My Uncle Sam’s a Pot Farmer

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Did you know that Uncle Sam grows weed?
At the University of Mississippi in Oxford MS, under armed guards, high tech digital surveillance and dozens of locked doors and gates a government funded program is set to produce 650 kilos of pot this year.
Numbers like this can mean little until put into perspective. So, if you were to put a gram of reefer into a rolling paper and twist it up, you’d have a healthy looking joint. How many of those would 650 keys make?
650,000 doobies. That’s a lot of research.
The program, under the direction of Mahmoud ElSohly, has been in operation since 1968. It is charged with growing quality controlled marijuana for ‘research purposes.’
The question is, why is OUR government spending OUR tax dollars to provide those 650,000 joints to researchers?
Franklin Roosevelt once admitted that; “the real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
Big Business.
Business is afraid that if weed is not prohibited it would result in Business not ‘earning’ profits on a scale that they think they should.
Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t.
Together the pharmaceutical industry reported profits of $300 billion last year.
And the health care industry, another $1.7 trillion. The end result?
Physician and medication error along with adverse effects from drugs and surgery accounts for over 200,000 deaths per year in the US. Which makes the healthcare system the third leading cause of death in the US. Only cancer and heart disease are more deadly.
What did they researched to attain those noteworthy stats?
Money has been making the world go ‘round for a long time now. It’s time for a change.

What to do about it?

Quit supporting it. And start voicing your objections.
While this was written from a North American point of view, experience in other cultures suggest that governments get by with what they do because it’s tolerated. If the majority of people want government supervision OUT of their personal lives then nonviolent civil disobedience can help make change happen.
Begin to take responsibility for yourself. Ask yourself why it is necessary that YOU become the one of every four that will die from cancer this year. Then go searching for answers. You find what you look for.
Finding the answer is only the beginning. Information must be acted upon. Even if it makes life awkward.
Life became awkward for Rosa Parks. But because she had tied feet on the day a police officer ordered her to give her bus seat to a white person, the world is now a better place.
The Gallup Poll reports that 58% of Americans favor legalizing weed. The flame of change is now in our favor and we have the opportunity to turn it into a raging wildfire. All we need do is act.
It is time to get big business out of government. And government out of our personal lives.

Where to start?

Reform. Sign every petition you can that supports legalizing weed.

The Marijuana Policy Project, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform are three groups to research and support. They need funding. Help if you can.

In 2011 a documentary film entitled “Breaking the Taboo” was released to a worldwide audience via YouTube. The focus of the film is the global effects of the war on drugs. Here are more than a few statistics, taken from the documentary, to piss you off.
Since Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971 $2.5 trillion of your tax dollars have been spent on that ‘war’. Over 44 million Americans have been arrested. And according to Human Rights Watch 60,000 persons, in Mexico alone, have died as a direct result of this ‘war’.
The US has the largest prison population in the world – 2.3 million Americans are behind bars. 500,000 for drug related crimes.
If global drug commerce where a political entity it would have one of the top 20 economies in the world with an estimated yearly net income of $320 billion. Yes that was billion.
If drugs that are now illegal were taxed at a rate similar to tobacco and alcohol they would generate an estimated $46 billion in tax dollars.
Legalizing drugs would save the US an estimated $41 billion a year in costs associated with enforcing current laws.
Are you black or hispanic? If so, you should be pissed. These 2 groups use illegal drugs at about the same percentage rate as whites but are between 2 and 5 times more likely to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned.
In a December 2012 feature article on CNN titled “War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure”, Richard Branson asked;
“How would our society, our communities and daily lives improve if we took the money we use running a police and prison state and put it into education and health? Treating drugs as a health issue could save billions, improve public health and help us better control violence and crime in our communities. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from overdoses and drug-related diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C, because they didn’t have access to cost-effective, life-saving solutions.”
Not to mention the hypocrisy of the US government engaging in activities that are prohibited for its citizens. For profit.
Sobering facts. And a travesty of civil and human rights.
Our interconnectedness as a society of over 7 billion people adds to the complexity of arriving at reasonable and effective solutions to this issue. Creativity and a new commitment to humanity over business is needed. And the role of government as ‘babysitter’ and ‘moral advisor’ must be rethought.
Archeologists tell us that weed (cannabis) has been used recreationally since 3000 BC. There are now over 7 billion of us. Weed is not a threat to human existence.
I urge you to live life to the best of your ability. And allow others the same right. Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. And leave society better for your having passed this way.
Strive for the decriminalization of all adult activity that harms no other.
Starting with weed.

