National Black Caucus Of State Legislators Calls For Liberalizing Marijuana Penalties

Members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators recently resolved at their Annual Legislative Conference in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.

“Whereas state and local governments could potentially stand to save billions of dollars that they currently spend regulating marijuana use by decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana, therefore be it resolved that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators recognizes the decision of the Administration to not challenge the choice made by citizens of these states, and urges the continued respect of state law, and encourages other states to consider decriminalization,” the Caucus resolved.

It added, “[The] NBCSL supports the states’ authority to make a determination as to what age, at or above 18, qualifies as a “legal adult” who may purchase, possess, or consume marijuana [and] … urges the federal government to reduce the penalties associated with the use and simple possession of marijuana.”

The 2014 resolution is LJE-14-40: Supporting States’ Rights to Decriminalize Marijuana Use.

A 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union reported that blacks nationwide were approximately four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, even though both ethnic groups consumed the substance at similar rates.

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators represents more than 650 African-American legislators from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

36 thoughts

  1. In the past I’d always taken it for granted that Medical Cannabis being legalized would sweep the nation first and Recreational Cannabis would follow. Now with so much support coming from all directions, I wonder what “right” will gain more constitutional support first. While reading LJE-14-40, this paragraph really jumped out at me:

    WHEREAS, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, there were over eight million marijuana arrests in the United States between 2001 and 2010, occurring in an upward trajectory with 140,000 more arrests in 2010 than 2001; in 2010, there were 300,000 more arrests for marijuana than arrests for all violent crimes combined; and nearly three quarters of a million people were arrested for marijuana violations in 2012, with 88 percent of drug arrests being for possession alone.

    This just floored me. To say we need a more liberalized marijuana penalties is an understatement.

  2. Well apparently the National White Caucus of State Legislators must think this is a bad idea. Otherwise why won’t all of our state legislators agree that decriminalization is long overdue. Oh I forgot that prohibition is based on racist laws and ideas.

    It’s illegal because you want it to be, not because it’s a gateway drug, or dangerous, or addictive, or anything like that. It’s a racist law. Majority rules and there is a new majority.

  3. Norml and whom it may concern, we need help in Pennsylvania. I have a friend’s sibling on $100k bail for a 1/4 and 3 plants!! It’s so out if proportion. Ed even a first offender too. Pennsylvania needs to be the next fighting ground despite of the smoke outs and theses arrests.

  4. I’m happy to see this overwhelming call for common sense from our legislators. I’m also happy to see some officials clinging on to the same old cliches and outrageous claims, it will be there downfall. With so much public support, its only a matter of time before up and coming politicians use legalization as their platform and remove this dead wood from office. Its come too far to go back the other way and those that refuse to change will be left behind, especially when everyone sees the amount of tax money being left on the table.

  5. @Ray Walker Jr. – Great observation, thinking about how many arrests were made and by removing the arrest rate from our legal system is a benefit (unless your a state that relies on that arrest for income). Or the states can keep arresting blacks, whites, soccer moms, high school kids, cancer patients, parents of children with dravet syndrome, people with ms, etc…

    There is a better way, like it or not legalization is coming and the money train is rounding the corner. Jump on or not, but the laws of supply and demand will equalize. When this happens marijuana will cost $2 a pound + tax. The money will be in secondary items and all the businesses will be established in states like Colorado, Washington, California, and who ever gets in first.

    I am in no way an advocate for teen drug use. Teens are stupid enough and don’t need drugs to make them any dumber. I agree being sober is always the best option, yet if kids want to experiment with drugs then I would rather it be marijuana than prescription pills, alcohol, meth, heroin, crack, huffing, bath salts, or even synthetic marijuana. At least the drug will not kill them and most of them play video games while high anyway.

    Education is the key not fear of arrest, thanks to our DARE program my kids know all about drugs, and when someone dies of heroin I remind them of the dangers of using drugs. But we watch Miley Cyrus twerking and smoking a joint on tv, don’t think our kids are not seeing this. They also see mom and dad with a beer or a glass of wine at dinner.

