11/18/08 - Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek of the Doors recounts their first rehearsal (high on weed), report from Australia on the benefits of hemp + NEWS that US HHS has a patent on marijuana

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Guest: 
Ray Manzarek
Organization: 
Doors
Download: Audio icon COL_111808.mp3
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Century of Lies, November 18, 2008

The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

All right. Welcome to this edition of Century of Lies. Today, it’s focusing on marijuana. I want to start this off with, not an editorial but a reading of a ‘salon’ post that leads us back to the truth about the drug war.

You see there are still four surviving patients who get 300 joints per month from the federal government. This, despite the fact that the drug czar and all his minions tour the nation, and in fact the planet proclaiming, ‘There is no medical use of marijuana.’ But now comes this post, from Brinna, on the salon website, US governments’ patent on pot and an end to the war on drugs.

US Patent number 6630507 dated October 7, 2003 reads in part, “The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services declares a patent on the medical use of marijuana. Now reading from Brinna’s post,

“If we can hope for one thing in the upcoming Obama presidency it is a serious rethinking of the sinister, decades long War on Drugs. For those who dismiss this as a stoner wet dream, or a trivial, peripheral issue, I would suggest that this war is one being waged directly upon the citizens of this country, not by terrorists, or drug cartels, but by our own government, purely for profit and control, and it impinges on all our lives.

One in every 100 Americans is in jail. We have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. Forfeiture laws allow for the seizure of money and property in drug busts with little or no oversight, and provides a hefty income stream to law enforcement. It is not surprising that police, district attorneys, and the prison guard union consistently lobby against grassroots initiatives which seek to modify our failed drug policies and bring them into alignment with common sense and human decency.

The lynch pin of this war is cannabis, and the enemies of this once highly respected herb are legion.

When Richard Nixon tore up the Shafer Report which he commissioned to review Federal marijuana policies, he did so because the report recommended legalization. By burying the report and launching his self-styled War on Drugs, Nixon saw a way to silence the hippies and peacenik’s who opposed that other war, the one in Vietnam.

For more complex motivations, the Clinton and Bush II administrations specifically targeted the medical marijuana movement because they rightly saw it as the beginning of the end of Just Say No (Reagan’s and Bush I’s singularly successful strategy to silence any public discourse on the topic of drugs and our society).

After all, hockey moms, and Joe-six-pack can easily laugh at dehumanized pot-heads, and dismiss them as deserving neither respect nor defense, but a cancer patient, or someone with MS or seizure’s?

So naturally the Drug Czars, and their minions in the ONDCP try to discredit claims that cannabis is medically useful, and hoist the canard that poor, sick people are being used to further the agenda of those that just want to get high.

Which brings me to the subject of this post: The US Government’s patent on medical marijuana. In what is either a humongous slip-up, or simply a matter of greed trumping rationale, the Dept. of Health and Human Services filed for and was awarded a patent on the medical benefits of cannabinoids derived from cannabis, based on studies done at the National Institute of Health. The patent (#6,630,507) awarded in 2003, states unequivocally that cannabinoids are neuroprotectants and anti-inflammitory, and as such are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including stroke, trauma, auto-immune disorders, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and HIV dementia. That’s prevention and treatment, mind you.

Which begs the question, why is cannabis still classified as a Schedule I substance, having “no current use for medical treatment in the United States?” Leaving aside the point that it is now legal for medical treatment in 13 states, the answer is simple, if cannabis were to be reclassified, the scientific community in this country would go full-steam ahead with research into its healing properties (as they are already doing overseas). Medical professionals across the country would be able recommend cannabis without fear of interference from the federal government. The culture of silence that has been imposed on mainstream media would dissolve, and a true discussion about the pros and cons of this issue would emerge.

Which is why it is so delicious to see existence of this patent move inexorably (albeit glacially) toward common knowledge. If there is one thing that the American people can’t abide (beside high prices as the gas station) it’s hypocrisy and believing we’re being suckered. Hence the downfall of Edwards, Foley, Craig, and the boiling outrage against the financial bail-out.

Those in office who champion a change in our drug policies, claim there is no political will to make a shift. I would postulate that political winds shift very quickly when the right fires are lit. When the American populace fully understand the extent to which we are being flummoxed and ripped-off as a result of these bone-headed policies – that we, indeed, are the flunkies – change will follow quickly upon its heels.

