I just teamed up with women’s lib writer Barbara Walker and Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School to publish on Kindle Pot Stories and Atheist Essays.
One piece, “Pot Story,” offers a very persuasive polemic for legalization and at the same time shows some of the misery and suffering that unwise laws have caused over the decades. One section describes Harry Anslinger, the founder and first commissioner of the Prohibition Movement, as a conspicuous bigot and inarguable moron.
Ms. Walker, in her inimitable style, writes of the abuses of religion over the centuries and the mistreatment of women, mostly due to original sin.
Also included is a podcast of Dr. Grinspoon where he categorically states there is no physical damage to the body at all. He tells the story of how he first turned on, exhorted by none other than Carl Sagan on a cruise to a conference in Europe.
If you’re interested in marijuana, either medically or recreationally, this is a must read so you’ll know what you’re doing or talking about. Lot’s to discuss, n’est-ce pas?
The thought I've heard is that all the drugs that could give people spiritual experiences are made illegal, because they're competition with religion. By Sam Harris in the quote I posted in this thread, for example. The religions don't want drugs competing with prayer and church music.
If anything, marijuana tends to promote a spiritual kind of thinking. There's actually a marijuana-smoking church.
Just an aside from the present thread, Barbara Walker’s “The Truth About Funerals” was just published in Freethought Magazine. This is one of her many essays included in Pot Stories. In her inimitable style, she compares funeral rites from culture to culture past and present. It’s replete with tidbits like, the Viking word ludr means “boat” as well as “coffin.”
The common thread weaving through ceremonies past and present seems to be the belief that recently deceased lives on in some form, and the funeral is necessary to appease or comfort the newly transmogrified soul or ghost. Nobody ever maligns or speaks badly about the dead at a funeral. That’s bad luck and you can see why.
From the essay,
Another requirement may be that the ghost should be flattered by maximum attendance at the solemnities. Huge funerary processions may be staged by rich and powerful families to flaunt vast numbers of mourners -- certainly not all of whom find "comfort" in such ceremonies but rather feel coerced into attending. One is reminded of the lavish funerals of mafia dons, rejoicing in hundreds of attendees, most of whom actually hated the deceased -- including clergy who are paid to give the routine guarantee of his "sure and certain" admission to Paradise. And, inevitably, this guarantee is given no matter how many or how heinous his crimes; God's forgiveness is almost always for sale to those who can pay.
It’s amazing; one of Barbara’s favorite themes is how the Church always manages to get its sticky fingers in the middle of the action and always seems to make money in some way. I’m trying to figure out how it makes money from the criminalization of pot. I’m sure there’re priests thinking about it as I write this. I think their best chance is the “greater being” angle in most rehab programs. This superior entity is pervasive through just about all rehab facilities and it—to quote George Carlin—“NEEDS MONEY.”
In reply to Sky, I called the War on Drug a holocaust. I called those who benefited from the misery and suffering no better than Nazis.
I better explain that. I was referring to that judge who got kickbacks from reform schools for every teenager he sent their way. Or the Corrections Corporation of America that lobbied for stern, draconian drug sentencing to ensure a steady flow of bodies into their nightmare, state-of-the-art steel and concrete slammers.
Would we rather see the youth finish high school and establish a life or go to prison where he or she will learn criminal behavior? I'm not in favor of placing people behind bars for experimenting with pot. A person's body does not belong to society.
To quote Laura <Tobacco is extremely addictive.>>>
I always liked the argument that somebody with a mild cigarette habit, say one pack per day, inhales each cig around ten times. Multiplied by 20 cigs in a pack, that’s 200 administrations of the addiction per day. With a bad habit, two packs per day, the number skyrockets to 400 times, just taking care of one’s addiction.
What else does someone do 400 times per day other than breath? One’s life is devoted to taking care of the addiction. Yet cigs are legal and mj not. To quote comedian Sarah Silverman, “that’s fuckin’ crazy.”
Contrarily, as Dr. Lester Grinspoon and I once discussed in complete agreement, with “responsible” use of grass, one or two hits of good smoke is sufficient to achieve the desired effect. To our minds, it should be used to enhance special events or social gatherings, and especially for sex. You’re not going to get lung cancer smoking grass once or twice per month.
Again, allow me to pitch the podcast with Lester that I arranged for more information and confirmation of these points. This was my contribution to history because I set it up. He was Dean of Harvard Medical School at the time.
My Pot Stories and Humanist Essays brings out some interesting considerations concerning this. How much money will Big Pharma lose in sales if people used grass for sex? Estimated eight to ten billion in Cialis and Viagra alone? How much money would it lose in anti-nausea and hangover drugs? You can smoke all night and wake up feeling great.
As comedian Dennis Miller states: If marijuana went head to head in testing with Prozac and Xanax for relieving depression, Prozac and Xanax would lose. That’s another ten billion.
I was a pharmacist for 40 years..>>>
That's fine, but did you ever go an orgiastic pot party with fond, intimate companions? It’s like trying to describe what swimming is like to someone who’s never been in the water. Viagra might be useful for penal blood flow and erection, but grass stimulates and awakens the entire body. Just the skin on skin aspect is wonderful and difficult to describe.
I hope this is something you’ll experience before it’s all over. Do put it on your bucket list.
