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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big Lie

In honour of the long-overdue announcement that federal raids on medical marijuana America have ended, I thought I would post an excerpt on the origins of marijuana prohibition from Peter McWilliams' outstanding book, Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do, the text of which is available online through that link (but it's well worth purchasing).

The chapter of the book from which I'm drawing the following excerpt lays out the steps through which the Marijuana Tax Act (which banned cannabis in the United States) went before it was passed under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Harry Anslinger, and the false premises and outright bullying to which the FBN had to resort to get the act passed and force medical professionals to get on board.

... how many doctors were heard in the congressional hearings in 1937? Precisely one. He represented the American Medical Association. The AMA opposed the bill. At least twenty-eight medicinal products containing marijuana were on the market in 1937, the doctor pointed out; drugs containing marijuana were manufactured and distributed by the leading pharmaceutical firms; and marijuana was recognized as a medicine in good standing by the AMA. [...]

[...] Like the Harrison Narcotics Act before it, the Marijuana Tax Act claimed—even in the title of the bill—only to tax marijuana. It was yet another deception perpetrated on Congress and the American people: the intent of the bill was never to tax, but to prohibit. Beyond mere deception, however, the Big Lie to Congress was yet to come.

In testifying before the congressional committee, the doctor sent by the AMA said the AMA had only realized "two days before" the hearings that the "killer weed from Mexico" was indeed cannabis, the benign drug used and prescribed by the medical profession for more than a hundred years. Said Dr. Woodward,

We cannot understand, yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the [medical] profession, that it was being prepared.

Anslinger and the committee chairman, Robert L. Doughton, DuPont Dynasties, Robert Doughton was a key DuPont supporter in Congress denounced and curtly excused Dr. Woodward. When the marijuana tax bill came before Congress, one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?" Representative Vinson answered for the committee, "Yes, we have . . . and they are in complete agreement."

The Big Lie. The bill passed, and became law in September 1937.

Anslinger was furious with the AMA for opposing him before the congressional committee. As the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he could prosecute any doctors who prescribed narcotics for "illegal purposes." Which purposes were "illegal" was pretty much Anslinger's call. From mid-1937 through 1939, more than 3,000 doctors were prosecuted. In 1939, the AMA made peace with Anslinger and came out in opposition to marijuana. From 1939 to 1949, only three doctors were prosecuted by the FBN for drug activity of any kind.

McWilliams, for those who don't know, passed away in 2000. He had AIDS and cancer and had been successfully using marijuana (legal under California law) to control his nausea, but switched to Marinol after a federal investigation and a judge ordered him to do so. Marinol was only effective about a third of the time for McWilliams and one day shortly after he switched medications he began vomiting and choked to death.

For all the economic damage he's likely to do, Obama's policy on letting the states legislate on medical marijuana would have saved Peter McWilliams' life, and will save lives that would have been lost. If I had a hat, I'd tip it to Mr. Obama today.

Posted by Janet Neilson on February 27, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

I'd like to know why marijuana is getting such special treatment. It is not part of the pharmacopoeia, having been removed for reasons still valid today; its efficacy has not been ; and it has not passed the stringent requirements that every other drug sold to the public must pass. Neither the AMA nor the FDA support the use of marijuana as medicine. Any other drug that was pushed onto the public in such flagrant disregard of established procedures would be a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit waiting to happen.

As for Peter Mcwilliams, he'd also still be alive today if he'd been more careful in his habits. And that he choked on his own vomit is speculation, not an established fact of public record.

So I'll ask again--why the unprecedented exception, for a drug of unproven efficacy, a drug that also happens to be the recreational tripper's drug of choice, and the one first smoked in large numbers by the very generation currently making public policy?

If you can retread threads, Janet, I can retread posts. I remind you that it was doctors who removed marijuana from the pharmacopoeia in 1942, not politicians, citing undesirable psychotropic side effects including, in some cases, severe paranoia. Any other anti-nausea drug causing paranoia in 4% of all patients would be pulled from the shelves.

As for McWilliams, he would also be alive today if he had been more careful in his habits. That he choked on his own vomit is at this point speculation on the part of his pro-marijuana friends, not an established medical fact of public record. He was found dead in his apartment; no one was with him when he died. AIDS is completely preventable, as is drug addiction.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 10:16:08 AM


Damned copy/paste.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 10:16:42 AM


So I'll ask again--why the unprecedented exception, for a drug of unproven efficacy,.................
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 10:16:08 AM

I happen to know of someone (cancer patient)using Sativex who says that it works much than smoking marijauna. She knows she is getting the correct dose from a properly manufactured product, and her house doesn't stink.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-02-27 12:30:31 PM


...says that it works much than smoking marijauna..

