Marijuana Propaganda Must Stop
Bowman Gray School of Medicine's has received $50,000 from the federal government, part of a campaign to find out more about the effects of marijuana and curb its use among teenagers. That is the purpose statement from the Associated Press article It has a bias that the study's results will be used to curb its use among teenagers. The article does not criticize such universities for accepting the money with such strings attached, but the press will spread the results of such government-funded propaganda.
The government's antidrug propaganda campaign has already begun with renewed
intensity, but not with any kind of renewal according to the philosophical underpinnings of Leibniz. REGO, Reinventing Government, lacks credibility. In other words, government is out of step with the populace, i.e. the public is not fooled by slogans of reinventing government as long as the quality of life in American society has not improved. Despite selective news releases about drops in crime rates in several large American cities, the society as a whole is not much safer because the kinds of crimes characteristic of the drug trade are violent. Government functionaries like Joseph Califano, president of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, and government officials like McCaffrey cite poll statistics that a majority of Americans do not want drugs legalized. They show little compassion for either homosexual or heterosexual AIDS patients who really need the relief that marijuana can provide. They consistently pose the questions concerning any legalization of marijuana as depending on whether or not Americans want all drugs legalized and whether or not they want their children to have greater access to them. They respond to drug legalization as if legalization proponents want children to have access to drugs, which is simply not so. It amounts to plain and simple grandstanding. The government slogans about drugs should be: "Work first, recreation later" or "Work first, then recreation". The current government should acknowledge the tenet that the person must be at least 21 years of age to ensure that during their education they have been duly informed about drugs to make an educated choice about which drug, if any, they use and what constitutes responsible use, as well as what signs to look for to seek help.
How about some survey or poll questions like:
Would you be in favor of legalizing marijuana if it would provide pain relief for patients?
Would you be in favor of legalizing marijuana if it would make American society safer?
Would you be in favor of legalizing drugs other than marijuana if it would make American society safer?
Do you agree that marijuana should be legal so that people experimenting with it are not exposed to dealers of hard drugs?
Are you in favor of the government deciding who is allowed to sell drugs to whom, as opposed to unscrupulous, unqualified persons selling to anyone on the streets?
The types of questions that are being asked currently by Califano and people like him are certainly skewed and designed to produce statistics that support the existing repressive prohibitionist policies, policies that entail a high cost, too. These kinds of polls and news stories are part of an orchestration to restore faith in government. But, consider that Califano's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse is just a couple of rooms at Columbia University and not some huge medical research facility. Califano must publish or he will perish. That is the way of academia. In order to get government funds, Califano must produce results that interest the government, and he does. And mostly recently, the Bowman Gray School of Medicine has jumped on the bandwagon to get government funds.
Under prohibitionist government, Donna Shalala and others are, like Califano, virtually assured government funding for supportive articles and studies that they may provide after serving in public office, as long as they support the prohibitionist agenda. The same applies to McCaffrey, although there may be no university position waiting for him after his stint in public office. He may have to do the prohibitionist work as a columnist or some other functionary of a DC entity like former Drug Czar Bennett. They're too young to retire, so they are going to use their connections to ensure a comfortable existence for themselves.
The media have been helping to continue the prohibitionist propaganda of the War on Some Drugs. Drug Czar McCaffrey has been given plenty of news coverage, most notably in Newsweek. Political personalities like McCaffrey rely on the media publicizing their announcements to disseminate the information that they want the public to have access to the most and use the media as if they were organs of the government. How often have the media functioned as instruments of a free press by reporting the opposition views of members of the American intelligentsia with equal frequency and time?
ABC cooperated in March of this year in promoting the government's official drug policy, but would ABC executives response to the included drug poll be? Have they responded at all?
Government officials enjoy a virtual monopoly of the news coverage. Syndicated reporters of high-profile newspapers and television political talk shows are kindly referred to as political opinion leaders, but they are actually propagandists. As long as they maintain an overall favorable government position, they can be assured of getting access to the news briefings and not having to read about it in another newspaper or hear about it from another television news program. The motivation for them to be propagandists certainly exists, and that is why the government appears to like to reward major broadcasters with free air wave allocations. This kind of monopoly is, essentially, the kind of manipulation of public opinion reminiscent of government-controlled media apparatuses in former communist countries, and it depends heavily on frequent repetition of the government's stance, i.e. the public reads or hears the government's position more often and for longer periods of time than viewpoints that disagree with official doctrine, if the public is ever exposed to any of the compelling information of the opposition at all. For example, McCaffrey has repeatedly said that doctors who prescribe marijuana should be prosecuted. Each time, he receives media coverage and he is shown reasserting the government's official position that the main active ingredient in marijuana, marketed as Marinol, is already approved by the FDA and available with a doctor's prescription. When asked about smoked marijuana at these media events, McCaffrey can be heard reiterating things like: "The truth is, despite the insistence of legalization activists, there is no proof that smoked marijuana is the most effective available treatment for anything."
