The Synthetic Marijuana Epidemic

Citizens of the World,

Since the middle of the 20th Century we have been deprived of access to legal cannabis, leading to many noticeable negative consequences including the increasing cases of cancer, the increase in incarcerated citizens, and the increased cost of healthcare. One of the less publicized aspects of marijuana prohibition though, is the fact that it has in no way lowered the demand by society for what this plant provides: chemical comfort.

While marijuana remains illegal, it also remains one of the least dangerous substances know to humankind. There is not a single recorded death from it in all of history, due to the fact that it is physically impossible to overdose on. However, man-made “alternatives”, although legal, cannot be said to be as safe at all.

Synthetic marijuana is sometimes sold as “legal bud” and other times under the guise of household items such as incense and bath salts. Many of these products, which go by flashy names like K2 and Spice, are labelled Not For Human Consumption, but are sold solely for that purpose anyway. These are substances are designed to create an effect similar to smoking weed, and are put out on the legal market without regulation, nor certification of safety. These substances have led to many health problems, including heart attacks and the tragic “zombification” of users, as was seen in Miami this past Memorial Day. Unfortunately, because they are legal while natural marijuana is not, they are very accessible. They can even be ordered over the internet, and are advertised for in a very misleading manner.

People who use synthetic marijuana are citizens that wish to be law-abiding, who do not deserve a detriment upon their health for doing so. The fact of the matter is that this situation shouldn’t exist at all, we should not have individuals faced with the decision of legal/harmful vs illegal/safe. It is an unfair and immoral choice to force on consumers, that completely undermines the purpose of the free market.

During Alcohol Prohibition, there existed an atmosphere conducive to crime and a general disregard for the authority of law, which exists again today. Marijuana Prohibition is why the Drug Cartels are selling a safer product than the one available in the store. Cannabis needs to be legalized, simply as a matter of public health.

Anonijuana

Nature has been making marijuana for centuries… how long have we?

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Profiteers and Prisoners of the Drug War

Citizens of the World,

It has been considered common knowledge that when a war is conducted there will emerge one side as victor, and the other as loser. There is a particular war that defies that logic and whose battle lines are not so clearly drawn. To which am I referring is the United States of America’s War on Drugs, declared by President Richard Nixon in June of 1971.

The expressed goals of this shift in U.S. Domestic + Foreign policy was to counteract the rise in drug use that had characterized the previous decade, which Nixon described as “Public Enemy #1”. Overlooking the argument that the right to choose drug use is up to the individual, it would appear as if Nixon did want to keep Americans safe. However, regardless of sincerity of his intentions, it has become apparent that his approach to the issue of drug usage has done little to achieve it’s stated goals + actually has done much to the opposite end:

Not only has drug use not declined, at all…
…self-proclaimed “Land of the Free” leads the world in incarcerations, directly due to the criminalization of Cannabis use. Rather than regulating marijuana in a legal manner, it would appear as if the Federal Government would prefer to imprison…

…What’s worse is the recent trend to privatize prisons for profit, in the name of saving taxpayer dollars. Some even require a minimum occupancy, creating a system of incentives where police officers are pressured not only to meet their personal + department quotas, but also that of the prison company. A prime example of the profit-motive being used to obstruct justice…

…Private Prisons aren’t the only entities profiting off the Drug War. The fact that substances like cannabis are illegal forces their consumers to turn to the black market to acquire them. This funnels much money into criminal organizations, funding their other, most likely violent, illegal activities…

…With nature’s most prominent medicine locked away + anyone who uses it locked up, Pharmaceutical companies are able to synthesize chemicals that target single symptoms rather than the array of ailments that marijuana assists with. So, not only can you not grow the cure-all in your own home for free, you must pay for your relief on a case by case basis.

Amidst all this is an emerging acceptance of alternative forms of drug use than the traditional alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. In 2011, the public approval of marijuana legalization reached 50% of all Americans, a reflection of the inability of our elected officials to properly gauge and/or react to the will of the people, as no federal efforts to reform marijuana laws have come to fruition.


In conclusion, when one looks beyond the rhetoric and promises of prohibition, it becomes more clear that in practice this policy is not working and is overdue to change. When one looks closely enough, they may come to the realize that the Drug War is actually a
War on the American People and their Rights.

Winners: For-Profit Prison Companies, Drug Lords + Pharmaceutical Companies
Losers: Us

Anonijuana

People before profits!

Hypocrisy: The Federal Government and Marijuana

Citizens of the World,

There is an issue of much importance that I would like to discuss with you, which is the issue of hypocrisy displayed by the U.S. Federal Government.

