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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy 4:20 on 4/20

Happy 420!


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April 20 has been designated as global cannabis appreciation day. It is a day to let the world know that this beautiful plant genus is part of our society and one of the most important bounties of nature. As our civilization evolves, it is becoming essential for us to celebrate this day and share the wealth and knowledge that comes from harvesting and consuming what we have so generously been provided with.


Cannabis Sativa 'Blueberry' - source

Unfortunately however, as the Western World develops it is becoming more bipolar. While many countries upon analyzing the evidence for ending prohibition begin to lax their laws for possession, the governments of Canada and the United States are intensifying their war against cannabis.

In Canada, our Conservative government, lead by neoconservative Stephen Harper, is in the processes of dismantling Canada. They are doing this by implementing the Security and Prosperity Partnership and adopting the failed US “War on Drugs” policy. Their most recent attempt to implement this plan is by introducing Bill C-26 which is a US inspired mandatory minimum prison sentence for the possession of marijuana. “A person could be jailed for at least 6 months for the crime of growing as little as one marijuana plant if this legislation passes.”

In the United States, the most recent statistics are revealing that police are targeting and arresting minor marijuana offenders. Marijuana arrests in the US have topped previous records and are costing taxpayers billions of dollars per year. This brutal policy has created a prison population that is equivalent to being the 4th largest city in the United States.

US Marijuana Arrests 1965-2006

Since our governments, corporations, and media are trying so desperately to wage war against nature by continuing their neo-conservative agenda, I thought it would be a good idea to summarize some of the medical benefits, social activities, and history of one of the most beautiful creations in nature - Ganja (also known as cannabis, marijuana, weed, pot, herb, grass, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk, kif, Maui wowie, the chronic, and Bud).

THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, is concentrated in the flower of the cannabis plant, and since flowers are the sex organs of a plant, I can not envision a better way to spend a day than smoking some BC Bud. So yours truly will be taking part of the day off while enjoying this exquisite bounty of nature. However I have compiled the following information for those who wish to join in the festivities or want to learn more about this plant.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that those who consume cannabis are not criminals. They are your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and your children, and many have been sacrificed to further the agenda of certain individuals and organizations who feed off the profits from the criminalization of this simple plant that has the potential to save us and our environment.

The information presented has been broken down into the following sections for ease of reference:

1) History and Introduction

2) Medical News

3) News and Economics

4) Entertainment

5) Religion and Spirituality

6) Environment

7) Social Networking and Activism

8) Education


History and Introduction

Timeline: The following site www.concept420.com has published a timeline documenting the historical use of Marijuana starting from 6000 B.C. where Cannabis seeds were used in China for food, all the way up to June 2003 where Canada became the “first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to its patients”. This data was acquired from Erowid with the additional information of Canada’s medical marijuana legislation.

Event: Origin of 420 - This day is Marijuana appreciation day. “April 20, and the significance of the date could be religious or infamous, depending on whom you ask. But for many who describe themselves as members of the counterculture, April 20 -- or 4/20 -- is a day to celebrate the pleasures of altered consciousness, loosen the bonds of convention and, in short, slack off and smoke a lot of pot.”

Video: 420 Revealed: A Day of Peace (7:52) - “HIGH TIMES Editor-in-Chief Steven Hager visits ABC News to explain the origin and significance of 420 in this 2002 interview. Noting incidents of violence surrounding a day of peace -- a trend sadly continued by the Virginia Tech shootings -- Hager calls for the date to also be used for an exploration into the cause of such tragedies.”

History: A brief history of the criminalization of cannabis - “Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You'll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate. You'll also see that the history of marijuana's criminalization is filled with: Racism, Fear, Protection of Corporate Profits, Yellow Journalism, Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators, and Personal Career Advancement and Greed.”


Medical News

Medical News: Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows - “The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.”

Suppression: U.S. Government Repressed Marijuana-Tumor Research - “A Spanish medical team’s study released in Madrid in February 2000 has shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana, destroys tumors in lab rats. These findings, however, are not news to the U.S. government. A study in Virginia in 1974 yielded similar results but was suppressed by the DEA, and in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration tried to persuade U.S. universities and researchers to destroy all cannabis research work done between 1966 and 1976, including compendiums in libraries.”

