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November 2010
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I get mail

Here is a letter that moved me.

My name is B.C. and I am an artist of many media. Right now I am an independent musician, and recent college graduate from the Houston Texas Area.

I used to be very anti-marijuana, until I got mad at my girlfriend for doing it, and decided to research it to give her a definitive answer on it’s ill effects. I found none. Instead I found your website, and the answer to why marijuana is Illegal. This is what sparked my education into such a helpful plant, one that I had viewed with such negativity for most of my life. Now I can say I am a full fledged scholar in the ins and outs of the plant, and one by one I have changed people’s thoughts on marijuana, and especially the drug war in general.

It helped me first hand medically when I had hernia surgery last year. The doctors told me my groin would be swollen black and blue for the next two days and put me on hydrochodon, for the next few months. Instead I convinced my parents who were taking care of me (who are adamantly anti marijuana), to let me smoke an indica strain that i had brought home. I showed them all the evidence at my disposal and they relented, eventually seeing the first hand effects of my swelling disappearing immediately, the sudden resurgence of appetite, and my general attitude not be so high strung and moody. I only used half of my original prescription, and never needed to refill. My Dad stopped drug testing his employees after that, and my mom was a firsthand witness to the medical effects.

Besides health benefits, my music became more open and creative, and I finally have a goal and a message inside. To let people be who they are, enjoy their life, and to get people to question the status quo. I have posted my first music video on youtube (link below), and think your readers might get some enjoyment out of it.

One at a time, we change people’s lives and make a difference, and the ripple effect can be profound.

Here is B.C.’s music video. Surreal and compelling.

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35 comments to I get mail

  • scottp

    Great letter! I love reading stories of conversion.
    You’re changing the way people think about cannabis, Pete.

  • ray

    Enjoyed the video; glad that the young man has come around and I’m about to have a hernia opperation in two days so I am also glad to hear his testimonial on cannabis ability to help quickly reduce swelling…

  • ray

    also…I love your site Pete, your site is the one I come to first and most often every day….thank you so much for your efforts.

  • bobreaze

    Best part of the letter. I went online to find out why marijuana was bad and found your site. Another person converted and the education train keeps on rolling. Now if only polaticians would visi the site with an open mind instead of their usual close mindedness.

  • darkcycle

    The truth shall set you free.

  • Ben Mann

    That must be some real validation for you, Pete! Well done. If you’ve reached even just one person, you’ve don’t one of the best things we can do in life.

  • Gotta love things like...

    …This video..
    …the truth….
    …love and freedom…

  • pfroehlich2004

    Inspiring stuff. I would love to see a poll of people who have changed their views on marijuana prohibition and the most commonly cited reasons for doing so. Anybody know how much that would cost from a reputable polling company?

  • claygooding

    bobrease,it is impossible to have an open mind on anything that requires a decision that costs you money,,,or votes.
    I wish we could require a hair burn test for every federal
    employee and elected official in the US,then we could really see the hypocrites crawfish.

  • Nebula

    I also became pro marijuana because of the internets. It’s hard to find anti marijuana stuff online unless it’s from some .gov or fundie website.

  • denmark

    Once people understand the truth surrounding Prohibition and the utter failure of the drug war they generally come around. We never know what one sentence we utter, one fact we speak, or true story that’s shared that turns them around.

    While we continue to honestly and constructively end Prohibition and legalize cannabis I do have one word of advice for those who will be applying for their medical marijuana card. That would be: Make certain your doctor writes in your medical records the word DIAGNOSIS. (for whatever the medical condition is that qualifies you for medical mj).
    It has not been easy getting my permanent card because the word DIAGNOSIS was not in my charts. And yes, finally, I have my one year card.
    The next step is to get to a new doctor in Washington state and start all over again. Every two years the medical condition has to be justified.

  • in love with Mary Warner

    Welcome to the dark side B.C. We have cookies and gourmet coffee. Now if they lied to you about marijuana just think what other lies there are.

