INTRODUCTION:

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!

This is a good place. There's lots to see and do. It's apolitical while providing non-partisan news about politics, which we can't escape.

Check out my aquarium and feed the fish; check out my post(s), my favorite media list and the many links to websites that promote what I feel is important.

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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My blog is dedicated to my family, friends, mentors, and all others whom I am grateful to, and love(d).

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NOTE: Nothing included in my Blog is intended to advocate behavior illicit in nature, or in violation of man-made laws where harm to a living person, animal or the environment is involved. Person's under 17 probably shouldn't be here, though there is far worse out there. Just saying.


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August 30, 2013

"DIARY OF AN ALCOHOLIC'S WIDOW", BY GUEST WRITER, SJ HOLMWOOD - A TRUE STORY ABOUT ALCOHOL, DEATH AND DESPAIR

An essay by SJ Holmwood


After a particularly nasty period of my life, major stress on my nerves which brought on PTSD, restless leg syndrome, skin rashes, anxiety and depression, among other things, I never thought I'd be writing about all of this, since it is something I try hard not to think about. 

Recently, a writer friend who knows about some of the trauma I went through, asked me to write about it as a guest blogger on his site.  We both have the hope that it may save a few lives, or at least make people stop and think before picking up that alcoholic drink. 

Early in 2003, I met a wonderful man on a dating site.  We were both 48 years old at the time.  We had both been married before and we both had the profits of real-estate sold to the ex-spouses. 

We fell in love and bought a house together in a rural area not far from Manchester, as he worked in Nashua, NH.  We moved in to our new house in May.  We adopted a couple of cats as we are both animal lovers.  He had a high powered IT job at a major defense contractor,  with top security clearance, won awards at his job, got good bonuses and good pay. He worked hard and loved his job. 

Life was really good for the first time in either of our lives for a long time.  We happily had a lot of  fun together.  I still have fond memories of that three year time period.  He used to be in a professional rock band for 13 years in his younger days.  So he had a lot of vintage equipment and we both love music.  He played keyboard so we bought him a new one to play at home.  He played often and was very good.  He could hear a song, then go to the keyboard and play it.  He was very gifted in that way.  He was also a bit of a wizard with electronics both musical and computer.

Little did I know that the other shoe was about to drop.

He started having what I thought as an excessive amount of minor accidents like a bloody nose that won't stop, ending up in Emergency at the hospital for 11 hours.  Another time he stubbed his foot so badly he broke a few toes.  Another trip to doctor and hospital.  At the time you think, well this could happen to anybody, right?  But when you start adding it all up, I had missed some of the warning signs when I met him.  I knew he drank but it didn't seem excessive and he rarely appeared drunk. 

Then his firm decided to fire13 or 14 people in his department.  He was one of them.  He knew months before that something was going down but he never told me until the last minute.  The pressure must have been incredible those last six months and he started drinking heavily, although he hid it from me most of the time, I had no idea he drank that much.  Stupid me.  The bottles were mostly hidden in the cellar and garage, by the end, we had conducted many searches and found many bottles, each of which he had an excuse for.

Apparently a new manager had taken over and was unbearable to work for.  It was like the company was deliberately trying to pin stuff on people they wanted to get rid of so they stalked their employees. His firm even screwed us out of about $100.00 mileage reimbursement that he rightfully deserved, but he was too sick for us to fight them.  The stress was unbearable day in and day out at work, and during the busy commute to work. 

I noticed he was losing muscle at a rapid rate and was becoming just skin and bone.  When I mentioned it, he would blow it off, saying he'll get it checked.  His family offered little help.  I felt really alone.

Anyway, by the time he was fired in March of 2006, his abdomen had started to fill up with fluid, as his liver was backing up, no longer able to process the alcohol at that rate.  It's a condition called Ascites. He was drinking whiskey straight from the bottle at 7:00 A.M. one morning when I walked into our computer room.  I'll never ever forget that look of pure desperation on his jaundiced face.  He looked like a scared rabbit.  It broke my heart to see him that way.  Here was the man I loved and respected reduced to nothing in a very short period of time.

We couldn't afford to pay the $900 a month for Cobra health insurance, but couldn't afford to lose his insurance in the condition he was in.  Our bank account was drained, my pension from my old job had to be cashed in to pay off his car.  If it weren't for my parents, we would have lost the house.  I believe it was about this time that I was having a complete nervous breakdown.

