Thursday, September 29, 2016

Carl Sagan: Astronomer, Scientist, Cannabis Advocate

Carl Sagan showed us the universe like we had never seen it before. He was a scientist, a NASA employed astrophysicist, a legendary author and communicator. His series on the universe, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, was the most watched American public television series of all time.

Most people don't know that Sagan was also a marijuana user and advocate, even as a NASA employee during a time when he could have spent years in jail just for enjoying the effects from a special plant.

To others who indulge in marijuana (cannabis, herb, weed, pot) it's not as surprising to hear that a great thinker like Sagan would also enjoy it. Cannabis has always been associated with spiritual and creative thinking. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Associate Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and close friend of Sagan, was introduced to marijuana by Sagan. Here are some quotes from Carl Sagan found in Grinspoon's book, Marihuana Reconsidered.

"I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I’ve had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds."

Social Consciousness
"I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves. It was a point obvious in a way, but rarely talked about. I drew the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down. One idea led to another, and at the end of about an hour of extremely hard work I found I had written eleven short essays on a wide range of social, political, philosophical, and human biological topics. Because of problems of space, I can’t go into the details of these essays, but from all external signs, such as public reactions and expert commentary, they seem to contain valid insights. I have used them in university commencement addresses, public lectures, and in my books."

Superior to Alcohol
"My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover. Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater."

Time Frame for Legalization
"I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world."


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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hemp Cars Would've Saved Millions of Lives, Trillions of Dollars

Henry Ford wanted to make cars from hemp and other farm grown products. He spent over a decade creating models that are estimated to be three times "greener" than today's electric cars based on how they were built and powered.
This is a picture of him in 1941 trying to dent his plastic car with an ax. He's hitting the car with an ax to make a point. Ford demonstrated these car panels were about 10 times stronger than steel, thus much safer.
Since 1941 there have been approx. 3 million car crash fatalities in the US alone. How many of those victims would have survived if hemp plastics could have been used by auto makers? Ford also wanted the cars to run on hemp and other biomass fuels. Instead we ended up with foreign dependency on petroleum. It's hard to quantify how many trillions of dollars we have sent to nations in the Middle East and elsewhere to supply our dependency on petroleum based fuels and plastics. To think we could have grown all our fuel and building materials right here by US farmers.

Canadians may see Kestrels on the road in the near future. These are proclaimed as the world's most environmentally friendly cars, made from hemp and powered on electricity. In Canada it's legal for farmers to grow hemp, something the US government still considers a Schedule 1 drug, as dangerous as heroin and cocaine even though hemp doesn't have enough THC to make anyone high. Is this a case of stupidity, corruption, or both to classify hemp as a Schedule 1 drug?

Hemp car (on left) is a Mercedes wagon that runs on hemp fuel. The car toured America and Canada making appearances at many alternative-energy, environmental, and hemp-legalization events. The car toured for several months and over 13,000 miles emphasizing the utility of industrial hemp.

Bruce Dietzen of Florida made this red, sporty hemp car for the chassis of a Mazda convertible. Dietzen hopes his environmentally friendly automobile will help debunk the taboo behind the cannabis plant and its uses. He had to import the hemp from China, because growing hemp is illegal in the US although importing it is not. (Think of the irony there.) Dietzen says, "We can make everything out of plants. That's what Henry Ford was really out to tell everyone when he created his first cannabis car."

The BMW i3 will be the first mass production car with most of its inner structure and body made of plant-based plastics. The unprecedented use of strong yet lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) makes the i3 one of BMW’s lightest vehicles, contributing to both performance and efficiency. It's an electric vehicle, yet still one of the fastest BMW models off the line. The CFRP is 50% lighter than steel and is actually the secret to this vehicle's remarkable performance and efficiency.
Shown on the right is a BMW door panel made from hemp. In the near future we should see hemp plastics emerging in every field as more and more governments recognize the idiocy of keeping this plant illegal. Way back in 1938 Popular Mechanics proclaimed hemp a billion dollar crop that could be used for over 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.

