by S. Brook Reed & Dr. Y
If you’ve surmised cannabis, medical or otherwise, a generation X contemporary, you’ve been misinformed. Mongolia, among the most irreproachable countries on the planet, was analyzing weed therapeutically and recreationally by 400 BC!
Between 400 and 10,00 BC, pot evoked an intricate journey into the world of medicinal value, mythological creed, and fiber-rich nutrition. Used as a broad spectrum health tonic in India, Hinduism also utilized “sacred grass” as a ceremonial offering in 1,000 BC. The “holy anointing oil,” specified by Moses in the bible’s book of Exodus, entailed six pounds of cannabis, for purity sake! Yet it would be the Chinese, in 8,000 BC, to first infer pot seeds a, uh hmm, defecation aid!
Clearly, the cannabis timeline has been sustained throughout the AD enumeration, as well. The Ancient Essenes, creators of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a primitive transcription of St. Mark’s Ethiopian church, inhaled cannabis vapors as an act of divine worship in 45 AD. Documented history from 70 AD possesses “De Materia Medica,” a written works on the soothing advantages of cannabis via Greek Physician Penadias Dioscorides, was born near modern day Tarsus. But, again, it would be china who would one-up the remaining cultures in 200 AD when “doctor” Hoa Tho applied cannabis extracts to his surgical procedures.
Connotatively speaking, the pot feline was definitely out of the bag in 400 AD. Having reached the English colonies of Britain, universal remedies and holiday smoking were objectives.
International cannabis expansion spread like wild flowers in the middle ages. Embraced by the “virtues” of theology, grass was condoned within the Islamic faith by 680 AD, while Mohammed permitted weed, yet prohibited fermented beverages, 120 years in succession. Not to mention the sacramental cannabis consumption at the Persian alters of Sufi Hyderi founder Hydar, who’s last right in 1155 included a lush, eternal bed of pot foliage. Talk about ethereal alteration!
Twelve-hundred AD marked the first cannabis-related adversity. Reprimanded for allegedly inducing the Hashshashin war, in northern Persia, hashish produced a decline in regard for cannabis.
Quandaries would again surface for pot early in the renaissance transition. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII called cannabis an “unholy implement” for the satanic masses of Europe. “The witches hammer,” as Christians called it, cannabis would then be con- sidered taboo in many clerical circles.
Countering the notion, King Henry VIII issued citations in 1533 to non-hemp agriculturists, his military demanding it for its infinite recourses. Fellow Englishman William Turner had solidified non-theological cannabis wisdom with his 1538 book, New Herbal.
Cannabis hit the salty shores of North and South Americas amid 1492 to 1606 via the Mayflower! It seems Christopher Columbus was competent in some respects, apart from browbeating and segregating the indigenous American tribes! But it was the Angolan slaves to first import, grow, and smoke cannabis in Brazil. And, of course, you can thank Quebec founder Louis Herbert for introducing cannabis not only to the liberal province, but all of Canada, to complete the massive geographic addi- tion in 1606.
Sixteen-Nineteen through 1637 saw cannabis, as well as cousin plant hemp, making large strides toward mainstream American applica- tions. Along with the 1619 Virginia state requisite, all farmers, commercial and /or
otherwise, grew hemp. In 1631, hemp was then as good as cash via US retailers. And within six years time, legal- ly encouraged cannabis plantations exceeded even tomato cultivation in Hartford, Connecticut.
The now controversial relative seedlings celebrated their diversities at all-new international levels in the 1700s. The textile industry of America, via Boston, brought in Irish spinners and hemp. Central and South Asia, in 1770, used hashish as a major trade asset. Documented on hemp paper, the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence emerged in 1776. Seven years more wit- nessed the horticultural division of sativa and indica, the two primary sub-species that would later spawn thou- sands of strains.
Further esteeming the wide-mouthed enterprises of cannabis/hemp, early US Presidents Jefferson and Washington, in 1791 and ’94 respectively, spoke publicly and/or wrote inspiration for hemp.
“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere,” advised President Washington.
Well into the seventeenth century, English literature on the medicinal evaluation of cannabis came to light.
British publication Indian Homeopathy Journal ran the
first article on pot, America’s Proverbs Union, by Dr. William O’shaunessy. The Anglo-Saxon physician would then write Preparation of the Indian Hemp or Ganja, a book that logically presented cannabis, and its medicinal assessment, to western science. The health care profession- al had concluded large doses of cannabis oil a cure for tetanus.
By 1840, cannabis tinctures were all the rage in conven- tional pharmacies across America!
Later that year, President Abraham Lincoln denounced obstruction of cannabis.
“Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in attempt to control man’s appetite through legislation and make crimes of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles in which our government was founded.”
Nevertheless, exemplifying age-old propaganda, in 1854 the New York Times erro- neously termed cannabis “a narcotic.” The poor PR spin would be complicity to the decline of weed’s accounta- bility.
