i’m leaving for the oregon country fair tomorrow, and there’s still a lot to do. but, at the same time, there’s a bunch of web sites that i want to remember, so here they are:
California to Legalize Weed for Everyone – i’ll believe it when i see it, but at the same time, it’s another good reason to move away from this benighted state…
Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug – aaah, mushrooms: my favourite drug. i have spent many autumn hours, accompanied by cows, searching through wet grass for little hiding gnome-caps. perhaps this is a step in the direction of making them legal as well…
Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook? – answer: apparently not. good thing i never signed up with facebook…
‘World’s longest concert’ resumes
By Steve Rosenberg
A note from a piece by a US composer is to be played this weekend in a German town in what has been called the world’s slowest and longest concert.
The church organ in Halberstadt will play the next – sixth – chord of John Cage’s As Slow As Possible work.
The performance began in 2000 and is scheduled to last a total of 639 years.
The idea of taking so long to get through the composer’s piece is to find a musical way of countering the hustle and bustle of modern life.
When Cage wrote his famous work in 1985, there was one tiny detail the late avant-garde composer chose to omit – exactly how slow the piece should be played.
Its maiden performance lasted a rather normal 29 minutes. A subsequent version took 71 minutes.
But at the medieval church in Halberstadt, they are really testing the patience of the audience.
Every so often – although not too often, you understand – a chord change is made on the church organ and the piece of music edges a tiny bit closer to the end.
This weekend, weights holding down the organ pedals will be shifted and the sixth chord change will occur, to much celebration in the town centre.
If only Halberstadt could find a way of countering growing old – at least then I might stand a chance of hearing the final note being played in the year 2639.
California to Legalize Weed for Everyone
June 30, 2008
There is an initiative in the works that could end up on the November ballot that allows for marijuana to be sold to anyone, and anywhere that already sells alcohol. Its being called The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative. From the full text of the measure:
This initiative will amend the Constitution of California to defend and safeguard the inalienable rights of the People against infringement by governments and corporations, providing for the lawful growth, sale, and possession of marijuana. Marijuana will be taxed through a system of stamps and licenses–a $5 stamp will be required for the sale of an eighth ounce of marijuana and a $50 annual license will be required for the growth of one marijuana plant. To protect participants and encourage participation in the system, such licenses and stamps will be available anonymously in stores where marijuana is sold.
So instead of getting some quack doctor to give you a prescription for $100 because of your supposed “anxiety” or alleged “insomnia”, you will just pay an extra tax each time you buy yourself another 8th.
Aside from allowing all willing adults to be able to buy weed easily, this initiative will start to generate revenue for California, and stimulate our struggling economy. More weed stores means more jobs for Californians, more taxes to be collected, and more people enjoying better weed. And finally marijuana will be put into the same file as Alcohol and Cigarettes where it belongs, instead of it being equated with crack-cocaine and heroin.
The initiative goes on to say why they believe this to be a necessary measure:
We also hold these truths to be self-evident-That, as an intoxicant, marijuana is far less harmful to the health and safety of the People than alcohol–That, as a smoking substance, marijuana is far less addictive or harmful to the health of the People than tobacco–That, even though alcohol is harmful to the health and safety of the People, the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933 only increased the harms associated with alcohol use: criminals seized control of the alcohol market, crime and violence increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourished, while otherwise lawful alcohol drinkers were treated as “criminals” subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they had not harmed the rights of anyone–That, as with alcohol prohibition, the prohibition of marijuana has only increased the harms associated with the use of marijuana: criminals control a multi-billion dollar market, crime and violence have increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourish, while otherwise law-abiding marijuana smokers are treated as “criminals” subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they have not harmed the rights of anyone-That the history of marijuana prohibition is a history of repeated injuries and infringements upon the inalienable rights, powers, and best interests of the People.
Fuck Yes! Preach on, brothers! They go on to point out that alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma lobbyists have the politicians that are supposed to represent the People in their back-pockets and serving the interests of the alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma industries.
