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This frightening belief was popularized in the 1970s when Ronald Reagan famously stated, “the most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana.”

In the following years, Reagan’s scientific sources would be discredited and subsequent studies would be unable to replicate any evidence of brain damage, yet the myth remains as prominent today as it was 40 years ago.

False Monkey Study

Dr. Robert G. Heath was a researcher at Tulane University in New Orleans when he reported the findings of an experiment that apparently proved a connection between marijuana use and brain damage. Dr. Heath had conducted the study on rhesus monkeys by exposing them to an equivalent of 30 marijuana joints per day. After 90 days, the monkeys began to waste and die. When they were later autopsied, Dr. Heath reported significant brain damage in the monkeys that had been exposed to cannabis.

Despite strong support from the federal government, the study was heavily criticized for inaccurate procedures upon its release. Critics suggested that suffocation may have been the actual cause of brain damage instead of marijuana itself.

The findings were challenged and ultimately dismissed by a pair of larger, better-controlled studies – one by Dr. William Slikker of the National Center for Toxicological Research and the other by Charles Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International – that attempted to replicate Dr. Heath’s results without success. The studies showed no change in the brain structure of monkeys that were given daily doses of marijuana for up to one year.

Human Studies

A number of studies have been conducted on human marijuana users over the past few decades, beginning in the 1970s as well.

In 1971, a study published by Campbell et al. involving 10 heavy users seemed to demonstrate a decrease in brain cells in a specific area of the brain, adding further to public concerns over marijuana use and brain damage. However, subsequent studies (Co et al., 1977, Hannerz and Hindmarsh, 1983 and Kuehnle et al., 1977) failed to replicate these findings, suggesting that the initial study was flawed yet again.

Recent research conducted on human subjects has also revealed conflicting evidence on marijuana use and brain damage. A study published in 2000 by researchers at the University of Iowa found no evidence of cerebral atrophy or regional volume differences in MRI scans of frequent cannabis users when compared to non-users.

On the other hand, the support for marijuana use causing brain damage seems to be stronger in studies that separate users by age. An early study conducted by Wilson et al. (2000) found that marijuana users who started using before the age of 17 seemed to exhibit noticeable changes in brain matter volume. However, the study found no differences in whole brain volumes overall.

In 2012, Duke University researchers published the results of a study that seemed to show that adolescents who started using marijuana before the age of 18 – and diagnosed as addicted by the time they were 38 – experienced a drop in IQ by early adulthood. The study suggested that heavy users could lose as much as 8 IQ points. However, an analysis published a few months later in the same medical journal determined that the findings of the previous study were once again plagued with inaccuracies and – using a statistical model to evaluate the original study’s data – seemed to show that there was no correlation between marijuana use and a drop in IQ.

Finally, studies that have investigated the effects of marijuana on brain cells have revealed findings that directly contrast with the popular belief of marijuana causing brain damage. In fact, a study published in 2005 showed that a synthetic form of THC could increase the growth of new brain cells – a process known as neurogenesis. CBD has also been found to have a similar effect on brain cell generation. Taken together, these findings seem to contradict the notion that marijuana may cause abnormal brain development in adolescent users.

Warning: Alcohol and Caffeine Can!

Most commonly abused substances – including alcohol and caffeine – can cause permanent brain damage so it may be a surprise to hear that marijuana is safe in this regard. Although users of marijuana may not be at risk of neurological damage, cannabis is still a psychoactive substance that subjects its user to a temporarily altered state of mind.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

Numerous studies have come to this conclusion after investigating the toxicity of marijuana and its active components – chemicals known as cannabinoids.

Studies have mostly focused on the toxicity profile of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) because of its potent psychological effects. What they’ve found is that although THC is a psychoactive substance and is responsible for the “high” that marijuana users experience, it is also remarkably non-toxic.

What The Studies Say

Many studies have set out to investigate the toxicity of cannabis and its various constituents. These studies measure toxicity levels by determining the median lethal dosage (LD-50). The LD-50 measurement is the point at which 50% of the test animals die (a 50% lethal dosage).

Studies involving small animals such as rats have established an LD-50 point for THC at incredibly high levels (around 1000mg/kg). Studies involving larger animals such as monkeys and dogs have failed to achieve an LD-50 point, even at enormous doses of over 3000mg/kg.

Although an LD-50 rating has never been established in humans, estimates can be made by extrapolating the results of animal studies.

The non-fatal dosage of 3000mg/kg given in studies of larger animals would be equivalent to an average 70 kg human ingesting 210 grams of pure THC. Given that the average level of THC found in marijuana is approximately 10%, a person would have to smoke 2.1 kg of marijuana all at once in order to reach the same levels of THC as seen in toxicity studies.

With these numbers in mind, its easy to see why marijuana is far less toxic than everyday substances such as aspirin (LD-50: 200mg/kg) and caffeine (LD-50: 192 mg/kg). In 2008, The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a review study spanning 30 years of research, concluding that there are no serious adverse effects of using marijuana.

‘Greening out’

Although ingesting too much marijuana cannot cause death or permanent disability, a temporary form of overdose is common, especially in new or inexperienced users of the drug. This phenomenon is casually referred to as ‘greening out’ and usually results in some combination of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of anxiety, paranoia or fear
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Hallucination and/or disorientation
     

Thankfully, ‘greening out’ is only a temporary phenomenon and will naturally pass within a few hours.

In extreme cases, it may be wise to seek medical assistance for someone suffering from a marijuana overdose in order to ensure their safety if anything were to go wrong. There is always the possibility that marijuana obtained from the underground market may be laced (or “cut”) with other drugs, in which case the danger of the situation becomes severely amplified.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

First isolated by scientists in 1964, THC was later discovered to act within the natural cannabinoid system of the human body – the endocannabinoid system – in order to elicit its effects.

THC has a wide variety of effects on its user, affecting both the mind and body. Not only is THC responsible for many of the medicinal effects of marijuana, but it is also the chemical that causes users to feel “high” after ingesting marijuana.

Natural Occurrence

THC is produced naturally by the flowers of the female Cannabis plant and is just one of over 60 cannabinoids that are produced. The levels of THC contained in each plant vary according to strain. While some strains of marijuana like hemp have almost no THC at all, others have been selectively bred in order to achieve THC levels as high as 25%.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another commonly known cannabinoid that is found in marijuana. Medical marijuana strains are frequently labelled with both THC and CBD levels, as both cannabinoids elicit their own unique effects on their users.

