Category Archives: Letters

Estelle Taute refers Section 21 info request to Dr Shyamli Munbodh

On Sep 22 I contacted Estelle from Dep Health & MCC regarding section 21 to find out the process regarding the application for medical dagga via the Section 21 application. Here is the discussion in chronological order.

Medical Dagga by CDA Peter Ucko

Michael Hawthorne <michael@dagga.za.net>

Sep 22

to Estelle
Hi. Good day

Recently Peter Ucko mentioned in a SABC interview that it is possible to make an application through the mcc.

“Medical dagga is available. You make an application to the MCC
(Medicines Control Council) through your doctor. There is a
process so it might not be easy.” – Peter Ucko, Central Drug
Authority

I would like to know if it is possible for you to put me in contact with the mcc or provide me with the documentation required by my gp to make this process as easy as possible?

Thank you for your time.


Estelle Taute

10:15 AM (2 hours ago)
to Michael
Sir,
I’m afraid I have no knowledge of the “Central Drug Authority”.
The national medicines regulatory authority is the Medicines Control Council.
Please contact dr Shyamli Munbodh on 012 395 8241 regarding your request.
Yours faithfully
Estelle Taute
Director: Operations and Administration
Cluster: FC, PT&PR
National Dept of Health, RSA
Tel: +27 (0)12 395 8034
Fax: +27 (0)12 395 8468

Michael Hawthorne <michael@dagga.za.net>

12:47 PM (2 minutes ago)

to Estelle

Thank you for your reply,It’s very obviously the CDA lied on National Television. Could you please invest some time into watching this SABC Newsroom youtube upload of the interview with Peter Ucko of the CDA. Where he specifically say that it’s possible to apply for cannabis via your organisation the MCC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMdySIlsdJQ

If you cannot afford to watch the whole clip here is a link to 9 min 20 secs in where the CDA representative lies to South Africa on the name of your organisation. http://youtu.be/gMdySIlsdJQ?t=9m20s

Also recently I was made aware that one can apply for medical cannabis but the application will not be approved as advised by Dr Shyamli Munbodh .  http://dagga.za.net/2014/10/07/section-21-moot-applications-will-not-be-authorised-for-dagga/ (Podcast)

Could the dagga culture but also more specifically the illegal dagga  criminal/patients of South Africa please get some clarity on why cannabis/dagga is not approved. When all the science in the world cannot even justify the law?

Please, all we ask for is full disclosure on Section 21 & Dagga. What is the justification not to approve application. To 4 million people it sure seems like a conspiracy to protect the interests of legal preferred medicines already available.

Can we appeal the dismissed application?

There is no scientific data to give justification for a dismissal. We could rebut your every claim with even more recent and even more valid credible scientific sources.

Regards

Michael

Dagga Movement

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Estelle Taute

1:27 PM (0 minutes ago)

to Michael
Sir,
I do not handle section 21 applications or dagga.
Please contact the Registrar of Medicines, Ms Mandisa Hela, on 012 395 8066/ 8003 with any further queries.
Yours faithfully
Estelle Taute
Director: Operations and Administration
Cluster: FC, PT&PR
National Dept of Health, RSA
Tel: +27 (0)12 395 8034
Fax: +27 (0)12 395 8468 

Michael Hawthorne <michael@dagga.za.net>

1:28 PM (0 minutes ago)

to Estelle
Please assist the dagga patients from within your capacity at Dep of Health. If not possible at least contact the relevant department also on your own behalf to have the matter be settled in general. Please do you part for those suffering needing this medication. Please apply some Batho Pele in this regard.Thank you again.

Regards


Estelle Taute

9:15 AM (2 hours ago)

to Michael
Sir,
I have provided the contact details of the section 21 unit and the  Registrar, which is what I can do in my “capacity” at the Dept.
Therefore I will not engage in further communication from you in this matter.
Estelle Taute
Director: Operations and Administration
Cluster: FC, PT&PR
National Dept of Health, RSA
Tel: +27 (0)12 395 8034
Fax: +27 (0)12 395 8468

Michael Hawthorne <michael@dagga.za.net>

11:35 AM (1 minute ago)

to Estelle
Thank you for your time. Please do more on your part to support the medical dagga patients of South Africa.

