Chrissy Hetrick-Leonard is a mother of three and a nurse. Her full-time job is caring for her oldest child, an 11-year-old girl with multiple health challenges.
Those challenges are daunting and include Cornelia de Lang Syndrome, Dandy Walker Syndrome, autism, epileptic seizures, hip dysplasia, and other maladies.
“It’s hard having an oldest child with a laundry list of ailments,” Chrissy says, sharing the trauma experienced by untold parents in similar situations. “Her seizures six months ago were not very controlled, resulting in paralysis of her body,” she says, adding that her reason for trying alternative medicine was that, quite simply, traditional medicine wasn’t working.
Chrissy emotionally recalls the blank stares and lack of eye contact from Tehya, her daughter. “The seizures were very hard on her body, to the point of breaking bones.”
In addition to the “shot in the dark” and ineffective mainstream treatments, tests confirmed that her daughter’s cognitive abilities were generally that of a 2-year-old.
After years of frustration with pharmaceutical drugs and conventional therapies, Chrissy turned to Colorado’s RiverRock Wellness and Tony Verzura’s proprietary program called A.C.T. Now. RiverRock’s Verzura has been assertively promoting cannabis as superior medicine, but did it do anything for Chrissy’s daughter?
Do you believe in miracles?
The A.C.T. Now program has nearly eliminated the seizures suffered by Chrissy’s daughter, which are at most one per month. It has improved her cognitive function test results by 200 percent, and reduced her paralysis by 80 to 90 percent. She no longer uses any pharmaceutical drugs.
“Within the first week, I saw her come out of almost like a closet,” Chrissy says. “I got eye contact, direct smiles at me … The improvement after six months is mind blowing.”
Chrissy developed a wall board to assist in communicating with her daughter. After months talking through pictures, by hitting a button for audio descriptions of the picture, to now walking up to the board and indicating her desire to say something, her daughter is alive as never before.
Tehya is learning to communicate using an eye-tracking device called Tobii, which will give her the ability to control her environment for the first time. And Tehya no longer babbles “mama,” she calls her mother “mama” with a purpose.
For 11 years, Chrissy’s daughter wouldn’t hug her. She does now. “All I’m waiting for are those ‘I Love You’ words,” she says, holding back tears. “Then I’ll be complete.”
This amazing result was achieved within five months utilizing the full spectrum of cannabinoids. It may have not been possible if she had been restricted to CBD-only medication.
Note: This article first appeared in THC Magazine and Alternet.org.
Marijuana inspired the Jazz Age. It is one of weed’s great legacies.
After the carnage of the Great War, Americans in 1918 turned away from world affairs. Women were marching in city and town streets around the USA, and in 1920, women voted nationally for the first time. Not a coincidence, alcohol prohibition took effect January 1920, as the women also led an anti-alcohol movement. The Eighteenth Amendment.
Alcohol prohibition sparked a revolution in art. Music, painting, dance, centered in Harlem, in Upper Manhattan, NYC. Clubs sold “marihuana cigarettes.” Weed was the recreational drug of choice.
Music revolutionaries whose jazz changed the music world emerged from a cloud of weed smoke - Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, "Jelly Roll" Morton, King Oliver, Charlie Parker, Ma Rainey, Fletcher Henderson, Earl "Fatha" Hines, James P. Johnson, Art Tatum and Fats Waller.
And of course, Cab Calloway.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon set out to destroy his domestic enemies. Marijuana prohibition was his weapon of choice. It was aimed at left leaning U.S. citizens. Above all, Nixon wanted to disrupt the influence of pot-smoking hippies.
In the 45 years since Nixon launched the “War on Drugs,” the name proved to be an adequate description. Millions of otherwise law abiding citizens had their lives ruined. The incarceration machine marginalized the counter culture, and continues to target poor people and minorities.
John Erhlichman was Nixon’s top advisor for domestic policy.
"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” he said. “You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
Politics of Prohibition
When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, many members were not convinced that cannabis should be classified Schedule 1 - a drug with no approved medical benefits.
A presidential commission was created to investigate the drug. It is commonly known as the “Shafer Commission,” after its chairman, Raymond Shafer. He was former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and a former prosecutor. Nixon also appointed most of the other members.
When the president learned that the commission was leaning toward a recommendation to legalize marijuana, he intervened. He met with Shafer. He warned him. Do not be a “bunch of do-gooders.” Do not be “soft on marijuana.”