He tried to collect unemployment and even went down to the unemployment office on a sweltering hot summer day.  His clothes barely fit because his abdomen was too swollen.  It was very upsetting to see him this way.  We didn't know at the time what was wrong with him but after that awful day in the heat, we saw his doctor and he was sent to a gastrointestinal specialist.  One morning the fluid had built up so much that he couldn't breathe, it was pushing on his lungs, he had to sleep sitting up.

He was diagnosed with “End-stage Liver Disease”.  He didn't have too long to live.  They drained his abdomen at the hospital a couple of times a week, which meant constant trips into Manchester.  I was thankful it wasn't Boston.  They said he might have to go to the Lahey Clinic in MA, but were doubtful he'd be put on their list for liver transplant.  A really bad nightmare was raining down upon us.  I suddenly find out my husband is going to die soon, and we will probably lose the house as well too. 

We then were told to go to the town we lived in to get some food (welfare).  I can remember the social worker being 20 – 30 minutes late, us sitting in the waiting room, then me crying my eyes out in her office.  She was very unsympathetic, saying “don't worry honey, other people have it worse than you!”  I was insulted and felt very let down.  Unfortunately most of the food they gave us, he couldn't eat because of the extremely high sodium content.  His doctor put him on a very low sodium diet.  They gave us a $50 food voucher and specified that it could only be used at the Raymond Hannaford, which is actually further for us to drive than the Hooksett one.

They couldn't get his medications balanced at first and he was starting to fall a lot.  He fell out in the yard, smashed his new glasses.  I was at the end of my rope by then,or so I thought.

He fell again while walking up our road and rolled down an embankment, under the trees, lost his glasses.  A neighbor getting into their car saw him drop out of sight.  He then pulled him out from under the trees.  He had hit his head and blacked out for a minute.  He was bleeding on his elbow, head, and legs when the nice neighbor dropped him off at our house.  Embarrassing! 

Then he fell off of our front porch and landed in the shrubbery about 3 feet down.  I wouldn't have seen him, but I had the window open and heard groans.

He also has fallen with his bicycle one day and the cops gave him a ride home. 

One other time the cops picked him up off the road where he was walking (and drinking) – he had fallen, and he was taken to hospital.  Half of his face was black and blue and the other half was bleeding.

Another time he fell down the inside steps, hit is head on the breakfast bar splitting his head open so bad he had to have 14 staples put in his head at the Emergency ward.

Yet another time he was convulsing on the Emergency room floor whilst having a diarrhea attack.  It seemed like everyone was in a dream that day because no one seemed to be moving very fast to get a bucket. 

Then he fell in the upstairs hallway onto the edge of the blanket chest and broke a couple of ribs.

Over the six year period that I was his caregiver, he had stopped drinking (or so it seemed) for a while and was actually putting on weight again. The color came back in his skin and eyes.  His hair had started to grow again.  He was looking healthier. 

It was my love of the guitar that led me to reading his email that day.    He wanted to buy me a guitar because I want to learn.  We ordered one from out west where they make that particular brand.  It would be a few months as they are made to order and were waiting for a shipment of a certain wood. 

Then my husband ended up back in the hospital for another fall.  He was due to get an email from the guitar company as to shipping date and we were looking forward to getting it.  So I checked his email, while he was in hospital, to see if it had been shipped on schedule.  I think he even said to check it.

That was when the first betrayal bomb went off in our marriage.  As I was checking his email for the notice from the guitar company, I come across a whole ton of letters from him to this woman across town who he went to school with. 

In the letters he is telling her how beautiful she is and how he owns land in England (a lie) that he is going to fly over to put up for sale and that he flies a private jet (another lie). 

I was devastated.  I confronted him.  I send her a letter explaining that my husband is sick and to leave us alone.  Reading the letters I realize he is delusional from the alcohol poisoning. This woman he was seeing and corresponding to wrote me a very nasty letter back.  All I could imagine is another story like Joey Buttafuoco's wife who was shot in the face by her husband's lover!

My stress level shot right up and I felt horribly betrayed by him.  Here I was busting my butt trying to help him so he can cheat on me?  That was when I told him to leave.  He claimed he wanted nothing more to do with her, so I stupidly reconsidered, realizing he really is delusional from the alcohol.  He had earlier told a similar lie to our friends about how the company wants him back to do this top secret thing.  I later found out that wasn't true.  His doctor told him he has nerve damage in his feet and has dead brain cells from the alcohol.   

