War On Drugs 3.6
March 8, 2018
Uncle Cam’s Corner.1
March 26, 2018
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Part seven of War on Drugs series – the history of cannabis aka marijuana aka kush, dope, grass, herb, gage, tea, reefer, chronic, hashish.


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Show Notes:

  • What time is it, Ray?
  • That’s right – it’s 4:20.
  • In 1971, Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich, five high school students  in San Rafael, California,   calling themselves the Waldos   because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school”,  used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about,   based on a treasure map made by the grower.
  • The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.
  • The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”.
  • Several failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20”, which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean marijuana-smoking in general.
  • And today we’re talking about MARIJUANA
  • We’ve talked about prohibition, heroin and cocaine.
  • Let’s talk about weed.
  • dope, grass, herb, gage, tea, reefer, chronic, hashish
  • Or should we call it Cannabis?
  • Apparently the name marijuana was popularised by our friend Harry Anslinger in the 1930s to strengthen the connection between the drug and the nasty smelly Mexicans.
  • Some people think name comes from the linguistic root of the Aztec word mallihuan, meaning “prisoner”.
  • Other suggestions trace the possible origins of the word to Chinese ma ren hua (‘hemp seed flower’), possibly itself originating as a loan from an earlier semitic root *mrj “hemp”.
  • The Semitic root is also found in the Spanish word mejorana and in English marjoram (‘oregano’), which could be related to the word marihuana.
  • This is also known in Mexico as “Chinese oregano”.
  • The original Mexican Spanish used forms with the letter ⟨h⟩ (marihuana).
    • Nothing to do with Mary Jane.
  • Cannabis is a flowering herb.
  • believed to have originated in the mountainous regions in western China or the Himalayas
  • The number of species within the genus is disputed.
  • Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
  • Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.
  • But not all cannabinoids are involved in getting you high.
  • tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the one that is Responsible for the ‘’high’’effect (psychotropic), it amplifies all sensory functions such as sight, hearing, color sensitivity, and promotes a greater sense of well-being.
  • But there are 85 different cannabinoids in cannabis and they all do something different.
  • For exampleCBD has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC.
  • It turns out the human body has an entire endocannabinoid system that processes cannabinoids.
  • The endocannabinoid system regulates many of the functions of the human body: appetite, food intake, motor behavior, reproduction and much more.
  • As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried flower buds (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively known as hashish oil.
  • You can smoke it, you can eat it, you can vaporise it, inject it, use a patch and you can stick it up your butt.
  • Hemp is alsoCannabis sativa – the drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species.
  • They both contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.
  • Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.
  • Hemp was a major crop in China going way way back.
  • The oldest Chinese treatise on agriculture, the Xia Xiao Zheng, written around the sixteenth century BCE, named hemp as a main crop. In The Book of Songs and The Annals, written during the Waning States period   (475-221 BC), mention is made of the six crops commonly planted: cannabis is one of them.
  • They used it for clothing and rope, bow strings and paper – whether or not they used it to get high is unknown.
  • But it’s hard to imagine people having hemp and not stumbling across that aspect of it.
  • BTW, I learned that hemp was used to make canvas for sails.
  • And the word “canvas” comes from “cannabis”.
  • The earliest written records of people using cannabis to get high comes from the Greek historian Herodotus who makes reference to the central Eurasian Scythians taking cannabis steam baths.
  • His (c.440 BCE) Histories records, “The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.
  • Classical Greeks and Romans were using cannabis
  • The great Roman medical scientist Galen (circa AD 129-99)  wrote, in about AD 160, that hemp cakes, if eaten in moderation, produced a feeling of well-being but, taken to excess, they led to intoxication, dehydration and impotence.
  • In the Middle East, it seems like the Jews were using it to communicate with God.
  • In Exodus 30, verses 22-33, in which it states God instructed Moses to produce a holy anointing oil with myrrh, cinnamon, kassia and kaneh bosm.
  • Some linguists believe thatkaneh bosm translated “aromatic hemp seed”,kaneh bosm = cannabis.
  • The ancient Hebrews used a holy oil to put themselves into a trance during which the voice of God spoke to them.
  • And we should remember that the word Messiah means ‘the anointed one’, through whom the word of God was given.
  • So there you have it – Jesus really was The Dude!
  • So it was pretty much known everywhere in the ancient world.
  • The first Gutenberg bible was printed on hemp paper.
  • In 1545, cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber.
  • In North America, cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown for use in rope, clothing and paper.
  • As we said in the first episode of this series, the first American President, George Washington, was a hemp farmer.
  • He must have been fucking high if he thought his little rag-tag army could defeat the British Empire.
  • Globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis were produced legally.
  • In 2014 there were an estimated 182.5 million cannabis users (3.8% of the population aged 15–64).
  • This percentage has not changed significantly between 1998 and 2014.
  • But guess which country are the biggest dope smokers in the world per capita?
  • a 2012 study claimed that Aussies and Kiwis were the winners
  • as much as 15 percent of the populations of Australia and New Zealand between the ages of 15 and 64 had used some form of marijuana in 2009, the latest year for which data were available.
  • North America 11 percent
  • Aussie Aussie Aussie!
  • And it’s not even legal here!
  • Might be different not that it’s legal or decriminalised in some U.S. states.
  • Use of the drug far outstrips that of other illicit drugs globally, with 14 million to 56 million people estimated to use amphetamines, 14 million to 21 million estimated to use cocaine and 12 million to 21 million estimated to use opiates like heroin.
  • Versus182.5 million cannabis users.
  • BTW, barely 1 percent of deaths in Australia annually can be attributed to illegal drugs of ANY kind, compared with almost 12 percent from tobacco use.
  • The earliest mention of cannabis on newspapers.com:
  • Hampshire Telegraph and Naval Chronicle Portsmouth, England
  • Monday, February 8, 1830
  • Read the TEA section!
  • The Bristol Mercury from 1844 discussing the use of cannabis in Siam aka Thailand.
  • We start to see it appear in American papers around 1846, with a story about a doctor who cured a kid’s lock jaw with a liquid cannabis solution.
  • Green-Mountain Freeman Montpelier, Vermont
  • Wednesday, April 21, 1880
  • The earliest mention of marijuana that I could find on newspapers.com was from the St Louis Post-Dispatch dated 10 Sep 1886.
  • In an article about the Mexican Army.
  • As you’ll see, all of the early news stories are about Mexicans and weed.
  • The other thing you’ll notice is that either the weed back then was 1000 times stronger than it is today – or these stories are bullshit
  • That’s some pretty strong shit!
  • One blunt keeps an entire group of guys high for a week!

Theme music: Holy Deep by The Passion HiFi

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