Well, youíve got Bobby McDonough who never smoked (cigarettes or ganja) or drank alcohol a day in his life -- clean liviní all the way -- dies at age 36 of lung cancer last year; then you got Willie Nelson, partaking of ganja for over 60 years now and still at it (i think he he may be vaping it now). Bottom line: Potential carcinogenicity is a weak argument for abstinence from ganja. And fear of cancer, even less so.
And as we agree (i think), smoking ganja does not inevitably lead to cancer or other illnesses; in fact, realistically, itís a much lower risk behavior than, say, cigarette smoking these days given the higher potency of the ganja being produced.
The EPA toxicologists used to bandy about a statistic that something like one in four people are going to develop a malignant cancer in their lifetime irrespective of lifestyle choices. Iíve even heard some say one in two. The important thing is that fear of cancer would not even appear on my radar screen of factors influencing my choice of whether or not to smoke ganja (for the record, i donít partake anymore, but i did abundantly as a young man.)
Sorry for being such a stickler for technical accuracy. Itís a residual of a career spent in science & engineering and, of course, of being lied to egregiously by the Babylon System when we were kids about drugs and their harmful effects:
INCORRECT statement: ďGanja will ALSO cause COPD, BRONCHITIS, EMPHYSEMAĒ
CORRECT statement: "Smoking Ganja can ALSO increase the risk of developing COPD, BRONCHITIS, or EMPHYSEMA"
Itís a subtle but extremely important difference in that one statement makes it fait accompli (which it is not) while the other correctly states the increased risk.
Many people have smoked ganja their whole lives and never developed any of these illnesses. You simply cannot overlook the myriad of variables involved in health outcomes, for example, degree of exposure (i.e., two hits a day verses a doobie versus ten giant spliffs), frequency of exposure, type of ganja and manner in which it is smoked, immunological characteristics of the consumer, interactions of other factors (e.g., other potential carcinogens and environmental factors). I donít agree with oversimplifications of complex human health related and toxicological issues because they tend to be used to propagandize and coerce by instilling fear.
But, at last, to the MAIN POINT at hand:
ďThis thread isn't a debate on carcinogens it's a debate on whether RASTA should part take in the regular smoking of cannabisĒ
So should a RastafarI partake in the regular smoking of cannabis?
My simple answer: Sure, absolutely if he or she so chooses. Letís not forget that JAH gives us Life and JAH gives us health. JAH also gives us ganja. i was a regular ganja smoker years ago at a time when the potency wasnít all that great and we smoked lots of it to sustain a nice consciousness. I was never addicted to it (e.g., if we ran out, oh well, no big deal). I was as healthy as an ox, rarely so much as a cough or cold -- Thanx be to JAH RastafarI. The ritual element of sharing ganja with friends or with teacher in Jamaica was quite a beautiful experience of which i have many fond memories. i stopped when i became of pilot because i felt that smoking ganja and being responsible for the safety of the people in the airplane were incongruous. It was a personal choice.
Most people donít get to pick their dream job. They go to work at a job in the Babylon System because they need to do it to survive, and frequently the stress levels associated with that work are far more damaging to their bodies and overall health than smoking ganja. As i said earlier, Life is a series of choices and trade-offs. A RastafarI should not hesitate to smoke ganja if he/she finds it to be enjoyable or beneficial in blocking Babylon BS out of the mind for for a while in order to focus on spirituality and His Majesty or if it is useful for any of a variety of medicinal purposes.
The herb clearly has long been used throughout human history by a variety of cultures. Itís obviously not some deadly or highly dangerous toxic chemical substance (e.g., i would advise Rasta to be much more careful with using alcohol and/or recommend avoiding completely the consumption of alcohol).
I&i do have to close by reiterating that if smoking ganja keeps a personís daily stress level down, then thereís a good chance that it will help them to live longer in an industrialized society (and itís probably better for that than popping Diazepam every day).
So yeah, sure, RastafarI should smoke ganja if they so desire. Or not, if they donít want to or have a reason not to. Itís no problem.