He went to see his school friend at her apartment at least twice and emailed and phoned her nearly every day (after I went to bed) .  What a fool I had been to trust him.  I was so distraught and had no one to talk to except a couple of friends.  I even talked with his 2 best friends and they both agreed that none of that sounded like “him”.  They knew him well since high-school.  So I gave him a second chance. 

He told me to clear off this woman's emails and delete her information.  He even asked me to type a letter to her saying he was not going to see her again and that he wanted no contact with her.  He asked me to shut down his email account, but I later found out he reopened it the very next day.  Deception was running rampant.

Then another trauma to hit – my Dad was suddenly diagnosed with lung cancer.  (He quit smoking about 15 years before!)  They said he had 3 – 5 years to live.  He died within 6 months!  It was extremely devastating for my Mom and I, and my husband too.  He really loved my Dad.

My husband went off the wagon again.  Then he fell against our wood-stove and burned his arm really bad from his wrist to his elbow a 4”wide swath.  He didn't tell me until several days later and I was worried infection had set in.  It was so bad I couldn't understand how he could stand the pain and had covered it up, when I couldn't even bare to look at it.   

I spent an entire spring and summer trying to get him into alcohol rehab, whilst worrying about my elderly Mother who is suddenly alone since my Father died.  (I am an only child since my sister died at birth).   I had enough on my plate, besides not being that well myself and having no health insurance.  The ambulance medics and police were on a first name basis with us because of my husband's alcoholism though.  It was mortifying.

He finally agreed to go to rehab under the condition that if he didn't, he had to move out.  We went into Manchester (stressful enough just getting there!),  paid the $40 sign up fee and he was enrolled and taken on a tour of the facility along with a few other people.  A couple of months go by and he is going to his AA meetings and attending his rehab appointments, as far as I know. 

He was also in and out of physical rehab up in Concord too.  Then took him to a cancer doctor and he was diagnosed with lymph node cancer...caused by the alcohol. 

Then his counselor called to tell me he hadn't been to even one appointment since I first enrolled him.  It was like a kick in the gut.  I was wasting my time! I confronted him again and told him I wanted him to move out!  He begged me to let him stay until the end of the year.   

Then, the time before he went into the hospital for the last time, I found more love letters to that woman on his computer, written since he made such a big show of wanting to delete her from his life!  More of my time wasted trying to help someone who really doesn't want help.  That was the final straw for me.  By then it was October 2011.  He was definitely going to be out of our house and my life by the end of the year. 

Little did I know he would die before he would ever pack a single box.

He died November 30, 2011 in the hospital.  His liver and kidneys had finally given up the fight.  I loved him in spite of it all but I hated him for the betrayal, lies, and getting us into debt.  But most of all I hated him for leaving me alone, exhausted and ill, no job, penniless.

To add to my misery, his SSDI and pension was cut off the day he died.  He left no life insurance.  My Mom paid for the whole funeral (since I had no money, just lots of bills) and his family didn't offer a penny.  I don't think I've ever felt so devastated and betrayed in my whole life.

For those of you less informed who think marijuana (cannabis) is worse than alcohol or tobacco, take a closer look because alcohol and tobacco are killers, and yet we continue selling it and worst of all promoting it!  You folks who are afraid of an herb put here by nature should be worrying about the real wolves at the door.

I can't tell you how sick I feel when I see an alcohol commercial on television or in a magazine.  I want to puke.  Alcohol killed another talented, wonderful person.  How many musicians, poets, and artists has alcohol stolen from us?  Everyone knows at least one alcoholic in their family. 

Alcohol and tobacco are heavily taxed by our Government.  It's well accepted into our society as long as you're making money for the Government, big tobacco, and big alcohol. 

If my late husband did nothing but smoke a little cannabis, he would still be here today.  I firmly believe that.

    by SJ Holmwood
August 2013

August 26, 2013

BRIANNA MAITLAND REVISITED - 17 YEAR OLD BRIANNA MAITLAND DISAPPEARED MARCH 19TH, 2004

Edited, Aug. 28, 2013

On March 15th of this year I posted Part One of a multi-part post pertaining to the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, 17 year's old, in VT, 9 years earlier, along with Maura Murray, from MA, who vanished Feb. 09, 2004 far from home in a wilderness called Haverhill, NH.

