The Plant of Renown
"I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown, and they shall no more be consumed with hunger [for truth] in the land, nor bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they are my people." (Ezekiel 34:29-30 KJV)
What at "Plant" is has been widely misunderstood, but if we look at other versions, we can get a better idea. For example, the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible uses the term “a plantation of renown.” The Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible uses the term “a Plant of Peace.” The New International Version of the Christian Bible states it is “a land renowned for its crops,” and the New American Standard version states it is a "renowned planting place."
Even so, many Christians prefer the Greek Septuagint and the King James versions because they believe that the "Plant" was Jesus. They believe it is the same as the "sapling" or "root" in Isaiah 53:2 which is used as a metaphor for the son of man who fulfills prophecy, and of course they think the books of Ezekiel and Isaiah were about the son of man known as Jesus of Nazareth.
However, even though Isaiah used a plant metaphor for a son of man, it did not mean Jesus. And, if we take Ezekiel’s statement in context, we can see that even though he was talking about a "good shepherd" in many instances, the "plant" or plantation speaks of an actual plant or crop. It is called keneh bosm in Hebrew, calamus in Greek, and Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), as even the Hebrew University in Israel has confirmed.
Ezekiel was writing of a "good shepherd" or a good counselor or guide because all the other shepherds [leaders] had become self-serving and had not cared for their flocks [people] or fed the hungry or tended to them that were sick, etc.
However, then Ezekiel 34:23 states that God would raise up "one shepherd," who would remind people of God's intent, and who would establish a new covenant of peace. And that speaks of the new covenant, which Jesus of Nazareth spoke of but did not bring. Some time after he was killed his apostles began to claim he did, saying that drinking wine and eating bread in remembrance of Jesus was the "new covenant," but it was and is not. (See the articles on The New Covenant, Isaiah Chapter 53, and Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them.)
However, those subjects are discussed at length in other articles. This article is to explain why Ezekiel 34:29 speaks of an actual plant or or herb.
It is a plant that enables people to not be ashamed any more, and instead know that they are God’s people. And, as this article explains, that plant is actually Marijuana, which is actually mentioned in the Hebrew books, and in Christian writings that were not included in the official canon or Bible of the Church. And we should understand why that has been misunderstood.
This is important for many reasons. For one thing, as the ancient Jews and Christians knew, and as modern researchers know, it has spiritual and physical health benefits. But, it is especially important today that we know the truth because just as Prohibition of Alcohol in the U.S. in the 1920s was counterproductive and produced an enormous organized crime wave, so has the Prohibition of Marijuana. So it’s time to face facts.
Facts Prohibitionists Do Not Want You to Know
First, let’s consider the legal aspects where government is concerned. Even though every 45 seconds an American is arrested for using Marijuana, it is still by far the most popular "drug" of choice for many millions of people. Consequently, because it is illegal, it is the top selling item sold by criminal neighborhood gangs and organized crime drug cartels who smuggle and sell it, and they have become increasingly violent and murderous.
In spite of that, the U.S. Government perpetuates the "War on Drugs" because some people believe it protects the public. But that is not true. It is counterproductive, ill-advised, and ill-conceived. And, regarding Marijuana, the U.S. laws against it since 1937 and particularly since 1971 have simply ignored conclusive scientific facts as well as religious facts.
Why does the government still wage a war against Marijuana in spite of the facts? There are a couple of reasons. One is the same reason used for the Prohibition of Alcohol in the 1920s, because Prohibitionists with a rigid, misguided "religious" agenda condemn it. But, since the 1980s there has been another reason as well.
The Reaganite War on Drugs established federal forfeiture laws that are very lucrative. Those laws enable the government to seize the money and property of people merely suspected of violating Marijuana laws. Those laws even enable the abuse of police power and sometimes victimize innocent people. Those laws enable the police to seize people’s money and property and keep it, even though they are found innocent. That’s why U.S. Government forces are even raiding and destroying Marijuana growing operations in states that have made it legal, because such raids result in bringing in money by exploiting the forfeiture laws.
But, not only do many federal, state and city agencies benefit financially from those forfeiture laws, tragically, and ironically, so do criminals.
