TAKE ACTION! The most important step you can take is to contact your elected officials at all levels of government (local, state and federal), and let them know you oppose arresting responsible marijuana smokers. As a constituent, you hold special influence over the politicians who represent your district. It is critical you let them know how you feel. Because the marijuana smoking community remains largely “in the closet” and is all too often invisible politically, our core constituency currently exercises far less political power than our numbers would otherwise suggest. The only way to overcome this handicap is for more of us to take an active role, and routinely contact our elected officials.
A majority of the American public opposes sending marijuana smokers to jail, and 3 out of 4 support the medical use of marijuana. Yet many elected officials remain fearful that if they support these reform proposals, they will be perceived as “soft” on crime and drugs and defeated at the next election.
Tell your elected officials that you know the difference between marijuana and more dangerous drugs and between marijuana smoking and violent crime, and that you do not support spending billions of dollars per year incarcerating nonviolent marijuana offenders.
TESTIMONY GIVEN TO CAMBRIDGE, MA, RE SAGE CANNABIS’ PROPOSED DISPENSARY
Thank you, Councilors, for taking my testimony. I wish to reinforce the Badness of prohibition, the Goodness of cannabis, and to thank you for your good sense and compassion in regards to this issue. (I watched the film of previous testimony and was pleased and impressed.)
We always think that if something is illegal, there is good reason for it to be so, that the legislators did their due diligence, and therefore nothing needs to be questioned. But when our experience consuming cannabis is at such odds with government rhetoric, then we start to ask why, how did we get to this place? What’s the science behind cannabis and the politics behind prohibition?
Concerning the politics of prohibition, here are two reasons the prohibition of cannabis is so abhorrent, rotten, and disgusting;
1. A RACIST DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF NARCOTICS
It appears as though a self-perpetuating bureaucracy established to deal with alcohol prohibition had nothing to do once that prohibition was repealed, so Harry Anslinger, director of the FBN, picked on the herb of choice of Mexican migrant workers as a replacement to vilify. These choice comments of Director Anslinger give an indication of attitudes that would influence WOD policing and social justice in the future;…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races. Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing. There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others. Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men. Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death. You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother. Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.
These last comments about the dangers of cannabis were played up in the movie Tell Your Children, aka Reefer Madness, now a cult classic, but scare tactics were used then and ever since to justify a huge and lengthy war on a plant. But it gets things all wrong – prohibition causes violence, not the herb – something not everyone yet understands.
2. A VINDICTIVE RICHARD NIXON
The original 1937 law against cannabis/hemp was a tax law that was declared unconstitutional during Richard Nixon’s time, and he commissioned a study – the Shafer Commission – that recommended legalization, not what Nixon wanted to hear. John Ehrlichman gave an interview in which he showed that Nixon’s vindictive nature won out over common sense and social justice.
John Ehrlichman, Counsel and Assistant to President Nixon:
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Interviewed in 1992 by journalist Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, full quote in “Truth, Lies, and Audiotape” by Dan Baum (2012).
From blog entry http://deirdre.net/disrupting-demographics-nixons-war-on-drugs/
In the early 1970s, the battle against drug abuse touched upon all of the nine realms that troubled the delegates at the Youth Conference. Poverty, the economy, jobs, Vietnam, and education — all were deeply tied up in Nixon’s war on drugs, even though the answers the delegates arrived at found cold reception from the administration itself. It was here, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, when drug use became a visibly powerful post-war political trope, an element of Nixon’s southern strategy and an epidemic that served as an excuse to overturn a decade of social welfare spending and replace it with increased law enforcement and police surveillance. And it was during Nixon’s administration-and-a-half where the believers in “personal culpability” were distinctly sundered (and, in Nixon’s case, privileged) from those liberal progressive supporters of “root causes,” bringing to a close the Great Society’s desire to eradicate the causes of crime rather than just the criminal himself.
Please note – There is no honor in perpetuating the catastrophic failure that is cannabis prohibition. Disastrous unintended consequences are everywhere and especially horrifying is the social injustice of incarcerating mostly minorities, compounded by Annie Dookhan’s falsifying of evidence, thus sending innocents to prison. Curtailing the availability of medicine results in an underground supply network, huge price increases, and violent cartels. Mandatory minimums, prisons for profit, and policing for profit with asset forfeiture – there is so much corruption because there is so much money at stake. Medical research has been thwarted, and cottage industries banned. The solution – the way to bring down the cartels and end the violence is to repeal the prohibition of cannabis. If everyone grew all they needed, the price would fall to parity with tomatoes.
Concerning the science of cannabis, here is a start to studying up on the ENDOCANNABINOID (REGULATORY) SYSTEM or ECS;
The ECS is involved in all physiological functions in the body to maintain an even keel, or calmness, called homeostasis. This is profoundly important.
One way that the ECS functions is to utilize the on/off switch or feedback loop – ON is when a stimulus from our environment triggers a response in the body, such as a squirt of adrenaline for fight/flight in the face of danger. Another ON signal would trigger inflammation to take care of invading germs, etc. Another ON switch would tell a cell to replicate before it dies.
In all cases, the OFF switch is composed of endogenous (made in our own body) cannabinoids, doing retrograde signaling back up the synapses to the brain, saying, “Enough, OFF, you can stop the stress, or the inflammation, or the cell replication, etc. The function of the OFF switch is to bring the body back to homeostasis, or calmness. The human body makes 2 cannabinoids and there are hints of a third, However, if one’s ECS is running a quart low (running an endocannabinoid deficiency), and one’s body is stuck in chronic stress (PTSD), or chronic inflammation, such as inflammation of the brain (Alzheimers, Huntingtons, Parkinsons), or chronic cell replication (cancer), because the OFF switch is too weak to function, then a person can supplement with phytocannabinoids (phyto, from a plant) by ingesting cannabis to turn off all those chronic conditions. Thus, cannabis is a profoundly important health supplement. The Department of Public Health should be in the streets flinging buds at passers-by.