Should have said works much "better" than smoking marijauna.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-02-27 12:32:23 PM


Stig- Please don't think I'm being insensitive. Does she get "high" from this drug? I'm curious about which ingredient helps with the nausea. Is there some combination of ingredients that makes some people so adamant that only the "real thing" works for them.

Posted by: dp | 2009-02-27 12:58:57 PM


I have no objection to the harvesting of cannabis for medically useful derivatives and their controlled distribution via prescription for those in need. But that is not what compassion clubs do. The do the cannabinoid equivalent of selling raw opium for smoking in pipes. The fact that there are maverick physicians who would prescribe either does not make the practice more respectable.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 1:19:04 PM


Does she get "high" from this drug?
Posted by: dp | 2009-02-27 12:58:57 PM

I seen her use it and she doesn't seem to be. It does contain natural THC so I would suspect there could be effect on the nervous system. It also contains CBD which is a sedative. The doses are low and accurately metered unlike the stuff you smoke.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-02-27 1:34:28 PM


Shane, you need a history lesson, friend.

Cannabis is THE medicine of choice by anyone in pain and has been for at least 10 centuries.

Since man cannot make a drug that is anywhere near as safe as Cannabis, your argument for synthesis is most unwise.

Why force people to use drugs that if accidentally consumed by kids can be fatal?

In addition, Cannabis has been proven to kill at least 270 different kinds of cancer.

It is the most studied plant on the planet and is the most valuable natural resource on the planet.

The only people against Cannabis are people who have no idea of this countries history. Cannabis built this country. The first flag was made of it. The first 2 drafts of the Constitution were written on Cannabis.

Please get a clue Shane, your drivel is unfounded and incorrect.

Look up Rick Simpson and tell me how much egg is on your uninformed face.

Posted by: Dr. Dope | 2009-02-27 4:41:38 PM


The question really is, why are alcohol and tobacco not even on the drug schedule at all?

If we can get the most deadly and addictive drug on the planet on every corner, there is no rational argument to keep Cannabis illegal.

If you don't want or need Cannabis don't use it.

But don't pretend like we can't make the decision for ourselves, just like we do with tobacco and alcohol.

If you can't handle that freedom, move to China.

I will use the medicine that works best for me, don't limit my choices, limit your own.

Posted by: Dr. Dope | 2009-02-27 4:48:59 PM


ATTENTION ALL WIPEHEAD CONSPIRACY TIME MACHINE FANS:

Prior to creating the Marijuana Tax Act, US Congress invited legitimate stakeholders to comment before legislation was passed,-: the AMA were very familiar with Cannabis, as it was, ahem the most important medicine to humanity for 10,000 years- and by the the 30s, the value of cannabis in medicine had been eclipsed by other drugs..Note "Big Pharma" was not invited to these sessions and did not submit any opinions..
The most well informed research scientists of the day who knew all there was to know in 1930s terms about cannabis the drug and its effects- historically and practically presented at the hearings-

There were not closed hearings- maybe the American pot head Coalition didn't send in a delegation, but we note the Vancouver Gang Association ( VGA ) were not invited to present prior to the recent Federal clampdown..


The American Commercial paint and Varnish Mfg. Industries and the Commercial Bird Seed industries did present at the MJ tax Act hearings , plead their case and were granted reasonable amendment so they could continue doing business in a legal climate where the cannabis plant was a federally regulated crop.

It is an emotionally constipated stoner fantasy to suggest that in the 1930s' the bad hearted powers of an evil government conspired to stiff out hemp, stamp out pot and erace the weed from the face of the world.

The reports of pot frenzy murder the Hearst newspapers printed were not invented- these events _did occur.

When we can see in 2009 so many people lining up for medical marijuana to treat aliments real and imagined, and legions of borderline psychotics self administering cannabis to mask symptoms, it should be no surprise that people did the same thing 70+ years ago, and that pot 70+ years ago was pretty much the same and had pretty much the same effects..

What 21st Cannaphile apologists will not concede, to their own loss of credibility , is that their drug use is problematic to everyone else..Stoners will not take responsibility for their actions. Blaming larger social disdain for drugged up erratic neibours on the long ago faceless monster of "racism" is clumsy Fairystoryism that nobody is buying into.

Its no bloody wonder none of the governing strata , charged with the sacred duty of looking out for the public good, bought into any of that retro nor contemporary Wipehead blubbering-

The next round of " closer look at the 2009 cannabis social reality" is to determine what portion of the medical MJ community are faking, what portion are diverting their medicine to the recreational market, and which compassion clubs are legit and which ones are fronts for Wipehead party animals

The wrestling match between the Stoners and the Straights is not over yet--its just a brief time out for a change of costumes

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-27 5:14:30 PM


Did the article say "Killer Weed from Mexico" or "Killer bees from Mexico". I haven't seen either yet, and the Killer Bees have been on their way since at least 1980. I doubt either exist.

