Vol. 5, Number 5
May 1, 2013
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Rhode Island
Science Over Ideology? And yet the war on pot continues - Jim Greig
An open letter to President Obama:
I am a disabled American worker who uses state approved marijuana for medical reasons. I am offended that you choose to consider me a criminal.
Mr. President, we all know that you smoked a lot of weed as a youth, and that your cannabis consumption did not prevent you from becoming this nation's elected leader. But what seems to be passing over your head, sir, is that had you been arrested for possession of pot, you most certainly would never have become president of the U.S.
You should know that during your first four years in office, while you dodged and dismissed the marijuana issue, some three-quarters of a million people were arrested each year for possession — about three million marijuana arrests just in your first term. I'm curious how that fact fares when we consider your statement at Northwestern University in 2004 that the “war on drugs has been an utter failure."
Mr. President, I'd really like to understand where you're coming from. With 80 percent of U.S. voters supporting medical marijuana legalization and a slim majority favoring adult use, I have a hard time comprehending your reluctance to act properly.
There is no risk to you — and certainly your fellow Democrats in Congress could stand a boost in their popularity.
Mr. Obama, may I remind you that when you were elected, one of your initial points on how your administration would operate revolved around supporting science rather than ideology. You said "promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.”
Well sir, I'm not sure how to break this to you, because it might be "inconvenient" but there is no scientific legitimacy behind the illegality of cannabis in any of its forms. Surely you must agree that the continued prohibition of industrial hemp is absurd. And to deny patients like myself legitimate access to a non-toxic, non-addictive, grow-it-at-home substance that greatly reduces my consumption of toxic pharmaceuticals, is cruel and capricious.
As our commander-in-chief you should know that today 22 veterans will commit suicide. Tomorrow, 22 more. In this country nearly two dozen veterans take their own lives every day. A lot of them suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When University of Arizona psychiatrist Dr. Sue Sisley put together a study to find how effective cannabis is as a treatment for combat veterans with PTSD she first had to gain FDA and VA approval. Green-lighted from both agencies, her next step was to gain approval from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse. Since NIDA's mission is to find only the harms of drugs, her application was quickly rejected.
In February I was in Washington, D.C., attending the Americas for Safe Access Unity Conference. While there I had the opportunity to meet Dr. John Schwarz, a physicist best known as one of the "fathers of string theory."
In a November 2012 Huffington Post op-ed, Schwarz, who's wife is a medical marijuana patient, criticized your administration for "ignoring scientists' voices on medical marijuana policy ... and severely restricting their ability to conduct new research."
He went on to say the "acceptance of science has come a long way since Galileo was arrested as a heretic for questioning the order of the universe. Yet today, the federal government ignores scientific facts accepted around the globe — not to mention the will of the American people — to cling to outdated ideological policies and restrict marijuana research. This is hardly the 'free and open scientific inquiry' President Obama touted in 2009."
Please, Mr. President. I would like to believe that you are not a hypocrite — that you believe in both science and the will of the American people. You cannot lose, sir, you can only gain.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
Jim Greig is an Organizer for Americans for Safe Access and a member of the Board of Directors for the Voter Power Foundation.
Full text of original article
Discovering the Benefits of Marijuana - Joan Bello
It is hard to believe that I lived for 30 years without even knowing there was such a thing as being high. I had no idea what a different way of perceiving meant. Any altered state of my youth was numbing via alcohol which I never could yield to completely. But with marijuana, I was awake, saw more clearly, felt more deeply and understood more globally. From being straight-laced and ever so proper, I became tolerant, laid-back and no longer concerned with superficial material goals.
The childhood yearning to understand the mysteries of life lost along the way of normal competitive trivia returned. Kindness, justice and lofty ideals, compartmentalized under philosophy, burst forward. All the principles and promises of my Catholic schooling that had proven to be such dismal failures become real possibilities from the experience of The Marijuana Consciousness. The world was new again with hope and holiness. I was happily reintroduced to the real me, who had been hiding for years.
I had yet to study the science of the plant so I didn’t know I was breathing deeper than usual. I didn’t understand that there were connections in my brain that had been lost years before. All I knew was the freedom, relaxation and the feeling of well-being that gently overtook my whole being whenever I was under the influence of marijuana.
The first time I smoked marijuana, I knew it would cure my son. I could never even try to explain this revelation, but it was as clear as anything had ever been. Steven was five and suffered from Grande Mal seizures at least three or four times a week. He was very hyper active and was being shamefully drugged by the doctors with dangerous poisons who offered little hope for this incurable disease. I was a desperate mother with no answers. It was 1973. The stigma of marijuana was strong although the laws were not as gruesome as they became over the next decades.