    @NORML-A 1-5 question poll cost around $2000 and it samples 500 people. What guidelines do you suggest and can we work together to do one in New York before the end of State sessions in June? New York needs to vote on this now, the bills are there but never advance to the floor for a vote.

    [Editor’s note: Please coordinate survey polling project with NY NORML chapters.]

  6. “When a darkie smokes marijuana, he thinks he just as good as a white man”, said A.J. Anslinger. He went on to add, “The main reason for making marijuana illegal was its effect on the degenerate races.”

    I wonder how Barack Obama got the notion that in the good ol’ US of A any boy had the potential to grow up to be president.

  7. “[The] NBCSL supports the states’ authority to make a determination as to what age, at or above 18, qualifies as a “legal adult” who may purchase, possess, or consume marijuana [and] … urges the federal government to reduce the penalties associated with the use and simple possession of marijuana.”

    And that age limit should be 18, consistent with the age of majority in most states. We need look no further than the 21 drinking age to see what a joke it is to set the age limit higher than the age of majority. And I would add that regardless of age, we need to stop all arrests and criminal penalties for simple possession and consumption of cannabis, period.

  8. @cass
    I’m sorry, did I miss something.

    There’s two ‘more than’ in the last sentence. Hopefully this isn’t posted xD

    I’m more than open to anyone correcting me when I screw up.

  9. Ajax, and stop all arrests for sales other than to minors. After all, that is the point? Make selling to children illegal. How does one adult selling marijuana to an other put anyone at risk? If we can’t get a straight answer at to how this is bad for society, then it isn’t a crime. Not reporting your profits might be a crime, but the actual selling? No, never.

  10. Right on the first comment. This doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue as, say, racism, but in its own right, it’s a huge civil rights issue. The moral minority shouldn’t get to tell the norml majority what to do.

  11. There seems to be total agreement on no sales to anyone under 18. My thought is, even by age 10 or 11 there is a chance that knowledge of cannabis could save lives by heading off the danger of experimenting with “Zap, you’re hooked” nicotine.

    Maybe where we agree is that sales to under 18 should be prevented but leniency (in the sense of Holder’s August memo, for moderate– in this case educational– use) extended to a single toke here and there under wise parental supervision rather than a 500-mg HBOM passed among dubious “peers”.

  12. While decriminalizing cannabis makes the penalties a little less harsh to a degree. It still does solve the problem of the black market(including the mexican drug cartels) & being arrested for possession thus ruining peoples lives due to it being on “said” persons record. It also denies potential tax revenue to states.

    Believe me, I live in new york state which has decriminalized cannabis decades ago & yet I see people constantly get busted left & right on a frequent basis in my area.

    Decriminalization does not solve much because it still leaves things the way they were before decriminalization, in which it is just business as usual as far as people getting harassed & arrested, & it still goes on someone’s record which could possibly ruin people’s lives.

    Legalization is the only practical & common sense way to go to combat the problems that I mentioned earlier in my post & also allow a good industry to open business & generate money & tax revenue for the state(s) in question. Also more importantly to give back to the people the ability & freedom to grow their own cannabis for personal use.

  13. While decriminalizing cannabis makes the penalties a little less harsh to a degree. It still does not solve the problem of the black market(including the mexican drug cartels) & being arrested for possession thus ruining peoples lives due to it being on “said” persons record. It also denies potential tax revenue to states.

    Believe me, I live in new york state which has decriminalized cannabis decades ago & yet I see people constantly get busted left & right on a frequent basis in my area.

    Decriminalization does not solve much because it still leaves things the way they were before decriminalization, in which it is just business as usual as far as people getting harassed & arrested, & it still goes on someone’s record which could possibly ruin people’s lives.

    Legalization is the only practical & common sense way to go to combat the problems that I mentioned earlier in my post & also allow a good industry to open business & generate money & tax revenue for the state(s) in question. Also more importantly to give back to the people the ability & freedom to grow their own cannabis for personal use.
    – See more at:

  14. @Galileo Galileo – If that is even remotely true then “What about the babies?”

