Jesus wants you to consume cannabis…

Last week we established that marijuana is all the Jews’ fault.  But the Jews might not be the only ones in on the job.  There is strong evidence that Jesus is in favor of sensible drug regulation, too.   How do I know?  I got word from the man with the pious plan, Pat Robertson.  Short video here.

This got me thinking.  Is sensible drug regulation the only issue that many conservatives, liberals, and libertarians, openly agree on?  I can’t immediately think of another issue where the Jews, Jesus, Rastafari, Glenn Beck, and MSNBC seem to agree.  In any event, the various political parties and their constituents support a change here.  Last week Barney Frank said “[t]his is the kind of fight that’s worth making.  It’s winnable.”  He thinks that change might be 10 years in the making, however.  I think it will be less than half of that.  What do you think?

Marijuana: it’s all the Jews’ fault.

Nixon got impeached, harassed, embarrassed and was the first and only president to resign from office.  He got off easy, if you ask me.

Nixon on Jews: "The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.” Ok so he was right about one thing. (Relax, I'm Jewish.)

During his first inaugural address, Richard Milhous Nixon said, “the greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.”  He then went ahead and authorized secret bombing campaigns in North Vietnam as part of his Vietnam War strategy.  Later he would wage the War on Drugs – a war which continues to claim lives and incarcerate innocent people at an alarming clip – disproportionately so if you’re a person of color. 

Some peacemaker Nixon turned out to be.

Now, to his credit, the concept of drug control and regulation is an important one that requires our attention.  We must make every effort to keep our kids off of drugs.  To this end Nixon opted for the hard line: prohibition and criminal penalties. It turns out, however, that there is no correlation between prohibition and decreased use, and in fact, an inverse relationship may exist.  The hard line leads to increased usage rates by, and greater availability to, young people across the board.  Not only has prohibition failed, the collateral damage is just enormous.  It includes violent drug cartels fueled by massive profits, drug dealers on campus, sick persons losing access to a lifeline, overburdened prisons, billions in wasted tax dollars, destroyed families, and scores of kids unable to qualify for a school loan because of a simple possession pot offense, to name a few.

Now Nixon’s administration was not the first or last administration to make a bad policy decision.  Perhaps this was just an instance of poor policy, and a review of the record would reveal that Nixon investigated the facts and did his best to draw sound conclusions based thereon.

Yeah, no.  It didn’t go down like that.  In fact, the transcripts from his recently declassified audio tapes reveal a much more dubious intent playing out.

When Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970 (which includes the Controlled Substances Act), it recognized that it lacked sufficient information from which to draw conclusions about marijuana and the amount of regulation it required. President Nixon appointed a “Presidential Commission” to investigate which of the 5 Schedules of the Controlled Substances Act marijuana should be placed in, among other marijuana policies.  Nixon appointed Governor Raymond P. Shafer of Pennsylvania to head the bipartisan Commission, which otherwise consisted of a congressman and senator from each party, a dean of a law school, the head of a mental health department, and a retired Chicago police captain.

What followed was the most extensive investigation of marijuana ever conducted by the federal government.  The Commission arranged for 50 different projects and conducted a nationwide survey of  public beliefs and experience.  It also surveyed district attorneys, judges, probation officers, clinicians, and university health officials.  The Commission even sought data from India, Greece, North Africa, Jamaica, and Afghanistan because those countries had a longer history of dealing with the issue.

The Commission discovered that marijuana was not the dangerous substance that some considered it to be.  In fact, the Commission’s report to Congress was titled, “Marijuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.”  Nixon, however, didn’t care much for his Commission, which spent more than a year completing its work.

When Nixon got wind that Shafer was going in the direction of decriminalization, he let Shafer have it.  The following quotes are taken from Nixon’s recently declassified Oval Office tapes from 1971-72:

“You’re enough of a ‘pro’ to know that for you to come
out with something that would run counter to what…
we’re planning to do, would make your Commission just
look bad as hell….Keep your Commission in line.”

To hell with science and commissions.  Nixon had an agenda and he wasn’t going to let a little thing like facts and research get in the way of that.  He continued:

if [the American people] get the idea [the Commission is] just a bunch of
do-gooders that are going to come out with a quote ‘soft
on marijuana’ report, that’ll destroy it, right off the bat.  I
think there’s a need to come out with a report that is
totally oblivious to some obvious differences between
marijuana and other drugs, other dangerous drugs, there
are differences.

Nixon knew the score.  He knew marijuana was not the “devil weed,” but he didn’t care.  He was going to fix the game based on his own conservative agenda:

“I want a Goddamn strong statement about marijuana. Can I get that out of this sonofabitching, uh, Domestic Council? …I mean one on marijuana that just tears the ass out of them…

“You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality
in general. These are the enemies of strong societies.
That’s why the Communists and the left-wingers are
pushing the stuff, they’re trying to destroy us.”

But it wasn’t just homosexuals, the Red Army, and the Democrats that were plotting the demise of the nation.  It was the Jews, too.

[E]very one of the bastards that are out for legalizing
marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with
the Jews, Bob [Haldeman], what is the matter with them? I suppose
it’s because most of them are psychiatrists, you know,
there’s so many, all the greatest psychiatrists are Jewish.
By God we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it sqaure in the puss.

The end of this tale is well known.  Nixon rejected his own Commission’s findings that marijuana “does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.”  Nixon required that Marijuana remain on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act – the most restrictive class of controlled substances reserved for highly dangerous chemicals that have “no accepted medical use.”  And as a result, millions of dying people have no access to an incredibly effective natural medicine and pain reliever.  Hey, at least we can score some cocaine from our doctors.  Cocaine is on Schedule 2.

Pot Heads and Distance Runners, More in Common Than We Thought?

You might view the stereotypical stoner and distance runner as polar opposites.  And a comparison of the amount of calories each burns on average might bear out those assumptions.  But the stoner and the runner might not be as different as we think.   For example, many athletes excelling at the highest levels and other highly motivated, successful professionals use cannabis as a natural medication or intoxicant.  So the image of a stereotypical stoner – sitting unshaven on the couch in his mother’s basement, hands covered in pretzel salt – may be a bit antiquated.  For another, the stoner (whatever he or she looks like) and the runner surprisingly may share motivations, at least physiologically.

A recent New York Times article (link at bottom) suggests that the “runner’s high” is the result of increased activity in the endocannabinoid system – the part of your body designed to receive marijuana – not an increase in endorphins as is commonly assumed.  Perhaps more interesting, the article underscores our lack of, and need for, a complete understanding of the human endocannabinoid system.

What we know is compelling.  And leading researchers like Dr. Donald Abrams M.D. and Dr. William Courtney, M.D., and Harvard Medical School Chairman Emeritus Dr. Lester Grinspoon may advise you that a healthy endocannabinoid system is key, if not critical, to maintaining a healthy brain and body.

Well what is the Endocannabinoid System?

Here is the skinny as I understand it, and keep in mind that I am not a doctor.  The body’s Endocannabinoid System lies in the brain and in other parts of the body.  It has receptors which naturally bind to certain exogenous (fancy way of saying “outside the body”) cannabinoids (usually from marijuana) that we introduce to our internal systems.  Basically, your body is specifically designed to receive cannabis (marijuana).  According to Wikipedia,”studies have revealed a broad role for endocannabinoid signaling in a variety of physiological processes, including neuromodulator release, motor learning, synaptic plasticity, appetite, and pain sensation.”

Some of this is readily corroborated from first or second hand experience.  For example, most of us know that cannabis can dramatically increase one’s appetite i.e. the infamous “munchies” – responsible for Tostitos-induced comas and empty ice cream containers everywhere.  For another, MS sufferers, among many other patients, will attest to the fact that cannabis provides pain relief where synthetic pain relievers fall short or produce horrific side-effects.  In any case, it seems clear that we need to know more about this stuff, and so let the research flourish.

Or so one would think.

Despite the American Medical Association’s recent call for “clinical research and [the] development of cannabinoid-based medicines,” the federal government denies nearly all applications for marijuana research, which take years to process.  In fact, many researches eventually abandon their plans for federally authorized (legal) research after years of red-tape and frustration.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which controls about 85% of the world’s research on controlled substances, is making things very difficult.  A NIDA spokesman stated in 2010, unabashedly, “our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use….We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”  However NIDA must approve studies, so you see the problem.

Additionally, the DEA inexcusably continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.  Schedule 1 is the most restrictive classification, and is reserved for drugs which, among other criteria,  have “no currently accepted medical use.”  To help place this scheduling fallacy in perspective, consider that cocaine is listed in Schedule 2.  That’s right.  There is less concern for, and control over, cocaine, which by definition under the Controlled Substances Act has a higher medical import than marijuana.  In fact, marijuana has no medical use, according to the DEA.

Cannabis has no accepted medical use?

That conclusion and the Schedule 1 designation seems pretty inaccurate, and is rather offensive to many patients who rely on the plant for a quality of life.  Additionally various studies in the United States and other countries demonstrate cannabis’ efficacy in curing or managing cancers, glaucoma, MS and other conditions of the Central Nervous System, AIDS, HIV, neuropathic pain, Autism, PTSD, migranes, among many others.  Yet,  there are still a few people out there who stand by the seemingly odd conclusion, drawn in 1970, that marijuana has no accepted medical use.

Who are these people?

They work at the Department of Health and Human Services under Katherine Sebelius, and report their findings to the DEA which is headed by Michele Leonhart.  If you want to know why the DEA and HHS refuse to acknowledge what most people already know to be true (marijuana has beneficial if not miraculous medical applications), keep an eye out for an upcoming post (or subscribe to this blog and I’ll email it to you) on a well known drug war architect whose secret and nefarious intentions were misguided.  In other words, he was a “Dick.”

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/phys-ed-what-really-causes-runners-high/

Photo Credit: http://www.madetorun.com/