The criminal drug cartels and drug-selling gangs heartily approve of the U.S. government’s laws making Marijuana illegal. The criminals don’t want the legalization of Marijuana because it would put them out of business. But the continued illegal status of Marijuana and the criminalization of Marijuana growers and users is making large gangs and cartels of organized criminals very much richer, very much more powerful, and extremely dangerous and destructive.
That is one of the inevitable consequences of the illegalization and prohibition of a desired substance that is beneficial when used properly.
Another inevitable consequence is that the substances becomes used improperly, for the wrong reasons, and in the wrong frame of mind. Evidence of that is seen in instances where Marijuana users violate other laws (besides Marijuana laws), and it is demonstrated in the popular Showtime televisions series, Weeds, a comedy that caricatures a private suburban culture its participants don’t want the general public to know about.
Those are some of the reasons why we should reevaluate policies and laws regarding Marijuana, because they are not only foolish in that respect, they are based on half-truths and falsehoods.
As you will see, that has been the case since 1937 when Marijuana was first made illegal, and especially since 1970 when Marijuana was falsely and foolishly reclassified as a "Schedule I Drug" right along with harmful hard drugs like methylamphetamine and narcotics like heroin.
Therefore, we should understand the factual history of Marijuana, from ancient times, to American Prohibition in 1937, to the present.
In 592 B.C. the prophet Ezekiel found and understood the spiritual benefits of Marijuana, called "kaneh bosm" in Hebrew and "calamus" in Greek. And, as the Hebrew University has confirmed, the oil from its seeds was one of the ingredients of the "anointing oil" used to anoint Jewish Mashiachs (Messiahs) and Kings.
The oil from the Plant of Renown is what physically "anoints" a chosen servant of God, a "son of man." For the word "Christ" is a title, not a last name. It’s the same title as Mashiach, or Messiah. It means "anointed one," and Judeo-Christian religious tradition holds that the anointing is in an oil compound, one of the ingredients of which is the oil from the seeds of the Plant of Renown.
Of course, the title of son of man or Mashiach or Messiah also means spiritually "anointed" which has to do with the "fire" Jesus spoke of. But, first we should consider the physical "anointing in oil," because many Jews and Christians think that is the most important thing.
Many Jews and Christians insist that the physical anointing in oil is a qualifying event for the person who fulfills Jewish prophecy and Christian prophecy. They believe that the Mashiach or Messiah, the son of man, will be physically anointed with holy oil by official clergy, and then rule from the "mountain of the Lord" in Jerusalem. However, that is a misinterpretation of prophecy.
As is explained in the articles titled The Crusades for Jerusalem, and Where Is Zion?, they do not really understand what "Zion" or the "mountain" of the Lord God is, nor do they really understand what the modern "anointing" of the servant and messenger of God is.
Instead, they focus on the literal scriptural references to the anointing oil. According to the Greek translation of the Bible, Moses wrote in Exodus 30:22-24 that the holy anointing oil contains cassia, cinnamon, myrrh, and calamus mixed together with olive oil. That is the oil religious authorities believe will be used, because that was what was used in ancient times by the rabbinical patriarchs who abided strictly by the Torah. So, let’s examine that.
In the original Hebrew of the Torah (in the Old Testament) we find that the word calamus is derived from the Hebrew word kaneh bosm. It’s the key ingredient, and in 1936 an anthropologist concluded after much research and etymological comparison that the proper translation for "kaneh bosm" is Cannabis Sativa. Its active ingredient is known to scientists as tetrahydracannabinol (THC), in oil form, and in 1980 the Hebrew Institute of Jerusalem confirmed that "kaneh bosm" is indeed Cannabis Sativa.
Cannabis Sativa is Marijuana, which when burned to produce smoke or incense to inhale, enables people to ingest the holy oil. And there are 141 references to anointing and 145 for burning incense in the scriptures, and Kaneh Bosm is listed as an incense tree in Solomon's Song of Songs.
Of course many people will be shocked to hear all this because they have been misled by the misleading propaganda that has been sporadically spread since 1937. And, while the deceptive propaganda was quelled and largely dispelled for awhile in the 1960s, it was restored in full force and even more deceptively since 1970 when Marijuana was falsely reclassified as a "Schedule I Drug" right along with hard drugs and narcotics.
That is why everyone should know the factual history of Marijuana, from ancient times, to American Prohibition in 1937, to the present.