    @NancyGrace – The babies who grew up with a father or mother in prison for actually using a drug safer for them than asprin. Because of the

  15. @mexweed: Couldn’t agree more about leniency. My mom used to allow us to drink with the adults when we hit about 10 years old or so–not much, just an orange-juice glass amount of wine or maybe a tablespoon of rum in some coke, but it effectively removed the mystique of alcohol as some magical elixir of adulthood. As a result, when we’d be approaching 21, our peers would be jumping up and down going “aren’t you excited, when I’m 21 I’m going to drink until I puke” we’d look at them and ask “why?” We simply didn’t care about booze, as we had grown up drinking it from time to time in age-appropriate doses and had learned to treat it with respect and hadn’t developed any juvenile ideologies about it as a result.

    And yet there are people who feel my parents should have been arrested and jailed for not hermetically sealing us from alcohol until the magic age of 21, despite that approach effectively cutting off our inclination to abuse the substance.

    Seriously, my mom’s even the product of not one but two terrible drunk when she was growing up, and even she, despite her troubled past, manages to realize that alcohol wasn’t the problem, that it’s an attitude often coupled with a physiological problem that causes the trouble. My sis has a BF who used to be an alcoholic, and they leave their booze at our house and we’re careful to keep it away from him and avoid drinking around him, because we know he has a problem. That doesn’t mean alcohol is the problem in and of itself, and same goes for MJ.

    I’d also prefer to see the odd kid experiment with MJ rather than with alcohol, tobacco, or hard drugs of both prescription and non-prescription types.

  16. In response to Joseph, it seems that the legislators used the expression “decriminalization” to describe the legally permitted sale and possession of small amounts of cannabis. This is not the same definition of “decriminalization” in the laws of states like New York where possession is STILL ILLEGAL. This is a semantic confusion, just like the deliberate use, in the 1930’s, by Anslinger and Hearst of the expression “marijuana” as a foreign-sounding and therefore sinister-seeming word so they could demonize plain old Hemp–cannabis sativa (or indica, though that was rare here in those days.)
    The legislators have the beginning of the correct idea. We need to connect it to letting prisoners out of jail;; granting amnesty and expungement of criminal records for all past prisoners of weed; dismantling the for-profit prison system; and protecting the right to grow your own herb for personal use. If we get corporate weed and still keep people locked up or stuck with criminal records all their lives, we haven’t won anything worth winning.

  17. Law Enforcement is not an automaton just following orders…when the nation decided to release the civil servants paid to serve and protect from their obligations to the public welfare, they damanded that they participate in this theft of life and wealth in order to protect their jobs and serve their new masters.

  18. i’m w/f/60 from the old days of ? john lennon’s “just gimme some truth” says a lot. i remember ohio in late 60’s. we had a chance to bridge all our lines for a better america and world but the old politicians sent us to war, lied, cheated, and a lot of other stuff and now we are here! let’s right the wrongs.

  19. What is a big bunch of bullshit to me is judging and punishing someone who use cannabis on their own time, that is what we really need to fight for. I have co workers who come to work hung over and production is affected. When I worked at companies that did not require drug tests, I smoked daily, never at work, only on my time, and was never late, and I was always a productive employee. But those jobs did not pay the bills. So I had to use my degree and go to work for a company who does random drug testing and now I can’t smoke. We have employees who cannot wait to get to happy hour, that is about all their mind is focused on and I can’t go home and smoke a joint. that is what is bull shit.

  20. Racism is economic. If a bully cant get your property by his own force he will seek the fear of our own law. The National Black Caucus appears to comply with fear by choosing decriminalization over obvious legalisation as the morally correct solution for inequality.

  21. According to Drug Czar, William J. Bennett [he served as Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1991], marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol. He said, “We have enough of a problem with alcohol, thank you” . . . we keep the penalties.

    He could have added: Forget the Bill of Rights; Forget the Declaration of Independence. Because that is exactly what he did. Taking the front stage in the ongoing saga of Big Brother in America, he continues the current corruption of power – power founded in ignorance, if not conscious disregard of the basic documents he has sworn to defend, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights – the fundamental contract existing between the People of this Nation and the people We have elected to represent Us.

