panaceachronicles

Thoughts On Coca, Cannabis, Opium & Tobacco – Gifts Of The Great Spirit


3 Comments

The Cultivators Handbook of Marijuana – The Back Story

I’ve just returned from a month-long trip to Oregon to help celebrate the dawn of full legalization of Cannabis for Medical and soon for Recreational purposes. It has been a long road since I first wrote the Cultivator’s Handbook of Marijuana in 1968-69, and far too many of the people I knew and loved in those days are now gone. Some of them died of natural causes, and some died in the interminable wars of aggression that this country has been fighting, but many of them died as a result of spending years, and sometimes decades of their lives in state and federal prisons for the absurd offense of growing  this gift of our loving planet. I dedicate this post to all my friends from those days, those still alive and those long gone.

In the course of meeting and talking with people from the younger generations I was asked many times (well, once or twice) to tell the story of how I came to write Cultivator’s Handbook, so I thought that I would put it into writing for anyone who might find it worth reading. I know that old guys can be tedious and boring with their tales of youthful exploits so I’ll try to keep this as short as possible, without leaving out details that might be of interest to you, dear reader.

I am posting this on Independence Day to honor the freedoms that so many have fought, suffered and died for – especially the freedom to grow and use the natural medicines placed on this beautiful green planet by a loving Mother Nature.
Guy3
Origins Of The Cultivators Handbook

In the 1960s when not otherwise occupied I was making regular trips to Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, and Lebanon to collect botanical and herbal medicine specimens and bring them back for the appreciation of collectors and connoisseurs, but after a while it became clear that such scientific expeditions were being ever more seriously frowned upon, so I decided to settle in Oregon and practice what I had learned from indigenous growers during my overseas forays.

For a couple of years I grew some pretty nice specimens in the hills around Eugene, and developed a solid clientele for my medicinal plants. However, those were the days when monsters like J. Edgar Hoover and John Mitchell ruled the land and I saw friends who were in the same business of creating special herbal medicines being harassed, arrested and in one case that still saddens and angers me, shot full of very big, bloody holes.

So just as I had decided to get out of the herbal medicine and botanicals business I decided to exit the medicinal plants growing business. I was pretty bummed out that I was prevented from doing work that was so much fun, that didn’t hurt a soul, and that let me make a pretty good living doing what I loved.

Those were the days of revolutionary thinking in America – the Vietnam War resistance movement, the Black Panthers, the Students for a Democratic Society, the Non-Violent Student Coordinating Committee, and many other brave and sometimes foolishly optimistic movements whose fervor and commitment are hard to imagine in today’s passionless society. It was an inspiring time to be young, and as I searched for a path to take now that my old ways were behind me I wanted it to be a passionate choice. I had already served in the Peace Corps in Africa in the mid-60s, and done my share of community organizing in America, so I was looking around for something else I could do that would make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

A good friend and I were sitting on the banks of the McKenzie River outside of Eugene, toking on some fine bud and discussing cosmic ideas and I was telling her how much I regretted not being able to pursue my botanical interests when she said “Why don’t you write a book about growing? They can’t bust you for writing a book, can they?”

You know those cartoons where a light bulb flicks on over the character’s head when they get an idea? I swear that a 1000 Watt Halide flashed on just above my head. I screamed “Yes!” and jumped up and hugged her and we rolled around on the banks of the McKenzie for I don’t know how long that beautiful Fall afternoon.

Creating Cultivators Handbook

I had never written a book but I had a typewriter in my apartment because I sometimes wrote research papers for students at the University of Oregon who didn’t want to write their own, so that evening I sat down with a couple of joints and a few beers and put a sheet of paper in my typewriter and just started writing. Since I had written probably a hundred or more research papers and essays I wasn’t especially worried about what I was getting into. I knew that I had to write a book for people who didn’t care about literary style but just wanted useful, practical information on how to grow high quality marijuana. I also knew, because I had talked with a lawyer friend, that I couldn’t use photographs to illustrate the book because the Feds would use those photos as evidence of either illegal cultivation or – if I claimed that I was merely photographing the work of others, criminal conspiracy. In either case they could, and surely would put me away for a long, long time.

I had a young friend Terry who was a fine artist and who had seen his share of botanicals, so I asked him if he could do a series of pen & ink drawings for the book. He loved the idea and we sat down together for a long afternoon as I outlined each section of the book that would need an illustration and he did some quick sketches for each section. By the end of the day we had what I guess you could call a storyboard – I knew what each of the book’s sections was going to be about, and Terry had rough sketches of what he would do to produce each of the drawings.

Terry and I agreed that the drawings needed to convey information but not just be technical – they had to reflect the counterculture and had to have a unique character. This suited Terry just fine – he was already a well-known street artist in Eugene and he had a unique style, which I loved. His stylistic hero was Robert Crum, but Terry took that style to a higher level.

Creating the layout for “Cultivator’s Handbook” was simplicity itself. I wrote the book on my manual typewriter, and handed over each day’s work to a good friend who was an editor at the Eugene Augur. She put her suggested edits in the margins and gave them back to me, and then I typed out the edited copy triple-spaced and gave them back to her. Then she made her final edits in red ink above each line. Through a friend I had access to an IBM Selectric typewriter, so after I got back the final edited pages of a chapter I would just type them up in a nice, clean text block, put a page number at the bottom of the block, and that was it. I had made a dummy master of the book and so I was able to keep track of the page layout, including Terry’s illustrations which I simply pasted in place. The whole process went remarkably smoothly.

Getting The First Copies Printed

The next challenge was to figure out how to get Cultivators Handbook into print. That problem was quickly solved by my friends John and Patty who were co-publishers of the Eugene Augur, one of the many counter-culture newspapers that appeared across the country in the 60’s as a voice of the anti-war, anti-establishment movement. Operating out of an old industrial loft in downtown Eugene the Augur staff worked with old but smooth-running printing and binding equipment. I approached John and Patty and asked them if they could print a few hundred copies of my book, and after putting the project to a vote of all members of the Augur collective it was agreed.

There were a few obstacles that still had to be overcome. I had to have the cover printed elsewhere because the Augur equipment only handled B&W. Since it was a short, quick one-color print job I didn’t have any trouble getting the first cover printed. Then I had to lay out the book again to conform to the dimensions that the Augur’s equipment could handle. Many people commented on the odd shape of the early editions of the Cultivator’s Handbook and wondered why I chose to make the book in this unusual, almost square shape, but the answer was that it was the only way I could get the book printed. Finally, although the Augur had saddle-stitching equipment to staple the book together, their collating equipment couldn’t handle the book. I’ll tell you the remarkable way that was handled in a moment.

I got the new layout done in record time and John & Patty gave me a time between editions of the Augur for printing 500 copies. I got to the Augur offices early in the morning and within a few minutes the first pages were rolling off the press. As each set of pages was printed they were taken over to the trimming machine.

The Augur had a large totally empty room adjacent to its offices, and in preparation for the collation the staff of the Augur had placed markers on the floor corresponding to each of the 25 sets of pages that would ultimately make up the 100 page book. After printing each page was run through a folding machine, and then the set of 500 folded sheets was taken into the collating room. So within a few hours we had 25 stacks of printed pages lined up in this large room. At that point every member of the Augur staff, along with me and a few of my friends, lined up and began walking down the line of stacks picking up one folded page at a time, placing them inside each other in order. As each person came to the end of the line they had a full collated book, which was then matched up with a folded and trimmed cover and taken over to the saddle-stitching machine. A few staples into the folded spine of the book and it was finished, and then it went into a box.

The whole process of producing the first 500 copies of Cultivators Handbook took almost an entire day, and one of the many remarkable things about the whole experience was that nobody on the Augur staff would take a penny for their efforts. John and Patty told me that everybody considered that they were participating in a revolutionary act and didn’t want to be paid. I did manage to get everybody to share pizzas and beer and of course there was plenty of smoke. As we all stood around eating pizza and talking about the day I felt a stronger sense of brotherhood and sisterhood than I had ever experienced before.

Taking Cultivators Handbook To San Francisco

One of my old growing friends was a tall, red-haired hippie named “Chuck” who drove an ancient flatbed Ford farm truck, and Chuck had volunteered to drive me and my books down to San Francisco, which is where I figured my strongest market was. I gave 25 copies to the Augur and signed a book for each staff member and a few of my friends who had helped with the project, and we all carried the boxes of books downstairs to Chuck’s truck. We loaded about 450 books onto the bed of the truck, tied them down with al old tarp, and after a round of hugs and handshakes Chuck and I drove off toward San Francisco. It was about five in the afternoon.

We drove south at about 50 mph – the best that Chuck’s old truck could manage. At about midnight we crossed the California border, and rolled into Shasta County. Of course we had been smoking the whole way, but neither of us was sleepy and we had San Francisco figured for a sunrise arrival.

Both Chuck and I were pretty surprised when a cop lit us up and pulled us over, because there was no way that we were speeding in that old farm truck. We had the windows down and hoped that the cop wouldn’t smell the Marijuana in the cab. (We were pretty naïve.) The cop walked up and asked Chuck for his license and registration, which I was happy to see he actually had in the glove compartment.

Then rather than making an issue out of what he could clearly smell, he asked what we had under the tarp on the truck.

“Books” I said.

“Books? he said.

“Yes, books” I said.

“Show me” he said.

So I climbed out of the truck and walked to the back of the truck and untied the tarp. Hoping to skate by I showed him the boxes of books.

“Open a box and show me” he ordered. So I popped the top of a box and tilted it toward him a little, hoping that he would see that the boxes did indeed contain books and not actually see what the books were. No such luck.

“Hand me one of those books” he said. So I did. He looked at the cover, riffled through the pages, and said “Where did you get these books?”

“I wrote it” I said, “and we’re taking them to bookshops in San Francisco.”

He then ordered Chuck out of the truck, and sat us both down alongside the road. Telling us to stay put he went back to his patrol car and got on the radio. Within minutes the whole highway was lit up with police coming from both directions, with full lights and sirens. It was quite a show – exactly what cops love to do. People driving by in both directions slowed and looked us over – loving what they saw. Law enforcement at its best – arresting hippies. Chuck and I looked at each other and Chuck said “We might be delayed a little bit in getting to San Francisco”. I agreed that it sure looked that way.

After a dozen or so sheriff’s deputies and CHP had pulled up, a plain white car also pulled up and out climbed a cop who was obviously going to be in charge of things. He was in civilian clothes but his badge hung from his belt and it was clear that he was very, very official.

He stopped and talked with the cop who had originally stopped us, looked over the book, and then walked over to where we were sitting alongside the road.

“You wrote this? He asked. I said that I had.

“Well,” he said,” this looks like a pretty detailed guide to performing a very illegal act.”

Then he said “Nothing illegal about writing a book though.”

Like an idiot I thanked him.

Chuck and I looked at each other and I could see we were both thinking “Holy shit!”

“Now” said the sheriff, “with a truckload of these books you boys wouldn’t be STUPID enough to be smoking dope while you’re driving through my county, would you?”

“Oh no sir” Chuck and I chorused.

“Well, that’s good” he said. “I can’t imagine that ANYONE would be that STUPID, can you?”

“Oh no sir” Chuck and I nodded.

“Well then boys, why don’t you climb back into your truck and be on your way” he said.

