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February 25, 2011

DEA, the... "The Dream Enforcement Administration"

Last edited Mar. 05, 2011

A pause for awhile from my "Rite of Passage" series... I'm not finished with it. "

It's a long story, but the goal - to tell it.

A pause from that as we have real problems in our society that need attention and change. Most notably, DREAMS - and the Human Condition which includes our use of certain "dream-like" substances or characteristics, or activities.

To address all that, this post, a satire of sorts, but truthful, will I hope shed some light on our public Psyche, our fears, our actions.

The Dream Police, like DEA... three simple letters when arranged in that way, they can strike mortal fear into the hearts of every stoner; cannabis/marijuana user/for the uninitiated. How ironic all the comparisons in history to the "War on Drugs" today.

The origins of alcohol prohibition is a traditional starting point, but hardly the whole story:

Wikipedia Link: * In Mugler v. Kansas, 1887, Justice Harlan, wrote, "We cannot shut out of view the fact, within the knowledge of all, that the public health, the public morals, and the public safety, may be endangered by the general use of intoxicating drinks; nor the fact established by statistics accessible to every one, that the idleness, disorder, pauperism and crime existing in the country, are, in some degree... traceable to this evil." source -

The truth is, prohibition of one thing or another have deep roots in the history of humankind. It was and is akin to sacred sacrifice, or in modern day terms, conformity. Sacred because it is a prohibition in spite of God, and a sacrifice as we were legally bound to look away from something God had given us. "Conformist" as someone feels they have the right to direct our personal freedom.

Dreams will be or already are subject to the same rules of law.

The most notable prohibition is one you most likely never heard about: Self Abuse. Today commonly known as masturbation/act of masturbating. I have a official medical book that in great detail prescribes "cures" for what was - prior to the 1940's, known as a disease. Freckles was also a disease, treated with caustic soda, and other heinous concoctions... masturbation was not only considered a disease, but morally inept too. Like a woman who might actually want to enjoy sex, sex was a moral mandate under strict cultural and religious and political guidelines.

A young man caught "jerking off" (a euphemism these days for a personal "act of self pleasure") was harshly punished and subjected to ungodly acts of intervention, ie, prohibition.

A person who, in the USA today, for medical or personal reasons, desires, wants to consume cannabis, is subjected to very similar threats.

Did you know our own bodies produce natural THC? We are walking chem labs!!!

Recently the feds took the tobacco industry to task to admit they lied to US citizens. Time the feds admit they're lying too.

The dangers of marijuana (a euphemism), are simply threat of criminal prosecution, a criminal record, and other consequences, all unconstitutional, in my opinion.

The Eighth Amendment , US Constitution, spells it out:

LINK: "Legal Dictionary: The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

"The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791, has three provisions. The cruel and unusual punishments clause restricts the severity of punishments that state and federal governments may impose upon persons who have been convicted of a criminal offense. The Excessive Fines Clause limits the amount that state and federal governments may fine a person for a particular crime. The Excessive Bail Clause restricts judicial discretion in setting bail for the release of persons accused of a criminal activity during the period following their arrest but preceding their trial."

That's quoted from the "Legal Dictionary". We should add one more interpretation - that the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us freedom from fear of bodily, psychological, cultural, personal harm, in Pursuit of Our Dreams, thus the title of this post... and that those three letters, arranged as such, "strike mortal fear, and the consequences of a unjust war on stoners, considering "facts", and I provide plenty and there are many out there. One being 47% of Californians believed it should have been legalized.

When considering safety, the fact is "stoners" are much more likely to cooperate with LE, in general, than compared to drunks. That the average person, and that would be based on the 47% of Californians that voted affirmative, to decriminalize cannabis. I bet if alcohol or tobacco were put up for "legitimate voting", the percentages would be much lower.

In the face of over 70 years of misinformation, myth, and propaganda about cannabis, making it the most "dangerous drug" ever, therein lies the problem. A problem once created out of fear and ignorance could not be broken.

Cannabis users should not need to live in FEAR of three letters because they choose to use a plant given to man, by GOD, "In Whom We Trust".

State and the federal government(s) depend on, and encourage tax revenue from alcohol and tobacco sales, "Sin Taxes". They also appear to depend on revenue and subservience due to violation of certain "Sin Laws". As I list in this post. Not only does this seem to represent modern day hypocrisy, but it's likely a danger to civilians and society, likely Unconstitutional, and plain stupid, in my opinion.

Dreams... many forms of dreams. I believe it's what makes us who we are - our dreams.

I've always been a good dreamer, and I expect others out there are too. Literally, I love dreaming. Occasionally I have nightmares, but more when I was younger... I also had great dreams when younger, flying dreams especially.

Dreams, dreamed by a life on Earth, is a God given adventure, or a glimpse into Hell...