    Anyone willing to put a few moments of focused thought into the Declaration of Independence has got to come away truly incensed at the impudent manner in which the Drug Czar is carrying out his public trust. Judge for yourself:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness …”

  22. Martin Luther King would be proud to see this peaceful discussion of cannabis law and its progress against racial injustice. “Content of Character” is now the wishful dream of all who lend an ear to the legalization movement. The hand of the law has put vast distance between the races and removed a pride once guarded by the life of every man. It is great character that is needed to begin the repair of this gap. President Obama is coming very close to missing his moment in history. A moment that could eclipse his political career and maybe his whole life. Rosa Parks didn’t miss her moment, but the bus driver on the other hand did so with ignorant condescending pride. President Obama is being that driver, standing by doing nothing, while hiding behind his job, and a lie older than him. Willfully he betrays the the color of his skin and the people who have suffered under decades of arrogant plausible deniability. Although he’s surrounded by great advisors of all walks of life, he behaves as if he’s a child, alone and confused. He definitely knows that the damage of continuing 70 years of lies, will only further divide our nation. Being a great constitutional scholar, the voices of history surely must be loud beyond any measure in his mind if he has any conscious left at all. All of the corporate political greed and money now stand dwarfed by the fact that one black-man now stands poised once again to write another chapter in the book that Martin Luther King began writing a half a century ago. The connections between the racial injustices of marijuana prohibition and the fact that a black-man now stands capable with only a pen and the will to use it, is just too monumental to ignore. It is impossible for him to not know oppression, and now he stands along side those who are protecting and perpetuate it. No greater event in his life will compare to the racial healing power that is within his reach. Of all the leaders who’ve been witness to this injustice, President Obama should be the one to act. Forcing the people to suffer through defending what should be a fundamental right in the Supreme Court will also forever prove the fact that our nations corporate influence is the true sovereign power, and not the people.

  23. @RayW, I wish not to dispute what you say but to carry the thought further. Obama recently mentioned his own history having smoked H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarettes a substantial “chunk” of his adult life. He therewith admits to being a former $lave of the corporate greed and money and we need not forget that a $lavery-impact on character remains even after quitting (not to forget Republican Johnny Boehner remains defiantly addicted while second in line of succession).

    Besides knowing the oppression, as you put it, Obama knew that the voters have elected no current $igarette addict to the Presidency since 1944 (and we know how that ended) so in 2007 he hurriedly took up Nicorette Gum and successfully did away with the outward evidence of corruption.

    And perhaps it is no surprise that Obama has stuck with the Know-no-cannabis script because decades of $lavery are a HABIT difficult to eradicate. He dismisses his own former cannabis use as a “vice” and a “bad idea” and avoids further thought and learning about the issue as one would a Third Rail, in particular he does not admit to knowing anything positive about HOW TO USE cannabis other than as an entertainment or possibly a medicine as widely discussed in the media. (Think: had he really UNDERSTOOD cannabis, perhaps it would have helped him avoid those decades of nicotine $lavery.)

    For us the dilemma is: how to advise any prominent figure, such as a President, without individually attracting suspicion, surveillance etc. A Chicago resident nicknamed Mandrake joined with Father Mike Pfleger to deface $igarette billboards in the 90’s and his body was found in the river. I appreciate the service of a forum such as this provided by NORML to get such issues discussed openly where they may reach the attention of Deciders (as GWB put it) at least indirectly.

    A final, single suggestion: remind the President of the $289-BILLION yearly “cost to the US economy” of “tobacco”-related disease and lost productivity which might possibly be prevented in future by SUBSTITUTING cannabis for tobacco and vaporizers/one-hitters for the roll-up $igarette format.

  24. Mexweed, Obama is a narcissist. Marijuana doesn’t work on spiritual level with folks like that. Narcissists feel (it not a belief) they are the center of everything. The reason Obama used marijuana is because its use was popular in his peer group and he also wants to be popular. But he still looks down on marijuana because, as a narcissist, he also realizes he has to compete with marijuana for people’s attention. This is a narcissist’s kryptonite; which is why he couldn’t stay in a cypher and pass the el in order. He wasn’t standing out enough and breaking the order was his way of being “passive/aggressive” about being in a stoner click.

