My Rant on Soda Related Deaths, Alcohol & The History of Marijuana/Hemp – & the Many Reasons It Should Be Legal.

I should be studying but I can’t help but have to post this really fast… I just saw a tweet pop up with an article discussing death related to drinking “sugary beverages” such as soda… And it made me think of weed, of course! First I would like to make note, I do not do drugs, but I am a firm believer in fighting for people who DO and giving them whatever it is they are lacking, or doing the best we can as a society, to help ensure people don’t have to turn to drugs to ease their pain. I know there are other reasons people use drugs, and I know there are always going to be users.

However, I believe the majority want better, just as I don’t believe dealers really enjoy their “job” and also need help. But I digress!

Point is, I don’t view weed as a drug and though I love soda, it upsets me that it can be legal, while weed, a multipurpose, good for all plant, can’t! Yes, there is a connection or a point somewhere coming up.

Let’s go back a bit. According to Harvard researchers, 25,000 people died from “sugary beverage drinking” in America back in 2010. Worldwide, it was 180,000 in 2010. An actual quote from the article states:

“The data presents new evidence on the public health hazard triggered by artificial drinks.”

And while I believe these “sugary beverages” killing people could also have to do with not only sugar, but I believe it probably also has something to do with the aspartame, aseselfam and artificial crap they pour in them as well. So it’s not solely the sugars fault, though researchers have linked to the drinks to being (and I quote) “directly responsible” for 133,000 diabetic deaths. Whether or not they had diabetes prior, I am not sure. In addition, “sugary drinks” were also found to have been”directly responsible” in the deaths of 44,000 people with cardiovascular disease, as well as 6,000 people who passed away with cancer.

Gallup has reported nearly half Americans (around 48%) drink at least one glass of soda a day, with an average amount being 2.6 glasses. (Um, how in the world do they get information regarding how often we drink and what it is we are pulling out of the fridge!? There’s something else for you to look into. It’s not a joke.) Due to the amount of daily intake as well as the high mortality rate from the “directly responsible” drinks, researchers at Harvard have now labeled drinking “sugary beverages” as a public health hazard.

“We know that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity, and that a large number of deaths are caused by obesity-related diseases. But until now, nobody had really put these pieces together,” Singh said while presenting the results of the study at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

In my home city of New York, Bloomberg has been trying to implement an intrusive city-wide ban any artificial drink in a container over 16 ounces. Here I would just like to say, if a person is over weight and wants to drink a soda or eat a cheeseburger, they should do just that. It shouldn’t matter if you drink soda or not to share this belief. It should scare everyone when the government begins to regulate the amount of food or drink we can have. It should scare us all because though food or drink bans may not impact you, but it is the start of more bans to come which WILL impact you. We should -and are- all be in this together. But back to my rant (I am almost done with the sugary drink department). Finally, researchers conclude with the following:

“It does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer – the real causes of death among the studied subjects,” the industry group said in a statement. “The researchers make a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease…

 

“I think our findings should really impel policymakers to make effective policies to reduce sugary beverage consumption since it causes a significant number of deaths,” Singh said, adding that she thinks “cause” is a fitting word despite the limitations of the association study.

As a final note which brings me on to my next point! ABC News’ chief health/medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser says:

“It is quite frightening to see the rise in chronic diseases as people around the world consume more and more sugary drinks
It reminds me of the way lung cancer is on the rise around the world as more and more people smoke cigarettes.”

Thank you Dr. Besser for leading me to my next point! Cigarettes! Something legal but like sugary “beverages”- deadly. Some facts to throw at ya… In America, 43.8 million adults use tobacco, the most up to date statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state (2011). Each year approximately 443,000 people in the US die from a tobacco related illness (i.e., cancer), with an average of 1 in 5 deaths being related directly to the use of tobacco products.

One more thing before I make my grand finale point. The American government has labeled adults drinking 2 drinks per day OR more than 4 drinks per “occasion”/celebration as an excessive drinker. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the amount of drinking listed to be excessive; if so then my other half is a raging alcoholic from a massively alcoholic country (England).  He is nothing of the sort, obviously, and I am not saying England is an alcoholic nation, the difference in culture simply entertains me, so that was said to add a bit of lightness to all of this.

Back to what I was saying, so this “Excessive Alcohol Consumption” is the third leading cause of preventable death in America, taking the lives of an average of 75,000 people each year and shortening lives by as much as 30 years.