Medical News: Cannabis sativa hemp, the miracle plant, contains the cure for cancer and other ailments - “My name is Rick Simpson. I have been providing people with Hemp Oil medicines, at no cost, for about three years. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Throughout man's history hemp has always been known as the most medicinal plant in the world. Even with this knowledge, hemp has always been used as a political and religious football. I want this knowledge out there for everyone to learn! Watch the documentary Run From The Cure to understand more about using cannabis as a cure for cancer and other medical problems!”

Medical News: New Studies Destroy the Last Objection to Medical Marijuana - “New research on "vaporization" has demonstrated that all those fears about the ill effects of smoking marijuana are 100 percent obsolete….Unlike smoking, a vaporizer does not burn the plant material, but heats it just to the point at which the THC and the other cannabinoids vaporize…. In a rational world, the government officials objecting to medical marijuana based on the health risks of smoking would greet this research with open arms. They would join with groups like the Marijuana Policy Project in spreading the word about this important, health-enhancing technology.”

Video: Valerie Corral at 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference (32:15) - “Co-founder of WAMM (Wo/men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana) in Santa Cruz,CA, Valerie tells of the amazing help that Cannabis brings to the terminally ill, with spiritual benefits from a mindful approach to life and death in hospice. Conference hosted by Patients Out of Time.”

Medical News: Marijuana Ingredient May Prevent Mad Cow Disease - “According to basic research of scientists of the National Centre for Scientific Research in Valbonne, France, cannabidiol (CBD) may prevent the development of prion diseases, the most known being BSE (bovine spongiforme enzephalopathy), which is often called mad cow disease.”

Medical News: Marijuana skin cream could help allergies - “The chemicals that give marijuana its mood-altering kick might also be an option for treating skin allergies, according to a study done in mice.”

Scientific Research: Nature’s Themed issue: Cannabinoid Receptor 2: CB2 Receptors (January 2008 Volume 153, No 2) - “This issue has been edited by Ruth Ross and Ken Mackie and contains 16 review articles and 5 original articles which seek to give further insight into the function and role of the hitherto enigmatic CB2 receptor. The meeting ‘CB2 cannabinoid receptors: New vistas’ was held in Banff, Canada in 2007 and was organized by Keith Sharkey, Ken Mackie, Betty Yao, Marnie Duncan and Ruth Ross. This meeting was designed to bring together scientists studying CB2 receptors from diverse perspectives, including those interested in the chemistry of CB2 ligands, the role of CB2 receptors in normal biological processes, and the involvement of CB2 receptors in pathological processes.”

News: Former Surgeon General: Mainstream Medicine Has Endorsed Medical Marijuana - “The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group in the United States. Its 124,000 members are doctors specializing in internal medicine and related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary disease, oncology and infectious diseases. The College publishes Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world. In a landmark position paper released in February, these distinguished physicians are saying what many of us have been arguing for years: Most of our laws have gotten it wrong when it comes to medical marijuana, and it's time for public policy to get in step with science.”

Medical News: Smoked Marijuana Improved ADHD Driver's Performance - “Researchers noted that 'people with ADHD are found to violate traffic regulations, to commit criminal offences and to be involved in traffic accidents more often than the statistical norm' and conclude from their investigation that 'it has to be taken into account that in persons with ADHD THC may have atypical and even performance-enhancing effects.'”

Medical News: Marijuana can prevent cancer, not cause it - “The Office of National Drug Control Policy has been spending millions of taxpayer dollars on advertisements and printed material declaring that marijuana causes cancer. The truth is just the opposite - marijuana can prevent cancer. Recent research has shown that the cannabinoids found in marijuana can not only halt the spread of cancer but can also kill cancer cells.”

Medical News: Marijuana May Slow Alzheimer's - “THC, the key compound in marijuana, may also be the key to new drugs for Alzheimer's disease. That's because the marijuana compound blocks the formation of brain-clogging Alzheimer's plaques better than current Alzheimer's drugs. The finding -- in test-tube studies -- comes from the lab of Kim Janda, PhD, director of the Worm Institute of Research and Medicine at Scripps Research Institute.”

