Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Is Marijuana Banned? The Real Reasons Are Worse Than You Think

Cannabis Marijuana Pot Bust


Let us spell this out in language even the blind dumb and stupid can understand.  The Anti Marijuana campaign was launched just after alcohol prohibition ended in order to make work for the Government department tasked with enforcement.  It was FRAUD, deliberate and with premeditation by informed perpetrators only interested in sustaining their paychecks from the top down.

It then evolved into today's monster.

The whole seedy history is worthy of any despotic monster you wish to drum up.  That it happened and that it continues to damage medicine and the American people is obscene.

Why Is Marijuana Banned? The Real Reasons Are Worse Than You Think

February 13, 2016 

Johann Hari, The Influence

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Influence, and is reprinted here with permission.

Across the world, more and more people are asking: Why is marijuana banned? Why are people still sent to prison for using or selling it?

Most of us assume it’s because someone, somewhere sat down with the scientific evidence, and figured out that cannabis is more harmful than other drugs we use all the time—like alcohol and cigarettes.

Somebody worked it all out, in our best interest.

But when I started to go through the official archives—researching my book Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs—to find out why cannabis was banned back in the 1930s, I discovered that’s not what happened.

Not at all.

In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington DC. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol—controlled by criminals—had become even more poisonous.

So alcohol prohibition finally ended – and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.

But then—suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose—he announced he had changed his mind.

He explained to the public what would happen if you smoked cannabis.

First, you will fall into “a delirious rage.” Then you will be gripped by “dreams… of an erotic character.” Then you will “lose the power of connected thought.” Finally, you will reach the inevitable end-point: “Insanity.”

Marijuana turns man into a wild beast. If marijuana bumped into Frankenstein’s monster on the stairs, Anslinger warned, the monster would drop dead of fright.

Victor Lacata

Harry Anslinger became obsessed with one case in particular. In Florida, a boy called Victor Lacata hacked his family to death with an axe. Anslinger explained to America: This is what will happen when you smoke “the demon weed.” The case became notorious. The parents of the US were terrified.

What evidence did Harry Anslinger have? It turns out at this time he wrote to the 30 leading scientists on this subject, asking if cannabis was dangerous, and if there should be a ban.

Twenty-nine wrote back and said no.

Anslinger picked out the one scientist who said yes, and presented him to the world. The press—obsessed with Victor Lacata’s axe—cheered them on.

In a panic that gripped America, marijuana was banned. The US told other countries they had to do the same. Many countries said it was a dumb idea, and refused to do it. For example, Mexico decided their drug policy should be run by doctors. Their medical advice was that cannabis didn’t cause these problems, and they refused to ban it. The US was furious. Anslinger ordered them to fall into line. The Mexicans held out—until, in the end, the US cut off the supply of all legal painkillers to Mexico. People started to die in agony in their hospitals. So with regret, Mexico sacked the doctor—and launched its own drug war. [ this is called a war crime worthy of Hitler - arclein ]

But at home, questions were being asked. A leading American doctor called Michael Ball wrote to Harry Anslinger, puzzled. He explained he had used cannabis as a medical student, and it had only made him sleepy. Maybe cannabis does drive a small number of people crazy, he said—but we need to fund some scientific studies to find out.

Anslinger wrote back firmly. “The marihuana evil can no longer be temporized with,” he explained, and he would fund no independent science. Then, or ever.

For years, doctors kept approaching him with evidence he was wrong, and he began to snap, telling them they were “treading on dangerous ground” and should watch their mouths.

Today, most of the world is still living with the ban on cannabis that Harry Anslinger introduced, in the nation-wide panic that followed Victor Lacata’s killing spree.

But here’s the catch. Years later, somebody went and looked at the psychiatric files for Victor Lacata.
It turns out there’s no evidence he ever used cannabis.

He had a lot of mental illness in his family. They had been told a year before he needed to be institutionalized—but they refused. His psychiatrists never even mentioned marijuana in connection to him.

So, does cannabis make people mad?

The former chief advisor on drugs to the British government, David Nutt, explains—if cannabis causes psychosis in a straightforward way, then it would show in a straightforward way.

When cannabis use goes up, psychosis will go up. And when cannabis use goes down psychosis will go down.

