Monday, October 5, 2009

(Selling) Weed Kills - Law, Religion & The War on Cannabis

The Prophet Muhammad told his followers they would be rewarded by God for taking care of the Earth. He said: "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, 8:41)

Through the internet I was able to read the stories of Khairul Idzham Khairuddin, the Second-Hand Clothes Seller sentenced To Hang For 14 oz. of cannabis, Roseedah Cheubong, a single mother fending for herself and her teenage child, also sentenced to death for trafficking, and Lim Kok Yong, 24, a tyre shop assistant to be hanged until death after finding him guilty of trafficking cannabis. Update 11/12/09: Add another young Malaysian man to the list: "A youth was sent to the gallows after the High Court here found him guilty of trafficking in cannabis two years ago. Helmi Mohd Hussin, 23, was sentenced to death...." "He was charged under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction." Update 11/13/09: Two more sentenced to die.... Halim Nor, 45, a Malaysian national, and Sabri Alias, 38, from Aceh, Indonesia. How many more names will I have to sadly add to the list...?

Lim Kok Yong, sentenced to hang until death.

I cried when I read these articles. I'm trying to figure out the proper words to express my sadness that common men and women believe it is their right to take the life of another for possessing a creation of Nature.

I speak of religion because I do not believe we should wither under the assumption that any supposed loving god would condone killing in their name for using a plant. Men and women deciding to purposely end the life of another for using or selling one of humanities greatest gifts are people masquerading as gods.

Religious freedom is a fundamental human right. Most likely, whichever deity you believe in is an act of love and dedication, and even if you do not believe in the religion(s) of others, or any religion at all, we should still honour the choices of our fellow human beings as we are all sharing this beautiful planet during our journey here on Earth.

Compassion, empathy, sympathy, simply loving one another is a powerful part of who we are. These things care not of who or what we believe in. We have evolved with these traits and it is these simple truths that will bring peace throughout our world. We are sick of war, we are sick of poverty. We are wasting the precious gift of life and this is tragic as we are blessed with the fruits of the earth, and the labour of our minds and bodies. We have the tools to be prosperous, collectively we can defeat the evil of famine. There is no excuse for the purchase of one weapon of war when even one child's belly sits empty. Alas, it seems we spend so much time trying to persecute others for crimes, we have forgotten this important duty.

While I am certainly no scholar when it comes to all religions, I think we can all agree that if we are going to achieve peace in our world we must acknowledge these common bonds: Whereas we believe in different types of religion, or even no religion at all, when we take that label away we are all a part of Humanity. We respect the rights for each individual to follow the path that they feel is right for them. Anything less is slavery. We must respect the rights of individuals because if we don't than our lives are in essence a fraud. We are born free, and free we shall remain. This is of course based on some very important truths: It is the right of no man or no woman to physically or financially harm another. It is the right of no man or no woman to persecute another for what they believe, as long as those beliefs do not cause harm to another.

I understand that there must be laws and we are just to incarcerate those who hurt others, they exist for the purpose of holding one responsible for harming another human either physically or financially. But I ask you, what law should exist that punishes one for a "crime" where no victim exists?

When a person uses Cannabis it is a personal decision. Every human on the planet must be afforded the right to make the decision for themselves of what goes into their bodies. If you argue that your religion does not permit the use of a substance, then it should be your god that judges a person for it and not a magistrate, judge, politician or policeman. People believe that god gave humans the ability tho think and make decisions. While we have the capacity to judge others, more importantly, we have within us the ability to decide that no matter what the situation, no matter what the circumstances, we will be a compassionate race and will let destiny decide when a persons time here on earth ends. People of the world no matter what country we are from have recourse as a Human Being to demand that every single government end the prohibition of cannabis. I get very upset when I hear the term "drug free" because that is not the reality of our species. Denying drugs is denying a part of who we are. Plants and herbs are one of the reasons we humans have survived. Before the advancement in medicine that has taken place over the last hundred years we depended on the healing virtues that nature has gifted us with.


