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Tell your Children .....the truth 
by Douglas J. Morrison

"What you are about to hear may startle you, but it would not be possible otherwise to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers.  Marijuana is that drug – a violent narcotic; an unspeakable scourge – the real public enemy number one.  Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then comes dangerous hallucinations; space expands, time slows down almost stands still; fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances, followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts and the loss of all power to resist physical emotions, leading finally to acts of shocking violence – ending often in incurable insanity.  In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt will be made to equivocate." 

Tell your Children (Reefer Madness) 1939

These facts, while fictionalized for the purpose of information, were said to be based upon actual research into the results of marijuana addiction and put forth to "Tell Your Children" in a 1939 theatrical release.  Just two years prior to its  release, the American  Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 had essentially ended the medicinal use of cannabis and a short two years after it’s release, in 1941, it was withdrawn from the U.S. Pharmaceutical market because of public misconception and because of  excessive paperwork imposed on pharmacists by law.  Prohibition and McCarthyism funded and fueled the facts, much like the Milk Marketing Board does today.

I present to you the real story based on actual events, documented research and (well) actual facts dating back to the 2nd Century AD, making it possibly the greatest story ever told………. about a plant.

In China it appears in the ancient medical classic Pen Ts’ao by Emperor Sher Nung, touted as a remedy for gout, rheumatism, malaria, beriberi, constipation and …..absent-mindedness?.  It was allegedly used by surgeon Huo To, to perform somewhat painless operations.  The Greek medical writings of  Galen and Dioscorides recommends "the juice of the seed" to prevent earaches, decrease flatulence and increase sexual desire.  It was also regularly prescribed as a painkiller.

Dr. W. B. O’Shaunessy first brought the medicinal properties of marijuana to Europe in 1839.  After a trip to India, he experimented in marijuana tinctures to treat rheumatism, rabies, cholera, tetanus and convulsions.  These tinctures had been described as "analgesic and anti-convulsive remed[ies] of the greatest value".

Throughout the 19th Century, cannabis extracts were used in patent medicines to treat about twenty different ailments including painful menstruation and childbirth as well as asthma, migraines., neuralgia and senile insomnia.  Queen Victoria herself suffered menstrual pain, and was an advocate of cannabis medicine.  It’s been told that she would feed hemp seed to the birds in her royal sanctuary.  But by the end of the 19th Century, due to the discovery of stronger new medicines (such as morphine), its use began to wane, and the little plant enjoyed a quiet, yet productive existence.  It did its part for the war effort in the form of hemp, supplying ropes and such.

Then the witch hunt began, resulting in a four year prohibition party with one of the longest hangovers in history.

In the 1970s, it was reported that some young cancer patients found that smoking marijuana could relieve the gut-wrenching trauma resulting from chemotherapy.  Studies at universities such as Harvard confirmed its anti-nauseant properties, at which time 35 states passed legislation to establish programs for cannabis research.  These new programs were of course smothered by federal drug regulations which made it virtually impossible to conduct scientific research.

Then came the unexpected.  Administrative Judge Francis Young of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency stated on the record that "marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to mankind" – a fairly left-wing statement from a right-wing agency.

Studies in human beings have failed to yield evidence that marijuana use leads to increased aggression, quite the contrary. It seems to have a sedative effect, and it may actually reduce somewhat the intensity of angry feelings and probability of interpersonal aggressive behavior. Animal studies have shown that monkeys are less likely to strain for a banana after being given Marijuana.

The effects of marijuana are caused by a chemicals known as cannabinoids which resemble a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain, present only in the marijuana plant. The neurotransmitter that the cannabinoid receptor system responds to is called anandamide (from the Sanskrit word for bliss).  We can be attribute this to marijuana’s ability to stimulate production of PGE2, which may relate to it’s ability to stimulate melatonin production.  Research has shown that 20 minutes after smoking marijuana melatonin levels were dramatically higher, and after 2 hours levels were 4,000 percent higher than at baseline.  The fact that smoking marijuana is accompanied by a dramatic increase in melatonin production may explain some of the drug’s positive effects.  Melatonin has been shown to ameliorate many of the same conditions as marijuana.  Of all the known ways to stimulate melatonin production none is more dramatic than smoking marijuana. Which brings me to my theory, yes the theory which is mine " if marijuana increases production of this hormone which is usually only released after the sun goes down in order to help regulate our sleeping patterns, Then possibly melatonin stimulates right brain activity explaining the dreamy, spacey, sort of creativity attributed to smoking marijuana. But be aware these dramatic surges in melatonin levels in the daytime could phase-shift your circadian rhythms. 
We now know the release of serotonin from blood platelet cells is a likely causal factor in migraines There is some evidence that THC inhibits this release, and it seems to alter blood flow in the cerebrum

The main psychoactive ingredient contained in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.  Its effects are produced by a cannabinoid receptor system consisting of at least two cannabinoid receptor types: CB1 and CB2, located in the brain and spleen effectively.  The biological  actions now associated with cannabinoid receptors include marijuana’s effect as an analgesic, on memory and cognition, on locomotor function, on endocrine actions, and on other biological changes, including a decrease in body temperature, changes in the heart rate, suppression of nausea and vomiting, and decrease in intraocular pressure 

Right after smoking THC speeds up the heart by about 30-60 beats per minute.  Over a short time, THC may cause a small increase in blood pressure. Chronic use has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Medical marijuana has attracted growing interest from health professionals and the California Medical Association has called for research to establish guidelines for prescription use of cannabis.

In 1996, California and Arizona have approved initiatives exempting patients from prosecution for possessing or cultivating marijuana with a physicians recommendation.  It is my hope that it will be a very short time before we catch up and the government gives us back our god-given right to use medicinal marijuana.

This is not to say that marijuana cannot have adverse effects.  Like all drugs, marijuana can cause harm if taken in excess or abused.  What is important is that people have access to accurate information about marijuana.  Without information, how do we know whether it will benefit us, dosages to take or how to gain access to a regular supply?

Yes, that is happening right here to your neighbours.

"It is not too much to say that in your hands lies the possibility of averting other tragedies like it.    We must work untiringly so that our children are obliged to learn the truth because it is only through knowledge that we can safely protect them.  Failing this, the next tragedy may be that of your daughter or your son or yours or yours." 

Tell your Children (Reefer Madness) 1939

Yes -- the time has come once again to Tell Your Children! Only this time, lets tell them The Truth. "So if theses stark realities don’t make you think, make you aware" And your kids don’t understand what I am trying to put forth - you can tell them this short story taken from "Cannabis Canada". It's about a litter of puppies owned by Steve L. a breeder from Yellowknife NWT. They were born with Parvo – a disease which dehydrates the animal until it finally dies.  He had never had a puppy with Parvo survive.  Then he had an idea – he would often smoke marijuana while feeding the puppies.  In a controlled observational study, he took half the litter effected with the disease and got them high -- the puppies ate.  So, every day, he got them high until they were eating on their own.  Only the pot-head puppies survived.  Seeing as Steve L. lived to report his findings, I would say the eventual shocking violence and incurable insanity had manifested in a really bad case of the munchies.

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