Funny!!! Ever see the Joe Pesci scene about "funny"? How am I funny? Do you think I'm here to amuse you? lol
To tell the truth, my favorite pastime in the ‘60s was to get high and go to the Metropolitan Opera House. It was almost as enjoyable as my licentious hippie parties. You got what we used to call, “zonked”. Might as well try to get high on sleeping pills. As I said many times, there has to be responsible and intelligent use.
One more point about Big Pharma, I never heard of anyone waking up with nausea and a nasty hangover after a night of smoke. Just considering the numbers, with grass legal there’ll be some who cut down on booze, some percentage, whatever. Perhaps 10%, perhaps 20. There has to be an abatement in the number of people who need hangover medicine. I’d conjecture that after some years, more than half will forego booze altogether, at least enough to make them sick. No matter how you look at it Big Pharma with lose money, unless of course they use political connections to corner the market.
Same goes for anti-depressants.
.You are a huge fan of Pot and you want to make it legal..>>>
Quite right. You almost got it perfect, Free. I'm a strong advocate of legalized weed and I want people to buy Pot Stories and Humanist Essays on Kindle, co-authored by the renowned feminist pioneer, Barbara G. Walker.
There’s some history in there that’s intolerable and people should know about. Did you know that Harry Anslinger, the founder of the Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA), is quoted as saying, “Marijuana makes the degenerate races feel equal to a whites.”
Other outlandish quotes are included. The point I’m making is that people who are making money off The War on Drugs are following the words of a bigot, racist, sexist, and puritanical Calvinist (he was Swiss) in the same manner as the soldiers of the Wehrmacht followed the words of the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels.
To show the level of arrogance and hypocrisy of our “leaders”, the book gives an account of how when Senator Joe McCarty, an alcoholic par excellence, couldn’t take the pressure of the Un-American Activities Committee any longer and went into deep, horribly painful chronic spasms from alcohol withdrawal, he cried to his friend Harry to help get him morphine. Anslinger got him all he wanted.
“What’s good for the goose…”, right? Read Bill Hicks Worshipper’s post of a few hours ago. It doesn’t work that way for the little guy, but it’s supposed to. We’re being robbed by the followers of Harry Anslinger of our American Heritage.
I agree with all this. But I think they need to legalize growing as well, or no penalty for growing more than maintenance high useage. Six plants or so. We are beginning to see the introduction of types of alcohol that never appeared on the market before, including supposed white lightning type bootlegger booze, fetishistic vodkas, boutique tequilas. And the number of flavored malt beverages has skyrocketed: tell me the industry is not aiming its get drunk message at minors. Frankly, as long as they allow me to grow, I'd like to see weed remain illegal.
The late WIlliam S. Burroughs, who was no stranger to every conceivable drug, including the legendary South American plant, ayahuasca, which he sought with the poet Allen Ginsberg, did a routine on Harry J. Anslinger. Burroughs had a knack for making his published stories come a live in his readings of them. I mean, he was a genius acting out the parts of the people he portrayed. And he really made Anslinger look like a halfwit. Even his pronunciation of the name as "ANNNNNNSLINNNGER!" But it all started with NYC'S Fiorelo LaGuardia. He approached weed in a way that would characterize Nixon's two studies of porno: the first one saying it was harmless, which Nixon trashed; the second one saying porno was ripping apart the fabric of the nation and was turning our youth into depraved molesters of women and little children! Anslinger, a racist and bully -- think of a more opportunistic Bill O'Reilly -- took money to lie. And what do we get? Monolithic cigarette, alcohol, and other lobbies dependent upon keeping us drunk, angry, misogynistic, and homophobic, whereas nobody ever hardly gets angry when they smoke a doobie. Some time, I'll tell you about almost sharing a joint with Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
I loved William Burroughs. Didn’t read him too much but Allan Ginsberg referred to him often. How about a comparing these Wall Street banker types to walking ticker tape machines spouting pre-programmed tape. Every word they said was memorized prior to the conversation.
I showed some beautiful photos of Harry in Pot Stories. And quotes you wouldn't be believe. These hypocrite fucks live in another world and the common man isn't part of it.
Did you catch that part of Harry's friend Joe McCarthy. When Joe got horrible benders from chronic alcoholism, Harry got him all the morphine and heroin he asked for. But a working schnook toiling in a steel mill couldn't have a glass of beer after toiling twelve hours in front of a furnace.
James, you remind me of younger days when I was persona non grata, literally a homeless bum, not a deserter (I never joined up) but a draft evader, not much better than the most abject criminal from Riker’s Island. So I hung out in this Mafia bar in an Italian neighborhood. Ever take the E or F train in NYC? The last stop in Queens is called Eli Avenue. There! Believe it or not it was one of the safest neighborhoods in the whole city. One of the “regulars” in the joint was a tough old Southern gent dubbed “The Rebel”. It was a bit of a misnomer in that he could barely walk, around 80 at the time, but he could rap about the “old days” with more panache than Tennessee Williams. He used to take out a flash, a la 1930s, and pour out a white lighting concoction I could hardly believe. Believe me, it was the smoothest, most pleasant libation I ever had. Don’t talk about “proof”. This was alcohol, period. But I still remember all these years. I wonder what happened to him. Not even the mobster wise guys would mess with this old geezer. That was “White Lightning.” \To get back to our subject, “Frankly, as long as they allow me to grow, I'd like to see weed remain illegal.” I can only say, just don’t think about yourself, think about society. The War of Drugs has been a holocaust with unimagined suffering. All because of the stupid superstitions of the ruling class afraid of change.