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Just over ten years ago, the United Nations Office of Drug Policy set a goal – the eradication of Cannabis (marijuana) and several other psychoactive plants from the face of the earth by 2008. Most viewed this as unattainable, even laughable, but the ensuing decade saw a sad timeline of prohibition running roughshod over the lives of people around the world: Villagers in the Putomayo region of Columbia were inundated with pesticides, ruining their farms, gardens and water supplies; innocent missionaries shot down by U.S. drug warriors over Peru; the death penalty became the norm for Cannabis trafficking in Southeast Asia; arrests for Cannabis possession in America now approach 800,000 per year – often ruining the hopes and dreams of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

So, as a British “think tank” prepared a report for next year’s U.N. Drug Policy meetings recommending “decriminalization” of Cannabis (see story below), the writing on the wall grows clear. This July, representatives from many countries and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) met in Vienna for “Beyond 2008” – preliminary hearings on reforming U.N. drug policy and the concensus for change was inescapable. Here is a video, produced by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, with several reformers looking to the future:Three Days in Ten Minutes – Beyond 2008 Series #2

A Previous Post from last February examines U.N. Drug Policy in detail, featuring a hearing in British Columbia that the U.N. held to get input on possible reforms.

The following news stories from this month reflect the coming tide of changes for our modern prohibition.

Headline: Oct 3, 2008 – UK: Is It Time the World Forgot About Cannabis in Its War? – The United Kingdom has been on a roller coaster of Cannabis policy changes for six years now. This spring saw Britain reclassify Cannabis as “Class B“, reversing  the 2004 move to “Class C“. which decriminalized possession of small amounts. The reasons included fear of “Skunk” – a catch-all term for the more potent “sinsimellia” Cannabis becoming popular in England (see previous post). The Global Cannabis Commission report states that much of the harms associated with Cannabis use is “the result of prohibition itself”.

Headline: Oct 4, 2008 – New Zealand: Cannabis Spray Use May Be Made Legal– Another country wants to join Britain and Canada in legalizing a concentrated plant extract of Cannabis as a prescribable pharmaceutical. “Sativex”, a sub-lingual spray, is made by GW Pharmaceuticals in England, in a government-assisted venture with genetics experts from The Netherlands. With a remarkable safety/therapeutic profile, trials of Sativex shown efficacy in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and illuminated the neuroprotective action of Cannabinoids. Indeed, new science and anecdotal evidence raise the possibility that Cannabinoids can actually halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases!

The success of a whole plant extract of Cannabis (the form our ancestors used) and the failure of synthetic THC (Marinol) as an effective medicine demonstrates that Mother Nature is, indeed, the best pharmacist and that patient’s reports of amazing relief of symptoms makes perfect sense. Modern compounds made from Cannabis will be needed and welcomed, but access to the natural plant should be considered a basic human right, as it should be with any healing or sacramental plant.

Headline: Oct 19, 2008 – Caribbean: Prehistoric Drug Kit Is Evidence of Stoned Age– Archaeologists excavating a prehistoric site on the Caribbean island of Carriacou have found ancient “drug paraphernalia”, dating to around 400 BC. These ceramic bowls and tubes were used to inhale hallucinogenic powders, as Shamans have done for eons in South and Central America. In other parts of the world, there is ample evidence that Cannabis Hemp was an integral part of many prehistoric and even paleolithic cultures.

In this video, Ethnogen expert Terence McKennatalks about the ancient connection between Cannabis and humankind.McKenna on Cannabis

Headline: Oct 24, 2008 – US HI: Public Access TV To Air Drug Policy Forum Video – On the eve of election day, when the citizens of Hawaii will decide on Ballot Question No. 1 (which would make cannabis the lowest law-enforcement priority for police), a forum on drug policy was held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Speaking was Clifford Thornton, founder of Efficacy – a non-profit organization that advocates a move away from criminalization and towards treating drug use as a health issue, lamenting the “turning of the average citizen user into a criminal, even when no violence or criminal behavior is involved.”

The Pinky Show on You Tube has an interview with Clifford Thornton, conducted on October 7th, during his visit to Hawaii.The War on Drugs : FAIL : an interview with Clifford Thornton Jr.

Headline: Oct 28, 2008 – Canada: Medical Marijuana Users Claim Victory– It’s been eight years since the Constitutionality of access to medical Cannabis was established in Canada, but the road has not been easy for patients seeking consistent supplies of quality herbal medicine. Patients were able to grow their own, designate a “caregiver” grower or obtain Cannabis from a government contracted grow operation in an abandoned mineshaft in Flin Flon, Manitoba – reportedly unsatisfactory as medicine.  In 2003, the Ontario Appeal Court struck down restrictions that limited caregiver growers to one patient each, but the government re-instituted the program – leading to this case.

Last year the federal government appealed a lower court ruling that granted licenses to growers for multiple patients, but this month the courts dismissed the appeal, finally enabling sufferers of chronic and terminal illness access to truly medicinal grade Cannabis – many strains of which were bred during the prohibition by ordinary people forced to become experts in horticulture and genetics.

In this next video, a licenced Cannabis grower/patient Canada discusses the future of medical Cannabis in his country and obstacles to patients needing a sustained supply of quality medicine.Legal Medical Cultivator speaks out Jan court ruling Part 1

Nothing is to be preferred before justice.

~ Socrates

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2 Comments

  1. Decriminalization is the only way to take the federal government away from cannabis. The patients can grow their own, maintain their own seed banks and plant strains or designate someone as their caregiver.
    Would decriminalization open the door for America’s farmers to begin medicinal cannabis production for Americans patients? What a wonderful concept!

  2. I think less people would buy pot if they legalized it and taxed the bejesus out of it. It wouldn’t be cool anymore


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] alternativehealthblog wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptJust over ten years ago, the United Nations Office of Drug Policy set a goal – the eradication of Cannabis (marijuana) and several other psychoactive plants from the face of the earth by 2008. Most viewed this as unattainable, even laughable, but the ensuing decade saw a sad timeline of prohibition running roughshod over the lives of people around the world: Villagers in the Putomayo region of Columbia were inundated with pesticides, ruining their farms, gardens and water supplies; innocent missionaries shot down by U.S. drug warriors over Peru; the death penalty became the norm for Cannabis trafficking in Southeast Asia; arrests for Cannabis possession in America now approach 800,000 per year – often ruining the hopes and dreams of otherwise law-abiding citizens. So, as a British “think tank” prepared a report for next year’s U.N. Drug Policy meetings recommending “decriminalization” of Cannabis (see story below), the writing on the wall grows clear. This July, representatives from many countries and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) […] […]

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