Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Casualties of War

I see them everyday.

They come into the plant nursery I work at and tell me their stories.

A sixty eight year old woman with terminal cancer who gardens as a hobby. She is healthy, and has lived long past her approximate life expectancy due to her disease. She uses cannabis as a medicine, and tells me it is the best medicine for her condition. She then tells me why. "Damn government," she mutters, "what do they know anyway?"

Another woman, a fifty nine year old massage therapist and herbal healer. She has diabetes and "bi-polar disorder". She is looking for a plant called Passionvine. Passionvine is a beautiful tropical liana with an exotic bloom. Passionvine is also a powerful medicinal herb that produces harmine and harmaline. These alkaloids are Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors, that is, they potentiate the effects of other alkaloids in the human body, like caffeine, prescription drugs, and serotonine related compounds. For this reason, Passionvine is very dangerous to mix with other drugs, but by itself, passionvine teas and incense have a calming effect on the central nervous system. So, when the fifty nine year old herbal healer told me that Passionvine leaves were good medicine, but not as good as cannabis, I told her I agreed with her. Again, she replied, "screw the government, they know nothing." She then bought a Passionvine (because they are legal to cultivate)

I was making signs one day and over heard two ladies behind me chatting in amazement at the diversity of plants at the nursery. "Isn't it amazing what God can do with plants?" one of them asked. I immediately thought about the Datura on the sales table two rows down, the plant with a leaf that can heal an insect bite in fifteen minutes, but if you eat the bloom, you hallucinate in a delirious nightmare state for days on end, that is, if you don't die first. I also thought about the San Pedro cactus in the front of the sales yard, the one that produces Mescaline like Peyote. Peyote was an important divination and medicinal plant to the people of Mexico and North America, that is, before the Christian Europeans arrived and killed or incarcerated those people that used the little cactus. San Pedro is the same way with Andean cultures, only San Pedro is still legal to sell in plant nurseries. I do think it is amazing what God can do with plants, like Acacia, Phalaris, and Psychotria plants that produce DMT, a potent hallucinogen that, up until two decades ago, was thought to be a synthetic molecule invented by modern chemistry. Now we know that DMT is not just an alkaloid prolific in the plant and animal kingdom, but it also regulates circadian rhythms (night-day cycles) in plants, in humans, and in other mammals as well. It is amazing what God can do with plants, and with DNA. What is even more amazing is how politics tends to mess things up.

Maybe it's not enough that sick people are saying "screw the government" because the government won't let them use one of humanity's oldest natural plant medicines (cannabis sativa). Maybe it's not enough that sick people are going into enormous debt just to stay alive on a bloated healtcare system while remaining ignorant that God and the Earth have given them all the medicine they need in plants (with the proper applied knowledge of course). Maybe it's not enough that poor and disadvantaged communities are being broken apart, with father and mothers being sent to jail for possession and use of a plant substance that has been used by humans for tens of thousands of years. Maybe it's not enough that prohibition and censorship are the root causes of social deterioration in human society. Maybe it's not enough that our police and law enforcement officials are forced to risk their lives to enforce drug laws that are misinformed, biased, and flat wrong in the first place. Maybe it's not enough that America leads the world in prison incarcerations, drug addiction, and mental illness. Maybe it's not enough to realize that our drug policies need to be changed.

So, what is enough? What will it take to get the reform ball rolling?

I think it's going to take an entire system crash, and if that's the case, drugs and drug addiction is the last thing we'll be worrying about.

We're gonna see an uptick in the casualties of war.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Number One Killer

There is one disease that kills more than cancer. It kills more than tobacco. It kills more than HIV, war, and bad diet combined.

Do you know what it is?

The number one killer of people is stress.

Stress drives tobacco smoking, as well as alcoholism, addiction, and drug abuse in general.

Stress causes depression, anxiety, rage, war, and suicide.

Stress weakens both the human mind and the human body, thus allowing other genetic or infectious diseases to gain a foothold and further deteriorate the body.

Stress can lead to overeating, and bad habits like eating fast food regularly.

Stress can weaken marriages, families, and economies. Stress can break apart churches, communities, and political bodies.

Stress is our number one killer.

But what is it?

Is it all just in our heads, or does stress have its roots in the cultural environment?

How might we change our world so thats stress is minimized and controlled?

Is this even possible?

I don't know about you, but I'm going to find some answers here.

I hope you join me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Let us start at the most fundamental level.