Posted by: Buddha Chan | 2009-02-27 5:21:19 PM


Welcome to the forum, Doctor. Now let us to work:

1. The main reason medical marijuana does not get more respect is that most of its proponents are like you—bristling with outrage and indignation, sprinkling ad hominem bottlecrap on anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Even if you had an unbiased viewpoint, this kind of sloppy, amateurish tar-and-feather approach makes you look like a petulant teen baying shrewishly, “It’s your fault the world will be destroyed!”

2. Prior to 1960, hardly anyone in North America smoked marijuana. Most Americans had never heard of it until Mexicans brought it north in the late 19th century. There is little evidence that cannabis was used as medicine in medieval Europe, and in Asia and the Near East, where it was more broadly known, it has been forbidden in Islamic countries for centuries.

3. I did not say we should synthesize. I said we should extract. Read the sentence again. Because a pharmacist you ain’t.

4. Because, unlike marijuana, they’re actually proven to work, and some can actually cure things, which marijuana cannot do, for anything.

5. Cannabis has not, to the satisfaction of the AMA and FDA, been proven to kill anything, tumours included. Use your brain. If a drug is strong enough to kill tumours, it’s strong enough to kill non-tumours.

6. Opinion, not fact. Opinion is forbidden in debate unless presented as such.

7. Practically the whole world is against cannabis. In many countries being caught with traffickable quantities gets you a death sentence. Furthermore, several jurisdictions that formerly had liberal marijuana laws, notably the Netherlands, are tightening them once again. Furthermore, the United Nations recently released a paper expressing concern over the liberalizing of marijuana laws in North America.

8. Ad hominem, and also wrong. You have not offered a shred of proof for your knuckleheaded theory that marijuana is the universal panacea.

9. A docudrama is not proof of anything except the producer’s beliefs and biases. Nice try.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 6:24:43 PM


“The question really is, why are alcohol and tobacco not even on the drug schedule at all?”

Because neither is considered to be a drug, either by doctors or by lawmen. Give it up, Doc. This one has been talked to death.

“If we can get the most deadly and addictive drug on the planet on every corner, there is no rational argument to keep Cannabis illegal.”

Alcohol isn’t lethal at all, unless you abuse it to an insane degree. There’s no rational argument to let convicted criminals live, either, nor for our failure to eat our own dead rather than let the worms have them.

“If you don't want or need Cannabis don't use it.”

No one needs cannabis, and typically only losers want it.

“But don't pretend like we can't make the decision for ourselves, just like we do with tobacco and alcohol.”

No need to pretend—most marijuana users are emotional adolescents.

“If you can't handle that freedom, move to China.”

We are the majority; we make the rules. If you can’t handle that freedom, move to China.

“I will use the medicine that works best for me, don't limit my choices, limit your own.”

Fine. But don’t use marijuana, because marijuana is not medicine.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 6:34:04 PM


Did Bud Oracle have children? If so, what became of them?
did one go to Stoner medical College and graduate as
_a patient in need of drugs? I am referring to one Doctor Dope, legitimate marihuana user, master of reality and possibly Buds Oracles" long lost dog walker, hat holder and bong washer

So if there is a walkathon, green ribbon movement or something for the benefit of Dr Dope, tortured genius #666 , let us know because we want the concession to sell screens, papers and sweets to the participants.
.we got muffins, we got snax
we got candy - go the max

The Oracle family--into it and out of it since 1967

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-27 7:11:37 PM


Cut the bull, Liberate Cannabis.

Posted by: Graybull | 2009-02-27 10:33:53 PM


Liberate a non-sapient entity? And you talk to us about bull?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 11:26:55 PM



Mr. Bull, then what?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-27 11:37:27 PM


I think it is important for Shane Matthews to get a brief lesson in government. Shane seems to be under the impression that the United States is a Democracy, i.e. Rule by Omnipotent Majority. "We are the majority; we make the rules. If you can’t handle that freedom, move to China." In other words, the minority has no protection against majority rule.

In the United States, on the other hand,we operate under a distinctly different system called a Republic. In a Republic the Majority is strictly limited in their rule and the unalienable rights of the Individual and the Minority are protected.

I think it's safe to say that choice in medicine is one of those unalienable rights. The reason why the FDA and AMA lack consensus regarding the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine has everything to do with the fact that there has never been a serious study in the United States regarding its efficacy.