The stunning victory of Proposal 1 in Michigan (which brought legalized medical cannabis to the Midwest), and Question 2 in Massachusetts (which made possession of small amounts of cannabis a record-free misdemeanor) despite massive opposition by the usual suspects, sounds a lot like chimes ringing in a new age of rationality.

Whether we will see another year of one million people arrested next year for cannabis related offenses is still a question, but the days of Just Say No-thing about the our crazy drug policies is definitely over.

Oh, and for those of you who are interested, the Feds are offering up their cannabinoid patent for licensing. Let’s see how long it takes to get picked up.”

Thank you Brinna and Salon. This information is going out on all the Drug Truth Network programs.
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A bit later, we’ll hear a report from Australia provided by Mr. Martin Jansen. But first up, as I promised almost a month ago, here’s a story about the beginning of The Doors from their keyboardist, Ray Manserak.

Ray Manserack: You like outer space? You’re in outer space. Three hundred sixty-five days to go around the star. A thousand miles an hour holding us down. The gravity holding us down on the planet. Don’t get scared.

Female: You ever look at a twenty dollar bill on weed, Ray?

Ray Manserak: What is that eyeball on the..? That eyeball is looking at me all the time. Robby said, ‘You’re paranoid, Ray.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not paranoid, there’s somebody behind there. There’s a little cut out there and there’s an eyeball in there and love that pyramid, what is that? Who is that looking at me?’

So anyway, we smoked, The Doors smoked marijuana and we became the ultimate Christians, in that we realized that the dictates of the ‘Heart Master’ from Jerusalem 2000 years ago said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” and that’s the whole of the law will be, Love thy neighbor as thyself.

I don’t know whether or not he said, ‘Worship the Lord thy God with thy whole mind, thy whole heart and thy whole soul’ I mean it’s like, you are God in your whole mind, whole heart and whole soul. So that, I don’t know that you need to worship God but I think by just living your life, you are performing Godly activities that absolutely delight the energy that created all of us and the energy that we all are, in all things are.

What’s great about marijuana is that it opens the doors of perception and you can go beyond that into psychedelics and into LSD and mescaline and peyote and et al mushrooms. But the marijuana is just a, you know, first time I smoked it, it’s just absolutely great. I thought, ’Boy, is this stuff good. What is this? Wow!’

Music is like the purest example of the purest representation of that ‘marijuana high.’ Absolutely delightful, absolutely stunning, thrilling, the notes, the music, the sound of a base, jazz coming out of a foundation, just that base going boom, boom, boom and the vibrations of it.

After all, music is the most ephemeral of all the art forms. It’s a… it deals in vibrations, that’s all it is. It’s a plucked note, it’s a played note, it’s struck as I do, on the keyboard, it’s Robby playing a guitar, John hitting a drum. It exists and it’s gone in an instant.

Where does it go? Where does that sound go? We’ll never know. It doesn’t matter but you can feel that within your body, you can feel that body vibrating to the energy of those instruments being plucked.

So, the first time The Doors get together, Jim and I have gone to the UCLA film school and… what a great time I had at UCLA. I met my wife and we’re still married, Dorothy Fujikawa Manserick, who has been my wife for, it will be 41 years in December. {clapping}

You should give her a hand actually, for putting up with me, I mean, I didn’t have to do anything, you know. {more clapping} She’s the one who did the great job and probably kept me alive. Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be dead through excess or something. Some stupid thing that rock ’n roll musician’s do and kill themselves.

I mean, what a tragedy. Jim Morris, Janice Joplin, Jimmie Hendrix, Curt Cobain, Brian Jones, all twenty-seven. So, for those of you into numerology, seven and two is nine, that’s like the number. There’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. I’ll leave it there and you can…but, there’re all 27. They couldn’t make that leap into adulthood.

One of the problems of rock ’n roll is that, it’s not so much as an idea of eternal youth but it’s like, I know in Jim’s sake, Jim didn’t want to become authority. He said, ‘You can’t make peace with authority because you become an authority.’

That’s what we have to do. We have to become the authority. Otherwise, guess who’s going to be the authority? It’s going to be John McCain and Sarah Palin. They’ll be more than happy to take on the mantleship of authority and holy flip do we have to go through that. Another four years, oh my God.

‘Yeah, we’ll be the authority here. What do you think George? ‘Yeah, that’s right, that‘s right. That’s right Dick, that’s right.’ ‘Call me Mr. Cheney.’ ‘OK, ok, Mr. Cheney.’

Anyway, the first time John and Robby and Jim and I all played together was one of those marvelous experiences. The first song we played, the first song Jim sang to me on the beach was Moonlight Drive and I got the lyrics. I thought the lyrics were just amazing, ‘Let’s swim to the moon, let’s climb through the tide. Penetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide.’

Oh yeah, and I was doing like this. He was singing it to me, I was doing like, Ray Charles and Jimmy Smith kind of organ {music sounds} kind of stuff behind ’em and then at the end of the song, death enters the equation. ’Come on baby, gonna take a little ride, go on down by the ocean side. Get real close, get real tight. Baby gonna drown tonight.’ and I went, “Whoa Jesus, Jim.”

Like double suicide in many Japanese movies. A classic motif is double suicide in which the two lovers can not work it out and the guy and the girl and they have no other alternative, they can’t get married ‘cause dad wants the girl to marry somebody else and the guy and it just doesn’t work and double suicide.

This was a Western, Pacific coast version of driving down Pacific, PCH, Pacific Coast Highway and double suicide and I just got the shivers from it. Which of course I loved. Appealed immediately, to my Slavic sensibility, dark and moody and you know. Catholic and Slavic and all of that and I can play that man, I can play that.

So, we get together. John and Robby, I meet John and Robby at the Maharishi’s meditation, the same thing the Beatles were into. It was late 1965. After having some LSD bummers, after magnificent opening the doors of perception. LSD experiences. One with the Universe and then, total isolation from the Universe, going to Hell.

So I went to Heaven and went to Hell. Anybody else go to Heaven and go to Hell on LSD? {Laughter} Alright. It’s so good to be talking to people who understand what this is about. Yes. God bless you. God bless you people.

You go to Hell and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I’m totally isolated from the Universe. Of course, we know what being totally one with the Universe is. It’s the most divine feeling there is and it’s what… It’s what’s going to happen to us after we die.

Jim once said to me, he said, ‘Ray, what do you think’s going to happen to us after we die? What happens when you die?’ and I said, ’Faa… yeay….yeishhhh.’ We’re on the way to the airport. I had to pick him up. We were going to the airport. We got a gig on the East Coast.

He says, ‘Come on man, we got to go. It’s not time for a philosophical discussion about spiritual discussion.’ I said, ‘I don’t think there is any death. There is no death. You just go on into eternity.’ He says, ’OK, yeah, maybe, man. I don’t know. But, what do you think happens to you when you die?’

So anyway, I think what we do is we have that divine experience of oneness in which we are all one with all things and all the energy. In other words, we are God, God is us. All of our activities is God saying, ’Yeah, that’s what I intended in the first place, yeah.’

So that we’re all just, living this fleshy, these fleshy forms that can experience such absolute joy and sensuality and eating and [love making] what could be better? Holy cow you know, just absolutely great and you think about a woman giving birth. I mean, how the hell does that happen?

You know, as a woman you’re with your man and your man is just, ‘yeah’ and it’s so good. God, that’s good.’ and squit, squit, squit and the guy goes, ’Yeah, God that was good.’ and guess what? You make a baby. How the hell does that happen? Who does that? That’s God. That’s you, that’s all of us, that’s everything.

So anyway, John and Robby and I get together in Venice Beach and we met at the Maharishi’s meditation, same thing the Beatles were into. ‘I’m going to learn how to meditate so I can do an LSD ‘high’ without having anything to do with actually taking LSD‘, ’cause I couldn’t go to Hell, totally isolated. The Devil, the 9th circle of Hell, frozen, locked out of the flow of all the energy. God. What an awful experience that was.

Because, I asked the acid. I said, ‘Give me that great oneness experience again’ and LSD in it’s fine wisdom, it said, ’You’re asking me… You’re telling me what to do, Ray? I’m gonna show you what this is all about, boy. You ain’t been to Hell. You been to Heaven but you ain’t been to Hell. Go to Hell.

So I did. I went to Hell and totally lost my mind and little by little by little, through the grace of my wife and existentialism, Frederick Nietzsche, put it all back together again.

John and Robby and I get together and Jim get together for a rehearsal and the very first song we play is Moonlight Drive. Which is the first song Jim sang to me on the beach . So I showed Robby the cord changes. You know pretty simple, a blues song, ‘Let’s swim to the Moon, da, da, di, di, di, {voiced cords to the song} modulate from the G up to the A. Pretty straight a head song.