So does that happen? We have a lot of data from a lot of countries. And it turns out it doesn’t. For example, in Britain, cannabis use has increased by a factor of about 40 since the 1960s. And rates of psychosis? They have remained steady.

In fact, the scientific evidence suggests cannabis is safer than alcohol. Alcohol kills 40,000 people every year in the US. Cannabis kills nobody—although Willie Nelson says a friend of his did once die when a bale of cannabis fell on his head.

This is why, in 2006, a young man in Colorado called Mason Tvert issued a challenge to the then-mayor of Denver and eventual governor, John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper owned brew-pubs selling alcohol across the state, and it made him rich. But he said cannabis was harmful and had to be banned. So Mason issued him a challenge—to a duel. You bring a crate of booze. I’ll bring a pack of joints. For every hit of booze you take, I’ll take a hit of cannabis. We’ll see who dies first.

It was the ultimate High Noon.

Mason went on to lead the campaign to legalize cannabis in his state. His fellow citizens voted to do it—by 55 %. Now adults can buy cannabis legally, in licensed stores, where they are taxed—and the money is used to build schools. After a year and a half of seeing this system in practice, support for legalization has risen to 69 %. And even Governor Hickenlooper has started calling it “common sense.”

Oh—and Colorado hasn’t been filled with people hacking their families to death yet.

Isn’t it time we listened to the science—and finally put away Victor Lacata’s axe?

Ancient Submerged Cities: Rethinking Our Ancestry

The first issue that i have with all of this is that the dates are generally rubbish and best put aside.  The second is our general lack of geological framework in time and space as well.  Seismic country tends to do this all often and ground can be disturbed many times.  This makes any form of dating tied mostly to the last known disturbance and well nigh useless.

Our two obvious Bronze Age deep water constructs off Cuba and Japan happen to be also were the most vertical displacement is most likely.  Thus presuming our Atlantean conjecture all holds up for 1159 BC, we have two structures nicely conforming to the Pyramids and apparently contemporaneous.

Most of our submerged coastal centers are all much more recent.  None of this says much about the extensive civilization residing on the submerged continental shelf before 12900 BP.  All that was either swept away or ground away as the sea level rose.  What we have are the results of sudden seismic shifts that took it all down into safe waters.

Then there is that road of the US East Coast that is fifteen miles long at a depth of three thousand feet.  I am loath to suggest subsidence to three thousand feet.  Yet that is what is claimed and it needs confirmation.

Ancient Submerged Cities: Rethinking Our Ancestry

8 February, 2016 - 14:31 ancient-origins

They realized that the men had rebelled and decided to exterminate them. Thousands of pumas left the cave and devoured the man who begged the devil for help. But the devil remained unmoved by their pleas. Seeing this, Inti, the god of the sun cried. Her tears were so abundant that in forty days the valley was flooded.”—Inca legend of Lake Titicaca 

Consider one anthropological hypothesis that concedes the possibility of a prehistoric humanity enjoying a high degree of technological development. Some evidence suggests that ancient people appear to have crafted a technology significantly more advanced than what we might imagine. Much of the support for this idea comes from the discovery of dozens of ancient cities submerged beneath the oceans across the entire planet.  [ What dozens? arclein ]

Surprising cases like that of the Yonaguni structures off the coasts of Japan, or the submerged “Mega city” accidentally discovered off the northeast coast of Cuba, continue to offer researchers clues to what was once considered merely geographical mythology—tales such as those of Atlantis, Mu, or the land of Thule. Every few years a long-sunken discovery lends support for this prehistoric empire hypothesis. 

Reconstructed Image taken from the sonar scan of the sea floor off the coast of Cuba. 

Urban Architecture from an Impossible Time 

A typical example of the archeological ruins described above was found in waters 120 feet deep in the Gulf of Cabay, located off the western coast of India. It is estimated that the vast city, discovered by chance during an investigation on pollution, could date back some 9,000 years. 

Using a sonar tracker, investigators managed to identify defined geometric structures at a depth of about 120 feet. From the site, they recovered construction material, pottery, sections of walls, basins, sculptures, bones, and human teeth. The carbon tests indicate that these pieces were 9,500 years old. 