Now, before I make my point here I would like to note I do not think ANY of the above should be made illegal. I am not a fan of drinking because I have a weird…phobia regarding it, yet I do drink socially. I have friends who by the government’s insane standard are “excessive drinkers”, but I do not see them as alcoholics. Point of me saying that is- I’m not supporting drinking, sugar, smoking or drugs due to my desire to use or drink until I explode. I want it to be clear that my reason for my beliefs is FACTUAL. You don’t have to be someone who eats donuts to understand that a person who is obese should, as a fellow human, have the equal right as you to eat what they want.

I believe in free choice and individual choice. Having the government monitor our food and drink intake is scary. But that isn’t my point, I am digressing, again.

GRAND FINALE POINT!

Erm, first…can I also go ahead and say, drinking IS related to violent behavior in some individuals. Studies have come to the obvious conclusion that abusive men tend to become more violent and abusive when drinking alcohol. And men who normally do not abuse their wife and children become aggressive and violent when drunk, letting their true colors show.

I don’t think drinking should be blamed though, it is still the “man” who hurts his wife and/or children. To the abusers who can only abuse when drunk and are the opposite when sober, Alcohol is an easy scape-goat and an excuse a coward uses. I believe being drunk or drinking allows the real you to come out. So, if you are the type of person who is a cheat but wouldn’t do so sober, yet, after a few drinks you can cheat…that is the real you; a cheat.
If you can’t beat your wife when sober, but get violent and mean with her when drinking…that is who you are, an abusive coward who is simply using Alcohol as an excuse in this case. But, it still contributes to a serious problem in society, and anything that doesn’t help but is legal…is a massively huge, waving red flag that the government doesn’t mean it when they say they are keeping Marijuana illegal for the safety of the people. If this were the case, everything from soda to cigarettes and alcohol would be banned. Especially cigarettes. But they are all legal… YET….

I have yet to see someone who has smoked just one joint go home and beat their wife and kids, start a fight with a stranger or hurt anyone, really. Alcohol may not make everyone aggressive but it is a danger to their own lives regardless of how they act while intoxicated.

Finally! We have Ms Mary Jane, aka, Marijuana, aka, Weed. Weed is illegal and leads to prison time, tax payers overpaying for a tiny, inhumane cell for the weed smoker to pay their ” debt to society ” in. Federal, state and private prisons alike all have populations with drug offenses being the largest offense. A large percentage of these people are in for smoking weed, and about 700,000 people at least are arrested in America every year for simple Marijuana possession.

Let’s look at weed now. Weed by itself has a mortality rate of…Zero! None! Not One Person Has Died From Pure Weed. Of course there is the argument that it is bad for your health and kills brain cells and on and on we go, but the likelihood of it killing enough brain cells to make a person brain dead is not something I have ever heard of happening…

So, while drinking has links to violence and health related deaths, as does cigarettes and apparently sugary drinks, all of which are legal…the one thing that is NOT legal, that is ILLEGAL, is the one thing that does NOT cause death or violence. (At the end of this post, I have included links for more reading for those interested or in doubt of anything I state.)

What does that tell you about the government, their corporate prison industry and their feelings to protect the citizens whose life and health they claim to care so much for? It should tell you that they are full of crap and are not only lying about the safety of weed but also about it’s many other uses.

How many people can say they truly know and understand all of the uses other than medicine for weed? And how many people can say they know the history of Cannabis in America? I don’t know too many. So as a quick summary…

Until 1937, Marijuana was regulated by state-law and in most states both consumption and sale of Marijuana was LEGAL. Due to prior debate over Hemp being a legal substance, it was back and forth until finally in 1936 the Federal Bureau of Narcotics stated there was an increase in people smoking Mary Jane and in 1937, they claimed this number was on the rise again. So, in 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed by the US Congress based on reports and hearings.

This worried many scholars who stated this would destroy the hemp industry. Again, you don’t have to be a weed smoker to understand that Hemp has way more uses than simply smoking it, though that is also a viable option to many. Some examples of other previously successful uses include but are not limited to:

  • A replacement for many synthetic & possibly toxic products now sold in America.
  • Of course, treatment for several medical conditions. (Weed doesn’t cause the same risky side effects as drugs given now a days, as a side note.)
  • It is the only resource which can serve as an annually renewable and natural resource with….
  • the capability of providing the majority of paper and textiles; worldwide.
  • It also could keep up with all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs.
  • And at the same time, it would be reducing pollution, cleaning the atmosphere and rebuilding soil…
  • Just to name a few of Mary Jane’s charming benefits the government doesn’t want us to know about. The why I will save for another post as this one has become rather long. So, I shall end it with a clip finishing off the legal history of Hemp in the states. Sadly now we have mandatory sentencing, 3 strike laws and all kinds of insane and detrimental legal processes against what is not only a harmful plant; but a very resourceful and giving plant.

So, below is a clip from Wikipedia (click *here* for original) which sums up that story better than I can (and any link opens in a new window or tab):

Several scholars argue that the goal was to destroy the hemp industry,largely as an effort of Hearst, Andrew Mellon and the Du Pont family.They argue that with the invention of the decorticator hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.They also believe that Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon was Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America and had invested heavily in nylon, DuPont‘s new synthetic fiber, and considered its success to depend on its replacement of the traditional resource, hemp.According to other researchers there were other things than hemp more important for DuPont in the mid-1930s: to finish the product (nylon) before its German competitors, to start plants for nylon with much larger capacity, etc.

In 1916 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created a paper, USDA Bulletin No. 404 “Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material”, in which they stated that paper from the woody inner portion of the hemp stem broken into pieces, so called hemp hurds, was “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood”. Dewey and Merrill believed that hemp hurds were a suitable source for paper production.[52] This was an erroneous conclusion, they and many other advocates for hemp have greatly overestimated the proportion of useful cellulose in hemp hurds.[53] In 2003 95% of the hemp hurds in EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5% were used as building material. In addition 70–80% of hemp fiber produced was used in specialty pulp for cigarette papers and technical applications; hemp is not reported as source for mass production of newsprint.[54]

In 1916 the United States Department of Agriculture assumed, partly based on the incorrect finding about hemp hurds of USDA Bulletin No. 404, that the production of hemp would rise in the US. In reality production fell until 1933, due to competition with other fibers and imports. In 1933 production was only around 500 tons of hemp fiber per year. 1934–1935 the cultivation of hemp began to increase, but still with a very low volume compared with other types of fibers and with no significant increase in production of paper from hemp.

There was also a misconception about the intoxicating effects of hemp because it has the same active substance, THC, which is in all cannabis strains. Hemp normally has a minimal amount of THC when compared to recreational cannabis strains but, in the 1930s, THC was not yet fully identified.The methods FBN used for predicting the psychoactive effect of different samples of cannabis and hemp therefore gave confusing results.

In 1968 the United States Department of the Treasury subsidiary the Bureau of Narcotics and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare subsidiary the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control merged to create the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as a United States Department of Justice subsidiary.[59]

In 1973 President Richard Nixon‘s “Reorganization Plan Number Two” proposed the creation of a single federal agency to enforce federal drug laws and Congress accepted the proposal, as there was concern regarding the growing availability of drugs.As a result, on July 1, 1973, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) and the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) merged to create the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).On December 1, 1975, the Supreme Court ruled that it was “not cruel or unusual for Ohio to sentence someone to 20 years for having or selling cannabis.”

— One last word—-

If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the money making opportunities in Marijuana. You probably already understand the government wants as much money as possible for themselves, as do those who chop down trees for paper, and the corporations who want you to use their product or services so they can stay living large…Not giving one thought to what they are doing to the people, or the earth. And if they do think about it, they simply don’t care. Not about the people, or future generations.

Okay. Time for me to study now. Interesting how an article on SODA led me to a rant on Marijuana, aye? I think so. And I didn’t even cover half of it! So, if you want a more in depth and helpful history or information, I’ve included a few links below for ya.

Spread the truth around! Don’t continue to let people hate what has been and still could be something very beneficial to the world! People’s rights, safety and health are far more important than keeping money in their pockets.

Links:

1) The History of Cannabis Prohibition
2.) Smoking Marijuana Doesn’t Kill-
“Illegal Herb Not Harmless, but Data Shows No Link to Death”
3.) 10 Facts Regarding Marijuana Everyone Should Know
4.) Complete History of Weeds Legal to Illegal, Legal then  Illegal again, Status
5.) What Hemp Could Be Used For (Other Than Smoking and Medicine) AND The Many Ways It Has Previously Been Successfully Used In America(So here you’ll find: what it can still be used for and what it used to be used for…And why it is better than what we currently have.)
6.) Still Want More Info on Hemp Usage? Click Away.

and finally, a historical timeline of Marijuana.

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