Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Propaganda of the Marijuana Lobby: A Con Job

 

We’re all being conned. As legalization of marijuana is being pushed forward in the US, we are discovering how little we really know about the drug, and the information we do have is not widely publicized:

Despite being a substance that targets the brain, if and how long-term cannabis use alters brain structure and function remain unknown. There are some known adverse effects. It acutely impairs mental functions and may exacerbate depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and use of other substances. Whether it is more harmful than substances such as alcohol or nicotine is still undetermined. On the plus side, there is conclusive evidence that cannabis provides relief from symptoms related to chemotherapy and multiple sclerosis. Other potential benefits remain unknown.

Ten states have already allowed the recreational use of cannabis. According to an op-ed piece by Alex Berenson, the pro-marijuana groups have changed the discussion by talking about medical marijuana and the relief it can provide, rather than focusing on its recreational use.

Studies that are not widely publicized explain that the effects on children and teenagers can be long-term:

When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent.

Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teenagers are especially susceptible to the hurtful effects of marijuana. Although scientists are still learning about these effects of marijuana on the developing brain, studies show that marijuana use by mothers during pregnancy may be linked to problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior problems in their children.

Following the states that have legalized marijuana to date, casual use doesn’t seem to have increased substantially. But for people who are heavy users, the increase in use is alarming:

…the number of Americans who use cannabis heavily is soaring. In 2006, about 3 million Americans reported using the drug at least 300 times a year, the standard for daily use. By 2017, that number had increased to 8 million—approaching the 12 million Americans who drank every day. Put another way, only one in 15 drinkers consumed alcohol daily; about one in five marijuana users used cannabis that often.

The potency of the drug has also increased. Rather than the 2% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) of the 1970s, marijuana is routinely 20-25%.

Even more alarming than this data is the lack of information on the link between mental illness, violence, and the use of marijuana:

In 2017, 7.5% of young adults met the criteria for serious mental illness, double the rate in 2008.

None of these studies prove that rising cannabis use has caused population-wide increases in psychosis or other mental illness, although they do offer suggestive evidence of a link. What is clear is that, in individual cases, marijuana can cause psychosis, and psychosis is a high risk factor for violence. What’s more, much of that violence occurs when psychotic people are using drugs. As long as people with schizophrenia are avoiding recreational drugs, they are only moderately more likely to become violent than healthy people. But when they use drugs, their risk of violence skyrockets. The drug they are most likely to use is cannabis.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, US scientists can only receive access to “research-graded” cannabis, so they don’t conduct studies on the marijuana that is actually being used recreationally by the public.

Needless to say, the marijuana lobby is not interested in funding or encouraging research on their product. Due to the lack of research, we have no credible assessment of the damage that is being done to our children. The relationships between mental illness, psychosis, and violence are still unclear. And no one really knows the effect on crime statistics.

If you think the opioid crisis was a tragedy, just wait and see the results of widespread marijuana legalization.

Are you as concerned as I am?

There are 195 comments.

  1. Fred Cole Member

    Okay, let me pick this apart piece by piece.

    Susan Quinn:

    We’re all being conned. As legalization of marijuana is being pushed forward in the US, we are discovering how little we really know about the drug,

    We actually have a lot of information about marijuana and marijuana use. People have been continually using marijuana despite the fool hearty prohibition laws imposed on us well meaning nanny-staters and overt race baiters. (Susan falls into the former category, not the latter.)

    The real con job was the arguments about scary negroes using marihuana and jazz music to seduce virginal white women into sex slavery. (That’s not hyperbole, look it up.) And the subsequent decades of false government propaganda about marijuana.

    Despite being a substance that targets the brain, if and how long-term cannabis use alters brain structure and function remain unknown. There are some known adverse effects. It acutely impairs mental functions and may exacerbate depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and use of other substances. Whether it is more harmful than substances such as alcohol or nicotine is still undetermined.

    Sure. There might be deleterious side effects for heavy users. The same is true for people who heavily consume alcohol, tobacco, tylenol, or chicken wings.

