Reefer Madness Redux

When are we ever going to get it? The laws that include Marijauna as a class A drug right up there with heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone, morphine, opium, pethidine and penylcyclidine were originated by an effort of Henry Anslinger to promote marijuana as the drug of ax murderers. He is the guy who engineered the film “Reefer Madness” in order to promote the idea that America needed a second armed police force to deal with such drugs. The hysteria he generated gave us the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). The marijuana he attacked in the 30’s was a minor herb compared to the hybridized and genetically manipulated monster we have among us today. We must take responsibility for creating this monster. Just as we must take responsibility for the enormity of the market we create when we make it illegal. Nothing makes a product more successful than making it illegal. We must admit we have done this to ourselves. We are the monstrous society that has created this monster—and others too wonderful for inclusion here.

The question is what to do? Do we continue to incarcerate one in thirty Americans, prop up the incredible for profit prison system in the United States? Or do we try to find someway out of our self imposed lunacy. The question that was asked of Obama Open for Questions forum yesterday: “With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?” was bizarre on two fronts. First, it was amazing that he answered such a question: Bush an his cronies would never have tolerated such an impertinence, especially when the V.P. had invested so much money in for profit prisons. Secondly it was amazing that Americans seem so energized by the problem and so needy that they want to hear this president consider decriminalizing marijuana.

One has to wonder what would happen were the United States to suddenly abandon this prohibition. Could things be any worse than they are as we speak? It would certainly remove the income from one of the biggest narcotics gang enterprises in America. And it certainly might generate considerable cash for the tax revenue.

Did you know that the United States Government has the medical use of marijuana? After years of denying that there is any medical value in Marijuana, they have been issued Patent 6630507 titled “ Cannaboids as antioxidants and neruoprotecatants.” The patent claims that “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia” [].

Someone somewhere is not telling the truth to the American people. Duh, I wonder who that might be.

Now the Obama administration has eased up on the Federal Government’s attack on medical marijuana so that there will be no more raids on the distribution of medical marijuana in states were that is allowed. A good first step, perhaps. But what is needed is a thorough review of the problem and a rapid move to decriminalizing the drug.

But in the midst of the rapid mobilization of our resources to save the economy from the Republican inspired wreckage this is one fight we do not need to wage right now. I agree with Obama that now is not the time, but the time must and should come soon. Like so many other traumas inflicted upon us by our Republican jackbooted friends, this is one that has to be solved and soon.