The main reason the misleading and deceptive propaganda of Prohibitionists has persisted is because Marijuana tends to liberate people from being blindly obedient conformists. It frees them spiritually, and when it is used for the correct reasons, with the correct frame of mind, it is used to good effect. But the authorities of organized religion and government don't like that, because many of them want people to be obedient, controlled, and not question authority.
That is not to say that all political and religious leaders are that way, but many have been and many are, and that’s why Marijuana use threatens them. That’s one of the reasons why they want it prohibited, so the truth should be told.
The truth is that, like any substance, when Marijuana is abused or used improperly and in the wrong frame of mind it can have negative effects. However, when Marijuana is used properly, and sparingly, it enables the user to know that God is indeed with us, and that we need not bear the "shame of the heathen any more," as Ezekiel put it, and as some of the original Christians knew.
That is why you should know that most of the claims made by those who originally created Marijuana Prohibition in America in 1937 were blatantly false. Not only that, the claims made by those who restored Marijuana Prohibition in 1970 were mostly false, and the claims made by Prohibitionists ever since then are also mostly false and misleading. And, when you learn that much scientific research has been gathered for thousands of years and increasingly during the last 60 years, which proves the value and benefits of Marijuana and debunks the false claims against it, you will understand why the truth should be told.
The holy oil from the Plant of Renown was mentioned not only in Judaic scriptures, but in Christian scriptures as well. In the "Gnostic" Christian Gospels written by some of the original disciples of the Christ Jesus (such as Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Philip), there is much written about the "anointing" and the "Chrism," as you will see. But those gospels were not included in the Christian Bible as we know it. In fact, it wasn’t until they were rediscovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945 that they started to become known again.
If we now put all the evidence together from scriptural and scientific sources, it becomes apparent that one of the reasons Jesus came was to restore the use of the holy oil from the Plant of Renown, so that the people "shall no more be consumed with hunger [for truth] in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that the Lord their God is with them, and that they are God’s people."
Jesus of course also came to anoint and baptize people with the "fire of the Holy Spirit," as John the Baptist said. That’s the most important thing. But, the Gospel of Philip states that, "There is fire in Chrism," and "The Chrism is superior to baptism for it is from the word Chrism that we are called Christians, certainly not from the word baptism."
The word "Chrism" is a Greek word literally meaning "an anointing," and it is mentioned in many early Christian writings. One early Christian writer states that being "anointed with the oil [Chrism] of God" was the sign of a Christian, and a physical representation of having the gift of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. So, the holy oil from the Plant of Renown is indeed a big thing.
But wait. There is much more to the story, because the Holy Oil can be used and ingested in different ways, and the days of official clergy anointing a king with holy oil to sanction his authority were over long ago. And, since the modern from of Democracy was reborn into the world in 1776, monarchy has slowly but surely been becoming obsolete in the world, and ultimately that will include the presidential form of monarchy.
That is inevitable, because we will all be equal joint heirs to the "kingdom" to come, where we will all share the "throne" and the power, and where governments will finally be of, by, and for the people.
But, speaking of an alternative way of "anointing," take a look at this.
"You shall have a song as in the night when a feast is hallowed; and gladness of heart, as when on goes with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:29)The son of man sings a song unto the Lord, and has gone with a pipe into the “mountain” of the Lord, to the “Rock of Israel” which symbolizes the spiritual “foundation” of the earth.
"And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power..." (Revelation 15:8)
Considering those words, and considering that when the Old Testament prophets spoke of being "astonied," they probably meant, as we say, being "stoned" on the smoke of Marijuana, which quickly delivers THC into the system.
Of course, some people have assumed that "astonied" simply means "astonished," but that assumption is not correct. The word "astonied" in Hebrew means stunned, amazed, or awe-struck, whereas astonished merely means surprised or shocked. Job, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all used both words, so astonied and astonished don’t mean the same thing. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that astonied means "stoned," especially since there are many scriptural references to "smoke in the nostrils" and "smoke in the temple," which probably refers to smoke from the Plant of Renown.
Some even believe the Plant of Renown was the "burning bush" that Moses "saw" (Exodus 3:2), because "in the midst of the bush" Moses "saw the flame" (Light) of God.
