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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Legalize It

Legalize it, don't criticize it
Legalize it, yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it
Some call it tampee, tampee
Some call it the weed
Some call it marijuana, marijuana
Some of them call it ganja, ganja
Every man got to legalize it, and don't criticize it
Legalize it yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it
Singers smoke it
And players of instrument too
Legalize it, yeah, yeah
That's the best thing you can do
Doctors smoke it, nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it, even the lawyer too
So you've got to legalize it, and don't criticize it
Legalize it, yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it
It's good for the flu, a good for asthma
Good for tuberculosis, even umara composis
Got to legalize it, don't criticize it
Legalize it, yeah, yeah, I will advertise it
Birds eat it, ants love it
Fowls eat it, goats love to play with it
So you've got to legalize it, don't criticize it
Legalize it, yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it
Keep on telling you, legalize it

(Courtesy of Legalize It, Peter Tosh)

Drug is any substance that when absorbed into the body of a living organism alters normal bodily function. The use in pharmacology is for the purpose of treatment, cure and prevention. Its usage in the medical field can also be classified as improvement to physical or mental well-being. In this context, the subscription can be for short term or extended period of time according to the prescription. Recreational drugs on the other hand are substances that affect the central nervous system such as Opioids, Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Cannabis and various other chemical mixes. In comparison, the latter is taken to derive pleasure as they interact directly with our dopamine system (brain structure that is responsible for reward-driven learning). These feel good drugs increases the level of dopamine transmission in the brain.

There are seven doctors in my family but my calling has always been the study of the recreational variety. The fact that my father had purchased medical encyclopedias for me when I was five has honed my skills on its medical cousin. Unfortunately my fascination was more to the understudy of Opioids and Cannabis.


The Opioids family is the world’s oldest known drugs. It has always been used as an analgesic (painkiller) due to decreased perception of pain and increased pain tolerance. The most commonly used forms are morphine, heroin and codeine, all of which are derived from Opium, tapped from the Poppy (papaver somniferum).

Chinese Opium Addicts

The first opium addiction was recorded in China in the 19th century, courtesy of the British who operated the industry to strike a balanced trade with the Chinese merchants. The poppies were cultivated in India and controlled by the East India Company. India remains the biggest legal producer (60% of world consumption) of Opium for medical purposes.
Raw Opium

The most important reason for the increase in opiate consumption in the United States during the late 19th century was the prescribing and dispensing of legal opiates by physicians and pharmacists to women with ”female problems” (mostly to relieve menstrual pain). At that time there were around 200,000 women opiate addicts living in the United States. 
Poppy grows in dry, warm climates, especially in the mountains stretching from Turkey through Central and South Asia all the way to Laos. Opium can be ingested or smoked to attain Nirvana. The effects of smoking opium are almost identical to the effects of using heroin or morphine. They include a relaxed feeling, relief from pain and anxiety, decreased alertness, respiratory depression (slowed breathing), impaired coordination, constricted pupils, nausea, and constipation. These effects can last from three to six hours. 

Chasing The Dragon

In the modern world, the unrefined opium is less extensively used as players are more engaged with its processed derivative known as Heroin (diacetylmorphine). Heroin can be smoked by placing the goods on a tin foil and burning the base of the foil which releases the smoke. Eventually the simmering gunk will move around the foil due to the heating and hence the name “Chasing the Dragon”. It started off as a rage in Hong Kong early in the fifties. It got called chui lung, which means chasing the dragon. The consumer will then enjoy the euphoria it induces while feeling relaxed, drowsy and sleepy.
Shooting Heroin

The hit is increased three-fold when the produce is administered via injection which was shown in detail by John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction”. Once the high wears off, the addict will gear up for the next dosage. It is a vicious cycle that has no care for time or society. The addicts are mostly cocooned in a world of their own. Their only chance at life is if the specifics of their predicament are self realized. The local rehabilitation centre’s are of no use, you tend to be more heavily addicted then you were on the outside. Chances are they would have started using other dangerous drugs as well. So, the only go is “Cold Turkey” or replacing it with the addictive “methadone”. The withdrawal symptoms (cold turkey) may include teary eyes, sweating, vomiting, severe backache, fever, diarrhea, cold sweats, chills and depression. The entire process usually lasts 7 to 10 days.