Going back a bit further, Thomas Jefferson said, "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country." Jefferson and other US Founding Fathers grew hemp as it was a mandated crop in much of Colonial American history. It was mandated because it could be used to make pretty much everything. The Founding Father's probably never imagined that hemp would, or could, become illegal.
Let's hope it isn't too late to correct a tragic mistake that has cost this nation and the world more than anyone can quantify.

Got an opinion or idea on this? Leave a comment.


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Monday, July 11, 2016

OJ Made in America: Most Important Documentary Ever For US Citizens

I just watched all 5 episodes of O.J.: Made in America. Calling it extraordinary would be understatement. It's a masterpiece. It may be the most important documentary anyone can watch if attempting to understand and heal race relations in America.
Though the focus is on events in Los Angeles following the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's and through the Simpson trials, the messages apply to the entire USA. The same themes reappear in Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas and so many other areas. Unfortunately the problems are far from ending because, apparently, we still haven't learned much. Maybe we don't want to learn? What happened back then and what's happening today are mirror images of tragedy stemming from a long history of racial insensitivity. Just as Black Lives Matter is an important concept to embrace, misusing it for motives of revenge is as short-sighted as the injustices that brought rise to the movement itself.

Roots of LA Racial Divide
The documentary shed so much light on my understanding of how a jury could find Simpson not guilty of a crime he most likely committed. Before then (or since), the public had never seen so much criminal evidence of a double-homicide that ended in acquittal. But this documentary recreates the atmosphere and mindset of African Americans living in Los Angeles during the 60's and beyond, which affected any ability to view a case that involved race with impartial eyes. OJ had to be acquitted under those circumstances.
Remember the times, the 60's, when people publicly discussed blacks as second-class citizens, even in American towns far away from the deep south. The LAPD had an established tolerance for racial doctrines of inequality, even employing high-ranking officers with connections to the KKK. Fast forward to the 90's and Mark Fuhrman, a lead detective on the night of the murder who found the famous bloody glove. Fuhrman eventually took the 5th amendment during the OJ trial due to fact that he was on record for being a well-documented racist.
In earlier days the LAPD clearly did not know how to handle a section of the city where poverty was rampant. Poverty leads to desperation. Desperation leads to crime. Just listening to the interviews of public officials makes it appear as if white police administration would have been happier if blacks had never moved west in the first place. The Watts riots in '65 occurred after successive murders of blacks went unpunished in the LA judicial system.

Before watching the documentary, I could not conceive that OJ could have been acquitted of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The mountain of evidence and his actions that followed made it beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it. After watching the documentary, I realized he had to be acquitted from that jury and those legal participants, and not because of any presumed innocence. It was karmic payback. It was a calamity, a circus, an American tragedy and lesson for us to dwell upon. Did we learn anything from this masterpiece that contains all of the pieces to why racial tension still exists in this country?
Probably not, and that's another tragedy. Most of us probably didn't learn a thing because our heads are already locked into perceptions of how things should be, or we couldn't put down the distractions of phones and social media long enough to pay attention. The duration of it, over 7 hours, will dissuade many from watching, but there's no other way to convey this much crucial information.
What will stick with me most are the dramatic changes OJ went through from the time he began his career at USC until the present. OJ was really a beautiful person in addition to being the most powerful, graceful and durable running back anyone had seen since Jim Brown. He was reserved and thoughtful, confident yet humble, and he put his team and teammates first. He was quick to credit others and to go out of his way to make people feel good. It's easy to see why America fell head over heels in love with him, white and black alike. OJ was the real deal.
OJ wanted fame more than money. He got it. Man, did he get fame. In fact, we haven't seen the last of OJ who may become the most famous American (recognized by the public) of all time in the near future. His run is not over, not by a long shot. Just wait until more understanding comes about for things like NFL concussion related insanity or the effects of unbridled stardom and how society can help destroy a celebrity. Think Junior Seau. Think Robin Williams and Princess Diana. Those are great examples, but Simpson will trump them all. There has never been another person who has both galvanized and polarized America more that OJ. That's quite a feat. Eventually we'll need to understand our role in creating a madman.

