On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the municipal leaders of B.C. approved a resolution calling for the decriminalization of Marijuana.
Just as the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and 1930s failed to stop consumption of alcohol, so has the prohibition of pot failed to stop marijuana consumption.
Today, according to WHO, alcohol is the largest risk factor for premature death and disability in the Americas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths are attributed to alcohol use alone (this figure does not include accidental deaths).
On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana.
We are delighted that the Union of B.C. Municipalities has taken this stand, however, there is more to this issue than just moving $4 billion of marijuana trade from the underground economy into the regular business world.
Spirit plants, like marijuana, have been used for thousands of years for emotional and spiritual healing.
All our medicines come from extracting and replicating compounds derived from plants.
Cannabis and humanity are intimately related. Considering the generous presence of welcoming cannabinoid receptors in our brains, it appears we may even have evolved in tandem. It is one of the oldest known cultivated plants on earth, and appears in the records from the dawn of civilization in China and other parts of Asia.
While we wouldn't condemn recreational use of marijuana, we believe that our governments are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, if their only concern is to legalize it to cut down on the violence that comes from organized crime's involvement in marijuana trade.
Properly utilized, we believe that marijuana and the spirit plants, like ayahuasca, iboga, San Pedro cactus, among others, hold the key to reversing some of today's deep-rooted problems.
These plants have been used in shamanic traditions going back thousands, if not tens of thousands of years.
Unfortunately, deep and long-standing prejudices make frank discussion of these substances difficult in the public arena.
We are sure that among municipal leaders there is still a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about the healing work that plants perform.
But what we know, and they do, too, since they adopted the resolution to legalize marijuana, is that the old ways aren't working and, in fact, are exacerbating our problems with organized crime and violence in our communities.
So what to do?
We hope, after passing the resolution, for proactive action and educate on the benefits and positive impacts that spiritual plant medicines can have when treated with the respect and reverence they deserve.
Andrew Rezmer, Spirit Plant Medicine Conference organizer
@ Copyright 2013