  25. @its unconstitutional,
    Thanks for the post. The Declaration of Independence may be interpreted by some scholars as the “ideal” of our Constitution. But I choose to believe those words are the foundation. We are declaring ourselves independent from the tyrrany of a Justice Department without justice, that continues to deny cancer treatment by falsly enforcing cannabis as having “no medicinal value.” So the C.S.Act must be repealed, nullified and outlawed from existence. Its replacement must be education, research, and the God-given right to self medicate without the fear of prosecution, incarceration and government sanctioned violence.
    On another post I wrote a CanniBill of Rights. We have the right to self-medicate; and the right to end the hypocrisy of The Department of Health and Human Social Services that removes babies from their mother’s breast for mothers who choose to use non-toxic, non-violent cannabis to treat their illness and care for their child… Only to have state custody of an innocent child placed in potentially violent, private foster care for profit… All while this same, so-called Department of Unhealthy, Human Social Disservice holds the morally unjust patent to “neuroprotective” cannabinoids.
    Martin Luther King is alive in spirit. He lives in the American conscience, and echoes every time a DEA agent whispers into a judge’s ear; every time an envelope with a large check is slipped across a table into a Senator’s hand in order to enforce prohibition; and in the heart of a caseworker who knows when removing a child from parents for consuming cannabis is as unconscionable and deplorable as intimidating the parent with 10 to life in prison, getting the parent to sign the rights of their baby away, and then receiving a $5,000 kickback from the DEAs SOD program for closing a drug case, then another $5,000 from a private adoption agency who sells the baby for profit. The Drug-Prison-Industrial Complex has created greater inequality, tyrrany and injustice than even its corrupt creators, weakened by greed and hatred, could have imagined.
    The “kickbacks” are the symptom of the unconstitutional C.S.Act meeting the U.S. Patent of cannabinoids through the D.H.H.S. that which creates this unjust hypocrisy we know as cannabis prohibition. Our banks understandably refuse to lend themselves to prosecution by the fickle “guidelines” written by the DOJ that look more like guidelines from one bank to a DEA account. But why won’t big banks team up against the DOJ and write their own guidelines, as they invariably could and should? The answer? KICKBACKS. What bank executive, softened by greed and institutionalized crime would refuse extra cash from cartels both in and outside of our goverment just to launder some illegal drug money? Why would bank CEOs prefer to give their illegitamite bonuses from organized crime back to legitamite cannabis dispensaries that the IRS can tax and follow? More importantly, why would the DOJ work this far to create guidelines the banks would HAVE to refuse unless the DOJ had profit motivations to LAUNDER MONEY THEMSELVES?
    I learned about “kickbacks” and the discrmination of the less wealthy when my younger brother was charged with a felony for a high school prank. He and some friends did exactly what the Principal asked students daily NOT to do; “Now students, don’t turn the chemical shower on in the chemistry lab; the drains weren’t built to remove that much water and it would flood our gymnasium.” The prohibition seed was planted. The contractor, Blackmon Mooring was in bed with the School Treasurer. The damage from the fateful event was trumped up to half a million dollars… More than the school was worth. Judge Mills was in bed with the loan officer from the local bank. The money got washed just like the gym floor and the whole school board retired with the Principal that SAME year. Judge Mills didn’t retire; he was still busy making kickbacks sending kids like my younger brother to private detention centers that throw money at judge’s campaign donations so corrupt judges like Mills can throw young men with high school pranks into private detention facilities with unjust felony charges. My brother never signed the half-a-million dollar non-pro-tunc restitution charges, even after the sherriff involved had him fight a violent inmate and threatened him in solitary confinement if he didnt sign for restitution. A similar case like this was revealed years back in Pennsylvania after a student twisty-tied someone’s locker shut… A state felony!
    Im proud to report my brother never signed the restitution, is due off parole in August (after 1 year in private detention, 1 year in state prison and 5years of probation). And Judge Mills? I guess he never thought the poor family would put up a fight. He was exposed before the primaries by Judge Jones who GAVE UP BEING A JUDGE so he could publish all the evil verdicts given and handouts Mills was receiving… Even soliciting lawyers with pending cases for campaign donations! Im happy to report Judge Jones’ sacrifice was worth it and Mills was NOT reelected last Tuesday.
    Kickbacks. Campaign Donations. Unsupervised, unpoliced and unaccountable unless people on the inside give up their jobs, and sometimes their safety, to be a whistleblower. That’s how our American Democracy works… Or doesn’t work.
    We may not be able to expose all our crooked elected officials, but we CAN change the laws that create them. We cannot and will not stand idley by while the sick, the wrongfully imprisoned and those of us with more melanin in our flesh are systematically incarcerated, discriminated, tortured or even killed for a drug-prison-industrial-complex.
    I may not have the words of Dr. King to express myself, but when the battle for freedom has worn my spirit I am comforted by the words from the book of Mathew, who must have made cannabis in the Holy Healing Oils of Kaneh-Bosem when he wrote the following;
    “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.”
    “News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-posessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and He healed them.”
    “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, (20) for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
    23-25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrits! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(26) Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish and then the outside will also be clean.”
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? (38) When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? (39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
    (40) “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