Robbie says, ‘Hey, hey, I’ve got an idea, man. Wha… you know, look at this. I got an idea.’ He opens the inside of a guitar case, he opens that little ‘thing’ in there, whatever the hell guitar, where they keep their picks and extra strings and he pulls out this weapon.

This weapon is like this broken off bottle neck and I thought, ’Holy sh….man. What kind of gigs do you play where you got to have this ’thing’ that’s like, it’s like a knife? It’s all jagged on the edges it’s really you can hold it like, fits right in your hand right there…’ and he, ‘Ha, ha, ha, ha’ He said, ’What are you talking about?’ ‘Isn’t that a weapon for self defense? Where do you play?’

He said, ‘No, Ray. You’re ridiculous. It’s a Bottleneck. Look it. I put it on my finger’ and then he goes,’ {Ray is using vocals to make the sounds a Bottleneck makes}. I said, ‘Oh, my God.’ and he said, ‘Watch this’ {more Bottleneck sounds} Morrison starts to go, ‘ahhhh.’ He starts elevating. ‘Hold him down. Jim…’ he might have been six inches off the ground before I grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him back. ’Jim, stay on the ground.’

He said, ’Ray, I love that sound. I love that sound.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I do too.’ He said, ‘I want that on every single record. Every song we play.’ I said, ‘You want it on every song?’ He said, ‘Well, alright. Maybe not every song, but a lot of ‘em, a lot of ‘em.’ ’OK. Alright. Fair enough, man. Fair enough.’

So I showed Robby the chord changes, showed John the beat. Robby’s got his Bottleneck on and we start to smoke a joint. The Holy sacrament is passed around.

Jim of course, Morrison the stoner, had a joint, ‘Hey, let’s smoke a joint before…’ {sounds of sucking in on an imaginary joint} You get it and you know, you get it and it’s back, ok. Ahhh. Alright. We know the cord changes, we got the Bottleneck, Jim knows the lyrics. Got everything together. John knows the beat. We’ve all smoked a joint. Now it’s time to play.

One. Two. One, Two, Three, Four. {Wonderful Vocals by Ray imitating their first practice session vocalizing the instrumentals keeping a good tempo} I’m playing. John’s in. Robbie comes in. {more wonderful instrumental vocals by Ray} The song’s just going on along about that tempo. Morrison starts to sing. That Chuck Baker voice, that haunted voice of his, ’Let’s swim to the Moon. A-ha. Let’s climb through the tide.’ I’m doing this, {more vocalized instrumentals by Ray portraying himself and Robby}

and… The song is just like, moving along through time and space. All of the sudden everything becomes infinite or totally, locked into this moment. I don’t know whether I was totally into this moment or totally into infinity and the song just continues and continues and Robby plays a solo after two versus and it’s amazing and we modulate.

We’re gone from the G up to the A and we’re doing a hard rock and then the end of the song comes along and it’s sort of a fade out and Jim says, ‘Baby gonna drown tonight. Going down, down, down. Gonna drown tonight. Dowwwnnnnn.’ and the song just kind of fades out.

It was like, we all looked at each other and went, ‘…man. Holy sh… What have we just done. Oh, my. Are we allowed to do that on this planet?’ That was it. Moonlight Drive. At that point, everybody knew. We all just sort of nodded our heads and said, ’Potheads. Yeah.’ That was it. That was the birth of The Doors. Right there.
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Dean Becker: All right. Once again, to wrap things up, we have this from Martin Jansen of Nimbin, Australia about the further versatility of the marijuana plant.

Martin Jansen: So Keith, can I just ask you something on another matter?

Keith: You can.

Martin Jansen: You became a name here in the North coast, because and, actually Australia wide and world wide, I noticed, on the internet because of your experiments with a 'mop-crop'. With a Southern Cross University project you did.

Keith: Yes. That was…

Martin Jansen: …and we had a lot of reviews and people have mulled it over and over in the mean time. But, I just wanted to ask you whether this type of idea is coming from any indigenous people you know of in the world, whether other societies have done that, maybe not with marijuana, but have this idea of collecting nutrients and wastewater treatment, etc.

Rick: I guess I don’t know specifically about indigenous cultures, but worldwide there is an understanding now that water is not really a wastewater. There’s no real such thing as wastewater and in fact I go so far as to call it resource water.