Chuck and I couldn’t believe our good luck, but we didn’t hang around to savor the moment. As we started the engine the Sheriff came up to the driver’s side window and said “Just in case you boys ARE stupid enough to be smoking dope with a truckload of these books I’m going to radio ahead to the other counties you’re going to be traveling through and ask them to keep an eye on you.”

“Thank you Sheriff” Chuck and I chorused, and we drove off. As soon as we were out of sight of the cop cluster Chuck reached into the glove compartment and pulled out his stash and tossed it out the window as I cleaned out the ashtray and did the same thing. We ke[pt the windows open to air the cab out really good, and after a few miles we both began to relax and enjoy talking about our remarkable escape. After all, those were the days when a joint could send you to prison for a long, long time. We speculated on why the sheriff had let us go and decided that either he was a closet hippie – not very likely, we agreed – or he had decided that busting us would be too much publicity for Cultivators Handbook.

We drove on through the night, high on our good fortune and ready for dawn to arrive. In several counties on the way to San Francisco we were followed closely by a patrol car but nobody stopped us, and when we arrived in Marin there was nobody watching us. We pulled up in front of the Tides bookstore in Sausalito at about 7AM, parked the truck, and found a place to have breakfast while we waited for Tides to open.

First Reactions In San Francisco

As I recall the Tides Bookstore opened at 9 in the morning and Chuck and I were there to say hi to the owner Herb Beckman who was opening up the store. I ha a copy of Cultivators Handbook ready to show him and was all ready to give him a long pitch on why I wanted Tides to be the first bookstore to carry the book, but he just thumbed through it, handed it to another guy who was with him and said “Let’s buy some of these.” The guy turned to us and asked how many we had with us. I told him that we had printed 500 books and that we had 450 of them left in boxes of 25. He said “Give us a hundred” and walked into the store carrying the book that I had given Herb Beckman. I could see a few early customers gathering around him to look at the book and as Chuck and I carried the four boxes into the store three or four of them reached into the first box we set down and wanted to buy them right there. Beckman said “Wait a minute – I haven’t even paid these guys yet” and asked me what my wholesale price was. I told him that the wholesale price was 50% which made it $1.00 each. He pulled a checkbook out from under the counter, started writing me a check, and said “How come so cheap – this book is going to be a best-seller.”

I didn’t have an answer to that, and I was pretty dumbfounded to hear someone who was a legend in the book business talk like that, but by then about ten people were lined up at the cash register waiting with their copies of the book. “How many copies did you print” Beckman asked, and when I told him 500 he said “Better go home and print five thousand – quickly.” Then he said “Where else are you going with these books today and I told him we were heading for City Lights in San Francisco, and he said “I’ll call them and tell them you’re coming. And then I want you to drive down to Menlo Park and see a guy named Stuart Brand who is starting up a thing called “Whole Earth Catalogue”. I’ll call him too and tell him you’re coming. Then get your ass back to Oregon and get at least 5000 of these printed right away.”

Just like anybody who was barely literate in the 60’s I knew all about City Lights bookshop and the poet/founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but as Chuck and I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco I had a hard time believing that I was actually going to meet the man. We pulled up in front of City Lights and I was surprised at how tiny it was, but when we went inside it seemed to go on forever. Ferlinghetti was at the counter and as he eyes the box of books I was carrying he said “You the guys from Oregon with the dope book?” I said yes and handed him a copy. He stood there looking it over and after a while he kind of grinned and said “This is gonna shake up the establishment pretty nicely. What made you think of writing a book like this?”

He offered us a cup of tea and we sat around for an hour or so – with Lawrence fucking Ferlinghetti! – talking about writing as a revolutionary act and laughing at how this little book was going to pull a end run on Hoover and the FBI and all the Narcs. He warned me straight-faced to be damned careful because even though writing a book was legal he and I knew, and the cops and politicians knew too, that the right book in the right hands could be virtually unstoppable. “The only way they will be able to stop this thing is if they can stop you and do it soon” Ferlinghetti said, and Chuck and I immediately thought about that Sheriff in Shasta County. We told Ferlinghetti about the incident and he frowned and said –“That was no cop – that was a guardian angel. I hope you learned whatever you were supposed to learn.”

We assured him that we appreciated what had happened, and that we appreciated his advice. He took 100 books and, just like what happened at the Tides, as we began carrying the books into City Lights and setting the boxes on the counter people began reaching into the boxes and lining up to pay for them. Ferlinghetti kept pointing at me and saying “He’s the guy who wrote this. Go shake his hand.” Which they did. I never felt quite so honored.

Chuck and I soon piled into the truck and headed for the Whole Earth truck Store in Menlo Park. Stuart Brand wasn’t there but an assistant of his, whose name I can’t remember, recognized us and said “You’re the guys Herb Beckman just called about. I’ve got to see this book!” He sat down with a copy of the book and read through it for a few minutes and then said “I’ll take what you have left.” We had carried our last ten boxes of 250 books into the office in this crowded little space that was jammed with stacks of all kinds of tools, books, cases of provisions – everything that anyone familiar with today’s Prepper stores would find very familiar.

In fact the Whole Earth catalogue and Truck Store, which began literally with Stuart Brand and his wife selling survival gear out of the back of a truck to hippie communes around Northern California, can and should be seen as prophesying the evolution of the Prepper movement generations before that movement emerged in response to the social/financial chaos that marks today’s world.

The Whole Earth Truck Store guy took a couple of minutes reading through the Handbook and said “You’ve got to get back to Oregon and get more of these printed right now. I’ll give you an order for a thousand – when can you deliver?”

That was pretty stunning. I told him how these first copies had been produced and that I was going to have to find a printer because there was no way that we could produce a thousand copies by hand. He laughed and said that he predicted that pretty soon I would have to think about printing tens of thousands of books, not thousands, and as it turned out he was right.

Chuck and I left Menlo Park and drove back to Eugene without stopping – or being stopped – and we arrived early in the morning. Chuck dropped me off at my house and I thanked him for everything he had done. He said “Don’t thank me man; I feel like I’ve just witnessed a great movement forward in the revolution.” We hugged each other and I went inside to wake up my wife and tell her everything that had gone down in the last few days. I didn’t know it, but life was just about to get very complicated, and very interesting.

Finding A Printer In J. Edgar Hoover’s America

When I began the search for a high-volume printer who could produce 5000 books at a time I was pretty naïve about what was coming. I looked through the Eugene yellow pages and found several likely-looking printers and made appointments. I had a stash of cash from my days of selling botanicals so I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t have a problem. After all, despite its subject matter, this was just a book and I was going to pay cash.

The first printer I visited with was a really nice guy who had a first-class print shop, and although he was as straight as they came he wasn’t too phased by what I was asking him to do. I could tell that my offer of cash up front made the whole deal pretty attractive, and so in just a few minutes we had a deal. I pulled my laid-out book out of a box and he called in his shop foreman and we went over everything. My layout was pronounced camera-ready, and so I went home that afternoon and told my wife that the deal was done and that we would have a book printed in a week or so. I was amazed that it had been so easy – I had expected to have to go through more than one printer to find someone willing to print my book.

This was, after all, early 1969. Nixon was president, Hoover was still running the secret police, and the Vietnam War was still killing thousands of people a day. Possession of even a joint was getting people 50 year jail terms, growers and dealers were being sent to Federal maximum security prisons, and Nancy Reagan was still years away from getting her nasty little fangs into the American jugular.

Even so, I was optimistic. After all, this was a book about growing Marijuana, not a Marijuana garden. I had never heard of Mr. Murphy and his Law.

Three days later I got a call from the printer. He asked me to drop by to discuss a problem, so I went over to his shop. When I walked in he had my layout pages in a box on his desk. I wasn’t totally surprised – I hadn’t actually expected getting my book printed to go as smoothly as it seemed to have done.

He told me that someone in his shop was a member of the John Birch society and when he had seen the plates being made he had called to he Portland FBI office. Apparently there was a high speed caravan of Feds that hit Eugene within hours, where they were joined by local police and Lane County deputies, arriving at the printers with lights flashing and sirens going. I was, of course, oblivious – I lived miles away and didn’t see or hear any of the commotion. Apparently it took a major police presence to arrest my little book. The printer was both nervous and amused as he related this to me – he was obviously worried about the impact of all this on his business, and told me that he was sorry but couldn’t print my book. The Feds had apparently threatened him with conspiracy if he did. I started to argue but took a look at his face and realized that it would do no good. Besides, he was a nice guy and was legitimately worried what the police action would do to his business, so I asked him for the plates, which I had already paid for, and told him that I would find another printer.

He looked embarrassed and told me that the FBI had confiscated the plates as “evidence” and had ordered him not to refund my money. I knew that they couldn’t legally do that but I really had no choice. I didn’t have the money to make a legal issue out of it and besides, I realized that I needed to make getting the book printed my priority, not fighting a losing battle with the Feds.

So I swallowed my financial loss, grateful that at least I had my layout which the printer told me the Feds had overlooked (they weren’t all that bright even in those days), so I thanked him for saving my layout, shook hands, and left.

As I pulled out of the printer’s parking lot I noticed a black car following me and thought – not too subtle. I went home and told my wife what had happened and she was a little freaked out, but I was still confident that there was a big difference between writing a book about growing Marijuana and actually growing it.

I spent the next few days looking up printers all over the Willamette Valley as far away as Portland, and called at least half a dozen to make appointments. I visited with them one after another and explained what I was looking for and two of them said sure, they would print my book. The others flat refused – Oregon was an odd mix of hippies, rednecks, and right-wingers in those days (much like today in fact.)

But the really funny thing was that within a single day after each of the two printers agreed to print “Cultivators Handbook”, and before I could even deliver the layout to them, each of them called me and said that they had decided not to take the job. After a bit of pushing one of them admitted that they had been visited by FBI agents right after I had left and were told that if they printed my book they would be prosecuted for “conspiracy” and other unspecified charges.

With the black car still parked conspicuously outside my house, and with funny little clicks and buzzes on the phone, I figured that I was under pretty tight watch, so I realized that I was going to have to do some creative thinking to get my book printed.

My first thought was to drive down to California and look around. At first that seemed like a good idea, but I realized that even the most liberal California printers would still be vulnerable to FBI intimidation, so I rejected that idea. I was pretty bummed out.

Inspiration Strikes

Then one evening I came up with what even today I regard as one of my best moves ever. In the little coastal town of Florence there was a newspaper publisher whose reputation as an ultra right-winger was well known. His name was Dave Holman. His letters to the editor of other Oregon newspapers were famous, and newspapers all over the state regularly re-printed his editorials. But, I noticed that Dave wasn’t really a right-wing nut case. His ideas were always based on a deep respect for the US Constitution and his editorials were almost always about how the rights and responsibilities of citizens were being subverted by left-wing politicians. I actually agreed with a lot of what Dave had to say because although I was out near the fringe in terms of social policies and progressive politics I was also pretty conservative when it came to questions of Constitutional rights and responsibilities and I did think that a lot of the far left wing of American politics, and even the anti-war movement, were dominated by people with anti-American agendas.

Since I knew that my telephone was tapped I decided to just drive down to Florence and put my case in front of Dave Holman without an appointment, which would only have alerted the FBI. Of course there was the little matter of that black sedan that was always parked just down the street from my house these days, but I figured I could have a little fun with them while accomplishing my objective.

