Archive for the ‘Medical Marijuana’ Category

The spirit of marijuana is female. She is alluring, very seductive. In her presence time passes almost without one noticing. Her sweet fragrance intoxicates the senses and uplifts the mind. She is delighted by heroic men and sensual women. When a couple shares marijuana, they are allowing her participation in their relationship. Accepting their invitation, the spirit of marijuana adds spontaneity and humor, and also acts as a potent initiator. By bringing the couple into her dimension, the spirit of marijuana exalts and magnifies both love and sensitivity. – “The Pleasure of Pot and Sex“, High Times Magazine


An insightful friend once mentioned to me why marijuana was so alluring to men. “It’s female,” he said, “the spirit of the plant is a woman. That’s why so many male pot smokers can’t maintain an intimate relationship with another women – because they already have a woman in their life who they are devoted to.”

Besides the initial youthful foray, I never desired smoking much. I wouldn’t buy it, and if I was given some it would either dry up sitting in my jewelry box, or would become a sort of emergency stash for friends. Commonplace for the Hawaii surfer, sometimes you join in when the waves are small, and a little creative inspiration to boost ones imagination helps alter reality enough to make the session more fun (or challenging). Really though, unless in a relationship with a smoker, rarely do I partake. Though it obviously heightens certain attributes, overall pakalolo doesn’t work well with my constitution and doesn’t make me perform at my best. Instead it seems to lower my metabolism and make me socially dysfunctional, hungry, and sleepy; while realistically I’d prefer to be awake, aware and able to hold elaborate conversations without losing the thread (somewhat of an anomaly in many surfing circles).

I’m certainly not trying to disregard the benefits (though many of those are found in more infrequent use – or in cases of serious illness). It is the ultimate first step mind opener… it’s just once the mind is opened, users habitually go back to the step of putting the key in the door, instead of actively utilizing what it’s already showing you. It’s obviously a better option than other more available hardcore drugs, as observed in Hawai’i, where we have the largest number of “ice” users per capita (which has evolved hand-in-hand with big dolla’ federally subsidized marijuana enforcement). Unlike meth, pot doesn’t seem to make one want to beat their kids, or spouses, or spend the rent money to get high, or rob their neighbor (despite what conservatives of the refer madness generation may want you to believe). And personally, I’ve had positive experience with the benefits of utilizing marijuana medically. In my case, to ween myself off stronger drugs; prescribed pain killers that were, post-debilitating-trauma, necessary for daily function – but certainly ate more brain-cells and created a more psychotic mentality than pakalolo ever did. That said….

As rasta as some want to be, as much as one convinces themselves there are no side-effects to smoking, it’s ignorant to believe. Sure it varies with each individual, with the amount and consistency of use, including when and why you use it. Most obviously, unfortunately, you can become less inspired. It’s similar to when one has too much sex, or masturbates too often – as if they can’t figure out how to capitalize on their energy, so they release it, so they can be in a relaxed state. There are deeper connections with sexuality and pot, which helps explain why more men regularly use, and rely upon it, then women.

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I smoke my weed, I love my weed, I eat my weed, it’s Sickening
I smoke my weed, I love my weed, I sleep with my weed, it’s Sickening
— “It’s Sickening” by Classified

We have all heard the studies, opinions, diatribes from both sides of the legalization debate, discussing whether or not pot is addictive (marijuana being illegal simply indicative of a government’s arrogant, controlling nature). Whatever. Doesn’t really matter. Call it what you will, users may deny addiction but certainly feel the need to partake in their daily dose. I’ve never heard the (above quoted) song, but even if there are some women who relate to pot this way – odds are, 99% of the time, this is the mentality of a man and his relationship with weed, not a woman talking about hers. Of course there are better writings than a chorus to express the depth of the desire, like these excerpts from “Ganja” from Deep Spirit & Great Heart: Living in Marijuana Consciousness:

June 9, 1993

My wings take me a place where the sky is green and the earth is blue. Naked women appear before me, holding thorn apples in their left hands, marijuana buds in their right hands, speaking words of truth and passion whether I be on earth or in heaven, and radiating bliss from their musk scented thighs.

June 14, 1993

You do not know me, but I am your lover. Take this message to yourself. You, being space, are female, and I, being time, am male, and you and I are everywhere. No matter where I walk, the path leads to you, where the Light of Light resides in the shrine of your heart, emitting illumination to all of creation, and showering me with the bliss to be found in joy and happiness.