Regards

 

Who pays SANDF & SAPS for doing gardening, illegally burning waste & harassing otherwise law abiding citizens?

In January 2012 police cut down what was essentially a dagga forest in Soweto worth R4 million. Then illegally disposed of the dagga bio mass by burning it, presumably where it was cut & piled up.

SAPS-Cutting-Down-Dagga-Forest

“Residents watched from a distance as throngs of soldiers and police in more than 30 vehicles descended on Meadowlands hostel at 8.30am while a police helicopter hovered above.

SAPS-Arresting-Dagga-Suspects-R4s

Think about it for a moment. More than 31 government vehicles including a helicopter, a battalion of soldiers and police officers armed with assault rifles and tactical gear. Swooping down on harmless plants then unleashes an onslaught of terror until the last weed has yelp its crackling cry and billowing smoke in reminiscence of the Soweto uprising of 1976, condolences to the lives lost, however this is an equal violent act upon not only the daggafarians of Soweto but also the community’s access to medicine, an industrial sector and a wealth generator.  Consider the quality of service delivery by municipality if they could have the budget that funds an all out war on a harmless weed.

SAPS-Burning-Down-Dagga-Forest

Imagine the waste of burning this bio mass needlessly without a purpose that is beneficial to the community in which it is illegally burned.

Who is paying the South African National Defense Force & South African Police Service for doing gardening, illegally burning bio-waste & harassing otherwise law abiding citizens? Never mind the tax on the carbon emissions of all the dagga that has to be incinerated annually or the otherwise law abiding citizens that needs to be housed and fed daily in a correctional facility?

Victims of rape, murder and victims of other real crimes are the ones who ultimately pay the price.

Source

 

The REAL Effects of Dagga

Physiological effects of dagga on the human body.

Physiological effects of dagga on the human body.

Introduction

For the last 25000 years man has been cultivating dagga, using it to clothe themselves, heal the sick, feed the hungry and alter the state of their consciousness.

The human body, the endo cannabinoid system & dagga

The human body is designed to include a complete cannabinoid system.
Cannabinoids that naturally occur inside the body are called Endo Cannabinoids.
We have cannabinoid receptors located in our brain, skin and organs. Receptors can almost be found in every part of the body.

How dagga is consumed is irrelevant as the end result is the same. The cannabinoids in dagga makes its way into your blood stream, couples with receptors found around the body and even manages to pass the blood brain barrier and couples to CB1 & CB2 receptors in the brain.

This coupling of receptors in the brain is what causes the euphoria or high experienced when consuming decarboxylated THC.

In order for the THC cannabinoid to couple with the receptors the dagga needs to be heated to convert the THC Acid into THC.

Only when dagga is smoked, baked or vaporized does it become active. It is impossible to get high from raw dagga.

Humans have been designed to consume dagga. Dagga is a vegetable and is the most important dietary essential on the planet.

The consumption of dagga is preventative proven by medical benefits.

Did you know? Durban Poison, the well known South African Sativa strain, is one of the favorite medical grade dagga strains in the United States where medical dagga is legal.

Dagga does not cause psychosis. People suffering from predisposed mental conditions are at risk of psychosis. However no clerical evidence exists to make this link.

My personal opinion is that dagga brings forth underlying mental conditions in people with predisposed mental conditions. Dagga is merely an indicator of an existing mental condition.

Did you know? Dagga counters snake venom! You need to be high at the time of bite for it to work. Proving prevention is better than cure.

 

Prohibition and the freedom of man

Almost all the negative associations of dagga are attributed to prohibition.