Of course, that scripture states that Moses wondered why the flame did not burn the bush, and that’s why it has been misunderstood. The Divine Light of God that Moses saw was not a material phenomena in front of him. It is the Inner Light or "Divine Fire" within that is brighter than any thing the human eye can see. It is impossible to describe, but it is is somewhat like fire in that it shimmers and yet is brighter than any fire, beyond white light, beyone any electric light, beyond any worldly light.
That Divine Light within is realized and seen by opening the seven seals of revelation, and the "burning bush" story is symbolic, as so many stories in scriptures are because God leaves you at a loss for words.
After all, witnessing the reality of God is impossible to describe, and the human mind cannot fathom the full nature of God, or the full scope of God’s Supreme Universal Consciousness. And it is unlikely that God actually "spoke" to Moses, at least not literally. After all, as David wrote, God’s "tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Rather, God gave Moses the revelatory gift of realization of what he had to do to free his people. That’s what God has done for all true servants of God.
The son of man knows that because the same thing happened to him. He knows that God "speaks" to us through divine revelation and realization — not through the internal dialogue we have with ourselves in our egocentric thinking process, but through having the enlightening truth "dawn" on us in revelatory realization. That is quite different than the thinking or deductive reasoning we use to arrive at conclusions ourselves. That’s why Solomon advised us to not rely on our own understanding, but seek true Wisdom from above. True revelations are a surprise gift, given to us when we least expect them.
Anyway, considering all that, it is not difficult to assume that Marijuana is what many people think it is — a holy sacrament, as well as a medicinal herb and a social and spiritual aid. After all, when used properly, and in the spirit of love and true kinship, it does enable us to know and feel that God is indeed with us, and that we are all brothers and sisters.
The trouble is, when Marijuana users are under threat of arrest and punishment for using it, it is very difficult to use it properly in an atmosphere conducive to feelings of love, peace and freedom. When used wrongly or abused by overuse, or when used in a frightened or emotionally negative state, the user can have negative effects.
The proper atmosphere and frame of mind of users is crucial to achieving positive, inspiring and creative effects or results, because used in the wrong frame of mind or when the heart is not in the "right place," or when you use too much at one time, the effects can be negative.
It’s the same with alcohol, because when one is in the wrong frame of mind or one’s heart is not in the right place, it can be misused or abused and one can become a "mean drunk." But, it’s not the alcohol that causes the problem. It merely enhances one’s mood, whether bad or good. Thus it can be either a "devil’s brew" or an "ice-breaking" Godsend. And, similarly, when Marijuana is used properly, sparingly, for the right reasons and in the right frame of mind, it is a holy sacrament, and the Judeo-Christian scriptures confirm that.
Critics may claim that we are wrong and even blasphemous, just as certain fundamentalist religious critics accused Jesus of being blasphemous in his day. That’s to be expected, and that’s one of the reasons why Jesus and Isaiah predicted that the son of man would be at first rejected by his generation. Some people will hate many of the truths he has to tell, and they will call them lies.
Therefore, it must be said that even if there were no Biblical or divinely inspired references to Marijuana, the fact is that it (or Cannabis, also called Hashish in its resin form) has been used to good effect throughout history all over the world, particularly in China, in the Mid-East, and in the Americas. In fact, in many places, particularly in India and other places in the Mid-East, it has been considered as a medicine and a spiritual aid for many centuries, even for thousands of years.
Granted, Marijuana, like any good medicine or substance, can be harmful when overused or abused. Heavy, chronic smoking is not good for your lungs. There’s no argument there, and there may be some half-truths and even some truth in some of the other claims of Prohibitionists against Marijuana. For example, heavy or over use or abuse of Marijuana can produce certain damaging effects in the body, and even though it is not addictive, it can produce psychological dependence in rare cases. However, while it is important to acknowledge the risks, they are actually very small. As most research shows, it is only a very small percentage (2%) of Marijuana users that actually have any problems with it. Most users do not over indulge, and most suffer no ill effects, and we’ll show you scientific evidence of that.