"An essential prerequisite to starting a serious drug development effort is to obtain our own independent source of supply of marijuana that can legally be used in research, instead of being forced to rely on research material from NIDA that NIDA has refused to provide. In June 2001, Prof. Lyle Craker, Director, Medicinal Plant Program, UMass Amherst Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, submitted an application to DEA for a permit for a MAPS-sponsored production facility. Due to DEA's unreasonably delays and eventual refusal to grant a license to Prof. Craker, MAPS coordinated a lawsuit against DEA before DEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Mary Ellen Bittner. On February 12, 2007, DEA ALJ Bittner found that it would be in the public interest for DEA to issue a license to Prof. Craker and recommended the DEA issue the license (PDF). DEA has yet to issue a final ruling in response to ALJ Bittner's recommendation."

So, I think as far as the debate goes, your argument pertaining to the FDA and AMA not praising the efficacy of medicinal cannabis has no merit.

Pretty difficult to draw conclusions about efficacy when no one in the United States has been allowed to conduct research positing the benefits of cannabis.

And buddha chan number 6 contradicts number 7. It may be relevant and even accurate to state that practically every government in the world is against cannabis, but on the other side of the token...I'm of the inclination that most of the world population, citizens that is, either have no problem with it or use it themselves.

And as far as it being the "universal panacea," some religious scholars have come to the conclusion that cannabis is indeed the Tree of Life. I don't know your religious proclivity, but Jesus among many other Biblical figures were believed to have been anointed in cannabis oil. So, perhaps now you will view this majestic plant with a little more reverence.

Posted by: YoProfessor | 2009-02-28 12:56:22 AM


My mistake buddha chan, that post is entirely directed at shane matthews. Please accept my apology.

Posted by: YoProfessor | 2009-02-28 12:57:59 AM


Yo Professor : you arw familiar with the University of Mississippi's cannabis farm and research centre- it has been operating for nearly 40 years..that is the source where legit registered American marijuana researchers obtain their material to study,
The U of Mississippi provides American cannabis to American researchers who actually have conducted _many studies into the chemistry of cannabis, and its effects on the human being and a variety of animals.

We are familiar with Prof Crakers application to grow marijuana- we believe the essence of why his application was rejected was because he was unable to provide the level of containment & security that the DEA requires from any such scheme, and the DEA were not interested in monitering a second strategically unnecessary cannabis farm with casual security when the U of Mississippi was secure and could easily provide all the material required for legitimate research.

During more than 70 years of prohibition and 40 of access to federal supplies of research marijuana, no American drug company has shown much interest in exploring marijuana as a medicine, and this in spite of wild public fascination with all things cannabis.. Talk about a ripe market ready to serve...
...and it certainly isn't because of red tape--its because the Pharmers don't see enough value in cannabis to proceed.
US based drug companies has done work on new opium derivatives , and that plant has much more tightly controlled access than your basic pot plant.
As to your claim Jesus and other Biblical figures were believed to have been annointed with cannabis oil-- lts just say that only terminal wipehad pot apologists believe that one-more because they want to believe than being convinced by reasonable evidence. and at that, stoner insight to the minds of the ancients and their religions the stoners for thje most part reject- the entire Biblical pot swindle is based on that " maybe" the ancients mis transcribed the word " Calamus" an aromatic reed when _perhaps they _may have meant " cannabis"= thats a long shot: a real real long shot.
As for cannabis based annointing oil getting one high or off, that delivery system doesn't work. My source? The Prince of Pot himself who commissioned the stoner scholar who suggested that the Bible was chock full of veiled cannnabis factoids to concoct a full strength batch which he personally swabbed all over his naked body. His conclusion? the holy annointing oil recipe as presented in the Bible is inert- ineffective- and a waste of a pound of buds ..

So where do we go to obtain some plausable reason to bestow pagan cream of asshole reverence for a poisonous weed that is better suited for paper, salad oil and wallboard at this stage of life on earth,

Our guess is you swallowed the Jack Herer version of the Great American Cannabis conspiracy with your own discernment on shut down, either by choice or by chemical compromise.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-28 10:02:44 AM


Yo Prof,

1. Lesson One: What you think does not matter, what you think will never matter to anyone but you. It doesn’t matter what you believe; it only matters what you can prove.

2. The United States has a popularly elected government and is as close to true democracy as most nations have ever gotten. In many jurisdictions they can even elect their judges, something you don’t see in many other Western countries. Of course, those on the fringes (such as yourself) bitch tirelessly about the “tyranny of the majority,” but what they’re really complaining about is that there is not a tyranny of the minority; namely, their own.

3. See point #1; what you think does not matter. Furthermore, the right to choose your own pharmaceuticals is not a Constitutionally protected right. The strongest case you can make is that such a right should be inferred, and given marijuana’s highly questionable medical legitimacy, you’re on pretty shaky ground. There’s a reason doctors ration access to powerful drugs: They know more about them than you do.

4. On the other hand, I’ve encountered no end of self-styled “pot profs” insisting that marijuana has already been proven efficacious in curing everything from 270 different kinds of cancer to the common cold. How could such bold statements, complete with references to an endless list of “studies” and “citations,” exist in a country where there has “never been a serious study…regarding its efficacy”? One refusal to one prof does not amount to universal stonewalling.

5. Again with what you think. No one cares what you think. This is a debate, not the Oprah Winfrey Show.

6. Actually, until 1986, researchers in the U.S. were allowed to do just that. After 1986 the federal government refused to provide them with more marijuana, and lack of patient interest was also a factor. Of course, the baby boomers weren’t pulling the strings of policy in 1986, nor were they yet confronted with their own mortality or the reality that life isn’t all about sex, drugs, and rock & roll, so the lack of patient interest is not surprising.

7. Like most pro-pot types, you are an extreme egoist. On the one hand, most governments in the world have outlawed marijuana, but you “are of the inclination” that most of the actual people are either sympathetic to it or use it. So just like that, you usurp power over 200 national governments, based on a feeling you have. When are you going to get over the fact that this is not about you?

8. The anointing oil of Biblical times consisted of “the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin.” (A shekel is 11.5 grams, and a hin, 3.5 litres.) Myrhh is the sap of an African tree; cinnamon is self-explanatory; “fragrant cane” is sweet calamus; cassia is a spice similar to cinnamon; and olive oil is self-explanatory. Sorry, no hemp. But even if Jesus had been drenched in pure hash oil, that wouldn’t give it medical properties.

Next you'll be trying to sell me a stitchless football "autographed by Jesus" with the explanation "The stitches healed. And I think I heard it oink." And if I buy two, you'll throw in an autographed photo of King Solomon. If I buy three, lunch with God. I'll have the fatted calf, please.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-28 10:26:15 AM


Hey Prof Yo-
maybe transfer your account to the Cannabis Culture Forums.
You can pass yourself off as a special person there, and your there in Zonktopia central audience doesn't read books or absorb information that isn't Wipehead propelled, so you may even be appointed a moderator or scientific affairs there. Hows your basic outrage concerning Global warming and the Trade Towers conspiracy? they could use some help in the vague mumble dept.- you are truly gifted

At least buy a" no extradition for the BC3 " T shirt

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-28 10:50:14 AM


... It is not part of the pharmacopoeia, having been removed for reasons still valid today...
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-27 10:16:08 AM

"... how many doctors were heard in the congressional hearings in 1937? Precisely one. He represented the American Medical Association. The AMA opposed the bill."
-- The post Shane is replying to.

It's fun when I can show that you can't be reasoned with.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-02-28 10:29:40 PM


Pretty weak rebuttal, Janet. Marijuana was removed from the pharmacopoeia in 1942 by doctors, citing such undesirable side effects as addictive qualities, anxiety, sleeplessness, paranoia, and altered time perception. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was a different matter entirely, aimed at curbing recreational use. The Act preserved the right of physicians to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use until they stopped doing so voluntarily five years later. So why would an extensive medical consult be necessary?

What's really fun is that I can take apart your petulant, pathetic, one-dimensional arguments with the speed of a cane-cutting machine, even as the thunderbolt rives the tree, and leaves it a rotting blackened stump. Withdraw, fair damsel; you are outmatched.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-28 11:50:37 PM


Hi from the other side of the ocean. I have been involved in the study of cannabis for many years. There is now a substantial body of research on the basic science and the clinical use of cannabis from many studies in the UK and Europe.

We have largely separated the issues of the clinical and the recreational use (except in the minds of some politicians and headline seeking newspapers). To mix them up is totally illogical in any discussion.

One thing is different over here. We seem to be able to discuss this topic without resorting to juvenile and/or offensive abuse.

Posted by: kiru nanimo | 2009-03-01 10:18:51 AM


I use alcohol in the morning to prevent hangovers...can marijuana do that?