pot saved my life wr

Pot Saved My Life

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which is defined by three criteria:
1.    A substance with high potential for abuse.
2.    A substance with no accepted medical value.
3.    A substance unsafe to use – even under medical supervision.
But the public perception of marijuana has shifted drastically over the years. In a 1969 Gallup opinion poll, only 12 percent of Americans were in favor of legalizing cannabis. Today, that number is closer to 58 percent, while a whopping 80 percent support it’s medicinal use.
For the first time since cannabis prohibition began, a clear majority of people believe in legalization. But for most of us, it’s just an opinion. We may feel strongly about it, or we may not.
Let me introduce you to some folks who do feel strongly about it. Very strongly, indeed.
Joy Williams is a 50 year old woman from Gladstone, MI who believes she owes her life to marijuana. A few years ago she weighed more than 400 pounds, and she was taking 42 prescription pills per day to manage her pain, anxiety and COPD. The drugs were slowly killing her – her liver and kidneys were failing, and her energy was non-existent. She spent nearly all day lying in bed.
In October of 2012, she replaced her prescriptions with medical marijuana, as part of an complete lifestyle overhaul (she also switched to a vegan diet). Since then she has lost 270 pounds. Her liver and kidneys are functioning normally. She is cured of COPD.
Most importantly, she is able to play with  her grand daughter, and enjoy her life and her time with her family.
And then there’s Jim Gilliam. In March of 2009, Jim published an open letter to President Obama on the Huffington Post, entitled “Pot Saved My Life, Mr. President.” Written in response to the President’s comments about marijuana policy, the letter describes Gilliam’s battle with cancer and radiation treatments, which left his lungs so scarred that he had to undergo a double lung transplant.
In the process, he nearly wasted away. His doctor diagnosed his weight loss as life-threatening, and wrote him a prescription for Marinol (a synthetic form of THC). Marinol enabled Jim to put on weight and get out of the danger zone. He concludes his letter by saying:

“Pot saved my life. It’s a miracle drug, even the crappy, non-organic kind made in a lab.”

Greg Scott of Ft. Lauderdale, FL was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, at a time when there was nothing that doctors could do for him. He turned to marijuana to manage his symptoms and strengthen his appetite, and credits cannabis with keeping him alive long enough to benefit from more modern medical treatments. As he testified before a Florida commission:

“Because I smoked pot, I lived.”

If you live in or near Los Angeles, CA then you have probably heard the story of Bill Rosendahl, the city councilman who was the first elected official to openly use pot while in office. Bill first used medical cannabis to help relieve the stinging pain of neuropathy in his feet. He continued to use it when late stage cancer began affecting the nerves in his back, causing debilitating pain. But with the help of marijuana, Rosendahl is sleeping through the night, sitting and walking without pain, and feeling more like his old self again.
Oh, yeah – and his cancer has gone into remission. He gives credit to cannabis, saying in an interview with Huff Post Live:

“Medical marijuana saved my life.”

Mr. Rosendahl isn’t the only one who has found pot to be an effective anti-cancer agent. There’s also Mike Cutler of the UK, a 63 year old grandfather who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2009. He received a transplant, only to find out that cancer had attacked his new liver, too. Doctors told him there was nothing else they could do. He turned to cannabis oil, and his symptoms disappeared. In May of this year, doctors told him the cancer cells had also disappeared.
Rick Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003. He applied cannabis oil bandages to his skin spots and they cleared up in just days. He was so convinced by his own experience that he became something of a crusader, doing everything he can to spread the word about hemp oil and make it available to those in need – even to the point of facing criminal charges.
Dennis Hill is a biochemist who used cannabis butter and hemp oil to successfully treat malignant tumors. Dusty Frank used it to cure his prostate cancer. VICE magazine did a story about “Brave Mykayla” Comstock whose parents are treating her leukemia with cannabis oil. Dr. William Courtney told Huff Post Live about  an 8 month old infant whose inoperable brain tumor was drastically reduced by hemp oil – administered via pacifier.
I may not know the name of the baby Dr. Courtney is referring to, I do know the name Jayden David. 8 year old Jayden has a very rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, which is unresponsive to all forms of “conventional” treatment. But two years ago he found relief from his debilitating seizures through CBD-rich hemp oil, and is now living a normal and active life.
Jayden’s case is very similar to that of Charlotte Figi, who suffers from the same condition. Her case was in the national spotlight last year, after being referenced by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his public statement coming out in favor of medical marijuana. Cannabis oil has also helped kids with autism and muscular dystrophy, like Joey Hester-Perez, and also Smith-Magenis Syndrome, like Colin Ulrick.
These are lives saved by pot. These are children who are alive and healthy because of cannabis, and it’s incredible medicinal properties – which we are only beginning to explore and understand. These are men and women of all ages, who have been healed and found new hope, new strength and new life through marijuana.
Everyone has an opinion about marijuana, and most of us are in favor. But for these people and their families, it’s not just an opinion. It’s a conviction. Cannabis is not a Schedule 1 drug – it’s a medicine.
Pot saves lives. It saved their lives. And it can save thousands more, if we just give it a chance.