Sunday, June 11, 2006

it was a dark and stormy night...

once again i am up in the night
the wind
the rain
the lightning
so what has kept me up (besides the migraine) reading all night long? Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to Their History, Chemistry, Use and Abuse by Paul M. Gahlinger. This is an incredibly interesting,
comprehensive, and informative book.
Of the many things i learned was that often drug laws are made because of political stigmatization of certain ethnic groups. Chinese and opium. Germans and prohibition. Mexicans and marijuana. Also William Randolph Hearst was one of the driving forces behind the demonization of marijuana in the 1930s and by extension hemp. The reasoning behind this--he owned a great deal of forest land which he wanted to put into paper production use, which up until that time had been mostly made out of hemp. Get rid of all that hemp production and those forest lands would become SO much more valuable (interesting how the hemp movement seems to be reversing itself today--huh?) I already knew this but i still wonder why mandatory sentencing laws for drug possession of things like marijuana are longer (like 25 years) than for violent crimes (trivial things like, say, Murder, often carry minimum sentences of 7 years)--just curious...
Anyway this book is an excellent resource as it discusses just about every drug you can think of, its history, its uses, its dangers, signs of overdose, lifesaving measures, etc. There were some chemical discussions that were a little beyond me but most of it was perfectly comprehensible and very objective.

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