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Monday, October 11, 2010

Cannabis - God's gift to the world.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11)

God gave us cannabis; a herb yielding seed and he saw that it was good.

Some translations of the bible simply replace the word 'herb' with the word 'plant'. Either way, cannabis is a plant or a herb which yields seed.  It was created by God and for good.  Now if it was good enough for God to create this plant for us, then it is good enough for us to use it.  

Cannabis is arguably the most useful and beneficial plant in God's inventory, yet man saw fit during the 20th century to ban it.  Please explain how one bans nature?

For thousands of years, all civilizations relied on hemp (a product of the cannabis plant) for clothing, shipping, building and food.  Even the mighty American empire was founded on hemp and into the 20th century many American farmers grew the product for use in maritime and military applications.  During World War II, the US government encouraged and relied on farmer to produce hemp.  The US government was so proud of their reliance on hemp that they produced a short film called "Hemp for Victory".

Products made from cannabis have the ability to reduce our environmental footprint, improve our health and remove our reliance on expensive medicines.  Some of the products derived from cannabis include:
  • biodiesel fuel
  • medicinal use
  • building products such as decking, fencing, roofing
  • other products such as brake linings
  • hemp was used for years by sailors for sails, ropes, rigging, nets, clothing, shoes, flags, shrouds and oakum. The word canvas is derived from the Greek word kannabis.
  • it was used for years for linen, drapes, rugs, tents 
  • food, eg oils, seeds, dietary fibre
  • clothing
  • paper

Cannabis does not have a negative impact on the environment, unlike cotton.  For example, cotton requires significant pesticides and fertilizers.  Cannabis has no natural weed or insect enemies and grows rapidly unlike forests, it requires a quarter of the land that cotton does and does not deplete the soil like cotton does yet produces clothing which is finer, softer, warmer and more durable than cotton.  To increase the fibre quality of hemp products, the plants are grown closer together.

The hallucinogenic properties of cannabis are caused by a compound called tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC). Governments of some countries, including Australia, have authorised the regulated production of low-THC cannabis for industrial purposes.  This type of cannabis does not have the hallucinatory effects that THC-containing cannabis does, nor does it have the medicinal properties THC-containing cannabis does. It is the THC which provides the healing and relieving properties of many illnesses including bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, convulsions tuberculosis, nausea, epilepsy, stroke, wasting from cancer, AIDS or anorexia etc, attention deficit disorder, tourette's syndrome, migraine, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, bipolar, alzheimers, glaucoma and treats the side effects of chemotherapy.  Medical investigators in Spain have discovered that cannabis shrinks brain tumours (refer to   For thousands of years, the inhalation of marijuana smoke has been used to treat the symptoms of asthma as it causes bronchial dilation for more than an hour which makes it more effective than a bronchiodilator.

Won't legalisation increase people's usage of it?  Cannabis is not a physically addictive drug. Police can test if someone is under the influence although this testing is flawed, because it does not show if the person merely was in the presence of someone smoking it nor does it show the level of THC in their system.  THC can remain detectable for up to 8 weeks but it does not affect the person for that period of time.  Driver testing needs to be improved to determine if the person's driving is impaired. Having said that, there is a big difference between someone driving under the influence of cannabis and someone driving under the influence of alcohol.  Under cannabis, most people can still judge distance, they aren't encouraged to speed and are generally aware of their limitations and modify their driving to account for it.  Under alcohol a driver's ability to judge speed and distance is greatly affected as is their ability to drive in a straight line or to negotiate corners.  Persons driving under the influence of cannabis do not have this problem.

Benefits from legalisation:
  • tax for the government if grown commercially
  • keeps normally law abiding citizens out of the prison system (which is merely a university for crime).
  • it is not a 'gateway' drug in the sense that using it does not encourage a person to step up to other drugs. However, whilst it remains illegal and users are buying it from drug dealers there is the possibility of dealers offering other drugs such as LSD, cocaine, speed and so on which users may be enticed to buy. Legalising cannabis will remove this problem.
No-one has ever directly died from the ingestion of cannabis whereas many legal compounds have directly caused the deaths of thousands of people. The below table is reprinted from and similar statistics are provided at

In Section 8, pages 56-57 of Judge Young's ruling on the United States Department of Justice (Drug Enforcement Administration) Matter for the Petition for Rescheduling of Marijuana he stated:

  • 4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
  • 9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.

Marijuana has been consumed by millions of people over thousands of years with NO recorded fatalities.  During the 19th century many pharmaceutical medicines were prescribed by doctors to treat a range of ailments.  It was even prescribed to children at levels which far exceed that ingested by the average cannabis user today.  The worst effect documented was paranoia.