Part One as it stands remains one of my top four posts in the four years I've been blogging. So for all the readers I thought a revisit was a post of interest. Since March, I've had 1551 page-views relating to those posts. Prior to publishing those posts, I was a guest writer for Slam Dunks Blog, in around 2008 - 09. I wrote about my personal experience helping two families with children missing, along with Slam Dunks himself, an ex-police officer, and excellent blogger who generally publishes a Monday Night "Missing Persons" case.

It's a result of my work with Slam Dunks that I started blogging myself. Unfortunately many of the links to Slam Dunks blog pertaining to Brianna Maitland are unavailable the last I knew. This is unfortunate as Slam Dunks accomplished a lot with the Brianna Maitland case, including a tip towards the end from a frustrated VT resident who claimed to live with the ex-boyfriend of Brianna Maitland, the fellow who drove by her car returning from Canada at around 4 -5 AM the morning after she disappeared. He didn't report her car crashed backwards into an old abandoned house immediately. It was only later under questioning that he allegedly admitted to seeing her car that next morning.

There was a commenter on Slam Dunks toward Part 27... toward the conclusion of around 14 posts myself, that a woman wrote a comment, several actually; the woman thought we could help her friend, the ex-boyfriend of Brianna who drove by her car at 4 - 5 AM. The commenter wrote... "my friend knows what happened to Brianna, he knows where she can be found" - NOTE: The previous quote is from memory... somewhere among the thousand or more docs and pictures from the endeavor assisting her family.

We were not in a capacity to help her... or help her friend who she alleged was the  ex-boyfriend who was haunted by her disappearance. We were "just" bloggers... not to diminish our strengths, but we aren't able to simply evoke the force when asked. What I did do was put her in touch so she could speak with Brianna's father, Bruce. He verified they spoke.

Brianna remains missing, so either the person with an important message from her friend,  or authorities, had nothing substantial or not enough to conduct a search of an area the commenter claims held Brianna's remains. That's what makes this, a person missing and efforts to find her so frustrating!

As an additional thank-you to all those reading my Brianna/Maura posts, here is some more information.

Five weeks prior to Brianna's disappearance she got a job she really wanted at the restaurant in Montgomery. The "Black Lantern" it was called then. I've heard they have changed their name since then. Three weeks prior to her disappearance she was at a party with all the "cool" friends in her area. At the time she had broken up again with the boyfriend mentioned previously, who lived closer to her now since she got the job at the BL. It's rumored this caused problems, her getting the job at the BL and being close again to the EX. Regardless, a fight between a good friend of hers and the friend's cousin resulted in a bad fight that night. The EX drove her home.

After Brianna disappeared 3 weeks later the assault was still fresh in her parent's minds. They even had posters made to distribute when she disappeared showing her bruises. The police talked them out of posting them. Brianna herself according to a friend I spoke with, was in the process filing charges against the two women who beat her up - childhood friends. The charges were dropped of course after Brianna wasn't around to continue the proceedings.

Early on there were rumors she'd been abducted and murdered and her body either thrown into a manure pit on a nearby by farm or dropped in a tank of acid and dissolved. The problem with the first scenario is that there were two farms owned by the homeowner who himself is an elderly man, but it's his son who was suspect. His son, a musician, it was claimed, had gone nuts one day and claimed he knew what happened to her. He further claimed to have been in a house with one other person when mystery person told him Brianna's body was in the manure pit.

The pit was sucked up and no bones were found by the police.

Later, back to the commenter on Slam Dunks blog, she claimed the wrong farm had been searched. It was at the owners second farm where her body was located. By this time with new owners.

But let's back-track a bit.

The "claim" that the muscian was in a room with a guy that told him Brianna's body was dumped "there".

I spoke with the wife of the guy, a guy who dated Brianna when she was 14... he was older...  who it was alleged had heard that she had been present during a discussion between her husband and the musician. She was on the Grand Jury investigating Brianna so by law she could not disclose information heard withing the Grand Jury, so I had to be careful, asking her - so I asked her a simple question: "Was her husband told, while in her presence,  that Brianna's body was in 'said' manure pit"?

She answered only that she remembered the night I was asking about, as she was with her husband and the musician, but nothing was said like what suggested, or said was said.