So early one morning I walked out to my car with a duffle bag, a pair of clippers, and a few other items that a grower who was heading out to harvest a patch would need. Since it was October I figured that the stake-out team would draw the obvious conclusion and get really excited. Not only are we going to stop this hippie from printing his book, we’re going to bust him with his dope harvest! Visions of promotion must have been dancing in their little brains. Maybe even presented to them by J. Edgar himself!

I pulled away and headed for Florence, a small coastal town. Halfway there the road climbed through the Coast range and there were dozens of Forest Service and logging roads that cut off into the valleys of the Coast Range. In fact this was a great growing area, and I pretty much knew every spot where people were growing, so I chose a pulloff that wouldn’t lead anywhere near paydirt for the Feds who were now a mini-caravan of two cars and a van, all maintaining what they thought was a discreet distance.

I even signaled my turn, just to be sure they knew where I was going. I drove about a mile up into the woods and then pulled over, went back to my trunk and got out my gear, and headed into the woods. I could hear my tail pull within a hundred yards or so and kill their engines.

I was in fairly rugged country, and I had dressed for it – books, jacket with a hood, jeans, etc. I knew that the Feds would be in street shoes, suits, and neckties, so I led them up and down and around for an hour or so, and then headed back to my car. To their credit I never saw them but I knew that they were there because I walked slowly and never tried to evade them. I just wanted to tire them out a little.

I got back to my car, put everything in the truck, and started my engine. Then I sat there for a few minutes and smoked a joint, which I carefully field-stripped when I was finished. Then I turned my car around, being sure to make a lot of noise, and headed back down the road where I had come. Sure enough, there were the two cars and the van all pulled off the road back in the woods trying to be inconspicuous. I looked straight ahead playing “I don’t see you!” and when I got back to the highway I turned and headed for Florence.

I was pretty sure that they were going to pull me over but they didn’t, instead following me all the way into Florence. I figured they wanted to see where I was going, and were developing visions of busting not only me but maybe a whole bunch of hippie criminal commie dopers.

When I pulled up in front of the Florence newspaper office I could almost hear the collective “Huh?” from the little convoy behind me, and as I walked into the newspaper office with the box of layout in my arms they must have been salivating. I walked up to the secretary and asked if Dave Holman was in and could give me a few minutes.

Just to set the scene, I was a stereotype of the long-hair bearded hippie – the kind of person that Dave was always going on about subverting basic American principles, etc. Dave’s secretary asked what my business was and I said that I had a book that I wanted to have printed and that I knew how much Dave respected the 1st Amendment and the US Constitution and thought that he was the person with the courage to do the job, She looked me over pretty good and then picked up the phone and said “Dave, there’s a hippie out here who wants you to print his book and he says you’re the only person in the state with the guts to do it. Shall I send him in?”

She showed me into Dave’s office and I got my first look at the fire-breathing Dave Holman. He was short, muscular, with the buzz-cut pugnacious look of a former Marine, and he was sitting behind his desk with his arms crossed and a “I can tear your heart out and eat it” look on his face.

He didn’t ask me to sit down, so I stood there with my little box in my arms. “What’s this about a book that you think I’m the only guy with the guts to print”, he growled. I took that as an invitation to sit down, which I did, and then I took out the book’s layout sheets and laid them on the desk in front of him.

He riffled through them and looked at me very intensely. “Do you know who I am?” he asked. I said that I did indeed, and that there probably wasn’t anyone in the state who believed more strongly in freedom of the press than he did.

“Why are you coming to me to print this piece of shit?” Dave growled.

“Because the FBI has been following me around the state intimidating printers and telling them they are going to be charged with conspiracy if they print it” I said.

“Bullshit” Dave growled again.

His office window was facing the street, so I walked over to the window and sure enough there were the two black Fords each with two guys in suits and shades in the front seat. There was another guy, who must have come from the van, popping the trunk of my car. He was pulling my duffle bag out with a big grin on his face. I had an even bigger grin on my face as I thought about all the lab time the FBI was going to spend trying to identify the flakes of oregano, parsley, basil, and other dried herbs I had but in the bag that morning.

“Take a look Dave” I said. “Those are a bunch of FBI agents are waiting to come into your office after I leave and have a chat with you. They appear to also be checking my car for illegal substances – which they aren’t going to find”

“We’ll see about that” Dave growled – it seemed to be his favorite form of verbal communication. “Wait here” he ordered, and he got up and walked out through the office and outside. I watched through the window as he walked up to the first car and knocked on the driver’s window. The suit inside rolled down the window and words were exchanged. I imagined Dave growling at the agents. The driver reached into his suit and pulled out what was obviously a piece of ID. Dave took it and looked at it, then handed it back and came back into the office.

“Watch this” he growled – but it seemed to be a slightly friendlier growl. “I’m calling an old friend of mine who happens be the FBI agent in charge of the Portland office.”

He dialed and I heard the phone on the other end pick up. “This is Dave Holman in Florence”, he growled. “Put me through to (I can’t remember the name).”

The FBI guy came on the line and said something, and Dave growled into the phone “I’ve got this guy Bill Drake in my office and he wants me to print his book about growing Marijuana, and I’ve got two of your agents outside on the street. You’ve got ten minutes to tell them to leave, and I’m printing this guy’s goddamn book, and I better not see any of your agents anywhere near my shop or his house or I’m going to tear you and your agency a new asshole.”

The he slammed down the phone and turned to me and said “How are you going to pay for the printing?” I pulled a wad of cash out of my pocket and said “How much to print five thousand copies?”

“You want me to print five thousand copies?” Dave growled. Do you have any idea how long it’s going to take to sell five thousand copies?”

When I told him that I had a written order for a thousand already, and had verbal orders for another thousand, he looked at me over his glasses, doodled on a pad on his desk for a little while, and said “Son, you may have something here. Tell you what. I’ll print those 5000 copies for you on the basis of your order here for a thousand copies. You pay me $500 now and the balance when you come back to me with your next order.”

I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I not only had a printer for my book, but a printer who had just told the FBI to fuck off, and one who was also going to work with me to get as many copies of my book printed as I could sell without asking for a lot of front money – and all this from a guy who was well-known around Oregon as one of the toughest newspapermen in the state. I had obviously had that guardian angel that Ferlinghetti talked about following me around.

The End

Well, not really the end, but a story has to stop somewhere and after I was able to get that 5000 book printing done by Dave Holman I sold out within a couple of weeks and came back to Dave for another 5000 copies. And it went on like that for years.

There were lots more things that happened along the way – new friends, lots of help from strangers, pretty continual shadowing by the cops, numerous attempts at entrapment, travel to some very interesting places – but few things in my life have ever quite equaled the satisfaction that I got out of creating that little yellow book and helping hundreds of thousands of people rebel against and ultimately, many years later, be able to change the repressive laws of the tyrannical governments that work so hard at enslaving our minds and bodies under the laughable proposition of “protecting” us.

This post is my thank you to all my brothers and sisters who made my own adventure possible, and who have never stopped believing in and working toward freedom for us all.

And here, just about fifty years later, is a little green book that I hope will empower the same revolutionary spirit as that little yellow book. I won’t be around to see it all happen, but I do believe that I’m seeing the first light of dawn.


1 Comment

Medical Marijuana – The View From 1984

Magic carpet w_guy

Thank you for visiting my blog. I thought that you might find this chapter from my 1984 book “Marijuana Foods” interesting in light of how widespread the acceptance of Medical Marijuana is these days, and how much research is now available to confirm the reality. The illustration is by the wonderful artist Pat Krug, who illustrated the book.

But, as you can see, even thirty years ago ( Lord, has it really been that long?) there was plenty of evidence that Marijuana is a gift from nature intended for the healing and enlightenment of the human race. Of course in those days young people were still being sentenced to 50 years hard time for the possession of a joint, so the idea of Marijuana as medicine did not compute except to the awakened few.

I hope that my books helped move the cause along, and I hope that you will especially enjoy the last section of this chapter “A Revolution In Caring”.

Chapter 5: Marijuana As Medicine
All materials Copyright © 1984 by Bill Drake
All Rights Reserved

Dear Reader. It is very important that you know that many of the medical and scientific literature references in this section are several years old. It is important that you independently inform yourself of the latest research in these areas before making any decisions about the personal medical use of Marijuana for any medical condition.

Table Of Contents

• Smoking Marijuana For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Food For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Smoke Enema For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication
• Marijuana And Self-Medication
• For Nausea and Vomiting
• As an Anticonvulsant
• In Movement Disorders
• As a Muscle Relaxant
• For Glaucoma
• In Bronchial Asthma
• For Hypertension & Anxiety
• For Insomnia
• In Eating Disorders
• In Treating Alcoholism
• Clinical Trials with Marijuana
• A Revolution In Caring
• Are You Shocked?

If you are thinking of using Marijuana for the first time you may not be aware that you have a number of options besides smoking. While smoking Marijuana is not as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, largely because homegrown Sinsemilla Marijuana is almost always organic and all commercial cigarettes have dozens of unregulated known carcinogenic chemical contaminants, if you aren’t a smoker and have a need for Marijuana for medical reasons, you don’t have to start smoking unless you want to.

Since smoking Marijuana is probably the most common current way to use it, we’ll begin with a look at several different smoking-related options.

Smoking Medicinal Marijuana

Probably the only way most people think of using Marijuana is by smoking a joint or a waterpipe. The principal reason for smoking Marijuana is that it produces almost instant effects since the lungs are very efficient at absorbing the complex chemicals in the smokestream. Recreational users call this a rush, and it feels almost exactly like what happens when you stand up too fast after sitting for a long time on a very hot day. Another way to describe it is that it’s like the biggest dizzy feeling you ever felt as a kid.

While the use of a waterpipe cuts way down on the irritating qualities of Marijuana smoke, not everyone likes to fuss with keeping a pipe clean. A waterpipe does lower the temperature of the smoke as well as filtering a lot of the soot and tar. It is also a little less wasteful than a joint because the pipe is a more efficient burning mechanism. If you use a waterpipe you’ll find that over time it develops a glaze of residue that daily washing with soapy water won’t remove. Just fill a plastic container with cheap white vinegar and immerse your waterpipe and all its components in the vinegar overnight and the next morning they’ll sparkle plenty.

Hand-rolled joints are a strong favorite because of convenience as well as portability. If you don’t know how to roll a joint, ask a doctor (yeah, right) or a friend for help. Never buy a pre-rolled joint, and you are better off not accepting one from anyone except someone you really trust. Even if a saint gives you a joint it doesn’t hurt to ask if there is anything but Marijuana in it. Sometimes people have perverse ideas of how to do a friend a favor.

In some cases government-produced joints will be available. It’s up to each individual to decide if they want to use Marijuana this way. It has the advantage of being strictly dosage-controlled. Federal Marijuana has the disadvantage of being too mild for effective relief of many symptoms, and for use in a holistic situation where the high is an integral part of the therapy. However, drug-naive physicians may be attracted to the administration of federal Marijuana because it’s available at a dosage which has known effects and references in clinical literature. (Of course, that same clinical literature ignores the potential of the whole natural Marijuana flower, for reasons discussed elsewhere, so its value is really pretty limited unless you are a pharmaceutical company looking for profitable new drugs to synthesize and manufacture.)