  26. @Julian
    “I may not have the words of Dr. King to express myself,”

    23-25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrits! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(26) Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish and then the outside will also be clean.”

    I think you’ve done Martin Luther King proud. Well said. The far side of the Promise Land is in sight. I’ll bet your brother would be proud also.

  27. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness”:

    A. Simply: persecuted by a right-handed majority for being left-handed. Sometimes the infant learns to accommodate, surrender to the rules, and rise to high position, I read somewhere Herbert Clark Hoover and Ronald Wilson Reagan were born left-handers who converted to righthanderdom (“sitteth at the right hand of God the father”).

    B. Cannabinoids liberate certain energies for use by the right brain hemisphere (which however is connected to the left hand).

    The right brain hemisphere fosters perception of entire-picture, long-term issues, whereas the left brain hemisphere governs step by step (I mean that “Schritt und Tritt”) follow-the-rules thinking which, done to excess, the right-handed majority thinks is rational whereas actually it is lopsided and leads to tribalism, wars, devastation and rebuilding. Warlords and oligarchs in that system have ganged up on cannabis because of fear it will rouse a successful uprising from among rthe (mainly young) oppressed.

    Unfortunately 8 bright stars in the north sky formed a seemingly portentious sign which men learned to obey as if it were a deliberate sign from some headly heavenly godfather. (Today known as Polaris and the 7 Dipperstars, or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs etc.)

    What happened in 38,000 BC is that the seven stars in the Dipper formed a shape which looked like

    (1) Five fingers of the left hand holding a tablet in place, two fingers of the right (write) hand writing with a long object, presumably pen or stylus, of which the Pole star is the far end.

    (2) Five fingers of the left hand tied to a shield, while two stars show the sides of the right (fight) hand holding a sword or club of which the Pole star is the far end or tip of the club or sword.

    Coincidentally in the timeframe before 30,000 BC or so, humans first started creating two-dimensional (pictorial) depictions of things like men and animals, first in certain caves in Southern France. Tribal elders were reading the stars and “educating” children toward righthandedness. Those paintings are the first “writing”. Children taken in to see the paintings always inhaled herbal smoke because smoky weedstalktorches (fasces) were the conventional way to see inside a cave like battery flashlights today. Psychedelic ingredients in the various species of weed doubtless influenced the perceptions of those who “write” the paintings and those who looked at them, maybe during hymnsinging, dancing or whatever.

  28. @ Julian, beautiful post man. But the CSA isn’t that bad. Putting marijuana on it is really the problem. It is slight of hand, but I still don’t understand how it has worked for so long. How many times can the same trick work? Oh yeah, layers of corruption, teaching all the lawyers and cops how to shit on the constitution right out in the open in front of everyone and think they’re role models.