"Religion is disfigured when pressed into the service of ignorance or prejudice, contempt, violence and abuse. In this case we see not only a perversion of religion but also a corruption of human freedom, a narrowing and blindness of the mind. Clearly, such an outcome is not inevitable. Indeed, when we promote education, we proclaim our confidence in the gift of freedom. The human heart can be hardened by the limits of its environment, by interests and passions. But every person is also called to wisdom and integrity, to the basic and all-important choice of good over evil, truth over dishonesty, and can be assisted in this task. The use of scientific knowledge needs the guiding light of ethical wisdom. Such is the wisdom that inspired the Hippocratic Oath, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other laudable international codes of conduct. Hence religious and ethical wisdom, by answering questions of meaning and value, play a central role in professional formation. And consequently, those universities where the quest for truth goes hand in hand with the search for what is good and noble, offer an indispensable service to society." ~ ROME REPORTS Pope Benedict XVI "Religion can't be in service of prejudice & violence" May 2009

Each and every one of us is fundamentally wired to receive cannabis. Humans continue to break the law to use cannabis because we are it's "perfect match", we have in our bodies aptly named "Cannabinoid Receptors". To include cannabis in the same illegal substances category as crack cocaine and crystal meth is a travesty. Cannabis is a medicine, a sacrament for some, and a reliever of pain and stress. It was put here on earth to serve humanity. It has healed us, clothed us, fed us and made it possible to record our history on hemp paper. We have learned much more about this wonder plant over the past century and the research stands. It is a valuable medicine. It is a valuable fiber. It is a valuable source of food. We can save our forests by growing hemp everywhere. It will replace our dependence on oil and we can stop filling our landfills with plastic.

To kill people for keeping alive their connection to a plant that has been a part of our existence since before our history was written is abhorrent. It is the right of no man to judge another for using cannabis. Even though the prohibition of cannabis has been enacted people continue to exercise our right to use cannabis for medicine and recreation and will do so until the end of time. The fact that countries where the death penalty exists for cannabis "offenses" does not deter people from selling and using the plant should be the biggest testament of the plants rightful status in our lives.

From what I have learned about deities, I'm assuming a god would be proud of humans for using their minds to chart a new course towards cannabis legalization. Would a god not rejoice in our compassion for our fellow man?  You would think a god would respect humans for following the path that is right for them, after all, isn't that free will? Those in positions of authority when it comes to law can not disregard human nature. I say to any government that your premise of being "drug free" is flawed from the beginning. While it might be easy to say "don't do drugs" the reality is that we have never been drug free and never will be. I am trying to be very respectful, I am trying to navigate the complexities of religion and law. You may say because I am not a Muslim, Buddhist, Malaysian or from Taiwan I have no business being concerned with these three people on the other side of the world from me. But I say to you, I am a member of the Human Race, and this makes Khairul, Lim and Roseedah my Brothers and Sister in Life. In fact, even The Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights states: "Every person has not only the right but also the obligation to protest against injustice; to recourse to remedies provided by the Law in respect of any unwarranted personal injury or loss; to self-defense against any charges that are preferred against him and to obtain fair adjudication before an independent judicial tribunal in any dispute with public authorities or any other person." (1) It is our duty to fight for those who are persecuted and sentenced to death for consuming or selling cannabis. The hemp plant serves humanity, and to demonize it is like saying your deity made a mistake by creating it and letting it grow here on earth. Let us shed the misconceptions of the past. Let us advance as a compassionate society that embraces what has been given us. No one should be sentenced to die for cannabis. Let us reach out and help those who have become victims of these draconian laws, because when one of us hangs, we all hang.