I've been researching dreams for as many years as I've researched cannabis... the one problem, cannabis tends to nullify remembering your dreams. It does. I believe we still dream, it's the memory lost. For some maybe a cure, for others a trade-off... So it becomes a choice, very personal: to dream or not to dream?

BTW, did you know, Absinthe... is legal now. Or you didn't know it was illegal, or what it is, or was?

It's been illegal for decades allegedly because it was "determined to be hallucinogenic. Turned out it was, as expected, to be a myth, and it was legalized very quickly, about three years ago. No, not much in the news about it, but an important victory for sane, science-based rights, personal freedom while we contribute our best to this society and have just laws while we do so.

Wikipedia Link Absinthe - "A Ferocious Beast":

"Spurred by the temperance movement and the winemakers' associations, absinthe was publicly associated with violent crimes and social disorder. A critic said that:* "Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country."

Happy Dreams...

February 12, 2011

RIGHT OF PASSAGE - Part Fourteen - Magical, Mystery, Truth

My condolences to Algernon, but it wasn't Mary Jane who destroyed me.

Smoking marijuana was an experiment, because of the misconceptions, misinformation, legality issues, and dealing with the black market. But it wasn't my undoing.

Marijuana wasn't always known as that, but rather, prior to the 1930's it was called ganja. It's scientific name is cannabis, with subspecies like indica and sativa. It's origin is, as best I recall the Andes. It's use goes back thousands of years. Yet little is known about it's use, as modern archaeologists generally focus more on acceptable mind altering substances, like alcohol. Not always, but more often.

Hah, but did I say I "was destroyed"? If so I got well ahead of myself. The truth is, sadly at almost 25 my life flipped, as in a train wreak, and I was pretty much destroyed. But there is much - hundreds of years within 4 years that my life was rich and flowing, torturous and painful, exotic and fulfilling. I learned a lot in those 4 years... age 20 - 24; experienced a lot. Yes, I was Algernon, and at 25 i lost much that i gained, but I didn't die, and I didn't forget everything.

One important goal during those years was building "Personal Power". I read most of the Carlos Castaneda novels. "The Teachings of Don Juan". A way to oneself... a way to see...

Personal Power and Not Doing were two important lessons. One needed power to survive, and the ability to not do, so as to be a individual. There was much more, the ability to SEE, which is hard to explain... more than seeing auras, though that is a small part.

One might think me MAD, back then, but it was all mainstream, even if it was fringe reality.

The facts are:

I went from being bullied, shy, introverted to the person people came to for help; I had many, many friends, which I learned one night when throwing a party and over 50 people turned up at my apartment...

Initially, I quit college in 1974, but when getting my custodial job, resumed taking classes, but changed my major from electronics tech to liberal arts. Benefits paid for unlimited courses that i could take, and I did. A few years later when I applied for a BA degree, instead of the normal 60 credits to transfer, I had over 90... which shaved a full semester off getting my BA.

I was hardly introverted any longer... quite the opposite. Which when considering the mid 70's was a sexual revolution, and it seems everyone was having sex with everyone, at least for some people, I was one of those people. I was one of those people who hoped to meet and marry his soul-mate too. Who hoped for success. I worked hard, 3 - 11 M-F cleaning the Fine Arts Building, and on the side, I wrote thousands of words, and had seemingly unending encounters with so many interesting people.

In a way now many years later there is this force pushing on me to abandon those years, with shame and guilt. After-all, I smoked marijuana and ate pot brownies often. I had sex with several women, all whom I loved. I studied witchcraft, or "White Magic", and admit to a mushroom or two and a bit o' windowpane. I often walked in the woods - there being a college park adjacent to the campus, with a hundred acres of trees and park space. It was heaven.

And it was hell...

As my parents, my mother in particular was at war with my newfound world. I had little defense against my mother, although I could plead my case with my father, who understood me, to a good amount, but ultimately, he would support my mother, who, like Nurse Ratchet, in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", she saw to it that any heaven I might achieve, she would take it away... and she did. In June 1979.

Prior to that night, I discovered the world is really a pretty remarkable place. Painful in places, yes, but much pleasure to enjoy too.

I'm 56 now, and for the past 30+ years I've wanted to tell my story. I've not been able to. And today, little remains, other than one or two close friends from back then... it's almost like it really never was...

Next Time: But It Was...

February 10, 2011

RIGHT OF PASSAGE - Part Thirteen - All The Luck, Algernon!

The most poignant, haunting, self descriptive book I ever read was "Flowers For Algernon", by Daniel Keyes. I think I was around 23 at the time, 1976 perhaps. I knew as I was reading it, it was a prophecy of things to come. I really didn't understand then how much of a prophecy it would become.

For a moment, let's step back to when I was around 20. I started community college in the Fall of 1972, fresh out of HS. It was expected of me to go to college, and initially my parents paid the tuition. Since I was a electronics buff, I majored in "electronic technology". I already mentioned the pain I endured passing two semesters of physics.

