Thursday, January 3, 2008

Medical Marijuana: Beyond Reproach?

Is it because of the relentless highly politicized “unscientific” vilification by the Moral Majority on the true nature of cannabis sativa i.e. marijuana during the Reagan Administration that allowed the “drug” to gain it’s unjustly earned “mystique”?

By: Ringo Bones and Vanessa Uy

In July 2007, the British medical journal Lancet published the result of a study that cannabis / pot users are 40% more likely to develop psychological illness like schizophrenia. Even if those conducting this recent study could refine their methods to a level of absolute certainty that’s beyond reproach, the results / data are likely to fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes) because marijuana has gained somewhat of a saint-like status that can be traced back to 1980’s America.

There are an increasing number of people –like us – who compares marijuana to a criminal who got acquitted from a prima facie case due to shoddy police work. Or maybe these are just people who grew up during the 1980’s being endlessly bombarded on the then politically-motivated-scientific-findings on the “brain-damaging” effects of delta-9 tetra hydro cannabinol, the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Back then, a book titled “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer – which was secretly published in 1985 to the underground “Hemp” community is the only unbiased albeit pro hemp source of information on how marijuana affects a relatively large community. This book also serves as a manifesto that indicted the US Government’s hypocritical stance on marijuana use. During the Reagan Administration, there was an established government conspiracy to suppress findings on how hemp could be used as a viable source of BIOMASS to end America’s dependence on Middle Eastern petroleum. This came to pass despite of a well-known historical knowledge that Betsy Ross made the first US Flag “Old Glory” from hemp fiber. In 1942, the United States Department of Agriculture -with behest from the US Government – produced a 30 minute film titled “Hemp for Victory.” The film promotes the positive aspects of the Hemp Plant from the government’s own mouth.

The legislation that brought about the legalization of marijuana use – albeit for medical purpose – was due to scientific findings on it’s therapeutic effects on glaucoma. Facing relentless public pressure due to suppression of scientific results extolling the positive aspects of marijuana plus the relatively “liberal” political climate of the Clinton Administration, the US Government finally started legal proceedings allowing for the legalization of marijuana for medical use despite the protests of the “conservative” States. Though it’s been legal for a long time in “liberal” territories like the Netherlands, marijuana use – especially in the “coffee shops” of Amsterdam – are viewed as nothing more than recreational drug use by the cynical policymakers around the world. As recently as the 21st of August 2007, when a woman in Germany suffering from multiple sclerosis was prescribed with medical marijuana for pain relief after “conventional” pain medications failed to work caused an- uproar in the “conservative” community.

From the Alternative Medicine standpoint, marijuana –like the “perennially experimental” bee venom therapy for multiple sclerosis – still warrants more definitive research. This is so because the medical community could very much benefit on finding out which chemical components of cannabis sativa i.e. marijuana has genuine medicinal / therapeutic properties that can be separated from those components responsible only for psychoactive and / or narcotic effects.

To the rest of the world (except maybe the Netherlands of course), the legitimacy of medical marijuana will be found wanting due to lack of research and due to the political baggage that the plant endured under “REAGANISM.” While a large majority see “Medical Marijuana” as something really beyond reproach like Al Gore supporters conveniently overlooking Tipper Gore’s circa 1989 PMRC in the name of “Political Correctness.” Maybe Abraham Lincoln said it best “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason, in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and to make a crime of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Except that Lincoln’s GOP is a whole different animal compared to the 21st Century “incarnation.”

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