December 2, 1993

Closing my eyes, I see myself sitting beside a pond with water lilies and blue green algae floating on its surface. I ask for help to make it through life’s journey, and she takes my hand. I weep, and she comes to my side. I listen for singing, and she fills my ears with the lilting sounds of her voice. I pine for love, and she takes me within her. I wish to return to the body in which I was born, and she leads me beyond time into eternity.

Though the symbolism is up to interpretation, and from what I understand these are from a dying man who was dosing medicinally, still, in these marijuana meanderings the connecting with the female is quite prominent. This plant, which ironically reproduces sexually, seems immersed with a sexual mood and a history in sexual culture.

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Folk medicines in 19th century Serbia relied on cannabis preparations, which they called nasha. Female virgins were given mixtures of lamb’s fat and cannabis on their wedding nights, to decrease the pain of their first intercourse. Such use echoes modern practices in India, where newlyweds drink bhang beverages and eat bhang candy. Indian prostitutes are reported to eat lots of bhang sherbet, which helps them feel sexually aroused even when their customers are fat, ugly and stupid. -Cannabis Culture

enjoy sex marijuana

Guys are oft eager to share their pot with girls, because it offers an “in”, so to speak. A girl slightly high might find herself a little less able to control her faculties, and there is a chance she might be more “amenable”. Certainly, some women want that experience, because they feel more able to let go when they are a little drunk or stoned. And sensitivities are heightened to the point greater pleasure and intimacy seems to be achieved — but there are the down sides.

In an article regarding sex and drugs on the informational web site About.com, it gives some Western facts and figures on the subject:

* In a study, 75 percent of men said that marijuana increased sexual pleasure and satisfaction, 68 percent reported that it enhanced their orgasm, and 39 percent found that it increased the duration of intercourse.

* Women are even more likely than men to report enhanced sexual desire with marijuana use. In one study, 90 percent of women reported that marijuana increased feelings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction to varying degrees, and 40 percent of women reported that marijuana increased the quality of their orgasm.

The Bottom Line: While we don’t know why marijuana has positive effects on sexual satisfaction in men and women, research and anecdotal evidence consistently show that in small doses, there are perceived positive effects.

Then we see, with increased intake, over a greater period of time, results from the studies change dramatically.

Using marijuana more regularly or habitually is related in men to increased risk of erectile dysfunction, and in men and women it may be linked to overall reduced interest in sex. Marijuana, in higher doses, has detrimental effects on fertility and even in smaller doses can have negative impacts during pregnancy for the fetus. Also, because sex is more than just a physiological process, drugs may impact your psychological and social experience of sex in unpredictable ways.

weeds mary louise parker

Sexually, marijuana interferes with sex hormones, cuts testosterone levels, and depletes the ability to produce healthy sperm. And while it may make one feel hornier at the onset, unfortunately this is actually a sign one’s sexual essence is being exhausted (though less so for those who practice tantric sex). Those who habitually use become drained, as they are tapping into -and releasing- their life force (and combined with sex, ultimately draining it even more). At the same time, the act of sex becomes, in part, an effort to tap into the source of their partner’s life force.

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The “it’s all good” mentality of a smoker might keep them from ever pondering possible consequences. Smoking da herb – it’s all good. Even the obvious negative effects of the smoke itself is often defended. For the surfer, especially when paddling out on a good-sized day, we require all the lung-power we can muster. In those scenarios -cardio interspersed with a need to hold one’s breath underwater- the rolled joint verses the vaporizer is no longer a question: the vaporizer, which produces less smoke, is a much better choice! Still, no matter how you inhale, there are risks.

Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occur 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use causes cancer. Through studies like these, scientists have learned that exposure to marijuana smoke interferes with the work of white blood cells. White blood cells in lung tissue remove debris from the lungs. When exposed to marijuana smoke, these cells cannot remove bacteria and other debris. Smoking marijuana significantly reduces lung functions. -Narcanon

But that’s a Narcanon perspective – seems you can always find “studies”, or at least theories, to prove the opposite. So I asked my acupuncturist his opinions about pot… though he has a personal preference that differs from the traditional Chinese applications, he explains:

Pot is an oil-based toxin. The liver deals with any oil-based toxins. It seems to raise blood pressure on a lot of people – I think due to the vascular constriction caused by almost any smoke. Most people in Chinese medicine are down on smoking pot. I have my permit for my back pain, and I enjoy it, and it doesn’t seem to cause me any problems that I notice. We use the hemp seeds in Chinese medicine mainly for constipation.

