Maine Looks at Legalization, the Way it Should be.

State of Maine

Maine, the way life should be.

The old saying “as Maine goes, so goes the nation” may be put to the test over the next couple of years when it comes to legalizing marijuana. The state is primed to be one of the next states to legalize the popular recreational and medicinal drug cannabis. This past November Colorado and Washington states passed voter referendums to legalize cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol. Maine is in the running to be among the first states to pass a similar law through House legislation.

Representative Diane Russel announced that she would be submitting a bill to the Maine House of Representatives this session to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. She is still working on the final language for her bill, however she is currently collecting signatures for a petition to back her upcoming proposed legislation. Russel even brought her case to reddit, discussing legalization with the cool kids at /r/trees

Historically a “pot friendly” state, Maine READ MORE HERE DUDE


The Tree of Life

Mankind has been using the cannabis plant for thousands of years, it has given us food, fuel and shelter. Some of the oldest artifacts of ancient man show how early and comprehensive our interactions with the hemp plant have been.

The seeds, it’s fruit, are an excellent source of nourishment, and have been used as a food source since recorded time. It’s fibers have been used as rope and textiles, it has lashed our homes together, clothed us and powered our great sailings ships. Hemp seed oil has lit our lamps, bringing light into our darkest nights, it can even fuel our modern means of transportation. Henry Ford designed his first cars to run on hemp based bio-fuels. There are thousands of ways we have found the hemp plant beneficial to our physical survival and comfort.

Cannabis has also secured its place in our religious and spiritual lives, the intoxicating effects of THC have been associated with numerous religious traditions. In Hindu beliefs the god Shiva is said to have discovered cannabis’ “rejuvenating” qualities and is sometimes pictured with Bhang, a beverage made with cannabis still widely used in India today.

Some entomologists have argued that the holy anointing oil of the Bible contains cannabis as one of its main ingredients. The Sufi leader Haydar is said to have promoted the use of cannabis for spiritual purposes and Sihk worriers used it to treat fatigue and wounds, mental and physical, sustained on the battlefield. Today Rastafarians use cannabis regularly for both recreation and religious purposes, espaousing its physical and mental benefits.

Nearly all cultures that have related spirituality with cannabis have spoken of a “lightening of the heart” and a feeling of inter-connectedness with with world. Not just the world of man, but the animal and inanimate worlds as well. A sense of belonging to and being of natural world, not simply some distinct identity apart and separate from it. Many describe heightened awareness of nuance in music and art, feeling more like they are part of it than simply as an observer.

“The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse.” Carl Sagan

For some the use of cannabis is a truly spiritual experience, one of harmony and wholeness with the world, bringing a sense of peace and tranquility to their lives. It may not be for every one, and some may just be getting high, but to others it is a loving and life affirming sacrament of spiritual awakenings. Giving insights into the human condition and how we all share this amazing adventure, with the ability to sustain us in mind, body and soul it truly is a tree of life.


One for the WTF File

Have you heard this one? The Obama campaign is selling a hemp blend scarf to raise money to get Barry elected, meanwhile the DEA still wont let Americans grow hemp domestically. Yup you can get a cotton/hemp scarf at the Barak Obama Store, but you can only grow half the materials to make it the US.

Putting aside the folly of cannabis prohibition in general, why are we not growing hemp? Very many other countries grow commercial hemp, the hemp in this scarf might have come form Canada or China, but not the US. That’s crazy, really it is nuts. This is not your hippie uncle’s grow patch, hemp will not get you high. So why not, that’s the big question, and again it comes down to the stubborn and wrong headed thinking that cannabis belongs in the Schedule One Drug Class.

Hemp has been a crop since before history was recorded, likely one of the first crops mankind developed. It has nearly limitless uses for us humans, and could help in our struggle to reverse climate change. It is a crop that America needs, and has needed in the past, as demonstrated in the Hemp for Victory campaign, when the US encouraged hemp farming to support its effort in WWII.

If the President is going to sell hemp to help himself get re-elected, I think it’s time he told his DEA to back off, and let American farmers grow the stuff.


Former Fictional President Says War on Drugs is “Stupid”

In a recent Newsweek interview accomplished actor Morgan Freeman shared his thoughts on a few issues, of particular note to the limber mind were his thoughts on Marijuana legalization and the Drug War;

“Marijuana! Heavens, oh yeah. It’s just the stupidest law possible, given history. You don’t stop people from doing what they want to do, so forget about making it unlawful. You’re just making criminals out of people who aren’t engaged in criminal activity. And we’re spending zillions of dollars trying to fight a war we can’t win! We could make zillions, just legalize it and tax it like we do liquor. It’s stupid.”

Still, one has to wonder, surely Mr. Freeman knows that a lot of stoners like to get high and watch his Through the Wormhole series on the Science Channel. Is this just a cynical move to increase his ratings? Either way, I’ll be watching the next episode with a limber mind and even greater appreciation for Mr. Freeman.



Cannabis is Schedule I, Cuz We Say So.

Cannabis plant in flower stage

Cannabis Sativa

In June, DEA chief Michelle Leonhart gave us the now infamous “all illegal drugs are bad” m’kay, in answer to Representative Jared Polis’ question whether marijuana is as dangerous as Heroin. Leonhart’s answers were evasive and obtuse; that heroin is more dangerous than pot is a common understanding, and for her to sit there and try and equate the two bordered on offensive. This is indicative of the status quo, the more people ask why is cannabis prohibited, the more the reply is an arrogant, “cuz”

Video of Leonart’s Congressional testimony

This merely continues a long tradition of the government trying to prove it has just cause to wage a drug war, but coming up with no real evidence to back their claims. When Nixon called for the Shafer Commission to give him empirical proof about the dangers of cannabis use, and why prohibition is necessary. They came back with a report that concluded: cannabis use had no significant dangers associated with it, and they recommended a policy of decriminalization.

 [T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only ‘with the greatest reluctance. 

This didn’t fit the narrative Nixon was spinning, so the recommendations of the report were never implemented, and it met with a great deal of resistance. Nixon went on to launch the Drug War, declaring “we will wage an all-out war on drugs”. A war that more and more is being revealed to be a disastrous failure, with millions having been imprisoned and hundreds thousands dead.

Not the first time governments have asked for scientific basis in order to prohibit one of humanities oldest products, and have been disappointed that the experts don’t agree with the prohibition model in regards to cannabis. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, a 3000 plus page tome, reached the same conclusions the Shafer Commission would later reach. That in all but the rare and extreme cases, there is virtually no harm from the moderate, even habitual, use of cannabis. Both further concluded that the drugs use had near zero effect on society and tended to make its users less violent.

Now just days after Leonhart’s tipsy toeing of the government line on cannabis, yet another study comes out contradicting marijuana’s placement in schedule one of the Controlled substances Act. Drugs in Schedule I of the act are to be ones that have a high risk of addiction and abuse, they are also to have no accepted medical use. A new study released in the government sponsored open Neurology Journal, came to a very different conclusion when it comes to marijuana’s potential medicinal benefits. The report, Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke, concluded: “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

So yet again, the government finances a study that proves its own policy on cannabis is wrong. Lacking scientific reasoning, the only argument left for the continued prohibition and placement of cannabis as a Schedule I drug comes down to: “Because we say so”.