Due to an increase in barn type local pharmacists the designer drug heroin has been overtaken by “Ice” (Methamphetamine hydrochloride) aka Meth, Shabu and Ya ba. Users of this powerful drug are often totally unaware of the toxic chemicals that go into making the drug. As the Methamphetamine continues to evolve the users are coming out with higher concentrated forms of the drug. An Ice user can experience many side effects from this terrible drug. Extreme paranoia, violent behavior, rapid weight loss, tooth loss, grinding of the teeth, hallucinations, hearing voices, pale complexion, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, rapid speech that makes no sense, depression, sleeping or sleeplessness for long periods of time, suicidal ideation’s and different forms of schizophrenia. Ice users are also known to see shadows that move and feel that people are after them. Sometimes Ice users accuse their family members and friends of being with the Police or other government agencies and express extreme anger and violence to their loved ones. These side effects can often remain permanent if not treated; this is called “Meth Psychosis”.
Before & After effect of Ice

It is cooked with a pipe like device made of glass or with a tin foil. The ice is vaporized then the fumes are inhaled. Other methods include intravenous administration which as usual will produce the best results. Leaving the addiction is next to impossible as it produces the best rated High amongst its peers. The users will return again and again to attain that first high but equalling its potency will not be possible again.

When we’re talking about the highest high the connoisseurs will argue that the reference should be reserved for Cocaine aka Coke(benzoylmethylecgonine). It is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. For over a thousand years, South American indigenous peoples have chewed the leaves of Erythroxylon coca, a plant that contains vital nutrients as well as numerous alkaloids, including cocaine. It is native to the mountains of North West South America. It was considered sacred by them and seen as a gift from the gods and they made regular offerings to Mama Coca in religious ceremonies. The Catholic Spanish Conquistador considered the chewing of coca to be the work of the devil and banned its use. However this was repealed once they realised that without it, the enslaved workers were unable to mine for silver and gold as efficiently, and that it was a taxable commodity. In 1609, Padre Blas Valera wrote: “Coca protects the body from many ailments, and our doctors use it in powdered form to reduce the swelling of wounds, to strengthen broken bones, to expel cold from the body or prevent it from entering, and to cure rotten wounds or sores that are full of maggots. And if it does so much for outward ailments, will not its singular virtue have even greater effect in the entrails of those who eat it?” Sigmund Freud described the properties of cocaine as "...exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person. You perceive an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for work. In other words, you are simply normal, and it is soon hard to believe you are under the influence of any drug. Long intensive physical work is performed without any fatigue. This result is enjoyed without any of the unpleasant after-effects that follow exhilaration brought about by alcohol. Absolutely no craving for the further use of cocaine appears after the first or even after repeated taking of the drug." The addition of around 60mg of cocaine to each serving of the original Coca-Cola may have contributed to the rise in popularity of a beverage touting itself as offering ‘all the virtues of coca without the vices of alcohol’. Cocaine can be consumed in a number of ways, i.e. smoked, injected, snorted or you can eat it.
Snorting Coke

In 1977, Eric Clapton released a version of the J.J. Cale song "Cocaine." At the time, Clapton was consuming copious amounts of cocaine and alcohol, and had only recently kicked a heroin habit. Eric Clapton describes "Cocaine" as an anti-drug-song. The fans only listen to the refrain: "She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie, cocaine." But it says, "If you wanna get down, down on the ground, cocaine." Because of its ambiguous message, Clapton did not perform the song in many of his concerts; however, over the years, Clapton has added the lyrics 'that dirty cocaine' in live shows to underline the anti-drug message of the song.

Next we dwell on my personal favorite which is Cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol). Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three varities, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis which is indigenous to South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre(hemp), seed and seed oil.

It is widely known as marijuana, ganja, weed, grass, joint, pot, tampee, mary jane, reefer, herb and many others. It is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves derived from the hemp plant. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. It is estimated that 4% of the adult world population smoke pot. United Nations said that ganja is the most used illicit drug in the world. Marijuana has the properties of stimulant, depressant, hallucinogen and psychedelic combined into one. Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (joint), in a pipe or water pipe aka bong.
Smoking Bong

It is also smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with a mixture of marijuana and tobacco. Mary Jane can also be mixed in food or brewed as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form, it is called hashish; and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. The potential medicinal properties of pot have been the subject of substantive research and heated debate. Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure.

