Medical Marijuana Council

January 21, 2011

The Medical Marijuana Council provides a great deal of information on medical marijuana and studies that have been done regarding marijuana and it's effectiveness and safety with regard to various illnesses.  Most all information they provide is in layperson terms and is extrapolated from scientific studies to help the patient who is considering medical marijuana make a decision. 

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Blog posts : "marijuana history"

If Marijuana is so Great why is it Mostly ILLEGAL?

May 15, 2010

Why is marijuana illegal?  If you are old enough to vote, you MUST know the history if marijuana.  WHY?  Because in the very near future you will have the power to vote for a plant, and the very basic rights of people of the United States to use that plant.  A plant that has been abused.


Abused, not in the sense of abused by consumption.  But rather abused by the LIES, corruption, greed, racism, manipulation, and businesses who did not want competition, and used their deception to make and keep this plant illegal.  

Marijuana is illegal because the Federal Government has spent billions of dollars over the last 75 years with anti-marijuana propaganda.  Why?  Because marijuana prohibition is a corporate conspiracy which now serves the law enforcement community.  In the past it served to keep out competition in several industries including the paper industry, and pharmaceuticals among others.  A complete waste of money.  It is a very easy bust which fuels the law enforcement money machine.  Marijuana use is a victimless crime.  A crime which is locking up millions annually, who are forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees for very small amounts of marijuana,  and fees to newly created "drug programs".  And millions of Americans have spent years of their lives behind bars in PRIVATE FOR PROFIT prisons.  WHAT?  yes!  Prisons for profit

  For the last 75 years millions of Americans have smoked marijuana and not stood up to the unjust laws of the Federal Government until now.  Americans have had enough.  The truth is spreading rapidly across the internet and people are angry they have been lied to.  The Federal Government has turned its back on the American people and refused to listen to the TRUTH about marijuana.  Medical marijuana is now legal in 14 states.  And much evidence is coming out that marijuana actually has the ability to HEAL.  (no wonder it was in so many medications in the early 1900's)  Not only is marijuana used for nausea, pain, sleep, and to increase the appetite of a patient, but there is a growing body of evidence (despite attempts by the Federal Government to not reveal the information, and to not allow testing) that marijuana has reduced tumors, AND it not only reduces tumors but it also PROTECTS the surrounding tissue as it does.  (unlike chemo, or radiation therapy).    With 1 out of 2.3 American Men and 1 out of 2.8 American Women getting cancer sometime in their life this is a very remarkable benefit that as a voter you need to be aware of the next time you vote.  You could have access to a plant that is extremely effective and natural for healing yourself, and loved ones.  And more easily tolerated than man made drugs that attempt to mimic the plant.  We're NOT saying don't listen to your Doctor or avoid traditional treatments.  We're saying this plant has healing properties that you can greatly benefit from.  And NOT only when treating cancer.  Seizure disorders have had HUGE success as well as many other diseases and disorders.  There are thousands of patients who have greatly reduced the number of their man made prescriptions and chose marijuana, which to them offered a more effective treatment.  Some have been using it to treat autism in children, although controversial the parents of these children have risked a lot and swear by it.  Marijuana is non-toxic.  You can NOT overdose from marijuana.


As a Voter it is important for you to know that there are several drug companies that are coming out with drugs that TRY to mimic cannabis.  Sativex is one.  Marinol has already been released.  And there are more in the works.  More on the true Science of marijuana can be found on the "Strains" page near the bottom.   The thing to keep in mind is the pharmaceutical brands have not been successful at replicating the benefits of the plant, with acceptable side affects.  The plant contains many ingredients the lab has been unable to mimic, and the interaction of these chemicals may just be why marijuana "the plant" is most often preferred.   Most people who have tried Marinol , don't like it due to the psychoactive properties are too extreme, and the relief they were seeking was not effective.   So now the drug companies and big money are more involved again you can be sure there will be lots of misinformation to keep marijuana "the plant" illegal, or VERY tightly controlled.  So when you start seeing and hearing stories in the news that detract from this amazing healing plant keep in mind the real history of marijuana, and not the history you thought you knew.  Read on to find out more about the TRUE history of why marijuana is illegal.  I bet you thought it was to protect you.  Or you thought it was illegal because it is a gateway drug to very dangerous drugs.  BOTH of these statements are lies, and part of the propaganda spread over the last 75 or so years.

Many groups have secretly, and illegally been using marijuana for dozens of ailments with greater success and less side effects than pharmaceutical medications.  Yet the Federal Government continues to classify marijuana as a Class I drug (which means it has no medical purpose - plus the penalties are the most serious of any drug in the US). 

How did this all come about?


In the beginning America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hemp seed. There were several other “must grow” laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements – rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.  The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas,   and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

 


In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing’s army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.

One of the “differences” pointed out during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.”  Why?  Because the Mexicans were not welcome to the smaller farmers, and the use of marijuana was something that made them "different".   Since this was something new to the early settlers, they used this fact and exaggerated it to their benefit by fabricating stories about how the Mexicans and their use of marijuana made them crazy and made them hard to control, and capable of killing.  All the while thinking that if they could not have their marijuana they would go home. 


One of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but, oddly enough, because of Mormons using it.  Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church’s reaction to this may have contributed to the state’s marijuana law. (Note: the source for this speculation is from articles by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law at USC Law School in a paper for the Virginia Law Review, and a speech to the California Judges Association

Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927). These laws tended to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population.

When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.” In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.”

In the eastern states, the “problem” was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the time (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles”, Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man”, Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”).


Again, racism was part of the charge against marijuana, as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

Two other fear-tactic rumors started to spread: one, that Mexicans, Blacks and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana; and two, the story of the “assassins.” Early stories of Marco Polo had told of “hasheesh-eaters” or hashashin, from which derived the term “assassin.” In the original stories, these professional killers were given large doses of hashish and brought to the ruler’s garden (to give them a glimpse of the paradise that awaited them upon successful completion of their mission). Then, after the effects of the drug disappeared, the assassin would fulfill his ruler’s wishes with cool, calculating loyalty.

By the 1930s, the story had changed. Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: “Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp.” Within a very short time, marijuana started being linked to violent behavior.


During this time, the United States was also dealing with alcohol prohibition, which lasted from 1919 to 1933. Alcohol prohibition was extremely visible and debated at all levels, while drug laws were passed without the general public’s knowledge. National alcohol prohibition happened through the mechanism of an amendment to the constitution.

Earlier (1914), the Harrison Act was passed, which provided federal tax penalties for opiates and cocaine.

The federal approach is important. It was considered at the time that the federal government did not have the constitutional power to outlaw alcohol or drugs. It is because of this that alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment.

At that time in our country’s history, the judiciary regularly placed the tenth amendment in the path of congressional regulation of “local” affairs, and direct regulation of medical practice was considered beyond congressional power under the commerce clause (since then, both provisions have been weakened so far as to have almost no meaning).

Since drugs could not be outlawed at the federal level, the decision was made to use federal taxes as a way around the restriction. In the Harrison Act, legal uses of opiates and cocaine were taxed (supposedly as a revenue need by the federal government, which is the only way it would hold up in the courts), and those who didn’t follow the law found themselves in trouble with the treasury department.


In 1930, a new division in the Treasury Department was established — the Federal Bureau of Narcotics — and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. This, if anything, marked the beginning of the all-out war against marijuana.

WHO is Harry Anslinger?  

Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.

Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from “Gore Files” — wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and… Negroes. Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

“Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:

“In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”


WOW!!  You say?   Me too!  I can't believe what I'm reading?  I couldn't either.  But hold on...... it gets better....

Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he hated Mexicans. Second, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Third, he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Fourth, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold more newspapers, making him rich.


Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:

“Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days — Hashish goads users to bloodlust.”

“By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

And other nationwide columns…

“Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug.”

“Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”

Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.

This all set the stage for…


The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

After two years of secret planning, Anslinger brought his plan to Congress — complete with a scrapbook full of sensational Hearst editorials, stories of ax murderers who had supposedly smoked marijuana, and racial slurs.

It was a remarkably short set of hearings.

The one fly in Anslinger’s ointment was the appearance by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association.

Woodward started by slamming Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics for distorting earlier AMA statements that had nothing to do with marijuana and making them appear to be AMA endorsement for Anslinger’s view.

He also reproached the legislature and the Bureau for using the term marijuana in the legislation and not publicizing it as a bill about cannabis or hemp. At this point, marijuana (or marihuana) was a sensationalist word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people’s minds to the existing cannabis/hemp plant. Thus, many who had legitimate reasons to oppose the bill weren’t even aware of it.

Woodward went on to state that the AMA was opposed to the legislation and further questioned the approach of the hearings, coming close to outright accusation of misconduct by Anslinger and the committee:

“That there is a certain amount of narcotic addiction of an objectionable character no one will deny. The newspapers have called attention to it so prominently that there must be some grounds for [their] statements [even Woodward was partially taken in by Hearst's propaganda]. It has surprised me, however, that the facts on which these statements have been based have not been brought before this committee by competent primary evidence. We are referred to newspaper publications concerning the prevalence of marihuana addiction. We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.

But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.

You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children’s Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.

Inquiry of the Children’s Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.

Inquiry of the Office of Education— and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit— indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.

Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.

Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana of Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.

The bureau of Public Health Service has also a division of pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence.”

Committee members then proceeded to attack Dr. Woodward, questioning his motives in opposing the legislation. Even the Chairman joined in:

The Chairman: If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals, rather than criticism, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the Federal Government is trying to do. It has not only an unselfish motive in this, but they have a serious responsibility.

Dr. Woodward: We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for 2 years without any intimation, even, to the profession, that it was being prepared.

After some further bantering…

The Chairman: I would like to read a quotation from a recent editorial in the Washington Times:

The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities.

The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it.

The result is tragic.

School children are the prey of peddlers who infest school neighborhoods.

High school boys and girls buy the destructive weed without knowledge of its capacity of harm, and conscienceless dealers sell it with impunity.

This is a national problem, and it must have national attention.

The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug, and American children must be protected against it.

That is a pretty severe indictment. They say it is a national question and that it requires effective legislation. Of course, in a general way, you have responded to all of these statements; but that indicates very clearly that it is an evil of such magnitude that it is recognized by the press of the country as such.

And that was basically it. Yellow journalism won over medical science.

The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:

Member from upstate New York: “Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?”

Speaker Rayburn: “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind.”

“Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?”

Member on the committee jumps up and says: “Their Doctor Wentworth[sic] came down here. They support this bill 100 percent.”

And on the basis of that lie, on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.

The entire coverage in the New York Times: “President Roosevelt signed today a bill to curb traffic in the narcotic, marihuana, through heavy taxes on transactions.”

Anslinger as precursor to the Drug Czars

Anslinger was essentially the first Drug Czar. Even though the term didn’t exist until William Bennett’s position as director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy, Anslinger acted in a similar fashion. In fact, there are some amazing parallels between Anslinger and the current Drug Czar John Walters. Both had kind of a carte blanche to go around demonizing drugs and drug users. Both had resources and a large public podium for their voice to be heard and to promote their personal agenda. Both lied constantly, often when it was unnecessary. Both were racists. Both had the ear of lawmakers, and both realized that they could persuade legislators and others based on lies, particularly if they could co-opt the media into squelching or downplaying any opposition views.

Anslinger even had the ability to circumvent the First Amendment. He banned the Canadian movie “Drug Addict,” a 1946 documentary that realistically depicted the drug addicts and law enforcement efforts. He even tried to get Canada to ban the movie in their own country, or failing that, to prevent U.S. citizens from seeing the movie in Canada. Canada refused. ( Drug Czar John Walters is trying to bully Canada into keeping harsh marijuana laws.)

Anslinger had 37 years to solidify the propaganda and stifle opposition. The lies continued the entire time (although the stories would adjust — the 21 year old Florida boy who killed his family of five got younger each time he told it).

So to sum it up..... WHY is Marijuana illegal?  Because the many Americans have been brainwashed by the Federal Government, and don't realize the benefits and uses that they and loved ones have lost due to the prohibition of marijuana. 

Here we are in 2010, and 1 in 1.3 men will get cancer during their lifetime.  1 in 1.8 women will get cancer in their lifetime.  Marijuana has been shown to reduce tumors, stop seizures, ease pain, increase appetite, heal skin lesions, ease nasuea, induce sleep, increase quality of life, stop pain, reduce swelling, and is a very significant option for those who suffer from alcoholism, or drug dependence, especially those who have found themselves addicted to pain pills. 

It is time for the American people to STOP the NONSENSE, get ACTIVE, and VOTE for the legalization of marijuana.

Denver Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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