Short-term Effects of THC

Although cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body, THC acts mostly on the receptors found within the brain. This is why THC has such strong psychoactive properties and is closely associated with the “high” that marijuana users experience.

Along with feelings of euphoria, THC has also been reported to induce relaxation, alteration of sights, sounds and tastes, fatigue and increased appetite.

Medical Properties of THC

Extensive research over the past few decades has found THC to possess numerous medical properties that are beneficial in a wide range of disorders, some of which include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Cancer (various forms)
  • and many more…

THC also has antiemetic (anti-nausea) properties, which makes it useful for treating AIDS and chemotherapy patients.

Marinol® – a pure THC pill – is legal for medical use and is available for patients in certain countries such as Canada, United States and Germany. However, patients have reported feeling too intoxicated from Marinol®, likely because of the lack of other cannabinoids which naturally occur in the Cannabis plant and help to mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC. Newer cannabinoid-based medications are being developed to include other medicinal cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol) in hopes of maximizing medical potential and reducing adverse side-effects.

Toxicity

Although the toxicity level of THC has never been tested on humans, animal studies have demonstrated it to be remarkably non-toxic. Studies involving small animals such as rats have shown that a tremendous amount of THC (around 1000mg/kg) must be administered in order for death to occur. Other studies involving larger animals failed to result in death even when doses of THC of up to 3000mg/kg were administered.

Not a single case of human death by THC overdose has ever been documented.

Long-term Effects of THC

Studies documenting the long-term effects of THC intake have had varied and inconsistent results. Although highly debated, certain studies have found long-term use to result in the following negative side-effects:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Lower mental aptitude scores
  • Higher rates of psychosis and schizophrenia

However, there has yet to be any conclusive evidence of any negative long-term effects associated with THC intake.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

CBD was first isolated by researchers in 1940 but its structure was not identified until 23 years later.

 

Natural Occurrence

Although scientists have identified over 60 different cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, CBD is present in abundant levels and represents up to 40% of cannabis extracts.

Like THC, the concentration of CBD is highly variable from strain to strain. CBD levels are suggested to have declined over past years due to the preference and selective breeding of marijuana with higher THC levels in the underground market.

Effects of CBD

CBD can’t get you high – it doesn’t act on CB1 receptors and therefore has no psychoactive properties. This single factor makes CBD a much more useful compound, both legally and medicinally.

In addition to being non-psychoactive, CBD has even been found to counteract a number of the psychoactive effects of THC. Studies have shown CBD to lessen the hallucinogenic effects of THC, block THC’s interference with memory and decrease social isolation induced by THC.

Strains and pharmaceuticals (such as Sativex) that balance THC with high CBD levels are able to enhance the benefits of THC while reducing its negative psychoactive effects.

Safety of CBD

Many studies have been conducted on CBD to evaluate different aspects of its safety. Some of the findings include:

Embryonic DevelopmentStudies conducted to evaluate the safety of CBD intake for pregnant mothers found it to have no significant effect on developing embryos.

Food IntakeStudies have found that, unlike THC, CBD does not increase food intake. A study found that chronic administration of CBD for up to 2 weeks actually reduced weight gain in rats, suggesting that CBD may have the opposite effect of THC on food intake.

Motor ChangesStudies have not found CBD to induce motor changes, unlike THC.

Physiological Effects – CBD seems to have no effect across a wide range of physiological measures, including blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.

CBD, like THC, is remarkably non-toxic and no human overdose has ever been recorded.

Medical Uses of CBD

CBD possesses an incredibly wide range of medicinal properties, similar to THC. However, CBD is not psychoactive and thus has a clear advantage over THC for use as a medicine. Studies have demonstrated CBD to exhibit the following list of therapeutic properties:

Anti-inflammatory – making it useful in treating multiple sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory disorders

Anticonvulsant – making it useful in treating epilepsy

Antiemetic (anti-nausea) – making it useful in treating chemotherapy and AIDS patients

Anti-tumoral – making it useful in fighting various forms of cancer

Antipsychotic – Making it useful in treating schizophrenia

Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and Anti-depressant – making it useful in treating anxiety and depression disorders

Anti-oxidant – making it useful in treating Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and numerous other neurodegenerative disorders

Sleep-inducing – making it useful in treating various sleep disorders


Despite its potential as a therapeutic agent in so many disorders, current research is still in the early stages and has yet to progress to clinical trials for the vast majority of listed conditions. Unfortunately, the legal status of CBD and its close association with marijuana continue to hinder its progress towards widespread access and use of CBD as a medicine.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

What led to this understanding was the discovery of the endocannabinoid system – a unique biological system that facilitates the activity of medical marijuana within the human body.

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system is a central regulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes. It consists of a group of molecules known as cannabinoids as well as the cannabinoid receptors that they bind to.
Although marijuana is a source of over 60 cannabinoids (including THC and CBD), the human body produces a number of cannabinoids as well. These endogenous cannabinoids include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are present in all human beings.

Decades of scientific research on the endocannabinoid system has resulted in the discovery of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the body, but are most prominent in the brain and immune system.

Cannabinoid receptors act as binding sites for endogenous cannabinoids as well as cannabinoids found in marijuana. When cannabinoids bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors, they act to change the way the body functions.

While cannabinoid receptors are primarily expressed in the brain and immune system, researchers have identified cannabinoid receptors in a variety of other places as well, including the peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Cannabinoid receptors continue to be identified in unique parts of the body as research on the endocannabinoid system progresses.

What Does It Do?

Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system is not unique to the human species. Rather, research has shown that this system is common to all humans and vertebrate animals – and even some invertebrate animals – suggesting its significance in the process of evolution. Experts believe that natural selection has conserved the endocannabinoid system in living organisms for 500 million years.

Although the endocannabinoid system affects a wide variety of biological processes (such as appetite and sleep), experts believe that its overall function is to regulate homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all living things and is best described as the ability to maintain stable internal conditions that are necessary for survival. Disease is simply a result of some aspect of failure in achieving homeostasis, making the endocannabinoid system a unique target for medical applications.