Living the American Dream
Look at these incredible photos of achievement. Who else has been carried off on teammates' shoulders in both college and the NFL? We put OJ on a pedestal because he was a USC football phenomenon and a USA track star. In only two seasons at USC he led the Trojans to the national championship and won the Heisman Trophy by a ridiculous margin. In the NFL he eclipsed Jim Brown's single season rushing record and broke the 2,000 yards rushing mark back when they played just 14 games. Then he starred for Hertz rental car ads, arguably the most successful advertising campaign of all time. He went on to become a successful actor and businessman. All of those epitomized the American dream. On top of that, he transcended color. He was loved by all, perhaps more so than any person in US history. How can any of us relate to what that must take to accomplish, and how it must be to live in a world where everyone wants a part of you?

Love Hate
The passionate love affair between OJ and Nicole Brown was bigger than either could control or deal with responsibly. It's reported love at first sight, that OJ claimed he was going to marry her upon meeting her, even though he was already married with children. And Nicole, just 18 when she met him, is the one we know very little about (Ron Goldman too). It's not fair to speculate over how she could have gotten involved with a married celebrity with children or how she could have stayed with an abusive husband for so long, but in cases like this we speculate nonetheless. Did Nicole add fuel to an already volatile situation? One can assume she at least made poor choices since she willingly got involved with OJ knowing he had a family already and that he was a womanizer. This is not to blame Nicole for anything but to serve as more fodder for what became of OJ, a man who couldn't handle rejection or letting go of someone he coveted.

Bigger than Hollywood
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Hollywood writers could not have written this story better than it played out naturally. How could a slow speed highway chase have stopped the NBA finals while the game was happening? Who could possibly be in that white Bronco followed by all those police cruisers looking more like a Presidential motorcade than a pursuit of a fugitive from justice? Who is a bigger sports hero turned actor to have been accused of a despicable double homicide? Who better than Mark Fuhrman to represent the racism within the LAPD? What jury could have been better for the defense than 8 African American women from LA? How incompetent did the prosecution seem from the gathering of evidence to the fateful decision to ask the defendant to try on the gloves that everyone else predicted would not fit?
You can't make this shit up.

Insanity, Concussions and CTE
A madman is what OJ became, a certifiable crazy person who appears to believe the lies that originated from self-preservation and snowballed from there. Sure, it's easy to blame OJ himself as many do, but how much did society play into that? Probably more than anyone is comfortable admitting. When someone is given everything by everyone for so many years even when it goes against conventional wisdom, it's easy to assume the world is yours for the taking.
Perhaps more importantly, how much is football to blame with concussion related insanity and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)? During the trials nobody knew about CTE or how repeated concussions can cause a person to have explosive, impulsive behavior and judgment. If anyone was a candidate for CTE, it would be Simpson. He carried the ball for USC a record number of times in 2 seasons and is the only NFL player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season of just 14 games (in 1978 the NFL expanded the season to 16 games).
courtesy UPR
Although the miniseries does not discuss this aspect of the OJ case, it will be analyzed for years to come. OJ has said, “I was knocked out of games for such head blows repeatedly in the 1970's and other times. I continued playing despite hard blows to my head during football games.”

And yet, the documentary is much more than an explanation of how OJ got away with it. It's a deep and hard look into the divides of color along with an attempt to exist beyond those labels. In some ways, OJ's acquittal represents a forgiveness for so many documented and undocumented cases of racial profiling, abuse, murder and hate crimes from both the public and police.
The violent killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, followed by the acquittal reminds me of throwing virgins into a boiling volcano to calm the gods. No, it doesn't make sense and it isn't justice, for those people lost their lives in a horrifying manner; nothing will bring them back beyond their memories.
It's painful to see the crime scene photos when Nicole and Ron were so brutally stabbed to death. It pains me to see OJ so defiant in living a lie for the purpose of self-preservation. It pains me even more to think of the thousands of times blacks have been victimized by police and white America for hundreds of years to this very day. Kwame Ajamu (mug shot), formerly known as Ronnie Bridgeman, spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. How many other Americans, especially African Americans, has this happened to?
I watched every minute of the miniseries because I'm a sports fan and an American trying to understand and help heal racial tensions. I don't know if that can ever be healed entirely, but this documentary sheds enormous light on the situation. Even though it's hard for some people to think of OJ as much else than a delusional, egotistical murderer, he is also a product of society.
Please make the effort to watch O.J.: Made in America as soon as possible.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

