Cannabis: A Journey Through the Ages – Bryan Hilliard

Smokers-hearts-Cannabis

In 1997, a hemp rope dating back to 26,900 BC was found in Czechoslovakia, making it the oldest known object to be associated with cannabis.  Since that time, hemp has played an important role in humanity’s development.  For thousands of years marijuana was not only legal, but an important crop among cultures throughout history, and held commercial, medicinal, and spiritual value.

The cultivation of cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, can be traced back at least 12,000 years, which places the plant among humanity’s oldest cultivated crops.  Cannabis plants are believed to have evolved in Central Asia in the regions of Mongolia and southern Siberia.  The earliest cultural evidence of Cannabis comes from the oldest known Neolithic culture in China, the Yangshao, who appeared along the Yellow River valley.  From 5,000 to 3,000 B.C the economy of the Yangshao was cannabis-driven.  Archaeological evidence shows they wore hemp clothing, wove hemp, and produced hemp pottery.

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 BC by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung.  He documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout.  Both hemp and psychoactive marijuana were widely used in ancient China.  The ancient Chinese used virtually every part of the Cannabis plant: the root for medicine; the stem for textiles, rope and paper making; the leaves and flowers for intoxication and medicine; and the seeds for food and oil.  Cannabis seeds were also one of the grains of early China and ancient tombs of China had sacrificial vessels filled with hemp for the afterlife.

Read the rest via Cannabis: A Journey Through the Ages | Ancient Origins.

The ‘Constitutional Conservative’ Who Wants to Legalize Pot—and Anything That’s Peaceful – Jacob Sullum

David Simpson, the Republican state representative who wants to repeal marijuana prohibition in Texas, is a radical. I mean that in a good way. The bill he introduced on Monday would not merely allow specified marijuana-related activities—the approach taken by every state that has legalized marijuana so far. Instead Simpson, who is in his third term representing an East Texas district that includes Gregg and Upshur counties, aims to eliminate all references to marijuana from the state’s criminal code. In an essay published by The Texas Tribune‘s online opinion section, he explains why, laying out “The Christian Case for Drug Law Reform”:

As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same.

In fact, it’s for this reason that I’m especially cautious when it comes to laws banning plants. I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.

New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes likes what Simpson has to say. “I don’t think I’ve read a more concise and persuasive conservative argument for rethinking marijuana laws,” Downes writes. But Simpson’s goal is more ambitious than that:

In the name of protecting the public, certain substances have been declared evil and contraband. So evil are these substances that state and federal agents are empowered to enforce laws with little or no regard for constitutional protections of individual rights, the sanctity of one’s home or the right to travel freely….

Our current “war on drugs” policies [are] spurring a proliferation of ever-changing exotic designer drugs and a disregard for contitutional protections in the name of eliminating drugs at any cost. Just think of no-knock warrants, stop-and-frisk, civil asset forfeiture and billionaire drug lords.

The time has come for a thoughtful discussion of the prudence of the prohibition approach to drug abuse, the impact of prohibition enforcement on constitutionally protected liberties and the responsibilities that individuals must take for their own actions….

Should we be concerned for our friends and neighbors who abuse a substance or activity? Yes, we should help them through sincere and voluntary engagement, but not with force and violence.

Is there a place for prohibition? Yes, a prohibition of aggression (Romans 13). Our laws should prohibit and penalize violent acts. This is the jurisdiction of the magistrates under the new covenant—harm to one’s neighbor.

Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor.

Read the rest via The ‘Constitutional Conservative’ Who Wants to Legalize Pot—and Anything That’s Peaceful – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Illinois OAI at IL NORML Lobby Day This Wednesday in Springfield

As part of an effort to move Illinois law in a libertarian direction, we will sponsor opportunities to join other groups in Springfield for visits with your representative and senator.  This Wednesday, February 25th, at 9am, you are encouraged to join Thomas Hill, OAI Illinois Director, as he joins the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to advocate bills lessening the prohibition of cannabis and hemp.  Will you commit to participating, and forward this email to a couple of fellow activists to join you?
Upon arrival head straight into the Capitol, go through screening, and meet at the NORML table on the 1st floor for handouts and to ask questions regarding how best to utilize your time, and be partnered with others to help you navigate this experience.  Helping NORML’s Lobby Day will inform politicians of the dissatisfaction with the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and the slow pace of reform in Illinois.
If cannabis and hemp reform aren’t your priorities for lobbying, don’t worry – Director Hill will have a separate Our America Initiative handout with other bills that promote liberty.  Indeed, in Illinois OAI long has supported the No Cronies project, an effort to abolish taxpayer subsidies and preferences for influential institutions.  Feel free to share handouts from both groups with your politicians and their staffers.  According to IL NORML’s Lobby Day instructions, it’s important to try to schedule a meeting with your reps before your arrival; the link describes other areas of the Capitol to find and speak with your legislator.  The lobbying will continue through 4pm.
Advocating libertarian law changes is the priority of 501(c)4s like Our America Initiative.  To be connected to Director Hill to help the cause, kindly fill out the volunteer link.  With your donation now and input from our Advisory Councils, we could advocate less government and more freedom nationally and through more of our fifty state affiliates.
Yours in Liberty,
Thomas Hill
Illinois Director