Medical Applications

A primary example of the endocannabinoid system’s role in homeostasis comes from research that has identified an overexpression of cannabinoid receptors in the tumor cells of various cancer diseases, including lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that tumor growth can be inhibited and even reversed when cannabinoids such as THC are administered.

Experts believe that the overexpression of cannabinoid receptors is an indicator of the endocannabinoid system’s role as a biological defence system, providing strong support for the use of medical marijuana.

Interestingly, research suggests that this defence system is not only useful in treating cancer, but may also be beneficial in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. Current evidence points to the endocannabinoid system as being a potential therapeutic target for the following list of disorders:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • And many more…

NIH Review

In recent years, researchers from all parts of the world have come to acknowledge the vast medical potential of the endocannabinoid system. Summarized in a 2006 review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

“In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs… modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few…”

Excerpt from abstract of Pacher P., Batkai S., Kunos G. (2006). The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy. Pharmacol. Rev. 58, 389–462. doi: 10.1124/pr.58.3.2.

Recreational Use of Marijuana

While the endocannabinoid system has been thoroughly investigated in the medical field, many still question its role in the recreational use of marijuana.

Although its long-term effects continue to be debated, evidence shows that marijuana is a surprisingly benign substance that poses no risk of overdose and minimal risk of addiction. Experts also believe that the psychoactive properties of marijuana are most likely to be temporary and pose no risk of brain damage in the long run.

Granted the use of marijuana should still be approached with caution, evidence points to marijuana as ultimately being safer than most commonly available substances, including caffeine, tobacco and alcohol.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

Likewise, research has also shown that lifetime chronic pain is strongly linked with a higher rate of marijuana use.

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is a major public health concern, affecting approximately 10% of the Canadian and US population. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting for more than 6 months or extending past the expected recovery time for an injury or medical intervention. Experts say that chronic pain is a highly variable condition that may be a result of a number of underlying causes. As such, conventional treatments vary in effectiveness and there remains a significant group of patients for whom traditional pharmaceuticals are ineffective.

How Can Marijuana Help?

Overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that cannabinoids – the medical compounds found in marijuana – have powerful pain-relieving (analgesic) properties. Cannabinoids exert their analgesic properties through their interaction with the cannabinoid receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body, but are most prominent in the brain and spinal cord. Studies show that when cannabinoids bind to the receptors in nerve and brain cells, they are able to alter the way these cells perceive painful stimulus, ultimately reducing the intensity of pain that is interpreted by the brain.

Furthermore, research also shows that when skin or flesh is cut or injured, endocannabinoids – cannabinoids produced by the human body – are released to help modulate the pain associated with such injuries. As a result, experts believe that the endocannabinoid system may act as a biological mechanism for controlling pain in the human body, providing a unique opportunity for therapeutic applications.

Numerous studies over the past few years have found cannabinoids to be an effective analgesic for patients who suffer from pain associated with a variety of medical conditions including:

  • HIV
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines


Studies have also found cannabinoids to be beneficial in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain.

Cannabinoids vs. Opioids

Most patients who suffer from chronic pain are familiar with the group of drugs known as opioids. Interestingly, experts note that human civilization has been using both opioid and cannabinoid-derived medications to treat pain for thousands of years. Opioids are the most widely prescribed treatment for pain relief worldwide, eliciting their effects through biological mechanisms that are independent of the endocannabinoid system.

Although the majority of health professionals continue to overlook cannabinoids as a potential treatment for chronic pain, recent studies have found these compounds to be of comparable effectiveness to opioids in models of acute pain and to be of even greater effectiveness than opioids in models of chronic pain. Although opioids remain as the most widely prescribed treatment for chronic pain, cannabinoids are believed to possess a number of advantages over traditional opioid treatments.

The greatest concern with the use of opioids is the risk of serious side effects (including death) as well as abuse and dependence. The opioid system is directly linked with breathing and, when taken in large doses, opioids can cause death due to lack of oxygen. Interestingly, studies show that cannabinoids can prevent the development of opioid tolerance and withdrawal symptoms by interrupting signals sent by the opioid receptor systems, thereby reducing both cravings for opioids and the severity of withdrawal. As such, experts believe that medical marijuana and its derivatives hold the potential to both relieve suffering from chronic pain and to reduce the risk of side effects that are associated with the use of opioid medications.

Recently, researchers have taken a strong interest in the interactions between cannabinoids and opioids and have found evidence supporting the fact that a combination of both forms of treatment may provide the greatest amount of relief to patients with chronic pain. A study published in 2011 by lead author Dr. Abrams found that patients who took morphine and oxycodone experienced greater pain relief after 5 days of concurrent medical marijuana treatment.

Clinical Applications

As of today, the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana and cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain represents one of the most well-documented findings of modern cannabinoid research. Health professionals and patients alike are becoming increasingly aware of the safer and more effective treatment for chronic pain that medical marijuana provides.

Unfortunately, despite the proactive measures taken by a number of countries to allow patients access to medical marijuana treatments, the vast majority of patients worldwide are still prohibited from accessing medical marijuana and cannabinoid-based medicines. In spite of these political barriers, the evidence for the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain is strong. Patients can only hope that lawmakers will adopt a more scientific approach to addressing the issue of medical marijuana in the coming future.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

Numerous studies conducted in the 1970s found that marijuana was a surprisingly effective treatment for patients suffering from intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.

Yet 40 years later, many health care professionals still appear to be in the dark about medical marijuana’s potential for the treatment of this disease.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which increased fluid pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, eventually leading to vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is age-related and most prevalent among the elderly – affecting approximately 1% of people over 60 and more than 9% of people over 80.

Intraocular pressure (IOP) is both a symptom and risk factor for glaucoma and is believed to play a major role in the deterioration of the optic nerve. IOP refers to elevated levels of pressure inside the eye and most treatments for glaucoma are aimed at reducing IOP.

How Can Marijuana Help?

Although a variety of treatments are available to patients suffering from glaucoma, some respond poorly or are unable to tolerate the side-effects. In these instances, medical marijuana may be considered as an alternative treatment.

A number of studies published in the 1970s showed that marijuana (when smoked or eaten) could lower IOP in patients with glaucoma by approximately 25% – a reduction comparable to that of standard glaucoma treatments available today. Additionally, a dose-response effect was observed, meaning the more marijuana a patient consumed, the higher the reduction in IOP that resulted.