  • Dano

    Beautiful!

    Welcome to the enlightened club – I went through the same issues when I took my first puff at age 37. Injury and work related arthritis has rarely been a problem since. No more stiff joints in the morning, no more creaking, rarely do I have weather related pains.

    The internet is really the best information tool this planet has ever had, and it’s amazing that a low level blog like DrugWarRant can compete on an even playing field with the US Govt and come out the winner in the information game.

  • NorCalNative

    This is also what happened to Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon. He set out to learn about the dangers and became a convert when he saw the effects of cannabis on his son who had cancer.

  • ezrydn

    Ya did good, Pete. And I know how it makes you feel, even if it was just this one email. DWR starts many balls rolling and we never know whom they’ll run into. It’s sure good to get positive feedback though.

    Now, get back to work!! LOL Load up another ball!

  • bobreaze

    clay,

    I absolutley agree that all elected officials should undergo the drug testing . I would prefer the hair test because it shows the longest history of use but unfortunatley that will never happen. We are more likely to see people tested that are on welfare than the elected officials in washington.

  • Bruce

    Haha priceless. It was doing that exact same thing that led me to develop my own wind tunnel with dryer hose and a cardboard tube, model planes, and colored lights. Seeing the SR71 and Concorde busting smoke rings, leaving perfectly formed vortices in their wake, astonishingly beautiful. Different brands of incense give off different colors of smoke. Maintaining absolute stillness allows the air in the room to settle down so smooth flow can be achieved. Y’all should give it a try.

  • DdC

    claygooding: bobrease,it is impossible to have an open mind on anything that requires a decision that costs you money,,,or votes.
    I wish we could require a hair burn test for every federal
    employee and elected official in the US,then we could really see the hypocrites crawfish.

    bobreaze: I absolutley agree that all elected officials should undergo the drug testing

    I wish we could require a hair burn test? Open mind? Hypocrites?

    NorCalNative: This is also what happened to Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon.

    Grinspoon: marijuana-uses.com

    Tashkin also tried to prove the harmful effecs of Ganja on the lungs and truth bit him in the ass too.

    Dr. Donald Tashkin Marijuana Lung Cancer Study
    Pulmonary specialist and Federal Government researcher from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine finds that marijuana does not cause lung cancer in his study on the effects of cannabis and the lungs.

  • pt

    Awesome. My realization came rather unexpectedly at a book store. I was a heavy pot smoker/dealer in high school and college, but I always thought it should remain illegal. I had the elitist view that it was ok for ME and my friends to do, but most people couldn’t handle it. (rofl to this now)

    Then I walked into a bookstore (soph. year of college), just looking around and picked up “Drug Crazy” by Mike Gray. I started reading it. Before I knew it five hours had passed and I had read the whole book! It was the fastest I think I had ever read a book. Once I started reading it I literally couldn’t stop!

    I had walked into the bookstore thinking it was ok to lock up people for weed, as long as it wasn’t me, but I walked out a full blown legalizer.

  • Common Science

    My impressions of marijuana took a 360 degree turn before I even partook also. I was on a high school trip at a city art gallery, packed with the rest of the class in the lobby til the teachers got clearance. Excitable banter was coming from the women’s washroom. When two ladies exited arm in arm with huge cheshire grins, there followed this wonderful smoky fragrance, quite unlike the wretched cigarette smoke at my house. One of the cool kids spelled it out for the rest us, and my friend and I followed the affected ladies to try and witness any deviant behaviour that we were told dopers did.

