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Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

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Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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February 17, 2013

MARIJUANA - THE OTHER N-WORD - PART TWO

How, you might ask, could "marijuana" be the other N-Word? It doesn't start with an N, nor does it insult a particular race of humanity; or does it?

In previous posts I've covered the topic of how cannabis became known as marijuana. I've clarified how cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years, for religious, medical and recreational purposes. How it was omitted from two of the most influential Congressional legal actions of the 20th century - The pure Food and drug Act and the Harrison Narcotic's Act in 1903 and 1914, respectively. How in the  early 1930's as alcohol prohibition ended, and the nation was struggling to recover from the Great Depression, illegal immigrants from Mexico were flowing into the US. There seemed to be no stopping of the immigrants and southern states especially urged Congress to do something about it.

I've described how yellow journalism provided not only the key to stopping Mexican's from illegally crossing the border, but also how they were able to impose prejudice and discrimination upon Black Americans freed after the Civil War by implicating Blacks in the molestation and rapes of White women under the influence of what Mexican's called marijuana. I've explained that from the time of our first President, George Washington, we Americans grew hemp and used cannabis in medicine, and imbibed in the use of ganja for relaxation and recreation. We didn't call cannabis marijuana until the Marihuana Tax Act was passed in 1937 - and ironically, please note, our government was so inclined as to mis-spell marijuana as "marihuana", when the act was passed, and does so to this day. All laws still use the official spelling of cannabis as marihuana. But the term goes back just the same to insult both Mexicans, and Black Americans. It is, still today, the other N-Word.

GOP Senator Mitch McConnell supports a bill to legalize hemp production, especially in Kentucky, but can't help but be concerned that hemp, cannabis sativa, contains "the drug marijuana", though in much lower a dose as does the cannabis strains grown for recreation and medicine, such as the cannabis now legal in CO and WA, and some 18 other states. Hemp which is used to make rope and fabrics, that won WWII and was used exclusively in all tall ships prior to modern day battleships, is a federally controlled product listed as a Schedule One drug along with heroin, and cocaine. The 4-H club grew hemp in the early 1940's under a special program that exempted it from federal reefer Madness laws to provide hemp for use in WWII. The 4-H club consisted of children and adults. The concern in the federal government is that legalizing hemp will lead to legalization of marijuana.

Reefer Madness is still alive and well in government. The fear surrounding cannabis is vague and unsubstantiated, as the federal government has long denied research into the benefits or dangers of cannabis. The job of the Drug Czar of the US established by President Nixon is to discourage and lie about, if need be, any legitimate use for anything listed as a substance included as a Schedule One drug. That includes hemp fibers. That includes cannabis as medicine, or cannabis for recreational use. An analogy might be if alcohol and tobacco were considered drugs, which they're not, even if the FDA is currently burdened with regulating tobacco, it's not that it's considered a drug, but rather as a food substance. Imagine if alcohol and tobacco were listed as Schedule One drugs, which technically they should be? Any research into the use of either would be prohibited under law. Much as gun violence is also a prohibited subject to research.

Unfortunately it's not just research into cannabis that stymied, it's human evolution.What's that I said? How does human evolution become an issue here? We live in a "Free Country", one of the most Democratic Countries in the world. We produce some of the most violent films in the world, we prohibit discrimination of any kind among our population, and our Constitution ensures freedom of speech and religion, and the right to bear arms.

Yet we are prohibited from conducting research into some of the most basic issues that affect our society. And our society is encouraged to accept biased attitudes, such as the research conducted by the federal government in the 1970's as "proof" to support the "fact" that cannabis use caused brain damage in humans.

The Hype: Brain Damage in Dead Monkeys


In 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan was asked about decriminalizing marijuana. After producing the Heath/Tulane University study, the so-called "Great Communicator" told the national press, "The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana." (L.A. Times.)


Not true!

Additional references:

UKCIA: "Three Things Marijuana Doesn't Do" .

