Marijuana – How A Little Plant Became King Kong

By May 23, 2017Dennis Tkach

By Dennis Tkach. In the beginning, the Book of Genesis relates that on the third day God created all plant life, large and small. He created this flora to be self-sustaining, possessing the ability to reproduce. The plants were created in great diversity. The earth was green and teaming with plant life. And God declared it was good.

Whether one chooses to believe the Bible’s version of creation or the scientifically accepted order of how everything evolved, have no doubt that long before the beginning of recorded history, the plant commonly known as marijuana has been with us. Later, along came man and woman who took dominion over EVERY LIVING THING.   It was through experimentation mankind determined that plants fell into five categories:

Food.    Medicine.    Building material.    Floral enjoyment.    Poison.

Regarding marijuana, somehow in our march through ‘modern’ times, something went horribly wrong. A humble plant that ably qualified for the first four categories got pushed into category five. It became a pariah. I repeat: It can still be classified as a food, a medicine, a floral (in full bloom it is quite beautiful) or building material (hemp). Alas, it is now anathema, a poisonous narcotic spoken of or treated under law in the same breathe as opium, heroin, cocaine and designer drugs. Even today, in The New York Times I read of a ‘scientific survey’ conducted by some small American college that ‘might’ link marijuana use to schizophrenia. Scare tactics by churches, institutes of higher learning, lawmakers, and law enforcers have continued to deluge the general public with a tsunami of lies, distortions and fear mongering, all in an effort to demonize marijuana and its users. This insanity began with “Reefer Madness”, a 1936 cult film classic that scared the public into believing ‘reefers’ (marijuana joints) were inflicted on us by satanic minions whose prime purpose was to turn regular people into maniacal, murderous zombies. And governments and ‘the people’ of the day swallowed this twaddle as gospel… hook, line, and sinker. This is a classic example of how we as an intelligent people, when fed powerful propaganda, can fall prey to moments of incredible stupidity. It was this seminal moment in time that “Reefer Madness” a ‘government endorsed’ infomercial kicked off the campaign transforming a little plant into King Kong.

I am not going to waste a lot of time beating a familiar old drum but there is a comparative ‘something’ that should be mentioned in fairly evaluating the pros and cons of ‘weed.’

I would speak a few words on the four horsemen of today’s apocalypse. Alcohol, tobacco, hard narcotics, and gambling. There are two main reasons why these vices will always ride herd over the masses. 1: They give pleasure. 2: Through taxes, they are a cash cow for government.

Banning alcohol, the great social experiment during the Prohibition, proved to be a dismal failure. The majority of Americans did not want to give it up. It created an illegal empire. Whether you were an Al Capone or a Joe Kennedy, the golden grain calf quickly became a stampede towards unimaginable illicit wealth.

Tobacco is the accepted curse de jour. Governments steadily increase the tax intake publicly stating it will help reduce smoking. Wrong. It is a strong addiction that only the strongest wills can defeat. Raising taxes simply adds more to government coffers.

Real narcotics remain a trillion dollar underworld industry and law enforcement finds itself a hopeless combatant in the war on drugs. Why? The demand for feeding deadly addictions will always prevail. It is a sad reality that drugs obliterate or at least mask the feelings of hopelessness that poverty, social and financial stress guarantee. It is also an easy source of income for the street peddlers. And so growing demand is addressed by growing supply. Legality or the threat of death or prison matters little to those caught in this spiders web. User, used and a sad broken part of our society will always guarantee the presence of the true beast atop the Empire State building.

Gambling. As long as we remain a hedonistic society that considers places like Las Vegas, ‘fun capitals of the world’… as long as we cling to the belief that against mind blowing ridiculous odds, we just might win the lottery or hit the big jackpot in slots, cards, or roulette… gambling will always be with us. And the profiteers and tax collectors smile.

Let me at this point say I am not a champion of cannabis. Breathing in smoke from ANY source is not good for the lungs. In tobacco, tar and nicotine are the main culprits. There are 483 compounds found in marijuana. Some good. Some doubtless…not good. For a time, during the folly of my youth, I smoked cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and yes, even marijuana. It took six years before I saw and understood words of wisdom regarding ingesting anything that would defile the temple of my body. We only have one body. I decided I want to take care of mine. I want to live into old age and die in my sleep with a smile on my face and not like my two pack a day smoking father who died too young on a hospital bed while grimacing in pain. That is why I quit.

Why did I do marijuana? Temptation. Weed was cheaper than alcohol. Marijuana created, almost instantly, a warm buzz and feeling of relaxed pleasure. Unlike alcohol, its effects wore off quickly. No hangover. No puking my guts out. Food tasted oh so much better. Some of my best friends partook of marijuana. It was recreational, generally on weekends only. Do I miss it? Yes, sometimes. Will I ever take it up again? Never. Do I recommend it? No. But above all else, I UNDERSTAND marijuana for what it is and it is NOT the distorted image projected and sold to the public.

A comprehensive, massive, all ages survey taken in 2014 showed that 49% of North Americans have taken or at least tried marijuana. In 2016 the numbers went up to 51%. Like alcohol… hard drugs… tobacco… and gambling, be they ‘recreational’ past times or full-blown addictions, the hoof beats of these four horsemen will always ring in our ears.

On a positive note, legalizing marijuana will wrest control from the criminal world and bring it into the light where, to a large extent, it can be controlled. Also, let us not forget the medicinal values of cannabis. What of the cancer patients, the terminally suffering and all those who are benefitting from the little plant?

Here are some other facts, largely unknown. There are many plants that contain cannabinoids such as Echinacea. Well established and known to fight common colds this plant, taken most commonly as a tea relieves symptoms of anxiety, fatigue, arthritis, migraine, and other ailments. These are the SAME symptoms eased with marijuana use.

It is also an interesting fact that if one consumes dark chocolate before imbibing on a spliff (smoking or ingesting marijuana) it greatly enhances one’s ‘high’. While chocolate is nowhere near the potency of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) it is present and has more impact on the brain and body that you would expect. Only recently have the benefits of dark chocolate come to light.

Black pepper. Some marijuana strains, like the hash plant, have a peppery taste and aroma. They contain high levels of terpene (BCP), another form of cannabinoid found in pepper. Its properties possess, among other positive traits, the anti-inflammatory capability for treating arthritis and osteoporosis.

I have an American cousin who fought and was seriously wounded while serving his country in the Viet Nam war. When I visited him shortly after he was released from service and a hospital in Hawaii where he had a very complicated surgery, we had a long talk about what it was like fighting the VC. My cousin talked of the fear and unhappiness felt by most ‘grunts’ as they went on jungle patrols. He also talked of how marijuana helped him and his comrade brethren deal with the terrifying reality that every time they went on patrol they understood that they might return in a body bag. “Thank God for marijuana”. His words still ring in my ears. It was he who introduced me to ‘the demon weed.’

Whatever side of the argument you stand on, regarding the legalization of marijuana in this beautiful and amazing country of ours, thank you for reading my words and considering a more complete picture of marijuana and it’s real place in today’s world. While it is not King Kong, neither is it merely a little plant. It is what and how we as a society define marijuana. For better or for worse, our pop culture has decreed its definition is changing. At least, that is the way I see things. But, hey, I may be wrong.

Dennis Tkach












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