Eating Marijuana Food For Self-Medication

The principle advantages are smoke-free access to the therapeutic benefits of Marijuana, a sense of variety, cost effectiveness, dosage control, and duration of effective relief. Marijuana extract prepared and served as food enhances the experience of using the flowers of this great plant for their healing powers. It can be prepared and served so many natural ways that it can become a part of many different approaches to healing.

When consumed in very low dosage in foods the relief and associated Marijuana high arrive gently and stay a long while. They are a natural accompaniment to both quiet relaxation and energetic socializing, depending on the mood, the setting, and the objectives.

Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication

Drinking a Marijuana beverage may be tolerated when food is not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the direct effects of chemotherapy and radiation make the intake of anything, even therapeutic food somewhat difficult. In such cases, where no other approach is preferred, a sip or two of a pleasant Marijuana liqueur or cordial is both a pleasant and effective alternative. The liqueur/cordial also offers easy, fast absorption and onset of relief, and effective duration of relief. They are easily stored and carried with you, and are a very cost-effective way to use Marijuana.

You’ll find a wide range of herbal and fruit beverages you can make with marijuana extract in the recipe sections of this book.

Marijuana Smoke Enema

Our age sometimes prides itself on having seen and done everything, but the Anal Hookah, as a friend with a dark sense of humor called this approach, appears to have been first developed in the 16th century by the Dutch as a means of bringing drowning victims back to life. The then-newly discovered American herb Tobacco was being used back then for many different medical applications during the early days in Europe, and the Tobacco Smoke Enema for drowning victims was one of the more useful treatments of its time and by all accounts was used successfully hundreds of times.

I’ve tried to picture how this remarkable discovery was made. It must have been a tragedy involving a drowning in one of the Dutch canals, with everyone standing around crying and yelling “Can’t somebody do something!” Nearby stood a Dutchman – perhaps a physician himself – smoking his pipe and feeling quite moved by the scene. If he was like most Dutch people I know, he was a very private person and would never allow another person’s lips to touch his pipe, making what happened next a remarkable act of compassion.

In a moment of pure selflessness – or maybe he just needed a good excuse to buy a new pipe, though that would be unlike most of my Dutch friends of today – he must have walked up to the crowd gathered around the drowned person and said something like – “Ahem, er um, well, if nobody has any objections, I could try blowing a little tobacco smoke up this poor soul’s rectum. My first puff in the morning certainly wakes me right up.” The crowd must have been stunned, then someone must have cried out “Just do it!” – and the rest was medical history, at least for a few decades in Holland.

The Dutch might have invented it and used it to good effect, but the rest of the queasy world was evidently not ready for the Tobacco Enema even to save lives, since I’ve seen no evidence of it around emergency rescue vehicles and lifeguard stands, nor on TV.

Nevertheless, over the years since I saw my first picture of an actual 16th century Tobacco smoke enema syringe I have quietly circulated the idea of Marijuana smoke enemas when I have been approached for information and suggestions by people with complications which precluded other approaches and where a quick result was desired. I recall a particularly effective use of the Marijuana smoke enema with a person with severe asthma, unconscious from a car wreck.

If the situation is such that a person can’t tolerate any other form of Marijuana, the Marijuana smoke enema may be effective, such as when the person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. There’s no need for an elaborate apparatus; simply taking a rubber or plastic enema tube with the bag removed and the tip in place, inserting it, taking a draw on a joint or waterpipe, and blowing little puffs into the rectum.

Puff- don’t blow. Very tiny little puffs, a few at a time and then wait. If the person is conscious and can report effects, it should be less than 15 minutes before they are felt, and more smoke can be given if needed – but be sure to give the first puff or two time to come on completely, since this is often all that’s needed. Experimenters have observed that the high by this route is as rapid as with the lungs but has “deeper” qualities, perhaps because of the greater central nervous system involvement in this area of the body.

A further advantage of this approach is that the active substances in the smoke are rapidly absorbed by the blood in the tissues, and there is almost nothing left behind to irritate the area when the therapy is completed, as there is in the case of suppositories.

While not recommended for extended use, this method offers a clean, safe way for a very ill person to get immediate relief without trauma as long as both the sick person and the person assisting in the administration of the therapy are either broad-minded and tolerant, or a little kinky, or both.

Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication

Marijuana extract suppositories are a potentially useful approach when a person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. It is also an option when the throat, stomach, lungs and GI tract are involved in disease and the benefits of Marijuana are desired. The suppository approach offers a slow-onset high, very effective absorption, and long-lasting relief from small dosages.

An effective Marijuana suppository is made by hand-forming Marijuana butter extract into a little “bullet” about 1/2 inch long and as big around as a regular pencil. (Cocoa butter is also an efficient absorber of Marijuana potency and can be used to prepare these suppositories if there is an intolerance of regular butter extract.) Another approach making suppositories is to do a Marijuana/Oil extract with pure (not toasted) sesame oil, decant into capsules designed to melt in the rectum, chill and then insert.

The Research Picture – Marijuana And Self-Medication

In combination with what was already known from folklore and traditional medicine Marijuana researchers over the last 25 years have uncovered and confirmed some pretty astonishing indications of Marijuana broad potential as a therapeutic, and in some cases healing drug. In this section we’ll look briefly at the major areas of disease, injury and other trauma or condition where research scientists have shown Marijuana to be useful.

If you are being treated by a medical professional and choose to use Marijuana to address problems associated with your therapy you should discuss your decision prior to entering your course of therapy. There may be good reasons why you not use Marijuana, regardless of its potential for relief. There are quite a few studies which show that people with diabetes and cardiovascular problems should be especially cautious.

Through use of the bibliography and your own research, and information which your doctor has, you both will be able to discuss the matter factually. However if all you are offered is anti-drug propaganda, try another Doc.

For Nausea and Vomiting (emesis) associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Marijuana has the proven ability to alleviate the symptoms of both anticipatory nausea/vomiting as well as the nausea/vomiting actually connected with chemo or radiation. There’s not really any need to say much more. This is one of the few areas so well researched that there have even been clinical trials of people smoking joints of street Marijuana.

Use of Marijuana for anti-emetic relief is so well established that nobody facing either kind of therapy for any reason should deprive themselves of its benefits. Now that the smoke-free alternatives in this book are available there is no reason why an appropriate way of using Marijuana cannot be found.

