Politicians Fail To Recognize Marijuana's Value

Politicians Fail To Recognize Marijuana's Value
Posted by CN Staff on October 25, 2007 at 05:59:13 PT
By Tim Strube
Source: Daily Trojan
California -- "I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," gloated Mitt Romney during an "Ask Mitt Anything" session in New Hampshire. The former Massachusetts governor's statement was in response to the inquiry of Clayton Holton, an individual who finds relief from the symptoms of his muscle dystrophy by using medical marijuana.
The video of wheelchair-bound Holton asking, "Will you arrest me or my doctors if I get medical marijuana?" has been widely circulated online and made it unequivocally clear that Romney, in true American fashion, refuses to take an objective look at medical marijuana.Like Romney, a large number of Americans don't take marijuana seriously. To many, the very utterance of the word "marijuana" conjures up images of stoners, hippies and Grateful Dead fans who wear ponchos and participate in drum circles. From what the Office of National Drug Control Policy suggests, if you smoke it you'll either find your dad's shotgun and shoot yourself in the face or run over a little girl on her bike at a drive-thru. Marijuana users are widely perceived as apathetic, lazy, unmotivated and downright empty-headed - a joke to be joked about, if you will. Marijuana was not always viewed this way, though. The notion of marijuana as a dangerous, addictive substance is exclusive to modern-American discourse - merely the result of the misguided social politics of the 20th century.What most people don't know is the current American view of marijuana is a misconception that denies thousands of years of history. In fact, the recreational use we commonly associate with marijuana is its most fruitless application. Prior to the 20th century, marijuana (properly referred to as cannabis) was widely used in the American and international pharmacopeia, and its medicinal use since 2,737 B.C. The nonintoxicating, untreated cannabis plant itself is said to have more than 25,000 uses (textiles and clothing, paper, rope, culinary oil, cosmetics, paint and varnish, dietary supplements and bio-fuels, just to name a few) and accordingly, it's been referred to by many as "the most useful plant known to mankind." Despite this, all derivatives of the cannabis plant remain illegal on the federal level. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, it's a Schedule I drug alongside such substances as heroin, methamphetamines (e.g. MDMA, ecstasy) and lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. As such, cannabis is considered to have absolutely "no medical use in treatment in the United States." Even cocaine and PCP have a more moderate scheduling. Why has "the most useful plant known to mankind" remained illegal in the United States for more than three-quarters of a century? Why people such as Romney avoid the topic of marijuana is a difficult question to answer. But a variety of factors have snowballed over the years into this seemingly never ending prohibition we see today. It's possible, however, to name a few individuals who have had the most significant contribution to this continued misunderstanding.Harry Anslinger, the first American drug czar, is said to be the father of cannabis prohibition. In the 1930s, Anslinger, employing manipulative rhetoric, almost single-handedly created the notion that "marihuana" was a societal ill, threatening the lives of our youth. Anslinger's (and many other politicians') racist inclinations led them to criminalize cannabis. Anslinger, unabashed by his racism said, "the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races…[It] makes darkies think they're as good as white men."Obviously, he wasn't basing his views on any sort of clinical or scientific research.Moreover, because cannabis was first used by Mexican workers in the American Southwest (and, interestingly enough, Mormons living in Mexico brought it to Utah), it was a common belief that Hispanic culture's use of "devil's weed" was tainting the American social atmosphere. Upon the latter half of the 20th century, one would think that such irrational thinking would have faded with time, but inevitably, that wasn't the case. Richard Nixon, the U.S. president who years later insisted upon an "all out war" on cannabis as a part of his "war on drugs," was no different than his irrational predecessors. Nixon asserted that "every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish" and that there's something "wrong with them." Apparently, Nixon didn't care for the commission's scientific findings (or Judaism).Unfortunately, things are no different today. The severely misguided, unfounded and prejudiced views of years past still prevail, evident in Mitt Romney's refusal to appropriately field the question of a seriously ill individual who uses cannabis for medicinal purposes.As far as evaluating its potential for medicinal use, things remain in a stalemate. The American Medical Association concluded that the lack of "high-quality clinical research ... continues to hamper development of rational public policy" on medical marijuana. In other words, a number of researchers would love nothing more than to investigate cannabis further, but its tough scheduling makes any research virtually impossible. Unless proper research is conducted, cannabis will forever remain an undeserved societal taboo. Its continued illegality is nothing more than a mistake that's been echoed for generations, the basis of which takes time to understand and will take even more time to change. At this point, given the persistent 75-year-long campaign against cannabis, it's almost impossible to look at it objectively. Imagine waking up one morning and hearing about a newly discovered plant: Not only can its derivatives be used medically in treating a variety of ailments, but it can also be used in place of a variety of petroleum-based products and, consequently, compensate for our country's over-consumption of said resources and greatly reduce our nation's harm to the environment. And that's just the half of it. Contrary to popular belief, such a plant does exist; the American population, Mitt Romney included, has just been told otherwise for far too long.Note: Marijuana has long been construed as a drug for social deviants, and its critics overlook its many benefits.Tim Strube is a senior majoring in cinema-televison critical studies.Source: Daily Trojan (U of Southern CA Edu)Author: Tim StrubePublished: October 25, 2007Copyright: 2007 Daily TrojanContact: dtrojan usc.eduWebsite: Articles:Dear Mr. Romney, Will You Arrest Me? Stances - Indiana Daily Student of Reality Ruins Good Campaign Stop 
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Comment #13 posted by whig on October 26, 2007 at 20:32:03 PT
She's watching everything now.
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Comment #12 posted by Toker00 on October 26, 2007 at 19:43:19 PT
I'm just joking whig!You are right. This "place" had her presence. It was heavy.Toke.
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Comment #11 posted by Toker00 on October 26, 2007 at 19:41:38 PT
whig no. 9
I hear ya, girlfriend! ;) Ha!Toke.
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on October 26, 2007 at 19:22:02 PT
The wise politician that wants a political future had better get on the correct side of the cannabis legalization question. The Mits and Rudy types are just preaching to an ever-decreasing choir. By the by what is it with Methamphetamine? Is that the same formula as methadrine (as in “black beauties”) and the rest of the “drine” family, Dexedrine and Benzedrine? I think these are still prescribed. Isn’t MDMA the chemical name for Ecstasy?
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Comment #9 posted by whig on October 26, 2007 at 11:55:46 PT
We all have aspects of male and female. That is simply a fact. Anyone who rejects themselves for what they are is a danger to others.I have told Hope this, and you may think it strange, but Robin came here last night, her soul is free.
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on October 26, 2007 at 04:50:32 PT
Cannabis busts the Paradigm.
That is why they bust us for Cannabis. You see there is more to reality than Right or Wrong, Left or Right, Dem. or Rep., so forth. Keeping us on one side or the other is impossible and they know that but it keeps those who are afraid of being one or the other out of the In Between Realm of reality. Don't go there, they say. You must either be Right or Wrong, Good or Evil. Bullshit. There isn't a single Human Being that belongs on either extreme. We are all in the Middle. Cannabis shows us that, through Enlightenment. Would there be a Homosexual Hate if we were all Bi-sexual? Would there be a conflict between Right or Wrong if we considered a Maybe?Cannabis presents us with thoughts of In Between. How dare we not be either Right or Wrong?Peace through Understanding. Stop the Shifting. Awaken in the Middle. Toke. 
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Comment #7 posted by whig on October 25, 2007 at 20:50:25 PT
MDMA is safer than meth. But it is Schedule I, prohibited, whereas meth can be prescribed by any doctor.
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Comment #6 posted by whig on October 25, 2007 at 20:49:39 PT
MDMA is not methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a legal, Schedule II drug.MDMA is a totally different chemical which happens to be built on a similar skeleton.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on October 25, 2007 at 18:14:45 PT
The fact that the U.S. government could keep up such a successful propaganda campaign for decades doesn't say a lot for those they've fooled. The feds have taken one of the most benign,useful,beneficial,medicinal plants in the world and depicted it as the "devils weed". Now, if they could succeed in such demonization they can pretty much fool the masses about anything. If only more people would have been smart enough to see through the smoke-screen years and years ago! THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Bill Clinton Trades Blows With 9/11 Truthers: Clinton Speech Interrupted By 9/11 Truthers: -- Twin Towers: Demolished For Effect:"The Reflecting Pool" Extended Trailer: old men of Sept 11th: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on October 25, 2007 at 16:06:58 PT
Once the smoke clears in California
and money is needed to actually help people, any new dispensery that opens needs to follow the Sussex shop's example.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on October 25, 2007 at 12:21:27 PT
sam adams
Thanks for that sam. I didn't realize this was ongoing in the UK.  I recall the previous attempts at UK coffeeshops from several years back.Good for them, I hope they can succeed.Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights!
Don't give up the fight.
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Comment #2 posted by sam adams on October 25, 2007 at 11:21:32 PT
I didn't realize people were still trying coffeeshops in England, look at this:
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on October 25, 2007 at 07:45:42 PT
positive article for cannabis but,...
there is one error I want to highlight.Methamphetamine is not schedule 1 as cannabis is.Meth is schedule 2 which apparently means it is much safer, less controlled and with medical benefits, like cocaine and PCP.Meth, PCP and cocaine are considered to have medical benefit and less potential for abuse than cannabis. Anyone in their right mind and possessing a modicum of knowledge about these substances can see the absurdity of this. 
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