Medical News: Results from Two Studies of Marijuana and Multiple Sclerosis - “Two recent studies – one conducted in Great Britain and one in Canada – provide new information about the possible effectiveness of marijuana or its derivatives as a treatment for MS symptoms.”

News: Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain - “A synthetic chemical similar to the active ingredient in marijuana makes new cells grow in rat brains. What is more, in rats this cell growth appears to be linked with reducing anxiety and depression. The results suggest that marijuana, or its derivatives, could actually be good for the brain.”


News and Economics

News: Pot Prisoners Cost Americans $1 Billion a Year - “The new report is noteworthy because it undermines the common claim from law enforcement officers and bureaucrats, specifically White House drug czar John Walters, that few, if any, Americans are incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. In reality, nearly 1 out of 8 U.S. drug prisoners are locked up for pot. Of course, several hundred thousand more Americans are arrested each year for violating marijuana laws, costing taxpayers another $8 billion dollars annually in criminal justice costs.”

News: Researchers say marijuana is less of a drag than cigarettes - “A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine was completed on 5,263 teenage students in Switzerland and is producing some hair raising results. In line with a lot of studies that have been released in 2007 and 2008, this study boldly claims that it has found that marijuana use does not produce the fearful symptoms spread by anti-drug groups. The study seems to make a case that teenagers who use only marijuana, opposed to students who use marijuana and cigarettes are more active in sports, have better grades, are more socially adept and have used less illegal drugs.”

Article: Marijuana, War on Drugs, the Prison Industrial Complex, and a couple of Documentaries - “While we wait for Mr. Fleming’s movie to hit the theaters, why not enjoy some of the other great documentaries out there about Marijuana and the complete disaster known as the ‘War on Drugs’ (Please note that the first few minutes of the first movie are in Dutch, but the rest is in English).”

News: Denver 'Legalizes' Possession of Marijuana, Again - “The measure, which passed with a solid 57% of the vote, reads as follows: 'The Denver Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office shall make the investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses, where the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the City’s lowest law enforcement priority.'”

Video: Police Officer Steals Marijuana (0:55) - “Police Officer bakes brownies then calls 911 and says ‘I think we are dying.’ This shows us how little the law enforcement community actually knows about Marijuana and its effects. By making this call, the officer actually admits to stealing and consuming an illegal substance. Should not he then be charged with possession and theft? Why was he allowed to just resign? Is he above the law? This is Pathetically hilarious if you consider how many people are rotting in jail for lesser crimes.”

Coverup: Global drug Czar refuses to answer questions regarding the use of Cannabis from an NGO representative

Information: On the Legalization — or Not — of Marijuana - “Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent by the government since 1937 to both enforce and prolong marijuana prohibition. Meanwhile, over 19 million people have been arrested since 1965 (830,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2006 with 89 percent on possession-only charges), and an estimated 45,000 to 65,000 marijuana-only prisoners are currently incarcerated. There are more marijuana arrests annually than arrests for all violent crimes combined. As such, the moral and economic imperatives are clear in seeking logical and pragmatic alternatives to prohibition.”

News: Marijuana arrests in 2006 hit an all time record in the United States, where police arrested a record 829,625 persons for marijuana violations. However, now in 2008, with the slumping economy, “lawmakers from California to Kentucky are trying to save money with a drastic and potentially dangerous budget-cutting proposal: releasing tens of thousands of convicts from prison, including drug addicts, thieves and even violent criminals… A plan in Mississippi would offer early parole for people convicted of selling marijuana or prescription drugs. New Jersey, South Carolina and Vermont are considering funneling drug-addicted inmates into treatment, which is cheaper than prison.”
US Marijuana Arrests 1965-2006

News: PM 'stands by stance on cannabis' - “Downing Street has signalled Gordon Brown remains determined to tighten the law on cannabis - against the advice of an independent panel of experts… If the government went ahead and reclassified cannabis to class B, ministers would be rejecting the findings of the council's panel of 23 drug experts - which has never happened before on a decision about drug classification.”

Atrocity: Quadriplegic Serving 10-Day Sentence For First-Time Marijuana Charge Dies In DC Jail - “A 27-year-old quadriplegic man sentenced to serve ten days in a Washington, DC jail on charges that he possessed a minor amount of marijuana died while in custody last week (2004) due to inadequate health care, including prison officials' failure to provide him with a ventilator.”