Actually, I got a more classic rendition via this comment from a practitioner, found on a TCM forum online, regarding the harmful effects of any smoke entering the lungs:

When hot smoke is inhaled it instantly starts to affect the lung qi and yin. At the same time the liver becomes stagnant over time because of the overload of toxins. These are the first organs to become affected by smoking herb. As time goes on, that damage to the lung qi begins to reach the spleen qi, weakening the body’s defenses and digestive capabilities, and the heat from the smoke doesn’t only damage the lung yin, but also begins to affect the kidney yin. This is evident in some chronic (no pun intended) smokers who suddenly wake up with night sweats.

I’ve tried to explain to male users -especially those who are already on their way to considering the Kelly Slater buzz cut- that adding fire into their the body might not be the best idea. The excess heat rises -as heat is apt to do- exiting through the top of the head, frying not just the brain cells but singing the hair follicles (adding more heat via smoke is also a concern for “hot-heads”, alcoholics, fire-signs, those prone to shingles or eczema, and anyone who challenges their liver daily). While DNA plays the overwhelming role in baldness, there are certainly ways and means to speed up the process.

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Every drug has its own nature. It has a unique set of properties that can be described by a very specific curve of benefits and drawbacks. Marijuana’s benefit curve, whether you take it by prescription or otherwise, will at first seem to give you more than it takes. Over time, though, this curve reverses, and it will begin to take more than it gives you. If you’re addicted to marijuana during its taking phase, your high will get weirder and emptier every time you take it. It will also take you longer and longer to recover from it. psychedelic marijuana leafThat’s part of the process of developing tolerance for marijuana. It’s also when long-term damage begins. Your Kidney System is responsible for your long-term health. By the time marijuana affects the level of your Kidney System, it is altering the course of your life in a serious way. – “The Physical Effects of Marijuana, from the Perspective of TCM”

Sure, a little toke now and again, could inspire a new vision or perspective. Unfortunately, the one thing that seems consistent with habitual drug users, is the ability to live in some sense of denial. Whether it be denial that they are overdoing it (that they “don’t smoke that much”…at least compared to their friends), that there are any ill-effects (to themselves or those around them), or that their drug of choice is often used as a means to smooth over the rough edges and assist in avoiding the things in life that they don’t want to deal with. They may lose quality attributes, like unconsciously covering up behaviors and actions with an innate proficiency in rewriting reality to suit their needs. If you are the sober one, speaking to the marijuana smoker (male or female) about serious concerns, it becomes difficult to relate. What once seemed a heightened awareness, superhuman powers of creative insight, and a deeper connection to the spiritual and unknown, often slowly manifests into a dulled impotence, and a loss of connection and motivation to excel to one’s potential. As with anything, there are exceptions, like the strong constitution / spiritually advanced / high IQ types who are actively pursuing knowledge. Still, constant efforts must be made to keep the body/mind in balance. Typically the end-game result is a weakening of the kidneys, mental acuity is diminished, communication becoming garbled. The user may find their a little too burnt out to deal with their loved ones fully and completely.

When marijuana’s beginning to claim your Kidney System you’ll experience a loss of memory. This often takes the form of impaired or reduced short-term memory, and impaired or reduced comprehension of what’s happening in your world. You’ll also lose your ability to listen effectively. Marijuana can so damage your learning and attention skills over time that you may wind up with no ability to get back from the place it’s taken you to.

When marijuana first begins to burn up your Kidney Yin it will make things seem hysterically funny to you. As your Kidney Yin gets more depleted, the funniness will end and paranoia will begin. Depending on your constitution, your burning Kidney Yin may leave you feeling speedy or sleepy.

When marijuana is affecting your Kidney System on a more profound level things seem like they’re happening in slow motion. Time seems to go on forever. What’s really happening is your perceptions are moving very fast. This is when marijuana is burning up your Jing Sexual Essence. When marijuana’s Toxic Heat spends your energy and deep Yin Fluids at this level it creates very substantial damage to your long-term health and wellbeing.

