From sacredness to evil

Part one

Among the exuberant chlorophyllous vegetation, and conspicuous for its almost luminous and eradiating semblance, grows the most symmetrical of plants. Enticed by her beauty no doubt, but with the obvious caution associated with his earliest explorations of the environment in search of nutrimental crops to grow, Neolithic Man must have initially approached the plant to taste her shiny oil-impregnated leaves for edibility, only to experience, almost immediately thereafter, an overwhelming sense of well-being. Little did this first agrarian fraternity imagine what inseparable a partnership this inebriating encounter with the five-purpose cannabis sativa would initiate. Indeed, the evidence so far unveiled by historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists, loudly confirms the pivotal role that this particular plant played in the painstaking construction of civilization, particularly throughout the eastern hemisphere.

For instance, the nation of Sumer -once located in the Mesopotamian Basin and precisely where modern Iraq is placed- would not have gone down in history as the ‘cradle of civilisation’ had she not first harvested the kanaba offspring. Certainly, this nation’s ambitious maritime logistics programme could not have been embarked upon without an abundant stock of useful raw materials, particularly hemp, which is ideal for the building of robust, impermeable cargo boats, strong rigging, anchor cordage and strong canvas sails, the latter, incidentally, having eventually obviated the papyrus equivalent so popular in Phoenicia and throughout Asia Minor. Much later in fact and during Elizabethan days, Britain’s maritime supremacy would be sustained precisely because of the increase in hemp cultivation throughout her empire, initially in Canada and Virginia and, ultimately, in India. Recent archaeological excavations in ancient Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Egyptian and Turkish sites have unearthed hempen fibril residue, indicating that cannabis was already being put to good use in these countries as far back as 4000 B.C. One such find included both stone-beaters for pounding the plant’s soft-fibre, and baked pottery decorated with exquisite impressions of hempen cord. In 1st century Greece, the writings of Pliny the Elder outlined the preparation and grades of hempen fibres, whilst the Roman historian Lucilius wrote of the filter for hempen ropes and sails being available to Rome in Gaul as early as 300 B.C. In ancient China, Tai-Ma, meaning ‘great hemp’, was widely used to produce houses, textiles, fabrics. and paper in particular. Because one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fibril pulp as 4.1 acres of trees, 75-90% of all paper used in the world until 1883 was made from hemp hurds, including that for books, bibles, maps, money, stocks and bonds, newspapers, etc. In fact, if the hemp pulp paper process of 1916 were in use today, it could replace 40-70% of all wood pulp paper, including corrugated boxes, computer printing paper, and paper bags. In the October 1988 issue of the Orange Country Register, the 2nd largest newspaper in California, we read: “Since 1937, about half the forests in the world have been cut down to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most would still be standing, oxygenating the planet.” Joining in the debate, and between 1991 and 1993, William B. Conde of Conde’s Redwood Lumber Inc. in conjunction with Washington State University demonstrated the superior strength, flexibility, and economy of hemp composite building materials.

The cannabis plant’s therapeutic properties were known to the Chinese emperor and herbalist Shen Nung back in 3000B.C. Sufferers from Malaria, beriberi, constipation, rheuma, absent-mindedness, and female disorders are all said to have benefitted greatly from Tai-Ma. Hoa-Glio, another ancient Chinese herbalist, is recorded as having dispensed analgesic mixtures of hemp, resin and wine to his patients during surgery. In India, bhangi was said to lower fever, induce sleep and cure dysentry. The ancient Hindu medical work, the Sushruta, claims that cannabis is life-prolonging, and that it can cure even leprosy and other equally lethal infections, whilst the Bharaprakasha, written around 1600 A.D., describes cannabis as antiphlegmatic, digestive, bile affecting, pungent, and astringent, further recommending it for the stimulation of the appetite, to improve digestion and to better the voice. According to other ancient Indian medical reports, cannabis was regularly used as an effective dandruff control and for the relief of headache, mania, insomnia, venereal disease, whooping cough, earache, and tuberculosis. It is also said to improve the lustre of the skin, hair, and eyes, whilst also stimulate lovers during sex. Given this catalogue of excellent applications, it is not surprising to find that the Maha-Bharata, a part of the Bhagavad-Gita collection, features Krsna, claiming, “I am the healing herb.” As recently demonstrated by Nobel Prize candidate Dr Joanna Budwig, the plant’s fatty acids have proven very useful in the treatment of cardio-vascular disease, glandular atrophy, gall stones, kidney degeneration, acne, dry skin, immune deficiency and even terminal cancer. Cannabis, in fact, affords over 250 therapeutic benefits, and it is thus not surprising to learn that between 1842 and 1900, cannabis made up for half of all the medicines dispensed by professional doctors worldwide. The U.S. Pharmacopoeia came out in support during this time, confirming cannabis as the primary medicine for more than 100 different illnesses.

For thousands of years, virtually all good paints and varnishes were made from hempseed and linseed oils, and the great Dutch Masters only painted on good hemp canvas, the word ‘canvas’, incidentally, finding its philological roots precisely in ‘kanaba’. Hempseed oil lit the lamps of legendary characters, such as Aladdin and Abraham, and in real life those of Abraham Lincoln. Hempseed oil is in fact the brightest lamp oil, and it was thus the most consumed in the world until the 1870’s, when it was exceeded only by whale oil. The celebrated botanist Luther Burbank is recorded as stating, “The seed (of cannabis) is prized in other countries for its oil, and its neglect here (America) illustrates the same wasteful use of our agricultural resources”, and according to Ralph Loziers of the National (American) Institute of Oilseed Products, “hempseed…is used in all the Oriental nations including some parts of Russia, as a source of cooking oil and food. It is grown in the fields and consumed as oatmeal particularly during times of famine.” Indeed, Australians, for instance, would never deny this, having themselves survived two prolonged famines in the 19th century, consuming, almost exclusively, hempseeds for protein and hemp leaves for roughage. The truth is that of the three million plus edible plants that grow on earth, no other single plant source can match the nutritional value of hempseed. Although the soya bean contains the higher percentage of protein of the two, the readily available proteins in hempseeds afford all the essential amino acids (in the ideal proportions) to create immunoglobulins or, antibodies, whose job it is to ward off infections. Sprouting any seed improves its nutritional value and hemp can be sprouted to produce milk and also grounded to make flour. Hempseed was used extensively as animal feed until the turn of the twentieth century, it being a balanced diet that if in use today would eradicate the current abuse of artificial weight-inducing steroids that threaten to contaminate both the human race and the world’s food chain.

The plant’s natural deliriant also had an excellent reception in antiquity. “Given for the welfare of mankind” in the words of Shiva, bhangi was thus the Gift of the Gods in India, where it was said to enlighten and quicken the mind and also improve judgement. It is written that Shiva had commanded the word ‘bhangi’ to be chanted repeatedly during the sowing, weeding, and harvesting of their Sacred Plant. Mahayana Buddhist tradition maintains that the Lord Buddha had himself survived on one hempseed a day prior to his holy mission and his preaching of the ‘Four Truths’, and in Tantric Buddhism (Tibet), cannabis continues to play a very significant role in the meditative rituals used to facilitate deep meditation and heighten awareness. Burned as incense in most ancient religious temples, cannabis was said to gift those therein with ‘heavenly glimpses’, the religious term ‘anointed’, incidentally, being a reminder precisely of hempseed oil and of its physical and spiritual restoring qualities. In the Temple of Solomon and as part of the Friday night services, thousands of attendants are said to have passed around and inhaled thousands of incense burners filled with kanabosom. Traces of cannabis resin have recently been found in pharaonic burial chambers and in the open granite sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, and Egyptologists and Pyramidologists alike are now telling us that cannabis may well have played a supporting role in Egyptian ‘out of body’ experiments. In Shintoism, cannabis was inhaled for the binding of married couples, to drive away evil spirits and to engender peace and laughter. About the Scythians around 500 B.C., Herodotus wrote, “…they make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined toward one another, and stretching around them woollen plats which they arrange so as to fit as close as possible. Inside the booth a dish is placed upon the ground into which they put a number of red hot stones and then add some hemp seed…immediately it smokes and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy…” In 200 A.D., Galen, the historian, wrote that it was sometimes customary among Romans to offer cannabis to guests in order to promote hilarity and enjoyment, whilst Democritus reported that cannabis would sometimes be mixed with wine and myrrh and then imbibed to induce visionary states.