    That same weekend I was avoiding the adults at my uncle’s place, looking through his stacks of magazines where I came across an article written by Allan Ginsberg in the November 1966 issue of The Atlantic Monthly -’The Great Marijuana Hoax.’ Thirty paragraphs into his article explained the exaggerated behaviour we observed:

    “Marijuana is a useful catalyst for specific optical and aural aesthetic perceptions. I apprehended the structure of certain pieces of jazz & classical music in a new manner under the influence of marijuana, and these apprehensions have remained valid in years of normal consciousness. I first discovered how to see Klee’s Magic Squares as the painter intended them (as optically three-dimensional space structures) while high on marijuana. I perceived (“dug”) for the first time Cézanne’s “petite sensation” of space achieved on a two-dimensional canvas (by means of advancing & receding colors, organization of triangles, cubes, etc. as the painter describes in his letters) while looking at The Bathers high on marijuana. And I saw anew many of nature’s panoramas & landscapes that I’d stared at blindly without even noticing before; thru the use of marijuana, awe & detail were made conscious. These impressions are permanent-any deep aesthetic experience leaves a trace, & an idea of what to look for that can be checked back later…”

    Gives me a contact high just writing this.

  • Wow! Thank you for all the positive responses for the video, and my own story! Thanks especially to Pete for enlightening me and helping me find a path for my art.

    I’m not there yet, but I hope to someday soon use my music and art to lead a charge through pop culture to help end this sickening prohibition. I know that with the support of such a diverse and dedicated community, I could help lead the change through the medium that glorifies the use of this plant, but does nothing to change the status quo. This is my calling, and I intend to do whatever I can to get there.

    I will be releasing a free mini album next week at http://www.myspace.com/musicbcwalk, so be sure to go to our website and give a listen when that come out! Thanks!

  • Just Legalize It

    I was also against marijuana growing up. I was always around it but just never tried it. Of course I bought into the whole DARE BS and thought it was bad for you even though I knew many people who used it almost daily with none of the negative consequences we were taught about.

    From the start of my mid teens to early 20s I was battling sleep apnea. It was horrible. I couldn’t get to work on time, I was falling asleep on the toilet and worse, I would sometimes fall asleep at red lights. I tried the CPAP machine that my doctor got for me but apparently I would rip it off right when I fell asleep. One night, when I was 22, I got drunk with some friends and got passed a joint and took a hit. Not sure if it did anything because I was already wasted. However, it did cause me to try it again the next time I was offered. I started noticing changes in the way I slept. I felt better the day after I smoked.

    That’s not all. I’ve had ADHD since I was a kid, although it went undiagnosed and untreated. That is usually the case when you grow up in a poor family. My symptoms started getting much worse through my teens. Everything in my life was strained from relationships to jobs to school. Eventually I just quit everything. Marijuana, certain strains anyways, helps balance me out and makes me feel normal again. The big problem I have is that I can almost never get the strains that help me. It’s basically what my dealer has and that’s it.

    After noticing the huge difference it has been, I started doing a little research on it. Let me tell you, it is 100% true what they say, learning about marijuana, and the cannabis plant as a whole, becomes very addictive! It is really amazing how little the public is taught about this plant and it’s downright disgusting how what we are taught about it is mostly blatant lies and/or half truths.

    I am now 27 years old and in the 5 years that I have been smoking marijuana, I have dropped 75 pounds(even though i get the munchies really bad), I sleep much better every single night and I’ve been able to stay off the dangerous and highly addictive prescription pills that my doctors have given me.

    There is still a lot of work needed to be done in order to end cannabis prohibition, both marijuana and hemp. The good thing is that, like with B.C., once you educate and convert one person, they will do the same to at least one more person, if not more. I am very optimistic that I will see the end to prohibition in my lifetime.

    Thanks Pete for all that you do. Your website will forever be in my ‘most visited’ on Google Chrome.

    Just a side note… I am for the full legalization of marijuana but I believe that all other drugs should just be decriminalized pending serious scientific studies. If deemed safe enough for legalization, make them legal. If deemed very unsafe for full legalization, make them available through a doctor or something along those lines. Don’t give gangs and cartels the money to keep up the violence. The market for those other drugs is so small compared to marijuana and once marijuana is legal, there will be a decline in hard drug use. The current users of them might not stop, but it will have a profound impact on the number of people starting them which, in time, will cause usage rates to decline. I do not think people should be arrested for being addicted to drugs. I do not think they should be forced to enter a rehab either. I do, however, think that they should be offered first class rehab for free. I also think if the users do not fear the police, they will be more inclined to ask them for help.

