Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds


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God's Herb

God's Herb

I have smoked cannabis since I was 14.  There have been a few breaks, some of a few months, some of a year or two but those apart, I have smoked cannabis every day of my life for nearly 40 years.

I have come to regard weed or hash, in all seriousness, as the Rastafarians do, as “God’s herb”.  It is a sacrament, a truly positive, honourable and precious thing in my life.  Something that I thank God, I did not miss.

I grew up with smokin’ dope.  It was a fundamental part of my adolescent culture with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, with a heady summer living the love and peace dream in Amsterdam.  LSD blew my mind in those days but a joint was always a sustaining experience.  Something I held onto.

As I grew up and got interested in business, I relished the delicious and maverick escape that I enjoyed.  I took it seriously and wrote a 40 page report for the Home Affairs Committee entitled “An Unaffordable Prejudice”.

The prejudice, misinformation and sheer nonsense has continued throughout my life.  The idiocy of downgrading cannabis to a Class C drug and then, just two years later, back up to Class B is only outdone by the crass stupidity of  failing to decriminalise it completely.  Prohibition has proved time after time to be an ineffective solution.  Worse than that, the law makes a complete ass of itself by sustaining the criminal supply and distribution of a product that is never going to go away.

Regulation is the only viable solution and would provide the framework to care for those very few who may suffer from cannabis use.

What are the dangers?  Clearly any intoxicant offers more potential for harm when used by the young, when the brain is still developing.  Despite my own experience, cannabis use should be for adults only.  In adults it has been proved to be one of the least harmful substances known to man time and time again – despite the fact that most have actually set out to prove the opposite.

Recently the popular argument has been against skunk, a strain of cannabis that can be up to 20 times stronger than that previously known.

To claim this is a recent development is simply wrong.  For at least 20 years it has been difficult to buy anything but skunk and other F1/F2 hybrids of the plant.  There are many others: Northern Lights, Haze, Blueberry, etc.  In my teens it was difficult to buy anything but Lebanese or Moroccan hashish.  In Holland where the market is partly regulated there has always been a wide choice of grass or hash from all parts of the world grown and/or processed in many different ways.

The latest suggestion is that skunk is causing psychoses in adolescents – yet the incidence of psychoses in adolescents has remained constant since records began.  This is just the lastest scaremongering.  60 years ago it was said that cannabis caused young women to be promiscuous with black men.  The standard of the argument has not improved.

It really is time that this hopeless policy against a benign, natural herbal product was stopped.  Hemp is one of the most ecologically friendly, sustainable crops in the world.  As regulated cannabis it would pull the rug from underneath a great swathe of criminality and produce billions in additional tax income.  As biofuel, building materials, fabrics and cattle feed it could help to revitalise agriculture and many other businesses.

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  1. Hello Peter
    It would seem that we are the western cultural equivalent of the Roma. I am a 53 year old cannabis smoker(would vaporize if I could afford one).
    I think marijuana has made me a ‘better’ person while I know that I would be dead if I had continued drinking alcohol.
    I am in Vancouver BC and although I did have about a 20 year break, I picked it up again about 10 years ago.
    I knew that pot was stronger and that was just a fact of life.
    At 200 bucks an ounce I am quite happy to smoke economical ‘pinners’ fatties are a waste of smoke when you smoke alone.
    I buy on the street, right down in the heart of our ‘skid row’.
    I am disabled and living down here. I sometimes use the pot so I don’t have to eat. But mostly I use it as a conduit to my muse.
    Pot helps me with adult ADD and I am able to concentrate and to meditate while using it.
    For those of us who seem to be wired for cannabis I believe our human rights are being seriously violated.
    We are products of the Earth and have co-existed with this plant for most of our history and probably much of our prehistory.
    Where I go to buy my herb there is crack, and heroin, and all sorts of pharmaceuticals.
    But I feel safe enough as long as I don’t bring out a cigaret pack with a crowd around. Then it’s like a flock of gulls and I have been attacked when I tried to put the pack away.
    To say that marijuana use leads to what I see here on the streets is ludicrous.
    In a few it may, but pot is so widely available that most people wouldn’t be so rash as to just try crack or heroin
    those are choices that come out of some deeper need or because of longer casual exposure.
    I never did crack coke or heroin because of fear of overdose not really from fear of addiction(except heroin).
    I had an unshakeable image of being found on a toilet with a rig hanging from my arm. We had a few middle class users found dead after chasing the dragon- smoking heroin-
    Hey! I think I will end this comment now and do some more reading.

    CosmosLaundry Journal


    March 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm

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