For years during my misspent youth all I knew about cannabis was that it made you feel good when you smoked it, it was a great social drug with the obligatory passing round of the joint at parties, and best of all it wasn’t physically addictive at all. So you could have a high old time on it, get a good night’s sleep in, and wake up for work the next morning no problem and have complete function of mind and body (unlike some other drugs I could mention; some legal, some not)..
The older I get though, the more I’m learning just what a wonderful and diverse plant cannabis is, which in turn has got me scratching my head wondering why on earth this plant has got such a bad rap over the last 100 years or so. It used to be a widespread commercial plant until it was outlawed over 100 years ago by the governments of the day, and that is where our dependence on fossil fuels began. If it had been kept as a commercial plant we would almost certainly be running our industries using hemp oil products, our cars would be run on the same stuff, meaning far less pollution of our planet caused by the over-mining of the scarce fossil fuels. Not to mention the wide application of cannabis in the medical field.
However, becuase this plant was made illegal all those years ago the scientific applications surrounding this plant have been very much restricted, and as the years have rolled by the world populous as whole has been brain-washed by the powers-that be into thinking that this plant is evil and oil is king. It’s all to do with money and control, and it’s only been recently that certain medical breathroughs are becoming apparent – a cure for Alzheimers? Assisting in easing, and even reversing the symptoms of Diabetes? A help for Bulimia and HIV sufferers? A potential aid for various cancers? Yes, there is scientific evidence out there backing up all these claims. So why oh why are we not going hell for leather trying to use this plant to help the human race?
I personally see the mindset surrounding the vilification of cannabis changing within our lifetimes. As fossil fuels continue to dwindle, people will be looking for a replacement to run our industries and power our cars, and commercial hemp will almost definitely feature in a big way. My hope is that people power will prevail and the people in charge will have no option but to listen to the masses. And of course with all this medical breathroughs in the use of marijuana to treat various ailments will be properly explored…it’s just a shame that we are leaving it so late.
Free the weed and everything else will follow!
Some more Stateside news again today…
…As you may or may not know, the marijuana laws in some US states have been relaxed of late. Although the growing and cultivation of the herb is still very much a grey area, if you pop along to your local GP in California (or other select states) they have the power to prescribe you a Medical Marijuana Pass, you then take this into your local Marijuana dispensary with some cash, and you can then legally buy cannabis over the counter. The bible belt god-botherers over there must be going bonkers at this!
Anyway after a quick scour of the interweb I found this great chart of the top-selling weed over there, courtesy of weedmaps.com. Most of these strains I’ve heard of before, but Green Crack at #2? What’s all that about?
I’m not a big fan of the US drug laws, mainly because they seem overly stringent and focus on punishing the end-user and not the suppliers (and that ‘drug war’ against the suppliers is being comprehensively won by the South American and Mexican cartels…but that’s a story for another post). However, what is refreshing is this relaxation in policy against smokers of cannabis. It’s unusual to see this relaxation in policy from the US, but I wish we had something like this in the UK.
It just makes sense; if people want to smoke they will, regardless of whether it’s legal or not, by relaxing the rules it cuts out the black market element of buying cannabis from dealers who are plowing that money into very unsavoury elements of crime. By following the US (Californian) example, you make the weed taxable and redirect the cash to the government and not the organised crime gangs.
When will the UK government learn?
So as this is my first post it seems fitting to list a few interesting facts about Marijuana (or cannabis, pot, reefer, ganja etc), which you may, or may not, know about.
- Marijuana has been around since prehistory. It rose significantly in popularity during the 60s and 70s with the advent of the hippy movement and has been chilling people out ever since!
- Today, Marijuana is America’s #1 cash crop, estimated to be a mind-blowing $38bn-a-year industry. To put that into perspective: the value of the corn crop in the US is $23.3 billion, and wheat is just $7.5 billion.
- The active ingredients in the plant which makes you high are called THC and CBD. It is a psychoactive drug which is made up of dried buds and leaves from the female plants.
- The effects of smoking Marijuana are almost immediate. The smoker can experience a faster heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes and a dry mouth and throat, commonly leading to a common problem in pot smokers called ‘the munchies‘.
- The first recorded use of Marijuana originates from China in 2727BC, where they used it for medicinal purposes. Check out this fun video out for a very potted history of pot.
- The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
- George Washington and Tomas Jefferson both grew Marijuana on their plantations.
So there you go, crazy stats about a crazy plant. My philosophy is: if it grows out of the ground then how dangerous can it be? Free the weed and your mind will follow!