It is natural to compare marijuana with alcohol, because society on the one hand permits alcohol, and just recently, in the last hundred years, has made marijuana illegal. Marijuana users are persecuted by nearly every government in the modern world. New, radical laws defy thousands of years of tradition when marijuana was legal to grow, sell, and use. Neither did our Founding Fathers nor the ancient world ban marijuana. The plant was never perceived as a problem until the corrupt and racist politicians made it so. All these things that I write are well-documented and can be confirmed by those that are interested in the truth.
Today, alcohol and marijuana are among the popular drugs, although not nearly as popular as the bearers of caffeine, chocolate and coffee. Yes, caffeine too is a drug, and unlike marijuana, is toxic. There are many other drugs that people do not think of as drugs, and these are the more dangerous, because they are subtle and slip beneath the awareness. We do see in this world as through a glass darkly.
Marijuana derives from a plant grown in sunshine and is the friend of living things. Almost alone among all substances, marijuana nourishes introspection and reflection. It makes a poor party drug, as can be observed by the wider popularity of alcohol for that purpose. Alcohol suits a party because of its simplicity and predictability. In small quantities, alcohol reduces social inhibition just enough to get conversation flowing. Limiting the amount consumed poses a problem, however. For many people, inhibitions are not a problem in the first place, and one wonders, why drink at all?
Alcohol may be regarded as marijuana's opposite. Alcohol derives from Death, for it is the waste product of yeast that feeds upon decaying plant matter. Alcohol kills living cells. The association with death is pervasive. The physical nature reflects the spiritual. Alcohol's history with mankind is long and storied. The intoxicated are prone to anger and violence. Drinking opens up a gateway that invites Evil into our world. Things that watch in the darkness are ever eager to use humans as their vessels. Not all puppets perceive the strings that move them.
Some do concede that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, but fear that legalizing marijuana will result in a situation where marijuana is just one more item on the recreational menu. In the first place, it already is. Millions use, whether the thing is legal or not. Prohibition transforms ordinary folk into criminals. Our United States, the powerhouse of Prohibition, imprisons more of its people than any other nation on Earth. The very first thing that the Prohibitionist wants to do is build new prisons and make them harsher than before. In this manner, men forge hells in their paradise of Earth.
Alcohol diminishes my power. One of the best presents that I ever gave myself was nourishing my resolve to abstain from alcohol. I am in general agreement with those that say Hell is found in a bottle. Even so, I would not favor a renewal of Prohibition. It never worked in the 1930s and never will work. Prohibition offends a man's sense of liberty. Let the drinkers drink, as long as they harm none. The second clause is the difficult one. Drinkers will drink and they will act accordingly. That is why religious men have tried to ban it. But banning is a simplistic solution and fraught with difficulty, because there is a need, is there not, a need for inebriation. If there is an itch, it will be scratched. I propose not banning, but replacing, and with the replacement, improving.
I consider it a blasphemy to lace marijuana with any other substance. Thankfully this has been a rare occurrence, because marijuana consumers prefer their product to be pure and unadulterated. Any case of violence associated with marijuana use must raise an immediate suspicion that adulterants or other substances were consumed. Individuals who are prone to violence either dislike marijuana or use it as a medication to suppress their violent tendencies.
The marijuana user thrives in peace and calm and is immune to boredom and restlessness. Marijuana can be a superb tool for meditation, relaxation, and exploration of the mind. Both a benefit and a potential downside of marijuana is that the user tends toward passivity and inactivity. Sometimes it is best to wait rather than act. Think of the bear, hibernating through the winter. However, when action is called for, abstinence is best. Those placed in highly demanding roles will find their performance improves through abstinence. However, do not remove marijuana from the shelf. Marijuana offers an alternative remedy for alcoholism, drug addiction, anxiety and mild depression.
When used in combination, other ingredients tend to overshadow the subtle influence of marijuana. Alcohol and marijuana together produce a zombie-like state of no value to self or others, while alcohol alone diminishes the spirit and inhibits spiritual development.
Materialists of our age bristle at abstract terms. What is meant by this suspect word, "spirit?" Seldom is it defined. Spirit can be taken to be attitude and willpower, the driving force, that which determines, perceives and acts, let us hope, with compassion and love. That is what I mean. Other qualities such as gods or magic paint our lives with color, but they should not be taken seriously. After all, we are not serious creatures. We are improved apes. If gods exist, we are their joke, their prank. If magic exists, then it follows the laws of science in every respect, and the best magicians are scientists, and the best path to magic is study. I do not hold with those who study spells, follow the movement of planets and think the worst minds of the past can refute the best minds of today.
For the ancient shaman, marijuana was a holy sacrament, indispensable for seeing things that are hidden. In our modern world, those that use marijuana by itself with the express intention of developing insight compose a small minority of the entire population of users, and even they have other needs from time to time. Marijuana can serve as a conduit, a means to an end, a precursor to spiritual awakening. If one maintains a focus upon gaining something that is worth having, then it is possible to make the acquaintance of Athena. After all, what does a human being need most of all but Wisdom, ever in such short supply?
Athena is another suspect word, bound to offend religionists and bemuse materialists. The name of the Entity varies among cultures and is not important, nor is it necessary to conceptualize a separate entity with a gender and a personality, for the separation is an illusion. All is One, and the Oneness can be perceived. The realization is profound and transforming. There is no separation. Compliance is not required, because we have free will, but it is advisable to accept the Counsel of Athena, if such is offered, for it is a gift. Those that heed her wisdom know Bliss. Other impulses one perceives within the Gateway, such as paranoia, seem of little value but still serve a purpose, like the staff of a shepherd goading sheep away from danger and toward the right path.
Many that do not use, or that used at one time and quit, have the wrong impression about the herb. See NORML for valid information concerning marijuana. At one time, NORML was almost the only source of information, as opposed to the enormous amount of hysteria about the plant being generated by the misguided governments of the world, but the world is changing. One day soon, the plant will again be legal everywhere, just as it was for most of human history. Here is why I think so. Man loves knowledge, and knowledge leads him to the following conclusions. There is no valid scientific, moral or social reason for marijuana to remain illegal. Marijuana is superior to alcohol, and the human species would profit by abandoning the lesser substance, which does great harm, in favor of the gentle herb, placed upon the Earth as a gift to Man, a plant that brings peace to those who need it. I concede that Abstinence is best for most people, and I remain sober for long stretches of time to function at my highest level. But if a drug is to be used, on a rare occasion, then marijuana brings the least harm of all and this is irrefutable and self-evident to those who are honest with themselves. Marijuana is a potent medicine and a spiritual sacrament, and those who claim otherwise have never used it for the proper purpose.