Posts Tagged ‘tobacco’

The Thinking Viking was mildly surprised to hear that Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana.   Really?  In the United freaking States of D.A.R.E.  America? Damn, times have changed. Thank the gods.  It’s insane how many people we have in jail who did nothing more than get involved with the black market of weed.  I won’t go into numbers – just google it.  I am just surprised that the long-term tactics and pushes toward legalization have actually worked in the face of the fact that so many in this country have been life-long  “Drug Warriors” of one kind or another. The light of reason is shining through the lies.

I mean, I have known most of my adult life that what the federal government said about weed was simply not true, and that people who smoke it, by and large, were pretty normal.  I had seen “Reefer Madness” – hilarious, but also unsettling.  A lot of people believed that.  Some of you reading this may be under the influence of the same ideas about weed – that it makes you crazy, or more the more modern stereotype would be the lazy, indolent stoner living in his parent’s basement.   I’ll tell you this – more than likely some of the people you know or work with everyday also smoke weed, legally or not.  And they are fine.  Successful, smart, kind, healthy people. Caveat – I am NOT saying we should all light up, or that the lazy stoned basement dweller does not exist – they do, and we should not all start getting high on the Chronic.  But using that as your model for a pot smoker, and justifying prohibition because of it  would be like using your alcoholic uncle who lives off disability from a “back injury” as your model for people who have a couple of beers after work and banning booze.  It’s just not like that.  And, just like with booze, there are certainly people out there who do no not tolerate  the ganja very well, just as there are those who do not tolerate alcohol.  Pretty similar in that regard, (except that ODing on booze / alcoholism can  – kill you – oh, that again -)and I think that’s what voters in CO and WA decided.  Weed aint for everyone, but it really aint that bad.

But the federal government says it is a  “class one narcotic“?  Do they even know what the term “narcotic” means?  The DEA has been pulling the wool over the collective eyes of the nation by using this term for weed.

This is what a “narcotic” really is:

“nar·cot·ic (när-ktk)


A drug derived from opium or opiumlike compounds, with potent analgesic effects associated with significant alteration of mood and behavior, and with the potential for dependence and tolerance following repeated administration.”
This is why heroin and opium are illegal, and morphine and codeine et al are carefully restriction by prescription.  They are actually damn careful about these drugs because…   In addition to the potential for dependence and tolerance (with corresponding increased dosages) – over dosing on actual narcotics can fucking kill you. They target specific receptors in our nervous system, and we are ill prepared to handle it in large doses. Chris, Liz, you are missed.  I had no idea or I would have tried to help.  Fun fact – technically, cocaine isn’t a “narcotic” either.  But it is potentially fatal and definitely addictive, so the distinction is not so important.  (For my thoughts on legal drugs and death, please see  Stop the Insanity of a Pill for Every Ill – it will alarm you and has nice references and data and stuff)
There  has never been a single case of someone fatally overdosing from weed or it’s active ingredient, THC.  It’s just not toxic.  You’d be more likely to suffocate from the smoke.  And there is pretty much no withdrawal, other than the fact that an activity you enjoyed is no longer happening, and those who claim it is addictive are confusing “habit-forming” with addictive.  Enjoyable activities are repeated because…. they’re fun. It’s not addiction.  Caveat – anyone can develop unhealthy  psychological affections for things that affect your mind, and I will again repeat that I am not one of those preaching that “if everyone smoked some weed we would have world peace” – eh, not so much.  Pot is actually a mild hallucinogen and some people, well, react poorly to it.  So… just like with booze, some people should stay away.  But jailing pot dealers?  People just enjoying a harmless plant, in many ways you could compare it to coffee or tobacco….hmmm
Ah, yes, that one. Tobacco.  Legal in all 50 states.  Poisonous, addictive.  Taxed like hell most places, and some good revenue comes in from …addicts.  Hows it feel getting tax dollars for a harmful  product that people have great difficulty quitting?   What if there was a $1.50 tax per 16 ounce  of…. coffee?  Another basically harmless plant – but also addictive, just ask any serious coffee drinker who tries to quit. (Trust me here, it sucks, it was only being hospitalized and bedridden that I kicked it, and I’ve long since relapsed).
So lets recap.  Weed is mis-categorized as a narcotic, and is therefore illegal at the federal level. Most people have now realized, or are coming to realize, that weed is not the dangerous drug it has been portrayed as, and that the War on Drugs,  in this and in ost if not all regards was misguided, has failed, and has had negative impacts on our society that are hard to measure.  Many states have recognized the medicinal benefits, and in some cases the “prescription” for medical weed is essentially a tax that pretty much anyone can buy (Yes, I live in California) – while it’s not “legal” here  in CA as it is now in Colorado and Washington , Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law a little while back making possession the equivalent of a minor traffic ticket.  A REPUBLICAN Governor, mind you.
I am not even going to touch on the actually true conspiracies around the criminalization of pot in the first place.
Anyhow,  you might have noticed I don’t cite sources – don’t need to.  I aced neurobiology and physiology and did pretty well in biopsychology.  And I’m transplanted from Colorado….  🙂  Just sayin.
Think about it.
(Yes, I am aware of the irony of using the initials “MJ” on a post about weed. I find it amusing.)

Years ago when I was in a neurobiology lab studying the effects of drugs on nerves, it dawned on me – why use synthetic pesticides when you can cook up some of the most bug-toxic stuff in your own kitchen? Nicotine and caffeine, two of the world’s most popular drugs, are LETHAL to insects. Here’s how to put this to good use in the coming “aphids are eating my garden” season.

First, take  some tobacco – equivalent to about two cigarettes should do it, and two table spoons of ground coffee – DON’T USE DECAF -the caffeine is what you are looking for. Go ahead and use more of both if you like (I cooked up the first batch of this simply by cleaning up the cigarettes butts my smoking roommates left on the back patio).  Soak this in rubbing alcohol – maybe a half cup or so (or high-proof vodka, if that’s more convenient, it will also help make this more fun -soak longer with vodka as it isn’t as strong alcohol-wise) for a week or so. With a funnel and a coffee filter, drain off the resulting dark brown stinky fluid into a 1 liter spray bottle. This alone with some water will be pretty bad, but there’s something you need to do to make it better.

Bugs breathe through pores in their skin, and this stuff will kill much quicker if you can get it in there better. Also, its good to have some repellent qualities to this stuff, so lets juice it up.

Add several dashes of the hottest hot pepper sauce you can get –Capsaicin is what you want – pepper spray would do the trick too, but be careful if you try that – spraying into the bottle could get you covered in nastiness (trust me on this one).  Next fill the bottle with water. Finally, add  good squirt of liquid dish soap.  Why the soap, you ask? It’s because of the bug breathing pores (spiracles for the geeks out there) – the soap helps break the surface tension of the liquid and allows it to enter these pores much more easily. Don’t use very much soap – too much and the spray bottle will fail as the liquid foams in the mechanism.

Give it a little shake to mix it up. Let it settle.

This stuff is almost instantly fatal to aphids, and will kill most any other insect eventually if sprayed directly on them. And your plants won’t care one bit about it. And to us mammals, it’s effectivly non toxic – DON’T DRINK IT THOUGH – the nicotine from two cigarettes CAN KILL YOU if you drink it. Shouldn’t be hard to avoid drinking it though, it STINKS.

Also, DO NOT SPRAY UPWIND – trust me, you don’t want to get a face-full of this spray.

So, yeah, it’s smelly, but would you rather be spraying some synthetic chemicals made by a mega corp?

Think about it.


PS – for aphid control, spray the UNDERSIDE of plant leaves – that’s where aphids feed.