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Blog Posted in avatar   Leonard Krivitsky's Blog

In search of Cannabis freedom: love vs. fear

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By Leonard Krivitsky
Posted Jan 23, 2011 in Politics
All evil is ignorance - Plato
01-23-2011 As the science of human psychology develops, more and more experts start accepting the main premise of Holistic Theology that we, as humans, have only two basic, primal emotions from which all our other emotions, and moods, and dispositions, and worldviews subsequently arise; these primal emotions are love and fear. The great spiritual classic, "A Course in Miracles" summarizes this proposition in a following way:
"The fundamental conflict in this world is between creation and miscreation; all fear is implicit in the second, and all love in the first. The conflict is therefore one between love and fear".
On or about December 24, 2010 there was a "revolt" of the jury pool in Montana when the potential jurors informed the prosecution that they were not willing to convict the defendants of a "crime" of marijuana possession; not only was this event highly significant from the legal point of view, but it also served as a shining example of the repudiation of fear, of the rejection by ordinary people of the hateful and irrational government policies towards Cannabis consumers. And this happened in a State where Medicinal Cannabis use is legal, and where people can evaluate for themselves the effects of even highly limited Cannabis freedom as opposed to unbridled repression!
The fact is that if we look back in time on our own society and its many civil rights struggles, we will not only see that the "politics of fear" are not by any means something "new" when it comes to Cannabis Liberation Movement, but that fear-tactics have remained basically the same, using similar intimidation techniques, the same appeal to ignorance, disinformation and intolerance. The good news is that these politics of fear are eventually and inexorably defeated, as the premises that they try to advance are in direct contradiction of Reality, the Reality that can be ascertained by either the "correspondence" with known facts or by an appeal to our moral judgments. I remember when, just a few short decades ago, the fear mongerers did all they could to prevent or delay the Gay equality using their favorite and enduring "argument" of What would happen with our children if they believe that it is OK to be Gay!! We must save our society from "homosexual agenda" and the "activist judges" who try to "promote" it! As we can see now, these and similar scare tactics were bound to collapse as they had no "correspondence" with any material facts and had no chance of withstanding the moral challenge to their premises, so that when we now look back we are incredulous that many people actually did believe this nonsense. Indeed, as we look back now at the Gay equality Movement, or Black Civil Rights Movement, or Feminist Movement, we can see and appreciate that the "alternate realities" created by the fear mongerers at those times, the "alternate realities" unsubstantiated by facts, will inexorably and miserably fail as our information improves and our consciousness evolves towards freedom.
This is precisely the way that the Cannabis Liberation Movement will undoubtedly develop and succeed in the future, as there is absolutely no "foothold" in Reality for the DEA "dogma" that Cannabis is a "dangerous drug with no accepted medical use". When this country's first "Chief Narc" Harry Anslinger, obsessed with his hatred towards the Plant, devoted his whole life to demonizing it and making sure that all the "loopholes" with regard to Cannabis Freedom are closed, what did he use as his reasoning?! That the Jazz musicians create their "demonic music" under the influence of marijuana and then seek sexual relationship with White women; and that the main reason for marijuana prohibition is its effect on the degenerate races?! Do these appear to our contemporary consciousness as valid "reasons" for outlawing the Plant? Well, if not then we have to admit that the original "reasoning" for Cannabis prohibition was deeply flawed to really say the very least about it. Or take President Nixon in 1972 who said in response to the findings of Shafer Commission that recommended immediate marijuana decriminalization that "Every one of the bastards advocating for legalization of marijuana is Jewish". Is this what the Founding Fathers envisioned the President's "proper" response to the recommendations of a scientific Commission should be?! The Shafer Commission was absolutely correct in asserting that Cannabis prohibition and criminalization was incompatible with the Presumption of Liberty that is the very essence of the Constitution and a new Promise that was this country upon its creation by the Founding Fathers.
Let's now examine how the contemporary ideological heirs to Harry Anslinger and Richard Nixon apply the anti-Cannabis fear-tactics in their futile attempts to combat what seem to be the inevitable and time-honored conclusions of science and philosophy. This is necessary for the understanding of why these "efforts" will undoubtedly collapse as the time goes on. First of all, the denial of facts is the pre-eminent feature of any "alternate reality", including the one "created" by the Cannabis prohibitionists. The remarkable medicinal properties of the Cannabis Plant which have been used by humans for thousands of years are denied; the non-toxicity of Cannabis with not one single death or overdose attributable to it is ignored; the fact that Cannabis is so much safer than alcohol and most pharmaceuticals is disregarded; and the truth of paramount significance that Cannabis use suppresses violent urges and behaviors is not even mentioned by the DEA prohibitionists.