Under prohibition dagga is unregulated and open game for crime syndicates, gangs and even otherwise law abiding citizen to exploit for their own benefit.

There is no regulation to ensure quality of the product that makes it to the end-user.

There is no regulation to protect children and persons with predisposed mental conditions in the current illicit dagga industry.

South Africa is poverty stricken but the government corporation keeps throwing millions towards the fight on drug users and peddlers effectively making criminals from otherwise law abiding citizens for profit.

If a harsh jail sentence, admission of guilt fine and a criminal record was not already enough the corporate government also funds a special branch in the South African police Air Wing called DaggaOP that routinely spray dagga crops from helicopter with herbicides like glyphosphate with special tanks and spraying equipment sponsored by the United States’ Drug Enforcement Agency.

These corporate governments who fund these operation do not care that some of these contaminated dagga plants make its way to the dagga users of South Africa pushed on by desperate growers depending on this easy cash crop to support his family.


The law caters the gateway effect

While dagga is unregulated otherwise law abiding citizen using dagga are exposed to other hard drugs some of the syndicates or gangs might be offering thus the gateway effect is created directly by prohibition allowing criminal syndicates to be in control of dagga.

It’s worthy to keep in mind that the majority of dagga dealers are not part of syndicates or gangs. Most dagga dealers are otherwise law abiding citizens whose only means of income is from cultivating or selling dagga.

Industrial dagga freedom from the slave system

Dagga easily grows on its own essentially has zero cost for production value.

Dagga grows from seed to harvest within 8 to 12 weeks* (some strains may take longer to flower) and can be planted in the same soil for up to 20 years.

Dagga provides food, oil, alternative green carbon neutral bio-fuel, textile material, stronger building material, medication and much, much more. This wonder plant has over 50 000 uses!

 

What can South Africa achieve with legal dagga?

We could speculate at how 50 000 uses of a wonder plant could revolutionise South Africa but let’s take a realistic approach by looking at other countries that have a legalised dagga industry.

Denver, Colorado

Seven ways dagga legalisation has already benefited Colorado in only 8 months.

  1. According to Uniform Crime Reporting data for Denver, there has been a 10.1% decrease in overall crime from this time last year and a 5.2% drop in violent crime.

 

  1. The state has garnered over 10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first 4 months. The first 40 million of this tax revenue is earmarked for public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.

 

  1. There are renewed efforts to study the medical efficacy of dagga within the state, making Colorado an epicenter for dagga research.

 

  1. The dagga industry has developed quickly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with this industry, with 1,000 to 2,000 gaining employment in the past few months alone.

 

  1. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, recently compared Colorado’s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.” For example, the demand for commercial real estate has increased drastically, with houses in the state appreciating up to 8.7 percent in the past year alone.

 

  1. The voters of Colorado retain an overall positive view of the regulated dagga market, with 54% of Colorado voters still supporting dagga legalization and regulation, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

 

  1. By removing criminal penalties for certain dagga-related offenses, thousands of individuals will avoid the collateral consequences associated with a criminal record. The state is estimated to potentially save $12-40 million over the span of a year simply by ending arrests for dagga possession.

 

Conclusion

Ignorance has no place in law. The science is clear. Dagga is a safer choice to alcohol and tobacco. It is wrong to make criminals of otherwise law abiding citizens and to deny people their medicine.

Open Letter to Pearl Thusi

Hi Pearl

I am writing you this letter because you recently popped up on my dagga radar for a second time.

First of all I want to say that my interest is not to slander or “skinder”.

I believe most of the South African dagga culture pray on the end of their roach that the rumor is true. We are pretty hard pressed for local dagga heroes. We have Jules, Myrtle and Jeremy whom we cherish and respect greatly, but there is no other South African celebrity that openly admits the use of cannabis.

Pearl Thusi

Pearl Thusi

How sad is the Top 10 list of famous dagga smokers in South Africa

The US has Willie Nelson, Snoop Lion, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michael Phelps, Robin Williams, Seth Rogan, the list is genuinely endless.