With NYC leading the way, however, hash bars were sprouting up in metropolitan cities across North America. Notwithstanding, by century’s end, Greece and Turkey had banned cannabis permanently, loosely based on moral ethics. Like a vile rumor, ballyhoo that seemed oddly superstitious, at best, began with the God-fearing “faith- ful” – inadequately informed do-gooders.
Señora, Mexico’s Poncho Villa, along with his theistic assem- blage, were among those to bequeath cannabis demonic surname “marijuana” in 1895. Things would only get worse for Baphomet, er, marijuana in the new millennium.
The credulous name-calling and continued civil limitations were inflammatories in the 20th century. But when the US Department of Agriculture tagged cannabis a poison in 1905, the “liberty and justice for all” phrase that concludes the US “Pledge of Allegiance” became as deceptive as the deduction itself. They would go on to discourage all phar- maceutical/remedial formulas, fueling the counterpart warnings.
Ironically, the Mexican revolution had bled social marijuana use into America’s veins. Though the African-American, Jazz- club-inspired “Reefer” references would bleed the US pot movement to death in 1910. “Its uncivilized,” discriminators cried.
An accomplice to “the devils music” – sixty
years prior to “evil” rock sub-genre heavy metal! –
Christian feared reefer may subject
white folks to dark
spirit possession, too!
Then came the double-edged, right-winged innuendo: “Your wife will sleep with black men if she smokes mari- juana!”
In another paradoxical twist, South Africa would ban cannabis shortly after the “negro-incited” American Marijuana”hysteria.” Massachusetts was the first state to follow the classicist trend.
At 1912’s First Opium Conference, 46 nations initiated a hypothesis that suggested cannabis should be outlawed internationally. Countering sentiments of interdiction, the same global
parties detained commercial merchandising and handling for opium, heroin, morphine and cocaine, yet preserved cannabis.
In the 13-year interim that separated 1915 and ’28, the marijuana reproach would abate the cannabis cause fur- ther. Utah and California were the first states to crimi- nalize the impeccable plant. Hard nose Texas would soon succeed them. By 1927, only New York, Colorado, and Montana had retained pharmaceutical cannabis, yet stiff penalties were placed on festive recourse and street peddling. And finally, The Dangerous Drugs Acts of 1928 would be the sound of the cannabis tomb echoing closed throughout the United Kingdom.
The FBN (Federal Bureau of Narcotics), later the DEA, became a malignant tumor within cannabis’ permissible standing in 1930.
Two years in, FBN Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger organized a subdivision contract system, the Uniform State Narcotics Act. The once federally liberated states were strangely encouraged to comply with the termination of cannabis,”and other narcotics.”
Thirty-three states had opposed the organic sub- stance by 1933, as a result.
Federalist, Racist, and Liar, Commissioner Anslinger Masterminded a pot scan- dal in 1935 that would deceive the entire human race. Swindling a national media operation, the gov- ernment official who regarded African-Americans as “Niggers” via live broad- casting warned that mari-
juana provoked homicidal tendencies and crime sprees in its users. The malicious, prejudice crusade was effective enough to cease all cannabis farming in even China!
The do-gooder’s rancorous reign of cannabis tyranny spoke via film in 1936. Reefer Madness, directed by Frenchman Louis Gasnier, and The Devil’s Weed, a prod- uct of The Motion Picture Association of America, while maintaining concepts of violence, were fabrication.
But the most ludicrous assessment from reactionaries that same year were newspaper headlines:
MARIJUANA-CRAZED, SATANIC, JAZZ-MAD NEGROS RAPE WHITE WOMEN!
By 1937, such evangelistic, racial biased networking would mean the decline of cannabis in 46 states. With Anslinger’s congruity, newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, spreading the disease, their collective white supremacy, anti-cannabis/hemp campaign would garner exploitative corporate backing.
DuPont, the leading intercontinental manufacturer of plastic/vinyl, was/is vehemently averse to the hemp indus- try, potentially the tightfisted company’s primary competition.
Medical and casual pot users could smell a rat later in ’37 when the Marijuana Tax Act created a catch 22. Presenting cryptic legal jar- gon, the statement was utter poppy- cock! More slander from Anslinger, the balderdash loop- holed a simultaneous state and federal hemp ban, to the elation of DuPont.
Making a heroic last stand for medical cannabis, NYC Mayor Fiorello La Guardia publicly emphasized its worth in 1944.
Commissioner Anslinger, in turn, incriminated La Guardia. Altering legislature, Anslinger The Terrible then erected
felony precepts for scientist physicians who independently studied, researched, and tested cannabis.
