Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Opium poppies and Marijuana...will you or would you grow them on your homestead for medicinal use?
Lets tackle opium poppies first...
Today, people search the ‘Net for naturally-occurring medicines. A patchwork quilt of information suggests this quest is as old as time. Records indicate a variety of plant drugs were used by early civilizations. These peoples sought out the psychological boost of alcohol, tobacco or opium.
There were several variations of the benefits from a plant-derivative intoxication. The drug-induced state was sometimes used to see visions of the future. As medical knowledge expanded by discovery and conjecture, it was believed that one could remove the mental or physical symptoms that were caused by an imbalance of the Ancient Greek humors of blood, bile and phlegm by cleansing superfluous humors from the brain. One natural medicine in particular can be dated back to the earliest human settlements: the opium poppy Papaver Somniferum.
The earliest relationship between people and the opium poppy dates back to the Sumerians of approximately 3300 B.C. The Sumerians were one of the world’s first organized faming communities. They harvested the opium poppy as one of their many main crops. The Sumerians are credited with the invention of writing in the Middle East. They recorded using the opium poppy Papaver Somniferum for medicine and pleasure. The Sumerians called Papaver Somniferum the “plant of joy”. They used opium from the poppy to induce the same intoxicated and relaxed conditions as the manufacture of beer from barley crops. The poppy plant was also commonly used and traded at this time for its value as a supply of food, animal fodder oil and fuel.
The value of opium from the Papaver Somniferum poppy spread along trading routes from the Persian Gulf all the way to Greece. The records of the Greek physician Hippocrates contain prescriptions for the healing power of opium to cure insomnia. Other physicians would later agree with Hippocrates’ views on opium. Galen advocated eating opium as well as vegetable therapies. Dioscorides described how opium mixed with a liquid was a valuable medicine for added strength. Dioscorides described how the pod of the poppy could be crushed and mixed with the liquid. He is credited with proposing that the word “nepenthes” in a passage from Homer’s Oddessy may have been a drug mixture that included opium.
The apparent magic of the poppy’s ability to induce a drowsy state comes from morphine that is the principal active ingredient in opium. Raw opium contains a concentration of three to twenty percent morphine depending on its cultivation and processing.
The most common means of taking opium was called a liquid elixir. The raw opium milk found in the seed pod was mixed with wine or water. This liquid did not cure the patient but the dreamy euphoric state helped lessen the patient’s pain. The early Greeks believed that the physical world around them was tightly connected to the quality of life provided by the gods. The abundance of poppy seeds in the dried poppy pod was seen as a sign of fertility by the Greeks.
The poppy spread east to India and China along trading routes during the seventh century. The Chinese welcomed the wonder of the poppy seed mixed with bamboo juice. The Chinese felt this mixture offered a tremendous healing power.
Present day findings have classified opium as a drug that dulls the senses and has listed opium as a narcotic. As narcotics opium, morphine and heroin are drugs tat relieve pain, relax spasms, reduce fevers and induce sleep.
Up to this point, the spread of the poppy seed had been very slow over land-based trading routes. The European development of ocean-going sailing ships rapidly expanded the introduction of opium into England and the United States. The wealthy class in Britain regularly consumed opium to relieve pain. Members of the British Royalty took opium to relieve a variety of aliments.
As use of opium spread, it was used to “treat” piles, chitis, cholera, dysentery, bronchitis, earaches and measles. The opium products calmed the patients and the temporary relief from pain caused an appearance of regaining good health. At this time, opium was called a ‘stimulant” because opium was considered to be a jump-start to well-being.
The search for medicines that could at least temporarily relieve pain in the 1700 and 1800s was sought by every developing nation. Opium was commonly consumed to get some relief from dropsy, consumption (tuberculosis) and rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis). Britain and the United States imported hundreds of thousands of pounds of opium to meet the demand.
In these two countries the people preferred taking opium as a liquid known a s “Laudanum” or “black drop”. Laudanum was usually an opium-alcohol mixture. Another variation of Laudanum, Laudanum Cydoniatum, was made from a mixture of opium and vinegar. In Britain, Laudanum was very inexpensive and could be bought as easily as acetaminophen today. It was even sold in grocery stores as a medically-acknowledged temporary relief from coughing and pain. Records of bills from San Francisco to Vancouver show opium to be considered a grocery staple along with sugar, rice and tea.