RE: the musician. Early on in late 2004-05 he was of interest... he'd had an alleged "break-down", had admitted to knowing what happened to Brianna, but this was all hearsay. What we needed to do was sit down and talk to him. On the day we did it was hot... along with Brianna's father Bruce, another two people were asking questions at the other farm the owner owned. I had an invitation however, provided by a mutual friend of both Brianna and the musician... Red set it up that I could go to the farmhouse and with Brianna's father sit down with the musician and talk.

We arrived, her father and I at the house. A well muscled dude with a woman were outside. I got out of the truck and asked the man if I could speak with the musician?

"About what"? He asked.

"Brianna Mait..."

I didn't get a chance to finished before he launched into a tirade about Brianna. He had nothing nice to say and threatened us.  He had a message for Brianna's father, not knowing he was in the truck listening. After delivering his message Bruce Maitland yelled out, "I'm Mr. Maitland, and I can tell you I heard everything you said".

A couple of weeks later Mr. Maitland was able to sit down with the musician and Mr. Maitland told me the musician had nothing to do with Brianna's disappearance.

Which brings us back to the ex-boyfriend and a friend who claims he's suffering know where she is. I'm referring to the comment left at Slam Dunks, which when I find it again I'll post it...

It's easy to put a spin on Brianna Maitland's disappearance and think a serial killer or police imposter abducted her, or a crazed "Butterfly Collector". There is the inclusion of evidence that she associated with drug dealers who provided her with crack cocaine. The original theory was that she owed money to these crack dealers... yet two uncashed paychecks were found on the front of her passenger seat. If "they" wanted money don't you think they'd make her cash the checks first???

They didn't care, is my take... her disappearance in my opinion had nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with petty, teenage jealousy.

As one of her best friends told me, "Brianna was far too attractive for women in our area". She... "inspired jealousy".



The last I heard from her father was that VSP were active in solving her disappearance, that he'd agreed to cooperate fully which involved not working with the public.

The reason I wrote my blog posts about Brianna when I did is a cat has nine lives... Brianna loved cats, and loved her cat, I recall she was named Shadow. Nine years have passed. Long past time to find Brianna. Time to shed a light on the shadow and discover the truth within. A truth which I believe is known by more than one person.  

August 10, 2013

MARIJUANA - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY - THE MANY WAYS WE VIEW A PLANT - WWM - WEEK OF AUGUST 5 - 9, 2013

2012 MASSCANN RALLY POSTER

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Updated Aug. 13, 2013

Believe it or not, my Blog is not exclusively related to cannabis reform, or news, information, updates on the War on Drugs. It is however dedicated to "Stopping the Hurt", and the "drug war" is hurting people; by design, targeting marijuana users and where it comes from. Two of the four of my "Most Popular" posts  include marijuana and a story behind that marijuana.
I'd just like to make note of the fact that this week, of Aug 5 - 9, 2013, may just be one of the most pivotal points in the War on Marijuana. The War on Drugs itself is, for most practical purposes, is based upon marijuana - the centerpiece of the battle.

This quote for example originally appeared via the  L.A. Review of Books; Source: Alternet.com.

    "I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast." — Ronald Reagan

In 1970, The Controlled Substances Act was being written and enacted. Yes, President Nixon had a lot of enthusiasm for pushing this through Congress. For 30 years the original Reefer Madness act called the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 had buoyed a nation opposed to use of marijuana. Had enforced laws based on the frenzy incited by Yellow Journalism, that marijuana was the Destroyer of Youth, the Assassin, the Drug responsible for murderous rage and destruction...

An Act found Unconstitutional in the 1960's, throwing all laws against marijuana to the winds... along with the fact that Nixon inherited the most unpopular war in history - the Vietnam war, along with free love and the whole Hippie movement... Conservatives in America were scared shitless with what was happening around them.

Sorry!

But seriously... I can understand a concern for the dangers of drugs and drug abuse... which is why Nixon created the Drug Control Act, where he placed marijuana temporarily while studies were concluded, most notably by his own special assembled Shafer Committee. I have mentioned he was personally convinced the committee would return with a overwhelming condemnation of marijuana, and he even is alleged to have twisted some ears to see that that was the case, but to no avail... the Shafer Committee actually recommended decriminalization of marijuana, finding very little evidence of harm to society or an individual. 

