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news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Re-legalizing Marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Why should we?

Posted by Enkill_Eridos on June 21, 2010

The title should say it all…A lot of people are anticipating bringing medical marijuana to Florida. Since this is primarily political blog, then it is more relevant than knowing the Rev. Bill Keller’s current rantings.  Here are some facts and myths that have been found by actual scientific studies.


Myth: Marijuana Can Cause Permanent Mental Illness
. Among adolescents, even occasional marijuana use may cause psychological damage. During intoxication, marijuana users become irrational and often behave erratically.

Fact: There is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage or mental illness in either teenagers or adults. Some marijuana users experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion, which may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary. With very large doses, marijuana can cause temporary toxic psychosis. This occurs rarely, and almost always when marijuana is eaten rather than smoked. Marijuana does not cause profound changes in people’s behavior.

  • Iverson, Leslie. “Long-term effects of exposure to cannabis.”Current Opinion in Pharmacology 5(2005): 69-72.
  • Weiser and Noy. “Interpreting the association between cannabis use and increased risk of schizophrenia.” Dialogues in Clincal Neuroscience 1(2005): 81-85.

  • “Cannabis use will impair but not damage mental health.” London Telegraph. 23 January 2006.
  • Andreasson, S. et al. “Cannabis and Schizophrenia: A Longitudinal study of Swedish Conscripts,” The Lancet 2 (1987): 1483-86.
  • Degenhardt, Louisa, Wayne Hall and Michael Lynskey.  “Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 71 (2003): 42-4.
  • Weil, A. “Adverse Reactions to Marijuana: Classification and Suggested Treatment.” New England Journal of Medicine 282 (1970): 997-1000.

Myth: Marijuana is Highly Addictive. Long term marijuana users experience physical dependence and withdrawal, and often need professional drug treatment to break their marijuana habits.

Fact: Most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally. A small minority of Americans – less than 1 percent – smoke marijuana on a daily basis. An even smaller minority develop a dependence on marijuana. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty. Others seek help from drug treatment professionals. Marijuana does not cause physical dependence. If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all, they are remarkably mild.

  • United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. DASIS Report Series, Differences in Marijuana Admissions Based on Source of Referral. 2002. June 24 2005.
  • Johnson, L.D., et al. “National Survey Results on Drug Use from the Monitoring the Future Study, 1975-1994, Volume II: College Students and Young Adults.” Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996.
  • Kandel, D.B., et al. “Prevalence and demographic correlates of symptoms of dependence on cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in the U.S. population.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 44 (1997):11-29.
  • Stephens, R.S., et al. “Adult marijuana users seeking treatment.”Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61 (1993): 1100-1104.

Myth: Marijuana Is More Potent Today Than In The Past. Adults who used marijuana in the 1960s and 1970s fail to realize that when today’s youth use marijuana they are using a much more dangerous drug.

Fact: When today’s youth use marijuana, they are using the same drug used by youth in the 1960s and 1970s. A small number of low-THC samples seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration are used to calculate a dramatic increase in potency. However, these samples were not representative of the marijuana generally available to users during this era. Potency data from the early 1980s to the present are more reliable, and they show no increase in the average THC content of marijuana. Even if marijuana potency were to increase, it would not necessarily make the drug more dangerous. Marijuana that varies quite substantially in potency produces similar psychoactive effects.

  • King LA, Carpentier C, Griffiths P. “Cannabis potency in Europe.”Addiction. 2005 Jul; 100(7):884-6
  • Henneberger, Melinda. “Pot Surges Back, But It’s, Like, a Whole New World.” New York Times 6 February 1994: E18.
  • Brown, Lee. “Interview with Lee Brown,” Dallas Morning News 21 May 1995.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration. U.S. Drug Threat Assessment, 1993. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1993.
  • Kleiman, Mark A.R. Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1989. 29.
  • Bennett, William. Director of National Drug Control Policy, remarks at Conference of Mayors. 23 April 1990.

Myth: Marijuana Offenses Are Not Severely Punished. Few marijuana law violators are arrested and hardly anyone goes to prison. This lenient treatment is responsible for marijuana continued availability and use.

Fact: Marijuana arrests in the United States doubled between 1991 and 1995. In 1995, more than one-half-million people were arrested for marijuana offenses. Eighty-six percent of them were arrested for marijuana possession. Tens of thousands of people are now in prison for marijuana offenses. An even greater number are punished with probation, fines, and civil sanctions, including having their property seized, their driver’s license revoked, and their employment terminated. Despite these civil and criminal sanctions, marijuana continues to be readily available and widely used.

  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports for the United States. 1996. Washington: U. S. Dept. of Justice, 1997.
  • Gettman, Jon B. National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Crimes of Indescretion: Marijuana arrests in the United States. Washington: NORML, 2005.
  • Marijuana Policy Project. Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License. July 1995 Status Report. Washington: MPP, 1995.
  • Treaster, J. “Miami Beach’s New Drug Weapon Will Fire Off Letters to the Employer” New York Times 23 February 1991: A9.
  • Reed, T.G. “American Forfeiture Law: Property Owners Meet the Prosecutor.” Policy Analysis 179 (1992): 1-32.

Myth: Marijuana is More Damaging to the Lungs Than Tobacco.Marijuana smokers are at a high risk of developing lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Fact: Moderate smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains a number of irritants and carcinogens. But marijuana users typically smoke much less often than tobacco smokers, and over time, inhale much less smoke. As a result, the risk of serious lung damage should be lower in marijuana smokers. There have been no reports of lung cancer related solely to marijuana, and in a large study presented to the American Thoracic Society in 2006, even heavy users of smoked marijuana were found not to have any increased risk of lung cancer. Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers exhibit no obstruction of the lung’s small airway. That indicates that people will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana.

  • Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box.” New York. (1995): 36.
  • Turner, Carlton E. The Marijuana Controversy. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1981.
  • Nahas, Gabriel G. and Nicholas A. Pace. Letter. “Marijuana as Chemotherapy Aid Poses Hazards.” New York Times 4 December 1993: A20.
  • Inaba, Darryl S. and William E. Cohen. Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. 2nd ed. Ashland: CNS Productions, 1995. 174.

More Marijuana Myths


Myth: Marijuana Has No Medicinal Value. Safer, more effective drugs are available. They include a synthetic version of THC, marijuana’s primary active ingredient, which is marketed in the United States under the name Marinol.

Fact: Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked marijuana. Many people use marijuana as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment.

  • Vinciguerra, Vincent; Moore, Terry and Eileen Brennan. “Inhalation marijuana as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy.” New York State Journal of Medicine 85 (1988): 525-27.
  • McCabe M,  Smith FP,  Macdonald JS. “Efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol in patients refractory to standard antiemetic therapy.” Investigational New Drugs 6.3 (1988): 243-46.
  • Gorter, R., et al. “Dronabionol effects on weight in patients with HIV infection.” 1992. AIDS 6 (1992):127-38.
  • Foltin, R.W., et al. “Behavioral analysis of marijuana effects on food intake in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 25 (1986): 577-82.
  • Crawford, W.J. and Merritt, J.C. “Effect of tetrahydrocannabinol on Arterial and Intraocular Hypertension.” International Journal of Clinical of Pharmacology and Biopharmaceuticals 17 (1979):191-96.
  • Merritt, J.C., et al. “Effects of marijuana on intraocular and blood pressure on glaucoma.” Ophthamology 87 (1980):222-28.
  • Baker, D., Gareth Pryce and J. Ludovic Croxford. “Cannabinoids control spasticity and tremor in a multiple sclerosis model.” Nature 404.6773 (2000): 84-7.
  • Hanigan, W.C., et al. “The Effect of Delta-9-THC on Human Spasticity.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 39 (1986):198.

Myth: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug. Even if marijuana itself causes minimal harm, it is a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of “harder drugs” like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.

Fact: Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. What the gateway theory presents as a causal explanation is a statistic association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a gateway drug.

  • Morral, Andrew R.; McCaffrey, Daniel F. and Susan M. Paddock. “Reassessing the marijuana gateway effect.” Addiction 97.12 (2002): 1493-504.
  • United States. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Population Estimates 1994. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
  • —. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings 1994. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996.
  • D.B. Kandel and M. Davies, “Progression to Regular Marijuana Involvement: Phenomenology and Risk Factors for Near-Daily Use,”Vulnerability to Drug Abuse, Eds. M. Glantz and R. Pickens. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1992: 211-253.

MythMarijuana’s Harms Have Been Proved Scientifically. In the 1960s and 1970s, many people believed that marijuana was harmless. Today we know that marijuana is much more dangerous than previously believed.

Fact: In 1972, after reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while marijuana was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated. Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.”

  • United States. National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Marihuana: A signal of misunderstanding. Shafer Commission Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972.
  • “Deglamorising Cannabis.” Editorial. The Lancet 356:11(1995): 1241.

Myth: Marijuana Causes an Amotivational Syndrome. Marijuana makes users passive, apathetic, and uninterested in the future. Students who use marijuana become underachievers and workers who use marijuana become unproductive.

Fact: For twenty-five years, researchers have searched for a marijuana-induced amotivational syndrome and have failed to find it. People who are intoxicated constantly, regardless of the drug, are unlikely to be productive members of society. There is nothing about marijuana specifically that causes people to lose their drive and ambition. In laboratory studies, subjects given high doses of marijuana for several days or even several weeks exhibit no decrease in work motivation or productivity. Among working adults, marijuana users tend to earn higher wages than non-users. College students who use marijuana have the same grades as nonusers. Among high school students, heavy use is associated with school failure, but school failure usually comes first.

  • Himmelstein, J.L. The Strange Career of Marihuana: Politics and Ideology of Drug Control in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.
  • Mellinger, G.D. et al. “Drug Use, Academic Performance, and Career Indecision:  Longitudinal Data in Search of a Model.” Longitudinal Research on Drug Use:  Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Ed. D.B. Kandel. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1978. 157-177.
  • Pope, H.G. et al., “Drug Use and Life Style Among College Undergraduates in 1989:  A Comparison With 1969 and 1978,”American Journal of Psychiatry 147 (1990): 998-1001.

Myth: Marijuana Policy in the Netherlands is a Failure. Dutch law, which allows marijuana to be bought, sold, and used openly, has resulted in increasing rates of marijuana use, particularly in youth.

Fact: The Netherlands’ drug policy is the most nonpunitive in Europe. For more than twenty years, Dutch citizens over age eighteen have been permitted to buy and use cannabis (marijuana and hashish) in government-regulated coffee shops. This policy has not resulted in dramatically escalating cannabis use. For most age groups, rates of marijuana use in the Netherlands are similar to those in the United States. However, for young adolescents, rates of marijuana use are lower in the Netherlands than in the United States. The Dutch people overwhelmingly approve of current cannabis policy which seeks to normalize rather than dramatize cannabis use. The Dutch government occasionally revises existing policy, but it remains committed to decriminalization.

  • Fromberg, E. “The Case of the Netherlands: Contradictions and Values in Questioning Prohibition.” 1994 International Report on Drugs, Brussels: International Antiprohibitionist League, 1994. 113-124.
  • Sandwijk, J.P., et al. Licit and Illicit Drug Use in Amsterdam II. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, 1995.
  • Gunning, K.F. Crime Rate and Drug Use in Holland. Rotterdam: Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention. 1993.

Myth: Marijuana Kills Brain Cells. Used over time, marijuana permanently alters brain structure and function, causing memory loss, cognitive impairment, personality deterioration, and reduced productivity.

Fact: None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long term high-dose use. An early study reported brain damage in rhesus monkeys after six months exposure to high concentrations of marijuana smoke. In a recent, more carefully conducted study, researchers found no evidence of brain abnormality in monkeys that were forced to inhale the equivalent of four to five marijuana cigarettes every day for a year. The claim that marijuana kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.

  • Heath, R.G., et al. “Cannabis Sativa: Effects on Brain Function and Ultrastructure in Rhesus Monkeys.” Biological Psychiatry 15 (1980): 657-690.
  • Ali, S.F., et al. “Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey IV: Neurochemical Effects and Comparison to Acute and Chronic Exposure to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Rats.”Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 40 (1991): 677-82.

Myth: Marijuana Impairs Memory and Cognition. Under the influence of marijuana, people are unable to think rationally and intelligently. Chronic marijuana use causes permanent mental impairment.

Fact: Marijuana produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.

  • Wetzel, C.D. et al., “Remote Memory During Marijuana Intoxication,”Psychopharmacology 76 (1982): 278-81.
  • Deadwyler, S.A. et al., “The Effects of Delta-9-THC on Mechanisms of Learning and Memory.” Neurobiology of Drug Abuse:  Learning and Memory. Ed. L. Erinoff. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse 1990. 79-83.
  • Block, R.I. et al., “Acute Effects of Marijuana on Cognition: Relationships to Chronic Effects and Smoking Techniques.”Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 43 (1992): 907-917.

Myth: Marijuana Causes Crime. Marijuana users commit more property offenses than nonusers. Under the influence of marijuana, people become irrational, aggressive, and violent.

Fact: Every serious scholar and government commission examining the relationship between marijuana use and crime has reached the same conclusion: marijuana does not cause crime. The vast majority of marijuana users do not commit crimes other than the crime of possessing marijuana. Among marijuana users who do commit crimes, marijuana plays no causal role. Almost all human and animal studies show that marijuana decreases rather than increases aggression.