"626 gms" A song written for Lim Kok Yong A Facebook group has been established and contains links to where you can send letters to ask that these human beings have their lives spared. It is the right and duty of every person to defend the rights of any other person and the community in general *(Hisbah). For more information regarding people being sentenced to death, please visit Malaysians Against The Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

Give up wine and drink from the wine of Haydar, Amber scented, green the color of emerald. It is presented to you by a Turkish gazelle, slender, Swaying like a willow bough, delicate. In his hand, you would think, as he turns it, It is like the traces of down on a rosy cheek. The slightest breeze makes it reel, And it flutters toward the coolness of the continuing breeze. The grayish pigeons coo upon its branches in the morning. And the cadences of the warbling doves cause it emotion. It has many meanings the like of which are unknown to wine. Therefore do not listen with respect to it to the words of the old censor. It is virginal, not deflowered by rain, Nor has it ever been squeezed by feet or hands, No Christian priest has ever played around with a cup containing it, Nor have they ever communion from its cask to any heretic's soul... Nothing has been said expressly from Malik to declare it unlawful, Nor is the hadd penalty for its use... prescribed... Thus take it with the sharp edge of steel. Stay the hands of worry with kyff and achieve joyful repose. Do not lightly postpone the day of joy till tomorrow. 'The days will show you what you were ignorant of, And someone for who you did not provide (to serve as your messenger) will bring you the news'
- medieval Sufi poet, Ibn al-A'ma Excavation of the Phrygian city of Gordion near Ankara (Turkey) produced hempen fabrics from the late 8th century BC. According to Dr Robert Walton, cannabis is mentioned in cuneiform tablets dating from 650 BC that are generally regarded as obvious copies of much older texts"; the tablets were found in the library of Babylonian emperor Ashurbanipal. Hemp also was known as azallu in the Akkadian tongue, cognate with the Syrian azal ("To spin"). Hemp is called kanfai in Syriac and Aramaic. In Persia the seeds were called Shahdanah ("Emperor's seeds"). There is some confusion concerning of the names of hemp in the cultures of the Middle East, particularly with the Old Indic bhanga or Sanskrit sana (hemp) and the Avestan banha ("an abortive plant", henbane), which also is called bang in Middle and New Persian, and banj in Arabic. The Sumerian term for hemp is gan-zi-gun-na; in Persian it is called grgainj. Hemp as qu-nu-bu was mentioned in letter written to the mother of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon circa 680 BC and preserved in the royal archives.

Even as in China and India, cannabis has had a profound influence on the development of human spiritual sensibilities. In the Middle East (Persia and south). One surviving book of the Persian prophet Zoroaster's Zend Avesta (7th cty. BC), titled Vendidad ("The Law Against Demons"), praises bhanga as "Zoroaster's good narcotic". The Book of Artay Viraf tells us of Gustaph and Ardu Viraf, who drank wine and the "narcotic of Vishtasp" (thought to be hemp, or perhaps opium) and were "transported in soul to the heavens. The highest mysteries were revealed to them" during a sleep that lasted seven days. The use of bhanga to induce euphoria and "righteous action" is mentioned in Din Yast, a devotional book dedicated to the goddess Kista: "To whom the holy Hvevi [Zarathustra's wife] did sacrifice with full knowledge, wishing that the holy Zarathustra would give her his good narcotic, bhanga... that she might think according to the law, speak according to the law, and do according to the law."