But too late. On August 14, 1970, the Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Roger O. Egeberg wrote a letter recommending the plant, marijuana, be classified as a schedule 1 substance. Nixon jumped on the opportunity. He didn't wait to find out what the Shafer Committee's finding were. Use of marijuana was so popular and widespread he felt he had to act, and quickly. With the creation of the new DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and his conviction that marijuana was the gateway drug to all other dangerous drugs, Nixon acted and had the DEA place marijuana permanently into Schedule One. This meant no federal, tax-payer funds could be used to finance research into benefits or medicinal use of marijuana. It meant he could use marijuana as the centerpiece of his War on Drugs, and place emphasis on marijuana as the number one most dangerous drug in America.

In 1974 I turned 20, and I began to use marijuana. It turned my life around. Prior to that day, I barely made it through HS. I left HS scarred by being bullied. I enrolled in college only to appease my parents and their grand scheme. I had no real motivations, was a loner, and struggled to be social with my peers. When I started to use marijuana all that changed. 

But before I share with you all that changed for me in my life, I'd like to share with you all that has made this week so special to me.

We'll begin with...
THE UGLY:

Howard C. Samuels (Special correspondent to CNN):
>updated 11:00 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Howard C. Samuels is the founder and president of "The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles". I don't see a DR. in front of his name yet, apparently as a treatment specialist in whatever capacity he finds himself, he is considered an expert of sorts in the world of drug abuse. Enough so that he is a special correspondent to CNN. And his article that appears on CNN is especially ugly when it comes to his views on marijuana.

It's what I consider the death throes of the dinosaur... an age gone past with a new world in the making. Still, we should listen to what he has to say, as his message is the message that many Americans fear and agree with, though they only have past education on the subject to draw from, so many really don't understand the issues anymore than Mr. Samuels does.

He begins his article for CNN with the American staple (yeah, a sharp pointed M), at home with his wife and child, a boy of 11, they are watching the news when bursting through the airwaves is a shocking news-report regarding legalization of marijuana!
His boy asks, "If pot is so bad, why are they trying to legalize it?"
Good question. One Mr. Samuels mulls around in his head and as he explains:

"Neither my wife nor I anticipated that our son would be stopped on the street by unscrupulous potheads petitioning outside of the local grocery store and being fed a line of rhetoric that went against what we were trying to teach him."

Of course, Mr. Samuels is obviously using creative licensing here when he says that, as the question was in response to something on the TV News station they were watching, not a street-corner.
The rest of the article is equally littered with literary license...  statements such as this one:

Why are some of the people who petition for legalizing marijuana so passionate about it? Because when you smoke pot, you get loaded. You fry your brain. That's why the patients I see in my treatment center call it "getting baked." Pot is all about getting really high.

Have a glass of whiskey my friend, as those who petition for legalization of marijuana are not interested in fried brains... zombies might be, but that's the point. 

Oh, he bemoans the fact that pot users shouldn't exactly be thrown in jail, but goes on to pose they shouldn't be allowed to fornicate in public either.

He even has advice regarding "treating marijuana like alcohol", but once again misses the mark:

Marijuana supporters like to argue that marijuana is similar to alcohol. While alcohol is legal, it also accounts for tens of thousands of deaths every year in car accidents or other drinking-related misfortunes. But we can't turn the clock back on that one because it's too embedded in our society.

He begins his argument with "treating marijuana like alcohol" only to loose focus, and instead highlights the dangers of alcohol. With all the dangers of alcohol use, and how embedded it is as a recreational drug in America, of course we can't turn back the clock, nor could we reset it - we know that as a consequence of alcohol prohibition... 
He attempts to explain:

Supporters of marijuana say that marijuana should be legalized because old people and women and children who have ailments like glaucoma or cancer or intractable seizures need it.

And proceds to explain how he doesn't want to see people suffer... any American should be able to go to the pharmacy and get the medicine they need. But he continues:

...you don't need a Ph.D. to see that the spirit of that argument (to legalize marijuana) is being exploited by people who aren't using the marijuana for medical reasons at all; they are using it to get high.

Introducing legalized marijuana into our culture would be like using gasoline to put out a fire, because it stunts growth.

Stunts growth... ???


It's pretty ugly. Unfortunately, it highlights the mindset of many of our elected politicians, or at least the voter base they are trying to patronize.

I was saying originally that I was around age 20 when I first used marijuana. How it changed my life. Why it did, I don't know, but what I do know is it didn't demotivate me. It had the opposite effect in that it motivated me to find a job, get a self-chosen college education, and embrace my future. 

