A Short History of Cannabis
During the Middle Ages, while adopting wine as a sacrament, the Inquisition, instituted by the Roman Catholic Church, outlawed cannabis ingestion: anyone found using the herb to communicate with God or heal others would be branded a witch. In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII singled out cannabis as an unholy sacrament of the Satanic mass.
Yet while the Church persecuted cannabis users in Europe, the Spanish conquistadors were busy planting hemp around the New World to provide raw materials for, among other things, sails, rope and clothing.Pope Innocent VIII Witch Bull
"Desiring with supreme ardor, as pastoral solicitude requires, that the catholic faith in our days everywhere grow and flourish as much as possible, and that all heretical pravity be put far from the territories of the faithful, we freely declare and anew decree this by which our pious desire may be fulfilled, and, all errors being rooted out by our toll as with the hoe of a wise laborer, zeal and devotion to this faith may take deeper hold on the hearts of the faithful themselves.
It has recently come to our ears, not without great pain to us, that in some parts of upper Germany, as well as in the provinces, cities, territories, regions, and dioceses of Mainz, Koln, Trier, Salzburg, and Bremen, many persons of both sexes, heedless of their own salvation and forsaking the catholic faith, give themselves over to devils male and female, and by their incantations, charms, and conjurings, and by other abominable superstitions and sortileges, offences, crimes, and misdeeds, ruin and cause to perish the off-spring of women, the foal of animals, the products of the earth, the grapes of vines, and the fruits of trees, as well as men and women, cattle and flocks and herds and animals of every kind, vineyards also and orchards, meadows, pastures, harvests, grains and other fruits of the earth
; that they afflict and torture with dire pains and anguish, both internal and external, these men, women, cattle, flocks, herds, and animals, and hinder men from begetting and women from conceiving, and prevent all consummation of marriage; that, moreover, they deny with sacrilegious lips the faith they received in holy baptism; and that, at the instigation of the enemy of mankind, they do not fear to commit and perpetrate many other abominable offences and crimes, at the risk of their own souls, to the insult of the divine majesty and to the pernicious example and scandal of multitudes. And, although our beloved sons Henricus Institoris and Jacobus Sprenger, of the order of Friars Preachers, professors of theology, have been and still are deputed by our apostolic letters as inquisitors of heretical pravity, the former in the afore-said parts of upper Germany, including the provinces, cities, territories, dioceses, and other places as above, and the latter throughout certain parts of the course of the Rhine; nevertheless certain of the clergy and of the laity of those parts, seeking to be wise above what is fitting, because in the said letter of deputation the aforesaid provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and other places, and the persons and offences in question were not individually and specifically named, do not blush obstinately to assert that these are not at all included in the said parts and that therefore it is illicit for the aforesaid inquisitors to exercise their office of inquisition in the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and other places aforesaid, and that they ought not to be permitted to proceed to the punishment, imprisonment, and correction of the aforesaid persons for the offences and crimes above named. Wherefore in the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and places aforesaid such offences and crimes, not without evident damage to their souls and risk of eternal salvation go unpunished.
We therefore, desiring, as is our duty, to remove all impediments by which in any way the said inquisitors are hindered in the exercise of their office, and to prevent the taint of heretical pravity and of other like evils from spreading their infection to the ruin of others who are innocent, the zeal of religion especially impelling us, in order that the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and places aforesaid in the said parts of upper Germany may not be deprived of the office of inquisition which is their due, do hereby decree, by virtue of our apostolic authority, that it shall be permitted to the said inquisitors in these regions to exercise their office of inquisition and to proceed to the correction, imprisonment, and punishment of the aforesaid persons for their said offences and crimes, in all respects and altogether precisely as if the provinces, cities, territories, places, persons, and offences aforesaid were expressly named in the said letter. And, for the greater sureness, extending the said letter and deputation to the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, places, persons, and crimes aforesaid, we grant to the said inquisitors that they or either of them, joining with them our beloved son Johannes Gremper, cleric of the diocese of Constance, master of arts, their present notary, or any other notary public who by them or by either of them shall have been temporarily delegated in the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and places aforesaid, may exercise against all persons, of whatsoever condition and rank, the said office of inquisition, correcting, imprisoning, punishing, and chastising, according to their deserts, those persons whom they shall find guilty as aforesaid.