All-Time NBA Fantasy Dream Team

If you could pick 5 players in their prime for the ultimate NBA fantasy dream team, who would you choose? The possibilities are many, though I believe two or three of my picks should be universal.
Here's my dream team:
Michael Jordan - shooting guard. The consensus greatest all-around player.
Born: 2/17/63 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
High School: Laney (Wilmington, N.C.)
College: North Carolina (won NCAA championship 1982)
Drafted: Chicago Bulls (1984, 1st round - 3rd pick)
Height: 6-6; Weight: 216 lbs.
Honors: Six-time NBA champion (1991-93, '96-98); Five-time NBA MVP (1988, '91, '92, '96, '98); Ten-time NBA First Team (1987-93, 1996-98); Nine-time All-Defensive First Team (1988-93, 1996-98); Fourteen-time All-Star; Rookie of the Year (1985); Olympic gold medalist (1984, '92). In the 1982 NCAA championship he hit the game-winning shot as a freshman for a North Carolina win over Georgetown.

Magic Johnson - point guard. Magic put the show in the "Showtime" Lakers.
Born: 8/14/59 in Lansing, Michigan
High School: Everett (Lansing)
College: Michigan State (won NCAA championship 1979)
Drafted: L.A. Lakers (1979, 1st round - 1st pick)
Height: 6-9; Weight: 255 lbs.
Honors: Five-time NBA champion (1980, '82, '85, '87-88); Three-time NBA MVP (1987, '89, '90); Nine-time NBA First Team (1983-91); Twelve-time All-Star; Olympic gold medalist (1992). The 1979 NCAA championship featured the beginning of the rivalry between future Hall of Famers Johnson and Larry Bird, remains the highest-rated game in the history of televised college basketball.

Tim Duncan - power forward. The Big Fundamental.
Born: 4/25/76 in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
High School: Saint Dunstan's Episcopal (St. Croix)
College: Wake Forest 
Drafted: San Antonio Spurs (1997, 1st round - 1st pick)
Height: 6-11; Weight: 250 lbs. 
Honors: Five-time NBA champion (1999, '03, '05, '07, '14); Two-time NBA MVP (2002-03); Ten-time NBA First Team (1998-2005, '07, '13); Eight-time All-Defensive First Team (1999-2003, '05, 2007-08); Fifteen-time All-Star; Rookie of the Year (1998).

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - center. NBA all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points.
Born: 8/16/47 in New York City
High School: Power Memorial (N.Y.)
College: UCLA (won 3 NCAA championships 1967-69)
Drafted: Milwaukee Bucks (1969, 1st round - 1st pick)
Height: 7-2; Weight: 267 lbs.
Honors: Six-time NBA champion (1971, '80, '82, '85, '87-88); Six-time NBA MVP (1971, '72, '74, '76, '77, '80); Ten-time NBA First Team; Five-time All-Defensive First Team; Nineteen-time All-Star; Rookie of the Year (1970).

LeBron James - small forward. Numerous "youngest to" distinctions including youngest player to score 25,000 career points.
Born: 12/30/84 in Akron, Ohio
High School: St. Vincent - St. Mary (Akron)
College: none
Drafted: Cleveland Cavaliers (2003, 1st round - 1st pick)
Height: 6-8; Weight: 250 lbs.
Honors: Three-time NBA champion (2012-13, 16); Four-time NBA MVP (2009, '10, '12, '13); Ten-time NBA First Team (2006, '08-'16); Five-time All-Defensive First Team (2009-13); Twelve-time All-Star; Rookie of the Year (2004); Olympic gold medalist (2008, '12).

Other nominees include: Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Pete Maravich, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Dirk Nowitzki, James Worthy, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Isiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook and many more.

Who are your starting 5 NBA fantasy dream team players? How could your lineup neutralize this one?

  Leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No Parity in College Basketball?

Jay Bilas says the unthinkable, that "parity doesn't exist in college basketball." Did Duke lose? What could have upset him so much to claim there's no parity in the men's game?

