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11/07/2005 Archived Entry: "The blessed weed"

THE ALTERNET DRUG REPORTER has a wonderful long article about the people cultivating medical cannabis in northern California. At the same time, Garrison Keillor bemoans the foul tragedy of cannabis prohibition and imperilled pot activist Marc Emery contemplates life in prison as a "drug kingpin."

Over the weekend I read a moving book called Mom's Marijuana by psychologist and NPR commentator Daniel Shapiro.

The book has very little cannibis content, really. It's about his ghastly experience of suffering Hodgkin's Disease at age 20, then having two relapses into cancer over the next five terrifying years. And it's about humanity and family and pain and despair and finding joy. But the title arises from an act of heroism his mother committed.

When Shapiro first knew he faced chemo, he announced to his parents that he was going to buy marijuana to quell the nausea. Mother Shapiro tossed a royal fit, declaring that no druggie would ever be allowed in her household. Then by the very next morning she had not only changed her mind -- but decided to plant a substantial cannabis crop in her own abundant veggie garden.

Drug warriors still like to prate that there is "no known medicinal use" for cannabis. If that isn't a sign of insanity, I don't know what is. Anyone who has ever smoked the blessed weed instantly recognizes one of its major effects -- an astonishing improvement of appetite. Prior to being banned, it was one of the most widely-used medicines (and most generally useful substances) in all human history.

The willful blindness of the anti-drug warriors ought to be the subject of psychological, sociological, and historical studies of mass self-induced insanity -- and how destructive such insanity is when sanctioned by church or state. But as inquisitions and witchhunts and mass-murdering pogroms demonstrate, the world never, ever gets the fundamental lesson: You create hell on earth when you place the blind force of political might behind the blind force of hysterical prejudice.)

Nothing in the world -- not even water or oxygen -- is without its hazards. But if there could ever be a totally benign and useful material on this earth, cannabis comes close. It is truly a blessed substance. If there's a god, cannabis is one of his greatest gifts. Besides all its benefits in health and industry, cannabis gives simple, uncomplicated pleasure to millions. Or it would if fear of the terrorizing state didn't complicate that pleasure.

It's a measure of both the insanity of the state and the futility of fighting the state in conventional ways that after all these years, cannibis still remains the target of a hysterical, fatal drug war. A pox on such deadly prejudice and those who institutionalize anti-cannabis fear and loathing. A pox on the death cultists -- and make no mistake, they are death cultists more surely than the worshippers of Kali -- who continue to promote and conduct the drug war, despite every signpost of reality. What incalculable destruction they wreak under the false banner of doing good.

(Some links found via Bill St. Clair's blog and Rational Review News.)

Posted by Claire @ 09:23 AM CST

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