And they shall also have full and entire liberty to propound and preach to the faithful the word of God, as often as it shall seem to them fitting and proper, in each and all the parish churches in the said provinces, and to do all things necessary and suitable under the aforesaid circumstances, and likewise freely and fully to carry them out.
And moreover we enjoin by apostolic writ on our venerable brother, the Bishop of Strasburg, that, either in his own person or through some other or others solemnly publishing the foregoing wherever, whenever, and how often so ever he may deem expedient or by these inquisitors or either of them may be legitimately required, he permit them not to be molested or hindered in any manner whatsover by any authority whatsoever in the matter of the aforesaid and of this present letter, threatening all opposers, hinderers, contradictors, and rebels, of whatever rank, state, decree, eminence, nobility, excellence, or condition they may be, and whatever privilege of exemption they may enjoy, with excommunication, suspension, interdict, and other still more terrible sentences, censures, and penalties, as may be expedient, and this without appeal and with power after due process of law of aggravating and re-aggravating these penalties, by our authority, as often as may be necessary, to this end calling in the aid, if need be, of the secular arm.
And this, all other apostolic decrees and earlier decisions to the contrary notwithstanding; or if to any, jointly or severally, there has been granted by this apostolic see exemption from interdict, suspension, or excommunication, by apostolic letters not making entire, express, and literal mention of the said grant of exemption; or if there exist any other indulgence whatsoever, general or special, of whatsoever tenor, by failure to name which or to insert it bodily in the present letter the carrying out of this privilege could be hindered or in any way put off,-or any of whose whole tenor special mention must be made in our letters. Let no man, therefore, dare to infringe this page of our declaration, extension grant, and mandate, or with rash hardihood to contradict it. If any presume to attempt this, let him know the he incurs the wrath of almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul.
Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of Our Lord's incarnation 1484, on the nones of December, in the first year of our pontificate."Roman Catholic Church Anti Christ Cocaine Prohibition
It contained extract of Coca leaves, with 6 milligrams of the alkaloid cocaine per fluid ounce.
It was found to be an effective and safe product, endorsed by prestigious medical doctors for a variety of uses, starting as a vocal aid for opera performers. Its uses included that as a treatment for addictions to Opium, alcohol and even Tobacco. In Paris, Mesureur, the French Ex-Minister of Commerce, and the current (in 1910) Director of Hygiene and Public Health, who approved and signed the French government's radical poster campaign against alcoholism, would state that:
“The dangers of alcoholism would be avoided if no other stimulant were taken for mental or physical trials than that offered by the generous."
“I have also employed it in cases, happily rare in our army, of chronic alcoholism resulting from the abuse of brandy, absinthe or strong liquors. The produced all the excitement sought by drinkers, but had at the same time a sedative influence on their nervous systems. I have frequently seen hardened drinkers renounce their fatal habit and return to a healthy condition." "I have also used to save smokers of exaggerated habits, from nicotinism. A few glasses of taken in small doses, either pure or mixed with water, acted as a substitute for pipes and cigars, because the smokers found in it the cerebral excitement which they sought in tobacco, wholly preserving their intellectual faculties."
The amount of cocaine was absorbed slowly, resulting in a relatively long lasting effect that ebbed away gently without depressive rebound or craving- as seen with cocaine in concentrated doses- hence it did not produce addictive toxic-mania behavior. Furthermore, because cocaine is a powerful anesthetic, its consumption in this oral dilute form discouraged excessive consumption as this anesthetic action would numb one’s stomach, reducing one’s appetite for more.
The negative effects of concentrated cocaine were observed shortly after its commercial introduction about 1884, particularly with its administration via subcutaneous injection.http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2008/03/drug-warriors-ignore-pharmacokinetics.htmlhttp://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2008/03/crystalline-gleam-in-eyes-of-fathers-of.html
After three and half decades of Vin Mariani sale and use, its creator Angelo Mariani was summoned to the Vatican- ultimately twice. In January 1898, Pope Leo XIII issued Mariani a gold papal medal awarding him as a benefactor of humanity. In January 1904, Leo XIII’s successor Pope Pius X issued Mariani another such medal. It is not publicly known what exactly transpired between Mariani and the Vatican.