A few notes;
• The match between the cannabis plant and our supplemental needs is uncanny. Plus, the cannabis plant has more than 80 cannabinoid compounds, and flavonoids, and terpenes, all medicinal. The plant is a veritable smorgasbord for the body to uptake what it needs, and excrete what it doesn’t. Amazingly, the body chooses to store unused cannabinoids for future use – thus rendering DUI tests as false and inappropriate.
• Since every toke is medicinal, legalizing the weed is merely making preventative medicine available to people before they get sick.
• Scientists, in Israel, investigating why hippies got high found the ECS and named the system after the plant. The shameful reason why studies were not done in the US is because of Schedule I and the DEA forbidding medical study of cannabis.
• Please note the medical conference that just happened in your town; http://www.medicinalgenomics.com/cannmed2016/
Here is some research – so new that the medical journals are explaining basic stuff.
Abstract The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was first isolated in 1964, and at least 70 other structurally related ‘phytocannabinoid’ compounds have since been identified. The serendipitous identification of a G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor at which THC is active in the brain heralded an explosion in cannabinoid research. Elements of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprise the cannabinoid receptors, a family of nascent lipid ligands, the ‘endocannabinoids’ and the machinery for their biosynthesis and metabolism. The function of the ECS is thus defined by modulation of these receptors, in particular, by two of the best-described ligands, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide). Research on the ECS has recently aroused enormous interest not only for the physiological functions, but also for the promising therapeutic potentials of drugs interfering with the activity of cannabinoid receptors. Many of the former relate to stress-recovery systems and to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Among other functions, the ECS is involved in neuroprotection, modulation of nociception, regulation of motor activity, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and the control of certain phases of memory processing. In addition, the ECS acts to modulate the immune and inflammatory responses and to maintain a positive energy balance. This theme issue aims to provide the reader with an overview of ECS pharmacology, followed by discussions on the pivotal role of this system in the modulation of neurogenesis in the developing and adult organism, memory processes and synaptic plasticity, as well as in pathological pain and brain ageing. The volume will conclude with discussions that address the proposed therapeutic applications of targeting the ECS for the treatment of neurodegeneration, pain and mental illness.1. Introduction: why study endocannabinoids? The Cannabis sativa plant has been exploited for medicinal, agricultural, recreational and spiritual purposes in diverse cultures over thousands of years. Cannabis seeds were initially used for food (6000 BC) and textiles made from its hemp (4000 BC) in China . The first recorded use of Cannabis as medicine in Chinese pharmacopoeia dates to 2727 BC; Cannabis is later mentioned (1200–800 BC) in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as ‘Sacred Grass’, one of the five sacred plants of India . The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was first isolated in 1964, and at least 70 other structurally related ‘phytocannabinoid’ compounds have since been identified. http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1607/3193
Note – this entire issue of a medical journal is looking at one direction research can go in; the nervous system. It is a theme issue (all 15 articles were of one subject = the endocannabinoids in nervous system health and disease) of The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B
1. Preface On 29 March 2001, a review titled ‘The neurobiology and evolution of cannabinoid signalling’ was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B . It was the first review on cannabinoid signalling to be published in this journal. Since then, the field of research on cannabinoid signalling has grown exponentially. Accordingly, this review is one of 15 reviews that collectively form an entire journal issue devoted to ‘Endocannabinoids in nervous system health and disease’. Writing of the 2001 review required a survey of approximately 3000 articles, which was challenging but feasible. Ten years later, by the end of 2011, the PubMed database had over 11 000 articles that could be found using the search term ‘cannabinoid*’. Clearly, it is no longer feasible to comprehensively review this field of research in a journal article. Even a large book devoted to cannabinoid biology could not cover the range of papers on this topic. Therefore, it is necessary in a review such as this to focus on a specific aspect of cannabinoid biology and the theme here is ‘The evolution and comparative neurobiology of endocannabinoid signalling’, focusing largely on articles that have been published since 2001. This theme issue is intended to present the reader with the latest discoveries on the mechanism of action and potential therapeutic applications of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like molecules in the nervous system.
Note that research is looking at other areas, such as bone density health – they just can’t fit everything in that one issue.
How is this for irony?
US Patent 6,630,507 held by the US Government Cannabinoids are useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, in in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Filed April 21, 1999
Note that athletes use cannabis to recover quickly from injuries and to ward off brain damage. In fact, the Olympic Committee said that they ban cannabis because it causes too quick a recovery, which was unfair. (!) Do they even hear the words coming out of their mouth?
U.S. Pharmacopoeia – the encyclopedia of pharmacists who ground up plant matter and made tinctures. Cannabis was included for one hundred years until the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, forced the editor to remove it from editions subsequent to the 1937 prohibition. The editors fought back and included cannabis in the 1942 issue, before bowing to federal pressure. Note that standardized formulation and dosage has been established already.
There IS honor in restoring a medicinal herb to its rightful place, keeping regulation sensible, keeping prices low to discourage street dealing, keeping taxes low to the same end, and everyone’s experience a happy one. Thank you, Cambridge Councilors, for being above the Reefer Madness infecting some of our more exalted leaders, for being open to new ideas, and for working so nicely for optimum results.