Black Spirituality Religion : The Bible and Marijuana...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Aqil, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Biblical injunction in which God sanctions the use of this herb can be found in Genesis 1:29, which reads as follows:

    And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food...”

    The use of marijuana is as old as the history of man, and dates to the prehistoric period. Marijuana is closely connected with the history and development of some of the oldest nations on Earth. It has played a significant role in the religions and cultures of Africa, the Middle East, India and China. Richard E. Schultes, a prominent researcher in the field of psychoactive plants, said in an article he wrote titled, "Man and Marijuana":

    “...that early man experimented with all plant materials that he could chew and could not have avoided discovering the properties of cannabis (marijuana), for in his quest for seeds and oil, he certainly ate the sticky tops of the plant. Upon eating hemp the euphoric, ecstatic and hallucinatory aspects may have introduced man to another worldly plane from which emerged religious beliefs, perhaps even the concept of deity. The plant became accepted as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spiritual world and as such it has remained in some cultures to the present.”

    The effects of marijuana was proof to the ancients that the spirit and power of the god(s) existed in this plant, and that it was literally a messenger (angel) or actually the flesh and blood and/or bread of the god(s), and was - and continues to be - a holy sacrament. Considered to be sacred, marijuana has been used in religious worship from before recorded history.

    According to William A. Embolden, in his book, Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa:

    "Shamanistic traditions of great antiquity in Asia and the Near East has, as one of their most important elements, the attempt to find God without a veil of tears. That cannabis played a role in this, at least in some areas, is borne out in the philology surrounding the ritualistic use of the plant."


    Whereas Western religious traditions generally stress sin, repentance, and mortification of the flesh, certain older non-Western religious cults seem to have employed cannabis as a euphoriant that allowed the participant a joyous path to the Ultimate; hence such appellations as “heavenly guide.” According to the article, "Licit and Illicit Drugs" by the Consumer Union, pp. 397-398:

    “Ashurbanipal lived about 650 BC, but the cuneiform descriptions of marijuana in his library are generally regarded as obvious copies of much older texts,” says Dr. Robert P. Walton, an American physician and authority on marijuana. “This evidence serves to project the origin of hashish back to the earliest beginnings of history.”
     
  2. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Evidence Indicating The Semitic Origin Of Cannibis

    The name “cannabis” is generally thought to be of Scythian origin. Sula Benet, in Cannabis and Culture, argues that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, occurring several times in the Old Testament. He states that in Exodus 30:23 God commands Moses to make a holy anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosm, and kassia. He continues that the word “kaneh bosm” is also rendered in the traditional Hebrew as “kannabos” or “kannabus”, and that the root “kan” in this construction means “reed” or “hemp,” while “bosm” means “aromatic.”

    He also states that in the earliest Greek translations of the Old Testament, “kan” was rendered as “reed,” leading to such erroneous English translations as “sweet calamus” (Exodus 30:23), "sweet cane" (Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 6:20) and “calamus” (Ezekiel 27:19; Song of Songs 4:14).

    Benet argues from the linguistic evidence that cannabis was known in Old Testament times at least for its aromatic properties, and that the word for it passed from the Semitic language to the Scythians, i.e., the Ashkenaz of the Old Testament. Sara Benetowa, of the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw, is quoted in The Book of Grass as saying:

    "The astonishing resemblance between the Semitic ‘kannabos’ and the Scythian ‘cannabis’ leads me to suppose that the Scythian word was of Semitic origin. These etymological discussions run parallel to arguments drawn from history. The Iranian Scythians were probably related to the Medes, who were neighbors of the Semites and could easily have assimilated the word for hemp. The Semites could also have spread the word during their migrations through Asia Minor. Taking into account the matriarchal element of Semitic culture, one is led to believe that Asia Minor was the original point of expansion for both the society based on the matriarchal circle and the mass use of hashish."

    The Ancient Israelites were a Semitic people. Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation, came from Ur, a Babylonian city located in Mesopotamia. The Israelites migrated throughout Asia Minor and could easily have spread the religious use of marijuana...
     
  3. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Marijuana Use in Africa: A Historical Perspective

    The African continent is probably the zone showing the widest prevalence of hemp usage. When white men first went to Africa, marijuana was part of the native way of life. Africa was a continent of marijuana cultures where marijuana was an integral part of religious ceremony. The Africans were observed inhaling the smoke from piles of smoldering hemp. Some of these piles had been placed upon altars. The Africans also utilized pipes. The African Dagga cults believed that Holy Cannabis was brought to Earth by the gods. (Throughout the ancient world Ethiopia was considered the "home of the gods.")