My goal here is to convey a positive message; Nobody should be afraid to speak the truth about cannabis. I would like to encourage you to brush up on your dagga education. There is a lot of information regarding the history of dagga that is not so apparent.

Before I bombard you with a few short links, that you must investigate, let me tell you if that photographer had a photo of you smoking dagga he should have a copy of it on his SD memory card. Merely breaking the camera does not destroy the picture. Therefor I believe you are speaking the truth and that he was ultimately mad at himself for invading your privacy and I am not here to judge your actions, in all honesty, in the original context he deserved it. He was not in his place to invade your private time. What a sour loser he is for making up stories with malicious intent.

Here is a short excerpt on the history of dagga in South Africa. This is the foundation of dagga laws, based on nothing but racist- and malicious intent, a superstition that is kept in-effect today by the ignorant…

Dagga was first outlawed in South Africa in 1870 to control Indian workers in KwaZulu-Natal (Dagga is a traditional herb in the Hindu faith). By 1911 dagga was outlawed for all Africans except mine workers and by 1925 the exception was revoked to control and oppress the members of the newly formed National Union of Mine workers (NUM). Effectively doing so by making Dagga illegal. The oppressive racist State disrupted the economic well being and culture of indigenous people. – True History of Dagga

Please find below a list of informative links

dagga.za.net/dagga {Origin of the word dagga}

dagga.za.net/truth {Dagga The Truth by Dagga Couple}

dagga.za.net/history {Prohibition & Resistance: A Socio-Political Exploration of the Changing Dynamics of the Southern African Cannabis Trade, c. 1850 – the present. By Craig Patterson}

dagga.za.net/health {The most extensive medical dagga reference list.}

dagga.za.net/union {Dagga Union of South Africa}

More…
dagga.za.net/rights {A South African guide to (NOT) being arrested by Dagga Couple}
dagga.za.net/bill {Relinquish Dagga Law Bill}
dagga.za.net/bills {Bills Repository}
dagga.za.net/poll {Latest Poll}
dagga.za.net/poll/main {Should Dagga Be Legalised Poll}
dagga.za.net/poll/dagga {Best South African Dagga Strain Poll}
dagga.za.net/knowledge {Knowledgebase}
dagga.za.net/drive {Cannabis Awareness Drive To Government}

I truly hope that you stand up for daggafarians regardless of whether you yourself is a cannabis user or not. It was wrong to punish people for having a partner of another race then and it’s wrong to punish adults for choosing to use a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco now.

One <3, Peace Mickey

Mr. X by Carl Sagan

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” - Carl Sagan

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan

Mr. X by Carl Sagan

This account was written in 1969 for publication in Marihuana Reconsidered (1971). Sagan was in his mid-thirties at that time. He continued to use cannabis for the rest of his life.

It all began about ten years ago. I had reached a considerably more relaxed period in my life – a time when I had come to feel that there was more to living than science, a time of awakening of my social consciousness and amiability, a time when I was open to new experiences. I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure. Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try. My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry. After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened. I was lying on my back in a friend’s living room idly examining the pattern of shadows on the ceiling cast by a potted plant (not cannabis!). I suddenly realized that I was examining an intricately detailed miniature Volkswagen, distinctly outlined by the shadows. I was very skeptical at this perception, and tried to find inconsistencies between Volkswagens and what I viewed on the ceiling. But it was all there, down to hubcaps, license plate, chrome, and even the small handle used for opening the trunk. When I closed my eyes, I was stunned to find that there was a movie going on the inside of my eyelids. Flash . . . a simple country scene with red farmhouse, a blue sky, white clouds, yellow path meandering over green hills to the horizon. . . Flash . . . same scene, orange house, brown sky, red clouds, yellow path, violet fields . . . Flash . . . Flash . . . Flash. The flashes came about once a heartbeat. Each flash brought the same simple scene into view, but each time with a different set of colors . . . exquisitely deep hues, and astonishingly harmonious in their juxtaposition. Since then I have smoked occasionally and enjoyed it thoroughly. It amplifies torpid sensibilities and produces what to me are even more interesting effects, as I will explain shortly.