As well as this link:

The Vaults of Erowid:

The original basis of this claim (that marijuana causes brain damage) was a report that, upon postmortem examinations, structural changes in several brain regions were found in two rhesus monkeys exposed to THC. 

Because these changes primarily involved the hippocampus, a cortical brain region known to play an important role in learning and memory, this finding suggested possible negative consequences for human marijuana users. Additional studies, employing rodents, reported similar brain changes. However, to achieve these results, massive doses of THC - up to 200 times the psychoactive dose in humans - had to be given . (But) In fact, studies employing 100 times the human dose have failed to reveal any damage.

We've all heard I'm sure where one marijuana cigarette, or "joint" is equal to 20 tobacco cigarettes as far as dangerous to humans. How odd, as tobacco smoke is nothing like cannabis smoke, in so far as the chemicals in each plants are uniquely different. Tobacco smoke for example constricts the blood vessels in the lungs, and cannabis dilates them. Thus studies into cannabis use support the fact that cannabis smoke actually benefits those with asthma, links here:

CannabisMD.net - "Clinical research shows that THC acts as a bronchial dilator, clearing blocked air passageways and allowing free breathing."

and here:

DrugLibrary.org, "Effects of Smoked Marijuana in Experimentally Induced Asthma."

And recent research has linked cannabis/marijuana use to a higher risk of stroke. Link to FOXNEWS - "Smoking marijuana linked with higher risk of stroke in young adults, study finds."

Yet similar studies found Southern Fried Foods to be Just as Dangerous! Again, FOXNEWS link.

Yet if you read the bias carefully in each study, the former supports prohibition of cannabis, yet the latter doesn't encourage prohibition of Southern Fried Food, but rather encourages the responsible consumption of Southern Fried foods.

So why the bias? Why can't WE, the Citizens of the World's Most Free Society the world has ever known have objective research and understanding of the most basic elements in our society? Why all the Smoke and Mirrors? The answer; Ignorance; Propaganda; Politics.

I mentioned that the NH House currently is set to vote on HB 492 to legalize possession of an ounce or less of cannabis for those 21 or older, to permit the personal cultivation of the cannabis plant for personal use and the sale and taxation of cannabis in NH Liquor Stores.

As many point out, it would have seemed logical that the state with the motto - Live Free or Die that NH might have been first, prior to CO and WA to legalize cannabis use by adults, given that the majority of research regarding cannabis shows it is safer than alcohol or tobacco use. That cannabis prohibition targets minorities, and 8 of 10 of those incarcerated for drugs are Blacks or Hispanics. That rates of incarcerations in this country of those racial groups as increased ten-fold since the 1980's. That such incarcerations not only affect individuals and their families, but place a huge burden on us who pay taxes that support such arrests and incarcerations.

My pot-pipe conviction is nothing compared to the suffering of millions of minority individuals and their families. Patricia Spotted-Crow of Oklahoma for example, given a 10 year + sentence for selling one joint to a undercover cop. As a Native American she is behind bars while her mother raises her two children. Oklahoma is among the worst states when it comes to violation of our Constitutional Rights to the "Punishment Must Fit the Crime." That her one joint brings a harsher sentence than murder is an abomination!

Her one joint is equivalent to me giving my "pot-pipe" to an under-cover officer for which I paid a $100 fine in NY with the threat of One Year in Jail, for something that unknown to me was a civil violation, as the pipe I had, was not in public view, and thus was not a criminal violation. Despite the laws in NY, countless hundreds of minority persons are illegally searched everyday in NY City and found to possess cannabis... it has become a violation of human rights on an epic level in NYC targeting minorities, and has brought the full attention of the ACLU and NAACP in full focus against such discriminatory/prejudicial actions.

So what can WE as Americans do to amend this situation that has caused a blight on our society since the 1930's?

Write our elected officials, of course!

That is exactly what a friend of mine did in NH when told of HB 492. She wrote her elected State Representative, The Honorable Senator David Boutin, District 16, encouraging his support of HB 492.

She wrote:

January 31, 2013
The Honorable David Boutin
New Hampshire Senate
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301

Dear Senator Boutin:

RE: HB 492-FN-LOCAL �" AS INTRODUCED
2013 SESSION
13-0443
04/03
HOUSE BILL 492-FN-LOCAL
AN ACT relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
SPONSORS: Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills 15; Rep. Warden, Hills 39; Rep.
Winters, Hills 18; Rep. Lambert, Hills 44; Rep. Robertson, Ches 6
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

[This bill: Legalizes the personal use of up to one ounce of marijuana by persons 21
years of age or older. II. Authorizes the licensing of marijuana
wholesale, retail, cultivation, and testing facilities.  III. Imposes a
tax on the sale of marijuana.]

"Please stop the hurt and legalize cannabis for personal and medicinal use.
 We should be able to grow and use herbs.  Tobacco and Alcohol kill and
they are legal!  I know because I lost a father and husband to those legal
substances.  No one has ever died from using cannabis.  People don't get
violent as they do when using alcohol or other drugs.  Legalize it.  The
money could be used to pay off the national debt. Stop the prohibition- we
have wasted too many police man hours trying to stop people from using an
herb.  The police would be better used to catch murderers and thieves and
abusers."

And Senator Boutin's reply was:

"Dear *****,"

"I respect your viewpoint, but unfortunately I do not share it. I could not support HB 492."

Did he send his reply on official state letterhead? No. Did he sign it? No. Did he offer a brief explanation or reason for his stance? No.

In effect, his response was the equivalent of saying, "Marijuana is the other N-Word - don't bother me!"

And in effect, given that recent polls have found 56% of NH citizens support legalization of cannabis, his reelection as a representative of the people of his district is bound to fail. When our elected officials put their own personal preferences ahead of their constituents  they fail as being responsible elected officials. Needless to say my friend was devastated by Senator Boutin's response  She felt he was not only very rude, but quite out of touch which her feelings, and what she had to say.

Senator Boutin's response to my friend is to us, who are educated and experienced in life, the cry of a dinosaur about to go extinct. He typifies political ignorance. He is a relic of the past, out of touch with modern day reality. He is the sort of elected official that relies on his own personal preferences when making political decisions. He does not consider scientific fact nor the rights granted American citizens.

Cannabis has been legal for recreational use in CO and WA State for over a month and a half, and the zombie apocalypse has still not happened in those states. People aren't jumping out of buildings, Black men aren't taking advantage of White women anymore than may have been prior to legalization and those states haven't seen an increase in crime. And why would they? Cannabis has been used for thousands of years and there has never been a problem associated with it's use. Reefer Madness is and always was a pathological myth... something politicians like Senator Boutin take at face value. The Bible says the "Meek Shall Inherit the Earth", it says nothing about the ignorant.

It's time our country gets real. It's time to Stop the Hurt and Stop the Ignorance of politicians like Senator Boutin. If he does not share the opinion of my friend, then why? Tell us why and provide facts to support your position. Because you see, your personal opinion means absolutely nothing, Senator. In my opinion, and the opinion of my friend you are an idiot! You likely did not even read what she wrote to you. Did you?

It's the Year 2013, and it's time politicians take people and science seriously. It's time to get real and to Stop the Hurt! It's time to end Reefer Madness and bashing people who hurt no one just because they are unconventional.

In 1972 President Nixon assembled a Blue Ribbon committee to study marijuana and drug abuse. It was called the Shaffer Committee  The findings of this committee were completely ignored by the President. A Civil War was declared against American citizens instead. The findings of the committee were in part this:

"The Commission recommended decriminalization of simple possession, finding:[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only 'with the greatest reluctance."

Additional Link:

Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding Commissioned by President Richard M. Nixon, March, 1972

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