    In south central Africa, marijuana is held to be sacred and is connected with many religious and social customs. Marijuana is regarded by some sects as a magic plant possessing universal protection against injury to life, and is symbolic of peace and friendship. Certain tribes consider hemp use a duty...

    The earliest evidence for cannabis-smoking in Africa outside of Egypt comes from 14th-century Ethiopia, where two ceramic smoking-pipe bowls contained traces on excavation. In many parts of East Africa, especially near Lake Victoria (the source for the Nile), hemp-smoking and hashish-sniffing cults still exist...
     
  4. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Marijuana Use By Muslims

    "It is interesting to note that the use of hemp was not prohibited by Prophet Muhammad (570-632 AD), while the use of alcohol was. Muslims considered hemp as a 'holy plant,' and medieval Arab doctors considered hemp a sacred medicine, which they called - among other names - 'kannab.'

    The Sufis, a Muslim sect originating in 8th-century Persia, used hashish as a means of stimulating mystical consciousness and appreciation of the nature of Allah (God). Eating hashish to the Sufis was 'an act of worship.' They maintained that hashish gave them otherwise unattainable insights into themselves, deeper understanding, and that it made them feel witty. They also claimed that it gave happiness, reduced anxiety, reduced worry, and increased their appreciation of music...

    According to one Arab legend, Haydar, the Persian founder of the religious order of Sufis, came across the cannabis plant while wandering in the Persian mountains. Usually a reserved and silent man, when he returned to his monastery after eating some cannabis leaves his disciples were amazed at how talkative and animated he seemed. After cajoling Haydar into telling them what he had done to make him feel so happy, his disciples went out into the mountains and tried the cannabis themselves. So it was, according to the legend, that the Sufis came to know the pleasures of hashish..."

    (Taken from "The Introduction to A Comprehensive Guide to Cannabis Literature," by Ernest L. Abel.)
     
  5. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food...'" (Genesis 1:29)

    (The word “meat” in the Bible is Hebrew in origin and means food in general. Throughout the Bible the words “animal flesh” are used when describing meat as we know it.)
     
  6. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Aqil, it's interesting that you shared this today. Just yesterday I responded to a thread titled, "Legalizing Marijuana" (I believe that was the title) and I asked several questions.

    For example, I asked what would the benefits be for legalizing marijuana and who would stand to gain and who would stand to lose if it was? I also asked, what is the difference between alcohol and tobacco and marijuana? Why is the consumption of alcohol and tobacco permitted and not marijuana?

    I had no idea that marijuana use could not only be found in the Bible, but condoned by Jesus. Interestingly, and I had forgotten this, other ancient cultures in Africa and Asia, and in America among Native Americans (what was America called before it was allegedly "discovered" by Europeans?) did use herbs in spiritual rituals and for medicinal purposes, but not for recreation. Or did they? The Aborigines did also during spiritual rituals did they not?

    So I'm really curious now. Why and when did using marijuana become illegal? Members of the medical field and the FDA are releasing reports all the time about the dangerous affects of using marijuana. Is that all a scam to keep it from being legalized so that only certain people can benefit by controlling the supply and the price? What about wine? I know that's in the Bible but what does it say about wine? Was wine drinking condoned by Jesus?

    If the use of marijuana can be traced back to so many ancient cultures AND even be found in the Bible, with so many nations of people claiming to be "religious", what happened to turn them or their governments away from scripture and cultural rituals? So now that we're so-called "civilized" it's okay to drink and possibly kill people when you drive, and smoke, possibly killing yourself and others exposed to it second-hand?

    Maybe my questions don't belong here at this forum. They can be moved elsewhere to a more appropriate place if that's the case.

    :confused:
     
  7. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for your enlightening discourse NNQueen. In re: to your queries:

    Marijuana is an herb...a plant created by God, and most often used in its natural state. There is no Biblical passage expressly forbidding the consumption of ANY herb or vegetation...only flesh...

    The reason it became "illegal" is because nothing can be taxed that comes out of the ground. Here is another interesing article for your edification:

    NEUROSCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW THE BRAIN IS STIMULATED BY MARIJUANA

    Researchers Suggest That The Body Uses a Natural Form of Marijuana

    By PHILIP J. HILTS
    (Special to The New York Times)

    WASHINGTON – Researchers plan to report that they have discovered receptors in the brain that are stimulated by marijuana, suggesting that there is a previously unknown chemical pathway in the body using a natural form of the herb.

    The work suggests that researchers might eventually be able to develop drugs that do not cause intoxication but have some of the medicinal properties of the marijuana plant, including pain relief, anti-asthmatic, anti-nausea and anti-convulsive action. Researchers might also be able to design entirely new drugs aimed at these receptors that are more effective painkillers. “This opens up a whole new system in the body,” said Dr. Louis Harris, chairman of pharmacology and toxicology at the Medical College of Virginia, whose laboratories have worked on the problem. A receptor is a molecule on a cell surface where a substance attaches itself to create an effect, acting like a lock and key. The discovery of such a molecule occurring naturally in the body means that the body makes a substance like marijuana.