Another form of use was a pill composed of opium, sweetened with saffron, castor, ambergris, musk and nutmeg to disguise the bitter opium taste. The opium pill was considered so safe that pregnant women could use it to control morning sickness.
In the 19th century opium was commonly listed as one of the ingredients in a wide range of patent medicines. A product called Ayers Cherry Pectoral contained opium as one of its key ingredients. This product was readily available to thousands of British and American parents to sooth babies who were crying due to teething, hunger or pains of childhood. Cough syrups in the mid-nineteenth century usually contained opium. Opium is still considered to be unsurpassed as a cough suppressant.
In 1931 Louis Lewin recorded opiates as a drug that sedated mental activity. He classified this sedation as “Euphorica”. Today the chemical properties of Papaver Somniferum are well documented, including images of changes to the brain activity
Now, the raw product has been time-proven for thousands of years as a VERY effective medicine to treat:
Severe coughing, severe nausea, pain of all types, insomnia, muscle spasms, severe diarrhea and other ills. Raw opium latex, packed into a wound can stop sepsis and other infections in their tracks!
Opiates are addictive and the unrefined raw form can become addictive as well, though usually not at the rate such refined products as heroin and morphine are. The side effects, when raw opium is used for occasional medicinal purposes, are by far less than the side effects one would or could experience from the use of common OTC (over-the-counter) medications. (Read the back of that bottle of Tylenol or Robitussion sometime)
Will I grow opium poppies when I get my land?
The benefits far outweigh the risks in my book. I have grown them before and used them for medicinal purposes.
Cultivation and harvesting is simple and the seeds are easily available. A few opium poppies growing even in a suburban neighborhood are unlikely to attract any undue attention from local law enforcement.
A huge field of them on a farm would be another matter indeed!
I don't intend to sell, refine or distribute any of the products derived from growing them, they would be for medicinal use only for myself and for farm animals that needed it.
Now...onto Marijuana...Cannabis Sativa, Herb, Weed, Pot, MaryJane....so many names, so many rumors....
C'mon...most of us tried it...or still use it. I don't, but that is mainly because I don not have a need to and I am not a great proponent of *recreational* use of any intoxicant. When I used it in high school, my grades didn't drop, I had an active social and extra-curricular life and I never went out and committed a crime because of it. So much for the current commercials screaming out of our t.v.s!
And there's this small article (NOT publicized by the DEA or the US gov't....)
A synthetic substance similar to ones found in marijuana stimulates cell growth in regions of the brain associated with anxiety and depression, pointing the way for new treatments for these diseases, according to University of Saskatchewan medical research published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Xia Zhang, an associate professor in the U of S neuropsychiatry research unit, led the team that tested the effects of HU-210, a potent synthetic cannabinoid similar to a group of compounds found in marijuana. The synthetic version is about 100 times as powerful as THC, the compound responsible for the high experienced by recreational users.
The team found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis - the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. This region of the brain is associated with learning and memory, as well as anxiety and depression.
The effect is the opposite of most legal and illicit drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, heroin, and cocaine.
Most 'drugs of abuse' suppress neurogenesis, Zhang says.Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.
Current theory states that depression may be sparked when too few new brain cells are grown in the hippocampus. It is unclear whether anxiety is part of this process, but if true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for both mood disorders by stimulating the growth of new brain cells.
But Zhang cautions that HU-210 is only one of many cannabinoids. His previous work with marijuana shows that while the plant may contain medicinal compounds, they come in the same package as those that cause symptoms such as acute memory impairment, addiction, and withdrawal. Also, the HU-210 used in the study is highly purified.
This is a very potent cannabinoid oil, Zhang says. &It's not something that would be available on the street.
Marijuana has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes for centuries, evoking public interest and controversy along the way. As a medicine, the plant is used to ease pain in multiple sclerosis patients, combat nausea in cancer patients, and stimulate appetite in people afflicted with AIDS. It has also been used to treat epilepsy and stroke.
Zhang's work is the latest product of the U of S Neural Systems and Plasticity Research Group, a multidisciplinary effort by researchers from the Colleges of Arts and Science, Engineering, Kinesiology, Medicine, Pharmacy and Nutrition, and Veterinary Medicine. The group collaborates to study the function of neural systems, from nerves to brain, in living organisms. In particular, they look at how these systems change over time with experience.