Despite the harms of marijuana prohibition, politicians persist in imposing and upholding marijuana prohibition, because these politicians are not working for the People–they are working for the corporate executives who financed their campaigns, such as corporate executives in the alcohol industry who want to protect their monopoly on intoxication, corporate executives in the tobacco industry who want to protect their monopoly on smoking, corporate executives in the pharmaceutical industry who want to protect their monopoly on expensive medicines, and corporate executives in the many industries threatened by competition with hemp. These corporate executives pull the strings of the government to perpetuate marijuana prohibition despite its harms, because they do not care about the inalienable rights and best interests of the People–they care about taking as much money from the People as possible. These corporate executives also use their control of the mainstream media to make it seem like marijuana prohibition is a failed attempt to serve the interests of the People, censoring the idea that marijuana prohibition is a successful attempt to serve corporate interests at the expense of the People. For these corporate interests, politicians sacrifice the inalienable rights and best interests of the People. This corruption and corporate influence is worse at the national level, where the People can least afford political influence and the media is most effective at manipulating public debate. Because of this corruption, it is futile for the People to turn to the federal government for protection–because the federal government is the source of the harm. The repeated attempts by the People to reduce the harms of marijuana prohibition have been answered only by repeated injury. The harm from marijuana prohibition is ongoing and the need for relief is urgent. Such is the suffering of the People, and such is the necessity that constrains us to alter our former systems of government. A government with a character marked by every act that defines a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Therefore, appealing to humankind for the rightness of our intentions
They need 694,354 signatures by September, 5, 2008. I think it’s totally do-able. Its been over a decade since Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed with over 5 million votes in favor.
So 12 years later… are we more or less tolerant of recreational use of marijuana? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
NEW YORK — In 2002, at a Johns Hopkins University laboratory, a business consultant named Dede Osborn took a psychedelic drug as part of a research project.
She felt like she was taking off. She saw colors. Then it felt like her heart was ripping open.
But she called the experience joyful as well as painful, and says that it has helped her to this day.
“I feel more centered in who I am and what I’m doing,” said Osborn, now 66, of Providence, R.I. “I don’t seem to have those self-doubts like I used to have. I feel much more grounded (and feel that) we are all connected.”
Scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took the drug, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.
Two-thirds of them also said the drug had produced one of the five most spiritually significant experiences they’d ever had.
The drug, psilocybin, is found in so-called “magic mushrooms.” It’s illegal, but it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.
The study involved 36 men and women during an eight-hour lab visit. It’s one of the few such studies of a hallucinogen in the past 40 years, since research was largely shut down after widespread recreational abuse of such drugs in the 1960s.
The project made headlines in 2006 when researchers published their report on how the volunteers felt just two months after taking the drug. The new study followed them up a year after that.
Experts emphasize that people should not try psilocybin on their own because it could be harmful. Even in the controlled setting of the laboratory, nearly a third of participants felt significant fear under the effects of the drug. Without proper supervision, someone could be harmed, researchers said.
Osborn, in a telephone interview, recalled a powerful feeling of being out of control during her lab experience. “It was … like taking off, I’m being lifted up,” she said. Then came “brilliant colors and beautiful patterns, just stunningly gorgeous, more intense than normal reality.”
And then, the sensation that her heart was tearing open.
“It would come in waves,” she recalled. “I found myself doing Lamaze-type breathing as the pain came on.”
Yet “it was a joyful, ecstatic thing at the same time, like the joy of being alive,” she said. She compared it to birthing pains. “There was this sense of relief and joy and ecstasy when my heart was opened.”
With further research, psilocybin (pronounced SILL-oh-SY-bin) may prove useful in helping to treat alcoholism and drug dependence, and in aiding seriously ill patients as they deal with psychological distress, said study lead author Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins.
Griffiths also said that despite the spiritual characteristics reported for the drug experiences, the study says nothing about whether God exists.
“Is this God in a pill? Absolutely not,” he said.
The experiment was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The results were published online Tuesday by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Fourteen months after taking the drug, 64 percent of the volunteers said they still felt at least a moderate increase in well-being or life satisfaction, in terms of things like feeling more creative, self-confident, flexible and optimistic. And 61 percent reported at least a moderate behavior change in what they considered positive ways.
That second question didn’t ask for details, but elsewhere the questionnaire answers indicated lasting gains in traits like being more sensitive, tolerant, loving and compassionate.
Researchers didn’t try to corroborate what the participants said about their own behavior. But in the earlier analysis at two months after the drug was given, researchers said family and friends backed up what those in the study said about behavior changes. Griffiths said he has no reason to doubt the answers at 14 months.
Dr. Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, called the new work an important follow-up to the first study.
He said it is helping to reopen formal study of psychedelic drugs. Grob is on the board of the Heffter Research Institute, which promotes studies of psychedelic substances and helped pay for the new work.