You may find yourself wondering why a preacher would have something good to say about cannabis use and cultivation. I speak from experience when I say that some of you may be torn between the convictions of faith and the growing of cannabis. Even though, for some of you, it may be for medical use, others just want to use cannabis on a recreational basis. I submit to you that God had foreknowledge of all this. He knew that if there wasn’t some type of reward, psychoactive in this case, most of you would not take your medicine. And you can believe this, He created this plant to keep your body healthy.
Again, you may ask, how can a strict fundamentalist Christian have anything positive to add to this debate? Many of my colleagues would run me out of town on a rail if they knew of my secret life, but that doesn’t make what I have to say any less true. And, by the way, running someone out of town on a rail is something the religious zealots use to do to shysters or people who didn’t follow the moral majority’s viewpoint. It was the act of literally carrying someone perched or tied uncomfortably on a pole or ‘rail’ to a point outside of the city limits. It was not uncommon for this public display to include tar and feathers as well.
Jesus was all about the truth, so I know how he felt to be rejected by those who should have been believers. Not only did they reject Him, they also rejected the truth He brought with Him. Despite the fact that they tortured and hung Him on a cross, (they made Him carry His own rail), among His final words was a prayer asking the Father to “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
His own people rejected Him because a few greedy officials, who knew who He was, deceived them. All because they did not want to surrender power. The same has happened to my brethren. Most of my colleagues are so ingrained in their belief that weed is ‘of the Devil’, it wouldn’t matter if the Angel of God Himself appeared to personally tell them otherwise.
As I stated in a previous article, cannabis was demonized by a very small group of powerful and wealthy men. They played upon the fears and prejudices of the people of this country to achieve their purpose. Let me enlighten you, but if you haven’t read my previous article, ‘Confessions of a Cannabis Growing Preacher’, now would be a good time to do so.
When Prohibition ended in 1933, there was a loss of what to do with so many unneeded law enforcement officers. Since there were no longer criminals who made their living off the blood of alcohol, they needed a new demon to pursue. But, there were already other forces at work with grand schemes of the wealthy and powerful.
It really started with the Harrison Tax Act of 1914.
“An Act To provide for the registration of, with collectors of internal revenue, and to impose a special tax on all persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations, and for other purposes.” (put in image of old coca and opium medicine bottles
For obvious reasons, these drugs were, and still are, a problem that needed regulation. Opiates and cocaine can be dangerous drugs and people had no means of knowing what they were getting in the bottle. Despite that, even these should be freely accessible to persons of a legally responsible age. Our forefathers wisely believed that prohibition of any type, violated the very fabric of freedom. They believed that any type of prohibition created an immoral underground to feed the demand. We know this to be true, don’t we?
Despite opposition from the American Medical association, this Act was designed to affect prescribing physicians and pharmacists by taxing them out of business. Unfortunately, this was made worse by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which added cannabis to the list of taxable medications. On top of all that, greedy wood pulp paper barons targeted cannabis. People like William Randolph Hearst, who was a newspaper mogul that owed serious debts to Canadian pulpwood paper manufacturers added fuel to this fire through his Yellow Press tactics. He used his newspaper empire to run attack article campaigns, designed to shift public opinion towards fear of cannabis use and more importantly cannabis users.
Add to this list, Andrew Mellon, the Secretary of the Treasury, who had invested heavily into nylon that was created by another major player, the Du Pont family, all of whom wanted to get even richer replacing Hemp products with environmentally unfriendly Nylon. With all of these power mongers in play, cannabis didn’t stand a chance. With the power of the press, government insiders, major industrial powers and money behind this effort, the reprogramming of public opinion was just a matter of time.
Now bring back into this mix, the other driving factor, the end of Prohibition and a whole bunch of Federal, State and Local law enforcement agents who were no longer needed to persecute alcohol moonshiners and smugglers. Harry J. Anslinger, who headed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, misled congress with poorly conducted studies with designs on making these drugs appear to be the cause of society’s evils. With this final nail in the coffin, the rich guys got richer and law enforcement agencies had a new demon to persecute. All of this was based on lies, deception and greed.
So the next time some poor religious zealot gets in your face, be kind; they are the product of the Reefer Madness campaign that was based on racial prejudices of that era and violent crimes. Recent events in the United States should help you understand how effective the tool of racism was almost a century ago. The Chinese were associated with opium, the Blacks with coca, and the Mexicans and Native Americans with cannabis and hemp. White society was led to believe that their daughters were being seduced and violated by the purveyors of these drugs. It is truly sad how little things have changed in a hundred years.
So, if you think that I am living a contradiction or am a hypocrite of the greatest order, think again. I just decided to embrace the truth. But this truth is not the only thing that influenced my journey.
When I learned that almost every living animal on this planet, right down to the sponge living on the ocean bottom, has CB1 and CB2 receptors in their bodies, and that cannabis Landraces are present in virtually every culture in the world, i realised only an idiot would choose to ignore the facts. Add in the simple fact that cancer was almost non-existent in the human race before 1937 and I was convinced.
Come back for part two, and I will go into what really convinced me that God intended for us to not only consume cannabis, but consume it regularly.