Zhang's research is supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as a CIHR New Investigator Award. The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation provided funding support to establish the Neural Systems and Plasticity Research Group, as well as post-doctoral fellowship awards to research team members Wen Jiang and Shao-Ping Ji. -- ©University of Saskatchewan
Lets look at one section of it again :
Marijuana has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes for centuries, evoking public interest and controversy along the way. As a medicine, the plant is used to ease pain in multiple sclerosis patients, combat nausea in cancer patients, and stimulate appetite in people afflicted with AIDS. It has also been used to treat epilepsy and stroke.
The history of cannabis products and their use has been long, colorful and varied. To the agriculturist, cannabis is a fiber crop; to the physician, it is an enigma; to the user, a euphoriant; to the police, a menace; to the trafficker, a source of profitable danger; to the convict or parolee and his family, a source of sorrow (Mikuriya, 1969: 34). The fact is that cannabis has been held simultaneously in high and low esteem at various times throughout recorded history, particularly in our own times.
The volume of information available on the medical application of cannabis is considerable. Occasionally certain references have been condensed or deleted, but this should not detract from the completeness of the report.
This historical survey of the medical uses of marijuana is introduced by abroad overview of its use, including brief notes on current and projected research, and then considers specific historical settings and circumstances in ancient China, moving on to Egypt, India, Greece, Africa, and the Western World.
Cannabis sativa has been used therapeutically from the earliest records, nearly 5,000 years ago, to the present day (Mikuriya, 1969: 34) and its products have been widely noted for their effects, both physiological and psychological, throughout the world. Although the Chinese and Indian cultures knew about the properties of this drug from very early times, this information did not become general in the Near and Middle East until after the fifth century A.D., when travelers, traders and adventurers began to carry knowledge of the drug westward to Persia and Arabia.
Historians claim that cannabis was first employed in these countries as an antiseptic and analgesic. Other medical uses were later developed and spread throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
Several years after the return of Napoleon's army from Egypt, cannabis became widely accepted by Western medical practitioners. Previously, it had had limited use for such purposes as the treatment of burns. The scientific members of Napoleon's forces were interested in the drug's pain relieving and sedative effects. It was used during, and to a greater extent, following his rule in France, especially after 1840 when the work of such physicians as O'Shaughnessy, Aubert-Roche, and Moreau de Tours drew wide attention to this drug.
With the rise of the literary movement of the 1840-1860 period in France (Gautier, Baudelaire, Dumas, etc.), cannabis became somewhat popular as an intoxicant of the intellectual classes.
In the United States, medical interest in cannabis use was evidenced in 1860 by the convening of a Committee on Cannabis Indica of the Ohio State Medical Society, which reported on its therapeutic applications (McMeens, 1860: 1). Between the period 1840-1890, Walton states that more than 100 articles were published recommending cannabis for one disorder or another.
Concern about cannabis as an intoxicant led the government of India to establish the India Hemp Commission of 1893-94 to examine the entire question of cannabis use in India.
Paralleling the question over cannabis use in the latter half of the 19th century was the growing medical use of other medications superior to cannabis in their effects and more easily controlled as to dose. Consequently, medical use of cannabis declined and cannabis began to lose support of the medical profession.
During the years between 1856-1937, cannabis lost its image as a medicine and was left with a disreputable image as an intoxicant. Strong public reaction coupled with a campaign in the public press led to a federal anti-marihuana law in 1937. (The drug was illegal in many states before 1937.) The issue of medical use remained active, however, and Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Counsel to the AMA, an opponent of cannabis use and the only physician to be a witness at the Taxation of Marihuana hearings, stated:
There are exceptions in treatment in which cannabis cannot apparently be successfully subsituted for. The work of Pascal seems to show that Indian Hemp has remarkable properties in revealing the subconscious; hence, it can be used for psychological, psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic research (Hearings, House of Representatives, 1937: 91).
Although cannabis drugs are generally regarded as obsolete and rarely used in western medicine today, cannabis is ;still used extensively in the Ayruvedic, Unani and Tibbi systems of medicine of the Indian-Pakastani subcontinent (The Cannabis Problem, 1962: 27). The Pharmacopoeias of India mention cannabis use in the recent past. Two preparations of cannabis, a liquid extract and a tincture, are listed in the 1954 and 1966 Pharmacopoeias of India which contain descriptions of cannabis and its extract and how it is made (Chopra & Chopra, 1957: 9).
