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26 June 2005

Cannabis, Mushrooms, Psychoactives & Evolution

There's a discussion evolving over at Nerve Centre about the alleged cannabis/psychosis link for which The Antagonist penned an amended version of the following:
Without getting into the discussion about how 'psychosis' is defined, who defines it, and whose purpose that definition serves, modern life, urban living, and the almost entire removal of the human animal in Western society from anything that vaguely resembles its natural environment is what is causing dramatically increased rates of psychosis, and there exists plenty of evidence to support this notion.

If any link existed between cannabis and psychosis, the legends and customs of cannabis use, or the use of any other psychoactive plant throughout the ages, would not have survived the same Millennia of evolution that is beyond the bounds of acceptable discussion for those which seek to legislate against our natural right to use nature's plants.

We must look to how debate of such things is shaped. For example, the following link appears fairly innocuous at first glance:


Notice how the information about mushrooms, fungi which grow naturally all over the world and which have also been used by humans since time immemorial, is presented in the 'Crime Section' of the BBC's 'A-Z of Drugs'.

Of course, we all already know 'drugs are bad, period', and entirely criminal, except for the ones the pharmaceutical industry sells us at every available opportunity - Headache? Tired? Can't Sleep? Can't stay awake? Too fat? Too thin? Cough? Cold? Ache? Pain? Anxious? Stressed? Depressed? Etc, and from which the government makes a nice tidy sum.

The implicit suggestion in the presentation of the information alone is that mushrooms are drugs and that it is a crime to consume them.

In fact, the consumption of mushrooms, cannabis, or any psychoactive plant is just the human animal exercising its natural right to interact with its natural environment in whichever natural way it sees fit to ensure its continued survival and wellbeing. Continued survival and wellbeing is the sole instinctive objective of all life-forms and man, mushrooms and cannabis have happily and peacefully coexisted for thousands upon thousands of years.

Moreover, all of this goes back to the days when we foraged for food, communicated without words, and built monolithic stone pyramids so tall that we had to wait a few thousand years for the Eiffel Tower to be built to surpass them in height.

What we are left with is the dichotomy of governments removing the rights of citizens to use natural substances which we know have been used for thousands of years to expand consciousness, while simultaneously selling them nice taxable, synthetic 'medication', along with other substances which we conveniently forget are also mind altering drugs such as alcohol (stupefying and violent), caffeine (poor man's cocaine, the go-faster drug of choice for the capitalist society), and nicotine (scream if you wanna go faster).

Whatever one's stance on drugs, it is impossible to reconcile the antitethic practice of condemning the natural plants of the earth from which life as we know it emerged, and the natural remedies which we could all cultivate for ourselves, in favour of taxable, profitable, synthetic alternatives beyond the means of our production and that require chemical factories, laboratories and government licenses to produce.

One should also bear in mind that the same governments, through the likes of medical research and university research programmes, along with the pharmaceutical industries, dedicate immense resources to investigating the manifold benefits of psychoactive plants, further adding to the dichotomy of legislating against natural substances.

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that through payment of taxes and TV license fees, we are funding the very mis-information campaigns that lead to our deliberate confusion. And, if we chose to stop paying those taxes and TV license fees to stop all the misinformation, they would throw us in jail. Interesting, non?

"That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger."

If psychoactive plants can be consumed (they can) and do not kill us (they don't, unless you're incredibly stupid to start with) then it follows that they only make us stronger (they do).

The evidence of what we once knew is everywhere if only we are able to recognise it for what it is.

pharmacratic inquisitionQED.

5 comments:

Red Steve said...

This is a superb article - congrats to the author for eloquently stating the facts therein.
I would just like to add that the role of synthetic drugss in our quests to widen our horizons should not be overlooked. Although initially promoted and tested on volunteers by a CIA run initiative, LSD played a pivotal role in shaping the outlook of my generation, as has MDMA (main active ingredient in ecstacy tabs) done for the younger generation. Those of us who seek to find more within and without (!) ourselves sometimes may go up a dead end street - crack and heroin spring to mind, but we live (and just a few occasionally die) to learn by our successes and our mistakes.
Sad to see this blog's been up nearly a year and I'm the first to post a comment. Ah well, we do lead such busy lives, easily becoming trapped by the master plot to keep us all controlled. I myself am no different - with a hectic unwanted lifestyle struggling just to stand still!
Peace & Love,
Red Steve.

The Antagonist said...

Hi Red Steve, and thanks for the comment.

Interesting points about the synthetic drugs. Terrence McKenna often referred to MDMA as being one of the vital components of the Rave Culture of the nineties as a lead-in to the archaic revival. To my mind though, natural is always the preferable option.

As always, education is the answer, not misinformation, but misinformation and mindless propaganda are what capitalism and economies thrive on.