    Make it a $100 fine for possession. Waive that fine if they request rehab. Let’s bring back the trust. Let’s bring back the respect. Let’s end the failed war on drugs.

    Of course my views will change with more information but I will NEVER advocate for making drug users or addicts criminals.

  • bobreaze

    DDc

    I wouldn’t call myself a hypocrite. Infact my first gripe on the drug war is the drug testing that they have allowed companies to use to pry into peoples private lives is un constitutional. Infact drug-testing for a job or randomly to me is pretty infuriating because what i do at home shouldn’t matter unless it affects my job performance. All im saying is that the high and mighty elected elite should be subjected to the same thing they have allowed their corporate benefactors to push on to the working class.

  • darkcycle

    Wanna get a big wakeup call that your government is full of shit? Try goin’ to work for Uncle. That’ll disabuse you of any notions that they tell the truth.

  • DdC

    bobreaze
    I wouldn’t call myself a hypocrite.

    Maybe you should get an American dictionary. Then learn how to c&p my moniker. Thats weak and hypocritical in itself.

    Infact my first gripe on the drug war is the drug testing that they have allowed companies to use to pry into peoples private lives is un constitutional.

    Exactly why you are hypocritical giving these prohibitionists more profits. Also a degrading humiliating practice no American should ever have done to them. Not very open minded.

    Infact drug-testing for a job or randomly to me is pretty infuriating because what i do at home shouldn’t matter unless it affects my job performance.

    Even if it affects your job performance pisstasting won’t stop it or even identify inebriated workers. So again paying these fascist companies to test drug worriers is not only lame, its two faced. You really want to hurt a drug worrier, get em stoned.

    All im saying is that the high and mighty elected elite should be subjected to the same thing they have allowed their corporate benefactors to push on to the working class.

    So blacks should have redneck slaves? Acting like your enemy doesn’t make your case. Sprewing angry words on a public forum only shows you’re angry. Not that you’re right. Most of the drug worriers are duped sheep serving their chosen masters. Educating them in a censored media, edited school books and constant lies is bad enough. Pisstasting would prove 99% are clean and sober and profit the labs in the process. Your logic is the same as the drug czar forcing me to take a few hits of a bud wrapped around a Thai stick. That’ll teach me. This is America and we shouldn’t have “high and mighty” elected elite and those acting like it should be tossed out.

  • Bruce

    Incoming Mail! THuD
    Cool new edit feature, Pete.
    Ran out of the serendipitous bag of weed I found on the walk to the store. Back into purgatory I go.
    The ref blows his whistle
    !!! ‘Play on’

  • vicky vampire

    Beautiful letter wish the owls on Harry Potter could in real life deliver this letter and hundreds more to every prohibitionists who is in power to change things the letter would barrage them where ever they went so much for wishful daydreams.
    My story raised in small town brainwashed by school,parents,book against pot I read back in seventies I’m 51 I was totally afraid of drugs, thoughts hippies were freaks
    but secretly thought the beatnik were cool then became Bisexual still stayed away from drugs some friends and family members OD’D busy with life married two kids moderate drinker,for some reason about ten years ago and also getting on net kids older came out of dream world and actually started realising things I had previously missed like friends of my sisters and I who had smoked regulary and got excellent grades and went on to successful lives,some celebrities who had taken a shitload of drugs but were still very creative and producing incredible stuff how could this be propaganda said everyone who took drugs couch potato unproductive amoral creep yet in my forties I keep meeting folks and later finding out they used these folks were normal ambitious hell they had a better memory despite years of use than mine. about 7 years ago developed ongoing chronic pain that never leaves arthritis,three herniated discs,Migraines,Fibromyalgia that despite almost complete vegetarian diet,stretching a boat load a meds tried many stopped others side effects bad and did not help pain, still am on Musle relaxers,anti-convulsent for headache for now its not working percs for pain and yes is not perfect the marijuana takes edge off when other stuff does not work and I can smoke plenty and not worry about OD’ing and not have to take extra of other pain stuff and getting in trouble like some folks who accidently die cause they cannot control pain and reach for that extra pill. but how many more folks have to die oh no pot still the demon weed. Oh must give credit to reason Mag. They have been wealth of wisdom now you Pete and everyone here I’m humbly thankful.

  • Nick

    No fighting in the parking lot.
    Don’t smoke it anymore. Ingest.
    Thanks for the link Pete, and watch out for the young people.

  • Ivan "I must break you" Drago

  • DdC

    Don’t smoke it anymore. Ingest.

    Smoking again? More fucking gossip. OK Ace, what the flying fuck are chemo patients with severe nausea supposed to ingest? Or wasting syndrome who can’t develop an appetite. Or like Peter McWilliams, those who can’t hold solid food down? Anorexia victims are going to eat it? Or the multitude of pain relief, you think they should wait 20 minutes? What is the difference between your gossip and Michele M. Leonhart? She gets paid tax dollars you’re just silly. Yea just let em die with your bogus paranoia about smoking. You help kill people who could expectorate pollution by smoking but choose to ingest without aid to the lungs. What the fuck are you worriers doing for obesity patients? In-frickin-gest? Bring some non NIDA Science, or keep your gossip identified as such. Stop lying, you’re killing innocents who might be naive enough to believe your horshit!

    THE MURDER OF PETER MCWILLIAMS
    Peter was a part of the roughly 40% of those patients for whom the anti-viral drugs being used to treat AIDS can cause violent nausea. Peter was found dead on the floor of his bathroom, apparently having choked to death after vomiting, for want of medical marijuana.

    Expectorant

    Cannabis is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog, dust, and the phlegm associated with tobacco use.

    Marijuana smoke effectively dilates the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more oxygen into the lungs. It is also the best natural dilator of the tiny airways of the lungs, the bronchial tubes—making cannabis the best overall bronchial dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor negative reactions).

    (See section on asthma—a disease that closes these passages in spasms—UCLA Tashkin studies, 1969-95; U.S. Costa Rican, 1980-82; Jamaican studies 1968-74.)

    Statistical evidence—showing up consistently as anomalies in matched populations—indicates that persons who smoke tobacco cigarettes are usually better off and will live longer if they smoke cannabis moderately, too. (Jamaican, Costa Rican studies.)

    Millions of Americans have given up or avoided smoking tobacco products in favor of cannabis, which is not good news to the powerful tobacco lobby—Senator Jesse Helms and his cohorts. A turn of the century grandfather clause in U.S. tobacco law allows 400 to 6,000 additional chemicals to be added. Additions since then to the average tobacco cigarette are unknown, and the public in the U.S. has no right to know what they are.

    Many joggers and marathon runners feel cannabis use cleans their lungs, allowing better endurance.

    The evidence indicates cannabis use will probably increase these outlaw American marijuana-users’ lives by about one to two years—but they can lose their rights, property, children, state licenses, etc., just for using that safest of substances: cannabis.

    Lung Damage Reports
    While tens of millions of Americans smoke pot regularly, cannabis has never caused a known case of lung cancer as of December 1997, according to America’s foremost lung expert, Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA. He considers the biggest health risk to the lungs would be a person smoking 16 or more “large” spliffs a day of leaf/bud because of the hypoxia of too much smoke and not enough oxygen.

