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Growing up, I didn't like the people my parents were. I didn't respect my mother, and a lot of that stemmed from the fact that my father didn't respect her either. The other day I read an article someone on Twitter linked to about fear, and how the fear of things can be worse than the fear itself. I've been listening to a lot of different CD's lately. I've heard about parenting, how time is one of the greatest assets we have, and how spending it with your children is vital for their well being and development. Another disc was about time management, something I haven't given a lot of thought to, but need to learn more about. I heard something that will hopefully change my life for the better about food, I've always known that your body needs carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, but I forgot that they need to be present at every meal and snack.

I've met some new people, and rediscovered some people I knew a long time ago, when both of us had very different lives. The other day my husband paid off my car, and my student loan. I didn't want to tell my friend Jody that I only had seven dollars left in my checking account, but now I'm free from that fear, and the admission helped me realize that it is better to be broke, than fearful that people will judge you based on your financial circumstances. The truth is, I am a very wealthy person. I've learned a lot about listening to my body that other people don't know, or ignore. Saturday I went to a Food as Medicine conference with my sister. She now works for a company that partners with the Wisconsin Vein and Laser center. The focus is on wellness, but there's an image component that makes me cringe as it is not in line with my personal philosophy.

I've put on a lot of weight recently. There are things I can do to control how much I eat, when I eat, and what kind of foods I'm putting into my body. The conference taught me some new things, it made me question things I've heard, and I really enjoyed meeting some of the people I sat next to. One presenter believes that we should adopt the vegan lifestyle to optimize our bodies. Another woman endorsed the bioavailability of raw milk, and the importance of essential fatty acids. I listened to a wonderful talk on endocrine disorders, and how many of the products we take for granted are giving off hormone mimickers, and hormone blockers that are absorbed by our bodies. Some people tried to use scare tactics, others chose other approaches to reach the audience.

I spoke with a woman about iridology, and skin brushing, something I've been doing for years. She has a different theory on how the skin ought to be brushed, so now I'm wondering if I've been doing it wrong. Although the conference was about food, there was also talk about emotional health, how to deal with stress, spirituality, and the fact that there are only so many things people can do to control their exposure to the toxic world around us. My favorite speaker was the executive chef who oversaw our meal, as he was the only presenter who gave us information on how we could implement some of his kitchen strategies in our own homes.

It is not enough to share information with other people, you need to show people how they can trade a new healthier habit in for the lifestyle they have now. People have to want to change, information typically isn't enough to change people. If their hearts are not engaged, if they can't identify what motivates them to change, you aren't going to see them sticking with their diet or exercise programs. Since I went through the Love and Logic program, I've learned that the people asking questions are controlling the conversation. Somehow I fell in with a group of tweetatricians even though I don't have a medical degree myself. These people have really opened my eyes to the problems practitioners face while working within a very flawed system. I've found out that being your engaging self is enough to attract quality followers on Twitter. It's been rewarding, and it helps fill an emotional void in my life at times.

Joining Twitter was a split second decision, I signed up, started tweeting, and then became discouraged when it didn't go anywhere. I didn't know what I was doing, or where I was going. Recently, someone recommended I read the book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This goes back to needing the time management element in my life so I'm going to head to the library to see if they have a copy available for check out. I've been pretty successful at integrating more vegetables into my children's lives, if everything you have in your house is healthy, then your children can either eat food that nourishes them, or they can go hungry. Love and Logic emphasizes the importance of allowing people to make their own choices, and then letting the natural consequences of those decisions serve as the teaching experience.

So, I want to change my life, but I'm not sure how I go about integrating the elements needed for success without getting down at what seems insurmountable. I've read about purpose, intent, and setting realistic, measureable, attainable goals. I have some books to read, but I want to know if you would be willing to help support my efforts. Something I've been doing recently is talking to my friends about what I want to do, and asking if they can help hold me accountable. We're all human, and I expect to fall off of my self-improvement wagon, but I need to remember that it's possible to get back on the train I left. If you want to help, send me a message, or ask me how I'm progressing in the catbox. Some of you may not be comfortable doing this, which is understandable. But if you don't map out a path that places challenges you, you might end up stuck in the same kind of ruts I'm in now. It's your call, but perhaps something to think about.

Take care, God bless you all this holiday season.

Jessica

P.S. Many thanks to oakling for doing a bang up job on what to expect with acupuncture and acupressure. These are modalities I'm considering, and the writeup gave me some much needed reassurance.

In November, Colorado and Washington passed laws to end the statewide prohibition of marijuana. Many counties in the state of Washington have dropped all pending charges on possession of small amounts held by adults, and in Colorado, Boulder County and the city of Aurora, all pending charges have been dropped as well, with other counties saying they will follow when the law goes in effect July 1, 2013. The District Attorney in Boulder County is working under the premise it is his obligation not to file charges if he is under the impression it is impossible to convict the person if they went to trial. Now many cities in Michigan as well as in the states of Massachusetts, Vermont and at least two other states have initiated measures to stop the prohibition as well.