The commission members reported that marijuana did not lead to aggression or crime. It did not lead to harder drug use. And it did not appear to adversely affect physical or mental health. They recommended decriminalizing marijuana.
The Shafer Commission’s conclusion: “Marijuana’s relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.”
Nixon Orders ‘All-Out War’
The day before the Shafer Commission report was released publicly, Nixon met with his top staff and declared war on marijuana users. He called for an “all-out war.” He said, “We have to attack on all fronts.”
Nixon wrote a speech condemning marijuana consumers, a “goddamn strong statement about marijuana” that rips “the ass out of them.” During the election campaign of 1972, Nixon’s anti-weed rhetoric was everywhere.
Marijuana remained on Schedule 1. And the number of drug arrests jumped by more than 100,000 the following year. It was the beginning of Nixon’s “all-out war.”
Drug arrests soared. In any given year between 1972 and 2015, more than 80% of drug arrests were for marijuana.
Beginning of the End
Over the last 10 years, drug arrests in the United States declined. With the 2016 election, four more states legalized weed for recreational use. More than half of all states (28) have medical marijuana.
FBI statistics show that in 2007, there were 1,841,182 drug arrests nationwide. The number of arrests in 2015 were 1,488,707 - a decrease of 19% in less than a decade. The biggest year-to-year drop was between 2014, when Colorado and Washington state implemented adult use, and 2015. Drug arrests fell by 5%.
It is unlikely that President Donald Trump will spend any of his political capital on trying to resurrect Nixon’s nasty nightmare. A majority of Americans want legal weed.
For two generations, Nixon’s knockout blow against marijuana users sent us reeling. Now we’re landing a few counterpunches.
It’s lights out for marijuana prohibition.
In American history, perhaps the turning point from cannabis as medicine to marijuana as social evil happened rather innocuously with an act by Congress - the marijuana tax stamp act of 1937.
America was in a deep depression. Over-production and financial manipulation. To grow cannabis, you needed a stamp. The Feds were not issuing any stamps.
This was not the first time that hemp as an industrial commodity, and marijuana as medicine, first became stigmatized, despite the cannabis plant’s incredible track record as medicine, food, and textiles.
Yet it did shape harsh political, legal, and social realities for decades.
In almost every genre of American pop music over the last 100 years, songs about weed, and the artists who enjoyed a toke or two, were present. From Cab Calloway’s “Reefer Man” in the 1930s to Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong’s jazz in mid-century to psychedelic rock to rap, there are marijuana references throughout 20th Century pop music culture.
The one glaring exception had been American country and western music. With the notable exception of legend Willie Nelson, and a few more lesser known performers over several decades, country music artists were dismissive, if not hostile, to potheads.
That changed in the last few years. During that short time, country music performers have arguably written the best weed songs of the decade (so far). Not to take anything away from Miley Cyrus, who turned the 2015 VMA Awards into a platform for her brash “Do It,” but by comparison, her refrain of “Yeah I smoke pot, yeah I love peace, but I don’t give a fuck, I ain’t no hippie” is a bit juvenile compared to several more thoughtful country tunes about marijuana.
If you only have time to check out one excellent country song about weed, listen to “Get High” by Brandy Clark. Here is her official video:
Welcome to the CannabisTube blog! Today is the official relaunch of the new and improved CannabisTube Network. Also, today and on this date in marijuana history:
Today, the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative comes into force, permitting an adult to possess one ounce of processed marijuana. It also allows six plants in an enclosed space, with a household limit of 12 plants.
In 2015, Illinois amends its medical marijuana law to allow children under 18 years of age to be treated with edible marijuana and tinctures for the same medical conditions approved for adults. The law also specifically added seizures, including those caused by epilepsy, to the list of approved conditions.
In 2014, the first adult use sales of marijuana take place in Colorado at Northern Lights Cannabis Co. The day marks the nation’s first state-legal business transactions for non-medicinal (or “recreational”) marijuana. Business is brisk, with lines at dispensaries across the state.
Also in 2014, Illinois implements “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”
California’s Senate Bill 420 takes effect on this day in 2004, establishing a patient identification card system - the “215 card” - and other statewide guidelines.
Pro-marijuana presidential candidate Gary Johnson, leader of the Libertarian Party, is born in 1953.
Today is also the birthday of Grandmaster Flash, hip hop pioneer from South Bronx, New York City. He was born in Barbados in 1958.
Sativa recommendation is J1, “ JAY 1 “ A really sweet sativa. They know how to grow !