Modern Use and Facts
It’s important to know why in America during the 1960s and ‘70s, many millions of people smoked Marijuana socially. That was largely because they learned from scientific research studies that it was basically harmless, that the law established in 1937 against it was based on lies, and that those who passed that law ignored scientific evidence from the American Medical Association which advised against prohibition.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, most users were very educated about Marijuana, it was a socially acceptable thing to smoke it, even in public settings. In fact, far more people in America smoked Marijuana in the 1960s and ‘70s than most people today would think or imagine. Many people who smoked Marijuana at the time were not even aware of just how popular and widespread its use was. You had to travel widely and socialize in many different places around the country to be aware of the reality and realize just how widespread and popular it was in many social circles.
Now, of course, Marijuana use is even more widespread, in spite of laws and law enforcement. But many older, former users are now in denial about it due to the social stigma against it, so today many people are not aware of that history. But we should all be aware of it now.
You see, in 1970, in response to Marijuana’s rapidly growing popularity in the 1960s, the U.S. Congress adopted the Controlled Substances Act, which re-classified Marijuana as a "Schedule I Drug" right along with hard drugs and narcotics like heroin. Without any evidence, and despite much evidence to the contrary, that misguided law claimed that "Marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use, and is dangerous and unsafe even when used under medical supervision."
That is blatantly false, but many conservative politicians were hysterically fearful and felt very threatened, and they managed to get that law passed in spite of much evidence revealing the real truth. History repeated itself, and what happened in 1937 happened all over again.
Following that, the Prohibitionists managed to get police to start a crackdown, and by 1972 many people were being arrested and imprisoned for using Marijuana. The Prohibitionists use of more falsehoods and more scare tactics began to work once again, as it had from 1937 to 1960.
But even the police crackdown did not stop most users from using it, because they knew the claims made by Prohibitionists were blatant lies. In fact, Marijuana’s popularity continued to grow throughout the 1970s and even peaked in 1979, even though many users and dealers were arrested and imprisoned for it.
When the political winds shifted far to the Right in 1981 when Ronald Reagan came to power, the rigid kind of Marijuana prohibition that had begun in 1937 was enforced. But, many people still continued to use it. Many still do even today, even though an intense and dramatic propaganda war waged by Prohibitionists against Marijuana made it not only legally taboo, but eventually, to a significant extent, even socially taboo. That’s why some users quit and former users are now afraid or reluctant to talk about it, or, if and when they do talk about it, make fun of it as if it was foolish.
But, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Marijuana users actually became safe from the law. Police just looked the other way when they saw people smoking Marijuana in a park or at a concert or on college campuses. Marijuana use was even "decriminalized" by many state legislatures because they realized how silly it was to try to make criminals of all the millions of users. In most places people were able to use it in an open and peaceful environment, free from worry. And it was, for the most part, wonderful, and not foolish at all.
Of course, prudish critics called widespread Marijuana use hedonism, especially when they viewed the news videos of "The Summer of Love" in San Francisco in 1967 and of the Woodstock Concert in 1969. But it was really just new-found freedom, uninhibited freedom, to fully enjoy life and all of God’s creation. Marijuana users didn’t bear "the shame of the heathen any more," and they knew that "the Lord their God is with them," just as the prophet Ezekiel wrote and as the Christ Jesus confirmed.
That freedom was welcomed gladly, and with great joy, and it enabled users to show their love for all humanity. It enabled them to speak up and stand together, mostly as peaceful and loving "flower children," as most of them were known as in those days. And it also enabled some of them to speak up and stand together as righteously indignant dissidents and protesters against injustice, inequity, bigotry, hypocrisy, and war, who knew God was with them in their demand for justice, equity, equality, and peace.
Furthermore, even though a relatively small number of users became highly politicized and marched in protests and demonstrations, the vast majority of Marijuana users were more introspective, and while some chose somewhat traditional paths, some simply "dropped out and turned on," joined the "back to nature movement," and pursued creative activities and lives.
Furthermore, even though some Marijuana users experimented with other drugs, it was not because Marijuana is a so-called "gateway" substance. It was because some drug dealers sold many different illegal drugs, and some people were thus tempted to experiment with other drugs, as the scientific evidence I will show you reveals. But, as the evidence also reveals, most Marijuana users used only Marijuana, and the vast majority used it to good effect.