  • Fagan, J., et al. “Delinquency and Substance Use Among Inner-City Students.” Journal of Drug Issues 20 (1990): 351-402.
  • Johnson, L.D., et al. “Drugs and Delinquency: A Search for Causal Connections.”  Ed. D.B. Kandel. Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1978. 137-156.
  • Goode, E. “Marijuana and Crime.” Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Appendix I. National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972. 447-453.
  • Abram, K.M. and L.A. Teplin. “Drug Disorder, Mental Illness, and Violence.” Drugs and Violence: Causes, Correlates, and Consequences. Rockville: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1990. 222-238.
  • Cherek, D.R., et al. “Acute Effects of Marijuana Smoking on Aggressive, Escape and Point-Maintained Responding of Male Drug Users.” Psychopharmacology 111 (1993): 163-168.
  • Tinklenberg, J.R., et al. “Drugs and criminal assaults by adolescents: A Replication Study.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 13 (1981): 277-287.

Myth: Marijuana Interferes With Male and Female Sex Hormones. In both men and women, marijuana can cause infertility. Marijuana retards sexual development in adolescents. It produces feminine characteristics in males and masculine characteristics in females.

Fact: There is no evidence that marijuana causes infertility in men or women. In animal studies, high doses of THC diminish the production of some sex hormones and can impair reproduction. However, most studies of humans have found that marijuana has no impact of sex hormones. In those studies showing an impact, it is modest, temporary, and of no apparent consequence for reproduction. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana delays adolescent sexual development, has feminizing effect on males, or a masculinizing effect on females.

  • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana and Cocaine. Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1990.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Female Adolescents and Marijuana Use; Fact Sheet for Adults. Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Marijuana: Tips for Teens. Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
  • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9:2 (1994): 16.
  • Clinton, President Bill. Speech at Framingham High School. Framingham, Massachusetts. 20 Oct. 1994.

Myth: Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Damages the Fetus. Prenatal marijuana exposure causes birth defects in babies, and, as they grow older, developmental problems. The health and well being of the next generation is threatened by marijuana use by pregnant women.

Fact: Studies of newborns, infants, and children show no consistent physical, developmental, or cognitive deficits related to prenatal marijuana exposure. Marijuana had no reliable impact on birth size, length of gestation, neurological development, or the occurrence of physical abnormalities. The administration of hundreds of tests to older children has revealed only minor differences between offspring of marijuana users and nonusers, and some are positive rather than negative. Two unconfirmed case-control studies identified prenatal marijuana exposure as one of many factors statistically associated with childhood cancer. Given other available evidence, it is highly unlikely that marijuana causes cancer in children.

  • Mann, Peggy. The Sad Story of Mary Wanna. NY: Woodmere Press, 1988. 30.
  • Fried, Peter. Quoted in “Marijuana: Its Use and Effects.” Prevention Pipeline. 8:5 (1995): 4.
  • American Council for Drug Education. Drugs and Pregnancy. Rockville: Phoenix House, 1994.
  • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9. 2 (1994): 16.
  • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana – Effects on the Female. Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1996.

Myth: Marijuana Use Impairs the Immune System. Marijuana users are at increased risk of infection, including HIV. AIDS patients are particularly vulnerable to marijuana’s immunopathic effects because their immune systems are already suppressed.

Fact: There is no evidence that marijuana users are more susceptible to infections than nonusers. Nor is there evidence that marijuana lowers users’ resistance to sexually transmitted diseases. Early studies which showed decreased immune function in cells taken from marijuana users have since been disproved. Animals given extremely large doses of THC and exposed to a virus have higher rates of infection. Such studies have little relevance to humans. Even among people with existing immune disorders, such as AIDS, marijuana use appears to be relatively safe. However, the recent finding of an association between tobacco smoking and lung infection in AIDS patients warrants further research into possible harm from marijuana smoking in immune suppressed persons.

  • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana and Cocaine. Atlanta: PRIDE, 1990.
  • Preate, Ernest D. Blowing Away the Marijuana Smokescreen. Scranton: Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, [no date]: 2.
  • Spence, W.R. Marijuana: Its Effects and Hazards. Waco: Health Edco, [no date].
  • Voth, Eric A. The International Drug Strategy Institute Position Paper on the Medical Applications of Marijuana. Omaha: Drug Watch International, [no date].
  • Drug Watch International. By Any Modern Medical Standard, Marijuana is No Medicine. Omaha: Drug Watch International, [no date].

Myth: Marijuana’s Active Ingredient, THC, Gets Trapped in Body Fat. Because THC is released from fat cells slowly, psychoactive effects may last for days or weeks following use. THC’s long persistence in the body damages organs that are high in fat content, the brain in particular.

Fact: Many active drugs enter the body’s fat cells. What is different (but not unique) about THC is that it exits fat cells slowly. As a result, traces of marijuana can be found in the body for days or weeks following ingestion. However, within a few hours of smoking marijuana, the amount of THC in the brain falls below the concentration required for detectable psychoactivity. The fat cells in which THC lingers are not harmed by the drug’s presence, nor is the brain or other organs. The most important consequence of marijuana’s slow excretion is that it can be detected in blood, urine, and tissue long after it is used, and long after its psychoactivity has ended.

  • Committees of Correspondence. Drug Abuse Newsletter 16 (March 1984).
  • Mann, Peggy. Marijuana Alert. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1985. 184.
  • Nahas, Gabriel. “When Friends of Patients Ask About Marihuana.”Journal of the American Medical Association 233 (1979): 79.
  • DuPont, Robert. Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1984. 68.

Myth: Marijuana Use is a Major Cause Of Highway Accidents. Like alcohol, marijuana impairs psychomotor function and decreases driving ability. If marijuana use increases, an increase in of traffic fatalities is inevitable.

Fact: There is no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities. At some doses, marijuana affects perception and psychomotor performances- changes which could impair driving ability. However, in driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment- consistently less than produced by low moderate doses of alcohol and many legal medications. In contrast to alcohol, which tends to increase risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious. Surveys of fatally injured drivers show that when THC is detected in the blood, alcohol is almost always detected as well. For some individuals, marijuana may play a role in bad driving. The overall rate of highway accidents appears not to be significantly affected by marijuana’s widespread use in society.

  • Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box”. New York. (1995):36.
  • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9.2 (1994): 14.
  • Moskowitz, Herbert and Robert Petersen. Marijuana and Driving: A Review. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1982. 7.
  • Mann, Peggy. Marijuana Alert. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985. 265.

Myth: Marijuana Related Hospital Emergencies Are Increasing, Particularly Among Youth. This is evidence that marijuana is much more harmful than most people previously believed.

Fact: Marijuana does not cause overdose deaths. The number of people in hospital emergency rooms who say they have used marijuana has increased. On this basis, the visit may be recorded as marijuana-related even if marijuana had nothing to do with the medical condition preceding the hospital visit. Many more teenagers use marijuana than use drugs such as heroin and cocaine. As a result, when teenagers visit hospital emergency rooms, they report marijuana much more frequently than they report heroin and cocaine. In the large majority of cases when marijuana is mentioned, other drugs are mentioned as well. In 1994, fewer than 2% of drug related emergency room visits involved the use of marijuana.

  • Brown, Lee. Quoted in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Release, National Drug Survey Results Released with New Youth Public Education Materials. Rockville: 12 September 1995.
  • Shalala, Donna. “Say ‘No’ to Legalization of Marijuana.” Wall Street Journal 18 August 1995: A10.
  • Shuster, Charles. Quoted in Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Legalization: Myths and Misconceptions. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1994. 5.

Myth: Marijuana Use Can Be Prevented. Drug education and prevention programs reduced marijuana use during the 1980s. Since then, our commitment has slackened, and marijuana use has been rising. By expanding and intensifying current anti-marijuana messages, we can stop youthful experimentation.

Fact: There is no evidence that anti-drug messages diminish young people’s interest in drugs. Anti-drug campaigns in the schools and the media may even make drugs more attractive. Marijuana use among youth declined throughout the 1980s, and began increasing in the 1990s. This increase occurred despite young people’s exposure to the most massive anti-marijuana campaign in American history. In a number of other countries, drug education programs are based on a “harm reduction” model, which seeks to reduce the drug-related harm among those young people who do experiment with drugs.

  • Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse.” New York (1995):28.
  • Brown, Lee. Director of National Drug Control Policy, remarks atNational Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research. Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Arlington, VA (July 1995).
  • Califano, Joseph A. “Don’t Stop This War.” Washington Post 26 May 1996: C7.
  • Shalala, Donna. “Marijuana: A Recurring Problem.” Prevention Pipeline 8.5 (1995): 2.
  • Burke, James. [Partnership for a Drug-Free America]. Interview. MS-NBC with Tom Brokaw. MS-NBC, 3 September 1996.
  • Falco, Mathea. The Making of a Drug-Free America: Programs That Work. New York: Times Books, 1992. 202.

    Myth: Marijuana Has No Medicinal Value. Safer, more effective drugs are available. They include a synthetic version of THC, marijuana’s primary active ingredient, which is marketed in the United States under the name Marinol.

    Fact: Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked marijuana. Many people use marijuana as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment.

    • Vinciguerra, Vincent; Moore, Terry and Eileen Brennan. “Inhalation marijuana as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy.” New York State Journal of Medicine 85 (1988): 525-27.
    • McCabe M,  Smith FP,  Macdonald JS. “Efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol in patients refractory to standard antiemetic therapy.” Investigational New Drugs 6.3 (1988): 243-46.
    • Gorter, R., et al. “Dronabionol effects on weight in patients with HIV infection.” 1992. AIDS 6 (1992):127-38.
    • Foltin, R.W., et al. “Behavioral analysis of marijuana effects on food intake in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 25 (1986): 577-82.
    • Crawford, W.J. and Merritt, J.C. “Effect of tetrahydrocannabinol on Arterial and Intraocular Hypertension.” International Journal of Clinical of Pharmacology and Biopharmaceuticals 17 (1979):191-96.
    • Merritt, J.C., et al. “Effects of marijuana on intraocular and blood pressure on glaucoma.” Ophthamology 87 (1980):222-28.
    • Baker, D., Gareth Pryce and J. Ludovic Croxford. “Cannabinoids control spasticity and tremor in a multiple sclerosis model.” Nature 404.6773 (2000): 84-7.
    • Hanigan, W.C., et al. “The Effect of Delta-9-THC on Human Spasticity.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 39 (1986):198.

    Myth: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug. Even if marijuana itself causes minimal harm, it is a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of “harder drugs” like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.

    Fact: Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. What the gateway theory presents as a causal explanation is a statistic association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a gateway drug.

    • Morral, Andrew R.; McCaffrey, Daniel F. and Susan M. Paddock. “Reassessing the marijuana gateway effect.” Addiction 97.12 (2002): 1493-504.
    • United States. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Population Estimates 1994. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
    • —. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings 1994. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996.
    • D.B. Kandel and M. Davies, “Progression to Regular Marijuana Involvement: Phenomenology and Risk Factors for Near-Daily Use,”Vulnerability to Drug Abuse, Eds. M. Glantz and R. Pickens. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1992: 211-253.

    MythMarijuana’s Harms Have Been Proved Scientifically. In the 1960s and 1970s, many people believed that marijuana was harmless. Today we know that marijuana is much more dangerous than previously believed.

    Fact: In 1972, after reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while marijuana was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated. Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.”

    • United States. National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Marihuana: A signal of misunderstanding. Shafer Commission Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972.
    • “Deglamorising Cannabis.” Editorial. The Lancet 356:11(1995): 1241.

    Myth: Marijuana Causes an Amotivational Syndrome. Marijuana makes users passive, apathetic, and uninterested in the future. Students who use marijuana become underachievers and workers who use marijuana become unproductive.

    Fact: For twenty-five years, researchers have searched for a marijuana-induced amotivational syndrome and have failed to find it. People who are intoxicated constantly, regardless of the drug, are unlikely to be productive members of society. There is nothing about marijuana specifically that causes people to lose their drive and ambition. In laboratory studies, subjects given high doses of marijuana for several days or even several weeks exhibit no decrease in work motivation or productivity. Among working adults, marijuana users tend to earn higher wages than non-users. College students who use marijuana have the same grades as nonusers. Among high school students, heavy use is associated with school failure, but school failure usually comes first.

    • Himmelstein, J.L. The Strange Career of Marihuana: Politics and Ideology of Drug Control in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.
    • Mellinger, G.D. et al. “Drug Use, Academic Performance, and Career Indecision:  Longitudinal Data in Search of a Model.” Longitudinal Research on Drug Use:  Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Ed. D.B. Kandel. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1978. 157-177.
    • Pope, H.G. et al., “Drug Use and Life Style Among College Undergraduates in 1989:  A Comparison With 1969 and 1978,”American Journal of Psychiatry 147 (1990): 998-1001.

    Myth: Marijuana Policy in the Netherlands is a Failure. Dutch law, which allows marijuana to be bought, sold, and used openly, has resulted in increasing rates of marijuana use, particularly in youth.

    Fact: The Netherlands’ drug policy is the most nonpunitive in Europe. For more than twenty years, Dutch citizens over age eighteen have been permitted to buy and use cannabis (marijuana and hashish) in government-regulated coffee shops. This policy has not resulted in dramatically escalating cannabis use. For most age groups, rates of marijuana use in the Netherlands are similar to those in the United States. However, for young adolescents, rates of marijuana use are lower in the Netherlands than in the United States. The Dutch people overwhelmingly approve of current cannabis policy which seeks to normalize rather than dramatize cannabis use. The Dutch government occasionally revises existing policy, but it remains committed to decriminalization.

    • Fromberg, E. “The Case of the Netherlands: Contradictions and Values in Questioning Prohibition.” 1994 International Report on Drugs, Brussels: International Antiprohibitionist League, 1994. 113-124.
    • Sandwijk, J.P., et al. Licit and Illicit Drug Use in Amsterdam II. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, 1995.
    • Gunning, K.F. Crime Rate and Drug Use in Holland. Rotterdam: Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention. 1993.

    Myth: Marijuana Kills Brain Cells. Used over time, marijuana permanently alters brain structure and function, causing memory loss, cognitive impairment, personality deterioration, and reduced productivity.

    Fact: None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long term high-dose use. An early study reported brain damage in rhesus monkeys after six months exposure to high concentrations of marijuana smoke. In a recent, more carefully conducted study, researchers found no evidence of brain abnormality in monkeys that were forced to inhale the equivalent of four to five marijuana cigarettes every day for a year. The claim that marijuana kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.

    • Heath, R.G., et al. “Cannabis Sativa: Effects on Brain Function and Ultrastructure in Rhesus Monkeys.” Biological Psychiatry 15 (1980): 657-690.
    • Ali, S.F., et al. “Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey IV: Neurochemical Effects and Comparison to Acute and Chronic Exposure to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Rats.”Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 40 (1991): 677-82.

    Myth: Marijuana Impairs Memory and Cognition. Under the influence of marijuana, people are unable to think rationally and intelligently. Chronic marijuana use causes permanent mental impairment.

    Fact: Marijuana produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.

    • Wetzel, C.D. et al., “Remote Memory During Marijuana Intoxication,”Psychopharmacology 76 (1982): 278-81.
    • Deadwyler, S.A. et al., “The Effects of Delta-9-THC on Mechanisms of Learning and Memory.” Neurobiology of Drug Abuse:  Learning and Memory. Ed. L. Erinoff. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse 1990. 79-83.
    • Block, R.I. et al., “Acute Effects of Marijuana on Cognition: Relationships to Chronic Effects and Smoking Techniques.”Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 43 (1992): 907-917.

    Myth: Marijuana Causes Crime. Marijuana users commit more property offenses than nonusers. Under the influence of marijuana, people become irrational, aggressive, and violent.

    Fact: Every serious scholar and government commission examining the relationship between marijuana use and crime has reached the same conclusion: marijuana does not cause crime. The vast majority of marijuana users do not commit crimes other than the crime of possessing marijuana. Among marijuana users who do commit crimes, marijuana plays no causal role. Almost all human and animal studies show that marijuana decreases rather than increases aggression.

    • Fagan, J., et al. “Delinquency and Substance Use Among Inner-City Students.” Journal of Drug Issues 20 (1990): 351-402.
    • Johnson, L.D., et al. “Drugs and Delinquency: A Search for Causal Connections.”  Ed. D.B. Kandel. Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1978. 137-156.
    • Goode, E. “Marijuana and Crime.” Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Appendix I. National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972. 447-453.
    • Abram, K.M. and L.A. Teplin. “Drug Disorder, Mental Illness, and Violence.” Drugs and Violence: Causes, Correlates, and Consequences. Rockville: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1990. 222-238.
    • Cherek, D.R., et al. “Acute Effects of Marijuana Smoking on Aggressive, Escape and Point-Maintained Responding of Male Drug Users.” Psychopharmacology 111 (1993): 163-168.
    • Tinklenberg, J.R., et al. “Drugs and criminal assaults by adolescents: A Replication Study.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 13 (1981): 277-287.

    Myth: Marijuana Interferes With Male and Female Sex Hormones. In both men and women, marijuana can cause infertility. Marijuana retards sexual development in adolescents. It produces feminine characteristics in males and masculine characteristics in females.

    Fact: There is no evidence that marijuana causes infertility in men or women. In animal studies, high doses of THC diminish the production of some sex hormones and can impair reproduction. However, most studies of humans have found that marijuana has no impact of sex hormones. In those studies showing an impact, it is modest, temporary, and of no apparent consequence for reproduction. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana delays adolescent sexual development, has feminizing effect on males, or a masculinizing effect on females.

    • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana and Cocaine. Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1990.
    • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Female Adolescents and Marijuana Use; Fact Sheet for Adults. Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
    • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Marijuana: Tips for Teens. Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.
    • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9:2 (1994): 16.
    • Clinton, President Bill. Speech at Framingham High School. Framingham, Massachusetts. 20 Oct. 1994.

    Myth: Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Damages the Fetus. Prenatal marijuana exposure causes birth defects in babies, and, as they grow older, developmental problems. The health and well being of the next generation is threatened by marijuana use by pregnant women.

    Fact: Studies of newborns, infants, and children show no consistent physical, developmental, or cognitive deficits related to prenatal marijuana exposure. Marijuana had no reliable impact on birth size, length of gestation, neurological development, or the occurrence of physical abnormalities. The administration of hundreds of tests to older children has revealed only minor differences between offspring of marijuana users and nonusers, and some are positive rather than negative. Two unconfirmed case-control studies identified prenatal marijuana exposure as one of many factors statistically associated with childhood cancer. Given other available evidence, it is highly unlikely that marijuana causes cancer in children.

    • Mann, Peggy. The Sad Story of Mary Wanna. NY: Woodmere Press, 1988. 30.
    • Fried, Peter. Quoted in “Marijuana: Its Use and Effects.” Prevention Pipeline. 8:5 (1995): 4.
    • American Council for Drug Education. Drugs and Pregnancy. Rockville: Phoenix House, 1994.
    • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9. 2 (1994): 16.
    • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana – Effects on the Female. Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1996.

    Myth: Marijuana Use Impairs the Immune System. Marijuana users are at increased risk of infection, including HIV. AIDS patients are particularly vulnerable to marijuana’s immunopathic effects because their immune systems are already suppressed.

    Fact: There is no evidence that marijuana users are more susceptible to infections than nonusers. Nor is there evidence that marijuana lowers users’ resistance to sexually transmitted diseases. Early studies which showed decreased immune function in cells taken from marijuana users have since been disproved. Animals given extremely large doses of THC and exposed to a virus have higher rates of infection. Such studies have little relevance to humans. Even among people with existing immune disorders, such as AIDS, marijuana use appears to be relatively safe. However, the recent finding of an association between tobacco smoking and lung infection in AIDS patients warrants further research into possible harm from marijuana smoking in immune suppressed persons.

    • Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education. Marijuana and Cocaine. Atlanta: PRIDE, 1990.
    • Preate, Ernest D. Blowing Away the Marijuana Smokescreen. Scranton: Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, [no date]: 2.
    • Spence, W.R. Marijuana: Its Effects and Hazards. Waco: Health Edco, [no date].
    • Voth, Eric A. The International Drug Strategy Institute Position Paper on the Medical Applications of Marijuana. Omaha: Drug Watch International, [no date].
    • Drug Watch International. By Any Modern Medical Standard, Marijuana is No Medicine. Omaha: Drug Watch International, [no date].

    Myth: Marijuana’s Active Ingredient, THC, Gets Trapped in Body Fat. Because THC is released from fat cells slowly, psychoactive effects may last for days or weeks following use. THC’s long persistence in the body damages organs that are high in fat content, the brain in particular.

    Fact: Many active drugs enter the body’s fat cells. What is different (but not unique) about THC is that it exits fat cells slowly. As a result, traces of marijuana can be found in the body for days or weeks following ingestion. However, within a few hours of smoking marijuana, the amount of THC in the brain falls below the concentration required for detectable psychoactivity. The fat cells in which THC lingers are not harmed by the drug’s presence, nor is the brain or other organs. The most important consequence of marijuana’s slow excretion is that it can be detected in blood, urine, and tissue long after it is used, and long after its psychoactivity has ended.

    • Committees of Correspondence. Drug Abuse Newsletter 16 (March 1984).
    • Mann, Peggy. Marijuana Alert. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1985. 184.
    • Nahas, Gabriel. “When Friends of Patients Ask About Marihuana.”Journal of the American Medical Association 233 (1979): 79.
    • DuPont, Robert. Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1984. 68.

    Myth: Marijuana Use is a Major Cause Of Highway Accidents. Like alcohol, marijuana impairs psychomotor function and decreases driving ability. If marijuana use increases, an increase in of traffic fatalities is inevitable.

    Fact: There is no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities. At some doses, marijuana affects perception and psychomotor performances- changes which could impair driving ability. However, in driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment- consistently less than produced by low moderate doses of alcohol and many legal medications. In contrast to alcohol, which tends to increase risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious. Surveys of fatally injured drivers show that when THC is detected in the blood, alcohol is almost always detected as well. For some individuals, marijuana may play a role in bad driving. The overall rate of highway accidents appears not to be significantly affected by marijuana’s widespread use in society.

    • Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box”. New York. (1995):36.
    • Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9.2 (1994): 14.
    • Moskowitz, Herbert and Robert Petersen. Marijuana and Driving: A Review. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1982. 7.
    • Mann, Peggy. Marijuana Alert. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985. 265.

    Myth: Marijuana Related Hospital Emergencies Are Increasing, Particularly Among Youth. This is evidence that marijuana is much more harmful than most people previously believed.

    Fact: Marijuana does not cause overdose deaths. The number of people in hospital emergency rooms who say they have used marijuana has increased. On this basis, the visit may be recorded as marijuana-related even if marijuana had nothing to do with the medical condition preceding the hospital visit. Many more teenagers use marijuana than use drugs such as heroin and cocaine. As a result, when teenagers visit hospital emergency rooms, they report marijuana much more frequently than they report heroin and cocaine. In the large majority of cases when marijuana is mentioned, other drugs are mentioned as well. In 1994, fewer than 2% of drug related emergency room visits involved the use of marijuana.

    • Brown, Lee. Quoted in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Release, National Drug Survey Results Released with New Youth Public Education Materials. Rockville: 12 September 1995.
    • Shalala, Donna. “Say ‘No’ to Legalization of Marijuana.” Wall Street Journal 18 August 1995: A10.
    • Shuster, Charles. Quoted in Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Legalization: Myths and Misconceptions. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1994. 5.

    Myth: Marijuana Use Can Be Prevented. Drug education and prevention programs reduced marijuana use during the 1980s. Since then, our commitment has slackened, and marijuana use has been rising. By expanding and intensifying current anti-marijuana messages, we can stop youthful experimentation.

    Fact: There is no evidence that anti-drug messages diminish young people’s interest in drugs. Anti-drug campaigns in the schools and the media may even make drugs more attractive. Marijuana use among youth declined throughout the 1980s, and began increasing in the 1990s. This increase occurred despite young people’s exposure to the most massive anti-marijuana campaign in American history. In a number of other countries, drug education programs are based on a “harm reduction” model, which seeks to reduce the drug-related harm among those young people who do experiment with drugs.

    • Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse.” New York (1995):28.
    • Brown, Lee. Director of National Drug Control Policy, remarks atNational Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research. Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Arlington, VA (July 1995).
    • Califano, Joseph A. “Don’t Stop This War.” Washington Post 26 May 1996: C7.
    • Shalala, Donna. “Marijuana: A Recurring Problem.” Prevention Pipeline 8.5 (1995): 2.
    • Burke, James. [Partnership for a Drug-Free America]. Interview. MS-NBC with Tom Brokaw. MS-NBC, 3 September 1996.
    • Falco, Mathea. The Making of a Drug-Free America: Programs That Work. New York: Times Books, 1992. 202.

Genesis 1
KJV
29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
The above is my evidence to the Conservative Christian Republicans that hates science to the justification of legalizing Marijuana…It may hurt the big pharmaseutical companies paying off the democrats and republicans so that they can continously push harmful, synthetic, very addictive, very dangerous drugs. Marijuana is not a plant that is specifically found naturally in tropical areas. It has been found growing naturally everywhere in the world.
Let’s start the new discussion!

24 Responses to “Re-legalizing Marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Why should we?”

  1. Marijuana is becoming more and more mainstream, I agree with Sarah Palin up to when she said “but not to make our kids think it’s okay.” So it is okay for our kids to think that cigarettes and alcohol is okay. They both are legal, but I know when I was in high school we used to drink and laugh at the anti-drinking and anti-smoking ads. Those ads made us think we were cool, that we were rebels. We smoked pot because it was illegal. There was a study in Denmark that proved the legalization of marijuana not only reduced the number of teen marijuana use, but because their parents actually was open about the subject many of these kids never tried pot until they were a lot older. The same thing in Germany, it is legal to drink at 16 in Germany. Germany also has less vehicle homocides and accidents involving alcohol than the US.

    If we start being open with today’s youth, tell these kids the truth about alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana then more and more will stop thinking it’s cool. There will be less underage use of mind altering substances. Quite frankly, I would rather my children to use marijuana in a supervised environment than to ever touch alcohol or cigarettes.

    What it all boils down to is how much parental supervision a child has. A parent can either accept that their child may be tempted to do it, and allow them to try it in the safety of home. That way if anything happens the parent would know what to do. I mean it is what a responsible parent would do. If you say that’s irresponsible, then you’re too old to remember your high school days. What’s irresponsible is not sitting down with your child and coming clean about these things. If you just give them the door and say “If you want to try alcohol or marijuana I would rather you do it at home, where you and your friends are less likely to get yourselves hurt or killed.” Honestly, what would you rather have your children do? Go out and drink in the woods where other kids and cars are involved? Or Stay at home, Drink or smoke pot where they can be supervised and not be thrown in jail, or get killed.

    Ideally the best situation is neither. I had friends that had parents that were more open about it and they tried it and just didn’t see the big deal. I had friends whose parents completely forbid underage drinking completely and they became alcoholics, or worse they went to a stag party and crashed into a tree because they were too drunk to drive. Being open with a child and actually conversing about these subjects with no anger or fighting, the kids will usually see your point of view and share theirs. If you are more open with your child they will see no point since there’s no way to actually rebel except for not to do it anyway.

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  2. Hors Service said

    Hmm, I’m more perplex about this issue.

    Although everything stated here is broadly correct, I have doubts that people will know how to use properly marijuana…
    Alcohol is still doing damages, granted, to a minority of users, but still a significant minority. I don’t think legalizing it is a very good idea. It will add a bunch of stupid smokers to the bunch of stupid drunks…

    For example, there once was a time in France, when alcoholic beverages were easier to get and widespread in the whole society, that it was perfectly normal for a child to drink wine and for everyone to drink at work in large quantities, with disastrous results… It’s the major problem of Russia today.

    Although I’ve got nothing against small reasonnable quantities, getting chemicals in one’s brain is not very healthy… And there WILL be people who won’t stop at reasonnable quantities.

    Second argument, the marijuana will still come from criminal organisations… Things won’t change. Well it’s my opinion. I’m against prohibition for established substances, but I don’t think the society as a whole is ready for another psychotrope.

    Like

  3. dorian said

    point well taken hors…! i agree. too many stupid drunks around already.

    now can you explain to me what’s happening with the french team in south africa?

    Like

  4. Hors Service said

    @dorian

    They are being ridiculous, as usual^^ I’m not into football, but from what I know we have the best players in the world, but the worst team in the world… Egos egos and egos… And also a bad coach.

    Like

  5. KAY HAS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN said

    i could use some weed right about now.

    i smoke dope all day long and it’s never affected me adversely. lol!

    in fact, there was a time due to my illenss i couldn’t eat a bite of food until i got stoned.

    alcohol and weed are two different things. not alike at all.

    Like

  6. Here are some guidelines I think are just good practice. http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3417

    Also I believe that a parent does not have to condone use, but if a teen (15-16) wants to try it they should be encouraged to only do it at home where they can be supervised.

    Here are some other articles.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/05_04_04dutchdecrim.cfm

    http://www.ucsc.edu/currents/03-04/05-03/drug_study.html

    http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=8021

    Just a couple of websites. Now Europeans are more responsible than the impulsive Americans. So initially there will be increased use. Yes with the legalization there will be stupid people doing too much too fast. But taking too much vitamin c too fast also has negative side effects. If I had to chose between the criminalization of Alcohol and the decriminalization of Marijuana I would choose the criminalization of Alcohol. But I was hit by a drunk driver as a kid. Most Marijuana users don’t want to leave the house while stoned, many will shop for munchies before partaking. The whole reason why its illegal in America is because of unscientific evidence. There is a wealth of scientific evidence that debunks a majority of the propaganda of the 30’s. The only reason why the prohibition was passed, is because the guy who created the smear campaign started attributing marijuana with black people. (or Jazz musicians, the whole scene at the time consisted primarily of african americans. With legalization will there be more traffic accidents involving marijuana? Yes, as you pointed out there are a ton of irresponsible people in the world. But that’s why we have laws..to punish irresponsible people. A DWI or DUI should be treated the same whether it is from drug use or from alcohol use. They are both against the law, and if you drive while under the influence of any mind altering substance the consequences should all be the same.

    Like

  7. dorian said

    thanks for the links, e_e.

    what i don’t like about smoking weed is that i get lazier than usual and the junk food binges. one thing, though is that alcohol brings on violent behavior for some. weed, hardly.
    just zits and procrastination.

    quick, some weed for princess!!

    hors, let’s see what happens tomorrow. the football divos will be playing.

    hey where’s kay? still hanging out with the arrogant liberal boys at huffpo?

    Like

  8. KAY HAS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN said

    kams is inpiring poetry over at huffpo

    a very smart, VERY patient commenter named querent wrote this:

    kams has a bad crush on poor Steven.
    She lives for the chance to get even.
    She almost got banned.
    Her opinions are canned.
    If she’s coming around, then I’m leavin’.

    and i responded:

    it’s a debate that noboby wins.
    not even the siamese twins.
    with gawd on her side.
    it’s kams rules we abide.
    while she bloviates on liberal sins.

    Like

  9. Hors Service said

    @dorian

    Well, they lost:D As we thought.

    @E_E

    “Now Europeans are more responsible than the impulsive Americans.”

    I’m not convinced about that^^

    “But taking too much vitamin c too fast also has negative side effects.”

    Everything has negative side effects when taken in excess, tomatoes, lettuce, ideology…^^ The point is that smoking has immediate and important side effects that I think are not compensed by its benefits. To compare with alcohol, there is a good part of alcoholic beverages where the goal is the taste, and light disinhibition, being drunk is a extreme behavior; while being stoned is the goal of smoking marijuana.

    And at least in France we have more and more problems from stoned drivers that smoked at some party and then get back by car, just like drunks, and the penalty is the same, as far as I know.

    And the other arguments hold still;)

    Like

  10. dorian said

    good one, P! thanks for sharing. good to know our kay is continuing to inspire liberals to write poems!

    Like

  11. Hors said: “To compare with alcohol, there is a good part of alcoholic beverages where the goal is the taste, and light disinhibition, being drunk is a extreme behavior; while being stoned is the goal of smoking marijuana.”

    Again, there is a pleasant taste to marijuana, which some people get together to enjoy. You can get some really good conversations while discussing topics that would normally cause fights. Being stoned that is a very broad term, and it is not always the goal. I prefer not to drink because I don’t like being hungover, and I get violent when I drink the sauce in any amount. I can feel good and slightly buzzed when sharing a bowl with some friends. Being so stoned that your just laughing and being retarded, that doesn’t really appeal to me or anyone I associate with. I am sure that I am not the only one that feels the same way.

    There will be some negative socialogical aspects, because of reckless behavior. Unless laws are put in place to keep reckless behaviors in check. For instance decriminalization does not mean it can be done in the streets. Decriminalization would just mean that the use and carry of a small amount (an ounce and under) or the growth of a plant for personal use (three or less). I feel that if you want to grow for profit you should pay for a license to both grow and dispense. That this should be a big investment and the cost of the license for both growing with intent to sell and dispensing with the intent to profit should be the same amount as what a bar or liquor store must pay for the licensing to sell and brew. In the state of florida those licenses are a serious investment for a business. The same should go for Marijuana. I also believe in having a growers association that every grower must pay to be apart of. Kind of like a Union that works for the different states and inspects to make sure you are not breaking any laws. Of course it should be taxed as well. Not as a deterrent but really it’s common sense. If a marijuana dispensary only sells to those that pay for a tax stamp. Which would ensure that you are doing this legally and because you pay for this stamp as long as you don’t posses more than your tax stamp.

    I feel those precautions along with a document every person that gets a tax stamp outlines the responsibilities of the citizen, what they can and cannot do according to the laws of that particular state. These types of things will make more responsible users, it will also be able to weed out the criminal aspect so to speak.