However, the studies also showed that the effects of medical marijuana on IOP could only last between 3 to 4 hours. Since IOP needs to be controlled continuously in the treatment of glaucoma, a patient would have to administer marijuana to themselves every 3-4 hours of every day in order to fulfill a proper treatment regime.

This is an obvious set back for patients with glaucoma wishing to treat themselves with medical marijuana.

How Does It Work?

The explanation for why marijuana reduces IOP remains unknown, although experts have a few theories.

Scientists originally thought that the reduction in IOP was a result of the overall drop in blood pressure caused by marijuana intake. However, upon the discovery of cannabinoid receptors within the human eye, researchers realized that the endocannabinoid system – the body’s natural cannabinoid system – played a much larger role in the regulation of ocular functions than originally thought.

Experts now believe that cannabinoids play a direct role in the regulation of IOP and that harnessing their influence may be the key to developing more effective treatments for glaucoma.

Looking into the Future

The discovery of localized cannabinoid receptors within the eye has led researchers to take another look at topical applications (ie. eye drops) of marijuana.

Initial attempts at administering cannabinoids through eye drops were a failure due to the insoluble nature of the compounds. However, researchers are working on novel ways of increasing the solubility of cannabinoids so that receptors of the eye can be exclusively targeted without triggering any of the psychoactive effects associated with the use of medical marijuana.

Cannabis-based medications are of particular interest to researchers because of their potential to do much more than just lower IOP. Studies suggest that cannabinoids could provide many other benefits in the treatment of glaucoma, such as restoring circulation, inhibiting cell death and minimizing free radical damage.

This incredible combination of benefits has led some experts to believe that cannabis-based medications may become the future standard for treating glaucoma.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

Recent findings suggest that medical marijuana may be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer – the most common cancer diagnosed in men and the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Prostate cancer is a growing public health concern with the number of cases expected to triple over the next 10 years.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate gland of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer tends to affect the aging population and is believed to arise from a combination of genetic and dietary factors.

While screening methods have made great strides in recent years in identifying prostate cancer during its early stages, metastatic prostate cancer – cancer that has spread to other parts of the body – remains an important clinical problem, with 5% of prostate cancer cases presenting as a metastatic disease. Prostate cancer spreads most often to bones and lymph nodes, resulting in pain, disability and impaired daily functioning.

When prostate cancer is localized, patients are most commonly treated with surgery or radiotherapy. However, approximately one-third of patients that are treated with these conventional methods will develop metastases, at which point androgen withdrawal becomes the most effective form of therapy. Even still, prognosis for patients with prostate cancer is poor and researchers continue to pursue new lines of treatment.

How Can Marijuana Help?

In recent years, researchers have investigated the endocannabinoid system as a potential target for the treatment of prostate cancer. Studies show that cannabinoid receptors occur naturally in the human prostate and are found in even higher concentrations in cancerous prostate cells, leading experts to believe that the endocannabinoid system may be one of the body’s natural mechanisms for fighting cancer.

In 2005, researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that administration of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55212-2 resulted in a decrease in cell viability and increased apoptosis (cell death) of prostate cancer cells. The researchers also found that, unlike cancerous cells, normal prostate cells were unaffected by the treatment.

Another study published in 2009 was able to confirm the anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids on prostate cancer cells using a different set of cannabinoids, one which mimicked the action of anandamide – a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the human body.

Interestingly, research shows that marijuana derivatives are not just useful in fighting the growth of cancerous prostate cells. The same 2005 study also found that stimulation of cannabinoid receptors resulted in a decrease in the expression of androgen receptors and PSA secretion. Androgen receptors are known to facilitate the progression of prostate cancer and PSAs are considered the most sensitive biomarker for prostate cancer to date – lending further support to the belief that cannabinoid-based treatments may prevent the progression of this disease.

Medical Marijuana and Cancer

The cancer-fighting properties of medical marijuana and cannabinoids are not unique to prostate cancer. In fact, cannabinoids have been found to demonstrate anti-tumoral and anti-cancer properties in a variety of cancers, including cancers of the liver, breast and lung.

Studies show that cannabinoids exert anti-tumoral effects by decreasing the viability, proliferation, adhesion and migration of various cancer cells. Furthermore, cannabinoids have been found to elicit anti-cancer effects by inhibiting cell proliferation and migration, inducing cell death, inhibiting the blood supply of tumors (angiogenesis), and modulating the immune response.

Medical marijuana provides another key benefit to patients with cancer in the form of pain relief. Numerous studies have found cannabinoids to possess analgesic properties that may be of comparable or even greater effectiveness than widely prescribed opioid treatments. Further evidence suggests that a combination of opioid and medical marijuana treatments may provide greater pain relief than either treatment on its own.

Clinical Applications

While medical marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under US federal law, recent reports from national health organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have come out in acknowledgment of marijuana’s cancer-fighting potential.

Unfortunately, clinical trials have yet to investigate the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana in prostate cancer, making it unlikely for any oncologist to consider the use of cannabinoid-based treatments at present time. However, a number of cannabinoid medications such as Marinol and Sativex have been approved for use by patients who suffer from cancer-related pain and nausea.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

Breast cancer remains the most common malignancy among Western women and accounts for 22.9% of all cancers in women across the globe. In 2008, breast cancer was reported as the cause of over 450,000 deaths worldwide.

Cannabinoids and Cancer

Although the medical properties of marijuana were first documented by human civilization over a thousand years ago, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids – the medical compounds found in marijuana – in the treatment of cancer has only been discovered recently. Since the late 1990s, numerous preclinical studies have demonstrated the antitumor effects of cannabinoids in a variety of cancers.

Studies show that cannabinoid receptors are over-expressed in the tumor cells of certain cancers, such as cancers of the liver, lung, prostate and breast. Thus, researchers have been led to believe that the endocannabinoid system may be up-regulated in cancer in an innate biological effort to fight off this disease.

Studies also show that when cannabinoids are administered and bind to these receptors, they are able to inhibit cancer cell growth by preventing the proliferation of cancer cells and by inducing cancer cell death (apoptosis). Furthermore, cannabinoids have been found to impair both tumor angiogenesis – the increase in localized blood flow induced by tumor cells – and metastasis – the spreading of cancer to other organs.

