Jesus used cannabis?

More migrants have made it across the Indian ocean now that the winds have changed and the Grey Wagtails (Motacilla flava) have joined their Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) fraternity in the garden – and they actually do return to the very same territory they left last year – which makes for pretty amazing navigational apparatus up in those bird brains. The Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura), probably the most diversely coloured bird in the country, is also back. I saw it skulking in leaf litter early this morning, its brilliant colours flashing in the subdued shafts of light that manage to penetrate the canopy this morning. No rain today so far and it’s still pretty overcast with the dank adding to the atmosphere of gloom. I complete my early morning walk with the dogs and get back inside to find Java engrossed at the laptop.

Check dis out maaan. ‘Mazin site, bro, all bout da holy weed and how bout dis sheet?

He scrolls down and lets me sit down at the machine and there it is…

Jesus ‘healed using cannabis’  – Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles

Jesus was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of scriptural texts published this month. The study suggests that Jesus and his disciples used the drug to carry out miraculous healings.

The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an ingredient called kaneh-bosem which has since been identified as cannabis extract, according to an article by Chris Bennett in the drugs magazine, High Times, entitled Was Jesus a Stoner? The incense used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained a cannabis extract, suggests Mr Bennett, who quotes scholars to back his claims.

“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University said.

Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in ceremonies, he added: “Obviously the easy availability and long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism… would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures.”

Mr Bennett suggests those anointed with the oils used by Jesus were “literally drenched in this potent mixture… Although most modern people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active ingredients are transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can also be absorbed through the skin”.

Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin diseases referred to in the Gospels.

“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil… and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,” Mr Bennett concludes.

What you be tinkin bout dat, maaan? Dis da same wit us Rastas bro – Jah be doin all dat healin of minds and bodies wit da holy weed. Same ting wit dem Ayurveda specialists in India an here, an also wit dose medicine men in Mexico an dem parts of da world. Remember Carlos Castaneda’s trips wit his guru Don Juan? Makes ol Java tink why dis valuable herb be outlawed. Dis be a honky thang, right? Dem Brits introduce da weed an da opiates to dose indentured labour in India an here in dose tea plantashuns and in dose sugarcane fields back home to make dem niggas happy while workin – dose niggas be happy bein absorbed in all dat hard work. Den dose mahfuhs outlawed dat sheet – an here we are, back in Babylon, gettin busted for gettin high! Make sense to you maaan? Sure soun like a whole mountain of cattle-turd to ol Java!

Trust Java to unearth something like this! I get myself another cup of coffee and replace Concerto de Aranjuez with something a little more appropriate for this Sunday morning. The choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford doing Ave Verum Corpus – one of my favourites. The angelic voices accompanied by a Hammond organ perform what Mozart termed “a little funeral motet”, perfectly – zooming me back in time to the College chapel and Cheena conducting us through this very same piece. Even Java is riveted as the crescendo builds and then fades to its finale.