Why is there no proof?
The effect of such media coverage is that McCaffrey is allowed to give the public the impression that marijuana has been already fully researched in the United States, when that is simply not the truth. In fact, the main active ingredient in marijuana was not even discovered in the United States, but rather an Israeli scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the University of Tel Aviv, isolated THC Delta 9 in 1964. McCaffrey neglects to mention that people who use Marinol become incoherent to the point that they cannot function to earn a living. He also fails to mention that people undergoing chemotherapy have a problem keeping down food because of the vomiting that it causes. In both cases, the best delivery method is smoked marijuana because the person can self-regulate intake so that she or he can still function and does not have to worry about taking another pill or swallowing the Marinol that he or she just threw up.
In late January 1997, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis, Senior Policy Director of the Family Research Council added his voice to that of Califano, Reno, Shalala, and McCaffrey for a more polyphonic anti-marijuana government chant, which, however, does not make the propaganda any more convincing. Most recently, Maginnis visited Switzerland trying to convince the Swiss that legalization and harm reduction is the wrong approach. That may be an argument for Zurich to remedy its stance on heroin, but such propaganda has little bearing on marijuana. Apparently, he must be having no success, or else the American propaganda machine would be using it in yet another wave of its anti-drug media blitzkrieg against its own citizens. These government officials and their toadies display great loyalty to the leviathan: big government. On 7 March of this year, McCaffrey lectured some of the elite of the American intelligentsia on treatment of addiction at Harvard Medical School; he was there to receive an award for his efforts on fighting addiction. How many grants got approved for Harvard University that day?
With the help of the American intelligentsia, major networks, print media and industry, Americans can soon march in lock step in obedience to the beast.
If the US government is doing research on marijuana, then what kind is it doing?
It's doing the kind that reaffirms official government doctrine. How much research will $1 million buy? Proof for what?
The main conclusions of the government's official research about marijuana are that smoking one joint can cause lung damage 5 times greater than one cigarette and that marijuana causes brain damage. How many cigarette smokers limit themselves to 5 to 10 cigarettes a day and share them with others?
How many of these tobacco wheezers only wish that they could limit their use of tobacco to only 5 to 10 cigarettes a day?
Most cigarette smokers consume a pack or more a day on a regular basis, and official government tests have been recently shown to measure tar and nicotine levels inaccurately. Cigarette smokers actually take in higher levels than found in the information on the pack. Responsible recreational users of marijuana are not likely to use it to such excess, nor does marijuana have the properties that lead to heavy smoking on the scale of cigarette smoking. In other words most often, marijuana isn't smoked at the same rate as cigarettes by contributing citizens, and most cannabis consumers are contributing citizens until arrested, dispossessed, and jailed by oppressive government. Will it take an American Bastille Day to get them released? The public will soon see how the government deals with this situation because US District Judge Fern Smith has ordered the government's prohibitionist representatives and the pro- legalization proponents to enter into negotiations.
What about brain damage? In 1974, the Heath/Tulane University Study concluded that marijuana causes brain damage. The Heath/Tulane Study was an experiment that subjected rhesus monkeys strapped in chairs to the smoke of the equivalent of 63 potent joints a day. The smoke was pumped through gas masks for 5 minutes straight. Dr. Heath concluded in his study that the rhesus monkeys that had been forced to smoke what he considered the equivalent of 30 joints a day pumped through the gas masks for 90 days died from brain damage. After death, Dr. Heath examined the brains of the dead monkeys and compared them to those of monkeys not exposed to marijuana smoke. Is the Heath study a valid application of the scientific method if the brain damage could have also been a result of oxygen deprivation tantamount to a human suffocating from smoke inhalation in a house fire?
It is quite possible that such concentrations of smoke from tobacco or even firewood, then pumped through a gas mask for 5 minutes, could result in the same kind of brain damage because of oxygen deprivation. Would Heath have found similar brain damage if he had kept the monkeys' heads under water for 5 minutes a day for 90 days, too? If so, are such substances also Schedule I material?
The Heath/Tulane University study is the kind of study that the US government promotes as sound scientific research and uses to support its official stance. Instead of funding useful medical research to find out if any more of the 400 different compounds in cannabis are useful, it chooses to monopolize domestic research so that it can manipulate the scientific data to support its official doctrine. Any of the other compounds that are found to be useful and then synthesized can only add to improving health care and the corporate profitability of drug companies. How many of the 400 compounds will $ 1 million be able to research?
Which of the compounds causes brain damage if the Heath Study from Tulane University really is scientifically valid?
If THC Delta 9 is the main active ingredient in cannabis, then does Marinol cause brain damage?
The inference is that the Heath Study is not based on sound scientific research because Marinol does not cause brain damage. If it did, it would not have received FDA approval. ... Hans
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