With eight states looking to legalize medical marijuana through legislative initiatives or ballot measures this November (Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota)(1), I wanted to review some of the pros and cons, as I see them, of marijuana use and abuse.
I've considered myself particularly qualified to weigh in on the subject ever since my philosophy professor pointed out to me as a college freshman that the Italian derivation of my name, Mal-erb-a, can be interpreted to mean "bad weed." I'd like to think that my medical degree and some experience in the field of psychiatry help a little bit, too.
It is understood to act as a vehicle that provides easier access to and an enhanced experience of the "other side," or the spiritual realm.
It opens the consciousness to new possibilities and is a powerful catalyst for spiritual exploration and development.
Cannabis oil was used by early Christians in a number of rites including the anointing with oil at baptisms.
The ancient Chinese Taoists used cannabis as incense, and many Hindu practices included offerings of cannabis to their deities.
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.
Shamans, healers and priests have used and continue to use marijuana in their healing practices and spiritual ceremonies.To sum up my argument I'll need to borrow a line from Eric Clapton, "It's in the way that you use it." Medical Marijuana: The medical benefits of marijuana (cannabis) are pretty well established.There is voluminous scientific research on the subject(2) that verifies its efficacy when applied to a variety of medical conditions, and plenty of first-hand evidence that it works for those who use it for their own health problems.Nevertheless, there are a number of other contexts in which marijuana is used that we still need to consider.Ritual Use of Marijuana: The marijuana plant has likewise been used for centuries in the religious rituals of diverse cultures.