What do you think?
What do you think?
Current – Compassion clubs and other medical marijuana distributors should have restrictions on them lifted, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled. To the delight of a packed courtroom in Vancouver, Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg said federal regulations that limit people’s access to medicinal cannabis are “constitutionally invalid” and gave the government a year to amend the rules.
Reto U. Schneider is the author of The Mad Science Book. This is one of the experiments described
Reto U. Schneider, The Mad Science Book – The Good Friday service in Easter 1962 was a memorable experience for ten seminarians at the Andover Newton Theological School. Although they could remember hardly anything of the sermon delivered by Pastor Howard Thurman, they could recall a sea of colors, voices from the Beyond, and the feeling that they were melting into the surrounding world. In a word, the students were high.
At the beginning of the 1960s, some daring scientists turned their attention to studying mind-altering substances. This was the period when it was all part and parcel of a lecture on mysticism to ingest magic mushrooms to gain practical insight into the subject, and when a doctoral thesis could entail giving students drugs and observing their behaviour. This is exactly what Walter Pahnke did: this young theologian and doctor from Harvard University was keen to discover whether psychedelic drugs could induce the kind of mystical sensations that only very few people otherwise experience, for example when in a state of religious trance. Users of LSD, psilocybin or mescaline had long claimed that this was the case.
Pahnke turned to Timothy Leary, who a short time before had begun conducting drug experiments at Harvard, and who later became a leading figure in the 1960s counterculture. He proposed an experiment to Leary: test subjects would attend a church service, but half of them would be given mind-expanding drugs in advance. Afterwards, all participants would be required to fill in a questionnaire and be interviewed. Comparing the findings with descriptions of mystical experiences from the realm of religion would demonstrate whether there was a qualitative difference between them.
[Leary] explained to Pahnke that a psychedelic trip was an intensely personal experience and that a person would have to have experienced several himself before he could even contemplate devising such an experiment. However, Pahnke was adamant that he would have to wait until his thesis had been accepted before he indulged. He didn’t want anyone accusing him of partiality: the experiment would only have a chance of succeeding if he hadn’t taken any drugs himself beforehand. . .
On the morning of Good Friday, two hours before the service, 20 students met in the crypt of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. They were encouraged “not try to fight the effects of the drug even if the experience became very unusual or frightening.”. . .
The service lasted two and a half hours. When it had ended, the students were interviewed for the first time. At 5 o’clock, Leary invited everyone to come and eat with him, but ‘the trippers were still too high to do much except shake their heads, saying “Wow!”‘, as he later recalled. . .
In the days following the experiment, and again six months later, the subjects were quizzed about what they had gone through. . . The results were unequivocal: eight of the 10 students who had eaten the magic mushroom experienced at least seven of the impressions and feelings customarily associated with a mystical experience. By contrast, no-one from the control group reached this kind of score. In every category, they lagged far behind the experimental group. . .
Twenty-five years after the experiment, the psychologist Rick Doblin attempted to find the surviving participants. In four years’ of detective work, he succeeded in tracking down 19 of the 20 students. Sixteen of them agreed to be interviewed and filled in the same questionnaire as in the original experiment. The results were astonishingly consistent: those in the experimental group and the control group gave much the same answers as they had done a quarter of a century before. The test subjects from the experimental group described the Good Friday service of 1962 as one of the high points in their spiritual lives. They all claimed that the experiment had had a positive influence on them. Some attributed their later socially aware outlook to it, while others said it had helped them come to a positive accommodation with their fear of death.
Nevertheless, most of the former participants also recalled that the experiment also had its negative aspects. There were moments when they thought they were going mad or dying. Pahnke only treated this aspect in passing in his thesis. In particular he hushed up the fact that one subject had to be injected with an antidote when the situation got out of hand: seized with an urge to put Pastor Thurman’s call to spread the word of Christ into action straight away, one student left the chapel and went out onto the street, from where he had to be fetched back. . .
Just one member of the control group claimed that the experiment had benefited him greatly. Not that it was the church service as such that had such a positive effect on him, but rather the decision he made during it to try psychedelic drugs himself at the next available opportunity.
Los Angeles, CA: A University of California researcher who has performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years says that pot should be legal.
In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain, Donald Tashkin of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, said: “[A]t this point, I’d be in favor of (marijuana) legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm (than marijuana).”
Tashkin said that when he began his work thirty years ago, he “opposed … legalization because [he] thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects.” However, he now admits that his decades’ worth of scientific research revealed an opposite conclusion.
In 2006, Tashkin led the largest population case-control study ever to assess the use of marijuana and lung cancer risk. The study, which included more than 2,200 subjects (1,212 cases and 1,040 controls), reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tract – even among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime.
“What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” Tashkin told the newspaper chain, noting that cannabinoids cause “cells [to] die … before they age enough to develop mutations that might lead to cancer.”
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on marijuana smoke and cancer risk, please see: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6891. A literature review of cannabinoids’ anti-cancer properties is available at: http://www.norml.org//index.cfm?Group_ID=7008.
The ASA legal team saw the fruits of another big victory for patients in March, when the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued a new policy on driver’s licenses that ends discrimination against state medical marijuana patients.
ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford
As of March 2, the DMV Driver Safety Procedure Manual now says that “use of medicinal marijuana approved by a physician should be handled in the same manner as any other prescription medication which may affect safe driving.” The change means that medical marijuana use now “does not, in itself, constitute grounds for a license withdrawal action,” as it had in the past.
The change in DMV policy stems from a lawsuit filed by ASA on behalf of Rose Johnson, 53, whose driving license was revoked because she uses medical marijuana on the advice of her doctor. Despite having driven for 37 years without an accident or a ticket, the DMV revoked Johnson’s license last July. According to the DMV, Johnson was no longer able to safely operate a motor vehicle “because of…[an] addiction to, or habitual use of, [a] drug.” Their evidence? Her doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana.
ASA filed suit on Johnson’s behalf in November, and DMV announced their new policy in January, before her case was heard. Johnson was given a driving test, which she passed, and DMV reinstated her license.
“The new DMV policy is a significant change,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who handled the action. “Drivers will no longer have their licenses suspended or revoked simply because of their status as medical marijuana patients.”
ASA had reports that the DMV had targeted medical marijuana patients in at least eight California counties, including Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Glenn, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, and Sonoma. License suspensions and revocations by the DMV were done under cover of calling the drivers “drug abusers,” though they were based on nothing more than the person’s status as a state-qualified medical marijuana patient.
“This DMV policy change represents a victory for patients, which puts us closer to full implementation of California’s medical marijuana law,” said Elford.
His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama spoke to an absolutely quiet and enthralled audience today at Gibson Amphitheater. The anticipated event was produced by Whole Child International, the brainchild of Karen Gordon – more on her later.
I have seen HH Dalai Lama speak several times, but this time he seemed at his best, IMHO. He is unassuming and not aware of his star power when he speaks. He truly comes across as, he says, a humble monk. Contrast this with the blowhards on Capitol Hill or the White House. So self-important… what a snooze.
Today, His Holiness spoke almost in lessons so to speak, not in high-brow fashion, but in a down-home voice almost – along with his translator, who His Holiness constantly shot questions to for interpretation of certain euphemisms and idiomatic expressions. In this regard, the 76-year-old monk is remarkable.
His Holiness remarked that the day before, a woman at another event told him she had healing powers. He said that he was skeptical. (Only in Los Angeles would someone tell HH that they have healing powers. And you’re worried about legalizing marijuana…?)
He said to her, and I’m paraphrasing a little, “I have no healing powers. On October 10, 2008 I had my own gall bladder removed by a surgeon. If I had such powers, I’d have worked my healing powers on myself. This is scientific proof that I have no healing powers, however, the doctor and his wife are getting along much better since my surgery,” to which the audience laughed and applauded in appreciation of his candor, but I think in a bit of disbelief also. He said, “having a compassionate heart is the only healing power you can have.”
A few other gems from HH today:
The future of humanity depends on the public (not government leaders)
Inner peace leads to global peace. It starts with you, not politicians
Cultivate compassion by caring for all living things (except mosquitoes, he said to roaring laughter)
There is no more US and THEY – that is “old way,” he said…today only WE
Internal disarmament leads to external disarmament
I would love to go on and on about His Holiness, but the day also belonged to visionary Karen Gordon of the phenomenal non-profit Whole Child International, whose vision is “to elevate the level of childcare for vulnerable children worldwide so that each child be granted the basic human right to fulfill his or her developmental potential.”
Gordon’s vision for Whole Child is to get children “off the assembly line of caregiving” and get them focused, one-on-one attention by the same caregiver in institutional orphanages by focusing on a train-the-trainer model.
The organization she founded in 2004 produced today’s event to honor HH as the 2010 Whole Child Humanitarian as well as Tom Mower, Sr., founder and Chairman of SISEL International, who was named Whole Child International Champion.
In a video presentation, Mower said he was on the verge of setting up his own company to help such vulnerable children, when he happened upon a Forbes magazine article featuring Gordon and Whole Child. Gordon said to the group, that Mower has since given over $1 million of his personal assets to Whole Child.
HH was honored because he believes that “the way to cultivate compassion among humanity is to lovingly nurture each child.”
After Gordon’s opening remarks, we were treated (and I mean really treated) to several songs by Sheryl Crow, the first being The Beatles Here Comes The Sun. Crow donated her time for today’s event.
I’ve seen Crow a few times live and I’m beginning to believe that she is entirely under-rated. She blew me away. Lots of soul in her voice – you can’t teach that to someone. I think you have to be entirely present to sing like that.
You can donate to Whole Child International via Text2Give by following these instructions:
Text the letters WCI followed by a space followed by a donation amount to 27138.
WCI $100 to 27138
Well Everyone, the green has gone boom alright in many senses… I’m so busy Ihave not had much time to even show up here at the ol’ home page.!
We’ve known for a while that Monsanto buried the truth about Roundup weedkiller by ignoring concerns by its own scientists. Now it seems Dow Chemical Co. has been using the same playbook.Dow (renamed DowDuPont after its 2017 merger with DuPont) likely knew for decades that its widely used chlorpyrifos insecticide is harmful to humans—especially children and developing fetuses.