A more recent source makes reference to the fact that "in contemporary India and Pakistan, there continues to be widespread indigenous medical, 'quasi-medical,' and illicit use of both opium and cannabis" (Chopra & Chopra, 1957: 12-13). Bouquet notes that hemp resin is occasionally used in the native medicines of the countries where it is collected. He points especially to India where,
the medical systems . . . make much use of cannabis as a sedative, hypnotic, analgesic, anti-spasmodic and anti-hemorrhoidal(Bulletin on Narcotics, 1962:27).
According to the Canadian Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs:
There is no currently accepted medical use of cannabis in North America outside of an experimental context. Although cannabis has been reported to produce an array of possibly useful medical effects, these have either not been adequately investigated, or can be replaced by using other more readily available and convenient drugs. The natural product's variability in potency and instability over time are among the factors which have led to its disfavor in Western 20th century medicine.... cannabis has often been employed in the past, and is currently used illicitly in North America, to reduce the secondary symptoms and suffering caused by the flue and the common cold. These . . . alleged therapeutic properties of cannabis have not been adequately studied in a scientific context, and their general medical potential remains a matter of conjecture(1970: 74).
Similar statements regarding cannabis are to be found in Marijuana, edited by Erich Goode, and in the textbook Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics by Goodman and Gilman (1970: 300). Concerning therapeutic uses, the latter states:
Although cannabis was once used for a wide variety of clinical disorders and has even been demonstrated to have antibacterial activity, there are at present no well substantiated indications for its use. It is no longer an official drug. Preparations are rarely available (cannabis preparation and synthetic THC are obtainable only for research purposes), and prescriptions are regulated by special tax laws.
Despite the many statements discounting cannabis' therapeutic usefulness, some authorities maintain that its medical value might be reborn through further research and/or use. David Solomon, in his foreword to The Marihuana Papers (1968: xxi) argues that:
Marihuana should be accorded the medical status it once had in this country as a legitimate prescription item. After 1937, with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act and subsequent federal and state legislation, it became virtually impossible for physicians to obtain or prescribe marihuana preparations for their patients. Thus, the medical profession was denied access to a versatile pharmaceutical tool with a history of therapeutic utility going back thousands of years.
In a 1970 article,Pot Facing Stringent Scientific Examination , reference is made to Dr. Par who states that there are three areas in which chemical and animal experiments are under way:
(1) Analgesia-mood elevation plus analgesic power may make useful drug.
(2) Blood pressure reduction-hypertension may be helped by new drugs which lower the blood pressure by what seems to be action on the central nervous system.
(3) Psychotherapeutic-new compounds are antidepressants and antianxiety drugs (Culliton: 1970).
Mikuriya cites it studies concerning cannabis funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in 1961. The studies were either specialized animal experiments, part of an observational sociologic study of a number of drugs, or explorations of chemical detection methods(Mikuriya, 1969: 38).
Feinglass has pointed to four general categories into which the clinical studies of marijuana could be divided (1968: 206-208). They are:
1. Anticonvulsant effects-treatment of tetanus, convulsions of rabies, epilepsy, and infant convulsions.
2. Psychotherapeutic actions - appetite-stimulation, treatment of depression, and as a sedative and hypnotic in reducing anxiety; treatment of addiction.
3. Antibiotic properties.
4. Pain-affecting power.
Very little research attention has been given to the possibility that marihuana might protect some people from psychosis. Among users of the drug, the proportion of people with neuroses or personality disorders is usually higher than in the general population; one might therefore expect the incidence of psychoses also to be higher in this group. The fact that it is not suggests that for some mentally disturbed people, the escape provided by the drug may serve to prevent a psychotic breakdown
Mikuriya lists many possible therapeutic uses of THC and similar products in his paper Marihuana in Medicine: Past, Present and Future.
Analgesic-hypnotic, appetite stimulant, antiepileptic, antispasmodic, prophylactic and treatment of the neuralgias, including migraine and tic douloureaux, antidepressant-tranquillizer, anti-asthmatic, oxytocic, anti-tussive, topical anesthetic, withdrawal agent for opiate and alcohol addiction, child birth analgesic, and antibiotic (1968: 39).
The oldest known therapeutic description Of cannabis was by the Emperor Shen-Nung in the 28th century B.C. in China, where the plant had long been grown for fiber. He prescribed cannabis for beri-beri, constipation, "female weakness", gout, malaria, rheumatism and absentmindedness (Bloomquist, 1968: 19).