    The way the CSA is written, marijuana isn’t even allowed on it. It was just added to it by way of perjury. One criminal act. The fact the DEA can just make up its own facts is again another unlawful, not remotely legal way of allowing them to pretend to be honest yet not require them to be honest–“we’re honest because we said so” is not a legal argument that carries any weight. Once caught in a lie, you’re a hostile witness at least. Second criminal Act. Just to get this far, we have liars backing up other lairs which can be seen as a conspiracy… How is this different from using a notary public that knows what they are sealing is a false affidavit? The Drug War scam just involves so many more people, but I’m still not seeing how it is all that different.

  29. Thanks for the moral support everyone. That was a post that was a long time coming because it required me to actually sit down and read the C.S.Act AND the Bible. (Try doing THAT on one Sunday afternoon… You almost HAVE to be high).
    @Ray, you should read all of the Seven Woes in the book of Mathew. While I realize he was preaching against Roman prohibition of Christianity, it reads almost as if he’s speaking directly to DEA director Michelle Leonhart and my local prohibitionist Congressman, Lamar Smith. Now that I think of it, I think im going to email the Seven Woes to Rep. Smith.
    Interesting that you caught one of the original meanings of “righteousness.” There’s a lot of talk in the Book of Mathew about the “left” and the “right,” due to Jewish tradition. (Such as the old Jewish axiom “if the right hand knew what the left hand was doing, it would cut it off.”)It’s hard to believe left handed people were often persecuted and even accused of evil. Im ambidextrous, but I write with my right hand because we write latin based languages left to right. If I had to write right to left, as done in Hebrew, I would write with my left. Now all we do is type, in which case I use both hands, but its fun to watch my kids choose which hand to use. They usually imitate whatever everyone else does.
    We have to constantly remind ourselves that the bible was written in parables and metaphors that are open to interpretation. We can’t take everything literally as many books, such as Mathew, were written after Jesus was crucified and sacred events took place. Some parts of history were lost forever in the fire of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. But we still shouldnt take whats left of the bible literally. (For example, it was recently discovered Abraham could not have given his children so many camels because camels were not yet domesticated in the region of Africa where Abraham lived. Perhaps the author of the old testament was just trying to portray Abraham’s wealth adjusted by more modern measurements?)
    Because so much of the prophecy was written about religious prohibition, there are so many allusions to cannabis prohibition in the bible. What truly fascinates me is how cannabis history and cultivation is mysteriously interwoven throughout biblical times and places. Many original prints of the bible were written on hemp paper. It was right around the time of Jesus that industrial hemp and psychoactive varieties of cannabis were becoming clearly distinguished and cultivated throughout biblical lands. There are Ethiopian Coptic Christians today who claim lineage to Kings David and Solomon who still use cannabis for holy communion and in the holy healing oils. I have also encountered this practise of cannabis in the healung oils with curanderas, or healers, in Mexico. Its not clear to me where the tradition of using cannabis in the healing oils originated if it wasn’t one of the original ingredients of kaneh-bosem.
    Sarah Benet argues in her 1937 book on hemp that the ingredient “calibus” was mistranslated from “canni-bos” in Greek from its original Aramaic, (the language Jesus spoke) where the anointing oil ingredients are mentioned in Exodus 30-22. Despite warnings not to screw up the ingredients, Greek, Aramaic and other translations of the bible have different translations of ingredients. Aramaic says “callabus” while Greek versions translate “fragrant cane.” Even if early priests did use cannabis in the healing oils, it is important to point out weed was not as psychoactive as it is today, due largely by prohibition creating a market incentive to breed plants more concentrated in THC. The Catholic diocese is no help for an ethnobotanical analysis because every priest Ive asked says the same thing, whether we were blessing my sick Godson or baptising my son; “the oil comes from the Vatican. Not even I know whats in it.” I believe the Vatican has some explaining to do. Can we e-mail the Pope?
    And finally, Dave Evans;
    The fundemental flaw in the C.S.Act is that there is no justified way to “control” the “substances” we all choose to consume. We can only prohibit their supply, artificially increasing the price, unregulated black-market supply and potency of illicit substances, and soon we discover that WE are the “controlled substance” and the “drug war” is a war on us all.
    This inherent flaw of drug policing does not even lend to the unconstitutional nature of allowing the executive branch to write drug policy much less illustrate the superb hypocrisy of patenting “neuroprotective” cannabinoids out of the same health department that prohibits them and separates families for beurocratic kickback$.
    Prohibiting drugs is simply unsustainable. So is the C.S.Act. Research and education are the most useful treatment for addiction, which continues to chemically affect only 1.5% of the population, as severe chemical addiction always has.(

