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While this first-hand testimony that comes from real patients is usually the type of evidence that scientific purists disparage as “anecdotal,” it is, in my opinion, the type of real-life experiential information that we should trust at least as much as the abstract statistical analyses of scientific studies.The medicinal use of marijuana is well known to be of benefit in the treatment of nausea and other side effects from chemotherapy.Some tend to assume that marijuana first appeared on the scene in the 1960’s.However, history tells us that the medicinal properties of cannabis have been recognized for centuries.The take-home message here is that it is the context within which marijuana is used that is determinative as to its effect.Given that the United States was founded on principles of religious freedom, citizens’ rights to use marijuana for spiritual purposes should be a no-brainer. Despite overwhelming evidence that most recreational users of marijuana come away unscathed from their experiences, we are living in a historical period of inordinately harsh laws that prohibit its use.Recreational Use and Prohibition: Research indicates that nearly 50 percent of Americans have tried marijuana at least once in their lives. Criminalization has made countless criminals out of otherwise ordinary citizens.Many find that it enhances creativity, and there is no doubt that it heightens one’s aesthetic sensibilities, and one’s experience of music in particular. We have allowed fear to motivate us to such an extent that we are willing to throw our kids in jail for something that many of us did during our own periods of youthful indiscretion.
It opens the consciousness to new possibilities and is a powerful catalyst for spiritual exploration and development.
The hypocrisy of the contrast between the public face of our collective societal stance against marijuana and our true private attitudes toward the same is unconscionable.
Even if young offenders manage to avoid jail sentences, their lives are often stigmatized in such a way as to seriously hamper them from pursuing productive lives as adults.
(5)(6) Some similar but more powerfully hallucinogenic substances used in such rituals include peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca and mescaline.
Their common characteristic is their ability to open one up to an experience of the non-physical dimensions of existence.