While smoking Marijuana, most users got "turned on" to many worthwhile things -- non-materialistic, altruistic, spiritual, natural things -- things that nurtured their souls and made their hearts sing. They absorbed themselves in music, arts, crafts, gardening, farming, and communal living. They experimented with many different ways of becoming more in tune with nature, with the earth, and with each other. And that’s not to pretend that it was all hearts and flowers, but in general, it is probably accurate to say that for many of them it was the best time of their lives. That’s why the Woodstock Generation need not be ashamed any more. They should remember the good old days fondly, and be proud they were part of it.
Now, everything I’m telling you can be supported by facts. For in addition to it being of great value spiritually and socially, the fact is that Marijuana has been proven as a good medicine.
Modern research studies clearly show that. For example, in 1999 a report of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine called Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base concluded that "Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC (marijuana’s active ingredient), for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation."
More specifically, the report states that "for people suffering from symptoms of the late stages of AIDS and cancer, marijuana may be among the most effective treatments." It also concludes that "The psychological effects of Cannabinoids, such as anxiety reduction, sedation, and euphoria can influence their potential therapeutic value," and even though "those effects are potentially undesirable for certain patients and situations," they are "beneficial for others." And there has been much more research since then that reveals even more medicinal benefits
In Europe and Canada, and even to some extent in the U.S., Cannabis Cannabinoids have been proven to destroy cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and promote the growth of brain cells. It is being used to treat Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, autism, epilepsy, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrom, Crohn’s disease, migraine headaches, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, glaucoma, herpes, chronic pain, nausea, depression, skin disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, among many other disorders, ailments and diseases.
But some of this is not new, because written references to the medicinal use Marijuana date back nearly 5,000 years. The world’s oldest surviving text on medicinal drugs, the Chinese Shen-nung Pen-tshao Ching, specifically cites Marijuana’s medicinal qualities, including the ability to reduce the pain of rheumatism and treat digestive disorders. Western medicine embraced Marijuana’s medical properties in the mid-1800s, and it was first listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1850. By the beginning of the twentieth century physicians had published more than 100 papers in the Western medical literature recommending its use for a variety of disorders (T. Mikuriya, Marijuana: Medical Papers 1839-1972).
In the late 1800s and early 1900s Marijuana was recommended by doctors as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, analgesic, sedative, and anti-convulsant, as well as a treatment for opium addiction and migraine headaches.
That, in fact, is why a representative from the American Medical Association representative argued before Congress in 1937 in favor of its medicinal use and against its prohibition, but his testimony was ignored and false testimony was instead used to justify prohibition.
In the 1960s the lies were exposed and it was revealed that more recent research, studies, and reports had been done, such as the La Guardia Report, which was completed in 1944 (but was largely ignored at the time). It showed that Marijuana is essentially harmless and even beneficial for a variety of purposes. In fact, the La Guardia Report, like all valid and honest reports and studies before and since, have all stated much the same things. That’s why in the 1960s many articles and books were written explaining the real truth, which is why Marijuana use grew so widespread and so rapidly in that incredible decade.
Since the 1960s, Marijuana has been widely researched by both private and government agencies, and there is scientific consensus that only two percent of Marijuana users ever have any problem with it. That figure, by the way, has been cited by many scientific researchers, including Grinspoon and Bakalar in Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine and Marijuana Reconsidered.
You see, by 2001 at least seventy million people had smoked Marijuana, and at least twice that number now smoke it, and the majority of them had good experiences. That is according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The actual number is surely far greater than that, but that’s an "official" figure, and the official conclusion is that for the vast majority who have used Marijuana, it is not a problem.
In fact, many researchers have arrived at that conclusion, and considering all that research, a member of a task force commissioned by the American Medical Association (AMA) has said: "The biggest harm reduction we could see would be to stop putting people in jail for drug use." That was said after the commission had thoroughly studied Marijuana and drafted a report on their findings. But, unfortunately, that draft report was subsequently shelved because conservatives in power felt it came up with the "wrong" conclusions.
Many similar conclusions favorable to Marijuana have been drawn by most scientific studies and surveys about it. The same conclusions were drawn even by researchers who were hired by conservative prohibitionist forces to try to find evidence against it. They wind up showing how beneficial and essentially harmless it is for the vast majority of users. Yet, in spite of that, Prohibitionists still cite whatever findings from those studies suit their purposes, even if they have to resort to bolstering their argument with half-truths, exaggerations and distortions to reach the desired conclusion. And, if that doesn’t seem strong enough, they resort to throwing in some blatant scare tactics and claims that are simply inaccurate or untrue.