…The Chinese medical classics state that Jing Sexual Essence, Qi and Blood are the physical foundations of your mind and Spirit. Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as if it’s an amazingly intricate alchemical cauldron. This cauldron distills the substances you eat and breathe into concentrated subtle essences. Your body continually refines these essences into higher qualities of matter and energy. Your physiology then uses them to support its different functions. Jing is the highest level of physical refinement in this system….a storehouse for your life potential…your reserves. Itmarijuana addition determines the quality of your life experience and possibly even the length of your life as well. You may be trading a portion of your life potential for your relationship with marijuana. – “The Physical Effects of Marijuana, from the Perspective of TCM”

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So back to the initial concept, of the man and his love marijuana. All I’m saying girls, is that you may want to think twice when deciding to be with a guy who makes smoking a regular part of his life. At least keep in mind the reoccurring themes that may continually come into play, including that he is: already immersed in another serious “relationship”, exhausting his energy (you may get the leftovers), often exposing to the world a mellow personality but may find himself prone to “snapping”, unable to deal emotionally, unable to recall conversations, and otherwise may only be partially available for another person. If you decide to make an intimate connection with this guy, you might as well do it fully aware of the situation, that Ms. Sativa is a controlling woman, and will only let you into the manage a tois on her terms. Ultimately it seems, in order for the relationship to work, if your man is a dedicated smoker, you must also make a commitment to her. Otherwise you may find you’re having an affair with a man who is already committed to another woman.

Perhaps it’s better summed up in the article “Marijuana and Sex: A Classic Combination on the web site Cannabis.com, where an anthropologist notes the philosophy of cannabis religions on the metaphysical potential of the female cannabis plant:

Cultures with sacred cannabis use tend to be cultures which recognize the ‘goddess’. That could mean mother earth, yin, or female beauty and virtues. People who bring marijuana inside themselves are engaging in a type of sexual union with the plant. It is a very sexual act to have a molecule of THC implant itself into your brain.

Since cannabis is associated with female deities like Kali, we could say that when you use marijuana sexually, you are bringing a very special ‘woman’ into your bed. Make sure you’re ready for that relationship!

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tarington smokeby contributing writer Ms. Reef Rash

I remember when I started smoking cigarettes. It was 1977 and I was in the 4th grade. I started this bad habit so early on in life because my older sister –who my parents always had me tag along with– turned me on to everything fun. Back then, we could walk through the neighborhood, up to the hospital and put our parent’s quarters into the vending machine on the second floor and simply pull the handle. It was that easy.

We started out with Bel-Air because we liked that package the most, but as we aged and got more cool we switched Marlboro Lights and later Marlboro Reds and Camels. I loved to smoke and had a pack a day habit by the time I was 16. At this time, I tried my first bong hit and life became so rosy. For those who believe in gateway drugs, don’t even go there, I was destined to be a smoker due to the fact that my mother never breastfed me and there was always something artificial shoved in my mouth. Also, believe it or not, I was a good student and quite athletic as well, playing center and wing for the high school soccer and field hockey teams.

When I moved to healthy/hippy-afflicted Hawaii and got married at 25 to a full-on pothead, pack-a-day smoker, I became more healthy in my smoking habit. I started smoking American Spirits which at least were not full of the filthy chemicals found in the Phillip Morris brand of smokes.

wilma smokingYes, life was good, until I got sick of being in a house with three pack-a-day smokers (three because my stoner husband never moved out of his mom’s house). Why would I ever want to light up if I was breathing everyone else’s smoke on a constant basis? And how the hell was I going to be able to quit when I had been trying off and on for years to kick the habit.

Well, for those of you who have tried and failed and are searching for the way, here was my solution – I started smoking pot; lots of pot. Every time I wanted a cigarette, I would roll a joint. And if that made me want to smoke a cigarette as Mary Jane usually did, I’d roll another joint. Life became really good and after some time I was even able to cut down on the pot smoking – maybe once a week to once…or twice…a day.

I had been cigarette-free for 10 years and finally decided to become pot-free as well because I thought it was making me too tired. I was going good for a couple of weeks, until one fateful night when I went out for drinks with a girlfriend and instead of going to another bar as I would have liked, she made me walk across the parking lot to our local Wal-Mart, so she could walk off her buzz and drive home.

Well, I grudgingly made my way with her to the land of fluorescent lighting and cheap Chinese goods that I would normally boycott. My buzz was pretty good though, and before long I had gotten into the spirit and chosen some cute panties and a cowgirl beach hat. When we got to the jeans on sale for $9, there was no resisting. I dropped all my selections and my purse right there in the middle of the store and slipped my legs (high heels first) into the pants and pulled them up under my dress and checked them in the mirror. Looking good! Then we picked up all our stuff and checked the swimsuits… There was a cute white bikini with peacock adornments – but not for me. “Hey girlfriend, how about this top, it would look great on you! Try it on.” Random silly girl fun like that, but finally we had finished that place off. As we headed to the checkout line, I went to get my wallet out and holy cripes, my purse was not in the mess of things I was holding.