Statistics: Drug War Clock - This site keeps track of the money spent on the War On Drugs in the United States. “The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.” Further information on Americas war on drugs available at Basic Facts About the War on Drugs, and information on the American prison system available at Human Rights Watch.


Entertainment

Music: Bob Marley: No Woman No Cry (5:56) - Here is a little Marley to light up your day. This song specifically is one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy. And here is the Boney M (4:34) version just in case you enjoy your 70’s flash, I know I do.

Video: UCSC Porter Meadow 420 (2:59) - “Time Laps starting 1.5 hours before and ending 1.5 hours after 4:20 at UCSC.”

Entertainment: 4/20 Parachute Stoner Dash (Yakety Sax Benny Hill theme)

Video: Marijuana Celebration in Vancouver Canada: 420 Rally (3:45) - “4:20 Rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 7000 people hotbox downtown.”

Music: Cypress Hill - “Hits From The Bong Live in Amsterdam! (5:03)”

Truth: Bill Hicks - “Drugs and Evolution (4:36).”


Religion and Spirituality

Spirituality: Spiritual use of cannabis - “The cannabis plant has an ancient history of ritual usage as a trance inducing drug and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus. In India, it has been engaged by itinerant sadhus for centuries, and in modern times the Rastafari movement has embraced it. Some historians and etymologists have claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews, early Christians and Muslims of the Sufi order.”

News: Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher - “High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week… “‘As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,’ Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday. Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the ‘burning bush.’”


Environment

Article: Deforestation and Hemp: How to Stop Global Warming - Cannabis products span the consumer spectrum making it the only plant in the world that can help us curb global warming. It has “over 25,000 potential uses.” It rejuvenates the soil, it can replace wood products saving our forests, it is medicinal, it can be used as a building material, textiles, paint & plastic, fuel, paper, food and body care.

Chart and Information: Modern Uses of Industrial Hemp


click to enlarge

Documentary: Hemp Revolution - “This documentary covers a whole lot of ground. It deals with every historical and contemporary aspect of hemp usage and cultivation (mainly in the U.S.), which turns out to be a lot. From describing the production of a fibre much more durable and economic than wood, the documentary discusses hemps multilateral uses as e.g. food products, as a non-polluting fuel and as a pharmaceutical product with much less grievous side effects than chemical pharmaceutical products. The film also investigates why America went from a country which produced vast quantities of the non-narcotic industrial hemp, to the complete ban on hemp production in 1938. This story in particular is interesting, and it points out that the large oilbased industries actually had a key role in the aforementioned ban. Food for thought! The conclusion of the documentary could be that hemp may prove to be a valid alternative to both oil and wood in the future.”



Social Networking and Activism

Social Networking: Marijuana Nation - “Let's all fight for Cannabis Freedom at Marijuana Nation, a user driven social content website dedicated to Marijuana news and resources.”

Activism: No Extradition for the BC3! - To truly become free from our brutal laws against marijuana we must join in the struggle and there is no better way then to help “three Canadians (who) face life imprisonment in a US federal prison simply for political activities in Canada to legalize marijuana around the world.”

Video: The following two videos are a great introduction on how to grow your own: Growing weed other helpful info (6:21) and Grow Cannabis hydroponically By Eatspam & Raven (9:17)

Discussion Forums: Marijuana.com, 420magazine.com, and Cannabis Culture are just three of the great sites available on our Neutral Internet where you can discuss and learn about Marijuana and Drug War news stories, current events, activism, politics, and history.


Education

Children's Book: "'It’s Just a Plant' is an illustrated children's book about marijuana. It follows the journey of a young girl as she learns about the plant from a diverse cast of characters including her parents, a local farmer, a doctor, and a police officer."

Documentary: If you like watching movies then the following two documentaries will not only inform you, they will make you laugh and cry, dance and sing, and most likely pray while you wait in anticipation for the time when we will all be free to live life as we see fit: Grass (1:18:37) and Hemp Revolution Part 1 (33:40) and Part 2 (39:04)

I hope you enjoy your journey, and if you want to have a little snack along the way don’t forget to make some Ganja goo balls

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