In Egypt, in the 20th century B.C., cannabis was used to treat sore eyes. Additional medical usage was not reported until much later.
Prior to the 10th century B.C., bhang, a cannabis preparation, was used as an anesthetic and antiphlegmatic in India. In the second century A.D., a Chinese physician, Hoa-Tho, prescribed it as an analgesic in surgical procedures (Mikuriya, 1969: 34).
From the 10th century B.C. up to 1945 (and even to the present time), cannabis has been used in India to treat a wide variety of human maladies. The drug is highly regarded by some medical practitioners in that country.
The religious use of cannabis in India is thought to have preceded its medical use (Blum and Associates, II, 1969: 73; Snyder, 1970: 125). The religious use of cannabis is to help "the user to free his mind from worldly distractions and to concentrate on the Supreme Being" (Barber, 1970: 80).
Cannabis is used in Hindu and Sikh temples and at Mohammedan shrines. Besides using the drug as an aid to meditation, it is also used to overcome hunger and thirst by the religious mendicants. In Nepal, it is distributed on certain feast days at the temples of all Shiva followers (Blum & Associates, 1969, 11: 63).
The Hindus spoke of the drug as the "heavenly guide", "the soother of grief". Considered holy, it was described as a sacred grass during the Vedic period (Fort, 1969: 15). A reference to cannabis in Hindu scriptures is the following:
(Snyder, 1970: 125).
To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy. A guardian lives in bhang ... Bhang is the joy giver, the sky filer, the heavenly guide, the poor man's heaven, the soother of grief ... No god or man is as good as the religious drinker of Mang. The students of the scriptures of Benares are given bhang before they sit to study. At Benares, Ujjain and other holy places, yogis take deep draughts of Mang that they may center their thoughts on the Eternal . . . By the help of Mang ascetics pass days without food or drink. The supporting power of Mang has brought many a Hindu family safe through the miseries of famine
In ancient Greece, cannabis was used as a remedy for earache, edema, and inflammation (Robinson, 1946: 382-383).
Cannabis was used in Africa to restore appetite and to relieve pain of hemorrhoids, its antiseptic uses were also known to certain African native tribes (O'Shaughnessy, 1842: 431). Various other uses, in a number of countries, included the treatment of tetanus, hydrophobia, delirium tremens, infantile convulsions, neuralgia and other nervous disorders, cholera, menorrhagia, rheumatism, hay fever, asthma, skin diseases, and protracted labor during childbirth.
The 19th Century
Documents of the 19th century report on the use of cannabis to control diarrhea in cholera and to stimulate appetite. In his reports of the late 1830's and early 1840's, O'Shaughnessy (1842: 431) stated that tetanus could be arrested and cured when treated with extra large doses of cannabis.
John Bell, M.D., Boston, reported enthusiastically in 1857, about the effects of cannabis in the control of mental and emotional disorders as opposed to the use of moral discipline to restrain the mentally ill. Similarly, in 1858, Moureau. de Tours reported several case histories of manic and depressive disorders treated with hashish (Walton, 1938: 3).
The Ohio State Medical Society's Committee on Cannabis Indica, convened in 1860, reported that their respondents claimed cannabis successfully treated neuralgic pain, dysmenorhea, uterine hemorrhage, hysteria, delirium tremens, mania, palsy, whooping cough, infantile convulsions, asthma, gonorrhea, nervous rheumatism, chronic bronchitis, muscular spasms, tetanus, epilepsy and appetite stimulation (McMeens, 1860: 1).
The India Hemp Commission (1894: 174) likewise was informed of similar medicinal uses for cannabis. Specific reports included the use of cannabis as an analgesic, a restorer of energy, a hemostat, an ecbolic, and an antidiaretic. Cannabis was also mentioned as an aid in treating hay fever, cholera, dysentery, gonorrhea, diabetes, impotence, urinary incontinence, swelling of the testicles, granulation of open sores, and chronic ulcers. Other beneficial effects attributed to cannabis were prevention of insomnia, relief of anxiety, protection against cholera, alleviation of hunger and as an aid to concentration of attention.
MEDICAL USES IN THE 20TH CENTURY
Despite the fact that marijuana was made illegal in the United States in 1937, research has continued on the medical uses of marijuana. The findings include various possible medical applications of cannabis and its chemical derivatives.