What we call "reality" is defined through culture. Culture provides the tools, like language, math, and belief systems, and we provide the mind to process it all. So, essentially, everything we know about our reality is determined through information that is collected, processed, stored, and recalled by the cognitive abilities of the human brain.

Got that? If you don't, go back and re-read it. This is fundamental to understanding why censorship exists at all.

You see, for as long as humans have been on Earth, individuals from every society have undertaken strategies to control the gateways of information as leverage to influence power. Because our reality is determined through our access to information, those who control that information gain more power over those who don't. Call it manipulative, evil, or just the trend in human social behavior, whatever, this is the same truth now, yesterday, and tomorrow as it was at the very beginning of human social development.

The definition of "culture" is greatly debated among anthropologists, but ultimately, culture is everything that is learned, believed, or passed down through tradition; it is knowledge, or more specifically, a virtual universe of information. This information is transmitted through communication, observation, and imitation, among many other means. This information is regulated in many ways: through observation and perception, through memory, through technological conduits like the media and the internet, and most important of all, the physiological barriers of human cognition (i.e. "human error").

So, information has 1) a means of transmission and 2) gateways of influence where data is filtered, copied, or extrapolated.

In both areas, information is inevitably distorted to some degree. This fact makes it easier for power-obsessed individuals to gain control of information pathways and gateways and influence the way the people of a society understand REALITY.

This is censorship. Censorship is not about protecting anyone. That is the lie. Censorship is about controlling information, and in doing so, controlling the way individuals think.

So when you hear someone talking about banning a certain plant, or banning Facebook or Myspace, or banning Gay Marriage, remind yourself that it is not security but power that drives censorship.

Knowledge is good. Fascism is not.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sally D

So, there's been some buzz in the news lately regarding the ethnobotanical hallucinogen called Salvia divinorum. Unfortunately, there is little fact or reason in the news about Salvia D, and more dogma and misinformation.

Let's get things straight.

No government has the right to make a plant illegal. That it happens is ludicrous.

Salvia divinorum is a cultigen, a plant like corn that has been bred by humans for so long that it is no longer capable of survival in the wild without human cultivation. It is, in essence, a living botanical artifact of pre-historic horticulture. Such a plant offers tremendous insight into the horticultural practices of ancient humans. Salvia divinorum is also an important religious and medicinal plant to the native people of southern mexico. It would benefit anthropologists and ethnobotanists greatly to study this plant and it's many uses. This would be impossible, of course, if Congress commits the crime of prohibition and renders salvia divinorum illegal.

Why might congress do this?

The buzz in the media would have us believe that salvia is another dangerous drug that kills our youth. The truth is, it is not.

The TRUTH is that Salvia D is no more dangerous than any other plant in the garden, nor is it any more dangerous than saturated fat, automobiles, guns, alcohol, tobacco, and war.

Don't believe the hype. In fact, do your own research, and don't let others tell you what to believe. That would be best. After all, the truth means nothing if we don't look for it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh Happy Day...

from CNN

Prescription drugs found in drinking water across U.S.
A vast array of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones -- have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas -- from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit, Michigan, to Louisville, Kentucky.
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

and in other drug-related news:

from CNN
Vatican lists new sinful behaviors
A Vatican official has listed drugs, pollution and genetic manipulations as well as social and economic injustices as new areas of sinful behavior.

I'm glad the Vatican is keeping tabs on these things, except that drug prohibition and privatization drive social and economic injustices around the world and spanning history. Just goes to show how much the Vatican knows about anything relevant.

But, I'm glad that all those unused pills that Americans are popping are being shat out and bound within our precious drinking water tables. It's good to know that our pharmaceutical revolution is making us live longer while it simultaneously pollutes our drinking water.

What a GREAT DAY in the news!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Why I believe in God.

Because beauty needs a name.

Because there will always be unanswered questions.

Because despite what we know, we still know very little.

Because the existence of God can never be disproven.

Because those who say that believing in God is crazy must follow their logical line of reasoning to its ultimate conclusion, and that is, that everything in human culture that requires belief is inherently an illusion of cognitive expression. Therefore, believing in God is no crazier than believing in science, politics, or wealth.

Because life is truth, love is truth, and mercy is truth, and these things are reflections of God.

Because I choose to.

Because I am alive.

I don't care if you believe in God or not.

All I care is that you believe, and believe well. Without belief, nothing in human culture is possible.