In the Summer of 2003, Louis P. Burns aka Lugh from Upstate Renegade Productions was invited to film at an undisclosed medical cannabis farm in the U.K. Our host, who wishes to remain known as Vel due to current British legislation, took us step by step through the growing stages of medical cannabis, from cutting shed to fully mature plants ready for harvesting.
Like Vel, Lugh lives with physical disabilities that limit his mobility and cause him constant and severe pain. He was inspired to produce the HEALING HERBS film in defense of disabled people's right to alleviate their discomfort with cannabis shortly after watching a video recorded episode of the; Mark Thomas Comedy Product entitled; The Genetically Modified Mark Thomas Comedy Product (Vera Productions, 1998). This show gave an opportunity for disabled people who used medical cannabis to confront the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw.
Moderator: Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
- activist and campaigner
- Posts: 9
- Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:10 am
- Location: Derry
I have been asked to write this article to bring to light the different medical advantages and miracles one simple thing can create, it's has saved many lives, made lives comfortable where they could not be saved and continues today to be the most widely used natural medicine on earth although it remains one of the most infamous in the eyes of establishment for more reasons than drug use. I myself have no special reason as to why I used this medicine in the beginning, if I was to be completely honest peer pressure got me using when I was a teenager but never did it influence me to become an addict or become a stepping stone for other drugs (alcohol would be the cause of my other recreational useages.) I genuinely used it on one occasion taking two hits and didn't feel a thing so decided it wasn't for me. It was only a few years later when I started skateboarding and hanging around with others like me that I found it was used by a lot of people so I decided to give it a proper go and see what all the fuss was about, I have medical records where I've been prescribed almost dangerous levels of Melatonin (sleep hormone) and was told that my insomnia which I have from a child was chronic and would cause me problems my whole life as regards sleeping patterns, well I found out what the fuss was about, for the first time in my life I walked in my front door at home, bypassed the kitchen, climbed into bed and slept like a log within minutes, from then on I was hooked but not in the addict sense more in a medical benefit sense. I now also use it to treat pain from a car crash a few years ago where I have 17 dislodged vertibrae, using cannabis allows me to this day to continue to practice my favourite passtime of martial arts.
I know that my reasons for using cannabis are petty compared to other people but it's a personal experience I thought would be relivant, dangerous levels of the human sleep hormone couldn't help me sleep yet half of a joint of pot almost knocked me out cold. There are a lot of people suffering from serious illnesses that could benefit from this magical "cure-all" from simple nerological problems such as depression and anxiety to terminal illnesses such as Cancer and AIDS, including thousands of conditions that would be in the mid-range of severity, this article is dedicated to the ongoing struggle we face as a community, to the people who's footsteps will be forever imprinted on the hearts and souls of activists and especially to those who this medicine has helped and continues to help to this day. I wish everyone good luck in bringing to light the joys of nature as medicine.
How Many people have I killed? 0.......So why all the fuss?
I'm not 100% sure on how or why this plant is illegal but what we will do over the course of these pages is have an overview on the history and uses of cannabis, the opinions of people from both sides of the fence with a summary.
Where cannabis was dicovered.
As far back as records available to the public show, cannabis has existed on this planet longer than man itself. The first instances of the human race using cannabis dates back to roughly 10,000 years ago in the region of Tibet. It was used as medicine and as a way of reaching a state of mind where deep contemplation can be made easier or more vivid, this is also where the philosophy of zen was born.
It was then discovered that if you made a pulp from the stalk of the hemp fibres you could dry it out and make a very long lasting form of paper from it or alternatively the fibre could be processed by hand to make a material for clothing, to this day hemp clothing is the strongest and longest lasting fibre naturally occuring on the face of the earth.
If you were to take cannabis and the seeds to use for food you have already got almost every amino acid, vitamin and mineral essential for human beings to live, the other sources can be found in fruits, vegetables, other herbs and seeds, water and sunlight.
As regards medical benefits the Tibetans also found the plant to be highly useful, in fact they say it is the most useful and medically beneficial plant in existance, a true gift from god and the only plant in existence that it's sex is defineable by sight alone without the need for close inspection. As time goes by and history continues on it's path these facts were never contested by any empire that ever rose, that is until the modern age, every dinasty researchable will have found uses for the cannabis plant and will hail it with high reverence as a vital tool in exploration and in general continuance of their society.
So where did it go wrong?
This is a very contraversial topic to discuss, there are many different opinions and facts surrounding it, I do not expect anyone to take for full fact that what I say is true but only to take on board what I say and look the facts up for yourself, I will only present information that is viable in the continuing debate, however "out of the box" it may seem there will be proof.
The modern era and cannabis:-
In the modern day and age the uses of cannabis are staggering, there are over 35,000 different uses for the plant ranging from clothing to biofuels, it was hailed by time magazine as a miracle plant that would revolutionize the modern industrial movement.