One of the most recent and interesting findings (Frank, 1972) concerns the effect of cannabis in reducing interocular pressure. It was found that as the dose of marijuana increased, the pressure within the eye decreased by up to 30%. This occurred in normal persons as well as in those with glaucoma, a disease of the eye in which increased interocular pressure may cause blindness. Much more research is necessary in connection with this experimental clinical finding before final judgment can be passed on such a possible therapeutic value.
During the past 20 years in western medicine, marijuana has been assigned antibiotic activity; as a result, several studies relating to this possibility have been undertaken. H. B. M. Murphy (1963: 20) reported investigations in Eastern Europe. He stated that it is alleged to be active against gram positive organisms at 1/100,000 dilution, but to be largely inactivated by plasma, so that prospects for its use appear to be, confined to E. N. T. (ear, nose and throat) and skin infections.
Dr. J. Kabelikovi (1952: 500-503) and his coworkers carried out tests on rats, which were similar to tests carried out with penicillin in vitro. The alcohol extract of cannabis was bacterially effective against many gram-positive and one gram-negative microorganisms. It was also found that a paste form of external application was successful. According to Kabelikovi, from a study of 2,000 herbs by Czechoslovakian scientists it was found that cannabis indica (the Indian Hemp) was the most promising in the realm of antibiotics.
In a 1959 publication of Pharmacie, Krejci stated: ;From the flowering tips and leaves of hemp, cannabis sativa var indica bred in Middle Europe, were extracted a phenol and an acid fraction. From the acid fraction, two acids were obtained, of which one preserved its antibiotic properties (p. 349). In another Czechoslovakian publication, Krejci (1961: 1351-1353) referred to two additional samples with antibiotic activity.
Sample I in Fig. 1 has been sufficiently identified as cannabidiolic acid and sample 9 as cannabidiol. Both fractions show antibiotic activity. The results of tests lead us to conclude that the antibacterial action of cannabis sativa is not identical to the hashish effect found, for example, in tetrahydrocannabinol. However, it was established that cannabis sativa is effective as an antibiotic for local infections.
Kabelik, Krejci, and Santavy (1960: 13) include in Cannabis as a Medicant, the various microorganisms against which cannabis is effective.
Proof could be furnished that the cannabis extracts produce a very satisfactory antibacterial effect upon the following microbes: staphylococcus pyogenes aureus, steptococcus alpha haemolyticus, streptococcus beta haemolyticus, enterococcus, diplococcus pneumonia, B. anthracis, and corynebacterium diptheriae i.e., all of them gram-positive microorganisms. Noteworthy is the effect upon staphylococcus aureaus strains, which are resistant to penicillin and to other antibiotics.
Currently, several states have become more *enlightened* as to the medicinal uses of marijuana...California being prominent among them and Cannabis Sativa is prescribed for the many ills for which it is effective, from glaucoma to pain management and many more.
From Time Magazine:
While 13 states permit the limited sale of marijuana for medical use, and polls show a steady increase in the number of Americans who favor legalization, federal law still bans the cultivation, sale, or possession of marijuana. In fact, the feds still classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug, one that has no "currently accepted medical use" in the United States.
But supporters of legalization may have been handed their most convincing argument yet: the bummer economy. Advocates argue that if state or local governments could collect a tax on even a fraction of pot sales, it would help rescue cash-strapped communities. Not surprisingly, the idea is getting traction in California, home to both the nation"s largest supply of domestically grown marijuana (worth a estimated $14 billion a year) and to the country"s biggest state budget deficit (more than $26 billion).
So...without boring you to tears by posting more accounts of doctors and scientists that praise the medical efficacy of cannabis...let us continue...
It is easy to cultivate. Effects vary wildly of the end product due to cultivation.
However, this is one plant that will NOT pass as a decorative accent to your flower bed! A single plant growing in mid-cornfield can be spotted by searching LEOs due to it's unique heat signature on infra-red cameras.
Growing this for your medicine chest usually requires a little indoor horticulture. And a great deal of discretion.
I have always preferred to prepare this herbal treatment as a tea, rather than smoking it. As a tea, it focuses the effects on the body and doesn't give one the *head high* experienced by smoking.
As seen in the previous medical accounts, the uses are widespread...from glaucoma to arthritis to migraines to epilepsy...all legitimate conditions that could be treated by marijuana, if not for the gov't. crusade against it.
Will I grow it?
I have seen first hand how effective a treatment it can be for several conditions, and since arthritis runs strong in my family, I plan on being able to sip a cup of tea to help out with the aches and pains of that condition should it ever strike me. As with opium poppies, the side effects are far less than those of medically prescribed treatments or even OTC medications.