Discounting persistent former assertions that cannabis usage equaled rage, Anslinger claimed in 1948 that pot use generated “peace.” Cynically suggesting a cannabis-weak- ened America may be vulnerable upon the event of com- munist intrusion, the word apathy better depicts the dicta- tor’s implication.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights emerged, if but non-plausibly, too, in ’48!
Wild Weed, a.k.a. She Shoulda Said No, yet another obstinate survey of cannabis, was a new film release in 1949. Focusing on wasted careers and self-destruction, marijuana held the thematic diatribe.
[Incisively, today, in 2012, daily medicinal and/or inad- vertent pot users graduate uni- versity, earn seven figures par- ticipating in pro sports, and direct major law firms!]
1951, established by Anslinger,
lumped cannabis with hard drugs. With guaranteed jail time in exchange
for convicted cannabis distribution, retailers of pharmaceutical and/or “party grass” then gambled
their freedom and social approval. A parallel
proposal five years later observed the wholesome medi- cine as it was pitched an even meaner curve ball.
Officially over-killing the criminalization of cannabis, the Narcotic Control Act of 1956 was inconceivable. It posed a startling 10-year sentence and $20,000 fine for a mere first-time possession charge. Anslingers Marxism approach had begun to open eyes.
The world’s hottest rock and roll artists, in 1967, risked their major recording con- tracts for weed. Using fame as deflec- tion, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger “walked”, their mar- ijuana possession charges dropped.
An avid medical cannabis user, nonconformist President JFK fired the unwarranted FBN commissioner in 1962. Kennedy’s Assassination the ensuing year reflected a like- ness to slain former president Abraham Lincoln, who also condoned cannabis.
And in this, The Beatles psychedelic era, the music group received hair-raising media attention when they signed a pro-pot petition in London. Record sales for both bands would be stimulated by the commotion.
Over the next two years, “the Satan music” would be associated with “The Devil’s Weed” globally three times. The Rolling Stones, not surprisingly, were christened “Lucifer Worshippers” by revivalist media. Then John Lennon and George Harrison were arrested, in two sepa- rate instances, when customs found marijuana amid their belongings.
Also in 1969, President Richard Nixon put Operation Intercept into play. The now abandoned order harassed US tourist that returned from Mexico, a venture that hoped to regulate a Mexican domestic policy on cannabis. Recalled as Watergate’s most notorious party member, the dishonorable president detested marijuana, completing a pattern for underhanded officeholders.
Nixon’s administration made their grand denunciation in 1971, his ongoing “War on Drugs” claiming thou- sands of innocent lives, officers included. “I am against the legalization of marijuana,” the loose-cheeked politician would reiterate.
NORML, and the Nixon-delegated Shafer Commission, filed 1971 testimonials, suggesting that medicinal cannabis be decriminalized. Nixon and legislature declined.
Nineteen-seventy-three meant new federal troops. Fighting Nixon’s War on Drugs then included the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Never mind the dia- bolical formula of music, people of color, and – gasp! – marijuana. The DEA agents – men in black with mirrored shades – represent Third Reich styled power.
A state brazenly stepped outside of the box in 1975, and NORML again made a stand. The Supreme Court of Alaska sanctioned in-home cannabis use, pointing out that the Fourth Amendment gifts Americans the “right of privacy” – Even if that means smoking grass in your living room while watching Monday Night Football! And, funding a Compassionate Use pro- gram, NORML teamed up with the FDA to make Washington DC’s Robert Randal America’s exclusive medical marijuana lab rat.
A Republican, President Gerald Ford, in the last year of his administration, then forbade programs that researched reme- dial cannabis. Still, on January 5,1976, The New York Times reported that scientists had ascertained the safety factors of cannabis. But dumbfounding the US most that year, DuPont
Publicly proclaimed marijuana less harmful than alcohol. And again, Robert Randal superseded congress via Investigative New Drug, his personal medicinal grass sanctuary agenda.
More progressive minds surfaced for cannabis a year later. Embracing
the Shafer commission’s pro-pot mindset, democratic oval office
occupant President Jimmy Carter
attempted to re-school
legislature, requesting mild mar-
ijuana laws. Australia’s Baume Committee suggested viewing cannabis use as a social and/or medical issue; hardly a legal matter. South Wales also expressed a desire to reduce worldwide penalties for grass.
Bad news for post-Beatles Paul McCartney fans: in 1980, an uppity Japanese judge jailed the baby- faced superstar for weed, qualifying only Ringo for the priesthood.
Reagan erected a mandatory conviction statute for any drug-associated crime, including cannabis. Accumulative offenses could then incarcerate a mere pot smoker for life!
Praised only for his elimination of the Berlin wall, Ronald Reagan was not a US reformist. As cannabis’ smiling adversary, in 1983 President Reagan ordered all American Universities to shred marijuana-related reports and/or examinations from 1966 to ’76. In the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act,
In 1988 the DEA hardened. After countless confirming depositions, executive federal Judge Francis Young reached the conclusion that medical marijuana should be a US government proposal. “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active sub- stances known to man,” the chief justice said. Shrugging, then moving on, the Reagan Administration and the Department of Justice refused the safer alternative to even terminal patients that suffered, also, from synthetic drug allergies.
