Pubdate: Tue, 16 Oct 2012
Source: Maple Ridge Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Andrew Rezmer
Page: A9


On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the municipal leaders of B.C. approved a
resolution calling for the decriminalization of Marijuana.

Just as the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and 1930s failed to
stop consumption of alcohol, so has the prohibition of pot failed to
stop marijuana consumption.

Today, according to WHO, alcohol is the largest risk factor for
premature death and disability in the Americas. The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000
annual U.S. deaths are attributed to alcohol use alone (this figure
does not include accidental deaths).

On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths
caused by the use of marijuana.

We are delighted that the Union of B.C. Municipalities has taken this
stand, however, there is more to this issue than just moving $4
billion of marijuana trade from the underground economy into the
regular business world.

Spirit plants, like marijuana, have been used for thousands of years
for emotional and spiritual healing.

All our medicines come from extracting and replicating compounds
derived from plants.

Cannabis and humanity are intimately related. Considering the generous
presence of welcoming cannabinoid receptors in our brains, it appears
we may even have evolved in tandem. It is one of the oldest known
cultivated plants on earth, and appears in the records from the dawn
of civilization in China and other parts of Asia.

While we wouldn't condemn recreational use of marijuana, we believe
that our governments are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, if
their only concern is to legalize it to cut down on the violence that
comes from organized crime's involvement in marijuana trade.

Properly utilized, we believe that marijuana and the spirit plants,
like ayahuasca, iboga, San Pedro cactus, among others, hold the key to
reversing some of today's deep-rooted problems.

These plants have been used in shamanic traditions going back
thousands, if not tens of thousands of years.

Unfortunately, deep and long-standing prejudices make frank discussion
of these substances difficult in the public arena.

We are sure that among municipal leaders there is still a lot of
misunderstanding and confusion about the healing work that plants perform.

But what we know, and they do, too, since they adopted the resolution
to legalize marijuana, is that the old ways aren't working and, in
fact, are exacerbating our problems with organized crime and violence
in our communities.

So what to do?

We hope, after passing the resolution, for proactive action and
education on the benefits and positive impacts that spiritual plant
medicines can have when treated with the respect and reverence they

Andrew Rezmer,

Spirit Plant Medicine Conference organizer
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt