- Politics and Social Issues
Don't Bogart that joint my friend...
Don't Bogart That Joint
Lyrics: Lawrence Wagner
Music: Elliot Ingber
The original verson (on the soundtrack of "Easy Rider") was by Fraternity Of Man. It was subsequently covered by Little Feat.
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Roll another one
Just like the other one
You've been holding on to it
And I sure will like a hit
Roll another one
Just like the other one
That one's burned to the end
Come on and be a real friend
1969? Easy Rider (Soundtrack)
Don't Bogart that joint my friend...
Was the lyric from a popular song of the time, I can't remember who sang it, because I was Bogarting the joint at every occasion, so nothing was too precise in those days.
However with the benefit of modern technology, I've just Googled it and found the lyrics and set them into the right hand box I usually reserve for scripture quotes (and will probably use some for the same later)
From the first hit I took at age 15 years I loved smoking dope.
I was sensible about it, after all I was a working class boy from a good working class home and had some values to maintain, besides which nobody knew what it was about in the UK in those days, so I watched and waited, and whilst I was doing that toked a few smokes along the way.
Growing up interrupted my smoking habits a bit, as I started making money and such, but I managed to keep a mild relationship with the weed and it was ever present, though in smaller doses.
Getting rich as a Central London Estate Agent and property dealer kinda stopped the process for a while, as I replaced hash with amphetamines to keep me awake and wine, champagne and brandy to put me to sleep.
The reunion took place when I moved to Spain and found that Morocco was 8 kilometers away, something which others had noticed and which made the whole stable of hashish derived products easy to purchase.
In a way the sale of hashish was legalized in those days (1986) because the importation and sale was managed by the Guardia Civil and the Police, though not officially of course!
Coming to faith in 1991 put an immediate stop to my smoking habits, both weed and tobacco, and I was fine with that, for I was feeling highs better than ever experienced by the addition of the Holy Spirit into my life.
Unkind atheists (do they exist?) could say that I swapped one addiction for another, and they would be right, however the addiction I swapped hash for.... Christ.... changed my life for the better, rather than the worse.
Edit: May 2012
After I first published this article 'Stash' Wagner contacted me, and I can confirm that he is now doing great things with folk in the Philippines, none drug related!
Play while reading...
Well I intend to make a list of the reasons I would legalize the product, and a list based upon not my expected Christian response, for I can show you that there are no grounds for banning it scripturally, nor from any humanitarian social consciousness, not even as a reformed hippie will I argue the case, but from the simple logic of the situation.
People, large numbers of people, smoke the product daily, for long periods of time, and suffer no harm. Now I will balance that with the fact that some folk will suffer harm whilst smoking the product, but it's fairly well agreed that those people could have suffered harm somehow or another from anything they took when they should not be taking drugs at all, except maybe the chemical drugs recommended by the psychiatric doctor treating them.
The other factor is that they had been taking product of artificially enhanced strength, or that had been cut with harder drugs, with distinct psychotic risks attached to doing so, and in many ways legalization would solve that problem, but more of that later.
I would prefer 'Old Hippie 1968 vintage' myself!....(if I still smoked).... much safer and soooo mellow!
I term the 'product' as product because it has so many names and why make one of them more predominant than others.
So whether you know it as marijuana, hash, pot, dope, ganga, weed, blow, smoke or any other derivative, I'm calling it product, for that is what it is, a money making source of profit.
So what would the benefits be to make it legal?.....
Report and be killed
Benefit number one...
In no particular order, because who knows which would be the main benefit?
But number one in my book would be that the CIA and other intelligence services would need to find other sources of money for their covert operations, maybe even legal sources approved by government. (and maybe the illegal ones are also approved?)
During Vietnam it was well documented that the American Army was responsible for bringing the drugs trade back home with them, and that the main distributors were Air America, a CIA front.
Now personally I have no problem with financing dirty wars with dirty money.
I'd rather we did not do dirty wars, but if we are going to do them, we may as well use dirty money rather than clean.
Those of you who know me as a Christian will need to get your heads around the fact that logic does have a place in my thinking.
If we were discussing this from a spiritual viewpoint, I know full well that the whole issue is already declared upon by the traditional church as taboo, and as such, if I had any position in any church, this hub could have me before the leadership being expelled from fellowship unless I recanted.
But fortunately I don't hold such a position, so I ONLY need to be right with God and Christ, not the leadership of my local synagogue.
Back to my reasoning....
The government could gain official control over the product, ensuring that the quality and strength was controlled and taxes were collected on sales.
Product would need to be available in various strengths and formats to cater for established desires and trends.
All the major cigarette company's have has their trade names registered for years anyway, and in a matter of months would be geared to producing the amounts and grades required to supply the estimated 50% of Americans who use the product.
People would learn what their limits were and would match them accordingly, and I would guess most would limit their consumption to weekend usage, at least initially and until they felt comfortable with using it more frequently.
Users would slowly stop overusing the product, for like sex in marriage, ready availablity normally diminishes demand.
The illicit is always more attractive.
We (as a society) could start reducing our prison population, thereby saving cash and also stopping the criminalization and worse of so many young men, by their incarceration for small amounts of drugs possession.
Prosecution of those who still attempted to sell drugs illicitly would be simpler because tax laws are easier to apply than drug laws.
The criminal elements that currently run the drug industry would be unemployed, OK we know that would simply mean that they would find new ways to be criminal, for criminality is a way of life and even if you start in it from the 'desperation of your environmental circumstances', (sorry for sounding like your social worker) you soon grow to love the flexible hours and high rewards that you believe it will bring you.
But most criminals are totally unsuccessful in achieving their objectives, so if you want flexible hours and a high reward factor, and still be relatively safe from incarceration, become a career politician instead.
Drugs produce massive financial rewards, big enough to make anyone tempted to dabble in a little importation and distribution. The risks from the police and other anti drug organisations are actually relatively minimal, at least for those who run the operation properly and employ minions to do the risky bits.
Now a days the biggest danger is rival drug dealers, for the days of Howard Marks gentlemanly dealing in nothing but hash are long gone, and the current crop of dealers are a much harder bunch who kill for nothing and take pleasure in doing so.
I will confess that the ONLY reason I did not get involved in drug importation before I came to faith was the risk factor, and the knowledge that I would have needed to have enforcers around to deal with competition and such like.
God protected me even in my delinquency!
If you want to understand how we got to this stupid situation where young men are put into prison with hardened criminals to learn bad habits and be brutalized, you need to read Howard's book 'Mr Nice' which is a very good explanation about how a nice middle class boy from Wales came to become the biggest dealer of his time, without bad 'vibes' happening.
The drugs laws are stupid and make criminals out of people who do not deserve the punishment that they receive. I have a friend who was thrown in jail in the USA in the 60's for a joint in his pocket, and was brutalized and sodomized whilst there.
Is that the way to deal with what is less of a problem than alcohol is, and we know from experience that prohibition ONLY creates crime and criminals.
For our biblically minded readers, let me explain that prison is not biblical.
Now that may exasperate a few redneck believers who think 'all these long haired hippies and drug addicts need hanging', but accept a hard prison sentence as justified, but it's a fact.
Scripturally there are only three possible sentences that can be delivered upon a wrongdoer:
- Financial penalty with recompense to the offended party
- To serve out a sentence as a slave to cover the penalty with recompense if the culprit has no funds
- To be put to death. (for capital offenses)
So putting people in prison is actually an offence against God, which is another reason why we need to stop this nonsense.
So there are financial reasons to stop the illegality and profit as a society from the sale of a product that will not be stopped, and as such provides massive resources to drug barons and terrorists worldwide.
The drug industry makes billions of dollars profit, all of which is by default black money and needs an army of accountants and bankers to wash and launder, all of which is never taxed or used gainfully in society.
There are ethical reasons, for we all know that the drugs industry could not actually function unless the governments and officials and law enforcement agents and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all were not being bribes to turn the ye at the right moment.
So by legalizing it we may end up with some honest people policing the trade.
There is also the fact that our secret security services would be deprived of covert operation funds, unless they were approved to collect their black funds from white money taxes paid by the product users, once taxation was established.
Transparency is a fine thing and an essential for an honest society, for bad things can only happen in dark places (spiritually speaking) and all the hypocrisy that surrounds the drug industry is what causes the problems.
When you put a man on the border post who you pay peanuts to (comparatively speaking) and set him against folk who can pay him thousands of dollars, or kill his family, to persuade him to look away, you create darkness and guilt and the ideal situation to encourage evil to flourish, and that's the main reason I support legalization, to do away with the lies and deception, for God does not create chaos, nor does He create corruption, God is a God of order, and I would like that order to be restored.
For those who would say that using drugs is a sin, I would state that your position is indefensible in scripture, so no matter what your denomination may think, you cannot defend it against the word of God, and Gods word is definite.
Jesus had the following to say about things we consume:
When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them;
“Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.
So He said to them;
“Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”
And He said,
“What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Should marijuana be legalized?
Have you ever used marijuana
Is using marijuana a sin for Christians?
Now you can argue with that all you like, but bear in mind, Jesus stated it twice, and the second time basically said to the disciples "Are you so thick that you can't understand" - so unless you can make NOT DEFILE into a statement that shows separation from God for the action, it's NOT A SIN and you cannot make it one just because your church does not agree with the liberty of Christ.
The only scripture that would possibly make it a sin is conditional;
1 Timothy 4 - 1:5
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
The condition is:
If we can consume anything with thanksgiving it is acceptable to God for it has been sanctified.
So if you have reservations about using drugs, don't and if you cannot consume with thanksgiving, don't and if you believe it to be a sin, don't do it.
But don't corrupt the word of God to forbid others who have a peace with consuming things God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
If they are in error, then the Holy Spirit will correct them, if they refuse correction, then they will answer to God for their rebellion, which would have been their sin, not what they consumed, not that which went into their mouth, but that which came out of their mouth, a lie, a deception and a rebellion against God.
Now I hear voices shouting with rage "So are ALL drugs acceptable" - well in theory yes, but having said that ANYTHING which makes you incapable of serving God is not advisable IF you want to be used by God.
So if you are addicted to anything, caffeine, brownies, donuts, super sized portions or cocaine, you have a problem, in that something controls you, rather than you controlling it, and we are supposed to have liberty, so deal with those things.
Legalizing drugs, like diet control, is self regulating.... if someone cannot control their use, they may die from the effects of whatever they are consuming too much of.
But death is not a problem for a believer, or should not be.
Our society has made death a taboo subject. Science has spent billions on attempting to cheat death, yet they are powerless to do so, because God knows the date of our death before we were born, and nothing we do can change that.
We may get there with more discomfort than we needed to bear, but we will die at exactly the moment God decreed.
If you can receive and believe this, then you can stop relying on science or your denomination to tell you what to eat and drink, and move forward trusting God with your life, literally, and if not.... sobeit.
For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eatsonly vegetables.
Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
Who are you to judge another’s servant?
To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
December 2011 update
When I fist published this, I missed one other reason why MaryJ should be legal, that being the fact that it has health benefits.
Take a look at the two videos below to explore those benefits and see how things are moving towards legalisation even in the short time since I first published this.
Mary J is a real threat to BigPharma, they know that once it is legalised, they will lose revenue, and BigPhama is all about PROFIT.
Hence they are trying to create a chemically synthesised product using the same THC components that God gave us for free, because patented medicines can be SOLD for top buck.
Problem is, when they synthesise cannabiods, the product they produce will not do the same thing, pain releif using cannabis is swift, with chemical products it takes much longer.
The simple fact is that people prefer natural cannabis to synthetic chemical compounds, because of price and efficiency.