Some Useful Readings

Ahmedzai, S, et al. 1983. Antiemetic efficacy and toxicity of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in lung cancer chemotherapy. British Jour. Cancer, 48: 657-663
Artim, R. and DiBella, N., Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) plus prochlorperazine (PCZ) for refractory nausea and vomiting (N/V), ASCO Abstr., 2, 85, 1983
Bakowski, M. T. 1984. Advances in anti-emetic therapy. Cancer Treatment Review 11: 237-256.
Bateman, D. N., Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and gastric emptying, Br. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 15, 749, 1983
Borison, H., and McCarthy, L., Neuropharmacology of chemotherapy-induced emesis, Drugs, 25 (Suppl. 1), 8, 1983
Borison, H., Borison, R., and McCarthy, L., Phylogenic and neurologic aspects of the vomiting process, Journal Clinical Pharmacol. 21, 23S, 1981
Borison, H., McCarthy, L., and London, S., Cannabinoids and emesis, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, p. 1480, 1978
Brigden, M. R., and Barnett, J. B. 1989. Antiemetics and cancer chemotherapy. In: Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton
Brigden, M., Wilson, K., and Barnett, J., Rational choice of antiemetic agents during cancer chemotherapy, Can. Fam. Phys.,29, 1682, 1983
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., and Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., Simm, R. M., and Rosenberg, S. A., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic in patients receiving high-dose methotrexate: a prospective randomized evaluation, Ann. Int. Medicine,91, 819 1979
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., and Rosenberg, S. A., A prospective randomized trial of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as an antiemetic in patients receiving high dose methotrexate (MTX), ASCO/AACR., Proc., 20, 377, 1979
Chang, H. S. L., MacLeod, S. M., and Correia, J. A., Nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for control of cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, ASCOAbstr.,3, 108, 1984
Citron, H.L., Herman, T., Fossierck, B., Krasno, S., Vreeland, F., Harwood, S., Ortega, L., and Cohen, M., Double blind randomized crossover study of the antiemetic effect of Levonantradol (LVN) vs. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), AACR Abstr., 24, 165, 1983
Colls, B.M. et al,The antiemetic activity of THC vs metoclopramide and thiethylperazine in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy New Zealand Medical Journal, 1980: 91, pp 449-51.
Cone, L., Green, D., and Helm, N., Use of nabilone in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting in an outpatient setting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 63, 1982
Cunningham, D., et al. 1985. Nabilone and prochlorperazine: a useful combination for emesis induced by cytotoxic drugs. British Medical Jour. 291: 864—865.
Dodds, L.J., Journal of Clinical Hospital Pharmacology, The control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, 6/85, 10 (2) pp 143-66.
Dow, G. and Meyers, F., The California program for the investigational use of THC and marijuana in heterogeneous populations experiencing nausea and vomiting from anticancer therapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/8), 128S, 1981
Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., Furnas, B., and Williams, S., Nabilone: an effective antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 64S, 1981
Eyre, H.J. and Ward, J.H., Control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer, 12/1/84, 54 (11 suppl) pp 2642-8
Frytak, S. et al, Delta-9 THC as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer therapy, Annals of Internal Medicine, 1979: 91, pp 825-30.
Frytak, S., and MOERTEL, C. G. . Management of nausea and vomiting in the cancer patient. Jour. Am. Medical Assoc. 245: 393 -396,1981
Frytak, S., Moertel, C. G., and O’Fallon, J. R., A comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), prochlorperazine (PCP) and placebo as antiemetics for cancer chemotherapy, ASCO/ AA CR ., Proc., 20, 3 91, 1979
Garb, S., Cannabinoids in the management of severe nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Some additional considerations, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 57S, 1981
Gez, E., Biran, S., Fuks, Z., Edelstein, E., Lander, N., and Mechoulam, R., A marihuana component for nausea and vomiting induced by chemo and radiotherapy, Harefuah, 105(10), 306, 1983
Gralla, R., Tyson, L., Bordin, L., Clark, R., Kelsen, D., Kris, M., Kalman, L., and Groshen, S., Antiemetic therapy: a review of recent studies and a report of a random assignment trial comparing metoclopramide with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Cancer Treat. Rep., 68(1), 163, 1984
Herman, T., Einhorn, L., Jones, S., Nagy, C., Chester, A., Dean, J., Furnas, B., Williams, S., Leigh, S., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Superiority of Nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 300(23), 1295, 1979
Herman, T., Jones, S., Dean, J., Leigh, R., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Nabilone: a potent antiemetic cannabinol with minimal euphoria, Biomedicine, 27, 331, 1977
Herman,T.S.,et al.1979. Superiority of nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 300: 1295 – 1297.
Hisi, M., Niederle, N., Bremer, K., Schmitt, G., Schmidt, C., and Seeber, S., Levonantradol in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cytostatic drugs, Dtsch. Med. U’ochenschr., 107(33), 1232,1982
Hoffman, R., Using Marijuana in the Reduction of Nausea Associated With Chemotherapy, Murray Publishing, Seattle, Wash., 1979
Homesley, H. D., Gainey, J., Jobson, V. W., Spurr, C., Welander, C., Muss, H. B., and Kimball, J., Failure of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine to control chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, ASCO Abstr., I, 67, 1982
Johansson, R., Kilkku, P., and Groenroos, M., A double-blind controlled trial of nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for refractory emesis induced by cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 25, 1982
Jones, S., Durant, J., Greco, F., and Robertone, A., A multi-institutional phase-lll study of nabilone vs. placebo in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 45, 1982
Joss, R., Galeazzi, R., Bischoff, A., Do, D., Goldhirsch, A., and Brunner, K., Levonantradol, a new antiemetic with a high rate of side effects for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Kaminski, M. and Erlichman, C., Current management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Ther. Rev., 38(1). 53, 1983
Kenny, J. and Wilkinson, P., Levonantradol effectiveness in cancer patients resistant to conventional antiemetics, Clinical Oncol., 8(4), 335, 1982
Krebs, H. B.,et al.1985. Combination antiemetic therapy in cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting. Cancer, 55: 2645-2648.
Laszlo, J. 1982. Treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Cancer Treat. Rev. 9(Suppl. B): 3—9.
Levitt, M., Faiman, C., Hawks, R., and Wilson, A., Randomized double blind comparison of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1981
Levitt, M., Nabilone vs. placebo in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9, Suppl. B., 49, 1982
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Faiman, C., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Schipper, H., Weinerman, B., and Weinerman, R., Dose vs. response of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vs. prochlorperazine (PCPZ) as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 422, 1981
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Marks, V., Schipper, H., and Thomson, G., Physiologic observations in a controlled clinical trial of the antiemetic effectiveness of 5, 10, and 15 mg of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cancer chemotherapy. Ophthalmologic implications, Journal Clinical Pharmacol.,21, 103S, 1981
Lucas, V.S. Jr. and Laszlo, J., Delta-9 THC for refractor vomiting induced by cancer chemotherapy, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980: 243, 1241-43.
MacLeod, S., Chan, H., and Correia, J., Nabilone (N) vs. prochlorperazine (P) for control of chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, Can. Soc. Clinical Invest., 1984 Meeting, 7 (Suppl. 2), 1984
Maule, W. and Perry, .M., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis, Pract. Therap. 27( 1 ), 226, 1983
McCabe, M., Smith, F. P., Goldberg, D., Macdonald, J., Wooley, P. V., Warren, R., Brodeur, R., and Schein, P. S., Comparative trial of oral 9-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) and prochlorperazine (PCZ) for cancer chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 416, 1981
McCarthy, L. E. and Borison, H. L., Cis-platin emesis and cannabinoids in cats, Pharmacologist, 22, 448, 1980
Meyers, F., Stanton, W., Dow, G. and Rocchio, G., Reduced adverse effects with optimal antiemetic dosage schedule of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1984
Minutes of Meeting on the Current Status of Research with Tetrahydrocannabinol and Nabilone for the Control of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Vomiting, Department of Health Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1978
Morrow, G. R. 1984. Clinical characteristics associated with the development of anticipatory nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Journal Clinical Oncol. 2: 11701 176.
Neidhart, J., Gagen, M., Wilson, H., and Young, D., Comparative trial of the antiemetic effects of THC and haloperidol, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 38S, 1981
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1982. Factors contributing to emotional distress during cancer chemotherapy. Cancer, 50: 1020-1027
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1986a. Anxiety and drug taste as predictors of anticipatory nausea in cancer chemotherapy. Journal Clinical Oncol. 4: 224-237
Orr, L. and McKernan, J., Antiemetic effect of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis as compared to placebo and Compazine, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 76S, 1981
Orr, L., McKernan, J., and Bloome, B., Antiemetic effect of tetrahydrocannabinol compared with placebo and prochlorperazine in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis, Arch. Int. Medicine, 140, 1431, 1980
Poster, D. S., Penta, J. S., and Bruno, S., Treatment of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Nausea and Vomiting, Masson Publishing U.S.A., New York, 1981
Riggs, C., Egorin, M., Fuks, J., Schnaper, N., Duffey, P., Colvin, 0., Aisner, J., Wiernik, P., and Bachur, N., Initial observations on the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the plasma pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 1981
Rivlin, R. S., Shils, M. E., and Sherlock, R 1983. Nutrition and cancer. Am. Journal Medicine 75: 843—854.
Sallan, S. E., and Frei, E., III. 1975. Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 293: 795—797
Sallan, S. E., Cronin, C., and Zelen, M., et al. 1980. Antiemetics in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer: a randomized comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 302: 135—138.
Sallan, S., Zinberg, N., and Frei, E., lll, Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 293, 795, 1975
Sallan, S.E. et al, Antiemetic effect of Delta-9 THC in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, New England Journal of Medicine, 1980: 302, pp 135-138.
Schein, P., Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting Associated with Cancer Chemotherapy, Report to the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., 1980
Steele, N., Braun, D., O’Hehir, M., and Young, C., Double-blind comparison of the antiemetic effects of nabilone and prochlorperazine on chemotherapy-induced emesis, ASCO/AACR Proc., 20, 337, 1979
Stewart, D. J. 1989. Nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. In Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton.
Stewart, D.J., Cancer therapy, vomiting and antiemetics, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2/90, 68 (2) pp 304-13.
Stuart, J., Welsh, J., Sangster, G., Scullion, M., Cash, H., Kaye, S., and Calman, K., The antiemetic potential of oral levonantradol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Stuart-Harris, R., Mooney, C., and Smith, 1., Levonantradol: a synthetic cannabinoid in the treatment of severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting resistant to conventional antiemetic therapy, Clinical Oncol.,9(2), 143, 1983
Sweet, D., Miller, N., Weddington, W., Senay, E., and Sushelsky, L.,Tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy—a pilot study, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 70S, 1981
Tortorice, P.V. and O’Connell, M.B., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Pharmacotherapy, 1990, 10 (2) pp 129-45.
Triozzi, P.L. and Laszlo, J., Optimum management of nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy, Drugs, 7/87, 34 (1) pp 136-49.
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Goodnight, J., Sarna, G., and Jamison, K., Cannabis and cancer chemotherapy, a comparison of oral delta-9-THC and prochlorperazine, Cancer, 50(4), 636, 1982
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Tesler, A., and Parker, R., Tetrahydrocannabinol vs. prochlorperazine, the effects of two antiemetics on patients undergoing radiotherapy, Radiology, 150(2), 598, 1984
Vincent, B. J., McQuiston, D., Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., and Brames, M., Review of cannabinoids and their antiemetic effectiveness, Drugs, 25(Suppl. 1), 52, 1983
Wada, J., Bogdon, D., Gunnell, J., Hum, G., and Rieth, T., Double-blind randomized, crossover trial of nabilone vs. placebo in cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 39, 1982
Welch, D. 1981. Nutritional compromise in radiation therapy patients experiencing treatment-related emesis. Journal Parenter. Enteral Nutr. 5: 57—60
Frytak, S., Moertel, C., O’Fallon, J., Rubin, J., Creagan, E., O’Connell, M., Schutt, J., and Schwartau, N., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, a comparison with prochlorperazine and a placebo, Ann. Int. Medicine, 91(6), 825, 1979

As an Anticonvulsant In Seizure Disorders

No testing of whole Marijuana has been done, but various Cannabis-based molecules without “high” qualities have been shown to be very effective in some seizure models. Seizure models are attempts to set up working cause-and-effect mechanisms which explain how different seizures happen. Scientists are just beginning to figure out which pathways in the brain/body are involved in seizures, which are a very complex set of related but separate phenomena.

All this begs the issue somewhat, because it’s clear from both the clinical studies and from folk knowledge that smoking a joint can bring quality relief from many different kinds of seizures. It’s those dreaded “side-effects” again which keep the search for a High-free pharmaceutical going, and keep effective therapy out of the hands of those in need.

The use of Marijuana alternatives offers those with seizure problems the potential for all-day control of the problem, with a very manageable “High”. The manageability issue is important because many people with seizure problems are otherwise vigorous, healthy people who lead normal lives until the seizure cuts them down. If they happen to be in the middle of something dangerous like driving a car or handling a power tool, such flash incidents can be life threatening. A manageable level of Marijuana high will not interfere with many kinds of work, and will actually help make some kinds of work more enjoyable and potentially more productive.

Contrary to all the propaganda, and most disturbing to those who preach inevitable doom with the first criminal encounter with dope, there have been some very well done, beyond-reproach studies which show that a certain portion of the population actually does better at the task of driving a car when high on Marijuana than when “straight”. Almost anyone who is a regular Marijuana user will tell you the same thing. And the fact that Marijuana shows up very rarely by itself in the blood tests of traffic fatalities means that the millions of people who use Marijuana regularly and nothing else are not having fatal car crashes or doing other things that get their blood sampled.

The implication for people with seizure disorders is to consider, and talk over with your doctor the idea of training yourself to get along while being a little high all day in order to get the benefits of this natural anti-seizure medicine.

