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Nobodies Opinion May 2013

Kneecap

By Billy “Kneecap” Braddock


May is an interesting month. There are many days which honor many. We have National Nurses Day on the 6th, Mother’s Day on the 12th and Armed Forces Day on The 18th. However, there is one day that is also important to me “World No Tobacco Day” on the 31st. I’m writing this article on April 15th (Tax Day’s 100th anniversary). Eight years ago on this date I quit smoking cigarettes after 48 years. “World No Tobacco Day” brings awareness of the health and dependency issues of tobacco. Tobacco may be the most addictive legal drug we know. With all the aids to help you quit smoking, there is only one that really works. It’s your “HEAD”. You need to make up your mind that you really want to quit and it will happen. I don’t run around preaching about smoking, but the bottom line is if you smoke, you need to kick the habit TODAY. Your LIFE may depend on it.

Smoking is not the only thing that can kill you. We’re in the middle of gator mating season and I don’t mean the University of Florida cheerleaders. So remember, we live in a state (Florida) where you can be eaten by both alligators and crocodiles. If you need a hug, we also have boa constrictors. Then there are Sinkholes, which is Mother Nature’s way to allow Florida itself to commit murder. Mother Nature also gave us mosquitoes, ticks and fleas that like to give you little love bites. Florida is one of the country’s top tourist destinations. The roads are flooded with people who don’t know where they’re going but in a big hurry to get there. If that isn’t enough, we have blue haired, white knuckled, Buick drivers who don’t use turn signals and have a tendency to turn left in front of you. When I was a kid, we would say the most dangerous thing you can see in Florida was a Northerner traveling south on I-95 in a U-Haul.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about legalizing marijuana (cannabis). Cannabis has a long history. The first direct reference to a cannabis product as a psychoactive agent dates back to 2737 BC. It was used as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria and oddly enough absent-mindedness. In 1545, the Spanish brought marijuana to the New World. The English introduced it in Jamestown in 1611, where it became a major commercial crop alongside tobacco. By 1890 it had been replaced by cotton as a major cash crop in the southern states. It was in the 1920s that marijuana began to catch on. Some say that was brought about by Prohibition. Marijuana was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia from 1850 to 1942, and was prescribed for such things as labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. I grew up in the “hippie generation” where it was a symbol of rebellion. I can remember this nerd I knew who was going on vacation. He asked me, “Where can I get some marijuana to take with me? I asked him, “Where are you going?” to my surprise he said Mexico. After I stopped laughing hysterically, I had a visualization of a newspaper headline “Stupid gringo tries to smuggle marijuana INTO Mexico”. Until The Controlled Substance act of 1970, the majority of marijuana came from Mexico. After the Mexican government agreed to eradicate the crop in 1975, Columbia became the main supplier. So now, we advertise our easy giveaway of food stamps in Mexico. With this stupid “Zero Tolerance” climate, the so-called “War on Drugs” and mandatory sentences for possession the police prosecuted 848,408 persons with marijuana violations in 2009. 758,593 were charged with nonviolent possession only. Our jails are overflowing and with 224 million users in the world’s adult population, maybe we better take another look at our laws. Like they say, never let the truth or the facts interfere with the passage of a new law to control.

Quote from the person who invented the Internet and global warming. “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it”. Al Gore, Vice President

See you on the shiny side of tomorrow…

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