Posted by: Alcoholic | 2009-03-01 10:29:17 AM


Wow, Shane. It really saddens me that you are so vitriolic in your attack on the "losers" who use cannabis. I also can't help but notice that all of your arguments are an absurd appeal to outside authority. Why should I be jailed for choosing a medicine that you, or the AMA, or 200 governments claim is "not medicine"? It has never killed a single person, ever. Whereas the drug you refuse to acknowledge as such, again only on the authority of government organizations, kills over 400,000 Americans annually. That's tobacco, buddy, not alcohol, which of course is no friend to health. How can you possibly posit that tobacco (or nicotine, if you prefer) is not a drug? You ingest it, it affects your neurochemisty, you become addicted, and it causes cancer. Not a drug? What the hell have you been smoking? Now you want to say that I'm an emotional child, since I ingest a drug, it affects my neurochemisty, I do not become addicted, and I feel healthier in all aspects of my life. I don't need the approval of any guild, organization, or government to define my own words and communicate their meanings. Nor will any government ever eradicate the practice of growing and consuming cannabis, no matter how many billions of dollars they spend trying, how many peaceful citizens they arrest, or how many children they convince to inform on their parents. So it makes no difference to us what you think. You have your experts, we have ours. It is the job of every individual to make the choices that seem best to them, using the best information at their disposal. The goal of medicine is to produce healthy humans. Cannabis is effective medicine. It also "gets you high," which is to say, it relaxes you and makes you feel good. Oh what a horror, for people to have the ability to cheaply produce their own medicine and relaxant.

Posted by: Yusef | 2009-03-01 11:02:03 AM


Wow, Shane. It really saddens me that you are so vitriolic in your attack on the "losers" who use cannabis. I also can't help but notice that all of your arguments are an absurd appeal to outside authority. Why should I be jailed for choosing a medicine that you, or the AMA, or 200 governments claim is "not medicine"? It has never killed a single person, ever. Whereas the drug you refuse to acknowledge as such, again only on the authority of government organizations, kills over 400,000 Americans annually. That's tobacco, buddy, not alcohol, which of course is no friend to health. How can you possibly posit that tobacco (or nicotine, if you prefer) is not a drug? You ingest it, it affects your neurochemisty, you become addicted, and it causes cancer. Not a drug? What the hell have you been smoking? Now you want to say that I'm an emotional child, since I ingest a drug, it affects my neurochemisty, I do not become addicted, and I feel healthier in all aspects of my life. I don't need the approval of any guild, organization, or government to define my own words and communicate their meanings. Nor will any government ever eradicate the practice of growing and consuming cannabis, no matter how many billions of dollars they spend trying, how many peaceful citizens they arrest, or how many children they convince to inform on their parents. So it makes no difference to us what you think. You have your experts, we have ours. It is the job of every individual to make the choices that seem best to them, using the best information at their disposal. The goal of medicine is to produce healthy humans. Cannabis is effective medicine. It also "gets you high," which is to say, it relaxes you and makes you feel good. Oh what a horror, for people to have the ability to cheaply produce their own medicine and relaxant.

Posted by: Yusef | 2009-03-01 11:02:15 AM


Yo World Citizen Nanimo

seems _everybody has been studying cannabis for many years, from books or by way of drug abuse- and still we can't come to a conclusion. Welcome aboard. Everybody's in show business

We know there is a substantial body of resarch literature out there and , so in your view what is the main point from all this work you would like to share?

The west separated recreational and medical use of cannabis the same as the east has- its called the criminal code.

In all respect, we much prefer juvenile and offensive behavior to vague fact free preaching by a self styled superior.
different is different. different isn't always better. Better is better, different or the same- its virtue that counts not entitlement.. but hey, no hard feelings..

you might well have some special valuable insight from your years of study, so please- lets see some action.

.class dismissed

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 11:15:35 AM


Yusef..
do you know what the Gong show is?
the gong has been struck

if you want a medical exemption- go get one,

they have been available to needy sick people for years now..
...unless you are a poser wipehead who doesn't qualify and is just retarded..

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 11:22:41 AM


All these threads on marijuana and other drugs make me wonder about our priorities. Until we have private property rights and free speech rights, it seems somewhat of a waste of time.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-03-01 11:26:46 AM


Alcoholic, the best way to prevent a hangover is to drink your gut full of plain tap water before going to bed. Hangovers are caused by dehydration. I have tried this and believe me, it works.

That said, hair of the dog that bit you on the morning after does have some merit—although a much more sensible choice would be to not overimbibe in the first place.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 11:32:23 AM


Hey Kiru,

Someone from my old stomping grounds! What part of Nanaimo are you from?

You state that there is now a large body of evidence of cannabis research in Europe, but did not go into specifics, so it's a little hard to see what you're getting at. Such a body of research is a start, but only a start. The case is not close to being made.

It may be one day that marijuana will be returned to the pharmacopoeia (on purely scientific grounds, one would hope, but the baby boomers have always been an intensely political demographic). Until that day, however, it's irresponsible and illegal to prescribe it.