Some Useful Readings

Boyd, E. H., Boyd, E. S., and Brown, L. E., Differential effects of a tetrahydrocannabinol and pentobarbital on cerebral cortical neurons, Neuropharmacology, 14, 533, 1975
Boyd, E. S., Boyd, E. H., and Brown, L. E., The effects of some drugs on an evoked response sensitive to tetrahydrocannabinols, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 189, 748, 1974
Calne, D. B. and Klawans, H. L., Pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of tremor, Pharmacol. Ther.,2, 113, 1977
Carlini, E. A., Mechoulam, R., and Lander, N., Anticonvulsant activity of four oxygenated cannabidiol derivatives, Research Commun. Chem. Pathol. Pharmacol., 12, 1, 1975
Carlini, E.A. and Cunha, J.A., Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 417S-427S
Chiu, P., Olsen, D. M., Borys, H. K., Karler, R., and Turkanis, S. A,. The influence of cannabidiol and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on cobalt epilepsy in rats, Epilepsia, 20, 365, 1979.
Colasanti, B. K., Lindamood, C., and Craig, C. R., Effects of marihuana cannabinoids on seizure activity in cobalt-epileptic rats, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 16, 573, 1982.
Consroe, P. and Wolkin, A., Cannabidiol-antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 201, 26, 1977
Consroe, P. F. and Man, D. P., Effects of Delta 1 and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on experimentally induced seizures, Life Sci., 13, 429, 1973
Consroe, P. F., Wood, G. C., and Buchsbaum, H., Anticonvulsant nature of marijuana smoking, JAMA, 234, 306, 1975
Consroe, P., Benedito, M. A. C., Leite, J. R., Carlini, E. A., and Mechoulam, R., Effects of cannabidiol on behavioral seizures caused by convulsant drugs or current in mice, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 83, 293, 1982
Consroe, P., Jones, B., Laird, H., and Reinking, J., Anticonvulsant-convulsant effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Consroe, P., Martin, A., and Singh, V., Antiepileptic potential of cannabidiol analogs. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 428s, 1981.
Corcoran, M. E., McCaughran, J. A., and Wada, J. A., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinols in amygdaloid kindled rats, Epilepsia, 19, 47, 1978.
Cox, B., Tenham, M., Loskota, W. J., and Lomax, P., The anticonvulsant activity of cannabinoids in seizure sensitive gerbils, Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc., 18, 154, 1975
Craigmill, A. L., Cannabinoids and handling-induced convulsions, Research Commun. Psychol. Psychiatr. Behav.,4, 51, 1979
Davis, J. P. and Ramsey, H. H., Antiepileptic action of marijuana-active substances, Fed. Proc., 8, 284, 1947
Delgado-Escueta, A. V., Treiman, D. M., and Walsh, C. 0., The treatable epilepsies, New Engl. Journal Medicine,308, 1576, 1983
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana and epilepsy: paradoxical anticonvulsant and convulsant effects, in Marihuana: Biological Effects, Nahas, G. G. and Paton, W. D. M., Eds., Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana use among epileptics, JAMA, 235, llOS, 1976.
Feeney, D. M., Spiker, M., and Weiss, G. K., Marihuana and epilepsy: activation of symptoms by delta-9-THC, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 343.
Fish, B. S., Consroe, P., and Fox, R. R., Convulsant-anticonvulsant properties of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in rabbits, Behav. Genet., 13, 205, 1983
Gram, L., Bentsen, K. D., Parnas, J., and Flachs, H., Controlled trials in epilepsy: a review, Epilepsia, 23, 491, 1982 .
Izquierdo, I. and Nasello, A., Effects of cannabidiol and other cannabis sativa compounds on hippocampal seizure discharges, Psychopharmacology 1973: 28, pp 95-102
Juul-Jensen, P. and Foldspang, A., Natural history of epileptic seizures, Epilepsia, 24, 297, 1983.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A, The cannabinoids as potential antiepileptics, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 4375-4485.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A., Cannabis and epilepsy, in Marijuana: Biological Effects, ed. G. Nahas and W. Paton, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979, pp 619-641
Karler, R. et al, Anticonvulsant properties of Delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids, Life Sciences 1974: 15, pp 931-47.
Karler, R., Borys, H. K., and Turkanis, S. A., Influence of 22-day treatment on the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch. Pharmakol., 320, 105, 1982
Krall, R. L., Penry, J. K., Kupferberg, H. J., and Swinyard, E. A., Antiepileptic drug development. 1. History and a program for progress, Epilepsia, 19, 393, 1978.
Perez-Reyes, M. and Wingfield, M., Cannabidiol and electroencephalographic epileptic activity, JAMA, 230, 1635, 1974
Sofia, R. D., Solomon, T. A., and Barry, H., Anticonvulsant activity of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol compared with three other drugs, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 35, 7, 1976
Testa, R., Graziani, L., and Graziani, G., Do different anticonvulsant tests provide the same information concerning the profiles of antiepileptic activity?, Pharmacol. Research Commun., 15, 765, 1983.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic mechanisms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol’s convulsant actions, in the Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacologic and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984, 845.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic properties of the cannabinoids, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 449s, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Excitatory and depressant effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinols and cannabidiol on cortical evoked responses in the conscious rat, Psychopharmacoloey, 75, 294, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A., Chiu, P., Borys, H. K. and Karler, R., Influence of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on photically evoked after-discharge potentials, Psychopharmacology, 52, 207, 1977.
Turkanis, S. A., Smiley, K. A., Borys, H. K., Olsen, D. M., and Karler, R., An electrophysiological analysis of the anticonvulsant action of cannabidiol on limbic seizures in conscious rats, Epilepsia, 20, 351, 1979
Wada, J. A., Osawa, T., and Corcoran, M. E., Effects of tetrahydrocannabinols on kindled amygdaloid seizures and photogenic seizures in Senegalese baboons, Papiopapio, Epilepsia, 16, 439,1975.
Wada, J. A., Wake, A., Sato, M., and Corcoran, M. E., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol in amygdaloid kindled cats, Epilepsia, 16, 503, 1975
Wada, J.A. et al, Antiepileptic properties of delta-9 THC, Experimental Neurology, 1973: 39, pp 157-65
Woodbury, D. M., Application to drug evaluation, in Experimental Models of Epilepsy, Purpura, D. P., Penry, J. K., Tower, D., Woodbury, D. M., and Walter, R., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1972, 557.

Movement Disorders

There is a long list of symptoms which the research literature identifies as yielding to Marijuana therapy:
• akinesia or bradykinesia
• ataxia
• catalepsy
• spasm, tremor
• dystonia (cramped muscles fixing limb or body in an abnormal posture/position)
• Tonic component: dystonic posture & pain
• Phasic component: dystonic spasms and tremor
• Spasticity
• Iatrogenic Dyskinesia
• Epileptic activity
• Muscle Spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis
• Tourette Syndrome
• chorea ( in Huntington’s Disease)

Some Useful Readings

Consroe, P. et al, Open label evaluation of cannabidiol in dystonic movement disorders International Journal of Neuroscience, 11/86, 30 (4) pp 277-82.
Edmonds, H. L., Hegreberg, G. A., van Gelder, N. M., Sylvester, D. M., Clemmons, R. M., and Chatburn, C. G., Spontaneous convulsions in beagle dogs, Fed. Proc., 38, 2424, 1979
Giusti, G. V., Chiarotti, M., Passatore, M., Gentile, V., and Fiori, A., Muscular dystrophy in mice after chronic subcutaneous treatment with cannabinoids, Forensic Sci., 10, 133, 1977
Lang, A. E., Sheehy, M. P., and Marsden, C. D., Anticholinergics in adult-onset focal dystonia, Journal Can. Sci. Neurol., 9, 313, 1982.
Marsden, C. D. and Schachter, M., Assessment of extrapyramidal disorders, Br. Journal Pharmacol., ll, 129, 1981
Marsden, C. D., Treatment of torsion dystonia, in Disorders of Movement, Barbeau, A., Ed., Lippincott, New York, 1981
Meinck, H.M., et al, Effects of cannabinoids on spasticity and ataxia in multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neurology, 2/89, 236 (2) pp 120-2.
Moss, D. E., Montgomery, S. P., and Salo, A. A., Tetrahydrocannabinol effects on extrapyramidal motor behaviors in an animal model of parkinson’s disease, in The Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacological and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984
Moss, D.E. et al, Nicotine & cannabinoids as adjuncts to neuroleptics in the treatment of Tourette Syndrome and other motor disorders,Life Science, 1989, 44 (21) pp 1521-5.
Porter, R. J., Efficacy of antiepileptic drugs, in Epilepsy, Ward, Jr., A. A., Penry, J. K., and Purpura, D., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1983, 225.
Rosell, S., Agurell, S., and Martin, B., Effects of cannabinoids on isolated smooth muscle preparations, in Marijuana, Nahas, G. G., Ed., Springer, New York, 1976, 397
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Effects of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on cat spinal motoneurons, Brain Research, 288, 283, 1983 .
Yung, C. Y., Clinical features of movement disorders, Brain Research Bull., 11, 167, 1983

As a Muscle Relaxant in Spinal Injury

It is well known around the rehabilitation centers of this country that smoking a joint is one of the best way to relieve the cramped muscles, tics, shakes and tremors, the involuntary yawning and tortured posturing accompanying so many kinds of spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and degenerative diseases.

There are also about 250,000 people in America with Central Pain Syndrome arising from Spinal Cord Injury or certain kinds of Stroke. Central Pain, or Thalamic Pain is an unremitting whole-body torture which can’t be relieved by any of existing pain therapy, including opiate drugs. While there are several potentially revolutionary drugs on the horizon for Central Pain its victims suffer at the highest levels of physical torture and can get no relief. I have two close friends who have suffered CPS for years, both from SCI, and both have told me that without marijuana they would have committed suicide long ago. One of them has tried the smoke enema and reports remarkable relief from the pain’s intensity lasting several hours, while my other friend jokes that he’s tried to avoid having smoke blown up his ass all his life and he isn’t about to begin doing it to himself now.

Some Useful Readings

Dunn, M. and Davis, R., The perceived effects of marijuana on spinal cord injured males, Paraplegia, 12, 175, 1974
Malec, J., Harvey, R. F., and Cayner, J. J., Cannabis effect on spasticity in spinal cord injury, Arch. Phys. Medical Rehabil., 63, 116, 1982
Petro, D. J., Marihuana as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasm or spasticity, Psychosomatics, 21, 81, 1980
Petro, D.J. and Ellenberger, C.E., Treatment of human spasticity with Delta-9 THC, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 413S-416S.

For Glaucoma

This is perhaps the second-best known application of Marijuana, and is an extremely well-researched field. This may be because eye problems are one of the few areas where Marijuana can be administered as a pharmaceutical preparation without “danger” of getting the patient high. While there are plenty of reasons why a person with glaucoma might want to use Marijuana to get high and treat the disease, many people would just as soon be able to do so without smoking. Marijuana administered in just about every form imaginable in just about every way possible has been tested for effectiveness in dealing with the symptoms, with good results overall.

There appears to be a lot of variability in the way different people with Glaucoma react to the use of Marijuana. Since eye pressure changes are easily and reliably measurable on an outpatient basis, and since there are so many possible factors at work, anyone with Glaucoma would be well advised to find a knowledgable medical professional to work with to discover the optimal form of Marijuana therapy. However it is also a fact that many, many people with this threatening disease self-medicate with little or no medical supervision, but in the absence of studies it’s hard to know what happens.

