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To Tell The Truth

Written by Jim Hinckley

May 9, 2021

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Now, for medicinal use or as a means to unwind at the end of a long day, customers shop at The Bud Farmacy in Needles, California. The store is a manifestation of a dramatic societal shift in perception.

As an example, did you know that in WWII marijuana was actually evaluated for use as a truth serum? In June 1945 the Psychological Warfare Branch of M.I.S. published a secret report on “the feasibility of using drugs in the interrogation of Prisoners of War.” The report detailed classified experiments that commenced in October 1942. Responsibility for the facilitation of the Committee’s efforts was transferred from M.I.S. to the Office of Research and Development of OSS on January 1, 1943.

Six drugs were evaluated in the trials, one of which was cannabis. The report notes, “If the cigarettes contain two to three times the standard dose of .02 grams, a somewhat different phenomenon may appear.   Within five or ten minutes after beginning to smoke, the subject experiences dizziness and difficulty in focusing his eyes on objects.   At the same time he may become apprehensive and anxious for more air.   He may lose consciousness for a minute or so.   If this degree of intoxication is reached, the subject may have no energy to get up from a reclining position for an hour or more, and he may feel stuporous for two or three hours.”

Separating fact from fiction is never easy when it comes to history. This is especially true when it comes to a subject as controversial as marijuana since information has been purposely distorted over the years. There has been a concerted effort to present cannabis or marijuana as a threat to society. But there has also been an aggressive attempt to show the substances as an age old cure for just about anything. The truth is somewhere in between.

As an example, numerous claims have been made on pro marijuana websites and in published articles that the oldest written references to cannabis dates to approximately 2727 B.C. In this tory it has been reported that during this period Chinese Emperor Shen Nung supposedly used cannabis medicinally. This “fact” has been reported so often that it is accepted as truth.

There are, however, some issues with this historic tidbit. Just consider this. The earliest examples of written Chinese characters date to the Shang dynasty, between 1200 B.C. and 1050 B.C. Another matter is the fact that there is no historic evidence to support the existence of Emperor Shen Nung.

Fortunately, with the changing perceptions of marijuana, fact is triumphing over fiction. Honest scientific evaluation is now uncovering the pitfalls and amazing medicinal benefits. There is a growing body of evidence that the use of medicinal marijuana and related oils can alleviate issues associated with glaucoma, the side effects of chemotherapy and the debilitating pain of arthritis.

As should be expected we are also learning that as with aspirin or other medicinal products, there can be issues with use. For example. according to a 2014 study in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Washington State University psychologist Rebecca Craft found that females were more sensitive to cannabis’ painkilling qualities. The study also found that they were also more likely to develop a tolerance for the drug negating its painkilling abilities.

 

 

 

 

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