Before this finding, anthropologists thought that the area had not seen civilization before 2,500 B.C. This ancient city, therefore, was even older than the Harappan civilization, once believed to be the oldest of the subcontinent. 

Painting by Grinlay’s (1826-1830) of ‘The sacred town and temples of Dwarka.’ ( Public Domain )

Another surprising case came in 1967, when the Aluminaut—an exploration submarine capable of submerging deeper than any craft of its day—casually discovered a “road” off the coastal zone of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Found at a depth of nearly 3,000 feet, this road traced a straight line for more than 15 miles. 

Even more surprising, this road had been paved with sophisticated cement composed of aluminum, silicon, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Despite its age, the road was found to be free of debris due to an underwater current that kept it clear. 

This forgotten road still proved a worthy thoroughfare as the special wheels of the Aluminaut allowed the sub to actually travel along the enigmatic highway. Later, scientists exploring the area found a series of monolithic constructions at one end of the road. What technology could construct a long paved road that would remain in good condition for 10,000 years? 

A more recent discovery of this type took place in 2004, when the same tsunami that battered the coasts of Southeast Asia also moved tons of sand from the cost of Tamil Nadu, India. The storm cleared years of dust that led to the discovery of the mythical city of Mahabalipuram. 

According to local legend, the city of Mahabalipuram suffered a great flood, submerging it in a single day 1,000 years ago, when the gods became jealous of its beauty. The local inhabitants recounted that six temples were covered by water, but that part of the seventh remained on the coast. The team of 25 divers from the Archaeological Survey of India explored the extensive area covered with man-made structures, ranging at depths of between 15 and 25 feet below the water. 

[ another tsunami event - 500 year intervals - arclein ]

The scale of the submerged ruins covered several square miles, at distances of up to a mile from the coast. Conservative estimates of the age of these constructions range from 1,500 to 1,200 years old, though some investigators say they originate from up to 6,000 years ago. 

Submerged Temple at Mahabalipuram ( public domain )

The Yonaguni Structures

Classified by some scientists as the archeological find of the century, the structures accidentally discovered off the Japanese coast of Yonaguni offer ancient architecture in the form of pillars, hexagons, stairs, avenues, arcades, and even a stepped pyramid. 

While the most conservative hypothesis postulates that the Yonaguni structures are the product of the marked seismic activity in the area, the precise angles of the rocks and their arrangement in relation to one another suggest that this site might hold remnants of a submerged city. 

Evidence in favor of this stance includes the chemical composition of the chalky rocks (which do not naturally exist in the region), two openings about 6.5 feet deep adjacent to the structures—which no archeologist dares to classify as a natural formation—and an oval-shaped rock that does not appear to belong to the set, but exhibits a clear northward facing point. The entire submerged city of Yonaguni is estimated by some to be at least 10,000 years old.

Underwater structures at Yonaguni, Japan

Marine archeology has only become an academic possibility in the last 50 years with the introduction of scuba gear. According to marine archeologist Dr. Nick Flemming, at least 500 submerged sites containing the remains of some form of man-made structure or artifacts have been found around the globe. Some calculations figure that nearly a fifth of these sites are more than 3,000 years old.

Certainly, some of these sites were washed away by floods, but others may have found their place at the bottom of the sea through tectonic shifts. As many of these places were originally built on solid, dry land, Earth may have been geographically quite different than what we know today. Likewise, these people would have come from an era more remote than what we understand as the dawn of civilization.

So, is our current civilization the greatest mankind has ever known, or merely one tiny peak among many in a cycle that stretches far into the distant past? The answer might be found at the bottom of our oceans.

Cold Weather Is a Bigger Killer Than Extreme Heat—Here’s Why

This is a sharp reminder that we need to respect cool and cold weather far more than we have.   The body must work much harder.

That Australia has ignored cold weather building codes is obvious.  That they should not is not so obvious

Universally all housing needs excellent insulation and internal heat control.  Yet escaping the bad effects of summer heat is as simple as diving into a tub of even warm water.  It is not so easy in winter..