Some Useful Readings

Colasanti, B.K. et al, Ocular hypotension, ocular toxicity, and neurotoxicity in response to marijuana extract and cannabidiol, General Pharmacology, 1984, 15 (6) pp 479-84.
Cooler, P. and Gregg, J.M., Effect of Delta-9 THC on interocular pressure in humans, Southern Medical Journal, 1977: 70, pp 951-54.
Dawson, W. W., Jimenez-Antillon, C. F., Perez, J. M., and Zeskind, J. A., Marijuana and vision —after ten years’ use in Costa Rica, Investigations in Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 16, 689, 1977
Deutsch, H. M., Green, K., and Zalkow, L. H., Isolation of ocular hypotensive agents from Cannabis sativa, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 479S, 1981
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E. C., Benigni, D. A., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma. ll. The effect of different cannabinoids on intraocular pressure of the rabbit, Current Eye Research, 3, 841, 1984
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E., Murphy, J. C., Wirth, P., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma: a primary screening procedure, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 472S, 1981
Flom, M. C., Adams, A. J., and Jones, R. T., Marijuana smoking and reduced pressure in human eyes: drug action or epiphenomenon?, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 14, 52, 1975
Green, K. and Kim, K., Mediation of ocular tetrahydrocannabinol effects by adrenergic nervous system, Exp. Eye Research, 23, 443, 1976.
Green, K. and Podos, M., Antagonism of arachidonic acid induced ocular effects of Delta tetrahydrocannabinol, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 13, 422, 1974
Green, K. and Roth, M., Marijuana in the medical management of glaucoma, Perspectives In Opthamology, 1980: 4, 101-05.
Green, K. and Roth, M., Ocular effects of topical administration of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in man, Arch Ophthalmol., 100, 265, 1982
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowan, K., Cannabinoid penetration and chronic effects in the eye, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 197,1977
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowman, K., Cannabinoid action on the eye as mediated through the central nervous system and local adrenergic activity, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 189, 1977
Green, K., Symonds, C. M., Oliver, N. W. and Elijah, R. D., Intraocular pressure following systemic administration of cannabinoids, Current Eye Research 2, 247, 1982
Green, K., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Current Topics Eye Research., 1, 175, 1979
Green, K., Wynn, H., and Bowman, K. A., A comparison of topical cannabinoids on intraocular pressure, Exp. Eye Research, 27, 239, 1978
Harvey, D., Analytical studies on marijuana, Trends Anal. Chem., 1, 66, 1981
Hepler, R. S., Frank, J. M., and Petrus, R., Ocular effects of marihuana smoking, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Jay, W. M. and Green, K., Multiple-drop study of topically applied 1% Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in human eyes, Arch. Ophthalmol., 101, 591, 1983
Johnson, M. R., Melvin, L. S., and Milne, G. M., Prototype cannabinoid analgetics, prostastlandins and opiates—search for points of mechanistic action, Life Sci., 31, 1703, 1982
Korczyn, A., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Gen. Pharmacol., 11, 419, 1980
McLaughlin, M.A. and Chiou, G.C., A synopsis of recent developments in antiglaucoma drugsJournal of Ocular Pharmacology, Spring 1985, 1(1) pp 101-21.
Merritt, J. C., Cook, C. E., and Davis, K. H., Orthostatic hypotension after Delta 9-THC marijuana inhalation, Ophthalm. Research, 14, 124, 1982
Merritt, J. C., Crawford, W. J., Alexander, P. C., Anduze, A. L., Gelbart, S. S., Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in glaucoma, Ophthalmologv, 87, 222, 1980
Merritt, J. C., McKinnon, S., Armstrong, J. R., Hatem, G., and Reid, L. A., Oral Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in heterogeneous glaucomas, Ann. Ophthalmol., 12, 947, 1980
Merritt, J. C., Olsen, J. L., Armstrong, J. R., and McKinnon, S. M., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in hypertensive glaucomas, Journal Pharm. Pharmacol., 33, 40, 1981
Merritt, J. C., Perry, D. D., Russell, D. N., and Jones, B. F., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and aqueous dynamics in glaucoma, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 467S, 1981
Perez-Reyes, M., Wagner, D., Wall, M. E., and Davis, K. H., Intravenous administration of cannabinoids and intraocular pressure, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Podos, S. M., Becker, B., and Kass, M. A., Prostaglandin synthesis, inhibition, and intraocular pressure, Invest. Ophthalmol., 12, 426, 1973
Razdan, R. K., Howes, J. F., and Pars, H. G., Development of orally active cannabinoids for the treatment of glaucoma, in Problems of Drug Dependence 1982, NIDA Research Monograph 43, Harris, L. S., Ed., Publ. No. (ADM) 83-1264, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 1983
Shapiro, D., The ocular manifestations of the cannabinols, Ophthalmologia, 168, 366, 1974
Zimmerman, T. J., Leader, B., and Kaufman, H. E., Advances in ocular pharmacology, Annual Rev. Pharmacological Toxicology, 20, 415, 1980

In Bronchial Asthma

This use of Marijuana has not been well-researched, but the few studies available seem to show that Marijuana is an effective bronchodialator, better in fact than many pharmaceuticals. Marijuana seems to be more effective than commercial pharmaceuticals for asthmatic people who have heart, thyroid, diabetic and hypertension problems, all of which are seriously aggravated by many available bronchodialator drugs.

It isn’t necessary to smoke Marijuana to obtain the bronchodialator effects. The research studies which administered Marijuana orally as an extract mist, and by swallowing a capsule filled with extract found that the method of ingestion did not affect Marijuana’s ability to arrest asthma symptoms.

Marijuana can also be a real relief for the stress and anxiety which accompany asthma attacks. Working with the high to identify and relax stressed areas of the body is something which many regular Marijuana users have been doing for years, and asthmatic people in most cases could benefit from this aspect of Marijuana as well as from the indisputably attractive bronchodialator effects.

Some Useful Readings

Abboud, R. T. and Sanders, H. D., Effect of oral administration of Delta 9-THC on airways mechanics in normal and asthmatic subjects, Chest, 70, 480, 1976
Davies, B. H., Radcliffe, S., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., A trial of oral Delta – 1 THC in reversible airways obstruction, Thorax, 30, 80, 1975
Gong, H., Tashkin, D. P., Simmons, M. S., Calvarese, B., and Shapiro, B. J., Acute and subacute bronchial effects of oral cannabinoids, Clinical Pharmacol. Ther., 35, 26-32, 1984
Graham, J. D. P., Davies, B. H., Seaton, A., and Weatherstone, R. M., Bronchodilator action of extract of cannabis and Delta 1 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Hartley, J. P. R., Nogrady, S. G., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC, Br. 1. Clinical Pharmacol., 5, 523, 1978
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of beta adrenergic blockade and stimulation on cannabis bronchodilatation, in Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 173
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of Beta-adrenergic blockage and muscarinic stimulation on cannabis bronchodilation, in Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976, 277
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Frank, 1. M., Mechanism of increased specific airway conductance with marijuana smoking in healthy young men, Ann. Intern. Medicine, 78, 832, 1973
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Vachon, L., THC as a bronchodilator. Why bother?, Chest, 71, 558, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Reiss, S., Shapiro, B. J., Calvarese, B., Olsen, J. L., and Lodge, J. W., Bronchial effects of aerosolized Delta 9-THC in healthy and asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., l1S, 57, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of marijuana on airways dynamics in spontaneous and experimentally induced bronchial asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of smoked marijuana and oral Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on specific airways conductance in asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., I 09, 420, 1974
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., Lee, Y. E., and Harper, C. E., Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., 112, 337, 1975
Vachon, L. and Sulkowski, A., The effect of Beta-adrenergic blockade on acute marijuana intoxication, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 161
Vachon, L., Fitzgerald, M. X., Solliday, N. H., Gould, 1. A., and Gaensler, E. A., Single dose effect of marijuana smoke, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 288, 985, 1973
Vachon, L., Mikus, P., Morrissey, W., FitzGerald, M., and Gaensler, E., Bronchial effects of marijuana smoke in asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1975
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to aerosolized Deta 9-THC: preliminary report, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to micro aerosolized Delta 9-THC, Chest, 70, 444, 1976
Williams, S. J., Hartley, J. P. R., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC administered by aerosol to asthmatic patients, Thorax, 31, 720, 1976

For Hypertension & Anxiety

Recent discoveries that Marijuana acts on the same receptors in the brain as many commercial tranquilizers has reinforced clinical evidence that it is a superior relaxant and anti-anxiety drug. This will come as no news to millions of people, but many of those who have most needed to get mellow over the past years have been so mesmerized by the anti-drug hysteria that they have been stuck with trying to use alcohol and cigarettes to control anxiety. With damn little success, of course, because both these drugs first appear to relieve and then re-install anxiety at higher levels. When such folks are finally floored by their accumulated stress and toxicity, Marijuana offers a pleasant, inexpensive natural alternative which will, after only a brief trial, win the hearts and minds of 99% of these poor propagandized souls.

It’s not just the booze and cigs crowd that suffers from hypertension and anxiety; almost everybody has a few pet anxieties which regularly claw their insides out, and Americans are becoming notorious in the world for the rate at which we allow stress to disable and kill us.

Some Useful Readings

Freemon, F.R., The effect of Delta-9 THC on sleep, Psychopharmacologia, 1974: 35, pp 39-44.
Sethi, B.B. et al, Antianxiety effect of Cannabis: involvement of central benzodiazepine receptors,Biological Psychology, 1/86, 21 (1) pp 3-10.
Zaugg, H. E. and Kyncl, J., New antihypertensive cannabinoids, Journal Medical Chem., 26, 214, 1983
Zuardi, A. W., Shirakawe, J., Finkelfarb, E., and Karniol, 1., Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by Delta 9-THC in normal subjects, Psychopharmacology, 76, 245, 1982

For Insomnia

In line with Marijuana’s complex nature, the same flower which when consumed allows you to stay up all night with friends engaging in vigorous dialogue allows you, under different circumstances, to drift imperceptibly into a dream state from which you wake in the morning refreshed and alert.

As in so many other uses of Marijuana, set and setting are very important in effectively addressing insomnia. All the usual accoutrements to a restful night’s sleep should be in place- a secure, quality environment, reduced potential for noise or interruption, loving thoughts, and a conscious desire to approach sleep. Reading a book while high is an excellent way to drift off into your own thoughts, and doing so while in bed is a classic approach to induced sleep. Meditation tapes now generally available are also an excellent tool to use while high, especially those specifically designed to place the mind in a mood to sleep restfully.

Marijuana is not a sleeping pill; it does not knock you out to achieve its effect. Marijuana is a mind-medicine, not a body medicine even though it has profound and overwhelmingly positive body effects. In fact, it is up to you to consciously use the Marijuana, not to passively take a “big enough dose” to put you to sleep by chemically overwhelming your nervous system so it doesn’t transmit worry or discomfort signals, which is how most so-called “sleeping aids” work.

In Eating Disorders

Here is another area of medicinal benefit where it is not so much the chemical properties of Marijuana as its mental effect which is responsible for the desired action.

Marijuana is well-known among people who use it socially and recreationally for the effect called the Blind Munchies. When a person is in the grip of the munchies nothing edible within reach is safe, especially food that responds to those deep-level body hungers we call cravings. There has been speculation that blood sugar levels are involved, but the research is inconclusive. The BM’s are not predictable in the sense that they are invariably brought on by use of Marijuana.

Whatever occurs to you when you are in this state is what you want, and normal behavior can go right out the window. It doesn’t matter if that last granola bar belongs to someone else- it’s gone; it doesn’t matter that it’s only 9AM- you want a double pepperoni pizza. Otherwise normal people caught in the grips of the Blind Munchies become slightly deranged; fixated may be a better word. They do not wait calmly in line at the ice cream store, they can’t wait until they’re out of the convenience store to open their candy bar.

All this is not a pretty sight, and probably contributes to Marijuana’s bad reputation among the other kinds of folks who hang out at ice cream stores and candy counters and encounter these hulking red-eyed fiends.

Now, one might reasonably ask how such an effect could possibly help someone who is ill?
The blind munchies seem to be the result of a combination of factors, including the (perhaps unrecognized) presence of deep cravings, and the process of suggestion. These factors are the reasons why Marijuana has therapeutic potential in the area of eating disorders.

Marijuana focuses attention, and if the high person’s attention is directed in a subtle way toward the deep levels at which food/nutritional cravings exist, the body-mind will pick up those signals and can experience them as desire and intense attractiveness. Not invariably, and not always perfectly, but the more skilled the individual or others involved in the therapy the more likely it will be that the person can come to desire and enjoy that which they need from a medical perspective.

Some Useful Readings

Costa, G., and Donaldson, S. S. 1979. Effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the nutrition of the host. N . Engl . Jour. Med . 300: 1471 1474.
Hollister, L.E., Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol and dextroamphetamine, Clinical Pharmacological Thera. 1971: 12, pp 44-49.
Kokal, W. A. 1985. The impact of antitumor therapy on nutrition. Cancer, 55: 273—278.
McLaughlin, C. L., Baile, C. A., and Bender, P. E., Cannabinols and feeding in sheep, Psychopharmacology, 64, 3 21, 1979

In Treating Alcoholism

It’s no real surprise that Marijuana has been shown to be effective in helping people withdraw from alcohol addiction- it gives the addict a very attractive exchange. The intoxication benefits of Marijuana are superior, the urge to violence and aggression almost nil, and the damage to health far less.