I was a teacher in NYC and knew that giving my child marijuana would endanger my job. I was very afraid, but more determined. I rented a hotel in Manhattan and took my little boy for his first introduction to the plant. The bed was very high and he was very little. I picked him up onto the side of the bed and I sat in front of him in a chair. I still remember saying, “mommy has something for you.” We shared our first joint. I gently blew the smoke in his face as he became noticeably calmer. Then we went out shopping. He didn’t have any more seizures for about ten days. It was the longest span between spells since they first began when Steven was two.
I continued the forbidden medicine and it continued to help. Of course, we told no one. It was our family secret. That’s when and why I began my search in earnest to discover how marijuana worked. At the outset, I never imagined that it would take thirteen years.
With our new found cure and my newly acquired mindset, we left NYC for the hills of Pennsylvania. We grew our own marijuana, worked at odd jobs while I continued to hunt down the effects of this beautiful and maligned plant that had saved my son.
At the time, there was so little information about marijuana that it was obvious that it was either purposefully hidden or destroyed. My husband and I drove to every library within 500 miles with books that might reference marijuana. I read bibliographies to locate traces that mentioned Cannabis as medicine in scientific papers and ordered every available study. Sometimes it took months to obtain the inter-library loan. But nothing explained how marijuana worked. I did learn that it was an ancient herb, glorified in the earliest religions. I read the government backed studies, the foreign mentions and the newspapers filled with reefer madness. But there was no satisfactory simple, holistic description of how marijuana produced its mind expanding and body relaxing effects.
Meanwhile, the years went by. Steven was no longer hyperactive and thankfully his seizures were rare. We smoked together every day; he did well in school; had a greater capacity for all things philosophical than most adults; was strong and healthy and of course, was not taking any more of those dangerous poisons.
At 40 years old, I returned to school for a Master’s Degree in Holistic Health and Eastern Studies. Swami Rama was a Tantric Master. He founded The Himalayan Institute for the purpose of bringing the ancient wisdom of the East to the West. His library was full of Indian texts, many of which referenced Cannabis Sativa, as an esteemed medicinal herbal tonic and Bhangi, the Hindu name for the venerated plant. I became a very devoted volunteer librarian and spent hours upon hours doing my research, secretly of course,
The main teaching at the Institute was Yoga Science. Essentially, Yoga is a systematic, step-wise, time worn, array of stringent physical, psychological and breathing practices geared to raise the vibration of the participant. Refinement of the entire personality is what is meant by raising the vibration. Mentally, it is (evidenced in) a loss of self-centeredness, negativity and worldly striving which is then replaced by cheerfulness, compassion and acceptance. When the Yogic methods are successful, the pattern of the breath is regular and unrestricted, creativity increases and the body relaxes. The mind is quiet. No fear.
The program at The Institute was very demanding. The course of study was brilliantly integrated, comprised of experiential practice, self observation, Eastern philosophy and holistic physiology. It was incredibly familiar although I don’t know why. The tests were four or five hours long, tediously encompassing and very easy for me since I made sure to be especially high.
In the Spring of 1986, as graduation approached, I finally had the answer to how marijuana imparts its magic. At an opportune time during one of my classes, I nonchalantly asked a teaching physician how LSD affected the body and the mind. It seemed too dangerous to ask about marijuana since growers were being arrested every day. I thought that I would be able to make the necessary substitution to the effects of marijuana. “Oh that’s simple he said, it floods both sides of the Autonomic Nervous System.”
There it was! The goal of Yoga Science is to balance the Autonomic Nervous System. If one can do that, then there is no thinking, the body is relaxed, the brain is in sync with a unified vibration, the breathing is deep and uninhibited and timeless values emerge, along with superior health. The effects of marijuana fit perfectly with all I had learned about the opposing physical and psychological modes of a balanced ANS. The accumulated knowledge and pieces of information of 13 years of research that were floating in my brain were synchronized in that instant.
There is a place or space termed the objective witness in all teachings about the inner human world. It is not taught in school, not mentioned on the news and hardly admired by friends or family. It has nothing to do with success as defined in our society. The objective witness emerges when a certain plateau of being is attained that corresponds to an energetic fluidity which indicates an important milestone in Yoga Science, as well as in all genuine spiritual disciplines. It can be described as when the person steps outside herself and sees what is timeless rather than what is self-serving. It happened to me and it happens to all of us who know what “high” really means.
Steven is nearly 50 and has been cured of his incurable disease for over 40 years. I am over 70 and am in perfect health. Of course, we both have been blessed with the benefits of marijuana since 1973.
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.
New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Featured Recipe - The Savoy Truffle - Submitted by: The Dolphin Farm
This super candy is one of my absolute favorites. Diabetics beware; this one is sweet and should be used in small portions. The rest of you can go for it.
April 26-28, 2012
Tucson, AZ USA
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