On a related note.... Last year the British government dumped mushrooms in the Class A category, along with heroin and crack, but excluded from this re-classification the Fly Agaric or Amanita Muscaria, which is often referred to as either one of the most toxic varieties of mushroom, or the Divine Mushroom of Immmortality, depending on what you're reading.

In my original article is a picture of popes and Fly Agarics which shows the similarities between the Divine Mushrooms of Immortality and the regalia of popes.

However, it's not just popes who dress that way, so too do Parliamentarians.

What this leaves us with is a bunch of people who dress up like Fly Agarics for fun, and then go on to render illegal mushrooms that don't look like them (i.e. Lords or Popes). They might as well have called it the 'My Mushroom is Better Than Yours Bill' for the ridiculous piece of Class based legislation that it is.

And, in all of this you have the explanation for quite why all magic mushrooms have been made illegal in the UK, except for the Divine Mushroom of Imortality, the most 'toxic' mushroom of the lot, the Fly Agaric.

The sad thing about all this is that one of nature's most enlightening plants, revered throughout the ages, has for quite some time been representative of the class antagonisms of Religions, States and Governments.

Default Man said...

Great article, interesting information.

This is a phase in which humanity has to confront with all these kinds of substance and take what it's good and right into account and into human evolution. That will only happen as a natural reaction of the results of human consumption and affection to a substance.

Mary in Vancouver BC Canada said...

We are 'hardwired' for a magical life.

When taking a science program at UBC in Vancouver two different seemingly unrelated courses gave insight to our evolutionary mutation process.
One is that we, meaning humans descend from stardust seeded to new earth as the primordial soup gestated into life. From germ/bacterial beginnings we grew from simple amino protein whose cousins where slime mould or fungi.

The natural world and humans have the same springboard of life, we are interconnected by the very elements that dusted the earth with our early anscestors.

We were created to sense and actualize the magic and mystery of life, and it was hardwired into the seeds of life.

Wikepedia: source of first two paragraphs

Cannabinoids are a group of terpenophenolic compounds present in Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L). The broader definition of cannabinoids refer to a group of substances that are structurally related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The chemical definition encompasses a variety of distinct chemical classes: the classical cannabinoids structurally related to THC, the nonclassical cannabinoids, the aminoalkylindoles, the eicosanoids related to the endocannabinoids, 1,5-diarylpyrazoles, quinolines and arylsulphonamides and additional compounds that do not fall into these standard classes but bind to cannabinoid receptors.[1] The term cannabinoids also refers to a unique group of secondary metabolites found in the cannabis plant, which are responsible for the plant's peculiar pharmacological effects. Currently, there are three general types of cannabinoids: herbal cannabinoids occur uniquely in the cannabis plant; endogenous cannabinoids are produced in the bodies of humans and other animals; and synthetic cannabinoids are similar compounds produced in a laboratory.

Cannabinoid receptors
Main article: cannabinoid receptor
Before the 1980's, it was often speculated that cannabinoids produced their physiological and behavioral effects via nonspecific interaction with cell membranes, instead of interacting with specific membrane-bound receptors. The discovery of the first cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s helped to resolve this debate. These receptors are common in animals, and have been found in mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. There are currently two known types of cannabinoid receptors, termed CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, specifically in the basal ganglia and in the limbic system, including the hippocampus. They are also found in the cerebellum and in both male and female reproductive systems. CB1 receptors are essentially absent in the medulla oblongata, the part of the brain stem that is responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions. Thus, there is not a risk of respiratory or cardiovascular failure as there is with many other drugs. CB1 receptors appear to be responsible for the euphoric and anticonvulsive effects of cannabis.
CB2 receptors are almost exclusively found in the immune system, with the greatest density in the spleen. CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and possibly other therapeutic effects of cannabis.

James said...

Very good Antagonist, except as ever it's complete tosh. You've followed your usual formula of taking a small issue and bringing in all sorts of wider unrelated stuff without substantiatng your claims about the smaller issue. This is the easiest and laziest way to convince people of an argument.

Yeah, cannabis is fine and the fascists just want to contol us, man, and people only get ill but it's the state making us ill really, man.

Speak to doctors about cannabis psychosis Antagonist and they will be happy to inform you about what they see in their surgeries every day. But then I suppose in your eyes they're part of the conspiracy, aren't they? See what I mean? If your argument is based on lambasting the whole system, then you have the luxury of never having to bother to corroborate anything you say.

My best friend used to be a successful, outgoing, popular, happy person before he started smoking a lot of cannabis. He now resides in a mental institute. Not because the state made him like that Antagonist; because cannabis did. When I go to visit him, he just stares at me blankly. It's tragic.

Not only are you deeply misinformed about most of what you have to say, but you are also highly irresponsible. The one downside of the internet is that it gives fools like you a platform.