Cannabinoids and Breast Cancer

While medical advancements in breast cancer have progressed in recent decades, certain breast tumors continue to be resistant to conventional treatments. Breast cancer is comprised of tumors that are distinct in their molecular profiles, leading medical professionals to categorize the disease into 3 main subtypes.

Research suggests that synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (mainly THC and CBD) may be useful in treating all 3 subtypes of breast cancer, with the strongest evidence of therapeutic potential pointing to treatment of HER2-positive and triple-negative breast tumors. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids is particularly important for patients with triple-negative breast cancer, as there is no standard therapy that currently exists and prognosis for this group of patients is poor.

In addition to their anti-cancer effects, research also shows that cannabinoids are considerably safer and less toxic than conventional treatments. Cannabinoids are non-toxic to non-tumor cells and are well tolerated by patients – only eliciting relatively mild side-effects such as dizziness and fatigue.

“This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects.” – Dr. Sean McAllister

In 2007, Dr. Sean McAllister and his team of researchers were one of the first to discover that CBD’s cancer-fighting properties could be successfully applied to breast cancer.

As it turns out, cannabinoids can provide a variety of other benefits in the treatment of cancer, including the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with standard chemotherapeutic treatments and reduction of cancer-associated pain. Research also shows that, when combined with conventional cancer treatments, cannabinoids are able to induce a synergistic action against cancer and tumor cells, suggesting that the combination of conventional and cannabinoid-based treatments may more powerful than the administration of either treatment alone.

Clinical Applications: The Current State

Unfortunately, scientific research on the effects of cannabinoids on breast cancer has been limited to preclinical trials involving cell cultures and animal models. Researchers believe that further preclinical trials are necessary to identify which patient population is the most appropriate for cannabinoid treatment and which cannabinoids specifically present the best therapeutic option for patients before trials can advance to the clinical stage.

Until these factors are established, it is unlikely that oncologists will be willing to prescribe cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of breast cancer, despite the fact that research authors continue to assert the need for health professionals to be aware of cannabinoid research.

In a recent update (2013) published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, associate editor Susan Weiss Behrend concluded:

“…cannabinoids have demonstrated antitumor activity in preclinical breast cancer models. Practicing oncology professionals need to be aware of the clinical potential of these agents…” Susan Weiss Behrend, RN

While medical marijuana remains inaccessible for most, cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals such as Marinol and Cesamet (oral capsules of synthetic THC) are widely available to cancer patients for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea. As well, Sativex (a natural-cannabinoid derived mouth spray) has been approved in Canada for the treatment of cancer-associated pain.

As modern cannabinoid research flourishes and continues to provide strong evidence of the cancer-fighting effects of these compounds, patients should remain optimistic about the future of cancer research and the emerging role of marijuana-based treatments that may one day take center stage in the battle against this devastating disease.

Source: truthonpot.com

 

No Money or Market System
Automation of Labor
Technological Unification of Earth via "Systems" Approach.
Access over Property.
Self-Contained/Localized City and Production Systems.
Science as the Methodology for Governance
1) No money or market system.
Market theory assumes a number of things which have proven to either be false, marginally beneficial, or outright socially detrimental.

The core problems to consider are the following:

A) The need for "Infinite Growth" which is mathematically unsustainable and ecologically detrimental. The entire basis of the Market System is not the intelligent management of our mostly finite resources on this planet but rather the perpetual extraction and consumption of them for the sake of profit and "economic growth". In order to keep people employed, people must constantly consume, regardless of the state of affairs within the environment and often regardless of product utility. This is the absolute reverse of what a sustainable practice would require, which is the strategic preservation and efficient use of resources.

B) A "Corruption Generating" Incentive System. It is often said that the competitive marketplace creates the incentive to act for the sake of social progress. While this is partially true, it also generates an equal if not more pronounced amount of corruption in the form of planned obsolescence, common crime, wars, large scale financial fraud, labor exploitation and many other issues. The vast majority of people in prison today there because of monetary related crime or non-violent drug offenses. The majority of legislation exists in the context of monetary-based crimes.

Also, if one was to critically examine history and peer into the documented biographies/mentalities of the greatest scientists and inventors of our time, such a N. Tesla, A. Einstein, A. Bell, the Wright Brothers, and many others - it is found that they did not find their motivation in the prospect of monetary gain. The interest to make money must not be confused with the interest to create socially beneficial products and very often they are even at odds.

C) A disjunct, inefficient industrial complex which wastes tremendous amount of resources and energy. In the world today, with the advent of Globalization, it has become more profitable to import and export both labor and goods across the globe rather than to produce locally. We import bananas from Ecuador to the US and bottled water from Fuji Japan, while western companies will go to the deprived 3rd world to exploit cheap labor, etc. Likewise, the process of extraction, to component generation, to assembly, to distribution of a given good might cross through multiple countries for a single final product, simply due to labor and production costs / property costs. This "cost efficiency" generates extreme "technical inefficiency" and is only justifiable within the market system for the sake of saving money.

In a RBEM, the focus is maximum technical efficiency. The production process is not dispersed, but made as centralized and fluid as possible, with elements moving the very least amount, saving what would be tremendous amounts of energy and labor as compared to methods today. Food is grown locally whenever possible (which is most of the time given the flexibility of indoor agriculture technology today) while all extraction, production and distribution is logically organized to use as little labor/transport/space as possible, while producing the "strategically best" possible goods. (see more below) In other words, the system is planned, to maximize efficiently and minimize waste.

D) A propensity for "Establishments". Very simply, established corporate/financial orders have a built in tendency to stop new, socially positive advents from coming to fruition, if there is a foreshadowed loss of market share, profit, and hence power. It is important to consider the basic nature of a corporation and its inherent need for self perpetuation.

If a person starts a company, hires employees, creates a market and becomes profitable, what has thus been created, in part, is the means for survival for a group of people. Since each person in that group typically becomes dependent on their organization for income, a natural, protectionist propensity is created whereas anything that threatens the institution thus threatens the well being of the group/individual. This is the fabric of a "competition" mindset. While people think of free market competition as a battle between two or more companies in a given industry, they often miss the other level- which is the competition against new advents which would make them obsolete, outright.

The best way to expand on this point is to simply give an example, such as the US Government and 'Big Oil' collusion to limit the expansion of the fully Electric Car (EV) in the US. This issue was well presented and sourced in the documentary called "Who Killed the Electric Car?". The bottom line here is that the need to preserve an established order for the sake of the well being of those on the pay role, leads to an inherent tendency to stifle progress. A new technology which can make a prior technology obsolete will be met with resistance unless there is a way for the market system to adsorb it in a slow fashion, allowing for a transition for the corporations ( ie - the perpetuation of "Hybrid" cars in the US, as opposed to the fully electric ones which could exist now, in abundance.) There are also large amounts of evidence that the FDA has engaged in favoritism/collusion with pharmaceutical companies, to limit/stop the availability of advanced progressive drugs which would void existing/profitable ones.

In a RBE, there is nothing to hold back developmental/implementation of anything. If safe and useful, it would immediately be implemented into society, with no monetary institution to thwart the change due to their self-preserving, monetary nature.

E) An inherent obsolescence which creates inferior products immediately due to the need to stay "competitive" This little recognized attribute of production is another example of the waste which is created in the market system. It is bad enough that multiple companies constantly duplicate each others items in an attempt to make their variations more interesting for the sake of public consumption, but a more wasteful reality is that due to the competitive basis of the system, it is a mathematical certainty that every good produced is immediately inferior the moment it is created, due the need to cut the initial cost basis of production and hence stay "competitive" against another company... which is doing the same thing for the same reason. The old free market adage where producers "create the best possible goods at the lower possible prices" is a needlessly wasteful reality and detrimentally misleading, for it is impossible for a company to use the most efficient material or processes in the production of anything, for it would be too expensive to maintain a competitive cost basis.

They very simply cannot make the "strategically best" physically - it is mathematically impossible. If they did, no one would buy it for it would be unaffordable due the values inherent in the higher quality materials and methods. Remember - people buy what they can afford to. Every person on this planet has a built in limit of affordability in the monetary system, so it generates a feedback loop of constant waste via inferior production, to meet inferior demand. In a RBEM, goods are created to last, with the expansion and updating of certain goods built directly into the design, with recycling strategically accessed as well, limiting waste.

You will notice the term "strategically best" was used in a statement above. This qualification means that goods are created with respect to state of affairs of the planetary resources, with the quality of materials used based on an equation taking into account all relevant attributes, rates of depletion, negative retroactions and the like. In other words, we would not blindly use titanium for, say, every single computer enclosure made, just because it might be the "strongest" materials for the job. That narrow practice could lead to depletion. Rather, there would be a gradient of material quality which would be accessed through analysis of relevant attributes - such as comparable resources, rates of natural obsolescence for a given item, statistical usage in the community, etc. These properties and relationships could be accessed through programming, with the most strategically viable solution computed and output in real time. It is mere issue of calculation.

F) A propensity for monopoly and cartel due to the basic motivation of growth and increased market share. This is a point that economic theorists will often deny, under the assumption that open competition is self regulating that monopolies and cartels are extremely rare anomalies in a free-market system. This "invisible hand" assumption holds little validity historically, not to mention the outstanding legislation around the issue, which proves its infeasibility. In America, there have been numerous monopolies, such as Standard Oil and Microsoft. Cartels, which are essentially Monopolies by way of collusion between the largest competitors in an industry, are also persistent to this day, while less obvious to the casual observer. In any case, the "free market" itself does not resolve these issues - it always takes the government to step in and break up the monopolies.

This aside, the more important point is that in an economy based on "growth", it is only natural for a corporation to want to expand and hence dominate. After all, that is the basis of economic stability in the modern world - expansion. Expansion of any corporation, always gravitates toward monopoly or cartel, for, again, the basic drive of competition is to out do your competitor. In other words, monopoly and cartel are absolutely natural in the competitive system. In fact, it is inevitable, for again, the very basis is to seek dominance over market share. The true detriment of this reality goes back to the point above- the inherent propensity of an "Establishment" to preserve its institution. If a medical cartel is influencing the FDA, then new ideas which void that cartel's income sources will often be fought, regardless of the social benefits being thwarted.

G) The market system is driven, in part, by Scarcity. The less there is of something, the more money that can be generated in the short term. This sets up a propensity for corporations to limit availability and hence deny production abundance. It is simply against the very nature of what drives demand to create abundance. The Kimberly Diamond Mines in Africa have been documented in the past to burn diamonds in order to keep prices high. Diamonds are rare resources which take billions of years to be created. This is nothing but problematic. The world we live in should be based on the interest to generate an abundance for the world's people, along with strategic preservation and streamlined methods to enable that abundance. This is a central reason why, as of 2010, there are over a billion people starving on the planet. It has nothing to do with an inability to produce food, and everything having to do with an inherent need to create/preserve scarcity for the sake of short term profits.

Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This scarcity logic also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn't even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed.

While supply and demand dictates that the less there is of something, the more it will be valued and hence the increased value will limit consumption, reducing the possibility of "running out"--- the incentive to create scarcity, coupled with the inherent short term reward which results from scarcity driven based prices, nullifies the idea that this enables strategic preservation. We will likely never "run out" of oil, in the current market system. Rather, the prices will become so high that no one can afford it, while those corporations who own the remaining oil, will make a great deal of money off of the scarcity, regardless of the long term social ramifications. In other words, remaining scare resources, existing in such high economic value that it limits their consumption, is not to be confused with preservation that is functional and strategic. True strategic preservation can only come from the direct management of the resource in question in regard to the most efficient technical applications of the resource in industry itself, not arbitrary, surface price relationships, absent of rational allocation.

2) Automation of Labor
As the trend of what appears to be an exponential increase in the evolution of information technology, robotics, and computerization- it has become apparent that human labor is becoming more and more inefficient in regard to meeting the demands necessary for supporting the global population. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen an increasing trend of "technological unemployment", which is the phenomenon where humans are replaced by machines in the work force. This trend, while debatable in regard to its ultimate long term effect on employment, creates a propensity to displace the worker and hence the consumer, slowing consumption.

That stated, this issue is actually overshadowed by a larger social imperative: That the use of machine labor (mechanization) is provably more efficient than human performance in virtually all sectors. If one was to track, for example, the performance output of factory production such as within the steel industry in the US for the past 200 years, we find that not only do less than 5% of the workforce now work in such factories, the efficiency and output capacities have increased substantially. The trend, in fact, now shows that "Employment is Inverse to Productivity." The more mechanization that occurs, the more productive an industry becomes.

