In the US, marijuana has been legalized in 4 states and the nation’s capitol, authorized for medical use in 23 states, and rescheduled to a misdemeanor in some states. There is a steady trend in America to legalize cannabis for adults, similar to existing laws on alcohol. Will 2015 or 2016 be the year cannabis is fully legalized in the states?
Cannabis is a Superfood
If cannabis was discovered today, scrubbing clean its controversial history and legal status, it would be touted as a superfood. Forget all of the propaganda and religious smear campaigns. Cannabis would be hailed as a miracle of nature for its wide array of unparalleled healing abilities. Although it would still be ignored by mainstream medicine, it would be sold on shelves in health food stores right beside goji berries, turmeric, and cacao.
Cannabis is a Villainized Hero
In the final scene of The Dark Knight, Batman is cast into exile because his heroic action led to the death of Harvey Dent, Gotham’s district attorney, who was truly psychopathic although he was lionized by the public. Batman subsequently becomes excoriated as the villain because public perception was swayed by misinformation. Cannabis has been painted as the villain by those kicking and screaming in ignorance and by those who profit from prohibition.
The Department of Human Health Services owns the patent on cannabis, claiming that,
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##
The argument is often made that cannabis is outlawed because stoned individuals pose risks to others in society. However, we have penalties and laws that encompass all crimes that could be committed under the influence of marijuana. Using the same logic, when an individual consumes alcohol and crashes a car, why is it not then concluded that all bars and establishments that serve alcohol are the problem? Because people can also drink responsibly.
Whether the individual is drunk or high, there are laws that deal with any collateral damage. What difference does it make what an individual does in the privacy of his own house, within the confines of his own mind? There is no logic in prohibition because it only creates black markets and enables the CIA’s cash cow to continue lactating.
War on Consciousness
Shamanic cultures of antiquity embraced the individual’s sovereign exploration of his or her consciousness. With reverence and maturity, plants and brews were smoked or consumed in earnest to delve into the unconscious, release trauma, inspire reconciliation, contemplate behavior, understand oneself, become humbled by ignorance and become grateful for experience. Cannabis, for instance, has been used medicinally for 6,000 years. Now, these substances have been lumped into the same classification as narcotics and westerners are forbidden under the law to introspectively explore his own existence with entheogenic assistance.
In Guatemala, cacao has been the spiritual plant teacher throughout history. When taken in high dosages, pure cacao acts as a stimulant and can generate an intense high. Ironically, cacao is legally sold in most health food stores to people of all ages. Like Ayahuasca in the Amazon, Guatemalans prophesize that one day cacao will spread its influence all across the world and help to cultivate spiritual connectedness.
Whether we are discussing Ayahuasca, psilocybin, cannabis, or any other plant-based or fungus-based psychoactive entheogen, we must recognize there is a fundamental difference between addictive, potentially dangerous “drugs” and mind enhancers or “spirit medicine.” It is difficult – if not highly improbable – to become addicted to psilocybin or Ayahuasca for instance, or even cannabis when it is eaten or juiced. These entheogens do not increase violent tendencies unless all parameters and stimuli during the experience are unfavorable.
Credentialed Professionals Add Gravitas to the Conversation
Timothy Leary, American psychologist and director of the Harvard Psilocybin Project in the early 1960s (amongst other titles and achievements), advocated the intelligent use of psychedelics to integrate mind, body, and spirit, attaining moments of ego-transcendence, and momentarily understanding previously recondite truths.
A psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity. Such experiences of enlarged consciousness can occur in a variety of ways: sensory deprivation, yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, religious or aesthetic ecstasies, or spontaneously. Most recently they have become available to anyone through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, etc. Of course, the drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key — it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures.
I am 100 percent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs, and 1,000 percent against the thoughtless use of them, whether caffeine or LSD. And drugs are not central to my life.
Many brave souls from different backgrounds have stepped forward as dissenters from academia, science, religion, and politics, molting traditionalism and prejudice in attempts to dissolve misconceptions about entheogenic substances. Stanislov Grav and Graham Hancock, to name a few, follow in the footsteps of Leary as modern day mavericks pushing for the abolition of existing laws deterring man’s exploration of consciousness.
Graham Hancock delivered a powerful TEDx Talk that was censored by the organization for his unorthodox opinions.
Collective Cowardice Causing Social Paralysis
What makes a taboo taboo?
In a society that ostensibly lauds intelligence, individuality, and progressive values, why then do individuals disengage from free speech and censor their own opinions? Why do individuals hold back truthful information on controversial topics or fail to correct someone who is spreading false information? Man fears exile from the tribe.
As long as we cower in the shadow cast by the ruins of archaic paradigms, we will eclipse from view the brilliance of conciliation. As long as we outsource our personal fights to be fought by courageous iconoclasts, we have no one to blame for our predicaments but ourselves. Most of us are armchair critics of society who do nothing to reverse the trends of entropy because of inconvenience or apathy.
Complaining is complacency. Do something. Say something. Be the change.
Today’s solution to yesterday’s problem does not exist outside the scope of the problem; rather, the solution exists within the examination of the problem itself. We must recognize the punitive shackles placed on our minds and confront our wicked masters for their injustices which have impeded the spiritual growth of humanity.