There is really no comparison to using pot and getting high and using alcohol and getting drunk. Getting high isn't especially about getting wasted... the term wasted analogous to getting drunk, as getting high often isn't about getting wasted. There are days when being high on life means hiking, working in the garden or playing a sport - that is what getting high is all about. And there are days when you want to be left alone in your library... to write a book, and that is what getting wasted is all about. One never gets drunk on marijuana, wasted to the point they are dysfunctional... it's possible, but the dynamics are completely different. 

Alcohol is an intoxicant that is in reality a poison that with increased dosage results in inebriation. Marijuana is a plant that contains a drug called THC that can be used to isolate a person from what's troubling them... provide a cocoon of sorts. Depending upon the strength of the marijuana, the user can relax to the point of being unmotivated. More often however, use of marijuana is not used to isolate a person, but rather as for motivational purposes... achieving an ideal high (not to be confused with intoxication) to accomplish a goal, using marijuana to emulate an effect similar to coffee or a natural high as experienced while hiking. The high may be associated with medicinal goals - pain management, alleviation of symptoms of PTSD, or with purely a desire to feeling good. Marijuana is actually self regulating, unlike alcohol, in that more does not imply a state of increasing intoxication or more being high, because more does not provide an increase beyond a certain level of high. In that respect, there is very little comparison between alcohol and marijuana.

THE GOOD:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta... another CNN Correspondent this week reversed previous beliefs that marijuana was bad with his own personal, one year inquisition into the truth about marijuana. And his opinion may surprise you!

Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot."
"Well, I am here to apologize." says Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.

Required reading!:  Why I Changed My Mind On Weed (CNN), by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

THE BAD:

Discussion SAFEACCESS - Comments - Legal THC... is most notable not only for the article but more for the comments. It should come as no surprise that the US government owns a patent on THC and chemical components of cannabis, but what should be a surprise is despite this patent for cannabis components as medicine, marijuana/cannabis remains a Schedule One drug. The irony is simple; how can a plant listed as having no medicinal value have so much medicinal value? The comment section of the aforementioned link describes all sorts of pharmaceuticals based on cannabis, even those drugs designed to destroy endocannibinoid receptors in the human brain, without which we would be zombies. Amazing how many drugs/parmaceuticals already exist based upon cannabis - a useless plant as described by the federal government with a severity of abuse much higher than alcohol, tobacco or cocaine. 

And finally, Mr. Samuels would appreciate, or not, the following research: Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lung

Appears, the effects of smoking marijuana aren't anywhere near the same as smoking tobacco. Like the, "one marijuana cigarette = 20 tobacco cigarettes". But then why would we expect they would be the same? Two different plants. Sure, smoke is considered smoke. But then the whole problem with science is the desire to simplify everything into one neat bundle.

Whether it's 1) Brianna Maitland and her disappearance alleged to be related to drugs or 2) Patricia Spottedcrow in prison for over ten years for selling a couple marijuana cigarettes, the truth is the same. Misunderstanding and prejudice determine a person's fate. In spite of a US President that promised laws and a reality based on science, that is not how America survives. It is not what we base our reality upon. 

Attorney General Eric Holder recently held a conference at the Kennedy Center, and although much speculation resides around a change to US Drug Policy and discrimination based upon race, the following link did little to ally my concerns. A full 40 minutes was devoted to voter rights and certainly, that is a concern, however a brief 2 minutes was in reference to federal drug policy reform and non-violent crimes based upon marijuana use and other drugs.

Most notable was the federal government's concern for it's privacy but a notable lack of concern for the privacy of American Citizens.

The YouTube video of Attorney General Eric Holder at the Kennedy center is here:



Marijuana Plants - Patent owned by God

Isn't it time we treated marijuana as a plant, as a medicinal herb like ginseng or camomile, and not a weapon? Isn't it time to treat alcohol more like a drug and not a fruit juice? Isn't it time to respect the privacy of individuals that the US Constitution provides to US citizens?

So President Ronald Reagan thought marijuana was as bad as a nuclear blast? I have to ask, was he even ever at Bikini Island during a nuclear blast? If so, could that have affected his mind? I mean, who in their right mind can seriously make a comparison like that and expect people will take him seriously?  Ludicrous idea. But that's what drives the War on Drugs. Fallacies and propaganda.

Time America gets real, and time to Stop the Hurt!