From the moralists viewpoint this may not seem like it’s doing the alcohol addict a lot of good, but from the addicts viewpoint it makes kicking alcohol a whole lot easier. The moralists and the addict have a totally different agenda, though to get any help at all these days addicts generally have to get with the moralistic chant. It’s a true testament to the sincerity of the desperation of people trapped by alcohol that they will do anything, even roll over and sing psalms for the moralists, who parade these “saved souls” before the cameras where they stand, blinking and shuffling, looking for all the world like POW’s, which of course they are, prisoners in the war waged upon them by those who force doctrine upon the weak and broken in exchange for bread and a better cell.

Some Useful Readings

Bhargava, H., Effect of some cannabinoids on naloxone-precipitated abstinence in morphine-dependent mice, Psychopharmacology, 49, 267, 1976
Carder, B., Blockage of morphine abstinence by Delta 9-THC, Science, 190, 590, 1975
Chesher, G.B. and Jackson, D.M., Quasi-morphine withdrawal symdrome: effect of cannabinol, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, Pharmacology and Biochemistry Review, 7/85, 23 (1) pp 13-15.
Crancer, A. et al, Comparison of the effects of marihuana and alcohol on simulated driving performance, Science, 1969: 164, pp 851-54.
Fernandes, M. and Hill, R., Morphine-cannabinoid interactions in rats and mice, Arch. Pharmacol., 19, 282, 1974
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine dependent rats. Blockade of precipitated abstinence by tetrahydrocannabinol, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine-dependent rats: blockage of precipitated abstinence by THC, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Jones, R.T and Stone, G.R., Psychological studies of marijuana and alcohol in man, Psychopharmacology 1970: 18, pp 108-17.
Reeve, V.C. et al, Marijuana-alcohol driving performance study: A summary of preliminary findings, in, Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, 1985
Rosenberg, C. M., Gerrein, J. R., and Schnell, C., Cannabis in the treatment of alcoholism, Journal Stud. Alcohol, 39, 155, 1978
Sprague, G. L. and Craigmill, A. L., Effects of two cannabinoids upon abstinence signs in ethanol dependent mice, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 9, ll, 1978

Clinical Trials with Marijuana

Almost without exception, the clinical trials of Marijuana’s effectiveness as a therapeutic agent have involved the use of an extract from the plant, or a synthetic or derivative chemical compound manufactured in the laboratory based on the natural model from the living plant.
Without exception all researchers frame their findings in the context of seeking to isolate the high from the medical benefits. None view the high as beneficial, even as a hypothesis. All studies done in the past twenty years have as an underlying, governing assumption that getting high is undesirable and has no place in therapeutic applications of the plant.

All the research buys into the official line that consciousness-altering substances are and ought to be highly regulated and unavailable to ordinary people.

None of the researchers exhibit an overt personal familiarity with the high experience but one can read behind the lines of a few studies to see that the authors were knowledgeable people communicating effectively with colleagues but being very, very careful.

Finally, none of these studies examine the therapeutic potential for the individual using the whole flower of this remarkable plant, without the intervention of self-interested doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, police, politicians, and professional bureaucrats.

A Revolution In Caring

There is a silent revolution against uncaring health care across America, and it is being led by people who discovered and used psychoactive drugs in the 1960’s & 70’s. Most of us are now in our mid-lives, and we increasingly have parents, family members and friends suffering from disease, injury, pain, accumulated stress, degenerative conditions, mystery infirmities, and the other challenges life throws at us all.

In the revolution to bring about a caring society, many of these enlightened ones are offering the relief of natural, whole Marijuana to those in need along with their services as what one friend of mine calls herself- a Companion Guide.

In other centuries and other places the intellectuals and artists of society used Marijuana to explore realms of the mind in the name of creativity and innovation. In other still more distant places and societies, healers and holy men used this gift of Shiva as a holistic medicine for the body, and meditative gate to other levels of consciousness.

In America this century Marijuana has been used primarily as a relaxant and mild euphoric; however, it has always had a strong spiritual component. There is something in the Marijuana high which resonates with the American spirit of adventure, of quest, of exploration, of frontier, of invention, and of rebellion. The Marijuana high answers all those calls in the American soul, and although our society is still burdened with those medieval drugs alcohol and tobacco and their powerful overlords, the time will come when the choice of an enlightened, caring society will be the Marijuana high or its spiritual/meditative equivalent.

Compassionate, creative, therapeutic use of Marijuana in a psychological and spiritual healing process opens new professional opportunities for many health care professionals who are personally experienced with the Marijuana high.

Why should personally enlightened professionals continue to submit to the whips of the cynics and moralists, those evil sisters, thus depriving their patients, clients, loved ones, friends and collegues of the benefits of a wholistic approach to Marijuana therapy which uses the powerful healing high, with themselves acting as compassionate Companion-Guides as well as medical professionals.

Imagine the impact on the quality of the relationship and its healing potential if all parties to the process could use the Marijuana high to get past the kinds of barriers that typically isolate those in need from those giving care.

Historians will record the callous manipulation of the ordinary people of this world by privileged classes and their institutional representatives and enforcement agencies as the root cause of the pain, suffering and destruction of human live and values which is deliberately mislabeled “the drug problem”.

The Pain problem, the Despair problem, the Racism problem, the Poverty problem, the Ignorance problem and the Exploitation problem are real names of real problems; the “Drug Problem” is not real, it is an illusion.

Meanwhile millions of deluded puppets chant “Just Say No”, at the same time most passionately chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to the whispered suggestions that theirs is the holy mission of blaming and judging and punishing others, placed in their inner by a voice they perceive as the voice of God. The irony is that the very demons they fear are the source of these suggestions, because when these crusader go forth they create dangerous, destructive passions – the dark playground of these angry entities.

The relief these crusaders promise through their “programs” is a sick illusion- there are very simply no truly effective drug rehabilitation programs anywhere. There are lots of ineffective programs which occasionally have a person enrolled who is successfully rehabilitated, for which the program’s operators then claim credit and seek additional funding, but the fact is that nothing rehabilitates an individual except inner resources combined with realistic external support, and there is no support of the kind and quality needed available in our society except for those fortunate enough to be loved and cared for by an angel.

While you’re never going to see our government research it, or announce the results if the do, there is evidence that Marijuana contains substances which protect the lungs of the smoker from the tissue changes which lead to cancer in smokers of cigarettes and those exposed to industrial smoke.

This “anti-neoplastic activity” of Marijuana has been noticed and investigated during the comprehensive search of natural substances for use as cancer drugs. This property of Marijuana was not remarkable enough to qualify it as a cure for cancer (imagine the difficulties!), but was sufficiently strong for the researchers to note that there may be some connection here with the fact that research has not been able to show the kinds of cancerous effects in long-term Marijuana smokers which show up regularly in long-term cigarette smokers. The other kinds of lung damage associated with smoking, such as emphysemia, dont appear as severe in Marijuana smokers, despite the (generally poorly done) federally sponsored research trumpeted in the media as evidence of Marijuana’s dangers.

Of course there will never be zero risk in smoking anything. But the greatest danger to Marijuana smokers appears to come directly from the authorities, in two principle ways. There is the obvious danger of arrest and exposure to draconian police and judicial strategies designed to intimidate the populace, but there is a much more direct, major danger to your health. The anti-drug authorities have persisted, in spite of official bans, to spray a variety of highly toxic chemicals onto Mexican and South American Marijuana crops, some of which is rescued by the growers and sent right along to the U.S. where Marijuana users who are driven to the streets by their government are then poisoned by that same government as a penalty for violating it’s corrupt laws. This isn’t an atrocity of the magnitude of the government-cigarette industry conspiracy, but it will do to illustrate the moral degeneracy of our decaying institutions.
The network of privileged and entrenched people who run this lunatic asylum we call home are determined that we are all going to settle down and agree to be ruled by them and their designated authorities. Their tactics are no more imaginative now than they have ever been, because when dealing with the mass of people sophisticated tactics dont work. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s easy enough in a modern democracy, especially if you control the message content of the mass media, to create a constituency of fear.

The “drug problem” is an ideal constituency-maker. Americans have been pretty constantly under the grip of the moralists and the economic interests benefited by them since the earliest days of the country, and by now many people have been thoroughly indoctrinated into accepting and vigorously believing that deviant behavior must be both controlled and punished. It’s not hard to get these folks to accept that drugs are bad, especially when you can create dramatic footage on TV and point to all the human wreckage on the streets. In line with the KI.SS principle, the public sees this stuff, listens to a few politicians and “experts” and concludes yes, by golly, there really is a “drug problem”.

But there is another reason why the “drug problem” has been created, a deeper, more important reason. Certain drugs, Marijuana perhaps foremost among them, directly threaten the mechanisms by which control of society has been exercised for centuries by the privileged and entrenched interests that transcend generations in their quest for domination of others. These mechanisms depend upon certain kinds of blindness in people, a blindness that has been cultivated intensively over the years.

Are You Shocked?

You read the papers and see the headlines about the war on drugs. You read Time and US News & World Report and Readers Digest and know about the horrors of drug abuse. You go to church and hear people you respect and trust predict that drugs will be the ruin of our society.

And now your doctor or, maybe more difficult to handle, a loving relative or friend tells you that you can get relief from your suffering with Marijuana. What are you to think? You may believe that drugs are evil, that the soft drugs lead to other, more addictive drugs, that they ruin your mind, and perhaps that they are a sin.

This section is devoted to an expression of my personal social & political viewpoints. Many people will disagree with what I say here, and if you feel this way I want you to be able to use the information in the book without having to agree with my views on the role of drugs in society and other related issues and concerns.

Social and recreational use of Marijuana is a major issue in the minds of many people, but more directly threatening and frightening are the twin problems of violent and degraded situation in our inner cities, and the sickening toll among our children. Many good people sincerely believe that these problems have been created by drugs, and can be solved by control of drugs.

I call these people good because they think of themselves as good and are motivated by what they believe are good motives. Jesus of Nazareth said at his crucifixion “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do”, and most Christians believe that Jesus was asking for forgiveness on behalf of those who were killing him, and those who had caused it to be done. I believe that these last words sum up the message of his life.

If Jesus was anything of the holy man which belief, tradition and doctrine have made him, and this was the message of his life, it would not be directed at forgiving those few poor souls who were murdering him – it would be his final offering of wisdom to all who lived then and have lived since. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. “

This is the gift which the prophet Jesus gave us – that in his last words, out of all the things that could have been said, he chose to ask god to forgive all people for none know what they do. If we hear that message, and realize that we know not what we do, then we may begin to awaken, and see what we do, and change what we do. As it is, we know not what we do. How else is it possible to explain the misery and evil we inflict on each other throughout the world; how else to explain why power corrupts; how else to explain our isolation from each other; how else to explain the greed and lust of those who rule; how else to explain suffering in the midst of great plenty?

The so-called drug problem is a part of that misery inflicted by some people on others, since it is almost entirely the social consequences of drug use, and not drug use itself, which produces the painful, evil consequences known as the drug problem.