It is without doubt the most useful plant that God has given us, yet governments persist in maintaining the criminalisation of it. Perhaps governments and pharmaceutical companies are more concerned with the loss of revenue from people being able to self-medicate rather than being reliant on expensive and often times ineffective remedies. The world will not end with the re-legalisation of cannabis and in fact, will be greatly improved through the increased production of cannabis, resulting in reduced harmful effects on the environment and improved health and treatment of ailments.

Re-legalise cannabis.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Legislating freedom?

From Nazi Germany to the War on Terror - the use of fear & racism to implement Fascism with the approval of the deceived populace.

One month after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, there was a suspicious fire in the Reichstag (German Parliament).  Hitler and the Nazi party used this event to spread fear of communist terrorism plots and take-overs within the Germany population, resulting in the enabling of the Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State otherwise known as the Reichstag Fire Decree and Enabling Act 1933.  This Act severely limited the rights of German citizens, paved the way for the one party state, increased the power of the military and law enforcement bodies and the apprehension of citizens and non-citizens, in particular those who were Jewish, communist, members of trade unions or other areas nominated as being a threat to the state.  The decree stated 'It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom , freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed'.

Within 10 minutes of Soviet Union President Joseph Stalin being advised of the assassination of Leningrad chief Sergei Kirov, he ordered the enactment of an emergency law which decreed that the judicial process must be hastened when dealing with terrorism.  Stalin's new law stated that accused terrorists must be brought to trial within 10 days of being charged and that they must be executed immediately after judgement without right of appeal.  This law was used to as the basis for the purges of the late 1930's which resulted in the deaths and imprisonment of millions of his own citizens.

Interestingly, eight months after George W Bush was appointed the President of the USA, the terrible attacks of 11 September 2001 occurred.  Following this, much of the world and certainly the population of the USA was frightened of further terrorism being perpetrated by Islamic militants.  Within a month, George W Bush had passed the USA Patriot Act, otherwise known as the 'Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001'.  This Act greatly increased the power of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, border security, apprehension and long term detention of both citizens and non-citizens without charge, limited freedom of expression and the freedom of the media.

In Australia, the Liberal Party government under Prime Minister John Howard strengthened Australia's laws for dealing with suspected terrorists following the introduction of three bills by Attorney General Phil Ruddock, namely the Anti-terrorism bill, 2004, the Anti-terrorism bill (No 2), 2004 and the Anti-terrorism bill (No 3), 2004 and the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005.  Opposition parties criticised the lack of time allowed for consultation and the severity of the legislation which included 'shoot to kill' provisions, as well as severely limiting discussion around the application of the Act in specific circumstances.  For instance, the Criminal Code Act describes that it is a criminal offence to reveal that the person was detained under the Act, this applies to the person being detained, their lawyer, interpreter, parents or anyone else who becomes aware of the detention.  The Act has almost unlimited power to severely restrict freedoms of a suspect.  The issue with this Act is not that it is combating terrorism but that anyone who is merely a suspect can be detained involuntarily for ongoing periods, can be placed under house arrest, can be barred from speaking about their detention - all without charge.  This legislation limits freedom of expression in that people expressing dissenting opinions can be charged with sedition and imprisoned.

Is there a correlation between the Reichstag Act, Stalin's emergency law, the Patriot Act and Australia's anti-terrorism laws?  The governments of George W Bush and John Howard are far removed from that of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.  My reason for making the comparison however, is to warn that we need to learn from lessons of the past.  Terrorists certainly need to be dealt with and police need powers to address terrorism, but isn't it a victory for terrorists if the freedoms that countries such as the USA and Australia cherish are removed by their own governments in knee-jerk responses to a fear of terrorism?

The citizens of Hitler's Germany blamed certain people groups for the threats facing their economy and security as a result of Nazi propaganda and subsequently embraced the removal of their freedoms.  Stalin, fearing the peasants and others who may or may not have been opposed to him, forced the emergency laws on his citizenry in the name of security and defence of the Soviet Union.

Many Australians and Americans embraced the removal of their freedoms because of fear of terrorism by supporting the introduction of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Patriot Act respectively.

The introduction of these laws justified in the minds of many people the link between terrorism and asylum seekers.  The Acts also provided justification to many people that all Muslims needed to be treated with suspicion.  The Acts sadly increased the level of hostility between different racial and religious groups which we have seen expressed through increased acts of violence from some segments of the community.  It must be borne in mind that the actions of a few rarely reflect the attitudes, opinions and behaviours of the majority of people in that national, racial or religious group.

Yes, terrorism needs to be fought, but it is important to segregate the crime from the community in order to promote tolerance, respect and dignity of all persons.  Without these basic human rights, acts of terrorism and violence will flourish as we have seen in Hitler's Germany and in countries where people are persecuted because of their race, religion or beliefs.