In Holland, coffee shops are allowed to sell a maximum of five grams of cannabis per person to their customers, providing said customers can present identification to show that they are over 18 years old. Most coffee shops will have a weed menu, often in the form of a book on the bar, from which customers can make a selection. You will then be presented with a plastic bag with your marijuana or hash inside and are free to leave with it or smoke it on the premises.

Rastafarians, smoking cannabis usually known as herb or weed, is a spiritual act often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. The greatest rastaman Bob Marley did not only use cannabis recreationally, and did not see its use as a casual matter. He viewed marijuana as a holy rite, much as Catholics view Holy Communion. Viewing himself as a holy person (as do all Rastafarians), Marley strongly believed that marijuana opened up a spiritual door which allowed him to become the artist and poet he was...and wasn't he the greatest poet ever?
In the United States the medical marijuana business is thriving, despite repeated crackdowns from federal government and its controversial reputation, it has survived in recent years and remains legal under state law. Sixteen states have legalized medical marijuana. I would think that medical marijuana is here to stay and will be implemented in most developed countries by the end of the 21st century. The advantages outweigh the objection it raises in its legalization…so Legalize It man and I will advertise it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

These are the days of our lives

It’s been quite sometimes since I updated these pages, 10 months to be exact. Hope all's well with everyone.

A lot of changes have taken place globally within that short time span. Arab Spring is still lingering on in 7 countries and has engulfed Syria with severe destruction. Colonel Gaddafi who had been in power for 3 decades was shot dead by rebel militia. The body was then put on public display alongside one of his sons who was also killed. The Oslo & Utoya attacks confronted us with pure evil that was carried out by an individual psychopath who got his training playing ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ video game bunked up in a farm. That homicidal rampage had left 77 dead. Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il has passed on, leaving his youngest son to carry on the dear leader legacy. They put on a rather good show for his funeral procession I must say. Manchester City has won the Premier League title after 44 years with a superb last minute thriller to oust Manchester United's bid for the crown. Ferguson was left fuming and slamming the champs for paying 'stupid money' and 'silly salaries' in the aftermath. “It's all about the money, Fergie”. The Sheiks and the Asians have moved into the EPL big time now. 

The European Union seems to be heading towards major social unrest due to their economic crisis. France is the latest to show signs of fragility. Amidst all this Obama has managed to become the first gay U.S. President; Freddie Mercury will be smiling from above even though he was more of a private man.

Most notably in the music industry, Whitney Houston, the most-awarded female act of all-time had passed away due to drug overdose. She was one of my all time favorite singers and it was saddening that she couldn’t get away from the entrapment of substance abuse.

Another notable passing was that of Donna Summer in May. Back in those disco days Hot Stuff was "The" song and she was the undisputed disco queen.

We had our own Bersih 3.0 rally and what a turnout, approximately 200 thousand people jammed in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka to let the government know that we're not settling for unethical practices. Astro coincidentally was offering free viewing of 130 channels for that week. Even though all the foreign news channels were censored, the damage had been done. There were lots of recorded police brutalities displayed on You Tube for all to see. Meanwhile our chauvinistic heroes were doing a butt dance and flipping burgers in front of the vegetarian chairperson’s house as an encore. Not to be outshone was the National Feedlot issue that clearly showed misappropriation of public fund in its highest order. The money that was to be used for a national cattle scheme was siphoned off shore to purchase property in Singapore. It has been mentioned in court and will no doubt remain a mere mention. Some scapegoats will be implicated while the privileged will walk away unscathed. On the federal front the government is dishing out all kind of incentives & monetary aid for students, parents, teachers, civil servants and just about anyone else who might not favor them in the upcoming election. The offering might be taken but that doesn’t necessarily mean the vote is guaranteed. Let’s just wait and see…

Other than that, the world remains pretty much the same I guess.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

flOwer pOwer

These were taken during our family outing at the Floria 2011, held at Waterfront, Precinct 2, Putrajaya. If you’re into flowers, you definitely have to go there. The theme for this year was Roses Are Forever. It’s an annual event…so no worries, see you there in 2012.

For more info, check out the site: