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Blog Posted in avatar   Leonard Krivitsky's Blog

Why are we still debating legalizing cannabis?

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By Leonard Krivitsky
Posted Mar 15, 2011 in Lifestyle
Sometimes when I think about these issues, I am sincerely wondering as to why we are still discussing marijuana legalization as if the arguments against it were rather compelling. Isn't it amazing that we are still talking about this issue, and the arguments are compelling, but for the cannabis legalization, not against it. Indeed, let's forget about marijuana for a moment, along with the contentious arguments about its "merits" and "demerits" and imagine the hypothetical situation of this nature:
Let's just imagine that we would have a natural, non-toxic substance, capable of helping many serious medical conditions without any appreciable side effects, that on not even one occasion caused a death or an overdose in all its 5,000 years of its use by humans, and that, in addition such a substance had an ability to suppress violent behavior, increase appetite, induce rest and enhance sexual experience without any serious "undesirable" long-term consequences of its use. If we were a normal, rational creatures, we would be ecstatic because we do have such a substance, it's been known to humans for millennia and its name is cannabis. And yet, not only we (or at least our government) are not "ecstatic", but the lives of thousands of people have been severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a simple possession of this almost miraculous herb. This situation is so ridiculous that it is almost hard to believe, and yet it is very much the reality. It is a reality because of a racist rant by one Harry Anslinger, this country's "first chief narc", a paranoid president Richard Nixon, and some very powerful industrial interest, alcohol and tobacco lobbies being, of course, at the very forefront of the anti-cannabis battle. And then, of course, there is a prison-industrial complex with its practically insatiable appetite for human blood directed by the "Drug Enforcement Administration" and other highly repressive entities in alliance with it.
And so, as I tried to explain in other articles, the powerful "dogma" was created, a dogma that claims that marijuana is a "dangerous drug with no accepted medical use", but in order to maintain such a dogma, a strong apparatus of repression is needed, and so its proponents have resorted to a philosophy of "radical pragmatism" that supposedly "allowed" them to substitute their own "truth" for the historical and scientific one. As discussed in other articles, the "radical pragmatist" system of cannabis prohibition is based on a series of scientific and philosophical un-realities, that more and more people can see for themselves. Cannabis is not physically addictive, the so-called "gateway drug" theory is fully discredited, smoking cannabis is not associated with the increased risk for lung cancer (wasn't that a disappointment for the prohibitionists who counted on that as their "reliable" scare-tactic); Cannabis use also suppresses violent behavior, and to even suggest that it does not have remarkable medicinal properties is a clear break with reality! I suspect that not all people are yet aware that cannabis use suppresses violent behavior, but this information must be disseminated to become a common knowledge, as there are very few things in our society that are feared and abhorred as violence. I do believe that only the direct quote from the prestigious "Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook" will suffice, lest I am somehow accused of falsifying the facts:
We can be sure that the DEA and its allies are unlikely to educate the public that Cannabis use has been shown to suppress violent behavior. Yes, that's right, marijuana use suppresses violence. As Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook explains, "by inducing a calm, relaxed state, marijuana is not conducive to violence and only the unsophisticated think otherwise". Wow! Although I believe that the DEA can easily withstand the "accusations" of being overly "sophisticated", this alone, in my opinion, should put an end to the whole argument about Cannabis legalization. But wait, there are more "good reasons" if our opponents really want to see them.
Even in the presence of such overwhelming reasons to immediately legalize cannabis, some people, even our so-called "politicians" are not as receptive to the truth as they should be. "Well", they "reason", it would be more politically correct and "safe" for me if I "don't rock the boat" and vote against cannabis legalization. "I mean, after all, why would I complicate my relationship with the DEA and its allies"? Unfortunately for the prohibitionists, the truth is far from being that simple as to simply violate the rights of a few people and "get on" with their lives. It just so happens that cannabis is retained in the "system" for much longer periods of time than, say, alcohol, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamines, so that the whole "random drug screens" are completely counterproductive, as they are unfairly targeting cannabis users, tend to "weed them out", while ending up "stuck" with alcohol, hard drug or prescription drug abusers whose drug use (especially on the weekends) are hard to use because most of those dangerous substances, as opposed to cannabis, are out of the system by Monday. Is this what the employers really want? Which brings us to another, related issue.
I believe that the biggest unreality in which the "drug-free.org", similar organizations and their DEA sponsors are the victims of (if we can even think of these people as "victims", is that they live under the utopic delusion that the completely "substance-free" society is possible. Yet, they are unable to name one single culture in the whole of human history, where the substances, in one form or another, were not used. We want to think about our society as "full of stress", which it, without a doubt, is! Bit the same were true of human societies throughout history, and humans always needed "something" to help them hope with the harsh realities of this existence. So then when the DEA and its allies spend so much money and effort chasing a non-toxic natural substances, while teenagers poison themselves with all kinds of junk, from "sniffing glue" to "alcohol-caffeine mixtures", this does appear ridiculous to an ordinary human mind. The solution to the nation's alcohol and drug problem is not repression, but education. Education about the safe substance use, similar to the safe sex education in the past (and remember the opposition to that?)! However, there is simply no other choice and the "powers that be" will see it in due time (and some are already seeing this).
But in the meantime we need to defeat the "dogma". We need to defeat this monstrosity that sends people to prisons for decades, that condemned a 25-year old mother to 10 years in prison over 31 dollars worth of cannabis, we need to free our cannabis political prisoners such as Marc Emery, Roger Christie, Rev. Eddy Lepp, Chris Bartkowicz and other victims of the anti-cannabis tyranny! And again, as I stressed before, only as we organize and act together, will we succeed. Otherwise this flagrant deception perpetrated by the government against its own people with respect to cannabis medicinal plant will continue to last for a long time, for years, for decades, for generations.... And every time, since Jack Herer and before him we promise to ourselves that we would defeat the prohibition, but it never happens... Because of our inactivity! Yes, it is a "hassle" to register in the newspapers "on line" so we could comment on articles; yes, it takes time to write to Editors, yes it takes time and effort to write articles such as this one that hopefully point out to the truth yet another time! Young people should remember to register to vote and to actually vote, marking the anti-cannabis political bigots for a certain and bitter defeat! We need to educate our parents, our grandparents, our neighbors and even our educators about cannabis, and destroy the "dogmas" they have all been brainwashed with for decades! But we will do it, we will do it together, because, just like other repressive systems fell as they lost all credibility, this one, unreasonably and cruelly targeting the cannabis medicinal plant will fall as well!

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