As you may or may not be aware, a portion of every American’s taxes are used to fund the War on Drugs, a zero-tolerance drug policy that has resulted in the incarceration of millions of non-violent marijuana users. The purported reasoning behind these arrests is the supposed danger that marijuana poses to humans. If the substance is not safe, society isn’t safe around it. Seems like sound logic.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, schedules marijuana on its highest tier. This classification is reserved for substances that have the coupled characteristics of no medical value + high abuse potential. Which in other words means drugs that are used strictly for recreational purposes.

** Side note: according to feds, cocaine has more medical value than marijuana **

Such a scheduling seems appropriate, as the most common use of marijuana is smoking it to get high. However, If we look closer into the Federal Government’s stance on marijuana, things seem much less clear.

In 2001, a patent on Cannabinoids (the psychoactive component of marijuana), was granted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They received it on the basis of the chemical’s antioxidant + neuroprotective properties, as well as the treatment potential for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

At least to me, those properties appear to have huge medical value! Imagine the millions of people that could be helped! Nonetheless marijuana remains on Schedule I.

In conclusion, what we are presented with is a Federal Government that holds a patent on the main ingredient of marijuana for it’s medicinal properties, that at the same times claims that such properties are non-existent AND states that marijuana is actually harmful. This is blatant hypocrisy by elected officials, whose sworn duty is to serve and protect their constituents and society as a whole. Such two-facedness cannot and should not be tolerated.

Anonijuana

We the people want weed legal!

Anonijuana: Legion of Advocacy

The following is an article entitled “Legion of Advocacy”, which resulted from an interview between myself and @Iconicles, founder of TRAMP- Tea Party Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition

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Beginning nine years ago as a meme on the message board 4chan, Anonymous quickly became a syndicate and has grown dramatically in a short time.  Most know them for their role in the recent Occupy protests or from LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), a group of linked computers which they use to launch Denial of Services attacks against their enemies.  Though best known for its cyber-warfare, the leaderless coalition grows more multi-faceted with each passing second.  Anonijuana makes for a prime example.

When asked about personally consuming marijuana, the smirk from behind the Guy Fawkes mask resonated across the internet, “I do not advocate breaking the law, as the purpose of laws is supposed to be the safety of the public plus the protection of each human’s individual rights.  However, the marijuana laws in existence do not meet either of those criteria, and rather do much to cause harm. For this reason, I believe disregarding those laws is justified.”  Anonymous thrives on intimidation, and thusly many outsiders overlook how most of their aims are compassionate ones.

Overcoming history proves impossible without organization and motivation.  Both forces move slowly, but these conflicts have been brewing for some time.  Anonijuana began to advocate marijuana legalization when, “I realized that I had been lied to my entire life regarding every aspect of marijuana, including: its psychoactive effects, the reason for its illegality, its medicinal properties, its context in human history, etc.” And also, “There are many potential benefits to be had from this plant, which we have only deprived ourselves from in the last 100 years or so. The movie The Union: The Business Behind Getting High was particularly influential on my path to advocacy.”

Art drives Anonymous.  They borrow their persona from the movie “V for Vendetta” and most of their endeavors focus on entertainment.  An activist has many choices of activities, but Anonijuana chose to become part of Anonymous because “I believe in universal camaraderie, justice, and the rights of every person.”   People see Anonymous and they perceive a nefarious international hacking organization, but the fact is:  All types of people comprise the branches and facets of this leaderless syndicate, and the only sign of membership is participating towards the common goals.

A group that values collective good might not be the place for an individualistic ideology like Objectivism, but Anonijuana had an opinion on that as well, “Proponents of Objectivism, like the U.S., promote the idea of pursuing one’s own happiness, but not when it comes to substance use, unless it is alcohol, nicotine or caffeine.  The government oppresses the people in that it limits the way in which one is expected to achieve personal satisfaction.  An objective argument is that marijuana harms no one and makes some people happy, and therefore should at least be available as a legal option for one to partake in if he or she would so choose.”  Anonijuana’s words prove true.  America has turned its back on Objectivism in favor of communities with impersonal goals.

Everyone has become more centered on the common good, and the government has begun to trim away in favor of political correctness.  When asked about the idea of rights not specifically listed in The Constitution, Anonijuana replied, “Every human being is characterized by certain qualities that distinguish us from other living creatures, notably the ability to make intellectual considerations and reflections.  This unto itself demands respect for the mental processes of all individuals.  Every one of the 7 billion people on Earth is able to and required to make choices about how to live their life, and I believe that the decision to use marijuana or not should be decided in the mind of each person.  Instead of this being the case, though, the decision is imposed upon the population due to the drug’s illegality.  This is an offense to all of humanity, and disallows us from exercising our own discretion without threat of artificial consequences such as arrest or incarceration.”  With the billions of dollars spent on marijuana every year, it is no surprise that Anonymous moved into this genre.  Whether or not they, and the rest of the marijuana activism community, are successful depends on you.

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ORIGINAL POST: http://www.trampandtheonlygame.com/Sunday_Issue_31812.html