilities);
* obviously, as an illegal business, none of that money goes to taxes.
PROHIBITION CAN NOT BE SUSTAINED:
Cannabis prohibition has proven incredibly lucrative for a few corporate giants, but scientific research supporting the incredible medicinal properties of cannabis can no longer be denied.
Maintaining cannabis as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance (meaning it has zero recognized medical application) can no longer be defended. Decriminalization and legalization is coming; that is why corporate giants are jockeying for position to profit from the inevitable relaxing of cannabis prohibition. Their mantra is “tax and regulate,” keeping the bulk of massive profits from this incredible plant in the hands of a corporate few.
Yet, millions of people continue to be arrested, fined and incarcerated for possessing this therapeutic substance revered by our ancestors, a tragic human toll.
America’s senseless war against this plant was born of commerce and greed. It will remain an endless war, unless WE put an end to cannabis prohibition.
Support Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act: Petition 2016-013.
Written by Pat and Lynn Kempen
How many times have you been told that the use or consumption of the cannabis plant is a sin or of the Devil? The next time someone says it’s the Devils weed, correct them, for they know not what they say.
With the Hebrew words for “calamus” and “cannabis” so similar, and the fact that calamus is of lesser value and also toxic, we must question the validity of the term “calamus” in English versions of Scripture.
The word calamus is found in the KJV three times:
Exodus 30:23 God telling Moses the formula for the anointing oil (250 shekels worth.)
Song of Solomon 4:14, speaking of it in a refreshing garden
Ezekiel 27:19 speaking of cane as merchandise.
The KJV translates the Hebrew word “qaneh” (pronounced kaw-naw’) into “calamus.” Per Strong’s Concordance, “qaneh” means “a reed (as erect); by resemblance a rod (especially for measuring) shaft, tube, stem, (the radius of the arm) beam (of a steelyard): – balance, bone, branch, calamus, cane, reed, spearman, stalk.”
The Hebrew word for “calamus” is “kanah bosm,” which is plural. The singular for this is “kaneh bos,” which sounds remarkably close the modern word “cannabis.”
According to Webster’s New Hebrew dictionary, the current Hebrew word for cannabis is “kanabos.”
Thus, contentions that the KJV possibly interpreted the Hebrew word incorrectly as “calamus” warrant consideration.
If Exodus 30:23 is referring to a monetary value of calamus or cannabis, the “250 shekels” is approximately $125.00 worth (which is 2.5 cents/gerah X 20 gerahs/shekel X 250 shekels in Ex30:23) which is a considerable amount.
* Per the ATS Bible Dictionary (and others), a shekel is a term for either weight or currency (a coin.) A shekel is worth 20 gerahs. A gerah is the smallest weight or coin among the Jews, and worth about two and a half cents.
If the 250 shekels is referring to weight, instead of coinage, it is a considerable amount of whatever it is the KJV is referring to as “calamus.”
While cannabis is non-toxic (not a single death has ever been directly attributed to it, despite much effort being given to document such a fatality), calamus is most definitely a toxin. The FDA banned calamus from uses in food and medicines in 1968 as calamus contains more than 75% asarone. Asarone is a poison which has been shown to cause cancer, and has ill effects on heart, liver and kidney functions. This toxin in calamus is used for pest control. Why would God specify a large quantity of a poison be used in holy anointing oil?
In 1936, Sula Benet, a Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw revealed solid evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis. The word “cannabis had previously been thought to be of Scythian origin as Scythians first brought the plant to Europe, but Benet showed it has much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew. “In the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.” Benet demonstrated that the word for cannabis is “kaneh-bosm”, and in traditional Hebrew “kaneh” or “kannabus.” The root “kan” here means “reed” or “hemp”, while “bosm” means “aromatic.” This word appears five times in the Old Testament (Exodus, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and has been mistranslated as “calamus”, a common marsh plant with little monetary value that does not have the qualities or value ascribed to “kaneh-bosm.” The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew bible, the Septuagint in the 3rd century BC, and was repeated in translations that followed.
It is illogical to assume that a plant as important as cannabis, which is such an incredibly useful source of fiber for textiles, loaded with nutritive oils and medicinal properties while also being non-toxic and ridiculously easy to grow, would have gone unnoticed and would have been ignored by the Judaic religion.
With as many benefits (medicinal and utilitarian) that cannabis has to offer humanity, I contend humanity needs to expedite the end of prohibition of this non-toxic plant, and have it removed from the governments drug scheduling listing. There is no valid reason to have our brothers and sisters jailed for consuming this “NON-TOXIC” plant. There is no need to have lives ruined for trying to be healthy.
Bible-believers, specifically, need to thoroughly examine this issue in light of the etymology (the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning), and the likelihood of mis-translation of “qenah” in the King James Version. WHAT IF God intended cannabis (as opposed to calamus) to be part of the anointing oil?
What do you truly know about this plant?
It’s time we talk about this.