I can remember another early visual experience with cannabis, in which I viewed a candle flame and discovered in the heart of the flame, standing with magnificent indifference, the black-hatted and -cloaked Spanish gentleman who appears on the label of the Sandeman sherry bottle. Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience.

I want to explain that at no time did I think these things ‘really’ were out there. I knew there was no Volkswagen on the ceiling and there was no Sandeman salamander man in the flame. I don’t feel any contradiction in these experiences. There’s a part of me making, creating the perceptions which in everyday life would be bizarre; there’s another part of me which is a kind of observer. About half of the pleasure comes from the observer-part appreciating the work of the creator-part. I smile, or sometimes even laugh out loud at the pictures on the insides of my eyelids. In this sense, I suppose cannabis is psychotomimetic, but I find none of the panic or terror that accompanies some psychoses. Possibly this is because I know it’s my own trip, and that I can come down rapidly any time I want to.

While my early perceptions were all visual, and curiously lacking in images of human beings, both of these items have changed over the intervening years. I find that today a single joint is enough to get me high. I test whether I’m high by closing my eyes and looking for the flashes. They come long before there are any alterations in my visual or other perceptions. I would guess this is a signal-to-noise problem, the visual noise level being very low with my eyes closed. Another interesting information-theoretical aspects is the prevalence – at least in my flashed images – of cartoons: just the outlines of figures, caricatures, not photographs. I think this is simply a matter of information compression; it would be impossible to grasp the total content of an image with the information content of an ordinary photograph, say 108 bits, in the fraction of a second which a flash occupies. And the flash experience is designed, if I may use that word, for instant appreciation. The artist and viewer are one. This is not to say that the images are not marvelously detailed and complex. I recently had an image in which two people were talking, and the words they were saying would form and disappear in yellow above their heads, at about a sentence per heartbeat. In this way it was possible to follow the conversation. At the same time an occasional word would appear in red letters among the yellows above their heads, perfectly in context with the conversation; but if one remembered these red words, they would enunciate a quite different set of statements, penetratingly critical of the conversation. The entire image set which I’ve outlined here, with I would say at least 100 yellow words and something like 10 red words, occurred in something under a minute.

The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights – I don’t know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. For example, I have spent some time high looking at the work of the Belgian surrealist Yves Tanguey. Some years later, I emerged from a long swim in the Caribbean and sank exhausted onto a beach formed from the erosion of a nearby coral reef. In idly examining the arcuate pastel-colored coral fragments which made up the beach, I saw before me a vast Tanguey painting. Perhaps Tanguey visited such a beach in his childhood.

A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down. The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so. Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex – on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.

I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I’ve had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds. A sense of what the world is really like can be maddening; cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word ‘crazy’ to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us. In the Soviet Union political dissidents are routinely placed in insane asylums. The same kind of thing, a little more subtle perhaps, occurs here: ‘did you hear what Lenny Bruce said yesterday? He must be crazy.’ When high on cannabis I discovered that there’s somebody inside in those people we call mad.

When I’m high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era. I can reconstruct the actual occurrences in childhood events only half understood at the time. Many but not all my cannabis trips have somewhere in them a symbolism significant to me which I won’t attempt to describe here, a kind of mandala embossed on the high. Free-associating to this mandala, both visually and as plays on words, has produced a very rich array of insights.

There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we’re down the next day. Some of the hardest work I’ve ever done has been to put such insights down on tape or in writing. The problem is that ten even more interesting ideas or images have to be lost in the effort of recording one. It is easy to understand why someone might think it’s a waste of effort going to all that trouble to set the thought down, a kind of intrusion of the Protestant Ethic. But since I live almost all my life down I’ve made the effort – successfully, I think. Incidentally, I find that reasonably good insights can be remembered the next day, but only if some effort has been made to set them down another way. If I write the insight down or tell it to someone, then I can remember it with no assistance the following morning; but if I merely say to myself that I must make an effort to remember, I never do.