He's not talking about the women's game, where UConn has dominated in a fashion that presumably can't happen anymore with the men, as it last did with UCLA in the 60's and 70's. He's talking about now and the parity I see each year with the "eye test" that Jay often refers to during bubble-talk. You know, how it seems like these days so many teams have height, athleticism and can nail 3-pointers to make any game a questionable outcome. Or how everyone agrees that one of these tourneys a 16-seed is going to beat a 1-seed. It must be parity, right?

Jay says no. He explains there are always brow-raising upsets in the opening rounds, but by the Sweet 16 we're left with a baker's dozen of the usual power conference suspects plus a few Cinderellas from mid-majors. "Parity means equality...but most people use it as an excuse when a big shot loses."

He could be right about the sound-bite excuse. How else do we explain 15-seed Middle Tennessee beating 2-seed Michigan State, a top Vegas favorite to win the 2016 tournament? Conventional basketball correctness says the answer is parity, but maybe that's an excuse and has become commonplace to the point of acceptance without evidence.

His comment surprised me, and props to him for going against convention. I've always appreciated his opinion just as I do for Gminski, Battier, Williams and others who sampled the dark side of blue at an impressionable age. But parity doesn't exist? Would Coach K make such a wild claim? Doubtful.

Jay also asks, "If we have parity, when did it arrive?" This makes it sound personal since it's like asking when did global warming arrive, that is if we have it. (However I can answer when it arrived, and Jay knows the answer too.)

Fortunately we have stats to demonstrate if parity exists or not. I believe Jay would agree that parity means more and more teams are becoming competitive against the highest ranked programs, even capable of beating them. I asked my staff to postpone their spring break long enough to crunch some numbers and determine just how crazy Jay's comment is.

Hypothesis #1:
If parity exists, there should be less of a gap between the best and worst teams in the tournament. There should be a shrinking average margin of victory in first round games of the 1 vs 16-seeds and the 2 vs 15-seeds. Is there victory shrinkage?

During 1985-1994, the first ten years of the 64-team field, the average margin of victory in games featuring the 1's and 2's vs the 16's and 15's was 20.1 points per game. The same scenario over the last ten years (2006-2015) is 19.7 points, not a substantial difference. No shrinkage.
Point to Jay.

Hypothesis #2:
If parity exists, there should be more higher seeds reaching the Final Four. Is there a higher average for those seeds lately than in the past?

From 1985-1994 the average seed for a Final Four team was 2.5.
From 2006-2015 the average seed for a Final Four team was 3.3.
Point to parity.

Hypothesis #3:
If parity exists, we shouldn't see the same college programs advancing deep each year. There should be a greater number of programs reaching plateaus like the Sweet Sixteen and Final Four lately than in the past.

From 1985 to 1994 the number of programs to reach the Sweet Sixteen was 68, and 23 programs made it to the Final Four.
From 2006 to 2015 those numbers fell to 67 and 22.
Point to Jay.

Of interest, some of the big anomalies are contrary to the parity-thought-train. For example, only once since 1985 have all 1-seeds made it to the Final Four and it happened recently (2008). Another example is the closest a 16-seed came to beating a 1-seed was back in 1990 (Murray State vs Michigan State) where the favorite needed overtime to win. And then the highest seed to ever win it all was 8-seed Villanova way back in 1985, the year it expanded to a field of 64.
Point to Jay.

And finally, look at the champions list since 1995, essentially the same names you'd hear from decades before without one example of a major surprise:
Kentucky (3)
UConn (4)
Michigan State
Duke (3)
North Carolina (2)
Florida (2)
Point to Jay.

Unfortunately the time frame is short. Just 31 years to see change truly represented--that may be a stretch. We probably need twenty more years to see better evidence. While I still believe in parity or want to believe in it, I'll concede to Jay for now. Not saying it wholeheartedly, but there appears to be no substantial change in parity for today's men's programs compared to those of 25-30 years ago.

However I do know when it arrived, the same parity that may or may not exist. Jay knows too. December 23, 1982 when the Silverswords of Chaminade University of Honolulu (800 students) beat #1 Virginia and Ralph Sampson as a senior. From that day on everyone knew the impossible was possible when it came to college basketball.

