Cannabis is a plant, an herb in the truest sense. No different than chamomile, for relaxation, Valerian as a tranquilizer, St. Johnswort, as an anti-depressant. All have been used safely for thousands of years, as herbal medicines. The issue isn't however that certain plants were suddenly and scientifically proven to be dangerous.
The issue is, that in the early 20th century, drug addiction in this country was a very serious problem. The pharmacist/chemist that invented Coca-Cola died of cocaine addiction...
Opium, derived from the opium poppy, was a hardy import from China in the late 19th to 20th century... opium is quite the pleasurable experience, but it is very addictive, a narcotic.
Two early laws passed by Congress in the beginning of the 20th century addressed those issues, as well as a US led ban on importation of narcotic substances.
That being said, coca leaf, from which cocaine is derived, is legally purchased in several countries, as addictive as coffee and just as popular. The effects of chewing coca leaves is not the same thing as the cocaine extracted in a lab. Although people enjoyed the "original Coca Cola", it did contain cocaine. Rightly so, Congress passed regulations... for public safety.
The same is not true for cannabis. It was recognized and a standard medication in the US Pharmacopeadia until around 1940. It was also used for relaxation, much like tobacco. Today WE recognize tobacco is truly dangerous, addictive and not good for us. Many understand, and much scientific research not funded by the federal gov't has found cannabis to not only a safer plant, with many more benefits than tobacco, but also, therapeutic.
The problem is that the deluge of media propaganda starting in the 1930's not only demonized cannabis, it made it the "crown jewel" of the "war on drugs". The fried eggs/brains image... the lazy teenager turned crazy and unmotivated... all of it a plus to private interests who prefer American citizens drown using tobacco, and suffer unlimited harms while under the influence of alcohol.
Yet President Obama recently held a "pow-wow" with jaded persons over beers at the White-House. How hypocritical is that? My best "pow-wows" were passing a ganja cigarette - cannabis, and for those scratching their heads - a joint, aka, marijuana.
I've said it so many times... the only reason cannabis/ganja was made illegal and renamed as marijuana were issues in the 1930's with illegal immigrants from Mexico; oh, and the fear by White aristocrats that "Negroes were and would take advantage of White girls, by doping them with marijuana". William Randolf Hearst, for historical reference... if you question my sanity. Go ahead, look him up... a media mogul who, well, draw your own conclusions.
All I am saying is documented in the History Channel's - "Hooked, Illegal Drugs and How they Got that Way". (It's in my media list).
All gets lost in historical forgetfulness when considering that for the past 73, we, our governments, our judiciaries, have "waged a war on drugs"... with marijuana as the focal point and to what end???
Thousands of people murdered, tortured, killed and their careers destroyed because WE citizens preferred our "catnip".
We enjoyed and benefited from our cannabis for thousands of years before the political nightmare began in 1937.
Please: Vote YES for Prop 19...
Just in case you thing I'm waging a one man war here, I received the following e-mail from LEAP: "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition":
Unforunately, I have some bad news:
SAN FRANCISCO — Attorney General Eric Holder is warning that the federal government will not look the other way... Link from Huffington Post. AG Eric Holder is already planning a "war on California" if Prop 19 passes... DEA and other federally tax-payer funded raids and arrests for distributing what they call marijuana, and what they are stuck, as if in a special ed program of believing cannabis is the most dangerous "drug" ever!
Maybe we should have a "War on Breast Feeding MOMS"... many stories in the news in the last many years about how negative "breast-feeding" is in a "perfect society such as ours - haul them off to jail, charge them with misdemeanor breast feeding charges... !!! ...
This final question:
What doctor, under Socratic Oath, would prescribe or recommend cannabis to their patient's if it was not medicinally or theraputically helpful and useful?
Yet, Eric Holder, Attorney General, is FIRM about the LAW of the Federal Land... that according to the law, "marijuana" is a Schedule One Drug - Seriously addictive and with NO medicinal value".
Millions of "60's - 70's Hippies" turned into Zombies? Like something out of "Resident Evil"?
What I see are peace-loving hippies even 50 years later... and a federal government with ulterior and destructive motives that hurt and have hurt millions of people.
So who's wearing the clothes in our family???
Not the feds... not Eric Holder, that's for sure... they are stuck in a past, a past with ZERO basis in reality.
We need a third choice in in our problems with drug abuse... a safer choice, and that choice is ganja!
VOTE YES on Prop 19 and tell the feds it's time to STOP the HURT!!!