Martin Jansen: Yeah

Rick: …and the experiments that you referred to with Southern Cross University, I was then working with Byron Shire Council. Now there, we’re dumping half a million liters of poor quality effluent into one of the creeks. That was causing major problems. Now, that’s the norm, not the exception.

But Byron Council, at that stage, was looking for alternatives or a little bit more forward thinking than most of the other counsels and I was at that stage working on some other resource water issues and helping them design and build their 24 hectare Melaleuca wetland which was a regeneration project and now all the affluence put onto that. So they’re fairly receptive to new ideas.

I propose to them that they buy a farm, at Bangalow and use that for growing crops. We experimented with a number of fiber crops including bamboo, kanaf and hemp and of course hemp was the one that got the most interest.

But hemp was amazing. We irrigated up to sixteen mills per day, that’s sixteen liters per meter squared per day and the hemp actually took up more nutrients that what we applied in the wastewater. Not only that, this was very exciting to me, during the time we had the hemp crop on, we were measuring ground water down to a meter. So it’s sort of in the root zone and below the root zone and we could suck that out through these special instruments.

At one time, somebody put some really toxic chemicals into the sewage treatment plant. It killed it. It was pumping out about 50mg per liter of ammonium. That’s a lot of ammonium. It kills fish. If that was going in the creek it would have caused untold damage.

The exciting thing to me is that water went into the hemp crop and one meter down when we collected the water, it had removed 95% of the Nitrogen. Just by traveling down there. So, it was protecting the ground water. The hemp crop are such good nutrient scavengers that they just suck up as much as you can put on.

So that it was very exciting for us and we really demonstrated you don’t need to dump effluent into rivers…

Martin Jansen: It’s about water in the end, isn’t it?

Rick: It’s about water and that’s something that is increasingly being a major issue. It’s on the news everyday, on every newspaper, water.

Martin Jansen: Ought to make a profit of it.

Rick: Well, that’s unfortunately the way…

Martin Jansen: political…I care not to take rest from there. …and that is very illustrating for hemp use in ecological scenario. You also worked with industrial hemp in some. Are you involved with that?

Rick: Yeah. So I, that’s how I started with it. But subsequent to that, I’ve been looking at ways of establishing the local hemp industry and we’ve just recently started a new organization called Northern Rivers Hemp Inc. It’s a not for profit organization aimed at stimulating and giving assistance to the Northern Rivers Hemp Industry.

We’re acting as a bit of a sort of representative body. Talking with politicians. New South Whales Department of Primary Industry trying to, I guess, get some funding to establish a good hemp industry. There are a lot of farmers very interested, ranging from fairly small farmers to the fairly extensive farmers.

I think that probably the first product we’re going to see coming from Northern Rivers will be what Klara Marosszeky is doing. She’s a local Nimbin hero, or hero in my mind. She’s been quietly developing hemp masonry products for the building industry.

Hemp masonry is sort of similar to cement, but it’s half the weight. It’s many times better insulation properties and it contains 25% more carbon, more or less. Hemp stems. Hemp grows like the clappers. It takes carbon dioxide out of the air and sequesters it in it’s stem.

Now, we take that stem and turn it into a building product and we lock it up for long periods of time. Klara’s been over to France, for example, and seen a bridge made out of hemp masonry that‘s 900 years old. So we do know, it locks that carbon up.

You compare that to concrete. Concrete, you rip out limestone, you hate the beegeebee’s out of it. To turn calcium carbonate into calcium oxide, that process releases carbon into the atmosphere and then the end product doesn’t store any carbon. But hemp is….

Martin Jansen: So it’s a very graceful alternative process of concrete making.

Rick: Yeah, it’s a great building product, it’s just not up to scratch…

Martin Jansen: Oh, but it’s renewable as a base of substance now for materials.

Rick: That’s the thing with hemp is that’s it’s completely renewable. In fact I’m really keen to see a Grow Your Own House industry being established around here.
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Dean Becker: All right my friends. I want to recommend that you tune into this weeks Cultural Baggage when our guest will be Buford Terrell, former Professor of Law and a gentleman who runs a head shop which sells salvia which they’re trying to turn the control of over to criminals.

As always, I remind you that there is no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, medical data. In fact no reason, for this drug war to exist.

We’ve been duped. The drug lords run both sides of this equation. So please, do your part to end this madness. Visit our website, endprohibition.org

Prohibido istac evilesco.

For the Drug Truth Network this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston

Transcript provided by: C. Assenberg of www.marijuanafactorfiction.org