Chaminade over Virginia may not be the definition of parity, but it clearly indicated basketball was a game where David could beat Goliath. Perhaps that's why we love the madness. Parity, or something resembling it, makes this game insanely fun for players, coaches and fans alike. Enjoy the madness and listen to Jay Bilas. He's a smart man.


Friday, November 27, 2015

NFL Needs Cannabis More Than Ever
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjya Gupta, reports that 96% of former NFL players, who agreed to have their brains tested after death, show signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a condition similar to Alzheimer's.

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain common in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma. CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920s. With the recent passing of NFL great and CTE sufferer, Frank Gifford, more concern than ever is being focused on solutions.

Cannabis (marijuana) offers hope though it's presently a banned substance on the NFL's drug policy. Cannabis has been shown to protect the brain from head trauma and also assist with recovery. In fact, the US Government holds a patent for marijuana as a neuroprotectant. 

The patent (#6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” and was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bernie Sanders Endorses Cannabis Legalization


During the Democratic presidential debates on Oct. 13, 2015, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became the second major party candidate, after Rand Paul on the Republican side, to endorse marijuana legalization. He is also now the first major party candidate on either side of the aisle, to endorse recreational reform at the federal level specifically.

The statement was immediately met with support from the major advocacy organizations. According to Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, “This marks the first time a major-party presidential candidate has clearly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana like alcohol. The people have typically led the politicians on this issue, and finally we’re seeing a presidential candidate who appears to have caught up with them.”

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Let Your Candidate Know: Vote M-A-R-I

marijuana cannabis hemp for medicine agriculture recreation industry
Next time someone wants your vote, say this:

Are you pro cannabis-hemp-marijuana? (My state) and America need to legalize this plant for Medicine, Agriculture, Recreation and Industry. M-A-R-I.

Cannabis-hemp-marijuana makes the best medicine, building materials, fuels, foods and is safest for adult enjoyment while benefiting the environment.

Any candidate, locally or nationally, must support full legalization to get my vote.

Feel free to use this exact wording or to alter it.

And if someone responds that marijuana will corrupt the children, just say this:

Aspirin kills thousands of US citizens per year, including children. Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax, Ritalin, Prozac, Prednisone and hundreds of other legal killers have hardly any known history compared to thousands of years with marijuana and no overdoses. How can you trust the government and Big Pharma when over the counter and prescription drugs are killing 44 Americans every single day, including children?

Cannabis-hemp-marijuana dates back thousands of years and is one of the oldest known crops. The newer strains for medicinal use are much higher in CBD (cannabidiol), which counters the psycho-activity of THC and doesn't make people feel stoned.

Here are some links to know cannabis-hemp-marijuana better, and they might blow your mind:

Society of Cannabis Clinicians -

Project CBD -

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -

Marijuana Investor News -

Patients Out Of Time -

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pot Experiment Unlocks Marijuana’s Secrets and Much More

If you try to read most of the marijuana articles you see online these days, you might not get much else done. Cannabis-hemp-marijuana has quickly become ubiquitous, and if you think it's big now just wait until America gets closer to elections.

Whether the discussion is about medicine, recreation or industry and with titles ranging from The Great Pot Experiment to Science Seeks to Unlock Marijuana’s Secrets, mainstream media has completely embraced the grass, weed, herb, green, MJ movement.

How could they not? It's a story about government propaganda gone amuck with over 80 years. A story about how a small group of powerful people pulled off the biggest smoke screen in American history. An epic tragedy of a wonderful plant that was woven into every fabric of society and then wrongly accused, dragged through the sewer and imprisoned for crimes it did not commit.

Here are a couple of the latest. FromTime: 

Legalization keeps rolling ahead. But because of years of government roadblocks on research, we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana—or the benefits

Read the full article from Time -

Also this one from Hampton Sides of National Geographic:

There’s nothing new about cannabis, of course. It’s been around humankind pretty much forever.

In Siberia charred seeds have been found inside burial mounds dating back to 3000 B.C. The Chinese were using cannabis as a medicine thousands of years ago. Marijuana is deeply American too—as American as George Washington, who grew hemp at Mount Vernon. For most of the country’s history, cannabis was legal, commonly found in tinctures and extracts.