People...if the crap hits the fan, you better realize that all those alphabet soup agencies such as the DEA, FBI, etc. will go kaput. So will your local pharmacy.
Get your knowledge NOW...you may need it later.
Maybe you don't want to go out and be *Johnny Poppyseed*...but don't you think it more advisable to have the knowledge but not need it than to need the knowledge and not have it?
Friday, July 17, 2009
First and foremost, if you are legally able to own firearms, please get some!
The time is getting closer and closer to the point where a reliable firearm may be the difference between life and death for you and your loved ones...particularly if you live in an urban area.
Or a suburban area. Or even a rural area.
Check the news, home invasions are increasing and the perpetrators no longer just pistol whip the home-owners and grab what they can and run...they shoot to kill and take their time to ransack the home.
Also, hunting to put meat on the table is getting to be a necessity rather than a recreational pursuit.
Today, lets discuss the basics...
I own the three basic firearms that I believe everyone should have.
One long rifle
If you can only afford one firearm, I would suggest a shotgun if you live in an urban or suburban area and a long rifle in a rural area. Your opinion may differ.
Which ever one you purchase, please have ample ammunition for it. I suggest no less than 300 rounds for which ever weapon you prefer. More is better.
A friend of mine that is a firearm aficionado is fond of saying "Two is one and one is none" when it comes to firearms. You have to be able to have a *back-up* in any situation...particularly in a combat situation.
Never think YOU will not be in a combat situation.
Home invasion, car jacking, mugging, rape...these all qualify as *combat* situations for the average person. Criminals are no longer satisfied with just taking your money and possessions...most know that leaving a live witness is a liability to their criminal endeavors. Police used to recommend just relinquishing your money or property to a criminal as it was thought that fighting back would escalate the situation. That recommendation has changed. Every Law Enforcement Officer I know now recommends you fight tooth and nail. Criminals are more violent, better armed and are more knowledgeable about police procedures than they used to be. They are MUCH more apt to kill you than they were 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.
HAVE THE TOOLS TO FIGHT BACK!
Even a .20 gauge shotgun can even the odds up or sway them in your favor if someone breaks into your home in the dead of night.
A shotgun can be obtained fairly cheaply and easily in most states.
Or, you can go for a more expensive *auto-loader* shotgun (what I have). No need to *rack* it to ready it for the next shot...just like a SLR camera, just point and shoot, repeat.
Shotguns are great in urban areas, because you don't have the concern of bullets penetrating walls and possibly harming an innocent bystander or family member.
Shotgun shells can be obtained that will cause less than lethal harm to a human...such as birdshot, all the way up to *slugs* than will definitely cause lethal harm.
Long rifles are great for hunting and home defense...and have a wide variety of calibers to choose from. A small .22 is great for target practice....*plinking* at cans in the back pasture, or shooting varmints such as groundhogs. It will probably not kill an intruder...unless you manage to get off a lucky shot, but it will definitely cause them some pain.
If you want a rifle suitable for hunting larger game, such as deer, elk, moose, etc, you will need a more powerful weapon than a .22.
Your best bet in picking out a rifle or semi-automatic assault firearm is to go to your local shooting range and try out a few. Find the one that is the right *fit* for you.
Many shooting ranges have a vast array of firearms on hand for a novice shooter to try out. Pay your fee to use the range, pay for your ammo and ask for pointers. Most shooters are more than happy to oblige with a little free instruction, or you can attend a "shooting clinic". The NRA and GOA both organize clinics that any qualified (i.e., not a convicted felon, etc) person can attend for instruction and education.
Handguns I recommend for those that wish to obtain a Concealed Weapons Permit. Or, you may find yourself frequently in activities where a long rifle or shotgun is too bulky, but a firearm is necessary. My father always wore a handgun in a holster while out cutting trees, burning brush, etc as my parents property was a great habitat for copperheads and rattlesnakes!
I know many hunters that carry a handgun in holster as a *back up* when out hunting.
And, of course, if you work in a profession that is inviting to thieves, a handgun may be necessary Night clerk in a retail store, security guard, etc.
I urge anyone that gets a handgun to get enrolled in a Concealed Weapons Class and obtain their permit.
Again, caliber is a personal decision. Attend clinics, go to ranges and *try on* a few before making your purchase.