I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves. It was a point obvious in a way, but rarely talked about. I drew the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down. One idea led to another, and at the end of about an hour of extremely hard work I found I had written eleven short essays on a wide range of social, political, philosophical, and human biological topics. Because of problems of space, I can’t go into the details of these essays, but from all external signs, such as public reactions and expert commentary, they seem to contain valid insights. I have used them in university commencement addresses, public lectures, and in my books.

But let me try to at least give the flavor of such an insight and its accompaniments. One night, high on cannabis, I was delving into my childhood, a little self-analysis, and making what seemed to me to be very good progress. I then paused and thought how extraordinary it was that Sigmund Freud, with no assistance from drugs, had been able to achieve his own remarkable self-analysis. But then it hit me like a thunderclap that this was wrong, that Freud had spent the decade before his self-analysis as an experimenter with and a proselytizer for cocaine; and it seemed to me very apparent that the genuine psychological insights that Freud brought to the world were at least in part derived from his drug experience. I have no idea whether this is in fact true, or whether the historians of Freud would agree with this interpretation, or even if such an idea has been published in the past, but it is an interesting hypothesis and one which passes first scrutiny in the world of the downs.

I can remember the night that I suddenly realized what it was like to be crazy, or nights when my feelings and perceptions were of a religious nature. I had a very accurate sense that these feelings and perceptions, written down casually, would not stand the usual critical scrutiny that is my stock in trade as a scientist. If I find in the morning a message from myself the night before informing me that there is a world around us which we barely sense, or that we can become one with the universe, or even that certain politicians are desperately frightened men, I may tend to disbelieve; but when I’m high I know about this disbelief. And so I have a tape in which I exhort myself to take such remarks seriously. I say ‘Listen closely, you sonofabitch of the morning! This stuff is real!’ I try to show that my mind is working clearly; I recall the name of a high school acquaintance I have not thought of in thirty years; I describe the color, typography, and format of a book in another room and these memories do pass critical scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs. Such a remark applies not only to self-awareness and to intellectual pursuits, but also to perceptions of real people, a vastly enhanced sensitivity to facial expression, intonations, and choice of words which sometimes yields a rapport so close it’s as if two people are reading each other’s minds.

Cannabis enables nonmusicians to know a little about what it is like to be a musician, and nonartists to grasp the joys of art. But I am neither an artist nor a musician. What about my own scientific work? While I find a curious disinclination to think of my professional concerns when high – the attractive intellectual adventures always seem to be in every other area – I have made a conscious effort to think of a few particularly difficult current problems in my field when high. It works, at least to a degree. I find I can bring to bear, for example, a range of relevant experimental facts which appear to be mutually inconsistent. So far, so good. At least the recall works. Then in trying to conceive of a way of reconciling the disparate facts, I was able to come up with a very bizarre possibility, one that I’m sure I would never have thought of down. I’ve written a paper which mentions this idea in passing. I think it’s very unlikely to be true, but it has consequences which are experimentally testable, which is the hallmark of an acceptable theory.

I have mentioned that in the cannabis experience there is a part of your mind that remains a dispassionate observer, who is able to take you down in a hurry if need be. I have on a few occasions been forced to drive in heavy traffic when high. I’ve negotiated it with no difficult at all, though I did have some thoughts about the marvelous cherry-red color of traffic lights. I find that after the drive I’m not high at all. There are no flashes on the insides of my eyelids. If you’re high and your child is calling, you can respond about as capably as you usually do. I don’t advocate driving when high on cannabis, but I can tell you from personal experience that it certainly can be done. My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover. Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater.

There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I’ve never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of he parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.