Those regulations and approval processes and drug trials are there for a reason, and much more promising drugs than marijuana have been denied approval because of side effects. Many more that made the grade were withdrawn after multi-billion-dollar lawsuits. Marijuana is not so promising that it deserves to be exempt from this process.

And yes, I agree that a lot of people get really personal in this discussion. I have always said that the biggest impediment to legalizing marijuana is the very people calling for legalization.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 11:44:39 AM


Wow, a lot of you could do with smoking a joint or two. Too much tension!

Posted by: Chris S. | 2009-03-01 12:09:25 PM


Yusef,

1. I have always noted that most pro-pot advocates are egotistical and narcissistic; almost without fail, they place great emphasis on how the disagreement of others injures their feelings, how shocked they are, how saddened they are, and so on ad infinitum, as if their taking offence is grounds to ignore the facts. And thus it is with you.

2. I have also noted that most cannabis activists have a pronounced distaste for authority. This is yet another part of their ongoing image problem—they come off as petulant, rebellious miscreants who haven’t yet emerged from emotional adolescence. They fancy they know everything, know better than the lawmen, better than the doctors, better than everyone, although by dint of what they never really say.

3. The “never killed anyone” canard has been beaten to death, Yusef. The problem with drug addicts is not that they die, but that they live long enough to prey upon society. If these drugs killed you outright, there’d be less opposition to them. If a product eliminates only the losers from society, why complain?

4. And cannabis would kill 400,000 people a year, too, if people used it in the quantities they use tobacco. This is like saying that nuclear bombs are less deadly than HE ones because HE bombs have killed more people. But back to topic, studies show that a joint a day for a year does more damage to your lungs than a pack of cigarettes a day for 11 years. Oh, and nicotine, in the quantities ingested, is not a mood alterer.

5. I call you an emotional child because you display all the signs: rejection of authority, dismissal of those with experience and training, rebelliousness, intransigence, petulance, and vocal contempt and hostility for those who disagree with him.

6. Words mean what the dictionary says they mean, not what you say they mean. You don’t even have enough wordsmithing sense to break your effort into paragraphs instead of cramming it into a single, impenetrable block of text looking like something that fell out the back end of a horse. Why should I take your word over Oxford's?

7. No government will ever eradicate crime either. That doesn’t mean we should tolerate it. Especially since you insist on throwing your lot in with them, funding violent street shootings with your own money, laughing maniacally in the dark wreathed in dope smoke while the blood of innocents runs in the gutters.

Wake up, Yusef; no man worthy of the name is going to accept your twisted, embittered, self-indulgent, crime-funding brand of morality over the kind that actually produces peaceful, prosperous societies and strong, healthy families. The reason dope is illegal is because it's associated with lowlifes like you. Now go play outside.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 12:11:12 PM


Chris S-
why don't you start a facebook group? meet some more people like you there , they aren't here,

and if, like you they blow through in error, they blow out again.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 12:35:11 PM


Chris S-
why don't you start a facebook group? meet some more people like you there , they aren't here,

and if, like you they blow through in error, they blow out again.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 12:37:21 PM


I wonder if any of you read posts the way I do: I tend to filter out those who resort to personal attacks and outright disrespect towards other contributors, regardless of point of view. I value a healthy debate - a debate where two or more people can voice differing points of view without resorting to negative, juvenile tactics and personal attacks similar to those of s matthews. I may not agree with what matthews or 419 have to say, but you will not find me calling either of them a "lowlife" or telling either of them to "go play outside". My solution to the type of person responsible for that kind of post is simple: once I've read enough of a person's viewpoint to conclude that they are not capable of healthy debate, I simply skip any of their further posts, which saves time and makes it easier to find others who do want to engage in healthy debate.

Posted by: citizen d | 2009-03-01 12:58:08 PM


The AMA did NOT support the Marijuana Tax Act, as Dr. Dope claims. AMA opposed it. What happened is that during the debate a US Senator lied and said that they supported it. The entire combination of hearings and debate was so short and so sloppily done that it is impossible to regard it as informed or having involved all the "stakeholders." It's an astonishing history -- visit http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm to learn more.

Posted by: David Borden | 2009-03-01 1:25:06 PM


You may have noticed, Citizen D, that I only belittle those who belittle me first. Those who refrain from personal attacks, like Kiru, are replied to in kind. And speaking of engaging in healthy debate, I notice you have done nothing of the sort on this thread at all. You stopped by only to clout some of us on the head with your moral superiority.

