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.


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