Humans evolved to smoke pot!!!!!

evolutionary-chartA book has come to my attention which may be of importance to my brothers in the legalization movement.  The book suggests that over the eons of time, human beings evolved to be potheads.

Yes, you read that right.  Over the eons of history, throughout our many different evolutions and changes to make us more suitable for survival in this cruel and harsh world, and one of them was that our bodies (especially our brains) have evolved to more efficiently receive the effects of using (be it through smoke or ingestion) marijuana. 

the-botany-of-desire-375x500In The Botany of Desire, the author Michael Pollan explains how the human brain has evolved to experience the marijuana's high.  According to Pollan, much like the brain is "pre-wired" to receive the chemicals of endorphins and serotonin, so too is it prewired to receive the cannaboids (chemicals, including the high inducing THC, found in marijuana).  Pollan claims that there are "Cannaboid receptors" located all over the body allowing the whole body to experience the 'high" usage of marijuana produces.

But why take my words for it...

pollan_highres2In 1988, Allyn Howlett, a researcher at the St. Louis University Medical School, discovered a specific receptor for THC in the brain -- a type of nerve cell that THC binds to like a molecular key in a lock, causing it to activate. Receptor cells form part of a neuronal network; the brain systems involving dopamine, serotonin and the endorphins are three such networks. When a cell in a network is activated by its chemical key, it responds by doing a variety of things: sending a chemical signal to other cells, switching a gene on or off, or becoming more or less active. Depending on the network involved, this process can trigger cognitive, behavioral or psychological changes. Howlett's discovery pointed to the existence of a new network in the brain.

The cannabinoid receptors Howlett found showed up in vast numbers all over the brain (as well as in the immune and reproductive systems) though they were clustered in regions responsible for the mental processes that marijuana is known to alter: the cerebral cortex (the locus of higher-order thought), the hippocampus (memory), the basal ganglia (movement), and the amygdala (emotions). Curiously, the one neurological address where cannabinoid receptors didn't show up was in the brain stem, which regulates involuntary functions such as circulation and respiration. This might explain the remarkably low toxicity of cannabis and the fact that no one is known to have ever died from an overdose.

On the assumption that the human brain would not have evolved a special structure for the express purpose of getting itself high on marijuana, researchers hypothesized that the brain must manufacture its own THC-like chemical for some as-yet-unknown purpose. ... In 1992, some thirty years after his discovery of THC, Raphael Mechoulam (working with a collaborator, William Devane) found it: the brain's own endogenous cannabinoid. He named it "anandamide," from the Sanskrit word for "inner bliss."

**excerpt taken from The Botany of Desire

Wow...Take that DARE...

Human beings are literally born to smoke pot...

And here I always thought I smoked pot because it made TV more entertaining...

brain_on_drugsFor supporters of the medicinal (and recreational) usage of marijuana, this should come as welcomed news.  For decades, the "lie" being shouted from the ivory towers and bully pulpits of this land has been about the dangers of smoking marijuana.  But one would think that if the drug was as toxic to humanity as those keeping it illegal claim it is then why would our brains evolve to maximize its usage?  Would not something so detrimental continue to be toxic to our systems, like alcohol and opium have (both of which have been used throughout history much like marijuana). We should note, if you believe you are an addict you can easily find help with marijuana dependence treatment.

Not to mention that the mere fact that the brain has evolved to maximize the usage of marijuana would imply that throughout our species' long history there had to have been a whole lot of humans smoking a whole lot of pot for a very long time and had to have greatly benefited from this usage. At least enough to have gone through the extensive process of changing its chemical receptors to better receive the drug.

Why, it would appear to me that it is as if we, as a species, are intended to use marijuana (be it through natural or cultural design) in order to reap it's benefits.  And if we are in fact intended to use something... something that apparently we have been using throughout history... then how exactly is that something outlawed currently because of its stated harm to us when it clearly seems the contrary.

Weird, huh...

(At this time, I would also like to tip my cap to our friends in the "Intelligent Design" crowd, many of who are usually against movements to legalize marijuana.  It would appear to me that we are endowed by our Creator (whomever it may be) to smoke pot. And who are we to go against the designs of our Creator...)

For more information (a well as a more in depth look at the brain's evolution to accept marijuana, check out The Botany of Desire, available at fine bookstores everywhere...

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