In the Din Yast, god Ahura Mazda is said to be "without trance and without hemp". The Fravasi Yast mentions one who is a poura-bangha ("a possessor of much hemp"). The Aqrabadhin of Al-Samarqandi, an early Arabic medical formulary, recommends hempseed as a "purging clyster" (enema) to be administered in cases of cold colic. The Persian saint Haydar, founder of the Sufi Hadari set, is given legendary credit for discovering the mental effects of hemp resin in 1155. Haydar was an extreme recluse who for ten years never left his mountain monastery in Persia. Then one day the hermit became very depressed and went for a walk to be alone from his disciples. When he returned, he was very happy and even invited his pupils into his private rooms for the first time. They asked him what had brought about this change of temperament. Haydar explained that while he was walking he noticed one plant that seemed to dance in the sweltering heat while all others stood torpid. His curiosity aroused, Haydar picked and ate a few leaves of the plant and thus discovered the surpassing pleasure that is in hemp. Before he died in 1221 AD, Haydar requested that cannabis be planted around his sepulcher so that his spirit could rest in the shade of the blessed herb that had graced his life. Thus hashish became a sacrament to the Sufis. Sometimes they call it 'the wine of Haydar". One Moslem sect considers benj to be the incarnation of Kizer, spirit of the prophet and the patron saint of water. The Moslem faith forbids the use of alcohol but allows for cannabis (Koran, ch. 5). The rich indulge in alcohol anyway, though it is expensive. The poor resort to cannabis to mitigate their plight. A Turkish poet expressed the sentiment thus: "Hashish is the friend of the poor, the dervishes and the men of knowledge, that is, all who are not blessed with earthly goods and social power." The sage al-Is'rid advised likewise: "Do not listen to what the critics may say with respect to it. They want to keep you away from it. Disobey any old censor."

God compels Muslims in the Quran to respect and revere the environment when He says, "Greater indeed than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and the earth." (40:57) The Prophet Muhammad told his followers they would be rewarded by God for taking care of the Earth. He said: "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 8:41) He also compared Muslims to a "fresh tender plant" that bends, but does not break, when afflicted with life's inevitable calamities. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 7:547) Another tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, or hadith, quotes him as saying: "If the Hour (Judgment Day) is about to be established and one of you is holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it." Flowers, trees and other plants had never in the history of humans, had such rights as came with Islam one thousand four hundred years ago. Muslims are encouraged by prophet Muhammad to plant trees even if they feel sure the end of the world is tomorrow. He also did not allow destruction of crops or plant life even while in battle with their enemies.

From what has been said, we see that ‘the Islamic approach’ in dealing with environmental issues is based on the following: - The education of true and strong believers in body and in soul - To promote the image of a man who believes that he is part of the ecosystem and not one who behaves as the absolute lord of this system. - The education of a human being man who builds but does not destroy. - The training of a human being who conserves environment resources and does not waste them. - The development of human beings who give priority to wisdom and rationalism At the same time Islam gives importance to: - Avoiding the causes of environmental problems - A better use of environmental resources with a view to : - Exploiting and not draining them, - Preserving and not wasting them, - Protecting and not devastating them.

Avicenna and Medicine Medical experimentation likely would not have progressed without the contributions of a Persian physician and philosopher named 'Abu 'Ali al-Husin ibn 'Abdullah ibn Sina (c. 980 AD–1037 AD), who is more familiarly known by his European name of Aven Sina, or Avicenna. By all accounts, Avicenna was a prodigy who could master academic subjects such as medicine with incredible ease: “Medicine is not one of the difficult sciences, so naturally I became proficient in it in the shortest time, until the excellent scholars of medicine began to study under me.” Avicenna began to treat patients and evaluated different treatment methods, including those that were successful as well as those that failed. According to Professor Kaf al-Ghazal (2007), Avicenna was the first physician to discover that some diseases could be spread through water or soil, which allowed later Renaissance physicians to research possible cures.

