Why I smoke marijuana (rant post)

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Nonsense. Plenty of people have gotten themselves hurt while stoned. I've never seen someone drink two beers and then jump out of a 3rd story window because they thought they could fly.

No they just tend to get into a car and then plough it into another oncoming vehicle. Or be violent to someone. Plenty of people do terrible things while drunk...

I get that you want to refute some of the assertions about weed, by all means go ahead, but you seem to be lessening or deffering the criticism of alcohol, which gives a false impression.

The number of alcoholics is tiny compared to the number of users. It takes years of heavy drinking to actually become addicted. People sometimes make the mistake of atributing the average pub brawl to alcohol, but that's a consequence of people's own actions. The part where someone is compelled to drink only comes after addiction. Fortunately the people in that state of alcoholism is extremely small compared to the number of users.

But the harmful effects of alcohol is on a sliding scale rather than a "Oh you've hit alcoholism, prepare for some nasty consequences". Surely you're not trying to tell me that there it's only until you have an addiction to alcohol that you have problems. Alcohol abuse/misuse is just as serious, and a vast number of people, especially young people, drink far more than the safe limit per week:

Long-term alcohol misuse is a major risk factor for a wide range of serious conditions, such as:

heart disease
stroke
liver disease
liver cancer and bowel cancer

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Alcohol-misuse/Pages/Introduction.aspx

So what I'm asking is please don't compare alcohol in a positive light to weed, it doesn't do the drug any justice whatsoever.

Blablahb:
I'm not responsible for you doing your homework.

That's right. You are, however, responsible for citing sources when you make claims.

That drugs are harmfull is common knowledge. However, here goes just one of many possible sources:
http://www.ukcia.org/research/young/psychosis.php

Already in the second paragraph they mention.
" If these disorders exist they seem to be rare, because they require very high doses of THC, the prolonged use of highly potent forms of cannabis, or a pre-existing (but as yet unspecified) vulnerability."

Their conclusion is such:
"If cannabis-induced psychoses exist, they are rare or they only rarely receive medical intervention in Western societies (e.g. [40-41]). The total number of cases of putative "cannabis psychoses" in the 12 case series reviewed was 397 and 200 of these came from a single series (Chopra and Smith [9]) collected over 6 years from a large geographic area in which heavy cannabis use was endemic (e-g. [9])."

Jonluw:
Comparing drugs by toxicity is absolute nonsense though. THC is used in vastly different quantities than alcohol.

Yes, it is nonsense. But hey, I'm not the one who started the debate on what's more dangerous, I'm merely refuting people comparing years of heavy drinking to one blunt in order to paint their favourite drug in a more positive light.

There are other elements to what makes a drug dangerous than their toxicity, you know.

Jonluw:
But if you so wish, ok. Here's the LD50 in rats of THC, nicotine and ethanol respectively.
Ethanol: 5628 mg/kg
Nicotine: 50 mg/kg
THC: between 666-1270 mg/kg depending on sources

You picked rats because those showed the most THC resistance, and probably admission through the air. For mice it's already less than half that. Intravenous injection showed a much faster rate too.

Nonsense. I picked rats because those are the animals most commonly tested on when it comes to LD50.
i.e. the only animal I could find on which they'd tested the LD50 of all three substances in the same manner were rats.

But hey, if you want, let's compare the LD50 in mice instead. (I can't find one for ethanol, so it'll just be nicotine and THC this time around:
THC: 42 mg/kg
Nicotine: 3 mg/kg

So even if I had the same tolerance as a mouse, and injected pure THC intravenously, I'd need three kilos of the stuff to kill myself.
Compared to two hektograms of nicotine.
But the comparison is still nonsense, because noone injects either of those substances intravenously, and noone uses them in the same quantities they use alcohol, so the comparatively lower toxicity of ethanol doesn't count for anything.

The exact numbers don't matter so much as the relation between them.

Hell, I even remember they forced us to watch an educational video in school that was supposed to explain how bad drugs were.
They had a panel of experts explain the effects of various drugs.
The fun part is that at the end of the movie, the interviewers forced the experts to answer the question "If all drugs (including alcohol) were removed from society, and you would have to bring one but only one of them back in; which would it be?"
Naturally, they refused to answer anything other than "none", but after coaxing them for a bit, all except one of them admitted they'd reintegrate cannabis. (The last one was the kind of smartass who thought he'd found a loophole and went "Weak painkillers")
There was absolute consensus that there was no way they'd reintegrate alcohol.

Bottom line is, the "Alcohol is worse, hur dur!" slogan remains nonsense.

Like I said, there are other ways in which a drug can do harm than potential long term effects.
Alcohol generally removes inhibitions, while THC dulls you. No matter how you put it, alcohol is more dangerous when it comes to indirect consequences such as drunk driving.
To top it off, hundreds of people die directly from alcohol overdoses every year, while not a single case of a lethal cannabis overdose has been reported.

In any case, the health effects shouldn't have an impact on the legality of a drug. So long as you're only harming yourself, the government should have no say on what you're doing with your body. Although I do guess we could remove healthcare privilieges from cannabis users was it to be legalized, if you feel it's unfair that taxpayers' money should be used to treat self-inflicted health problems. Of course, if we were to do that, we would have to revoke alcohol and tobacco users' healthcare as well.

Jonluw:
I tried googling this "demotivational syndrome".
All I could find was very clearly biased anti-pot sources

hit 1: Health forum of a pot smoker who developed that and paranoid schizofrenia
hit 6: Article from an Irish newspaper quoted on a forum for potheads

The health forum one is a man with paranpoid schizofrenia who is thinking it might have been caused by his pot use.
Sorry, but I'm looking for something a bit more empirical than that.

As for "hit 6" the rest of the users in that forum seem to imply that the article is citing a discredited source. I can't find the original source though. Although they do make the point that it's clearly a christian university that's performed this study (discredited or not) and that they might have some confirmation bias.
Personally, I find the alleged symptoms the most interesting part of the article.
"They seem 'chilled out'; don't really want to work or study; seem happy to sleep late; want to listen to their music and hang out with their peer group friends."
Holy shit! Teenagers who use pot will become teenagers.

Still, the study only relates to chronic usage.

Or you could've gone to the second page and find this wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_issues_and_the_effects_of_cannabis

Or this study:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/abstractdb/AbstractDBDetails.aspx?id=124198

The wikipedia article starts up like this:
"Concerns have been raised about the potential for long-term cannabis consumption to increase risk for schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and major depression, but the ultimate conclusions on these factors are disputed. The evidence of long-term effects on memory is preliminary and hindered by confounding factors."

The entire article is pretty much about how inconclusive the research is.

The second study doesn't help me much. It's a book, and I'm not going to buy it only to discuss with you. In any case, it appears to have some bias, considering the index terms "Drug detection ; Drug effects ; Drug prevention programs ; Drug treatment"
But even if it doesn't, it was published in 1989.

Jonluw:
I can say though, that in the many people I know who smoke and/or have smoked (Most started before they were 18, I'd wager, as they are 18 now), not a single one has any form of brain damage.

You're basically saying "I can't see it with the naked eye, so it doesn't exist". That's not how it works for such things. Actually all of them have brain damage.

Oh really? All my friends have brain damage? That's a pretty harsh claim. In what way are they damaged? What are the symptoms?
I couldn't really find much descriptive material on brain damage resulting from cannabis use, so I'm afraid you'll have to describe it to me.

Jonluw:
Do you work in a rehabilitation centre? If so, you are only seeing the worst case scenarios, and chances are most of those have preceeding conditions that may have something to do with what you're observing.

No, it's mostly the main office, the first line of treatment. And if you see an alarming number of children suffering from heavy cannabis abuse because of legalisation, there is a clear and serious problem. No other drug even remotely has the same amount of addicts of even near that age.

How about more strictly enforcing age limits rather than banning the stuff?
I'd wager the number of children addicted to nicotine is far greater by the way. It's just that since nicotine isn't seen as a "problem", those kids aren't coming to your clinic.

Especially since we only see those who seek treatment or are compelled to seek treatment by parents or school. This means there's another large group of severe marijuana addicts who stay just under the radar.

Clearly legalisation is a bad thing.

Marijuana is a harddrug, and both drug education and enforcement should treat it as such.

I have not seen sufficient evidence to agree to this claim. Sorry.
Even if it was, I do not agree that hard drugs should be illegal, as I don't believe the state should regulate what you do with your body. If they can, they should logically be able to intervene in my (previous, now defeated) problem of self harm.

Jonluw:
However, irresponsible use of alcohol is far more dangerous than irresponsible use of marijuana.

Not quite. The number of alcoholics is tiny compared to the number of users. It takes years of heavy drinking to actually become addicted. People sometimes make the mistake of atributing the average pub brawl to alcohol, but that's a consequence of people's own actions. The part where someone is compelled to drink only comes after addiction. Fortunately the people in that state of alcoholism is extremely small compared to the number of users.

Fortunately, you decided to ignore the rest of my argument.

Whereas every minor smoking marijuana suffers permanent brain damage,

Haven't seen any evidence towards that yet.

mostly concentrated on memory, learning capacity and emotional control, and the ratio of addicts compared to users is much much higher.

Still not convinced of any of those claims.
Even if they were true, those effects would most likely be greatly reduced by making the stuff legal.

Jonluw:
While THC relaxes the user and disincentivizes the user from putting themselves into dangerous situations

Nonsense. Plenty of people have gotten themselves hurt while stoned. I've never seen someone drink two beers and then jump out of a 3rd story window because they thought they could fly. In Amsterdam, that happens more than yearly to stoned tourists.

I've heard of people using stronger psychoactive drugs such as LSD or mushrooms thinking they can fly and promptly jumping from high places. For instance there was this guy in my city who try to do a ski-jump without skis.
I've never heard of anything of the sort happening to cannabis users however.

Here's a newspaper article containing two such cases:
http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1041/Amsterdam/article/detail/1897911/2011/03/11/Toerist-springt-uit-hotel-na-drugsgebruik.dhtml

The victim on whom the pothead fell in the second case, an 18 year old tourist from Brasil, was gravely injured and will be unable to walk for the rest of his life. Talk to him about the blessings of legalising marijuana I'd say.

The third case in the last paragraph was a French girl who had used marijuana and mushrooms, and then jumped off a bridge, onto a motorway, and died.

In both of the first cases, the narcotics involved are unspecified.
In the third case, the narcotics involved are "magic mushrooms". I'd wager those have more to do with the case than anything else.

I've felt the effect of cannabis on my body, and the immedeate effects are no heavier than those of heavy alcohol intake. The difference is that alcohol makes you want to walk around, pretend to function and do things such as balancing on handrails. I've never seen anyone to which cannabis has done anything but make them want to sit completely still in a couch and eat candy.

In any case, I can't keep discussing this now.
I have to prioritize schoolwork. All my subjects decided to lay assignments at me at the same time, so I'll be occupied for a while forward.

To entertain yourself in my absence, you could try reading these two links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substance_abuse
(About what substance abuse entails, statistics related to it, and the hypocrisy of calling THC a drug while accepting alcohol and nicotine)
http://www.saferchoice.org/
(A site making arguments in favour of cannabis. Pretend they're me making arguments and try debunking them.)

reonhato:

Hazy992:
I think all drugs should be legalised. What someone puts in their body has nothing to do with anyone else. I don't know why some people think they have a right to dictate what others do with their own body.

the problem is, and this is often a very american thing with there view on individual rights, is that drugs are something that does not just effect the individual using them, yes you should have the right to do what you want to your own body, but when what you do interferes with others you have to draw a line.

What do you mean by this, exactly? Could you elaborate?

Oh and BTW I'm not American

Hazy992:

reonhato:

Hazy992:
I think all drugs should be legalised. What someone puts in their body has nothing to do with anyone else. I don't know why some people think they have a right to dictate what others do with their own body.

the problem is, and this is often a very american thing with there view on individual rights, is that drugs are something that does not just effect the individual using them, yes you should have the right to do what you want to your own body, but when what you do interferes with others you have to draw a line.

What do you mean by this, exactly? Could you elaborate?

Oh and BTW I'm not American

drugs do not just effect the person using them. the reason i said it is often an american thing is because america is very big on individual rights, european countries are often far more society based, thus things like gun control, in america they see it as an individuals right, in places with strict gun control the society as a whole comes before the individual.

marijuana is no different to prescription drugs, it should be treated as one.

reonhato:

Hazy992:

reonhato:

the problem is, and this is often a very american thing with there view on individual rights, is that drugs are something that does not just effect the individual using them, yes you should have the right to do what you want to your own body, but when what you do interferes with others you have to draw a line.

What do you mean by this, exactly? Could you elaborate?

Oh and BTW I'm not American

drugs do not just effect the person using them. the reason i said it is often an american thing is because america is very big on individual rights, european countries are often far more society based, thus things like gun control, in america they see it as an individuals right, in places with strict gun control the society as a whole comes before the individual.

marijuana is no different to prescription drugs, it should be treated as one.

Again, you haven't elaborated, you've just said the same point again. What do you mean by it not just effecting the individual? Could you elaborate on this?

Hazy992:

reonhato:

Hazy992:

What do you mean by this, exactly? Could you elaborate?

Oh and BTW I'm not American

drugs do not just effect the person using them. the reason i said it is often an american thing is because america is very big on individual rights, european countries are often far more society based, thus things like gun control, in america they see it as an individuals right, in places with strict gun control the society as a whole comes before the individual.

marijuana is no different to prescription drugs, it should be treated as one.

Again, you haven't elaborated, you've just said the same point again. What do you mean by it not just effecting the individual? Could you elaborate on this?

well its pretty self explanatory, you take drugs and it does not just effect you, it effects the people around you as well. its all good and well saying you have the right to put what you want in your body, but what about the rights of others that your drug could possible effect who have no choice.

reonhato:

Hazy992:

reonhato:

drugs do not just effect the person using them. the reason i said it is often an american thing is because america is very big on individual rights, european countries are often far more society based, thus things like gun control, in america they see it as an individuals right, in places with strict gun control the society as a whole comes before the individual.

marijuana is no different to prescription drugs, it should be treated as one.

Again, you haven't elaborated, you've just said the same point again. What do you mean by it not just effecting the individual? Could you elaborate on this?

well its pretty self explanatory, you take drugs and it does not just effect you, it effects the people around you as well. its all good and well saying you have the right to put what you want in your body, but what about the rights of others that your drug could possible effect who have no choice.

Well that argument could be just as easily applied to alcohol, yet it's still legal. Should we move to criminalise alcohol as well?

Hazy992:

reonhato:

Hazy992:

Again, you haven't elaborated, you've just said the same point again. What do you mean by it not just effecting the individual? Could you elaborate on this?

well its pretty self explanatory, you take drugs and it does not just effect you, it effects the people around you as well. its all good and well saying you have the right to put what you want in your body, but what about the rights of others that your drug could possible effect who have no choice.

Well that argument could be just as easily applied to alcohol, yet it's still legal. Should we move to criminalise alcohol as well?

i knew that was coming, and i will respond with the same thing that has been said a million times around the world everytime this argument comes up, the legality of alcohol is not an argument to legalise pot. the issues are completely different. we know how prohibition turned out, alcohol is simply to ingrained into social culture to get rid of, even with its dangers. there is also the argument that small quantities of alcohol does not have any negative impact, and we have do have laws for drunkards, on the other hand it is very possible for small amounts of marijuana to do serious harm.

reonhato:

Hazy992:

reonhato:

well its pretty self explanatory, you take drugs and it does not just effect you, it effects the people around you as well. its all good and well saying you have the right to put what you want in your body, but what about the rights of others that your drug could possible effect who have no choice.

Well that argument could be just as easily applied to alcohol, yet it's still legal. Should we move to criminalise alcohol as well?

i knew that was coming, and i will respond with the same thing that has been said a million times around the world everytime this argument comes up, the legality of alcohol is not an argument to legalise pot. the issues are completely different. we know how prohibition turned out, alcohol is simply to ingrained into social culture to get rid of, even with its dangers. there is also the argument that small quantities of alcohol does not have any negative impact, and we have do have laws for drunkards, on the other hand it is very possible for small amounts of marijuana to do serious harm.

Why isn't it an argument? Alcohol is FAR more dangerous than weed. It does far more damage to the body, oh and guess what? You can get addicted to itl. And it's nigh on impossible to overdose on weed.
Alcohol is more dangerous than pretty much every recreational drug. To keep it legal without legalising the others is hypocritical.

Mr.Numbers:
Weed is much more refined than it was in the 60's and much more potent, so comparing it to the 60's isn't a really apt analogy anymore.

I personally have a problem with drugs because it changes your brain chemistry so profoundly as to effect the very core of your being. You stop being you whilst you're high. Your brain is the very foundation of your being and making it something it isn't is temporarily killing you as a person. Not the health reasons but because of the profound philosophical ramifications of manually changing yourself.

No, painkillers don't count.
Alcohol does, but I don't move to ban it, because people can drink alchohol without the express purpose of getting drunk. Alcoholics in my eyes are worse than casual chronic users.

Smoking is gradually being phased out, which I'm happy with, because it's rather obvious to me that the only stress relief smokers get is the relief of temporarily killing the cravings. The stress you kill is stress you get from smoking in the first place. Everything else is just health damaging.

This goes for Caffeine, too, interestingly enough. If you need a cup of coffee to get out of bed in the morning, well, now you know why.

Psychiatric medication counts but if you tell me that it's the same thing as taking pot to calm yourself I will immediately ask you to make that same argument when you're sober. Read Penny Arcade for good reasons for that one.

Anyway, those are my reasons. I don't condone pot, but I sure as hell have a well thought out reason for it, I'm not going to be a sensationalist idiot going "Drugs are bad, m'kay".
You probably get far too much of that as it is.

Wait, I didn't entierly get your conclusion. Are you against drugs as in "I don't want to do it myself." or "I'm going to decide what you can do."

Blablahb:
And another thing I notice is because here in the Netherlands we made the mistake of more or less legalising marijuana, is that the average age of users broke through the floor: I've seen them as 12, and some 16-17 is the average age. And those are the cases whose addiction has gotten so bad that school or parents find out, and convince them to seek aid, meaning people must be starting somewhere around age 10 or 11 to end up in our care by 12 or 13.

I don't know the laws in the netherlands, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that it's illegal for minors to smoke marijuana. Also, I hope you see my reasoning if you see why I think it would be easier to keep the kids from buying from government-regulated stores than a dealer on a street-corner.

By the way, cannabis consumption is lower in the netherlands than in the US and many surrounding european countries, according to the UNODC World Drug Report 2011 (available here)

Death by overdose is also A LOT lower in the Netherlands that in most surrounding western and northern european countries as well as the US according to the same report (Source. Check out page 34.)

Blablahb:
[snip]

I'll just ask you one single question, and I'd like you to answer truthfully: Is there any way that you could ever be convinced that you are, in fact, wrong on this issue?

Blablahb:
The third case in the last paragraph was a French girl who had used marijuana and mushrooms, and then jumped off a bridge, onto a motorway, and died.

Ehm...so she did some mushrooms and marijuana, then jumped off a bridge, and you blame the marijuana?

I don't know if you realize this, but you're doing the exact same thing, without any differences whatsoever, as the people who say videogames turn people into killers because a psychotic maniac high as a kite on heroine used to play GTA IV.

Come on, Bla', you know better than Jack Thompson!

I've known many potheads in my time and the majority of the ones that couldn't be assed to do anything or care about their own lives were like that before and after pot; pot was their drug of choice because it really is easier to get than alcohol for people under 21 in the U.S., it's much more fun than alcohol, it's a very social drug as compared to alcohol, pills, etc., and if you have a good connection and some good equipment you get a whole lot more bang for your buck than you do with just about anything that isn't extremely physically addictive. Those reasons are also why it's such a popular drug in college and for just about anyone that is self-employed or employed somewhere they don't drug test.

Personally I think the bigger tragedy is the rise of spice in the U.S., which is (mostly) legal, used by more people than weed in the U.S. and supposed to simulate a weed high but in practice really does appear to make people dumber for smoking it over a long period of time. High school kids will buy that shit at 10 a gram instead of spending on hiked-up prices high school dealers charge for weed and it screws a lot of them up.

Carl Sagan was a massive toker, and spent a large part of his life campaigning for weed to be legalised.

For those who don't know, Carl Sagan was widely regarded as one of the most pre-eminent scientists of the 20th Century, and was responsible for the movement we currently see today of using television and radio as a medium to explain complex scientific ideas in layman's terms. With the introduction of his show Cosmos, Sagan laid the groundwork for everyone from Stephen Fry to Brian Cox in trying to encourage the general population to learn about big, scientific ideas.

When someone with an intellect like that admits they're a regular user of cannabis, then you know that the argument "Herp derp, all weed smokers are unproductive idiots!!" is a crock of shit.

Hazy992:

reonhato:

Hazy992:

Well that argument could be just as easily applied to alcohol, yet it's still legal. Should we move to criminalise alcohol as well?

i knew that was coming, and i will respond with the same thing that has been said a million times around the world everytime this argument comes up, the legality of alcohol is not an argument to legalise pot. the issues are completely different. we know how prohibition turned out, alcohol is simply to ingrained into social culture to get rid of, even with its dangers. there is also the argument that small quantities of alcohol does not have any negative impact, and we have do have laws for drunkards, on the other hand it is very possible for small amounts of marijuana to do serious harm.

Why isn't it an argument? Alcohol is FAR more dangerous than weed. It does far more damage to the body, oh and guess what? You can get addicted to itl. And it's nigh on impossible to overdose on weed.
Alcohol is more dangerous than pretty much every recreational drug. To keep it legal without legalising the others is hypocritical.

no alcohol in excess is dangerous, just like pretty much anything. we have laws for alcohol in excess. weed on the other hand can effect a person dramatically with just a very small amount.

because something else is legal is not a valid argument to make things that are illegal legal. its legal to own a pet cat is not an argument for owning a pet giraffe. each issue has to be argued on its own merits.

as it has been mentioned already, the idea that marijuana is not dangerous is a myth spread by the pot community. it has many potentially dangerous side effects, some come with just a single use, others from long term use. ranging from mental illness problems to immunosuppression. this is my reasoning behind why it needs to be controlled by the medical profession.

Elcarsh:
I'll just ask you one single question, and I'd like you to answer truthfully: Is there any way that you could ever be convinced that you are, in fact, wrong on this issue?

If I remember correctly, he claims to work at a drug addiction clinic, on the side, after doing his day job of being a kickboxing security guard who's retired from the army. That is, if I remember correctly.

CM156:

Elcarsh:
I'll just ask you one single question, and I'd like you to answer truthfully: Is there any way that you could ever be convinced that you are, in fact, wrong on this issue?

If I remember correctly, he claims to work at a drug addiction clinic, on the side, after doing his day job of being a kickboxing security guard who's retired from the army. That is, if I remember correctly.

Would it not make more sense to assume that he works at a drug addiction clinic as security. When you are dealing with drug addicts you need staff on hand that can subdue someone that is coked up to their eyeballs, an nurse just ain't going to cut it.

pyrate:

CM156:

Elcarsh:
I'll just ask you one single question, and I'd like you to answer truthfully: Is there any way that you could ever be convinced that you are, in fact, wrong on this issue?

If I remember correctly, he claims to work at a drug addiction clinic, on the side, after doing his day job of being a kickboxing security guard who's retired from the army. That is, if I remember correctly.

Would it not make more sense to assume that he works at a drug addiction clinic as security. When you are dealing with drug addicts you need staff on hand that can subdue someone that is coked up to their eyeballs, an nurse just ain't going to cut it.

I think (and this is something I could be wrong on), is that he works security for a private security firm. I think he's stated as much, though I could be incorrect about this.

Then again, I suppose Occam's razor could answer the question. Truth be told, I don't know.

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