Oh, I think every herb was put here for mankind's use. I used to date a
pharmacist, and she said that one of the first things they learn is that the
difference between a "drug" and a "poison" is "context" (meaning dose and
condition for which it's being prescribed, etc.). Heck, there's probably even a
good purpose for marijuana -- I know Alberta farmers are growing a very low-THC
version of it (legally) for use as hemp (it is, in fact, a species of hemp). It's
interesting that Bolivian Indians chew coca leaves and it's only a mild stimulant
-- it took Western chemistry to distill cocaine out of it and turn it into
something truly dangerous.  We have a dilemma in Canada with what to do about qat,
a leaf that Somalis like to chew. It has both a calming and stimulating effect (I
know that sounds contradictory), but it's not specifically mentioned on our
"schedule" in the criminal code. Many Somalis import it to chew. But it takes
about a baseball-sized wad and about 15 minutes of chewing this apparently very
bitter stuff before you get any effect.

I think the WoW is a law of obedience, when it boils right down to it, and I could
see it changing some day. Perhaps we'll be asked to abstain from something else --
whatever it takes to make us different and set us apart as a peculiar people.
Right now it's coffee, among other things, but I'm sure (although not so sure that
I'd argue the point with any vigour) that the wine Jesus drank was alcoholic,
given the times. And that's no big deal to me. In *our* dispensation we've been
told to abstain, and we do. Because we are a peculiar people (no humour intended;
I'm quoting straight, and seriously, from Paul).  But if it ever changed I sure
wouldn't lose my testimony over it.

I am not really that tempted by coffee, but for about 18 months when I was a
teenager I worked the weekend graveyard shift at a restaurant in a bowling alley
right across the street from the Vacaville (CA) federal pen, where Charles Manson
is being held. I used to drink tea (no milk, sugar) at night to keep me up. But I
was inactive then. When I pulled up my socks, I gave it up and had no trouble
doing so. At *very* occasional times, on long distance trips, I've taken caffeine
pills to keep me up. Until my illness I was the main long-distance driver in my
family (although now the kids are older, and I have some help, but my wife has
problems driving for more than a few hundred kms at a stretch. She once fell
asleep at the wheel and went off the road. Fortunately it was on a stretch of the
Yellowhead between here and the Saskatchewan border with wide, gravelled shoulders
and shallow ditches, so I was able to reach over and steer us back onto the
highway). At times like that I considered it a drug just like aspirin. Speaking of
which, many analgaesics, such as codeine, are administered with caffeine, partly
to counteract the somnolent (sleepy) effect, and partly to speed delivery to the

Personally I think if I didn't live the WoW I'd try a glass of white wine every
now and then. Other than that there's nothing that really holds any interest, let
alone serious temptation for me. I've heard that the worst thing to give up is
smoking. Janet Brigham Rands, who wrote an article on addiction in the Ensign, and
who participates on Eyring-L (where we milked her for more information than she
included in the article), says that nicotine is far more addictive than crack or
heroin. My Dad gave up smoking when he joined the Church 27 or so years ago, but
he says he still gets the occasional mild craving. It passes quickly enough that
it's not a problem, but he sympathizes with people trying to quit.

Paul Osborne wrote:

> Marc wrote:
> >Many people assume it
> >means no caffeine, but if that were the case a good portion of OTC drugs
> that we
> >take would be verboten. Is decaff okay? No. Clearly we're not to drink
> coffee or
> >(green/black) tea. That's what it means, not "no caffeine." We tend to
> get bogged
> >down in unimportant details.
> You're absolutely right, Marc. I love the smell of coffee and I suppose
> it will always be a temptation for me. There is nothing wrong with being
> tempted so long as you don't yield to the temptation and partake of the
> forbidden substance. I'm hoping that the coffee bean will someday be
> pronounced clean. What do you think? Every time I walk down the isle of
> the grocery store and smell those flavored beans it puts my nose in a
> state of alert.
> What do you suppose the coffee bean is for? Surely it must serve some
> sort of purpose other than to tempt the weaker saints like me.
> Paul O
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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