Yet within a few months, the political scene turned against Mariani and Coca with an apparent vengeance. In 1904, members of Roman Catholic orders as the Knights of Columbus Harvey Washington Wiley, an important figure in the American Medical Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry at the USDA, and Knights of Malta member, publisher William Randolph Hearst began a crusade against cocaine in any form regardless of the concentration factor. ...Catholic Church Calls on World Governments to Reject Drug Legalization, But Says Repression Cannot Be Sole Response
In a new pastoral manual issued last week by the Vatican, the Catholic Church called on the governments of the world to resist the temptation to legalize the drug traffic. The manual, "Church, Drugs, and Drug Addiction," was produced by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry after Pope John Paul II called in 1997 for a study of "the distressing drug problem in the world."
The manual, which is not yet available online, opens with the words of John Paul II, the cleric who has led the Church since 1978. "The Pope tells us of three specific actions for a pastoral care program which confronts the drug problem," Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragan told a Vatican press conference heralding the release of the manual, "prevention, treatment and repression."
The text of the five-chapter manual refers in depth to prevention and treatment, but the Pope made his stance clear in his opening remarks. In them, the pontiff affirmed that "we must all fight against the production, creation, and distribution of drugs in the world, and it is the particular duty of governments to courageously confront this battle against 'death trafficking.'"
According to Archbishop Barragan, the Vatican is opposed to the legalization of any drugs, even soft drugs such as cannabis, because it considers their use incompatible with Christian morality. (Until copies of the manual are available, it remains unknown if the Church now finds alcohol use incompatible with Christian morality.) But, said Barragan, the Church understands that repression alone will not end drug use, and it will urge governments and societies to change their cultures to combat the problem.Europe: Vatican Updates List of Deadly Sins, Adds Drug-Taking, Drug-Selling
Phillip Smith, March 13, 2008, 11:00pm, (Issue #527)http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2008/mar/14/europe_vatican_updates_list_dead
In an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano this week, the head of the Holy See's Apostolic Penitentiary announced that the Church had updated its list of mortal sins, and that drug-taking and -selling had made the list. The sale and use of drugs is sinful because they "weaken the mind and obscure intelligence," said Bishop Gianfranco Girotti. ...There is a special place in Hell reserved for the Vatican
Thursday, February 26, 2009http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/2009/02/26.html#a3321
Oh sure, there were the Crusades, the Inquisition, the destruction of science (Galileo), silence during the Holocaust, coverup of pedophiles, and the direct responsibility for millions of deaths to AIDS due to opposing safe sex practices (particularly in third world countries).
But NO, that's not nearly enough for the Vatican. Surely there's more evil that they can promote, more people they can kill in the name of God the Pope.
Oh yes, how about drug users. Let's kill some of them, too.
You see, the United States finally, finally, finally, came to its senses and the Obama administration sent a new message through its representatives to the United Nations that at least needle exchange as a harm reduction approach would be accepted. While that was not nearly all that was needed, it was at least an opening, and even the most rabid global drug warriors agreed that needle exchange was now a sure thing to be included in the new global drug policy.
But then, guess who intercedes?
The Vatican has been accused of putting the lives of thousands at risk by attempting to influence UN drugs policy on the eve of a major international declaration.
The Vatican's objection to "harm reduction" strategies, such as needle exchange schemes, has ignited a fierce debate between the US and the EU over how drugs should be tackled.
A new UN declaration of intent is due to be signed in Vienna on 11 March. However, there are major disagreements between member countries over whether a commitment to "harm reduction" should be included in the document, which is published every 10 years.
Now the Vatican has issued a statement that claims that using drugs is "anti-life" and "so-called harm reduction leads to liberalisation of the use of drugs". The Vatican's last-minute intervention appears to have led to Italy withdrawing from the EU consensus on the issue and thrown the talks over the declaration into confusion. [Guardian, UK] ...