Quickly we went running back to the ladies department and scanned the floors and racks, but no luck. Using my girlfriend’s cell, we called and called and called my phone. The ringer went from the four rings-to-message to straight-to-message; someone had turned it off! We notified the store personal and they broadcast a message for people to keep a lookout for a purse. Wow, that was a lot of help. I let my girlfriend run around to check everywhere we had been, while I sat at the front door and watched the people leave, looking for any strange bulges in their attire.

Now, I don’t know what Wal-Mart is like in your town, but in my town at 10:30 at night the only people in there are surely the swarthiest dregs of society (myself excluded?). Parents on ice with their screaming kids that just want to sleep, drunks and thieves looking to shoplift or prey upon the others who look (drunk enough to be) victim-worthy. When I sat at the door watching everyone check out and leave, I was seriously shocked to see the number of people with strange bumps coming out from their layers of fat under their shirts and on their backsides – was that my purse hiding in there? There was no way I could pick one of them to be the culprit. Finally, the police had come and done nothing, and everyone had left the store and they made me leave the store too.

So, there we were at midnight in the Wal-Mart parking lot where those without enough money to go out have decided is the perfect party zone. We had called a tow truck and were waiting for them to come take me and my car home since my keys had been in my purse and I didn’t want my car stolen. It could have been anyone among the scurvy cast of characters still hanging out, waiting for everyone to leave so they could find my car. Hoping the thief took my money and tossed the purse, my girlfriend was now driving up and down the lot looking to see if she could find it while I was standing on the curb, feeling so frustrated by the whole shebang I could have cried.

That’s when I noticed a group of girls hanging out in the lot smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t keep myself from bothering them. Before I knew it, I had bummed a menthol off one. The first hit gave me such a rush that I exclaimed to the girl “Damn, you smoke these things?!” and then sucked down the entire stick without turning back…wishing I had just begun when I dropped the butt to the ground. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it.

The next day I couldn’t believe what I had done. How could I give up all those years of saying “no” so easily? If I smoked a Camel again, would I be sucked back into the habit? Well, I put that question to the test when a couple of nights later another girlfriend lit up a Camel and I took a pull. Yuck! Thank god! Then the next week, my farrier happened to take a smoke break and it was menthol. Uh oh, yum!

Now, I haven’t bought a pack yet… but I have smoked two more cigarettes since, one a month… and I’m calling myself a non-smoker as I think this title still pertains to me. I’m really not looking to have the habit again, especially since they aren’t just a few quarters anymore. But it is obvious that I have a great desire to inhale something smoke-like. I’m sure I’m not the only person that feels this way, but I just don’t understand…why can’t there be a cigarette that is actually good for you, smells nice and doesn’t make you want to nap?! I suppose until that happens, I’m left cautiously teetering between the worlds of smoker and non-smoker.

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calquartermarijuanaI’m not much of a pot smoker, but you don’t have to be to appreciate the idiocy behind (and potential woe to stem from) Angel Raich losing her federal appeal today – likely the most important court case regarding the use of medical marijuana. Raich, who is suffering from a brain tumor, scoliosis, seizures and chronic nausea (to name a few of her troubles), smokes or eats marijuana every few hours to ease her pain and boost an otherwise non-existent appetite. An affidavit presented to the Supreme Court from her doctor enumerated the 35 alternative medicines she has tried without success. He added that she “may suffer rapid death” -a claim only confirmed, not challenged in court- if forced to stop using the marijuana she consumes (via pipe, massage oils, and quantities of pot-spiked zucchini bread). This despite the fact that she lives in Cali, home of the “Compassionate Use Act” [1996] which was designed to “ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician…[and] to ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.” (Or sanction!?) Well, this case confirms the federal big(ger) bully proclamation that their laws trump state laws, and utilizes certainly uncompassionate lingo concerning “commerce” and “interstate” to degrade the needs of the terminally ill and peddle the idea that a dying woman’s personal flower pot ganja garden is somehow going to affect the drug marketplace.

The AP reported this morning “The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal. Because of that ruling, the issue before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was narrowed to the so-called right to life theory: that marijuana should be allowed if it is the only viable option to keep a patient alive.” “I’m a dead woman walking,” Raich said after the ruling. “Now, if the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) knocked at my door, they could take my life and get away with it.” Indeed, she would have to get arrested in order for such a case to be argued in court under the “medical necessity defense.” Though she and her lawyer, ex-husband Robert Raich, can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the hopes are slim since the justices have already ruled against them once before. Raich, 41, began sobbing when she was told of the decision and said she would continue using the drug.” Well really, what are her options?

