Sunday, September 5, 2010

High Times

"The Dude" Lebowski

Since the dawn of time, humans have sought a way to expand their horizons both mentally, emotionally and physically. Explorations across the frontiers of civilization, through love with another, and through mind-altering substances. It is when these substances are employed in one's exploration of the mind that things get more complicated. Lines are blurred, and more often than not, others will frown upon such means of exploration.
Take alcohol, for example, a widely accepted means of exploration, usually of social situations, as well as to improve one's own mental state. It is a gateway to fun times for all, as long as certain boundaries are not crossed. It is much the same case when dealing with cannabis. "Weed", as it commonly referred to, is used by many and yet, such use is often denied by the user when asked directly. There prevails a certain social stigma in western society, when dealing with cannabis. Much of that is to do with the fact that it is still illegal in many first-world countries. 

Then why is it so widely used, either regularly or occasionally, by almost everyone at least once in their lifetimes, regardless of social standing/race/religion/gender/creed or culture? The answer lies in the effect that it has on the human body. Many people report having a 'high' or euphoric sensation after consuming/inhaling the drug in one form or other. In 1990, the discovery of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body, along with endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters like anandamide (a lipid material derived ligand from arachidonic acid), suggested that the use of cannabis affects the brain in the same manner as a naturally occurring brain chemical.

Then why is it illegal? If such a chemical could be regarded in much the same way as one which is naturally occurring in the brain, why is it that many governments worldwide still maintain that cannabis ought to be illegal? 

This question shall be discussed in future posts, so stay tuned.

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