  30. @J, prohibiting or inhibiting supply and raising the price of cannabis creates the price differential vis-à-vis $igarette tobacco (at least 10-1) driving “experimenting” youngsters toward seemingly more affordable “Zap– you’re hooked!” nicotine addiction. According to the Surgeon General report, we the “controlled” taxpayer population are controlled into paying for that in the form of $289-bil. “smoking-related-disease” damage to US economy.

    Ethnobotanical co-evolution, Cannabis… sapiens: please check out Wikiversity/Ethnobotany, review, revise, improve article if you can.

    Man’s Best Friend (FREE + HAND):

    manus Hand digits
    canis Hund dog
    cannabis Hanf dagga

    Re: your kids–

    make sure they express themselves exuberantly on both piano/organ keyboard and typewriter/computer keyboard. Help them learn the standard almost-all-finger method (well the left thumb only balances things, or whatever). Also teach them ambidextrous handworkerly jobs. (One-sided “dominance” is an avoidable pathology.)

    Big dispute over “under-age use”– I predict youngsters who are one-hit-literate (oriented to 25-mg single tokes instead of sledgehammer 500-mg joints) can cash in “moderate” (nondisorienting) cannabis use as learning achievement in ambidextrous handwork far superior to what is expected for the average child in today’s Sabotaged Education Consumer Exploitation System. Check out, revise, improve “Make Pipes from Everyday Objects” article.

  31. @Mexweed,
    As always, thank you for your scholarly criticism.
    After careful research, I have determined that the availability of medicinal marijuana, hemp, of cannabis sativa and indicas were available both much earlier than the time of Jesus in traditionally biblical lands.
    The broad consensus is that Cannabis Sativa spread more north, east and west of the himalayas more than 10,000 years ago for both medicinal and industrial use, while Indica was cultivated more to the south for spiritual and medicinal use in ancient India.
    As a result of logistics and geography, it is logical to conclude that more medicinal varieties of Indica would arrive to ancient Africa by the Red Sea into what is today Somalia and Ethiopia long before Sativa could establish its variety of uses across land to where it was documented among the Sythians during the time of Christ.
    The Ebers Papyrus of ancient Egypt (1500 b.c.e.) demonstrates medicinal marijuana applied directly to inflammation. Logical routes for Cannabis Indica would cross the Arabian Sea between India and Africa. This would explain the ancient trade of the Sofi tribes south of the Nile that used the river to trade north to Egypt, carrying ingredients for insence including cannabis. The introduction of cannabis to ancient Egypt via incense would also explain the Egyptian tradition of making cannabis into hashish.
    I should specify, however, that my comment over Ethiopian Coptics and the use of cannabis for communion requires more research. This was based on information I reveived from a self proclaimed Coptic from Ethiopia I met in D.C. There may be confusion from rastafarians who base their use of holy communion using cannabis on their belief of its Ethiopian origins. However, the Ethiopian Coptic religion and Rastafarianism are not the same religions. From rastas I have also met in D.C., Ive even heard the “tree of life” or even the “Burning bush” in the cave from which God spoke to Moses,” was also a marijuana tree. This appears nothing more than speculation, but nonetheless deserves archeological investigation.
    What is clear from the evidence we DO have is that cannabis appears to introduce itself into societies with fertile lands and subsequently civilizations flourish in its wake. The reintroduction of domestic cannabis production in the U.S. Midwestern “bread basket of the world” after 75 years of prohibition and so much advance in agricultural innovation will result in nothing less than an American Green Age; An agrarian revolution in technology, a rennaisance in art and culture, and a complete reevaluation of the way we consume food, energy, medicine and building materials.

  32. @Paul Armentano,
    Has NORML ever considered programming a “cannibot army” to systematically identify, comment, or even edit bias misinformation about cannabis?

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