Here in Hawaii, many feel protected by these medical cannabis laws. Senate Bill 862, which took effect on December 28, 2000, “removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed statement from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and that the ‘potential benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.’… Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than seven marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a mandatory, confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. To date, approximately 2,600 cards have been issued to registered patients.”

Despite that comforting thought, with today’s verdict we see there really is no protection afforded those who follow all the rules of their state’s medical marijuana legislation. I smoke only on rare occasion, but when I got into a serious accident, bedridden for the majority of six months and dosed with heavy opiate narcotics, it was with the help of marijuana and a vaporizer that I was able to deal with the pain while weaning myself off the drugs (it was easy to stop the pot use after that). But, like any decent suspicious cynic, especially regarding government fervor and control and abuses of power, the idea of adding my name to such a list in order to obtain medical marijuana, even if I had every right to, seemed inane. I have no reason to assume the feds can’t gain access to such a list, and then do as they have to Ms. Raich and many in similar positions, that is raid their homes and disrupt their healing process…in the name of following stupid rules for rule-sake, like brain-dead foot-soldiers of a monster army controlled by the War-On-Everything fascist power-elite. How does such a highly evolved society allow low IQ nimrods to have dominance over them? Power to tell them what drugs are sanctioned for use and abuse and what drugs aren’t? In an age of Vicodin as candy, Crystal Meth to function, and an AA for everything under the sun, how dare they force us into collusion by making us pretend their supposed methods for protecting citizens from themselves actually work (no, we shant insert here countless examples and references to the well-known or at least assumed notion that the war on drugs is simply good cover for a government which is in fact the largest drug dealer in the world).

With 11 states (maybe 12, I think New Mexico just passed today) giving patients “legal” access to marijuana, State (not Federal!?!) legislators feel the moral imperative of responding to people who are sick and dying. As reported in the Drug War Chronicle, “While in most medical marijuana states, the laws came about through the initiative and referendum process — only Hawaii, Vermont, and Rhode Island have legalized medical marijuana through the legislature — medical marijuana bills are pending this year in more than 20 states…. While advocates concede that given the cumbersome process of making law in the country’s state houses, actual passage of medical marijuana legislation is likely this year in only a handful of states at best, it seems that medical marijuana has come in from the cold and is now a thoroughly mainstream issue.”

Here in Hawaii, the people are living proof of the failure of our drug laws. It’s similar to when they purposely brought the mongoose to the islands to cut down the rat population. Sure, the mongoose may like to chow a rat, but who knows, since the rats live by night, and the mongoose by day – never their twain shall meet. Now we have both problems. As authorities decided to crack down on marijuana growers here, crack was making its surge on America’s youth. Without the usual availability of inexpensive pakalolo, locals turned to the more available new high (one in which there was no question whether or not it is addictive!). Now both exist. As mentioned on the THC Ministry website: “There are many reasons for the rise of crystal meth in Hawai’i, including the fact that we are a ‘gateway’ state from the Far East, where crystal meth has been manufactured and used as far back as World War II. Also, officials say the rise in the use of this drug paralleled the growing scarcity and high cost of marijuana following successful drives to tamp down, if not eliminate, the marijuana trade in the Islands. To the degree this is true, it was a bad tradeoff because crystal meth has far more potential to make the user harmful to others than marijuana.”

No friggin’ kidding! The trade-off went from mellow locals smokin’ at the beach to freaked-out emaciated whack-jobs robbing your house, stealing your car, and regular old rape n’ pillage shit. Can you imagine, in a state famous for high THC buds, shipping coolers of excess weed to the mainland, that it would become a scarce commodity? That ice would be more inexpensive and easier to procure? Since the ’80s when state-funded Operation Green Harvest was given power for their own pillaging -of jungle pot farms- and intensive low-flying (i.e. loud, annoying, terrorizing) helicopter surveillance, rural local communities -especially the economically challenged areas- have been inundated with ice ice baby, and the Aloha State has become famous for something else: being the nation’s highest partaker in methamphetamine. Congrats big wigs – you win again!

Sure I don’t need to use pot right now, but someday I might. And no elected power-that-be deserves the right to take that right away from anyone. Angel Raich’s life as she knows it is bearable because of marijuana, and just because no pharmaceutical company is going to make a windfall from her downfall, that shouldn’t prevent her from obtaining the best treatment for her ailment and relief from her pain. This case is just another example of when the people speak (scream, kick…), and the government does not listen.

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