Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Show me the bodies!

Dean Becker, Producer - Drug Truth Network, makes a number of good points in his blog in the Houston Chronicle Commons:

Show Me the Bodies!
Posted 8/1/2007 11:42 AM

Within the last week or so, there have been 3 reports issued and widely reported on the potential harms of cannabis/marijuana.

First, the Lancet, the worlds leading medical journal issued a report that was misquoted, misunderstood and nitpicked for various newspaper and broadcast media reports to infer that smoking pot would lead to a 40% increase in psychosis in our youngsters. (This despite the fact that the rate of psychosis is unchanged since 1950 and the rate of marijuana use has gone up 10,000% since then.)

Second, a study in New Zealand of nearly 400 individuals discussed the various ways they studied the impact of tobacco and marijuana smoke on the respiratory system. The media focused on only one aspect of the study and leeched on one anothers focus to proclaim that smoking one joint was as bad as smoking five tobacco cigarettes. The full report can be seen here:

Today, the American Association for Cancer Research issued a press release: "Marijuana component opens the door for virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma."

Whew! It's a full court press, the "Battle of the Bulge" for marijuana on planet Earth, eh?

Time Magazine reported that perhaps as many as 100,000,000 Americans have used marijuana. Founding fathers, flappers, Zoot suiters, beatniks, hippies, yippies, X'ers and Wall Streeters have been using marijuana for as long as there has been an America.

Lest we forget, it was 70 years ago, on August 2, 1937 that the marijuana tax act was signed into law, (a law which was declared unconstitutional in 1969 in Leary vs USA.)

There are many theories on why this law was passed: to use timber from William Randolph Hursts lands instead of the easily replenished hemp for the paper-pulp to publish his newspapers; to give a monopoly to DOW chemical's new fibers over the hemp plant which was a mainstay of the American economy; or was it to deny use of cannabis based medicines which again had been a mainstay of American medicine for a hundred years appearing as ointments, tinctures and numerous other ways.

The Marijuana Tax Act was passed at a time when hemp was grown in the back 40 of many farms across America and you could buy a cannabis based cough syrup at the drug store for 10 cents. Harry J. Anslinger, our first drug czar managed to get the law passed by proclaiming there was a new threat to Americas children a menace creeping across our souther border: "Marijuana". His reefer madness campaign was so successful because most Americans, (including the American Medical Association) did not know he was talking about the hemp in the back 40 or the cannabis cough syrup they used. According to the "reefer madness" being proffered by the government they went along to "protect the children" from the Mexican marijuana, never realizing they were being duped. (Will it ever change?)

In any case, the war on this herb continues because of "official" studies and incompetent reporting of said studies which fail to examine the reality of the situation first hand.

(Or the mental ward patients or the lung damage or the cancer slides or at least tell me why in this time of "terror" and violent crime, when tobacco and alcohol kill more than 550,000 Americans each year and cannabis kills zero people, we need a war on this PLANT?)


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