The Book of the Canon of Medicine

In 1012, Avicenna began work on a compendium of medical knowledge, Kitab al Qanoun fi Al Toubb, or The Book of the Canon of Medicine. Not completed until approximately 1030, the book contained five volumes. Avicenna’s Contribution to Pharmacopoeia Avicenna’s lasting mark on medicine was his contribution to pharmacopoeia, which is the study of how drugs are made from natural and synthetic sources. Islamic physicians were first to separate medicine from pharmacology — thereby allowing doctors to focus on diagnosing diseases, while leaving the extraction and preparation of remedies to other skilled practitioners. Arab pharmacists were renowned for their skills in formulation, using syrups and flavored water to disguise the taste of bitter remedies. They also introduced drugs such as camphor, aconite, mercury, and sandalwood into medical practice, while aware of simple anesthetics such as hemp. Avicenna included approximately 760 medicinal plants in his Canon and explained how drugs could be made from them. For example, wood from the deciduous tree acacia catechu could be boiled in water, evaporated, and the residue used as a treatment for sore throats or gastric complaints. Even today, Saad et al (2005) estimate that 25% of all prescription medicines continue to be derived from plants.

With this history, it is not surprising to find that cannabis had its own mythical prophet in the Arab world, as noted by Joseph Campbell over a century ago, in his epic 1894 study for the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, On The Religion of Hemp: "To the follower of Islam the holy spirit in bhang... is the spirit of the great prophet Khizr, or Elijah." That bhang should be sacred to Khizr is natural, as Khizr means green, the revered color of the cooling water of bhang. So the Urdu poet sings "When I quaff fresh bhang I liken its color to the fresh light down of thy youthful beard." Islam inherited Khizr from many earlier myths, as can be seen from stories that associate him with such luminary figures as Moses and Alexander the Great. By medieval times he came to represent the type of esoteric knowledge which breaks the trance of everyday existence through shock, usually in the form of outrage, laughter, or both at once. Wilson explains that Khizr was seen as "the initiator of Sufis who have no human master."

In the 1990 book Green Man, William Anderson describes Khizr as "the voice of inspiration to the true aspirant and committed artist. He can come as a white light or the gleam of a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood. The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one's normal capacities." In his 1993 book Sacred Drift, Essays on the Margins of Islam, Peter Wilson writes "When you say the name of Khezr in company you should always add the greeting Salaam aliekum! since he may be there... immortal and anonymous, engaged on some karmic errand. Perhaps he'll hint of his identity by wearing green, or by revealing knowledge of the occult and hidden. But he's something of a spy, and if you have no need to know he's unlikely to tell you. Still, one of his functions is to convince skeptics of the existence of the Marvelous, to rescue those who are lost in deserts of doubt and dryness. So he's needed now more than ever, and surely still moves among us playing his great game." Originally a sort of vegetation spirit in whose footprints plants and flowers were said to magically sprout, Wilson explains that "nowadays Khezr might well be induced to reappear as the patron of modern militant eco-environmentalism.  Khadirian Environmentalism would rejoice simultaneously both in [Nature's] utter wildness and its 'meaningfulness.' Nature as tajalli (the 'shining through' of the divine into creation; the manifestation of each thing as divine light), Nature as an aesthetic of realization." With the wealth of esoteric lore, environmental products and medicines sprouting from the renaissance of his beloved cannabis, it seems that Khizr is once again trying to communicate to humanity through his most holy of plants. Interestingly, there are legends of Khizr in which he is dismembered and reborn. As well, certain prophecies connect him with the end of time and the revealing of esoteric truths. The Green Prophet Khizr's feast day is April 23.

Islam Permitted Good Things and Prohibited Bad Ones:
Allah permitted us to eat all good things. He said : «They ask thee what is lawful to them (as food). Say : Lawful unto you are (all) things good and *pure» ( Maida : 4). Allah, Most High, also said : «Say : Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, And the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) For sustenance? Say : They are in the life of this world, for those who believe»( Araaf : 32).

The following are excerpts from the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights

WHEREAS the human rights decreed by the Divine Law aim at conferring dignity and honour on mankind and are designed to eliminate oppression and injustice;

WHEREAS by virtue of their Divine source and sanction these rights can neither be curtailed, abrogated or disregarded by authorities, assemblies or other institutions, nor can they be surrendered or alienated; Right to Justice a) Every person has the right to be treated in accordance with the Law, and only in accordance with the Law. b) Every person has not only the right but also the obligation to protest against injustice; to recourse to remedies provided by the Law in respect of any unwarranted personal injury or loss; to self-defence against any charges that are preferred against him and to obtain fair adjudication before an independent judicial tribunal in any dispute with public authorities or any other person. (Quote 1 from top of page) c) It is the right and duty of every person to defend the rights of any other person and the community in general *(Hisbah). d) No person shall be discriminated against while seeking to defend private and public rights. e)

It is the right and duty of every Muslim to refuse to obey any command which is contrary to the Law, no matter by whom it may be issued. V Right to Fair Trial a) No person shall be adjudged guilty of an offence and made liable to punishment except after proof of his guilt before an independent judicial tribunal. b) No person shall be adjudged guilty except after a fair trial and after reasonable opportunity for defence has been provided to him. c) Punishment shall be awarded in accordance with the Law, in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and with due consideration of the circumstances under which it was committed. d) No act shall be considered a crime unless it is stipulated as such in the clear wording of the Law.

VI Right to Protection Against Abuse of Power Every person has the right to protection against harassment by official agencies. He is not liable to account for himself except for making a defence to the charges made against him or where he is found in a situation wherein a question regarding suspicion of his involvement in a crime could be reasonably raised VII Right to Protection Against Torture No person shall be subjected to torture in mind or body, or degraded, or threatened with injury either to himself or to anyone related to or held dear by him, or forcibly made to confess to the commission of a crime, or forced to consent to an act which is injurious to his interests.

IX Right to Asylum a) Every persecuted or oppressed person has the right to seek refuge and asylum. This right is guaranteed to every human being irrespective of race, religion, colour and sex. b) Al Masjid Al Haram (the sacred house of Allah) in Mecca is a sanctuary for all Muslims. Rights of Minorities a) The Qur'anic principle "There is no compulsion in religion" shall govern the religious rights of non-Muslim minorities. b) In a Muslim country religious minorities shall have the choice to be governed in respect of their civil and personal matters by Islamic Law, or by their own laws. In their economic pursuits, all persons are entitled to the full benefits of nature and all its resources. These are blessings bestowed by God for the benefit of mankind as a whole.

EVEN THE SOUL HAS RIGHTS Each individual has rights over himself. As the prophet, told us, "Even your body has rights over you. So, give your body its rights." Allah Almighty forbids anyone to take their own life, thereby giving the body its own right. As Almighty Allah says: "And do not kill yourselves (and do not kill others). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you." [4:29] *HISBAH- Public vigilance, an institution of the Islamic State enjoined to observe and facilitate the fulfillment of right norms of public behaviour. The "Hisbah" consists in public vigilance as well as an opportunity to private individuals to seek redress through it.

*pure (Cannabis) Hemp:

* Fast and robust growth: Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate, in any agronomic system
* No herbicides/pesticides required: Hemp can be grown with no (or little) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or other biocides.
* Suppresses weeds: Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy. Actually, hemp is a weed. Because it grows so fast and densely, it blocks out sunlight to other weeds that are trying to grow.
* Improves soil structure: Due to it’s long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil. Also, once harvested, any residue can act as an eco-friendly manure.
* Hemp produces lots of oxygen: Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it’s leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% - 40% more oxygen than will be polluted. * Cleans up pollution: Hemp can actually clean up toxins from the ground. This process is called phytoremediation. A good example of this is when hemp was used to help clean up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site to remove radioactive elements from the ground.

~ Resources (not highlighted above):

Brief edits of original made 7/31/12.

1 comment:

  1. This is so sad.. I hope one day people wake up from the ignorance they are suffering from and realize that AUTHORITIES are not ANGELS looking out for us .. They have their own agenda just like all of us and are looking out for their OWN PROFIT in everything they do.. Do NOT believe everything you hear on TV or elsewhere on the media.. Think first what are they gaining from it.. THINK FIRST !!


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