Author : Joshua Doyle
We could have seen it coming for a couple of years. Identification of pathways that lead to cell aging, the discovery of a method of removing the “unwanted side effects” from THC, the discovery that tetrahydrocannabinol could be used to target and suppress specific gene expression pathways.
Each discovery was compartmentalized and the information remained on tech sites, rarely surfacing on general news sites and completely ignored by the television networks. Lab coats couldn’t compete with exhibitionists thrown together in an apartment. Most people had no idea it was even on the radar.
You have to hand it to Big Pharma – they’d really nailed the whole targeted marketing thing. If you didn’t have a net worth of 8 figures, you didn’t even hear about it for the first few years. There were rumors, but they usually came from potheads and were easily ignored.
Then Jean Fabre sent a stash of documents to WikiLeaks, and all hell broke loose. He disappeared before he could find a state that would provide asylum, but the information and evidence he provided turned out to be harder to eliminate. When news of the jade pill reached the general public, doctors’ offices and pharmacies were flooded. The global economy basically ground to a halt for a week as everyone skipped work to wait in line.
The riots started when they heard the price.
For a while, the principal goal of any person living on the planet was to make enough money to afford Vialogy. Forget the latest, highest definition television – paying their dose became the main goal of the “middle class”.
Then some enterprising biochemist named Alice discovered that the active ingredient in the jade pill could be generated with a simple (to her) modification to the genome of a particular sativa strain. Against all odds, she managed to get it out into the world before her minivan exploded on the highway with an abnormally high lead content.
The “War on Drugs” quickly went from a government-driven operation to a privately funded campaign as pharmaceutical companies tried to protect their golden goose. Private armies descended on grow-ops around the globe. The scope of the operations resembled the wet dream of a Bureau of Prohibition agent.
In the end, they were no match for, well, everyone. The world had found its unifying cause, and it wasn’t an asteroid or aliens. Finally, numbers truly outweighed wealth.
Within a year, marijuana was legal worldwide and Alice was being grown openly in backyards and apartment closets around the globe. The version of the drug without the psychogenic effects became readily available, but most people chose to use the “natural” version.
While some have associated the drop in crime and the reduction in war around the planet to the fact that the majority of the global population is permanently stoned, others say that the change in perspective offered by the reality of the modification is the driving factor. But in the end, does the why really matter?
The world hasn’t seen a war in 70 years. While the modern state of the world has created new problems, the new perception of timelines seems to be concentrating efforts on resolution of these problems instead of simply pushing them off for future generations.
There is a new fringe group. The Mortalists claim that our current society is unnatural and inherently evil, but they are easily marginalized. They have even been added to the DSM as a mental disorder, obviously.
After all, who wouldn’t want to live forever?