Cold Weather Is a Bigger Killer Than Extreme Heat—Here’s Why

By Adrian Barnett | February 15, 2016

Last Updated: February 15, 2016 6:51 pm

For every death there’ll be many more hospital admissions for things such as strokes and heart attacks. (Dreef/iStock)

Most people are acutely aware of the toll the heat can take on human life, particularly since the extreme heat of Black Saturday in 2009 and the European heatwave of 2003. So it may come as a surprise that more Australians die from the cold than the heat.

A new study published in The Lancet shows 6.5 percent of deaths in this country are attributed to cold weather, compared with 0.5 percent from hot weather. Most deaths will be from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, as it’s the heart and lungs that struggle when we are outside our comfort zone.

When cold weather deaths were first noticed the theory was that it was due to people shoveling snow. Then when deaths were shown in warm countries such as Australia, the finger of blame moved onto the flu. While the winter flu does kill a lot of people, the majority of winter deaths are due to cold exposure via an increase in blood pressure.

The increase in blood pressure due to cold is relatively small for individuals, but almost everybody is exposed to the temperature and hence it becomes a large public health issue.

This is actually not a new finding. A seminal study also in the Lancet in 1997 demonstrated that cold was a major killer across Europe, and other studies have used historical records to show that cold has been a serious problem for centuries.

These are deaths that are easily avoidable.

The new study is the first to show the size of the problem. It examined 13 countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, and estimated that 7.3 percent of deaths from 1985 to 2012 were due to cold, with just 0.4 percent due to heat.

Of course, cold is often just the final trigger, and some deaths would have been in people with pre-existing illnesses such as heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who may not have had long to live. But these are deaths that are easily avoidable and many people would have had years to live.
Also, the study only examined deaths, but for every death there’ll be many more hospital admissions for things such as strokes and heart attacks.

Avoidable Deaths

A big clue that these deaths are avoidable comes from comparing the size of the problem between countries. In Sweden, cold caused an estimated 3.9 percent of deaths, whereas in Australia it caused 6.5 percent (that’s one in 15 deaths).

How can it be that the often-freezing Sweden has fewer cold-related deaths than the mostly balmy Australia?

We could save many lives by getting the simple message out there to keep warm. (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock)

The answer is that the Swedes are far more prepared for cold temperatures. They have better clothes and keep their homes warm.

Temperatures inside a flimsy wooden Queenslander in winter are often below 18 degrees Celsius whereas Swedish homes will be a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius whatever the weather. Many Australian homes are just glorified tents and we exposure ourselves to far colder temperatures than the Scandinavians do.

People with less money are more vulnerable as they may not be able to afford to heat their home or may live somewhere that’s harder to keep warm because it’s not well insulated. Caravans or mobile homes are particularly risky.

Keeping warm keeps our blood pressure down and also lowers other important cardiovascular risk factors. This includes blood viscosity (the thickness and stickiness of the blood, which affects its ability to flow through the vessels), cholesterol (which can build up and block the walls of the arteries) and fibrinogen (a protein produced by the liver that helps the blood clot).

We have solid evidence from high quality trials that insulating and heating homes lowers blood pressure, improves self-rated health and leads to fewer days off school and work.

Insulating and heating homes lowers blood pressure, improves self-rated health, and leads to fewer days off school and work. (Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock)

We could save many lives in Australia by getting the simple message out there to keep warm. If we could be more like the Swedes and lower our cold deaths from 6.5 percent to 3.9 percent then we’d avoid around 1,200 deaths per year.

As there’s not been a single research dollar spent on investigating this problem there is a huge potential to save lives using some relatively simple initiatives, such as our group’s idea to give thermal clothing to people living with heart failure.

Climate Change

I expect some climate change deniers will leap on this result and suggest we shouldn’t worry about extreme heat since the cold is a bigger killer. But this argument doesn’t hold.

On the other hand, it seems very likely that a warmer world will reduce the number of deaths due to cold. I’ve sensed some resistance to this prediction among some researchers, perhaps because they are reluctant to admit any potential benefit of climate change because of the ammunition it gives to the deniers.

Of course, the reduction in winter deaths could be wiped out by an increase in heat-related deaths. In every country studied in the Lancet paper, there was an increased risk of death during hot weather. Plus we should also consider the predicted increases in vector, food and water borne diseases, and the potentially catastrophic increase in global conflicts.

Premature deaths from both the heat and the cold are big problems that deserve our attention.