Sunday 23 Oct 2016

Stone Ages
M Alan Roberts

He was crouched in a moonlit cave in the midst of what today would be the Chang Jiang Province, in China. His long hair ruffled; his garments were dirty and tattered. He wore handcrafted doeskin moccasins, wearing thin. A small, sensible fire warmed him as the frigid mountain air set in for another long mid-spring night. Having just returned from the day's gathering chores, and an unsuccessful hunting attempt, he contemplated the preparation of the roots and berries that nature blessed him with that day. He had no woman anymore; she disappeared years ago, taken by something in the night. He shook his head to dislodge the memory of her face and poked at the fire's embers with a flame-sharpened stick.

He was an old man. He saw 73 winters. His life was one of loneliness, necessary transience, limited mobility and chronic physical pain. Outcast from his village for his lacking abilities to contribute, he waited alone to die. A cancer grew within his stomach, each day expanding, compressing, killing him a bit more. This day, his pain was quite severe, more intense than normal. The roots and berries he found provided nutrients and a few calories, but no medicinal qualities. Of course, there were no doctors to provide relief for him. It was 1397 years before the birth of Jesus. Gracefully picking a red-hot ember between two handling sticks, he held it up to his smoking bowl. The cannabis sativa was all there was to help to relieve his pain and allow him to rest through the night.

The deep-green medicinal herb had always been a part of everyday life. From his childhood, when he as three or four years-of-age, he recalled the deep-green herb used by his people as a medicine. He remembered the smiling faces, of his parents, as they inhaled from their smoking bowls, during gatherings or in the evenings at home.

He didn't realize it, but the Chinese people had been enjoying the benefits of the miracle plant for almost 4500 years, eons before his time. Archaeological evidence reveals the Chinese were using hemp seeds as a source of food as far back as 6000 BCE. Further, they started using marijuana, in the year 2727 BCE, to treat a vast array of physical conditions and diseases. Soon afterward, the Chinese used these gifts of the earth on much larger scales to provide food and fiber for the people.

Beginning around 1200 years before the birth of Christ, the old Chinese man's Asian brothers in India discovered the bounties of what they came to call "Sacred Grass." They too used it for food, medicine, fiber for fabrics and hundreds of other uses. Especially among the men, hashish was a daily pleasure enjoyed by the masses. They found that it brought them closer to enlightenment. This most prized possession became the Indians choice offering to their god, Shiva.

Jumping ahead to 1492 years after the death of Christ, a hip sailor, Christopher Columbus, packed some herb on the 75-foot long merchant flagship called the Santa Maria. The Nina and the Pinta, smaller "caravel" ships that also headlined his fleet, were undoubtedly also loaded with tough, rugged sailors who enjoyed their rights to feel good after weathering the rugged seas. They knew that when they arrived in this New World. they were definitely going to need some weed to help them cope. Of course, the American Indians were sending smoke signals of their own between groups of friends, living peacefully and bothering nobody.

The people saw that hemp and marijuana were good. For this, they smiled widely. Beloved United States president, George Washington, planted hemp as his primary crop at Mount Vernon. At Monticello, Thomas Jefferson chose hemp as his secondary crop. In 1619, all farmers were required to grow hemp in Jamestown, Virginia Colony. At that same time, marijuana was a major commodity, used to build the country's wealth, through trade with Central and South Asia.

Jumping ahead to 1840, cannabis-based medicines were widely available in United States pharmacies. If you were fortunate enough to have access to a Persian pharmacy, you could get some kick-butt hashish. In 1876, the Turkish government gifted the United States and obscene amount of marijuana. Then by 1880, Turkish pot-smoking parlors opened for citizens to enjoy all over the then-great northeastern USA, Washington, DC included, of course.

Every American loved weed! In 1908, just two short years after the creation of the United States FDA, Henry Ford constructed his first Model T using plastics created from hemp. Production was up. People were happy. Big pharmaceutical companies did not exist. Everything seemed to be going well.

Then the United States government just had to show it ass and tell people they were having too much fun.

As early as 1913, states including Texas, Utah and California began initiating marijuana laws. Sadly, in 1930, the devil himself, Harry J. Anslinger, took control over the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics. For the next 32 years, he waged multi-billion dollar annual wars against the American people and their right to choose their own medicines. He unleashed propaganda films such as Reefer Madness that brainwashed the American public into believing that Mary Jane was a murderous lunatic. At one point, he even took over Hollywood's right to determine the content of its motion pictures.

Peace-loving, weed-welding Americans got pissed. By 1965, very conservative figures showed that approximately one million United States citizens were regularly enjoying the subtle pleasures of marijuana. By 1972, that same conservative figure had grown to 24,000,000 plus. Hallelujah!

In 1996, the American citizens of the super-cool state, California, passed Proposition 215, the first medical marijuana law passed in the United States. Many other states, today, have similar laws, including Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Year by year, more US states are realizing that the hypocritical, slanderous lies, delivered by Anslinger, was unfair and immoral. Marijuana is certainly one of the true medicines, provided by nature, not man.

The Stone Ages have not ended, and you are not alone. Let your public leaders know that you are serious about marijuana decriminalization, and they will have to listen to you. Welcome to the real Green Revolution!

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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