Then came Reefer Madness. Marijuana, the Assassin of Youth. The Killer Weed. The Gateway Drug. For nearly 70 years the plant went into hiding, and medical research largely stopped. In 1970 the federal government made it even harder to study marijuana, classifying it as a Schedule I drug—a dangerous substance with no valid medical purpose and a high potential for abuse, in the same category as heroin. In America most people expanding knowledge about cannabis were by definition criminals.

Read the full article from National Geographic

Cannabis-hemp-marijuana is a plant with thousands of uses for medicine, industry, food, fuels and recreation. Time to pardon it nationally.
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

NFL Concussions and Marijuana

NFL concussions marijuana
The NFL has been dealing with two major issues: concussions and its outdated anti-marijuana policy despite changing times. In a twist of irony, the two issues may end up working together to make the NFL a safer place for the long run.

NFL players are no strangers to marijuana. Former players like Nate Jackson and Lomas Brown have publicly estimated about half of NFL athletes use marijuana. Jackson has said, "Marijuana was something that helped me, (sic) as the season wore on, my body would start to break down.  I was in a lot of pain.”

Marijuana is among the oldest remedies for pain and stress. Its history dates back thousands of years before Vicodin, Percocet, Toradol and other dangerous pharmaceuticals handed out so freely by NFL teams medical personnel. Most people know the NFL is dealing with lawsuits related to concussions; not surprisingly it's dealing with drug policy litigation as well.

Concussions and CTE
The helmet protects the skull, but it doesn't keep the brain from sloshing around during a hit. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) comes from repeated head traumas and can evolve into a degenerative brain disease. CTE may have contributed to the suicides of NFL players Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher, who also killed his girlfriend. In cases of brain trauma, a lot of inflammation occurs which affects brain function and neural connections. A compound in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has shown scientific potential to be an antioxidant and neuroprotectant for the brain. Perhaps that's why some players instinctively prefer it.

Commissioner Goodell, you still open to medical marijuana?

In January of 2014, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that. Our medical experts are not saying that right now." Goodell did not discuss what the other medical experts are saying, the ones who recommend marijuana over dangerous pharmaceuticals for concussion prevention and treatment. To the commissioner's credit, the NFL has made substantial efforts with rule changes for safer hitting methods, but that's not enough. He needs to acknowledge the opinions of more medical experts and requests from the players who understand what their bodies prefer for pain and inflammation.

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is one of those reaching out to the NFL commissioner. Grinspoon is both a football fan and also Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He's authored many books including Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. Dr. Grinspoon wrote Goodell a letter imploring him to actively support research into using cannabis to treat long term head trauma.
Dr. Raphael Machoulam is professor of Medical Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He's studied cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for over 50 years and identified a major physiological system (the endocannabinoid system) which seems to be involved in many human diseases. Marijuana mimics compounds found in the brain, named endocannabinoids, and are of immense importance in bodily functions. Related compounds found more recently in the brain and in bones have to do with brain protection and osteoporosis.

Clint Werner is a researcher and author of Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease. Werner says, “Severe head injuries automatically trigger the production of an excessive amount of neurotransmitters called glutamates. When there are too many of these chemicals in the brain, they can initiate a chain reaction of cell degradation and impairment. The cannabinoids, which we find in marijuana, work as effective antioxidants, potentially neutralizing the glutamate activity and stopping the cascade of neuronal damage that can follow.”

NFL Concussion Litigation

In April of 2015 a federal judge approved the class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players. The total may cost the league $1 billion over 65 years, providing up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma. Sounds expensive, a shipload more than what it would cost to fund some marijuana research.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

4 states (Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon) and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana while 23 states allow some form of medical marijuana. These numbers will continue to rise with a likely near-future of legalization at a federal level. The NFL has a chance to be ahead of the game here. Why not let these adults choose for themselves, Mr. Goodell, and remove it from the list of banned substances? Marijuana is not something athletes use for a competitive edge like steroids, and it's not a dangerous drug despite the brain-washing that's been going on since Reefer Madness in 1936. The NHL does not test for marijuana; the NFL shouldn't either. Former Super Bowl champions, Marvin Washington, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita have asked the NFL to change its marijuana policy. Let's hope more athletes, celebrities and politicians will have the wisdom and the guts to make similar statements. Let's also hope the NFL and the US in general can back away from the "tough on drugs" policy that has been status quo for far too long.
Americans are supposed to be granted "inalienable rights" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that the US Government holds a patent (#6630507) for marijuana as a neuroprotectant, while simultaneously classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical value. Yep, that's our government at work. What would our forefathers say? You know, the ones who grew hemp for just about everything.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chronicles the #1 American Tragedy

