making a hash of it (22/June/18)

our government is either behind the curve or dragging its heels, the former being almost excusable but not really while the latter most definitely not as yet again its fed by ignorance and a degree of arrogance…

what am I talking about?… why cannabis of course… or  hemp if you prefer, which has forever pretty much been used one way or another, not just for its recreational purposes but for food, medicine, health, fabric, even paint…

it’s the flowers that contain most of the psychoactive chemical compounds and responsible for such effects from which what’s called marijuana is made, the leaves less-so from which resin, as in hashish, is extracted and from which hash oil can be distilled, though these are terms are used, often mistakenly, interchangeably… the rest of the plant including the stems and roots have such little concentrations of such generally as to be insignificant and are what is often termed low-grade hemp for such day-to-day purposes as mentioned, even making rope, but fear not dear reader as I’m not about to embark on a journey into the entire biochemistry of this amazing plant merely to mention the inadequacies of the logic used and maintained to this day with regard to cannabis….

for starters the focus is almost entirely upon Cannabis sativa which the habit of lumping all cannabis species together with one grand uninformed gesture, completely ignoring others such as Cannabis indica which although obviously related acts in a very different way…

and then there’s the unique ways, not exclusive to this subject of course, in which politicians feign ignorance by being selective with the truth, should they even bother to find out for themselves usually followed by knee-jerk responses based upon personal well-honed prejudices….

not to mention the powers-that-be’s own self-interest, but I’m not wading into those murky waters here other than to mention that although cannabis has been illegal here in the UK since 1928 it wasn’t for prescribed medical purposes until the new, and seriously flawed, Misuses of Drugs Act in 1971 which decided all cannabis was bad, which is utter nonsense, criminalising it even for health purposes, this act was heavily-influenced by certain major pharmaceutical companies determined to subvert what they saw as cheaper alternatives as competition for their synthetics, for which they can charge humongous returns, some with side-effects far worse than anything cannabis could do….

so here we are today once again trying to reinvent the wheel with the same old, same old argument as though suddenly it’s all new when there’s a plethora of studies, data, experience, anecdotal and first-hand already out there….

another problem is the focus on THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, or cannabinol,  which is produced in high concentrations in C. sativa but not so much in C. indica which instead produces higher concentrations of cannabidiol, a conveniently-overlooked compound, and species, by politicians and those whose interests it serves to keep a blanket ban in place, including medical and health purposes….

I’m not saying here to legalise it outright as such, that’s a different discussion for another time and alludes to a society already drunk of far worse substances with equally or far worse addictive qualities and far-reaching effects such as nicotine and alcohol, and, psst, a shed-load of synthetic prescription drugs…. injecting a bit of clear-thinking into this issue, would be helpful rather than blundering blindly on regardless and ignoring the obvious…… anyway, I’ve gone on enough for today but will just leave you with a few things for which it’s proven beneficial: Parkinson’s, epilepsy, palsy, Alzheimer’s,  Multiple sclerosis, certain bone cancers, many forms of pain relief for which it alleviates some of the symptoms…………………

I could go on but its coffee time…… …

© 2018 robert greig

rage against the machine (29/March/18)

lately, all outrage seems to be registered at the same level irrespective of the target, a set the controls to the heart of the sun policy while we pump up the volume to 11, til all that’s left is stall, crash and burn…

… as such leaving little to nothing left over in the tank, running on empty, all raged-out, no degrees of separation through which actions, events, dislikes, concerns, fears, terrors can be compared and measured against… it shuts down argument, exhausts opinion, denies debate and views other than the dominant, however laudable, in danger of becoming as dictatorial as that at which they rail against… it makes discernment  anathema making any appropriate or effective response impossible to gauge or determine… not unlike the oppressed become the oppressors, haunted by a road of bones…

… where niggles and misdemeanours are treated with the same disdain and vitriol and tarred with the same notoriety as the genuinely heinous, abhorrent, distasteful, horrific, even criminal… disapproval becomes scattergun, being simpler than accepting at some level you may in fact be wrong, misguided or over-reacting… in other words, simple wins out over a reality of complexities regardless of whether the issue itself may be, as is often the case, more nuanced… throw enough stones at once and one is bound to make contact despite the likely consequential collateral damage that inevitably results… culpability becoming a national sport with guilt the default setting…

… all or nothing, knee-jerk, taking the tabloid way out, why think when you can be told what to think and better still, how to react… a veritable emotional cul-de-sac where a no return/ no redemption policy is enforced and imposed effectively obliterating what remains of anything resembling scales of justice, i.e. innocent until proven guilty, welcome to the vigilante culture…

… and what’s left for the genuinely shocking?… once you’re emotionally-drained by headlines and drunk on hashtags reducing perspective at best to an afterthought… no need to worry about the elephant in the room, simply get out your blunderbuss, shoot it and ask questions later…. or not……

… be careful with that opinion to be sure it falls in line, be sure to ‘like’ this as if you don’t then the converse may be presumed, that you’re not one of us, ergo, you are one of them…. what you don’t say becomes as dangerous as what you do say, silence speaking volumes while your absence will be taken down as evidence and used against you… click or be damned… in the meantime there’s no need to think, that’ll be done for you…… history has been here before, many times over in one form or another… it’s tribal, lord of the flies, the bullied becoming the bullies, with or against and the middle squeezed out of all existence… comply or be ostracised…… it’s in our best interest to show we’re as outraged as them, insert yourself quickly lest the accusers gaze should fall upon you next, after all, who wants to become the rabbit in the headlights?….

… contempt has become an absolute, strength is measured by who makes the most noise ideally with the fewest syllables (all the better to taunt from the headlines or terraces) while any doubt or question is framed as a sign of weakness, of the liberal woolly-minded… a rush to judgement is preferred before attention deficit sets in…bandwagons are all too easy to hop on but dangerous to jump off once they’ve established momentum… keep your nose clean and your head down below the parapet avoiding the pyroclastic rant of outrage so favoured by those who, for whatever questionable motives, neglect to engage their brains first…… it’s staggering how fast things now get lost in translation…

… despite there being two sides at least to every story there’s an increasing tendency for one to hurry in and drown the others at birth.

© 2018 robert greig