  • Duncan20903

    It’s that nasty thing called the truth that converts people. Be careful BC. This truth thing has turned into an absolute fetish for me. There are people who say that wise men fear to tread where ignorance is bliss an I’ve got to say from my personal experience that it’s the absolute truth. Unfortunately my bias was to think that ignorance was a sign of stupidity rather than intelligence. I just can’t stop my obsession with the truth, and it really sucks because almost no-one else cares about the truth. Most people don’t care one way or the other, but of those that do most would be more likely to call the police and demand a trespassing charge if the truth came and knocked on their doors rather than embracing it. In this world they’re the smart ones. Sure, if things were different they wouldn’t be the same. Perhaps you will figure out a way to mitigate the pain this truth fetish can cause and I’d sure appreciate a heads up if you do.

    I think it’s possible they’ll even put the truth onto schedule I and start arresting us that just can’t put it down. I’ve been looking around for one of those 12 step meetings for people with a truth fetish, and it seems that they haven’t started them up yet. Well perhaps it’s just that they named it something else, it wouldn’t really be appropriate to honestly call it what it is.

    One thing old man, the smoking thing isn’t required. I’m kind of an odd duck even with the recent release of the CMCR study that vaporization is safe and effective. I just recall my first experience with a vaporizer at a dispensary in Hayward. That was a double first because it was my first dispensary visit. It had a lot to do with the fact that it had been a couple of months since I had smoked, but that day was as special to me as that first time back in 1977. I really wish that people would give up the smoking thing. I don’t really expect it to happen but as good as it is, vapes and medibles are even better. Just on the experience, that it disarms the main argument of the Know Nothings wrt the potential/supposed health hazards of smoking is just icing that makes the cake even more delicious. That cannabis smoking isn’t particularly dangerous on a baseline versus lung health without it, I’m still of the belief that by employing a vape that lung health improves from the baseline. Which means smoking cannabis is in fact bad for people. But only time will tell, I haven’t got a research degree, I’m not a licensed medical professional, hell the only reason I’ve got a high school degree is because they didn’t let people get away from the public schools without one back in the 1970s. While my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none, I’m still a poor schmuck that can read the writing on the wall. And now Kodak doesn’t even make film any more.

  • Duncan20903

    I disagree with the testing of anyone except for those who support the expanding or even maintaining the machinery of the war on (some) drugs. Like that clown who got busted for smoking pot at the Pittsburgh Steelers game last Sunday. I even posted a demand that he take himself down to the lab for a hair test, but that’s only because “He adamantly denies that he smoked any marijuana,” said Costa’s attorney, Phil DiLucente. “No narcotics of any kind were found on him. In fact, he detests marijuana.” and “He said police did not ask Costa to submit to a blood test for the drug.”

    Hair test, not blood, feces, or urine. For those statements I want a 90 day history. Interesting that he picked a blood test in his statement. Did he really think everyone who gets arrested for petty possession in Pittsburgh gets a blood test?

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_709639.html

    I admit it’s too hard to decide who’s more likely to be lying, the cops or the politician. That’s a conundrum beyond the ken of mortal men.

  • Duncan20903

    The internet is really the best information tool this planet has ever had, and it’s amazing that a low level blog like DrugWarRant can compete on an even playing field with the US Govt and come out the winner in the information game.

    Indeed it’s the Internet that has changed and leveled the playing field. It’s only a matter of time. Yeah, potheads are such lazy, stupid people. Taking on the entire apparatus and resources of the Federal government and winning (knock wood). Also amusing that it was the government’s own Internet that did them in (more knocking).

    So are you a fan of the new Hawaii 5-0? I wonder if Jack Lord is turning over in his grave because the new version is just punking his version. I appreciate the way they kept the ‘Book him Dano’ but turned it into a running gag with Detective Williams hating it. Treating pakalolo consumers with respect might have me a bit infatuated though. It only took them until episode 2 to do it. Now the Internet may kill TV though, I haven’t actually watched a TV show on TV since the start of this year.

  • Common Science

    I’m trying to find the TV package that has only two channels; HBO and PBS.

    “I find TV very educational. Everytime someone turns it on, I go in another room and read a book.”
    -Groucho Marx