Since you have chosen to add nothing to this blog, for good or for ill, you may rest assured that no one will notice whose posts you pass over and whose you don't. In which case, why would you bother saying anything at all? Unless, of course, it's to share your feelings, what you will be doing, or not be doing, as if that could matter to anyone but you.

Why, for so many people, is it all about them?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 1:25:35 PM


Wow, a lot of you could do with smoking a joint or two. Too much tension! - Yes, that would be easy, if I, like you, could ignore the lake of blood that pot was floated across on its way to you. It's a bitch, actually caring about how my actions affect others. And it is an affliction that is by no means universal, I see.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 1:31:17 PM


Well at least nobody has pulled the old "legalize it and put the gangs out of business" line of BS.

The simple fact of life is that the government is elected by the people (poor turnouts notwithstanding), make and enforce the laws, and are changed or not at the will of the voters the next time around.

Pot is not that big an issue for most people. Its illegal and unless you elect a party that wants to legalize it completely, I am afraid the pot enthusiasts are out of luck.

Posted by: thecossack | 2009-03-01 1:32:30 PM


The lake of blood that stems from an underground market? Sounds like you're approaching a circular argument, Mr. Matthews.

Besides, home gardening does have its advantages.

Posted by: Chris S. | 2009-03-01 1:34:32 PM


No, it's not about them. It's all about Shane, apparently. His eloquence and energy seem like such a waste because he's wrong on most issues he debates on this forum.

Posted by: Realist | 2009-03-01 1:45:50 PM


David, Dr. Dope never stated that the AMA supported the MTA, at least not in this blog. (You must admit that would be out of character.) In fact, I cannot find anyone in this thread who has said that. The closest we come is when I stated that the AMA and FDA currently contend that marijuana has no medicinal value. I did not state what their opinion was in 1937, although I did dismiss it as irrelevant, since marijuana continued to be available for medicinal purposes.

The Tax Act forbade recreational use and imposed licensing and taxes on those cultivating for medicinal use. In effect, the Act increased the price of medicines containing cannabis, but did not outlaw them. Doctors removed marijuana from the drugs lists of their own accord five years later, which seems a curious move from a profession that had so recently opposed the MTA. If doctors were so upset about the plan to regulate (not ban) medical marijuana, why did they quietly drop the drug just a few years later? No one has ever been able to answer that question for me.

The source you quote is a blatant opinion piece; the author's bitterness is rather obvious. And even he paints a picture of an act passed by a bumbling and indifferent Congress; neither party had strong feelings on the matter, and almost no questions were asked. This is is a far cry from the picture often painted of a corporate conspiracy by DuPont who wanted to remove any competitors to their new product nylon, a government conspiracy to engineer society with such PR gems as Reefer Madness, or mass hysteria as pumped by Randolph Hearst. By including this link, you have weakened your argument and those of the pro-legalization lobby, not strengthened them.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 1:54:38 PM


Realist wrote: "No, it's not about them. It's all about Shane, apparently. His eloquence and energy seem like such a waste because he's wrong on most issues he debates on this forum."

Prove it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 1:55:41 PM


"The lake of blood that stems from an underground market? Sounds like you're approaching a circular argument, Mr. Matthews."

Not at all. Underworld drug kingpins exist because drug users willing to break the law provide them with a market. No market, the kingpins would move on to massage parlours and other criminal enterprises. It is ultimately the users that bear the responsibility for the violence of drug kingpins.

"Besides, home gardening does have its advantages."

Like grow-rips, ruining your house, getting your electricity cut off, burning down the neighbourhood, criminal record, all for what?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-01 1:57:48 PM


the Wipeheads have still to score even one point-lots of emotive entitlements and last years anarchist battle cries... but as far as articulated content that damages the prohibitionsts? --zero

no wonder Ottawa and Washinton block you people and ignore all your petitions..

If amateur bloggers can unbolt pretty much every stoner liberation army argument while our lunch cooks, so can any government officials mail room staff.

Stoners have a lot of work ahead of them if they want the marijuana and or other schedule I and II drugs .

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 2:24:49 PM


"Like grow-rips, ruining your house, getting your electricity cut off, burning down the neighbourhood, criminal record"

No way. My garden is outdoors, organic, grows the food on my table.

"It is ultimately the users that bear the responsibility for the violence of drug kingpins."

Substitute 'drug' for 'bootlegging' and one might think you were a Methodist minister in a previous life. The 'with us or against us' mentality and contempt for 'evil' is telling. Your arguments certainly place you among good company.

Posted by: Chris S. | 2009-03-01 2:32:35 PM


Mr Chris-

except advertising you have a home vegetable patch, and hint at some pot plants
- what were you trying to say ?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-01 2:58:32 PM


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