If you’re American, the documented facts in Smoke Signals on the US history of marijuana should outrage you. If you’re not American, you’ll understand the ludicrous and draconian US policy against industrial hemp and marijuana inflicted on its citizens for nearly a century. Author Martin A. Lee pulls no punches demonstrating how the US government has repeatedly screwed over the people in a misguided war that was doomed to fail from the start, a war with implications that are impossible to quantify.

Ridiculous in concept, it’s a war against a plant, hemp-marijuana-cannabis, that has been loved throughout human civilization for noble reasons. A plant that was a required crop during colonial times for its myriad of uses, and a plant that was recalled by the government during the Hemp For Victory campaign of WWII.

Bravo to Lee for creating a treasure chest of marijuana history from the introduction to US society to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and Reefer Madness through enduring tyranny over the decades to the changes happening in places like Colorado and recent medical breakthroughs with cannabinoids. America has been crippled in countless ways by our “leaders” because of their steadfast demonization of this wondrous plant and its potentials, chronicled poetically by the author.

How could our “leaders” brainwash US citizens saying it had no medical value whatsoever? How could they poison our world with plastics, petroleum and dangerous chemicals while imprisoning moms and pops and seizing their properties?

Mr. Lee’s book should be read by the masses, especially at a time when extensive marijuana reform is happening. You can’t keep a great truth from rising. Marijuana is not only for people suffering from cancer and other ailments but for everyone who wants it because it simply makes them FEEL GOOD.

Americans love to sing how we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, but in some ways Americans have been hoodwinked into submission as the opposite of what our founder fathers envisioned. Washington, Jefferson and Franklin would be speechless if they knew future generations would make hemp a crime worse than murder in some cases.

Bravo to Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kesey, Dylan, The Dead, Brownie Mary, Debby Goldsberry, Ed Rosanthal, Dennis Perron and a plethora of other freedom fighters in the book who never gave in to an oppressive regime. As Perron and others have rightfully pointed out, the American government should be held accountable for reparations for the suffering it inflicted on individuals and the country as a whole.

No wonder we can’t build prisons fast enough because they’re overflowing with non-violent marijuana offenses. How many trillions of dollars have been wasted funding this stupid war while extorting unreasonable finances from people trying to afford a plant that for a time became more expensive per ounce than gold? What else will we discover when doctors can finally research the plant entirely? How much harm has been done with toxic and overpriced pharmaceuticals and health care? The questions go on and on.

It's a great book. Check out Smoke Signals at Amazon.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

Adam Scorgie's and Brett Harvey's 2007 documentary, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, deserves to be seen especially before watching the sequel for 2015, The Culture High.

Interesting highlights include:
  • Cannabis-hemp-marijuana has been the largest agricultural crop in the world throughout history.
  • Marijuana has now been illegal for over 70 years, the longest sustained war in American history.
  • Tobacco is subsidized by the government, made into cigarettes with added chemicals that contribute to heart disease and cancer, killing 480,000 people in the US per year.
  • Alcohol contributes to approx. 85,000 deaths per year.
  • In 10,000 years of marijuana use, no known deaths are directly attributed to it.
  • Law enforcers claim that alcohol contributes to violent crime, but marijuana does not.
  • Prohibition makes matters worse because it brings crime into it.
  • US government spends nearly $8 billion/year on marijuana prohibition.
  • More people are in jail for marijuana possession than for murder, rape, robbery and assault combined.
  • The US has more prisoners per capita than any other nation; over 45,000 current prisoners are serving time for marijuana violations.
  • Marijuana legalization threatens the bottom line for many industries including oil, pharmaceutical, timber, plastics and textile.
  • Pharmaceutical medicines kill over 100,000 people per year.
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