President George Bush, who later reinforced terrorist son George W., represented a rehabilitated War on Drugs in 1989. Springboarding employer urine testing, George Sr. also pointed a shaky finger at head shops. Secretary of state James A. Baker deduced the War on Drugs a failure, his words falling on deaf ears. In its
wake, the black market exploited an inevitable cannabis industry. In effect, more unnecessary casualties would ensue.
Resuming the dizzying rollercoaster ride, in 1992, more cannabis-linked pros and cons had arisen. The California Research Advisory Panel presumed the War on Drugs,
with its inserted violence, more perilous to society that hard drugs. The Investigational New Drug itinerary was shelved. And, damned by traditionalists for his extra mar- ital affairs, as well as grass, President Bill “I didn’t inhale” Clinton failed to assist Jim Montgomery, a paraplegic who received a life sentence for medicating with cannabis.
In addition to Holland’s exempt status, Germany approved cannabis in limited quantities by 1994. Holland responded by reducing their gram-allowance from 30 to five.
1996 glimpsed medical marijuana via Proposition 215.
The state of California had validated medicinal pot use solely for cancer, AIDS, and other potentially fatal mal- adies. Further tearing the liberation envelope, Belgium and the Netherlands loosened all drug laws.
Unscrupulous government cannabis examinations were exchanged for reality in 1997. UCLA’s School of Medicine determined that lung capacity in regular cannabis smokers remained virtually normal. Another credible source, American Journal of Public Health, said, “Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of pot use may, itself, be a health hazard; it can expose users to violence and criminal activity.”
Connecting years 1998 through 2000, medical cannabis had attained its own bills. The Medical Marijuana Act, Oregon’s ticket to physician prescribed weed, was passed in ’98, followed by individualized projects in Alaska, Washington, Colorado and Hawaii. Nevertheless, the debilitation-ailments-only clause had opened the medical marijuana door but a crack.
Unfortunately, some US government sanctioned organiza- tions were not on the same page in 2001. With passé judi- cial ordinances instigation technical contention, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Nixon’s 1970 Act made no exception for medical marijuana. Period. The American Medical Association’s Council of Scientific Affairs counterpointed. “Until such time as rapid-onset cannabinoid formulations are clinically available, our AMA affirms the appropriateness of compassionate-use marijuana…”
The Council of Scientific
Affairs listed cachexia, anorexia,
nausea, chronic pain, and other conditions, treatable via medical marijuana.
On February 12, 2003, California’s Senate Bill 420 was solidified. It certified
that a medical
marijuana patient may licitly hold a half ounce, along with either six fully bloomed or 12 small plants.
Each in conjunction with specific state guidelines, Montana (’04), Vermont(’04), and Rhode Island(’06), then New Mexico(’07), and Michigan(’08), clued into medical marijuana.
Moreover, confirming the blatant dictatorship of the US federal government, a 2009 AMA cannabis strategy was recommended. A fragmented version said:”Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I con- trolled substance be reviewed. The goal is to facilitate the conduct and development of cannabinoid-based med- icines.” But alas, this policy, too, was rejected.
An indecisive United Kingdom, after having reclassified cannabis to a Class C drug in 2004, refiled it back to class B in 2009.
Better slow that not at all, by 2010 two more states had complied, while another lifted the bar. Recent dividends to the American Medicinal Grass dynasty are Arizona and New Jersey. Though Holland wannabe California, a state that has now closed many dispensaries, took Measure 19 down to the voting-booth wire. The ballot deficit missed liquor store retail by an emotional seven percent!
Canada’s Parliament Hill, and the once medicinal pot elu- sive American North-East, augmented provincial statutes and medical marijuana affiliated legal processing last year. Ottawa, Ontario Superior Court vowed to adjust chapter issues by July. Delaware and Connecticut then, also, opened the gate to safer alleviation.
Nonetheless, don’t hold your breath for that US legaliza- tion bill just yet; The SWAT-esque DEA raids of 2011 could set a tone for the subsequent time.
Further disrupting the accord of independence, the federally promoted IRS has tangled the hairs of medical marijuana. On February 2, 2012, activist Steve DeAngelo, an Oakland, California dispensary keeper, petitioned a $2.4 million tax bill.
The antiquated Section 280E, designed to thwart deductions on illicit drug sales, is four decades old! “No cannabis shops will remain in business if the IRS is successful in denying all deductions,” DeAngelo said of his business audit. Sadly, Legalization and medical marijuana prospects were more stout in 2010 than they are today. Welcome to the merry-go-round of cannabis.