Today, there are repetitive occupations which simply do not need to exist given the state of automation and computerization ("cybernation"). Not only would mechanization in these areas reduce the mundane burden and allow more free time for people, it also would, more importantly, increase productivity. Machines do not need breaks, vacations, sleep, etc. The use of mechanization on its own means to create many forms of abundance on this planet, from food to physical goods.

However to do this, the traditional labor system we have simply cannot exist. The reality is that our labor for income system is stifling progress in its requirement to "keep people working" for the sake of "economic stability". We are reaching a stage where the efficiency of automation is overriding and making obsolete the system of labor for income. This trend shows no sign of slowing, especially in regard to the now dominant Service Industry, which is increasingly being automated in the form of kiosks, robotics and other forms. Likewise, due to phenomena related to Moore's law and the growing in-expense of computers and machines, it is likely that it is simply a matter of time before corporations simply can not rationalize keeping human labor anymore, as the automation systems will become too cheap. Of course, this is a paradoxical market phenomenon, called by some theorists as "the contradiction of capitalism", for it is, in effect, removing the consumer (laborer) itself and hence reducing consumption.

Apart from those issues, it is important to also consider human labor contributions based on social relevance, not monetary gain. In a RBE, there would be no reason to have such occupations as Banking, Trading, Insurance, Cashiers, Brokers, Advertising... or anything related to the governance of money.

All human actions in the form of institutionalized labor should also have the highest social return. There is no logic in wasting resources, time, and energy on operations that do not have a direct and tangible function. This adjustment alone would remove millions of jobs, for the idea of "working for money" as a purpose would no longer exist.

In turn, all the poor demographic, shoddy goods, vanity items and culturally contrived creations designed to influence people for reasons of status (for the sole sake of profit) would also no longer exist, saving countless amounts of time and resources.

One final note on this issue: Some hear this and they assume that this voids the Communicative Arts and personal and social expression as far as painting, sculpture, music and the like. No. These mediums of expression will likely thrive like never before, for the amount of free time made available to people will permit a renaissance of creativity, invention, along with community and social capital. The burden of labor obligation will also reduce stress and create a more amiable culture.

There is a difference between creating for the sake of keeping society sustainable and efficient, focusing on resource preservation, product efficiency and strategic allocation of labor for those things which generate a tangible social return - and creating for personal expression, exploration, experimentation, and hence art, which has been a staple of human evolution since the dawn of time.

3) Technological Unification of Earth via "Systems" Approach
We live in a symbiotic/synergistic planetary ecosystem, with a cause-effect balance reflecting a single system of earthy operation. Buckminster Fuller defined this well when he referred to the planet as "Spaceship Earth". It is time we reflect this natural state of affairs in our societal affairs on this planet. The fact of the matter is that the human societies, which are dispersed across the globe, require resources which are also un-uniformly dispersed across the globe. Our current procedure for enabling resource distribution comes in the form of corporations which seek and claim "ownership" of our earthly resources, which they in turn "sell" to others, in the name of profit. The problems inherent in this practice are numerous again due to the self-interest based disposition inherent in selling anything for personal gain, as denoted before. But, this is only partially the issue in the larger scheme of things when it come to the reality that we live on a finite planet and resource management and preservation should be the number one concern in regard to human survival- especially with the population explosion of the last 200 years.

Two people are born every second on this planet and each one of those humans needs a lifetime of food, energy, water and the like. Given this fundamental need to understand what we have, the rates of depletion and, invariably, the need to streamline industry in the most efficient, productive way, a Global System of Resource Management must be put in place. It is just common sense. This is an extensive subject when one considers the technical, quantitative variables needed for implementation. However, for the sake of overview, it can be stated that the first step is a Full Global Survey of all earthly resources. Then, based on a quantitative analysis of the properties of each material, a strategically defined process of production is constructed from the bottom up, using such variables as negative retro-actions, renew-ability, etc. (More on this can be found in the section called Project Earth in the ZM lecture called "Where Are We Going?"). Then consumption statistics are accessed, rates of depletion monitoring, distribution logically formulated, etc. In other words, it is a full Systems Approach to earthly resource management, production and distribution; with the goal of absolute efficiency, conservation and sustainability. Given the mathematically defined attributes, as based on all available information at the time, along with the state of technology at the time, the parameters for social operation in the industrial complex become self evident, with decisions arrived at by way of computation, not human opinion. This is where computer intelligence becomes an important tool for social governance, for only the computation ability/programming of computers can access and strategically regulate such processes efficiently, and in real time. This technological application is not novel, it is simply 'scaled out' from current methods already known.

4) Access over Property
The concept of property, unannounced to most people today, is a fairly new social concept. Before the neolithic revolution, as extrapolated from current hunter and gatherer societies existing today, property relationships did not exist as we know them. Neither did money or even trade in many cases. Communities existed in an egalitarian fashion, living within the carrying capacity of the regions and the natural production built in. It was only after direct agricultural development was discovered, eventually proceeding with resource acquisition by ship traders and the like - up to the modern day of power establishments and corporations, - that property became the highly defined staple of society as we know it today.

With that understood, which dismisses the common notion that property is a result of some kind of empirical "human nature", the notion of "no property" is also today often blindly associated with "Communism" and the works of Karl Marx. It is important to point out the TZM advocation of no property is derived from logical inference, based almost explicitly upon strategic resource management and efficiency, not any surface influence by these supposed "Communist" ideals. There is no relation between the two, for communism was not derived from the needs to preserve and manage resources efficiently. Communism, in theory and practice, was based on a social/moral relativism which was culturally specific - not environmentally specific - which is the case with a RBE.

The real issue relevant to meeting human needs is not ownership - it is access. People use things, they do not "own" them. Ownership is a non-operational, protectionist advent, derived from generations of scarcity over resources, currently compounded by market based adverting which supports status/class division for the sake of monetary gain . To put it another way, ownership is a form of controlled restriction, both physically and ideologically. Property as a system of controlled restriction, coupled with the monetary value inherent and hence the market consequences is unsustainable, limiting and impractical.