Part two

The British Industrial Revolution of 1750 would mark the dawn of industrialized society, and in 19th century America, the Earth’s premier annually renewable natural resource was in danger of losing its historical commercial predominance. The inadequate mechanized harvesting and breaking technology in place at the time could not satisfy modern America’s insatiable appetite for hemp derivatives, a factor that would encourage the search for alternative natural resources. Although late, remedial action by way of private investment would come in 1938, when hundreds of modern purpose-built hemp fibre-stripping machines were introduced. The revival of the American hemp market, however, now largely depended on this nation’s farmers and landowners who would need to be convinced of the commercial viability and future value of hemp cultivation before embracing the new technology. Collaborating to this effect, the front cover of the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics referred to cannabis as “The New Billion-Dollar Crop” and “The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that can be grown.” Unbeknown to these entrepreneurs, and during the late 20’s and early 30’s, a handful of ambitious and opportunist businessmen had invested massively in the enormous timber acreage and businesses of the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division, Kimberley Clark (USA), St. Regis and, virtually, in all other timber, paper, and large newspaper holding companies. These investors stood to lose billions if the cultivation of the now almost neglected cannabis plant were ever allowed to re-emerge. The 30’s had also seen a few large steel, oil and chemical (munitions) companies consolidate their power, and the fearful but influential Dupont, who in 1937 had patented processes for making plastics from oil and coal as well as new sulphate/sulphite processes for making paper from wood pulp, had by now managed to persuade the Federal Government into delegating the control and organisation of the entire nation’s domestic textile production to his enterprise. The prospect of bankruptcy, however, would finally send these shareholders and business entrepreneurs over the edge. The first signs of a weaving monopoly emerged in 1937, when the Treasury Department, unilaterally and in secret, passed the so-termed ‘occupational excise tax’ and ‘transfer tax’ on hemp dealers, importers, manufacturers, sellers, and distributors. Within the same year, Harry Anslinger of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and at the bidding of multi-millionaire W.R. Hearst (who had recently coined the name ‘marijuana’ to mock Mexican mothers, further branding hemp the ‘Mexican killer weed’) stood before Congress, uttering, ”Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” Although the alarmed American Medical Association (AMA), for instance, had promptly and vehemently voiced its opposition to both the unfounded attacks and the Marijuana Tax Act, Congress had already made up its mind to continue with its prohibition policy, and thereafter conspire to misinform and deceive what was, at the time, proving to be a befuddled and gullible American public. Indeed, using the full power of the U.S. Federal Government, and threatening with incarceration, Anslinger set out to halt virtually all further research into cannabis and, deliberately enough, the particular medical studies by the then antagonistic AMA.

The heavy demands that World War II threatened upon American industry, however, would force the Government to withdraw, albeit temporarily, the cannabis anti-propaganda strategy. Although still illegal, the American Department of Agriculture, now intent on unteaching the public, commissioned a 14-minute pro-marijuana educational film guide entitled ‘Hemp for Victory’, which outlined the benefits of hemp cultivation. The documentary’s narrative must have confused many of its viewers. Parts of it read: “Long ago, when these ancient Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind……..American hemp must meet the needs of our Army and Navy, as well as our industry……..This is hemp seed. Be careful how you use it. For to grow hemp legally you must have a federal registration and tax stamp……..This is Manila hemp from the Navy’s rapidly dwindling reserves. When it is gone, American hemp will go on duty again; hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ships and shore. Just as in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails……..” As a result of the new propaganda, 36,000 acres of seed hemp were cultivated in the U.S. during 1942 alone -the target for 1943 having been set at 50,000. Hemp, the ‘marijuana killer seed from Mexico’, had once again emerged to rescue America. The end of the war, however, would rekindle the capitalists’ fear of hemp, and it would not be long before the resurgence of the intensive anti-cannabis conspiracy, only that this time round it verged, not only on the absurd and ridiculous, but also on the criminal. Indeed, Anslinger now announced a total crackdown on marijuana, leading witch-hunt-like persecutions of the U.S.´s African-American and Mexican populations, falsely accusing them of marijuana abuse and of debauching the white American youth with their music from hell. Even Louis Armstrong was arrested. These are some of the typical, hysterical headlines featured in most of Hearst’s tabloids of the day; ‘New Dope Lure, Marijuana Has Many Victims’, ‘Marijuana Makes Fiends Of Boys In 30 Days’, ‘Marijuana, The Devil’s Harvest’, ‘Hashish Goads Users To Blood-Lust’. Literally, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and blacks would, on aggregate, spend millions of years in prisons and on chain gangs under the brutal segregationist laws that would remain in force throughout the U.S. until the early 1960’s.