In my honest opinion what I think happened in the modern day as regards the debate on cannabis is that greed and the human quest to be as good as or better than nature itself has taken over. Most people will agree with the first point of greed but not the second and I beg to differ, there is a product called marinol, it has the same molecular chemical composition as the delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol that cannabis has, it's side effects are dizziness, increased apetite, a sense of euphoria and happiness...sound familiar? Yet this is a legal, manufactured in a laboratory version of the same thing nature gives us for free, the other side of it is that it is not as effective as the real chemical is it hasn't got all the sub-atomic structures and amino acids as the cannabis plant has when producing the same chemical. I think someone was trying to say they were better than nature by trying to give it a go. This is the same for all pharmaseutical products designed to treat sicknesses, they are either a replica of something natural that doesn't work as well or a combination of natural and replicated compounds.
There are a few coinscidences when it comes to cannabis and the modern industrial age, I will use the USA as my example as this is where cannabis prohibition took off and everyone else followed suit.
1) Cannabis was made illegal at the same time a german man invented a machine called a de-cordicator, this would have made mass production of hemp fibre a cheap, fast and simple operation.
2) Du Pont, one of the largest international petro-chemical companies, at the time of prohibition invented an acid based form of processing paper from trees and also invented plastic, they had heavy government influences and to this day still do, cannabis production would have wiped du pont out completely or at least put a stop to it's petro-chemical products.
3) The banker for du pont at the time of prohibition had family connections to a man called Harry Anslinger, Anslinger was the driving force in the prohibition of cannabis in america.
There are other reasons of course that are factors in why cannabis is refered to as being devilish in the eyes of government, there have been many government funded studies on the effects of cannabis, these studies when they have came to light are horror stories in reality in how the results were reached and in some cases flat out doctored, whereas independant studies on cannabis use has found it to be nothing more than a harmless plant, the only ill effect from cannabis useage is the parylising of cicilia in the lungs, unless something is radioactive your more than likely never going to get cancer from it, funny how tobacco receives government funding and is grown with radioactive fertilizers.
The study that often gets mentioned and is drilled into everyones mind from a young age is that they have found a direct link between smoking cannabis and brain damage, in other words smoking pot will damage your brain permanently, however what you aren't told is how the government came to that conclusion. Here's how, there was a government funded study to experiment the effects of cannabis on humans called the Heath/Tulane study of 1974, the guidelines of the study said that they would give the monkeys 30 joints a day of normal strength cannabis to smoke, apparently after 90 days the brain damage was recordable, in reality what really happened, after 6 years of petitioning by animal rights groups to have the files released was that the doctors devised a mask that allowed them to pump in a 5 minute period, the equivalent of 63 columbian strength joints into the monkeys over a 3 months period. This would have suffocated the monkeys and caused a lack of oxygen to the brain, it is well known to the medical society that suffocation ineviteably causes irreversable braincell damage after 4 minutes of cutting off the supply of oxygen to the brain.
Any other studies that involve the governments funding include studies carried out on mice where the doseage if the scale was brought up to human levels would have been overdose equivalent amounts, it would take a human being more than 16 times their own bodyweight in herbal cannabis form to overdose so imagine what the mouse went through.
Independant studies however are different in nature as they don't have a specific target or influence guiding the tests conducted. They vary from teenagers experimenting and writing down their thoughts to scientists testing the chemical properties and breaking them down to their molecular structures to form a map much like the maping of the human genome. Any independant study will have reached the same conclusion, there are no harmful effects from social use of cannabis and the worst effect it can have is chronic bronchitus from the parylising of cicilia in the inner part of the lungs which filters out dirt and dust, the cure? Stop smoking it.
I will discuss only 2 independant studies carried out on the use of cannabis as there are too many to include, you can find these studies anywhere online with the fact to back up the findings.
1) A study was founded to discover out of all the drugs available which was conducted by Professor David Nutt, ranging from caffeine to heroin, which would be the most harmful if put into a list of effect on the human body and mind and the effect socially on a person. Without going into too much detail on how it was carried out I will list the drugs in order of harm.
1. Heroin (Class A)
2. Cocaine (Class A)
3. Barbiturates (Class B)
4. Street methadone (Class A)
5. Alcohol (Not controlled)
6. Ketamine (Class C)
7. Benzodiazepine (Class B)
8. Amphetamine (Class B)
9. Tobacco (No class)
10. Bupranorphine (Class C)
11. Cannabis (Class B)
12. Solvents (Not controlled)
13. 4-MTA (Class A)
14. LSD (Class A)
15. Methylphenidate (Class B)
16. Anabolic steroids (Class C)
17. GHB (Class C)
18. Ecstasy (Class A)
19. Alkylnitrates (Not controlled)
20. Khat (Not controlled)
As you can see for yourself Cannabis is number 11, lower than legal drugs such as Alcohol and Tobacco.
