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Underworld

Why Has Marijuana Been Outlawed? The Real Reasons Are Worse Than You Think…

To understand how cannabis became so stigmatized, you have to understand something about a plant that is very similar to cannabis but different enough that making it illegal would be preposterous: hemp.

If I told you there was a plant available to us today that could be grown in pretty much any soil, could thrive without the use of pesticides, and could be farmed with very little maintenance, and that this magical plant could be used for a very large number of necessities and goods we use today, but we are doing nothing about it, would you think to yourself, “Joe you must be high or on some other cheap drug”?

Well, I’m not high nor do I get high, but let me tell you, there is a plant available right now and it is often mistaken for marijuana, but it has capabilities that are beyond what you could imagine. It’s called hemp.

Right off the top, hemp looks very much like marijuana and is technically in the same family of plants. But unlike modern maryjane, it does not contain anywhere near the amount of THC needed for someone to get high if they were to smoke it. The funny thing is, in the United States, hemp is just as illegal to grow as marijuana is. But how can this be? If we can’t get high from it, then what’s the problem?

In the past, hemp was used for many things: clothes, cars, plastics, building materials, rope, paper, linens, food, medicine and so on. In fact, it used to be mandatory in the United States for farmers to grow hemp if they had the land. You can find out even more about hemp here.

The fact is, hemp was very popular throughout the 1800s and 1900s because it was incredibly useful and easy to grow, and its derived products were so long lasting. But one day that all changed; it became illegal and so did its friend cannabis (marijuana). How did this happen?

The History

During Hoover’s presidency, Andrew Mellon became Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury and Dupont’s primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. This then led them to take an obscure Mexican slang word – ‘marihuana’ – and push it into the consciousness of America. The reason why they changed the name was because everyone knew of hemp and how amazing it was for the world. They would never be able to get away with banning hemp, so they used a name they knew no one would recognize.

Not long after this plan was set in place, the media began a blitz of ‘yellow journalism’ in the late 1920s and 1930s. Yellow journalism is essentially journalism where stories with catchy headlines are put into the mainstream media to get attention, yet these stories are not well researched or backed up. They are often used simply to sway public opinion. Many newspapers were pumping stories emphasizing the horrors and dangers of marihuana. The “menace” of marihuana made headlines everywhere. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to looser morals, and it wasn’t long before public opinion started to shape.

Next came several films like Reefer Madness (1936), Marihuana: Assassin of Youth (1935) and Marihuana: The Devil’s Weed (1936), which were all propaganda films designed by these industrialists to create an enemy out of marihuana. Reefer Madness was possibly the most interesting of the films, as it depicted a man going crazy from smoking marijuana and then murdering his family with an axe. With all of these films, the goal was to gain public support so that anti-marihuana laws could be passed without objection.

Have a look at the following regarding marihuana from The Burning Question, aka Reefer Madness:

  • A violent narcotic
  • Acts of shocking violence
  • Incurable insanity
  • Soul-destroying effects
  • Under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an axe
  • More vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs (heroin, cocaine), is the menace of marihuana!

Unlike most films with a simple ending, Reefer Madness ended with bold words on the screen: TELL YOUR CHILDREN.

In the 1930s, things were different from today in significant ways. The population did not question authority or the media to the extent that we do now, and they did not have tools like the Internet to quickly spread information and learn about things that were happening. Most built their opinions and beliefs off of the news via print, radio, or cinema. As a result (and thanks to the explicit instruction of mainstream news), many people did tell their children about marihuana. Thus, public opinion about this plant was formed.

On April 14, 1937, the Prohibitive Marihuana Tax Law, the bill that outlawed hemp, was directly brought to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Simply put, this committee is the only one that could introduce a bill to the House floor without it being debated by other committees. At the time, the Chairman of the Ways and Means was Robert Doughton, who was a Dupont supporter. With vested interest, he insured that the bill would pass in Congress.

In an attempt to prevent the bill from being passed, Dr. James Woodward, a physician and attorney, attempted to testify on behalf of the American Medical Association. He mentioned that the reason the AMA had not denounced the Marihuana Tax Law sooner was that the Association had just discovered that marihuana was hemp (or at least a strain of it).

Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of Cannabis sativa, but this distinction was purposefully obscured from the public. Since the law was not focused on banning one or the other, both found their way into the ban. The AMA recognized cannabis/marihuana as a medicine found in numerous healing products sold that had been used for quite some time. The AMA, like many others, did not realize that the deadly menace they had been reading about in the media was in fact hemp.

In September of 1937, hemp prohibition began. What was arguably the most useful plant known to man at the time, at least in the West, became illegal to grow and use: cannabis (marijuana) and hemp, one used to give a bad name to the other, even though neither should have realistically garnered that negative backlash. To this day, this plant is still illegal to grow in the United States.

To the public, Congress banned hemp and cannabis because it was said to be a violent and dangerous drug. In reality, hemp does nothing more than act as an amazing resource to virtually any industry and any product, and cannabis is and can be a useful medical substance that, when administered correctly, can have many benefits. But it should also be mentioned that cannabis has been abused over the years and does have its negative side effects. This is a reality many in the community don’t want to admit but it has to be said. We know the effects it has on regular users under 25 years old as well as what heavy regular use can do to serotonin levels. [1]

Fast forward to today, and it is clear we are in some trouble when it comes to how we treat our environment. The resources and practices we use today for energy, as well as product creation, are very harmful and toxic to not just our planet but ourselves. Despite the awareness that exists about hemp as an option to transform how things can be done on this planet, governments continue to ban this plant, and it is still often mistaken for marihuana due to their similar appearance.

Luckily, much more cultural and regulatory progress is being made on the side of cannabis to not only illustrate the value of it medically, but also to better understand its potential dangers. This helps to work out the difference between fact and fiction so we can use the plant responsibly while taking advantage of its benefits.

Sources:

https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/study-cannabis-double-edged-sword-27677

http://www.hempfarm.org/Papers/Hemp_Facts.html

http://www.hempcar.org/hempfacts.shtml

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Underworld

Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease

A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.

CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.

It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.

At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.

In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder. 

The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.

Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.

Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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