With ALL firearms, research availability and cost of ammunition.
It will do you little good to buy that firearm if you cannot afford the ammo!
You will go through a great deal of ammunition. You HAVE to when you are practicing to become proficient....and proficient you must be! You must become familiar with your weapon, you must become accurate with your weapon. I do not expect everyone to become Marine Recon Sniper accurate (heaven knows, I'm not!), but you should become reasonably accurate.
For those with children:
I grew up with over two hundred firearms in my parents home. I never once picked up, handled or even touched a single one of my fathers firearms without his explicit knowledge and permission. Many of the firearms were stored with their ammunition nearby and a few were kept loaded. None had trigger locks.
Yet, somehow I managed to make to adulthood and beyond without shooting myself or any of my relatives, playmates or classmates!
Nowadays, my father would probably be hauled into court for such "irresponsible" behaviors! But I was properly taught to respect (not fear) firearms and the power they had.
I was going to the range at age 7. Yes, SEVEN.
Children now are interviewed by their pediatricians and teachers and school counselors about firearms in their household. A child telling a doctor or teacher can (in some localities) bring the state a-knocking at your door.
In some states, if your firearms are not protected by trigger locks and there are children under age 18 in your home, you can be charged with a crime!
Investigate the laws in your state and locality. Act accordingly.
Again...all of the above is my own opinion. If you choose not to own firearms, please find some other weapon to become proficient with.
Remember though, if you take a knife to a gun fight...it usually doesn't turn out well for you....
So...lets pick a subject...like swine flu.
Yes, the nasty H1N1 virus continues and WHO declared it a pandemic back in late June.
Mandatory vaccinations loom on the horizon in the US and most of Europe--if the World Health Organization has it's way--despite the fact that there will not be enough vaccination to go around AND most reports surfacing say the vaccination that will be provided will not be effect.
Things to stock up on NOW:
Medical Face Masks
Lysol Disinfectant (the full strength liquid type--it lasts longer and can be mixed to different strengths)
Echinacea (aka Purple Cone Flower. Tinctures, extracts and capsules are available)
The last item is extremely important.
Elderberry Tincture, Elderberry Extract and Elderberry Juice have been shown to be effective as a flu preventative and treatment.
If you have a local source for elderberries, please harvest and store as much as you can. They can be dried or juice or made into jelly or jam.
If not, check online for sources...you can buy them dried from several places and some sites have the Tincture, Extract and/or Juice already prepared.
SIMPLE ELDERBERRY TINCTURE RECIPE
Clean Quart Jar add 1/4 pound dried elderberries (Must be Sambucus nigra)
Now fill to top with vodka. Put lid on tight.
Store in a dark cupboard and shake once every few days.
Label and date your jar.
Let it sit for at least 30 days before you strain it.
You can use it without straining it too and it will just continue to get stronger.
Preventative - Adult - 1 teaspoon in water once a day
Children scale back by weight.
Other Herbal/Natural antivirals:
Olive Leaf Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Most of these can be found at your local health food outlets, vitamin shops and/or local drug stores.
I know many people out there are thinking that the worst of the flu pandemic is over.
If we look back to the 1918 flu pandemic, the *first wave* killed very few, it was the 2nd and 3rd waves that caused the most fatalities. The basic deal was that the flu went around the globe , weakening the population more each circuit.
The current flu will do the same, if it follows the same biological circuit as the 1918 flu---and there is no reason to believe it won't. Although with modern travel, it will be much faster!
I believe the next wave will hit as colder weather hits most of North America and western Europe.
Flu mutates. That is a known fact. The flu that comes around next will be a new variant of H1N1.
Whatever flu vaccine is being prepared now will be useless against a new variant.
Also, the flu vaccine itself may prove to be a danger to many.
I do not plan on getting vaccinated myself, I put far more trust in herbal/natural remedies.
You do as your conscience and beliefs dictate.
If the H1N1 follows the pattern of previous flu's, the *2nd wave* will hit between late September and mid-November. The *3rd wave* can be expected around February 2010.
This is my opinion...an informed opinion after looking at all of the reports by WHO and other sources.
Currently, Argentina has ordered the bodies of all those that die of the flu to be cremated. The flu is currently hitting there hard and variants are already being reported by the medical community.
Be cautious, be careful, be aware.
Watch what is going on in your area. If you have any friends or relatives that work in the medical community, ask them to keep you updated on illnesses in your area.