The road to freeing a safe yet psychoactive plant from the tyranny of prohibition has been one that is tedious but spiritually rejuvenating. We have had many false milestones along the way like what is occurring between the state and federal governments, however the current pace and direction towards the proper heading is of great joy.

To my knowledge, the city of Denver and Breckenridge are the only places in Colorado that have already passed laws allowing possession under an ounce of marijuana by someone 21 years of age. It is not to my knowledge whether Boulder County or if Jefferson County has any law of that nature. In other words, society as a whole has taken a giant step forward, and we are now closer to ending the violence caused in the name of prohibition.

This movement started approximately 20 years ago with the decriminalizing, and reduction to the mandatory sentencing for anyone convicted of possession under an ounce. This reduced the burden to the court system and slowed the over-crowding in jails. Even with the laws how they are now, the prison system is still over its capacity, because we incarcerate non-violent stoners picked up for small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia, and it is worse in the states that still adhere to the strict zero tolerance policy of yesteryear. This was the first step in the right direction, but very little was accomplished for the rights of the individual and the people became entrenched in an epic political battle.

About 10 years ago, the people voted to allow marijuana medicinally, this has happened 17 times over throughout the country with many prospect sates. This produced talk from the DEA, the agency in charge of the controlled substances list, about reducing the severity in the classification of marijuana as dictated by the Controlled substance act of 1970. A change has not been made. As it stands now, marijuana is to have the same medicinal value as mescaline --a hallucinogenic drug derived from peyote--, LSD or psilocybin and is said to be as addictive as heroin. This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts, because marijuana is safer and has a greater medical value than cocaine, amphetamines and oxycodone all of which are on tier two and less regulated than the previous class.

Marinol, a synthetic analog of the THC molecule is schedule three along with steroids, GHB and ketamine all of which prescribed via written or oral orders. Pharmaceutical companies can produce a FDA approved THC substitute in a pill that is legal to a certain degree, but a flower that can grow anywhere is illegal with mandatory sentencing? Take another step you have Benzodiazepines and barbiturates, two highly misused drugs that cause physiological and psychological dependence, and the last step in classification incorporates the over the counter cough syrups and decongestants.

Benadryl and Robitussin are not regulated and you do not need a prescription are quite frequently abused for their hallucinogenic properties yet cannabinoids are still safer according to current studies. Therefore, I cannot see why marijuana is on the other end of the spectrum, and we can continuously justify arresting people and jeopardizing their futures for consuming something safer than aspirin. This is why I think the battle against marijuana has its roots in racial matters. It had its racial overtones since the beginning when they deported Mexicans, and targeted people of African descent in the propaganda. This is why still today disproportionate amounts of the arrests made are Hispanics and African Americans.

Against what propaganda introduced in the ‘30’s says, marijuana does not have a direct link to schizophrenia, and unlike alcohol, it does not produce a statically high rate of violence. Many of the Adults who smoke marijuana are high functioning members of society, and its negative impact is in large part due to its illegality and this engenders disrespect for the law. Laws are meant to protect not endanger, and when a law does more harm than good it should be repelled.

It is commonly accepted at large through scientific and anecdotal evidence, we have debunked all the marijuana myths. All accept for one and the FDA has been very diligent about not allowing many scientific studies, so it has yet to be determined if marijuana can cause schizophrenia. A study coming from the United Kingdom could not find proof of this link, but stated the areas affected are vital for memory and decision-making and both areas are also involved in schizophrenia. However, the DEA has pressured the FDA into helping keep marijuana illegal by preventing research, and I think large government agencies shouldn’t be able to manipulate and regulate the law, especially if it is based on corrupt ideology. The DEA is unwilling to change the classification though because although there is plenty of proof refuting the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug, people still fear the potential outcome.

However, many counties within a legalized state can hold strong to the federal law, the Attorney General could review each potential case individually trying the defendant under federal law, and the Supreme Court has recently set a precedent siding with local law enforcement after citing and arresting a citizen under federal law for possession. People are signing petitions to fight this stance and new bills have been constructed, but it doesn’t seem to matter what laws are passed, the battle over pot is still in full force. The federal government continues to wage war with a deaf ear to the countless pleas and demands to cease and desist. It is the innocent victims of the relatives and friends of those who have died from the results in a senseless search and seizures for a harmless herb, along with the kids in our country that are going hungry from the misspent tax dollars that pay the ultimate price.

The people's voice (vox populi) may go unheard in Colorado and in Washington and all over this country due to the Moralists; state sovereignty should not give way to current oppressive and antiquated laws. The federal government needs to allow the people to govern themselves as represented in the 10th Amendment, and give the power back to the individual state and person. Allow the people to have a choice over what they put in their own bodies and do not dictate matters in a victimless situation; or this is just another meaningless victory and law for the books, and yet more evidence of the failure to provide proper representation in this democracy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/21/health/21marijuana.html

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/cannabis-may-cause-schizophrenia-like-brain-changes/

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