This last fact deserves further elucidation. Despite the DEA propaganda machine being put in an "overdrive" when it comes to anti-Cannabis hysteria, we hear a lot about all kinds of violence and mayhem caused by alcohol, but not Cannabis; there is not one single case in point when an act of violence was committed under the influence of Cannabis, while there are millions that have been committed under the influence of alcohol and/or hard drugs, or even the dangerous, physically addictive prescription drugs. Let's do ourselves a favor, America: we hear the "drug commercials" by the "Big Pharma" companies all the time on TV; let's pay more close attention to the potential "side-effects" of all those chemicals and try to compare them with the non-toxicity of Cannabis. Let's then try to decide what remedy would we prefer in many cases for our own selves, or for our loved ones, if and when the need arises. This is not to say that most pharmaceuticals do not have "their place", but it is to say that Medicinal Cannabis is a valid therapeutic choice, and that it should never, ever be kept from the patients in need.
In its vicious fight against the Medicinal Cannabis and patients' rights the DEA not only denies the existing realities, but it also "twists the arms" of politicians to act on the basis of "realities" that do not exist at all. The glaring example of this is the so-called "gateway drug" theory that is by now completely discredited by serious science. Another DEA propaganda tool is its assertion that the drug Marinol, a synthetic THC analogue, is the same as Medicinal Cannabis, something that is such a scientific and philosophical fallacy that it can only be "fairly compared" with the racist craziness of Harry Anslinger himself. But this does not even end there. The DEA and its henchmen are actually saying this: Medicinal Cannabis does not really help anyone medically, and all the cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma and chemotherapy sufferers are simply lying in order to be able to "get high". Can you imagine the utter ignorance, presumptuousness and arrogance in making these kinds of assertions?! These assertions go beyond the simple denial of Reality, they are a direct assault on Reality! When people of the future look at this outrage from the "consciousness of the future" perspective, they will be totally aghast at such a "position", and may not even believe that it really formed a basis for the DEA public policy.
Back in 1996, when the courageous people of California first approved the Legalization of Medicinal Cannabis in their State, the DEA blatantly resorted to undisguised scare tactics, threatening Doctors with the loss of a special DEA Number and Medicare participation if they so much as “discussed” the Medicinal Cannabis with their patients! Back then, and even right now, the DEA has always readily embraced the philosophy of “radical pragmatism” that basically disregards the ethical need to “prove” its position as a “truth claim”, and then it has acted in accordance with its own “agenda” as if it were the truth! Because of its firm ideological grounding in "radical pragmatism", the DEA has felt free to ignore the facts, suppress the dissent, and even take political prisoners like Canadian businessman and politician Marc Emery and the Medicinal Cannabis grower Chris Bartkowicz! No wonder the people like George Soros (and myself) who came from the backgrounds of an intimate knowledge of fear (and the philosophy of “radical pragmatism”), are so vehemently pro-Cannabis Freedom, as we see clearly the moral bankruptcy of its opponents.
There is one more interesting point that needs to be brought up. On one recent occasion the DEA let slip the remark that it is really "only a police Agency" that is "enforcing" the existing Federal Law. Really?? What is the DEA doing then trying to dictate the drug policies? Because if the DEA is "only a police Agency", but yet it influences the social policies as much as it does, then it follows that this country is a police State. California Proposition 19 directly challenged the DEA "dogma" about Cannabis, and so 9 previous DEA Directors urged the Attorney General to sue California if the Proposition passed. The Attorney General Eric Holder threatened to practically take a military action against the President's most loyal voters if they defied the DEA and passed Prop. 19! The Attorney General also said something to the effect that the current Cannabis laws cannot be changed by voting. Then, Mr. Attorney-General, pray you can tell us how such "laws" can be changed, for surely you do not mean to say to the American people that what was created by the racist Harry Anslinger and and his paranoid admirer Richard Nixon is practically "written in stone" and unchangeable, like the Law of gravity! During the recent Senate confirmation hearings for an anti-scientific extremist Michele Leonhart to be the new head of the DEA, both she and the arch-Conservative Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) vowed to continue to disregard the voters' will in the States that Legalized Medicinal Cannabis. Is this the "democracy" that the Founding Fathers strove to establish in this country, a system where the voters actually decide on the country's policies?!
However, not all of us are ignorant, and in 1988 the DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young called for decriminalization of the Plant, calling marijuana "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man". But yet again, in what was in my view a defiance of Constitutional authority, the DEA simply refused to comply with the judicial decision.
There are other considerations that the government of this country will have to take into account when the new, constructive and Reality-based approaches are devised with regard to Cannabis Plant. Our society is the one with ever increasing stress and anxiety levels, it is a contentious, and angry, and often violent society. So, it is extremely important that the people be able to safely relax and "take the edge off". Neither alcohol, nor hard drugs, nor the prescription "pills" will satisfy this purpose; in many ways the substance use in the future will be subject to an "education effort" for the purposes of "safe substance use" (just as about the "safe sex"), and this is the only viable option that is left for the Government to take, not a kind of "drug free Utopia" advocated by the DEA and its minions, which is nonsense as we are surrounded by unsafe drugs such as alcohol, nicotine and others on all sides.
Very recently, on 12-14-10 the government released the study about the "teenage drug use" that both the Government and the "yellow media" grossly misrepresented to the public. The study showed that, while the Cannabis use among teenagers rose slightly, the binge-drinking and smoking fell in this age group! These latter facts are a huge positive development, as the truly dangerous substances are beginning to be perceived as such, and a much less dangerous substance is chosen instead. And even though I am not about to condone any teenage drug use, it is still clear to me that even the young people "experimentation" with Cannabis is much safer than a similar experimentation with alcohol, pills, or hard drugs. We should also make a point that the decrease in nicotine and alcohol use among teenagers may at least in part be attributable to the anti-smoking and anti-alcohol abuse education which, as opposed to anti-Cannabis propaganda, does have a strong "foothold" in Reality, what with all the disease and deaths attributable to their use, the facts that can be easily shown to anyone!
Well, you can say, then what is the problem in the face of such overwhelming facts in favor of Cannabis/Medicinal Cannabis Freedom? The problem is the DEA and its Prison-industrial Complex. As even the former US Surgeon-General Joycelyn Elders noted on CNN in October 2010, we criminalize more people in this country than all other countries of the Civilized World", and that our prison population virtually "exploded" after 1970 when the DEA and its so-called "Controlled Substances Act" were allowed to take over the social policies of this country. Just look at the overcrowding of prisons, in California for example, and see for yourselves the inhumanity and the spiritual degradation of those who would keep the present system intact. But the Prison-Industrial Complex in this country is like a monstrous spider that could not care less about Reason, humanity or basic human rights; it even objected to enacting Bill 1449 in California which finally decriminalized small Cannabis possessions in that State! Truly, these people's appetite for human blood is without limits!
In order to maintain the "status quo", the DEA and its allies have created an almost air-tight and elaborate system of repression; for any politician to even talk about greater Cannabis Freedom is an "unforgivable heresy"; while any mentioning about cutting the huge DEA budget (in the face of an ever-increasing deficits) is an even greater "heresy"! Any Doctor in this country who practices and advocates for Cannabis/Medicinal Cannabis Freedom is at a great risk of losing his DEA "number", or even his license. So, what will happen if the DEA continues to ignore the facts of Reality and persist in its anti-Cannabis repression? Can this succeed? I am delighted to be able to give my answer to this "proposition" that it will NOT! The "dogmas" that have no counterpart in Reality will not survive in a long run, as they never have. More and more the people in this country will "wake up" and realize that the irrational, crude, hateful, fear-mongering games that are being played on them by the DEA are completely counter-productive; the employers of this country will have no choice but to realize that when they fire good, conscientious workers for being positive for Cannabis, they are left with alcohol, hard drug and prescription drug abusers, including millions of people who are forced to "drink themselves to sleep" every night (or to take addictive sleeping pills, or both), and then go to work and try to "produce" in the morning! The DEA can, of course, still disregard all this, but the longer it is allowed to do so, the greater will be the condemnation of its policies by the consciousness of the future.
From the Holistic perspective, Cannabis is markedly pro-evolutionary as it increases appetite, induces rest, suppresses violent urges, and enhances the sexual experience. Dr Lester Grinspoon, Professor of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School, said it best to the Los Angeles Times on May 6, 2005: “Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s. Like penicillin, herbal marijuana is remarkably non-toxic, has a wide range of therapeutic applications and would be quite inexpensive if it were legal”.
Cannabis Freedom will prevail, the proper "safe substance use" education will be developed sooner or later, the Portuguese example showing that decriminalization of personal possession of substances leads only to decrease in criminality and overall substance use will be assimilated, and the fear tactics of enemies of progress and human rights will be decisively rejected! And if this and similar blogs help to sow the Reality "seeds" in our consciousness, to show the inexorable advent of Progress, to facilitate our collective evolution in the consciousness of Freedom, so much the better!

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