In a RBEM, the focus moves from static ownership to strategic access, with a system designed for society to obtain access as needed. For example, rather than owning various forms of recreational sporting equipment, Access Centers are set up, typically in regions where such actions occur, where a person simply "checks out" the equipment- uses it and returns it. This "library" type arrangement can be applied to virtually any type of human need. Of course, those reading this who have been conditioned into a more individualistic, materialistic mindset often objects with claims such as " what if I want green, custom golf clubs and only white are available?". This is a culturally contrived, biased reservation. The issue in question is utility, not vanity. Human expression has been molded by the needs of the current market based system (consumption) into values which are simply nonfunctional and irrelevant. Yes, this would require a value adjustment to quality, rather than identity. The fact is, even for those who object from the standpoint of their interest in personal identity, the overarching social ramifications of such an social approach will create benefits that will greatly overshadow any such arbitrary personal preference, creating new values to replace the outdated ones.

These include : (a) No Property Crime: In a world of access rather than ownership, without money, there is no incentive to steal, for there is no resale value. You can not steal something no one owns and you certainly couldn't sell it. (b) Access Abundance: It has been denoted that the average automobile sits in parking spaces for the majority of its life span, wasting space and time. Rather than having this wasteful consequence of the ownership system, one car could facilitate a large number of users in a given region, with only a fraction of the production/resource needs. [c) Peak Efficiency of Production: Unlike today, where the market system must perpetuate inherently inferior products for the sake of economic turnover, we could actually design goods to last, using the best materials and processes strategically available. We no longer make "cheap" products to serve a poor demographic ( which is the majority). This attribute alone will save cataclysmic amounts of resources, while also enabling a society to have access to goods and services they would never have had in a world based on money, inherent obsolescence, and property.

5) Self-Contained/Localized City and Production Systems.
There are many brilliant engineers who have worked to tackle the issue of industrial design, from Jacque Fresco, to Buckminster fuller to Nicola Tesla. Behind such designs, such as Jacque Frescos' famed Circles cities or Fuller's Geodesic Dome, rests a basic train of thought : Strategic Efficiency and Maximization of Productivity.

For example, Fresco's "circular city" is constructed of a series of "belts", each serving a social function, such a energy production, research, recreation, living, etc. Each city is a hence a system, where all needs are produced in the city complex, in a localized fashion, whenever possible. For example, renewable energy generation occurs near the outer perimeter. Food production is produced closer to the middle in industrial sized greenhouses.

This is very different in its logic from the "globalization" based economy we live in today, which wastes outrageous amounts of energy and resources due to unneeded transport and labor processing. Likewise, transportation within the city is strategically created to eliminate the use of detached automobiles, except for rare cases, such as emergency vehicles. Homes are created to be micro-systems as well, with as much power generation occurring internally, such as from sunlight absorbed by the building structure using photovoltaic technology. More information on these city system can be found at www.thevenusproject.com.

The Geodesic Dome, perfected by Buckminster Fuller, offer another efficiency oriented medium within the same train of thought. Fuller's goal was to build designs to do more with fewer resources. He noticed problems inherent in conventional construction techniques, and recognized the indigenous strength of naturally occurring structures. The advantages include: much stronger than a conventional building while using less material to construct; domes can be built very quickly because they are of a modular prefab construction and suit being mass produced; They also use less energy to keep warm/cool than a conventional box structure. More information can be found at http://www.bfi.org.

In the end, the fundamental interest is, again, sustainability and efficiency on all levels, from the "housing deign" to the "earth design". The market system actually fights this efficiency due to the broken, competitive nature inherent.

6) Science as the Methodology for Governance
The application of "the scientific method for social concern" is oft-repeated mantra for the basis of social operation in a RBEM. While the obviousness of this in regard to industry is simple enough to understand, it is important to also realize its value in regard to human behavior. Science, historically speaking, has often been derailed as a cold, restrictive discipline, reserved for the sake of mere technology and invention. Little regard seems to be currently given to its use in the understanding of human behavior.

Superstitious thought, which has been powerfully dominant in human evolution, has worked on the basis that the human being was somehow detached from the physical world. We have "souls"; "spirits"; we are "divine"; we are related/guided by an all seeing, all knowing, controlling god, etc.

Conversely, yet oddly similarly, there is an argument that humans have "free will" in their decisions and that we have the open ability to choose our actions, absent of the influence of our environment or even education. Now, while the vastness of the prior two statements and many reading those could find numerous cultural arguments to claim the contrary, this doesn't change the basic reality that we humans have historically liked to think that we are special and unique from the rest of the organisms and natural phenomena around us.

However, as time has gone on, it has become increasingly obvious that we are not special and that there is no such thing as "special" in the natural world...for everything is special based on the uniqueness of all organisms. There is no reason to assume the human being is any more important or intrinsically different or special than a mole, a tree, an ant, a leaf or a cancer cell. This isn't "New Age" rhetoric - it is fundamental logic. We are physical phenomena - nothing more or less.

We are greatly influenced by our culture and our values and behaviors can only mostly be a result of our conditioning, as external phenomena interacts with our genetic predispositions. For example, we have a notion called "talent", which is another word for a genetic predisposition to a given behavior, or set of behaviors. A piano prodigy might have an inherent ability that enables them to learn more quickly and perform in a more acute way than another, who has spent the same time in practice, but doesn't have the genetic predisposition. Be that as it may, that "talented" person still had to learn 'what a piano was' and how to play it. In other words, genes are not autonomous initiators of commands. It takes an environmental trigger to allow for the propensity to materialize.

At any rate, it is not the point of this article to expand on the argument of "nature and nurture". The point is that we have proven to be scientifically defined and a product of a traceable causality and it is this understanding that can allow us to slow and even stop the aberrant, or "criminal" behavior we see in society today such a abuse, murder, theft and the like. The logic, once the effects of human conditioning are understood, is to remove the environmental attributes which are enabling the reactions.

Just as an abused dog who has been starved for a week might have a knee jerk reaction to react very violently to an otherwise innocuous passerby, we humans have the same behavior dynamic. If you don't want people to steal food, do not deprive them of it. It has been found that prisons are now generating more violence than they are curbing. If you teach a child to be a hateful racist, then he will carry those values into the rest his life, very often. Human values and hence human behavior are shaped by the environment in a cause and effect based way, no different than a leaf being blown by the wind.

In a RBEM, the central focus in regard to removing aberrant human actions is not to "punish them", but to find the reasons for their offensive actions and work to eliminate them. Humans are products of their environment and personal/social reform is a scientific process.

Source: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com

 
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