Wednesday, May 27, 2020

🌿 The Cannabis Conspiracy 🌿


“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

                                                                                                  ~ John Ehrlichman 

Ehrlichman worked for the Nixon campaign and white house. He was directly involved with watergate. 
(Photo Credit: jezebel.com)

Cannabis originated in Asia and has been cultivated and used by humans for at least 12,000 years. When Europeans first came to America their sales were made of hemp fiber. “It was so fundamental to America’s foundations that its image was printed on money.” The Vikings and medieval German civilizations used weed to relieve pain during childbirth. The idea that weed is an “evil drug” is a very recent construction and the fact that this plant is illegal is a historical anomaly.

The US has a long history of criminalizing cannabis. It's been used as a tool for both mass incarceration as well as for its medical benefits; such as to fight the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.

“Cannabis sativa, known as marijuana, has psychoactive properties. The other plant is Cannabis sativa L. (The L was included in the name in honor of the botanist Carl Linnaeus.) This subspecies is known as hemp; it is a non psychoactive form of cannabis, and is incredibly versatile and extremely useful. It can be used for a wide variety of products including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. CBD oil especially has recently become extremely popular. You might have seen it at your local health food store. It’s in lotions, lattΓ©s, etc. But what is CBD oil?

CBD is cannabidiol and it’s essentially oil taken from the cannabis plant with the THC removed. THC is what gets you high, CBD is what makes you healthy. It used to be classified in the same category as heroin and cocaine. CBD is now legal in all 50 states because it can be separated from THC. *(If CBD comes from a hemp plant with less than 0.3 percent THC, you can buy it under federal law — but some states still have legal restrictions on the possession of CBD.)

Some health benefits of CBD include helping to manage anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, alleviate cancer symptoms, and even combat against arthritis pain. Like with any drug, CBD affects people differently. Some negative side effects include, liver problems, diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue. According to Dr. Greenspoon of Harvard University there just hasn’t been enough research done to say for sure what exactly the positive or negative effects are. CBD is currently mostly available as an unregulated supplement. That being said, it’s popularity has continued to grow and the positive side effects greatly outweigh the negative effects to a lot of people. You can likely get CBD at your local health food store or you can order some online.

THC is another cannabidiol and it's what gets you high and it’s usually what people associate with the green plant. Countless smear campaigns by various different companies paint people who smoke weed as losers/druggies/the lowest of society but that's just not true. There are so many healthy benefits of THC that it just makes no sense that it would be illegal.

Most drugs are neurotoxic, meaning that they kill brain cells. (Like cigarettes and alcohol). But THC is considered to be neuroprotectant. Which means that it actually protects brain cells from damage. A study in 2014 found that people with THC in their systems were 80 percent less likely to die from traumatic head injuries than those without.

THC has also shown to be a highly effective treatment for PTSD. Some psychiatrists even say that THC-rich cannabis is the only treatment for PTSD. It may also stimulate brain growth. It stimulates a process in your brain known as long-term potentiation which improves the brain’s ability to learn.

Scientists also discovered that like CBD, THC causes brain cells in the hippocampus to grow. Some research even suggests that THC can protect spatial memories. This is why cannabis can be used to treat brain diseases such as Alzheimers.

Other THC benefits include that it is an antioxidant, it’s antibacterial, a bronchodilator, and an anti-inflammatory. 

Protesters in Washington DC 1971
(Wally McNamee/Corbis/Getty Images)

For something with seemingly such good healthy benefits, why would the government try and make it illegal? There are a lot of conspiracy theories about this. I'm only gonna touch on a few, but if you’re super interested in this stuff there are countless documentaries you can watch on the subject. It's truly mind blowing and there's definitely something going on.  

The Theories

  • During Nixon's presidency he criminalized drugs to make his enemies - black people and left leaning hippies - look bad. (This was the quote at top of the article.) 
  • Marijuana has the potential to help people open their third eyes and connect spiritually to the earth/universe/etc. By keeping deep spiritual connection cut off it creates a society that is easy to control. 
  • Cannabis can be used for so many things and would solve a lot of problems. Therefore there would be less problems to solve to make money off of. 
    • Cigarettes and alcohol both cause a lot of health problems that lead to both medical bills and death costs. Without their prevalence in society there would be less of these costs therefore less money to make off them. Keeping people sick means more money to make off of their suffering. 
    • With more problems there’s more ways to profit off of half-assed solutions.
    • Things Cannabis can be used for…
      • Paper - (Hemp fiber is stronger than wood fiber and it doesn’t turn yellow and is very durable. They are also much faster to grow than trees)
      • Hemp seed can be used to make biodegradable plastic, removing toxic waste needed to make oil-based plastics
      • A large variety of food products can be generated from hemp. The seeds contain one of the highest sources of protein in nature. (They also have two essential fatty acids that clean your body of cholesterol.)
      • Medical Marijuana is natural and healthier for your body than chemical treatments
      • Clothing, paints, etc. can also be made from cannabis
    • “Pot is illegal because billionaires want to remain billionaires”

To me, it doesn’t make any sense for this plant to be illegal. The whole premise is stupid. How can you make a plant - something that's natural that comes from the earth - illegal? Especially when you consider the medical benefits and how it can be used to reduce costs and environmental impact in industrial ways.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many other founding fathers even grew Cannabis. From 1763 to 1769 it was actually illegal to refuse to grow Cannabis in Virginia. (G. M. Herdon. Hemp in Colonial Virginia).

To me, it seems pretty obvious that this is all a conspiracy to keep people from having access to a plant that would solve a lot of problems. From medical issues to industrial sustainability, it makes more money for people for there to be more problems in the world.

The good news is that the social stigma around Hemp/weed is changing and so far 11 states have fully legalized recreational marijuana. CBDs health benefits and popularity is spreading far and wide and Hemp clothing/products are gaining in popularity as well. The University of Connecticut even has a college course on growing weed.

It’s truly just a matter of time before Cannabis is fully legal and utilized the way it should be. And honestly it’s about damn time we did.

(Photo Credit: Simon, Peter 1968)

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