2) A man from Canada inspired people around the world to reform the medical world by using cannabis as the catylist, his name is Rick Simpson, he developed a way to concentrate the delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol chemical in cannabis and use it to treat and cure conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to terminal cancer, that's correct yes cure cancer. He uses roughly 1 pound of top quality cannabis, soaks it in a 99% proof sterile alcohol solution, removes the remaining plant fibre from the solution and slowly heats it up to release the alcohol, this leaves you with a concentrated oily substance which is the hemp oil. The government states that unless something is stringently tested for medical benefit it cannot be proclaimed to be a cure, therefore Rick Simpson and any other people cannot say that hemp oil cures cancer even when it does, what the government will not tell you is that they own a patent for hemp oil and have conducted the tests, they conclude that hemp oil has the ability to cure diseases and treat those with terminal illnesses, an independant study was also carried out by members of the public and can be found on youtube by searching the words "vitamin cannabis".
Where does this leave us in the public venue?
For me personally this leaves only one conclusion, we're obviously in a battle of minds and power over something so innocent and natural, it's between those who know of the medical or industrial benefits of hemp vs the big pharma, industrail companies and government in general which is backed up by the people they have succeded in fearmongering onto their side by using phrases like "stepping stone" and "gateway drug", not to mention a factor most people wouldn't consider but is true by all accounts. Prohibition puts money in the pockets of those who make money on the black market, these people don't care about age limits, laws or the wellbeing of the customers, not all but most of them, in the UK and elsewhere that cannabis is illegal there is a systematic use of grounded up glass in cannabis or lemonade being sprayed over it to make it smell more sweet and to add weight, rat poison being mixed in with tablets on the street or cocaine mixed with baby powder.
Your child will tell you if they trust you that they could easily put their hands on a bag of grass or an E tablet quicker than they could buy cigarettes or alcohol in a shop. These people they are able to buy cannabis off are the gateway to other harder drugs not the cannabis itself. Here's a hypothetical situation, I've been here a few times myself I'll not deny it,
Teen goes to score some weed from a guy he/she met through a friend, excuse the dialogue afterall this is a street transaction.
Teen :- Yes hi, have ye got any weed on ye?
Dealer :- Aye I do lad what are ye after?
Teen :- Just a score bag nothin' special man
Dealer :- Cash up aye?
Teen :- Aye lad fuck that debt craic
Dealer :- Sweet, if ye need anything else I have other gear here too if your out for the weekend.
Teen :- Fuck that I wouldn't touch anything else hi but I know one or two people that might what have ye got?
Dealer :- A few E's here, good ones too, give me a ring if ye need any but just you don't be givin' me number out, if ye sell 5 I'll give ye one for free ye can sell
it like ye don't have de take it.
Teen :- Aye I'll see what happens anyway, thanks for the weed man.
This could then be seen as a money making scheme for the teen, he has friends who like E's and everytime he sells 5 he gets one free, lets say he sells 15, get 3 free, on the street he gets £7-10 profit selling the free ones. Then one weekend he's with the friends he sorts out with E's having a drink and one says to him "you sell us these every weekend, look at the craic we have on them, you get ones for free!!! Your mad if ye don't take one at least and try it, if ye like it ye get them for free so your sweet."
That in reality is how cannabis can be used as a stepping stone to other drugs, ask anyone who genuinely has taken other drugs they'll tell you that is how it works. Other than that I can guarantee cannabis wasn't the influence for someone elses recreational activities except in rare cases where teens will hear about illegal drugs listed in severity and purposely set out to try them in order, which I have also encountered people doing.
We have to realise when you look at all aspects of this subject that prohibition works as much as an ashtray on a motorcycle and it's time for a structured review of our stance for or against this plant, a proper forum is needed for everyone to take part and make a change for the better for everyone and future generations that come after. The proof of such a bold statement is Holland, more specifically Amsterdam, the pot capital of Europe, in Amsterdam pot has been de-criminalized, in other words it's still illegal but only if your in possesion of more than 5 grams at any one time on you. Look at the problem they have in Amsterdam with teen cannabis useage, they don't have one, if that's not proof enough I don't know what is.
What to do, what to do?
We have now reached a point in history where we have a choice to make, do we follow the previous 100 years tyrannical approach to this mind altering "crazy" brain destroying drug by the government and other institutions or do we go back in time and start to re-visit the natural wonder, medical marvel and industrial potential of one of god's creations and take a leaf out of the books that go as far back as 10,000 years to when there was no need to judge nature but only trust in it? It's up to us and no-one else.
P.s A rough figure for people to have a look at.
Deaths per year
Tobacco - 450,000
Alcohol - 150,000
Prescription drugs - 100,000
Inactivity and poor diet - 87,000
Caffeine - 10,000
Cocaine & Heroin - 5,200
Aspirin - 1,000
Cannabis - 0
Keywords and phrases for research.
Medicinal marijuana benefits
War on drugs
Effects of THC (Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Strongest natural fibre
History of cannabis
Todd Mc Cormick
Professor David Nutt
Heath/Tulane study of 1974
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
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