Ending the War on Drugs – Laurence Vance

Review of Dean Becker, To End the War on Drugs: A Guide for Politicians, the Press, and the Public (DTN Media, 2014), iv + 337 pgs., paperback.

It was a hundred years ago this month that Congress enacted the Harrison Narcotics Act to make the importation, manufacturing, sale, and distribution of cocaine and opiates illegal without being registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, recording each transaction, and paying an annual tax and licensing fee. This was the federal government’s first major salvo in the war on drugs.

Operation Mallorca, US Drug Enforcement Admini...

Dean Becker has just launched his own salvo, but in the opposite direction. He is a man on a mission—a mission to end the drug war. His new book, To End the War on Drugs, will tell you why Bush drug czar John Walters refused not only to consent to an interview, but to even talk to the author.

To End the War on Drugs will tell you a lot of things by a lot of people. This is because of its unique interview format. But before getting into that, first a word or two about Dean Becker and what he thinks about the government’s war on drugs.

Becker, an Air Force veteran who became a reporter after he retired from industry, discovered DrugLibrary.org back in 1997. With this discovery, he found his true calling: to end the drug war. He founded the Drug Truth Network and began broadcasting his message on the radio. He has since expanded into television with “Unvarnished Truth,” a weekly, one-hour program. Becker also speaks on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) since he was a police officer in the service.

“The Drug War is a pipe dream of men who died long ago. It has become a quasi-religion, a belief system that attracted many adherents within law enforcement and the criminal justice system to speak from ignorance or bigotry in steadfast support of primitive screeds, platitudes, and irrational tradition.

Given the overwhelming evidence, there is no other explanation other than the drug war is a sham, scam, film-flam, hoax of Biblical proportion. Forces at every level of government in the US and nearly so worldwide are in league for profits and power derived from the continuance of the war on drugs. The horrors we inflict on ourselves via this policy are enormous, outrageous and obvious as hell.

The Drug War is vacuous, hollow, and a horrendous mistake.

We have been force fed 100 years of clap trap, balderdash, poppycock and absolute horseshit presented as science, commonsense and reality.

Nearly all the harms ascribed to drugs are the result of drug prohibition.

The drug war is a type of mass hysteria that has led us to a decade-long wave of mass psychosis that benefits millions of profiteers and allays the fear and social bigotry of the masses.

Science has been corrupted for the last hundred years in the name of the drug war. Medical practitioners have been corrupted as well and are now suffering for their cowardice as more pain doctors are locked up and their careers destroyed. Law enforcement has been corrupted, our legal system become a hell hole. Customs and border agents are bribed on a daily basis; prisons are filled to overflowing. The US is now the world’s leading jailer.” -Dean Becker

Read more via Ending the War on Drugs | LibertarianChristians.com.

Bob Marley’s Family Announces Launch of ‘Marley Natural’ Cannabis Brand

The family of reggae icon Bob Marley has announced that they have teamed up with a Seattle-based private equity firm to produce “a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy” of the legendary Jamaican. The brand, known as Marley Natural, will include pot-infused creams, strain’s of “heirloom Jamaican cannabis” inspired by the stuff that Marley himself used to smoke and accessories like portable vaporizers.

Marley performing at Dalymount Park

The announcement came this morning via a segment NBC’s Today, in which the Marley family revealed their partnership with Privateer Holdings, the owners of Marley Natural. Speaking with the program, Privateer Holdings CEO Brendan Kennedy said, “This is what the end of prohibition looks like…Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We’re going to help him finish it.”

Marley Natural will be available late next year in places where the purchase and sale of marijuana is legal. As of now that only includes a small number of of countries and the American states of Colorado and Washington, though the news comes just a few weeks after the citizens of Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC voted to end the prohibition of cannabis in their respective jurisdictions.

Read more via Jambands.com – Need We Say More? > News > Bob Marley’s Family Announces Launch of ‘Marley Natural’ Cannabis Brand.