What I haven't mentioned is, I was going nowhere. Maybe our society is all about people going nowhere, finding themselves somewhere. By definition, that would be the professional career, the beautiful wife, the house with the white picket fence, etc.

All fine, if that's okay to you. What I'm trying to say is the person I was then was not alive. My whole life I was either the underdog among my friends, both physically and mentally, and also, beginning especially in MS, the target of every bully in the school. My life was looking around corners, avoiding certain places. I had very little extra-curricular activity, though for a year I was a member of the ski-club, and had no problems. Unless shyness, and a sense of not belonging counts?

Yes I was very much into electronics and chemistry. I was also into playing by myself in my back-yard at 16 with Matchbox cars and trucks, building roads and cities and dams. I was a loner. Some of the girls liked me, but no way did I know it. Or if I did, what to do. In HS I craved English classes, physics and chemistry, shop and mechanical drawing. In most every place there was a bully or two that made learning second to survival.

HS was a total loss... though A Mr Gunnard, a counselor, made a difference, as did a handful of other teachers, so I did survive. Surviving MS/HS was my victory! What did I learn? Nothing more at the time other than I'd survived. And surviving meant risking going to a school dance only to get punched, or a knife held at my throat. Once by a Native American blood-brother. Now this event would be vitally important... as the dichotomy was we had been friends enough at one point to cut and blend blood, yet later, he held a knife at my throat.

It should be noted, well several things should be noted:

1) My sister, a 1 and 1/2 younger than me was probably one of the most popular girls in MS/HS. And in several cases the very guys that liked to bully me, she was friends with.

Two ways this can work out. 1) leverage 2) getting a lucky break.

2) My parents donated their life at the time trying to help me. They were constantly at the school. They spoke personally to the parents of some of my worst bullies. Ironically, it fed into my dependence on them, and their's of me. This dynamic would contribute to the disaster to follow.

My sister remained and continues to be my best friend. I was the oldest, but she was the wiser, the smarter, the most popular. And in my early 20's I would become the brother she turned to... and essentially, we are like satellites, revolving and holding each other together.

I rarely se my sister, haven't for over 20 years. You might recall I eventually had little choice but to move away. My sister didn't. So we talk occassionally on the phone, have vacations when we meet. I have two brothers too. Both now live in Florida. I live in NH... Land of Lynch, since the Old Man of the Mountain crumbled. An obvious sign that Gov. Lynch was wrong for NH, yet here he is in his third term as governor.

Sorry, ahead of myself.

What I'm trying to say is I had no sense of self. At age 18 I was destined to be a serial killer, sorry to say. I had all the hallmarks... liked to play with fire, no regard for nature, a loner, a late aged bed-wetter, like Sarah Silverman!

But so I'm in college and I have very few friends. Finding a girlfriend is out of the question - my body or mind do not even consider it.I'm on kiddo-pilot, believing adults tell you what to do, and don't trust anyone.

So the mouse Algernon was given an experimental drug, designed to boost it's IQ. It was an apparent, total success! Algernon could wind through the mazes like nothing, and even started to exhibit self-awareness.

Algernon had a partner - a man with a very low IQ. He was a subject just as Algernon was. The story recount the amazing success of the experiment with both the man and Algernon. With one tragic twist; Algernon dies, and the man? He doesn't die... far worse that that fate. Haunting.

In my early 20's I first moved onto the second floor of a renovated horse-barn, at the edge of the property of the community college I attended. I was in my 3rd semester in college, having just moved out, away from home. And a lot of things happened.

I want to leave you here with this thought...

The "experimental drug" might just as well have been marijuana... since near then is when I used it a second time and my life changed.

There are continuous news articles trying to cast marijuana as the demon weed, schizophrenia, in particular, and yet nothing about how good it is as a natural medicine, a natural high, far safer than legal alternatives, alcohol and tobacco.

There was a time I couldn't go to a college dance, a bluegrass festival, a rock-concert without feeling paranoid. Until the effects of cannabis hit, around that time. The effects were gradual, and at times difficult, as cannabis had a way of bringing out one's paranoia, and the fact that it was illegal tripled that sense of fear. To my advantage was it was near the mid 70's, and pot was mainstream. 90% of the people I knew between age 21 and 27 smoked pot at least once. Rather significant considering I got a job as a custodian at the community college, at the fine arts center... a victory! The culmination of a dream, since Ray Bradbury's "Frost and Fire".

I was not only among the "scientists" at the college, but all the artists too. Almost overnight my life changed. I began to find myself, and others most importantly. I developed a hunger for knowledge, and my job provided me the benefit of free tuition - unlimited.

Because of the influence of cannabis, my life literally opened up and soon I was enjoying learning, loving Nature, hiking, girlfriends, friends, and writing... within four years I wrote my required million words, my future became clear, I felt great...

Flower's For Algernon!!!

NEXT: The Magical, Mystery, Truth...