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Sep-23-2011 21:04printcomments

Albanian-American Muslim Author and Musician Say's Cannabis: Puff! Puff! Puff!

“All I’m saying is, that if a loved one is suffering from extreme pain and you are worried about the side effects of prescription drugs, shouldn’t you give cannabis a thought? It’s better than a bullet in the head!” - Agron Belica

Agron Belica - screen shot from 'Cannabis'
Agron Belica - screen shot from 'Cannabis'

(SALEM, Ore.) - If you don’t know the name, you should. Our religious affairs writer, Agron Belica, has already stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy with his research on John the Baptist’s being deprived of his rightful place in religious history with his study entitled The Revival of the Prophet Yahya. Now, after considerable investigation of the issue and study of the articles written by Dr. Phil Leveque and others, he has come out with a song supporting the medicinal use of marijuana that may surprise many.

While listening to Agron Belica’s new song Cannabis, some people might get the idea that he is promoting the recreational use of marijuana. When asked about that, he rejected the idea vehemently.

“Absolutely not!” he replied. “The song is about the legitimate medicinal use of marijuana as a pain reliever, not using it simply to get a ‘high.’ Treating chronic pain is serious business. All options should be on the table for the sufferer, not just the pills produced by the pharmaceutical industry. Studies have proved its effectiveness in controlling pain and it can be effective even in treating glaucoma, something which surprised me, so why should it be rejected out of hand?

“We all have stories about the problems associated with long-term use of pharmaceuticals to treat pain: organ damage, addiction, and the criminal acts the desperate addict may resort to in order to obtain the painkillers he needs as his addiction consumes him. Whatever its other qualities may be, legalized marijuana would not cause organ failure and death.

“All I’m saying is, that if a loved one is suffering from extreme pain and you are worried about the side effects of prescription drugs, shouldn’t you give cannabis a thought? It’s better than a bullet in the head!”

Dr. Phillip Leveque has been one of the loudest and most concise, professional voices in the evolution of medical marijuana, now legal in 16 U.S. states. He says in 5,000 plus years of documented use, there has never been a death attributed to this herb. This World War Two Veteran worked with thousands of Veterans who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"Veterans suffering from the traumas of war are one of the most likely candidates in this day and age, and you will always see a lot of Vets from all periods at events relating to the legalization of medical cannabis. The thing is, it helps them, and I had patients who had used marijuana continuously for more than 50 years that were healthy people. One PTSD patient of mine was a Marine Major who had been shot down multiple times as a helicpoter pilot in Vietnam".

Because of marijuana, that Marine officer, a highly decorated hero, was able to function and also greatly reduce the number of harmful drugs other doctors had prescribed for him.

Salem-News.com's Tim King agrees wholeheartedly, and while he's no doctor, he is the journalist who interviewed soldiers and Marines about PTSD in crazy places like Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact those interviews are some of the only such examinations of PTSD conducted in a war theater, in existence. (see Making Progress in the Fight for Veterans With PTSD - Leatherneck Magazine

"Who are we to opposes something that brings a fellow human being relief? Does opposing that herb help the Veterans who rely on it for sanity? Using a flower to heal your body is not a crime and people who do so are not wretches in society. The government should not have the power to regulate what natural healing herb a person uses."

While marijuana has spiritual connections to some religious faiths, others restrict or reject its use. As a writer who specializes in religion, Agron says it is not about religion, it is about continuing existence for people who need the medicinal benefits of this natural medicine.

Agron Belica

In reply to a question about the Islamic view on the issue, Belica was adamant that the recreational use of drugs—and that includes the most dangerous drug of all in terms of lives ruined and social cost, alcohol—are prohibited. The Muslim must face the difficulties of life and its joys with a clear head.

“But,” he added, “there are exceptions. I believe that life is a gift from God and its preservation is a sacred trust. For example, eating pork is forbidden to Muslims, but in an unusual situation where all lawful food is unavailable, the preservation of life trumps the prohibition, and its consumption would not be unlawful. The consumption of intoxicants such as alcohol and drugs is similarly prohibited, but in certain situations, they may have medicinal value and their use in treatment may be considered. Marijuana for chronic pain is one such drug.  

“Furthermore, I believe that legal war against non-alcoholic drugs is futile and wrong-headed, their very prohibition making them more tempting, as happened with the prohibition of alcohol in the last century. Its failure was predictable and their criminalization has only spread our misery to our neighbors, as witness in the plight of Mexico. The war against intoxicants is a moral war and should be fought as such.”

When asked whether the hook verses of the song could be interpreted as an invitation to the recreational use of marijuana, Belica replied, “Then they have not understood the message of my song. They should listen again, more carefully. The hook simply says that a person using cannabis as painkiller should feel no more guilt than does someone popping aspirins. Of course, the pharmaceutical companies make a profit from the aspirin, but marijuana can be grown at home.”

When it comes to Salem-News.com's years of coverage of medical marijuana, Bonnie King is our next most familiar voice. With her writing featured in recent books by noted marijuana writers Ed Rosenthal and the late Jack Herer, she has worked continuously to raise the public level of education and awareness over this herb.

She reminds readers that this song is part of the new album, Newsic, produced by Agron Belica in cooperation with Salem-News.com. As its title implies, the contents of the album, songs, are based on what Salem-News.com does, that of course is news.

The album embodies the spirit of this news organization which stands unflinchingly against Genocide and religious oppression.

Order here: Newsic - Agron Belica

A portion of proceeds from album sales will be donated to groups whose efforts carry on the work of the late Activist Vittorio Arrigoni of Gaza, originally of Italy.

"Cannabis" Puff! Puff! Puff!
Agron Belica Feat. Bonnie King & Dr. Phil Leveque
Newsic LP
Copyright 2011 Black Tree Records
Produced by Tim Adamack/Open Minds Entertainment

Co-Produced by Agron Belica & Patrick Dreie/Double D Recording Studio
 

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