    A similar discovery two decades ago opened up much of the current work on receptors, when Dr. Solomon Snyder, a John Hopkins University neuroscientist, and his colleagues located the receptor where heroin, morphine and other opiates act. It was later found that there were “natural opiates,” called enkephalins, which the body uses to relieve pain and stress.

    Natural substances that have such powerful action have enormous potential, said Dr. Julius Axelrod, a chemist from the National Institute of Health. He said the natural substances could be used to make more effective drugs. “This is a very exciting finding,” said Dr. Axelrod, who predicted that many laboratories would begin a search for the “natural marijuana” that the body produces. The discovery was reported recently at a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, which designated the 1990s as the “Decade of the Brain.”

    Dr. Snyder reported that Dr. Michael Brownstein, chief of the laboratory of cell biology at the National Institute of Mental Health, had discovered the receptor. Dr. Brownstein declined to discuss the work, which he has submitted for publication in the British journal Nature. Dr. Snyder said the work opens up another natural chemical pathway for relieving pain.

    Dr. B.R. Martin, of the Medical College of Virginia, who has worked for years to find a marijuana-derived pain reliever without the herb’s side effects, said, “This is important because these cannabinoid compounds are unique. A drug to come out of this would not be just another ‘me-too’ drug, but would use a completely different mechanism to deal with pain, unlike that of the natural opiates. We have been waiting for this for years,” said Dr. Martin.

    The body uses an array of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals to trigger effects – like the reactions that come with anger – or to regulate the operation of different organs, like the regular beat of the heart. The chemicals the body uses to do this act by being released from one cell and binding to another. In the case of the just-discovered receptor, one of the effects may be the release of a mild, natural painkiller.

    “Humans didn’t evolve a receptor for some chemical out of a plant,” said Dr. Harris, “and it’s not just an accident that they fit. The body makes these receptors to accept chemicals that are important.” The “natural marijuana” receptor has been found primarily in the regions of the brain where higher mental activity takes place, not where lower functions such as heartbeat are controlled. Psychotropic drugs like heroin, amphetamines and cocaine affect lower-brain activities like heartbeat and respiration “in dangerous ways,” he said.

    Marijuana, or its active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), has a number of interesting effects that researchers would like to study. It has effects at doses that are very low compared to the doses at which life-threatening complications might occur. In addition to causing euphoria and a number of other psychological effects, it can be used to retard glaucoma, to treat asthma, to stop seizures, to lower blood pressure, and other positive effects.

    It is often the case that the different effects a drug has are triggered by different subgroups of the main receptor, Dr. Snyder said, so that discovery of the main receptor is likely to lead to a family of other receptors whose functions are somewhat different. One thing that may be found is an antagonist that reverses the effect of THC. It is not clear if the discovery would have much in drug treatment, however, because marijuana is not addictive and therefore little would be gained by blocking its action, as methadone blocks the action of heroin.

    Officials of the National Institute of Mental Health refused to discuss the research, saying that the editors of Nature had asked them not to discuss it before its next scheduled publication.
     
  8. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A bit more insight on Marijuana....

    Whilst I am not exactly sold on the benefits of Marijuana consumption, I can say that one reason that Hemp is a very useful fossil fuel alternative. Can you imagine what would happen to the political factions that control this planet if Marijuana was legalized and developed further to be used as a fossil fuel alternative?

    :eek:

    That would not only make production more cost efficient but it would enable more people to seek means of transportation. Believe it or not, some of the biggest opponents of Marijuana legalization are oil and auto industries. This is why.


    MANTIS
     
  9. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    GCB, thank you for sharing that good piece of information. Fossil fuel huh? You're right, power and economic wealth would shift dramatically if marijuana was used as a fossil fuel. I had to chuckle when I read that because, once again, it's about power, control and greed. And just imagine how much more environmental friendly it would be. Would MJ result in a greenhouse affect? Would it deteriorate the Earth's ozone layer exposing us to more and more ultraviolet rays? Interesting indeed...
     
  10. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The mother of all modern definitions of science is agriculture. I cannot think of one problem in which Agriculture could not help alleviate... including KKKorporate Globalism. All it would take is some ingenious person somewhere where Marijuana is legal (i.e. Amsterdam) and continue to develop a technology until it becomes so much more cost efficient that people adobt it and begin offering these KKKorporate giants competition.

    And yes, any tipe of Biomass is usually more environmentally efficient when developed as an alternative to fossil fuel.

    :x:
     
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