Cannabis, aka marijuana, is amongst our first and oldest cultivated plants. it has been with us since the beginning of civilization as we know it.
Cannabis, aka marijuana, ganja, weed, dope, grass, green, chronic, African broccoli, cheeba, mary jane, and dat sticky icky icky.

The benefits of marijuana, however, have been obscured, occulted, and in many ways forgotten since our ancient embrace of this elegant plant; this safe, beautiful, and damn near miraculous plant; dear sweet cannabis.

Echoing from the racism, bigotry and self-righteous indignation embraced by the founding fathers of prohibition, the modern drug war still holds strong that this plant is dangerous and morally apprehensible. Yet the Anglsinger-Nixon-Regan chokehold of prohibition is losing its grip as the people call for, and take back their rights to this ancestral heirloom.

We are at the dawn of legalization here in Canada, and in the early morning of state-level legalization across many areas in the United States. With this legalization comes an increased awareness of how foolish and ill-hearted cannabis prohibition—and perhaps prohibition of all sorts—has been. Every day, as science frees itself from draconian limitations on cannabis research, new evidence comes out on not only the medicinal benefits of this plant but of the relative harmlessness of its use in recreational context. Truly, if the modern world shows us anything about cannabis, it’s that the people behind its prohibition, past and present, are dogmatic, ignorant, arrogant, and dangerous fools. The legalization of Cannabis is a mark of maturity inside of a truly adolescent society, historically led by some of the worst amongst us.

Yet there is something to consider in all of this: legalization is not the abolishment of prohibition. We may do well to remember that as the legislation for legalization come in, because, in the illusion of getting back the people’s plant, we may end up just simply passing it from one form of prohibition to the next.  Will legalization just be prohibition 2.0? What happens’s to the people’s plant when its cultivation is held by corporations and its used commercialized for profit-driven interest?

Cannabis flower.

Of course, I’m not here to advocate for this legalization process to stop. Just like the rest of the starving dogs beneath the table, I am ready to receive whatever scrapes my owner (Government) is ready to toss down to me, cause it’s better than starving. What I am advocating for is understanding where we are in the context of where we have come from, what we have passed through, and where we might be going, so as to re-correct our course along the way (if we can).

This is, amongst other reasons, why I welcome author, activist, and cannabis elder, Joan Bello to this episode of Adventures Through The Mind.

Joan Bello is the author of The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual. She has been writing on cannabis since before the internet; since getting information meant driving from library to library hunting the stacks; since any mention of cannabis in public might have meant federal investigations and jail time. It was during the height of the Drug War that she published this book; when the knowledge was forbidden, and she has continued to advocate for it since.

Her perspective on the benefits of marijuana was an outgrowth of her training at the Himalayan Institute under the tutelage of Swami Rama, who she describes as an advanced Tantric Master. Joan has been a Hospice Worker, an editor, a grower, an activist, a jail counsellor, a fugitive from the law and even a prisoner. She was the director of the class action lawsuit that sued the U.S. government for its prohibition of therapeutic cannabis in 1998.  She also has a Master of Science Degree in eastern studies and holistic health.

At 75 years old, Joan Bello is an elder of the modern cannabis movement.

We welcome her to ATTMind to share some of her stories from the trenches of the drug war, her perspectives on where we are and where we are going with cannabis as a society, as well as her perspectives on what benefits cannabis does, and does not, have to offer us as individuals and as a society.



Episode Breakdown

  • What led Joan Bello to dedicate her life to cannabis activism.
  • The 1998 class action lawsuit against the U.S. government for its prohibition of therapeutic cannabis.
  • A yogic/holistic perspective of marijuana’s impact on the autonomic nervous system.
  • Her view from the trenches at the start of the drug war.
  • The problems we might face with the corporatization and commercialization of marijuana.
  • “Microdosing” vs. chronic use.
  • The story of Joan’s first Dab, at 75 years old.
  • So-called cannabis addiction and why cannabis won’t help you heal your psychological problems.
  • The benefits of marijuana used with a therapeutic container—for psychology and spirituality.
  • Joan’s hope for our future with cannabis.

“Marijuana is a very healthy vegetable” Click To Tweet

Related Links

the Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual (book)

Grab a copy of Joan’s book off of Amazon. You could also pick up her other books, The Yoga Of Marijuana and How Marijuana Cures Cancer.

Follow Joan Bello on Facebook

The outro music! 
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  1. Jeff Brown Reply

    Cannabis is the most useful plant on the planet; food, clothing, shelter, energy, medicine, insight, re-creation. It has been mankinds companion and helpmate since the beginning. Any law against it is a crime against humanity, creation and the Creator’

  2. “The most important thing…you don’t have the same splits, you see a whole perspective more.” -Joan

    It’s a beautiful part of cannabis that is difficult to quantify.

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