    Like

  12. KAY HAS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN said

    ok, i’m the real marijuana expert here.

    i’m 50 yrs old and i’ve been smoking weed since i was 13.

    that is 37yrs of pure smoking pleasure almost daily.

    when i used to drink i would drink to excess and beat peoples @sses.

    when i smoke i can’t get so high i cannot function and instead of beating @ss, i usually wind up seducing the person and making them fall in love with me..
    so which princessxxx would you prefer?

    btw, i am willing to wager that i have smoked more weed in the last year, than the 3 of you combined in your entire lifetimes.

    yeah for me.

    and dorian, thanks for noticing great poetry when you see it.

    Like

  13. kay~ms said

    kams 5 hours ago (1:33 PM) 8 Fans

    “I’m leavin’!” says Querent, if Kams comes around
    when the real truth is, he can’t stand his ground,
    “I’m a liberal and I debated thee,
    So you can’t claim victory”,
    but clearly his loss is profound.

    Like

  14. dorian said

    kay! good one!
    see, liberals inspire you too.
    everyone’s a winner in the end because the creativity we all have is brought out.

    Like

  15. 1minionsopinion said

    Hi gang! Long time no posting. I was taking something of a breather, internet-wise and not doing much with my own blog, let alone commenting on others.

    I’ve never used pot or any drugs that weren’t Advil or a prescription. I wouldn’t even know where to procure any. I’m so naive. That said, I never got into smoking either and while I did drink a fair bit in university, I rarely imbibe now.

    That said, for something like marijuana, if it isn’t much worse than a cigarette, why condemn it? And how much of the illegality of it has to do with the fact that anyone with space and a grow lamp can have grow the plants for (nearly) free while cigarettes still generate a shit load of tax dollars?

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  16. ROFL, you underestimate my potheadness..I will give you that you’ve seen more than I have considering you are 23 years older than I am. To your defense you look about as old as I am. But this isn’t supposed to be who has smoked more pot. I don’t like getting into whose epenis is bigger fights. I could probably say I have smoked just as much or a little more than you when you were a youngin like me. If you ever come into my neck of the woods I’d be glad to smoke with you. So just chillax man. The purpose of this post was to actually bring meaningful evidence, specifically to the voters of Florida. Seriously P, unless you are living under a rock you should know that this issue is a really hot button issue in America, as well as other parts of the world. I personally think that it should be shared and never sold. As it is a seed yielding herb that grows all over the Earth, so it is one of the many gifts from God.

    But I do keep in mind that my audience has some loyalty to the corrupt and nonfunctional party system. I say that it is nonfunctional because for the first year of Obama’s Presidency Congress just compared dick sizes over the trivial issue of Universal Health Care, that is benefiting other DEMOCRATIC countries around the world. In fact many people with existing illnesses are living and working in other parts of the world, funneling money that is triple our exchange rate back to their families. Our situation is dire in Capital Hill as the current GOP propaganda is anything that hurts profits is socialist. Even though, according to the Constitution. The voting citizens of America, have a higher say in matters that pertains to them specifically. As we are a nation created by the people, and for the people. It is not really so but I have a manifesto in the works that has ideas of how we the people can change our current corrupt government. Back to the point!

    I want marijuana to be legalized, for multiple reasons. One is it will boost our economy greatly..I mean how much is actually destroyed by law enforcement? An estimated 2.5 billion? Of course those figures are usually ballooned so probably closer to 1.5 billion dollars. This is nationwide..attach some taxes and decriminalizing would put some money into our nations economy and government that would help pay back the past 8 years of bad policies. The whole Marijuana Prohibition is based on racist ideals of the early 20th century. Ideals that we as a nation should be passed by now. At one point in time Marijuana and its cousin Hemp was a bigger cash crop than cotton. Ben Franklin, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and other founding fathers had fields of hemp and marijuana growing, right next to things like corn, cotton, peanuts, and other food items. I mean honestly, if we got Bill Keller, Kay, and Princess into a room and just hotboxed the three of them they would all be good friends in no time.

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  17. Enkill_Eridos said

    Oh and P..I guarantee you I smoke just as much pot a year than you do.

    Like

  18. dorian said

    minion!!welcome back. was wondering where you were…

    i try and keep away from anything mind altering especially if it will make me lethargic for days. i’m already a sloth. and when i smoke weed i buy the cheetos, hostess cup cakes and donuts and drink a gallon of chocolate milk.
    so the marijuana is good and organic but everything else you take with it clogs up your arteries. a big part of the reason why it’s illegal is because yeah, das capitalistas tobacco industry won’t like the competition. but of course if it was made legal, the tobacco industry will also get into the business. and yeah, anybody can grow the stuff. when i was 20 i planted some seeds in a pot which grew to 6 ft. it was in my apartment near university. i got paranoid one day and decided to cut it down. i knew i had to dry the leaves so i thought i’d expedite the process by putting the whole lot in the oven. so i put the oven on to 250 and took a long shower. the entire building knew what was burning in my oven that day. anybody else have any “i can’t believe i was so stupid” stories like that?

    Like

  19. KAY HAS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN said

    e-e. i’m not having a pee contest about it.

    thanks for the compliment. not so much the weed that keeps me young,
    more like i refuse to grow up.

    and since we live so close, (i’m right on the hillsboro/manatee line) one day we should meet up and light up.
    that would be fun.

    i agree, weed should be legal. i’m planning a move to CA as soon as
    possible.

    i haven’t been posting much here because, well, first i banned myself and second, huffpo keeps me busy “successfully debunking kay”

    peace out and grooviness.

    Like

  20. Like

  21. Hors Service said

    Well, I still disagree guys^^

    I think that the money we waste today in law enforcement will whatsoever be wasted in licence checking and administration of the stuff, and repression of the excesses.

    Because there will be excesses. Controlled, maybe, but alcohol and cigarettes still kill people and they are very heavily controlled. I’m not for a let’s-ban-all-dangerous-stuff society, but I feel like we’ve got already sufficient idiocy to deal with.

    And how much time do you think it will take until the tobacco industry get to the market, and produce a very addictive weed (like the mafia is in fact already doing)? Furthermore, mafia will now have a very legal facade to carry out its lucrative business…

    Prohibition of alcohol was a bad idea, but I think legalization of Marijuana is as bad.

    And one thing that I HATE with cigarettes is the unstoppable habit of smokers to THROW THEM everywhere, and make the place terribly dirty with their ashes.:)

    Like

  22. Anonymous said

    amazing article on marijuana I bookmarked save your website. thanks to you!!! sorry for my english

    Like

  23. sex said

    Very good blog ..

    Like

  24. Very good post, many myths debunked with references to prove it. I would like to add that in addition to the medical and recreational use of marijuana, it also has great potential for industrial use as a source of food, fuel, fabric and paper. If there were only one plant that could save the world, marijuana is probably that plant. I wrote a song about it in 1990. The link to my Website takes you to the lyrics page with optional free mp3 download of a 1994 recording by R Band. My new band Rosetucky does this song too, but we haven’t recorded it yet. Check it out. It’s a good tune with good lyrics!

    Like

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