Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 2009
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Jason Browne

Letter to Editor:


Editor: Thanks to David Roth for the kind words and insightful
comments. I'll attempt to answer his questions and impart some facts
and resources for those who are interested in this topic.

For those who have commented on-line, questioning what makes me an
expert, you can view my Curriculum Vitae on my Web site, for a
thorough listing of my experiences in the medical cannabis industry
( Suffice it to say that the term expert is
just a shortened version of my job title, "expert witness," when I
testify in courts around the North State. It's not self
aggrandizement; it's just something I happen to know a lot about.

What most of us were taught in school about cannabis is simply not
true and not documented through scientific methods and peer reviewed
standards. The propaganda espoused against cannabis has always been
ridiculous and the messages have changed to match the public fears of
the times. Here are a list of them, in order of their

1) Cannabis use causes people of color to look white people in the
eyes, it leads white women to sleep with men of color and it causes
kids to go on murderous rampages.

2) It turns people into communists and it causes men to grow breasts
and to be infertile.

3) It kills brain cells and causes lung cancer.

4) It causes a-motivational syndrome.

5) It's the gateway drug.

6) Using it supports terrorism.

All of these claims are false, or just plain racist. The real reasons
that cannabis was made, and remains, illegal, are moneyed interests.
Like most social and political issues in America, to see the real
motivations behind them, just follow the money.

Hemp provides money to farmers and communities, not to big
corporations. It successfully competes against many more harmful and
expensive industries to create products that we all consume, such as
petroleum, alcohol, paper and lumber, textiles, paints,
pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements.

Our prison industry and its financial counterparts in the drug cartels
could loose a lot of easy money when cannabis is legal. I suggest
reading the newest version of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" by Jack
Herer for a complete history of the plant.

As to medical cannabis, there are hundreds of known conditions that it
is used to treat, according to the International Code of Diagnostics.
It has been used medicinally, spiritually and agriculturally for more
than 10,000 years. Its uses are evidenced in some of our earliest
writings, from Egypt, China, India and elsewhere. Cannabis was
included in the American Pharmacopeia and regularly prescribed by
physicians here into the mid 1930s, when it was heavily taxed and then
outlawed. When Congress did hold hearings to outlaw it, most people
didn't even know what plant they were talking about, including members
of Congress themselves, because the whole nation knew it as either
Cannabis or Hemp. The word marijuana was used intentionally to mislead
the public, and it worked. The word was slang, not even commonly used
in Mexico to describe the plant, and was chosen by Harry Anslinger and
William Randolph Hearst to usher in a new age of federal

Jason Browne, Red Bluff
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