From 1948 to 1950 the alleged threat of Communism to the U.S. would present the anti-cannabis campaigners with a fresh excuse to further castigate and punish the use and cultivation of cannabis. The incessant anti-marijuana schemes of the 30’s which had resulted in the Prohibition Law, had owed its astonishing success to the barbed arguments and lies of Anslinger before a biased U.S. Congress. The new strategy, notwithstanding, now set out to recognise cannabis for what it really was, that is, a harmless and peace-inducing substance. Testifying before a strongly anti-Communist Congress in 1948 -and thereafter continually to the press- Anslinger, who according to his autobiography had for years been illegally plying U.S. Senator J. McCarthy with morphine, now confessed that marijuana was more dangerous than he had previously thought. No longer was marijuana violence-causing, according to Anslinger, but the very opposite. For once he had spoken truthfully! America’s standing armies, according to the new argument, were now at risk of becoming pacifistic zombies through such contamination, threatening to lessen America’s defence capability against a possible strike by the Soviet Block. This was a 180-degree turnaround from the original pretext on which ‘violence causing’ marijuana had been outlawed in 1937. Undaunted, however, Congress now voted to perpetuate the marijuana prohibition, basing the condemnation on the exact opposite reasoning that had led to the illegalisation of the plant in the first place. We must note that all the while, the supposedly health-concerned Federal Government was allowing the CIA to conduct hundreds of mind-control experiments among its own agents and other citizens, also spraying LSD and other mind-bending chemicals upon her unsuspecting fighting troops in Vietnam, causing them to commit atrocities that would later be conveniently blamed on their abuse of -yes you guessed it – marihuana.

By 1966, millions of young Americans had begun using marijuana, and both parents and Government, wanting to know the dangers involved, started funding hundreds of marijuana health studies at a time when 30 years of Anslinger/Hearst scare stories of murder, rape, and atrocity were still entrenched in the minds of the older generations. Federal sponsored research results, however, began to ease American fears. Prior to 1976 in fact, reports of positive effects and new therapeutic indications for cannabis were almost a weekly occurrence in medical journals and in the national press. However, in 1976, just as multi-disciplined marijuana research should have been going into its fourth generation studies, a U.S. government policy again forbad all promising federal research into marijuana’s therapeutic effects. Although unexpected, this was not surprising, for it would soon be revealed that American pharmaceutical companies had successfully petitioned the Federal Government to be allowed to finance and judge 100% of all future research. The travesty continued unabated.

The weight of empirical fact and large amounts of corroborating evidence indicate that the former Reagan/Bush/Quayle administrations, along with their unique pharmaceutical connections, have probably conspired at the highest levels to withhold information and to misinform the public. And they did it, it appears, intending to protect and secure both their own and their friends’ investments in the pharmaceutical, energy, beer & spirits, and paper industries. Unsurprisingly, therefore, when in May 1998 the U.S. asked the United Nations – more often than not this country’s puppet- to outlaw the use of cannabis in all forms, including, medicine, food, paper, and fabrics. And so, mounting evidence that concludes that cannabis is one of the only hopes for a reversal of the Greenhouse Effect and the only available biomass source capable of making the U.S. and the entirety of Europe absolutely energy independent, continues to be suppressed.

Finally, a word of caution. Readers would do well to note that Democracy or, ‘People Rule’, takes three fundamental forms, and that Representative Democracy, the indirect type, is the most popular. Essentially, indirect representation means that a nation, by means of a voting system, agrees to delegate her responsibilities and administration to the representatives of her choice who are then expected to proceed transparently in support of and in sympathy with the general expectations and wishes of the electorate. Given the evidence, nevertheless, it is patently clear that both the American and European nations have been fascistically misrepresented.

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Responses

  1. and India is better? Tibet, a government can only be effective if it is based on truth, in which case is totally non-existent today. The one factor that limits this effectiveness is personal greed. I have traveled extensively in my life and have visited many countries. And I see no change for the better yet