Cup or Two Helps Him Face The Grind 

Cup or Two Helps Him Face The Grind 
Posted by FoM on December 08, 2000 at 08:20:16 PT
By Thom Marshall
Source: Houston Chronicle 
He drove in the predawn darkness to the familiar parking lot, stopped, and waited. He knew he was too early but was anxious and didn't want to waste a second. How he hated to run out of it and feel like this. His wife had used the last and forgot to tell him. His left hand trembled as he raised his watch. Almost time. He'd soon get rid of his headache, calm his nerves, and be better able to concentrate on other matters. 
Finally, the person he had been waiting for unlocked the door he had been watching. He entered the building, walked several paces and picked up a small bag, held it to his nose, and inhaled deeply of the fragrance. Then he reached for his money, hoping he had enough for two bags. That way, when they emptied the first it would be the signal to buy more and he never again would face an empty cup precisely when he needs some in the worst way. Gotta Have That Cup O' Java:He just can't get started without caffeine. That first swallow of coffee wakes him up, makes it possible for him to find the "good" in "good morning." And the first is followed by others throughout the day, at home, at work, dining out ... Back in the 1500s, when coffee first came to Egypt, folks in charge there thought it was bad stuff. Why, if you could go back there in a time machine and tell those Egyptians how our modern society views caffeine, they'd be shocked: "You mean you actually allow your children to drink freely of bottled beverages and hot chocolate that contain the same drug that makes coffee so dangerous?" Officials in old Egypt viewed coffee as officials in our modern United States view marijuana. Selling it was illegal and anytime the coffee cops found a stash, they burned it. But you don't have to venture that far, either geographically or historically, to find serious opposition to caffeine. Consider Dr. T.D. Crothers, who was author of the 1902 work Morphinism and Narcomanias from Other Drugs and served as superintendent of the Walnut Lodge Hospital in Connecticut. This physician rated caffeine addiction on par with alcoholism or being hooked on morphine: "In some extreme cases delusional states of a grandiose character appear; rarely violent or destructive, but usually of a reckless, unthinking variety. Associated with these are suspicions of wrong and injustice from others; also extravagant credulity and skepticism." He told of a Civil War general who "appeared on the front of the line, exposing himself with great recklessness, shouting and waving his hat as if in a delirium, giving orders and swearing in the most extraordinary manner. He was supposed to be intoxicated. Afterward it was found that he had used nothing but coffee." Dr. Crothers considered caffeine a gateway to more harmful substances and what he said then sounds much like what you often hear said nowadays about marijuana: "Often coffee drinkers, finding the drug to be unpleasant, turn to other narcotics, of which opium and alcohol are most common." I got the information about caffeine from "The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs" by Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports magazine. It was published 28 years ago but remains an impressive compilation of information. Potent Poison in Large Doses:According to research cited in the report, caffeine is a potent poison if taken in very large doses. A fatal dose for a human is estimated at 10 grams -- 70 to 100 cups of coffee. It is interesting to compare coffee habits to the part of the report dealing with marijuana, where it says, "It would appear that there are normally no adverse physiological effects or withdrawal symptoms occurring with abstinence from the drug, even in regular users." And also says that "no deaths due directly to smoking or eating cannabis have been documented." The report says that by keeping coffee legal, "society has avoided extortionate black-market prices that might otherwise bankrupt coffee drinkers and lead them into lives of crime. And coffee drinkers are not stigmatized as criminals, driven into a deviant subculture with all that criminalization entails." The section on caffeine concludes by suggesting: "That other drugs now deemed illicit might be similarly domesticated, with a similar reduction in the damage they wreak on individuals and on society, is a possibility readers may wish to keep in mind." You may access the report at: Marshall's e-mail address is: thom.marshall chron.comSource: Houston Chronicle (TX)Author: Thom MarshallPublished: December 7, 2000Copyright: 2000 Houston Chronicle Address: Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260 Fax: (713) 220-3575 Contact: viewpoints Website: Forum: Articles:Two Viewpoints on Legalizing Drugs Articles - Thom Marshall 
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Comment #2 posted by defenderoffreeworld on December 08, 2000 at 11:56:51 PT:
its great 
in the past few days we've had a couple of good articles such as these but they do little but inform us of things we already know, and are however constantly ignored by the prohibitionists. its good to have people that have their thoughts clear and organized, but regardless, the hard headed prohibitionists will not listen. we need to persist and be stronger than ever in the ballots, that is where it counts. 
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Comment #1 posted by observer on December 08, 2000 at 10:03:36 PT
Now that's an editorial!This is very helpful. It is common for prohibitionists suddenly get very ignorant and forgetful when you tell them the history of coffee: how that governments were set against the scourge of coffee and coffee drinkers, how that coffee-drinkers were the counterculture, how the authortities and officials pledged to make the land coffee-free and all For the Children.I appreciate how Thom Marshall also left readers with a link to historical background material, allowing them to rapidly dig deeper if they choose. I hope this editorial appeared in the print edition of this paper, too. ``The Mohammedans of Arabia, for example, first used the newly introduced coffee to help them stay awake during prolonged religious vigils. This "use as a devotional antisoporific stirred up fierce opposition on the part of the strictly orthodox and conservative section of the priests. Coffee by them was held to be an intoxicating beverage, and therefore prohibited by the Koran, and severe penalties were threatened to those addicted to its use." 4 An early Arabian writer summed up: "The sale of coffee has been forbidden. The vessels used for this beverage . . . have been broken to pieces. The dealers in coffee have received the bastinado, and have undergone other ill-treatment without even a plausible excuse; they were punished by loss of their money. The husks of the plant ... have been more than once devoted to the flames, and in several instances persons making use of it . . . have been severely handled." 5. . . .when coffee was introduced into Egypt in the sixteenth century, "the 'coffee bugaboo' . . . caused almost as much fuss as the 'marijuana bugaboo' in [the] contemporary United States. Sale of coffee was prohibited; wherever stocks of coffee were found they were burned.... All this fuss only bad the result of interesting more people in the brew and its use spread rapidly." 7 . . .''CU Report, Caffeine, 1972 used for "religious vigils..."see: etc. caused "fierce opposition on the part of the strictly orthodox and conservative section of the priests..."see: etc. "The dealers ... have undergone other ill-treatment without even a plausible excuse"see: etc. "... were punished by loss of their money."see: etc. "The husks of the plant ... have been more than once devoted to the flames" etc, etc.
Turkish Coffee
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