Tripping on the ‘System’ and Blazing for Lebanon’s Cannabis

The Kush

Hi! Welcome to the 21st edition of The Kush, our newsletter written specifically for Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. It’s another Monday and the 19th of October has dawned wet and cold in Bengaluru, where we are sitting out of, as of this writing. The monsoons in India have a clear significance with respect to our agricultural crops and food requirements. However, untimely, unpredictable showers seem to have ensured that chaos in a country like India is as normal as it gets. We’ve many problems to tackle. 

Let’s start tripping on them.

What is this ‘System’? 

Many readers and well-wishers alike have kept dropping in arguments and statements of an aggressive nature, which have been along the lines of ‘the system is screwed’ or ‘fuck this system’ or ‘this entire system needs to be changed’ or ‘we must escape this system that bounds us’ or ‘everything is fucked, everything sucks, this system sucks’ or ‘I hate this system, screw it’ or our favourite ones ‘let’s keep fucking this system and this entire world is fucked anyway’ and ‘the people who run this system must be jailed’.  

So common is this term ‘system’ that it feels as if each and everyone is either refusing to ask the big question or have forgotten to do so. What is this ‘system’? Who made this ‘system’? And most importantly why did this ‘system’ arise in the first place? All of these are subjective questions and answers will vary depending on person to person. We’re going to trip and try our best. 

We’ll start with human beings. Every human being is a biological system consisting of many systems: digestive system, respiratory system, excretory system, nervous system, endo-cannabinoid system etc. All these systems must work well with each other and deal with external events accordingly for the human being to be healthy. Any disruption in food, water, air or other circumstances of a psychological nature, will tend to ‘disrupt’ one of or more systems, if not immediately (like a stab or a gunshot) then over the long run (continuous intake of junk food, bad posture, tobacco smoking, stress etc.)

A community of human beings can imagine and create systems. Why? To ‘control’ the use of the earth’s resources. 

  • The political system: this ‘group’ of people is the ‘best’ representation of our community and they will make ‘decisions’ for us and make rules for everyone’s ‘well-being’ and ‘livelihoods’
  • The economic system: this ‘group’ of people are the ones who will ‘increase’ the productivity of the community through the ‘strength’ of their mind in whatever field they want
  • The socio-cultural system: this ‘group’ of people are the ones who think about ways to ensure every community in the society lives in ‘harmony’, they make ‘rules’ to do this
  • The education system: this ‘group’ of people decide what is to be taught to the young generations for them to become ‘good’ members of society
  • The financial system: this ‘group’ of people created concepts like ‘credit’ thus helping ‘money’ become the de-facto system of the modern world, a system in which everyone believes in by default

That said, it is up to us to decide who these ‘groups’ are. For if we can find out who these groups are, and move beyond the mere discussions where people bicker about this politician and that, the ultimate answer lies in the fact that he or she, who has the ability to control and conceptualize the means of production and he or she who has the ability to understand the economic-financial system, is ultimately the one who is in ‘charge’. As far as we’re concerned, its tech and business that shape the political and economic system, unlike the reverse that was the norm a few decades ago. 

Every system is interconnected to the other.

Let’s keep blazing. 

Lebanon’s Economic Crisis Hits Cannabis Farmers

Cannabis is one of humanity’s oldest cultivated crops. The others are wheat, rice, pulses and maize. The peddlers of bad logic, instead of frowning upon cannabis should instead ask the question as to what caused evolution to create so many types of plants, one of which was cannabis? The plant’s fibre was used for cloth, its oil and seed for protein and its leaves and flowers for medicine and recreation. If a plant is useful, cultivate it. Period. Our ancestors followed this line of thought. 

Lebanon’s cannabis is one of the world’s best and going through a turbulent time. Here’s the New York Times special from Lebanon: 

“In a Lebanese farming village of rocky soil and stone villas, cannabis grows everywhere. It fills the fields that surround the village and lines nearby roads where the army operates checkpoints. It sprouts in the weedy patches between homes and is mixed with other colorful blooms in flower beds. There is a cannabis crop near the mosque, and down the road from a giant yellow flag for Hezbollah, the militant group and political party whose leaders forbid its use on religious grounds. Jamal Chraif, the mukhtar, or village chief, of Yamouneh, praised cannabis as “a blessed shrub” for what he called its many beneficial properties and the ease of its cultivation. “There is something sacred about it,” he said. “God makes it grow.”

There are millions around the world who do not like the fact that people exercise their independence with regards to consuming or cultivating cannabis. These people tend to be easily swayed by emotional talk which lacks respect for knowledge and scientific evidence. They cannot understand that knowledge is not static, but dynamic and that all our current beliefs and assumptions may not hold true in a few years or decades. Such people can only be answered back with pointed, simple questions that make them understand their lack of understanding about the vastness of human consciousness. 

“For as long as anyone alive can remember, the yearly cycle in Yamouneh has been driven by the planting, weeding and harvesting of cannabis. The hashish extracted from the plant and sold to smugglers who spirit it out of the country has done more than any other crop to help the village residents edge out of abject poverty. It has provided reliable income not offered by their legal, more fickle crops, like apples and potatoes, and funded home expansions, truck purchases and children’s education. Now, the drug earns so little that some growers in Yamouneh doubt it is still worth producing.”

These are human beings trying to make a living via harvesting a natural plant suited for their environment. Instead of using the properties of their plant to make valuable products of a useful nature, the peddlers of bad logic continue to pretend as if cannabis derivatives ‘should be banned’. We’ll not stop silencing them. 

“While fondly recalling the days when a kilogram of hashish easily fetched between $500 and $800 — and the few years when the price shot above $1,000 — the farmers fear the earnings for this year’s product could fall to around $100 per kilo, or about $45 a pound. “If the situation stays like this, we won’t plant,” one longtime grower said, speaking on condition of anonymity like others to avoid legal jeopardy. “Hope has been cut off.” But the full effects of hashish’s declining appeal as a cash crop are yet to be seen in the village. Even as some farmers are abandoning it, others are still clinging on.”

Like everything, this too shall pass. 

Let’s keep blazing. 

Have a great day 🙂

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