For example, in spite of false prohibitionist claims that Marijuana is a "gateway substance," reliable studies have shown that "at least seventy million people have used marijuana and 98 percent of them did not proceed to hard drugs or narcotics." (Grinspoon and Bakalar in Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine and Marihuana Reconsidered.)
Furthermore, studies cited in Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, by Linn Zimmer and John Morgan, also show that: "For the vast majority of marijuana users it is a terminus (a goal, or a boundary or limit) rather than a gateway drug." And, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), even though "75 percent of illicit drug users use marijuana, only 18 percent of them use another drug as well."
That is confirmed by a U.S. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine report in 1999, which states: "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs." In fact, the main reason some Marijuana users come in contact with drug dealers who may sell other drugs is because Marijuana is illegal and is treated as an illicit drug. If it were legal, the vast majority of users would not even look at other drugs. Some would, of course, but not because they first used Marijuana.
There is similar proof to refute most other false claims that prohibitionists make about Marijuana, such as the absurdly false claim that it is "addictive." In fact, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine confirmed in 1999 that "marijuana rarely even causes psychological dependency." And, while the same report stated that some researchers claim to have identified "a distinctive marijuana and THC withdrawal syndrome in some users," even those researchers had to admit "it is mild, subtle, and short lived." In other words, the vast majority of Marijuana users can stop using it at any time without any withdrawal symptoms or psychological dependency.
Besides that, the claim of Prohibitionists that it "impedes performance" is also blatantly false. After all, most of the great, classical rock music of the 1960s and 1970s was written and performed with the aid of the beneficent herb. It is quite obvious that creativity flourished and performances were amazing, because virtually all the great musicians and bands at that time used Marijuana. So, it is simply not true, as Prohibitionists claim, that Marijuana impedes performance, nor is it true that it "interferes with short-term memory and learning."
Marijuana can in fact enhance memory and learning if the user is paying attention and focusing on the subject at hand. The trouble is, some people have a tendency to "space out" and let their mind wander, or be preoccupied or absent-minded. If that is their normal inclination and tendency, they tend to do that even a little bit more while using Marijuana, and they therefore cannot recall some things. After all, if one is preoccupied and not paying attention to something they are doing or something that is taking place, one does not remember it, whether one is stoned or not.
Conversely, if one focuses with undivided attention on something, one remembers it, whether one is stoned or not. Marijuana can in fact help one learn that if you focus on your senses with undivided attention, you get much more out of whatever you are doing, seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, tasting, etc. That’s why people like to smoke it when they are doing the things human beings enjoy most (sex, food, music, dance, art, viewing nature and beautiful scenery, etc.).
When the facts are known and considered, it becomes clear that the war on marijuana is not only based on falsehoods, it totally ignores clear and overwhelming refuting evidence provided by many reliable scientific sources, some of which are the government’s own sources.
The son of man wrote a whole chapter on Marijuana in his second book, not merely because it is for the most part harmless and in many cases beneficial. He wrote it especially because it is time to face the fact that if we did not lock up people who have committed only minor offenses and have caused no harm or loss to others (like non-violent people who only use, grow and sell Marijuana), it would not be necessary to increase jail/prison capacity. After all, Marijuana arrests have accounted for over 40 percent of all drug arrests in the misguided and fruitless war on drugs.
Just between 1972 and 2002, over ten million Americans were arrested on Marijuana charges. In one year alone, law enforcement charged almost 600,000 Americans with Marijuana violations. That figure was the greatest number ever recorded since Marijuana prohibition began in 1937, and in 2001 it climbed to 700,000 Marijuana arrests per year. That means that one Marijuana smoker was arrested every 45 seconds in America.
In America, because of the unreasonable laws driving the war on drugs, all police need is "probable cause" (the most relaxed and loose legal standard possible) to search an individual or an automobile, home, boat, or plane for "contraband" (drugs or drug paraphernalia, or anything else that might be construed or misconstrued as "drug-related"). Furthermore, the definition of probable cause is sometimes stretched to absurdity, allowing the police to search with very little justification. They can frisk your person or search your car or break down your door and literally tear your house apart searching for drugs. If they find anything that remotely indicates the possibility or probability or even suspicion of drug use, they can seize practically everything you own, including your property and all the cash money you may have on your person or property. Under state and federal forfeiture laws, many suspected Marijuana offenders actually lose their cars, cash, boats, land, business equipment, and houses. What’s more, 80 percent of the individuals whose assets are seized are never even charged with a crime, because police suspicion is often based on erroneous assumptions and false reports.
Even worse, many of those arrested were put in prison, taking up space that should be reserved for those who really ought to be there. And this situation has only gotten worse since then. In order to focus on serious crimes, the police and prosecutors should stop spending so much time trying to deal with victimless crimes like the use of harmless substances like Marijuana. And it really should be decriminalized once and for all.
We hope you can now see why we are so very much against Marijuana Prohibition, and so very skeptical of "evidence and proof" against it presented by Prohibitionists. For the fact is that some of what they claim is blatantly false, a lot of it is misleading, and much of it is based on half-truths. Very little of it is actually valid and true, and most of it is simply scare tactics designed to instill fear.
We think all people, especially children and youth, are much better off and make better decisions when they have truthful, accurate information. In fact, we are certain we can and will do a much better job of keeping children and youth free of all drugs and alcohol if we would only be genuinely honest and frank with them, and not give them so much reason to disbelieve, distrust, and ignore adult authorities.
After all, as it is, every year there are millions of young people who use drugs for the first time, and even more millions of young people and adults who use Marijuana regularly, in spite of all the scare tactics against drug use, and more drugs are available on the street than ever before. This is obvious evidence of the dismal failure of the counterproductive and unreasonable war on drugs. It is time that we adopt rational and reasonable policies and laws regarding drugs, especially Marijuana.
We need to be sane and realistic about this, and we need to reject the foolish, senseless, misguided claims of Prohibitionists who claim that Marijuana is harmful. It is not, when used properly, sparingly, and for the proper reasons. In fact, it is actually a highly beneficial herb, a good medicine, and even a holy sacrament!
By the way, there are plenty of sources of true information about Marijuana. For example, there was a series of three articles by a mother of an autistic son, who she gave medical Marijuana. Anyone interested in medical Marijuana should read it, because there are many different strains and hybrids, which produce different effects. Some relieve pain better, some help one be more social, etc. There's a film documentary titled The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, which does a pretty good job of exposing the absurdity of Marijuana Prohibition. There's a great movie called Humboldt County, which is pretty informative too. The thing is, if you really seek the truth, you will find it.
On June 21, 2011, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officially denied a petition to initiate rulemaking proceedings to reschedule Marijuana. Even though rescheduling it would correct the gross mistake made in 1970 which declared it to be a Schedule I drug along with Heroin, the DEA still claims otherwise, declaring that Marijuana has no beneficial properties or use, simply denying and ignoring all the scientific evidence of the truth.
Since the Feds are still being so foolish, and since so many people suffer harm, loss and imprisonment because of the insane Marijuana laws, you should know that there is a simple way that we can fight it.
Any jury in America may exercise their right of jury nullification, and even though judges don’t mention it, when you serve on a jury, it's not just the defendant on trial. It's the law as well. If jurors think a law is unfair or think that applying it in their particular case would be unjust, then they do not have to find the defendant guilty, even if the evidence clearly indicates guilt according to existing law.
Until Congressional politicians reform marijuana laws, jury nullification is one of the only ways to avoid imposing cruel "mandatory minimum" penalties on marijuana users, growers and sellers who don't deserve to go to prison.
So, if you ever serve on a jury where the defendant is accused of a Marijuana crime, don't forget about jury nullification. Tell the other jurors you don't have to convict, even if all the evidence points to guilt, if you don't agree with the application of the law in this instance. And if you can't swing your peers to your way of thinking, at least you can cause the jury to return a hung verdict.
"Jurors should acquit, even against the judge's instruction... if exercising their judgement with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction the charge of the court is wrong." ~ Alexander Hamilton, 1804
"It is not only the juror's right, but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement and conscience, though in direct opposition to the instruction of the court." ~ John Adams, 1771
By the way, on 02/5/2013 a bill, the U.S. House Bill 499: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 was introduced, but as of 2-14-2013 it has been virtually ignored. We should do something about that.
For more information, here are some informative sites: