It is time to make joints (of marijuana)
available over the shop counter and as a health treatment
I first smoked weed (marijuana) in a cave on the Matala beach in Crete with some other hippies in the Summer of Love in 1967. I never looked back from those weeks on that Greek island. I smoked marijuana and hashish from time to time in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Laos and the rest of south east Asia. Ancient India regarded marijuana as a sacred plant owing to its medicinal properties. Hippies also adopted the tradition of thanking God (Siva) after inhaling smoke from a joint. Boom Shankar (The Sound of Siva)..
Marijuana and hashish come from cannabis, a variety of the hemp plant. Hemp can provide hemp oil, wax, rope, clothes, pulp, paper, and fuel. We need to grow much, much more hemp worldwide to replace cancer causing tobacco crops. Marijuana users get their high from smoking or eating the female flower tops and perhaps with the rest of the plant as well. Hashish consists of using the sticky resin of the cannabis plant pressed into brown lumps. Man, hashish is definitively stronger than weed. Travellers on the hippy trail from Turkey to south east Asia in 1967 would compare the high of marijuana available in various countries en route. There was a general agreement that Buddha Weed from Thailand generated the best high from marijuana while Afghanistan produced the best hash.
I smoked weed for the last time in Java with young Indonesian hippies in February 1970. Om Siva. Two months later, I took ordination in Thailand as a Buddhist monk. The high of marijuana serves consciousness for recreational or medicinal purposes. Frankly, weed (and hash) seems like kindergarten experiences compared to the highs and the depths available through meditation, power of stillness, calm concentration, harmony of the energies and the expansion of consciousness.
The Addiction of Cigarettes and Alcohol
Two of the most harmful and addictive substances known to humankind are tobacco and alcohol.
- How many people died in Britain last year from smoking cigarettes? Approximately 100,000.
- How many people died in Britain last year from smoking weed? 0
- Alcohol is one of the biggest contributors to developing sickness and early death in the UK.
- How many people developed sickness and an early death from smoking weed? 0
- Alcohol triggers domestic and street violence.
- How many people who chill out to smoke weed become violent at home and on the streets? Negligible.
There are entire communities of people worldwide who enjoy and appreciate the recreational benefits of smoking marijuana or enjoying their weed cooked into a cake. Why not? Smoking weed gives an expansive sense of beings, lightness to heart and mind, relaxes stress and increases level of friendship with others. People have enjoyed weed for many centuries and also employ the plant for spiritual and religious ceremonies, as well as for chilling out. It is hard to think of another plant combing so much enjoyment and medicinal properties – thus showing its suitability for all kinds of people. To its everlasting credit, our hippy generation of the 1960’s discovered and experienced the benefits of weed, as we passed the joint round from one to another to experience in a blissful harmony. OM.
Politicians and the Police
We realized, too, that alcohol/cigarette smoking addicted politicians and the corporate world would not tolerate weed. Smoking a joint encourages a more relaxed view about life and starts conversations on love, peace and harmony. These politicians and corporate ideologues could not tolerate such values as they would interfere with the Darwinian madness of competition, striving to make money and being successful at the expense of others. Weed had to be banned.
Prison sentences, long and short, had to be imposed on those who grew marijuana. Smokers of weed had to be punished. Medical scientists had to come up with a danger from smoking weed and make claims that it would lead to dangerous drugs. Does McDonald feed the tendency to obesity? If so, we should pass laws to close every McDonalds worldwide first. How many obese people do you know who do not eat regularly hamburgers and French fries?
Weed might reduce stress and neurotic striving to be somebody. Using weed and some inner reflection, workaholics and addicted consumers might start to live sane lives and take a more relaxed view about being in the world.
There is no encouragement for this view. Our political masters and the judiciary order armed police to smash down the front doors of weed smokers in their council homes. The police have been watching too many Hollywood movies. Police officers, who smoke weed, must surely realize the absurdity of engaging in busts in homes in poor living areas while claiming arrests of drug barons. It is rather like arresting children in playgrounds if they eat biscuits and potato chips.
Widespread use of weed might well help to make some contribution, even small, to reduce violence, alcohol and tobacco addiction. The country would save billions of £££s spent on health care. The authorities reject the evidence of certain social benefits of smoking a joint.
The Benefits of Weed
Weed is a herbal treatment for well-being and health in mind/body/spirit and a plant suitable for recreational enjoyment. It does not cause suffering, heart disease, diabetes or lead to an early death, such as with cigarettes, alcohol and a diet of junk food.
It is surely a no-brainer when it comes to the issue of legalising weed. It is a helpful and harmless plant. Of course, anyone who smokes weed morning, noon and night might well experience various confused states of mind, including paranoia. We experience harm to ourselves with any kind of gross excess.
Yet, we cannot ignore the growing medical evidence that confirm the benefits of smoking weed. What are the health benefits to smoking weed for health purposes? We see from scientific research that weed:
- Contributes to reducing some levels of depression
- Reduces addictive eating leading to obesity
- Relieves anxiety and reduces restless, agitated outbursts
- Helps those suffering from epileptic seizures
- Supports cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
- Reduces the power of migraines
- Reduces pain from rheumatoid arthritis enabling patients to relax and sleep.
- Reduces dependency on opiate based medication
- Helps people with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) to handle discomfort and pain
- Helps people with bi-polar problems to experience greater capacity to focus and calm down.
- Reduces side effects from prescribed heavy drugs: nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and dark moods
- Can trigger creativity, fresh ideas and help develop a beneficial attitude to situations.
Our judiciary denies citizens the opportunity to grow and smoke weed for recreational enjoyment or for medical purposes or both. Slowly, a more relaxed view about marijuana develops from our leaders and the police. This is welcome.
Why Decriminalise Marijuana
There is a very important reason to decriminalise marinjuana. The decriminalisation of marijuana supports those who become addicted to marijuana. Those addicted to marijuana will hesitate to seek professional help because marijuana is a banned substance. Addicts will feel free to seek treatment if they know there is no possibility of criminal charges being brought against them.
Marijuana addicts form their relationship with weed as their primary relationship. The consciousness of the addict lives in a pleasant, seductive cloud alienated from loved ones. Addicts end up suppressing their emotional life, especially fear, sometimes paranoia, and anger. They cannot handle situations which they cannot control. Anger feeds the reactivity, which comes out in sudden outbursts of shouting and yelling.
Loved ones, including children, pay the price for the addicts disconnection, disinterest and outbursts of anger. Abuse of the weed has both a personal and social cost. Frequent and habitual use of marijuana affects wise judgement, clarity of mind and the ability to show empathy to others.
It is unfortunate that those addicted to marijuana make Parliament hesitate from passing legislation for the vast majority of people who use marijuana occasionally for recreational purposes or medication for specific situations.
Alcohol is legal despite alcohol causing more than 100,000 deaths per year, plus the anxiety of a families, friends and colleagues seeing their loved ones die from cancer, alcoholism and chemical saturated food
It is time to decriminalise marijuana for the welfare of addicts needing treatment and recognition of marijuana for occasional use.