    Ten states have already allowed the recreational use of cannabis. According to an op-ed piece by Alex Berenson, the pro-marijuana groups have changed the discussion by talking about medical marijuana and the relief it can provide, rather than focusing on its recreational use.

    This is not a recent phenomenon. We already know the societal effects of widespread legal pot use. It’s been legal for medicinal use in California for decades. Medicinal cards were not hard to get.

    Lo and behold, despite the scare tactics of the prohibitionists, the sky did not, in fact, fall when people were allowed to smoke pot!

    By the way, if you want to read a nice compilation of decades of prohibitionists scaremongering, innuendo, and half-truths, I recommend reading that Berenson piece.

    Studies that are not widely publicized explain that the effects on children and teenagers can be long-term:

    When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, [snip] Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teenagers are especially susceptible to the hurtful effects of marijuana. 

    Pot is bad for kids. We know this already. Hey kids, don’t smoke pot. Wait until you’re an adult.

    There’s no conspiracy of silence about the negative effects of pot on children. But the discussion isn’t about legalizing pot for children, it’s about legalizing pot for adults.

    To paraphrase a quote often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, pot prohibition for adults because it’s bad for children is like telling a man he can’t have steak because a baby can’t chew it. 

    …the number of Americans who use cannabis heavily is soaring. In 2006, about 3 million Americans reported using the drug at least 300 times a year, the standard for daily use. By 2017, that number had increased to 8 million—approaching the 12 million Americans who drank every day. Put another way, only one in 15 drinkers consumed alcohol daily; about one in five marijuana users used cannabis that often.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument those numbers are true. (That is a big assumption because prohibitionists regularly lie about numbers.) There’s a simple explanation: Pot doesn’t give you a hangover.

    The potency of the drug has also increased. Rather than the 2% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) of the 1970s, marijuana is routinely 20-25%.

    Yes. People grow better strains of pot now than in the 1970s. That’s because we’ve had a quarter century of legal medicinal pot and the accompanying improvements in the product that markets bring.

    It sounds very alarming … unless you think about it for three seconds.

    First, just as everyone who has a glass of wine in the evening doesn’t drink to get blind stinking drunk, not everyone smokes pot to get blazed out of their mine. 

    Most people don’t drink Everclear straight. Not everyone likes the strongest pot. There are different strains with different potencies based on consumer preference. 

    Even more alarming than this data is the lack of information on the link between mental illness, violence, and the use of marijuana:

    Okay. I’m going to decline to quote the stats here because it’s a bunch of scary innuendo. I can dismiss it with one sentence:

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    You can blame any social conservative boogeyman you want for the alleged rise in mental illness. Pot prohibitionists blame pot. Porn prohibitionists blame porn. Back 70 years ago, people blamed social ills on pinball and comic books. You can just as easily blame pot as you can violent video games. The nanny instinct works just as well.

    If you think the opioid crisis was a tragedy, just wait and see the results of widespread marijuana legalization.

    If you’re concerned about the “opiod crisis,” you should want pot legalization. I’d much rather have people smoking pot than popping hydrocodone for pain management.

    Look, pot legalization isn’t meant to be a utopia. It’s just meant to be less terrible than prohibition. That’s actually a pretty low bar, since prohibition has been a total disaster.

     

    • #1
    • January 7, 2019, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. TheRightNurse Member

    No. I’m not as concerned, primarily because I believe it will be like drinking. Once the novelty wears off, fewer people will use it. It will also become heavily taxed and mostly unaffordable for every day users. 

    I do think there are more long term effects, though, and we will find out over time with the best in vivo research with the most willing subjects.

    • #2
    • January 7, 2019, at 9:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In the late 60’s or early 70’s, when I was working at a company doing leading edge pattern recognition – including image processing, my supervisor got a contract to process chromosome images to evaluate damage due to marijuana. In order to do this, the hospital sent lots of images for training and testing.

    The damage was pretty spectacular.

    • #3
    • January 7, 2019, at 9:45 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Doug Watt Member

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    • #4
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:10 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Fred Cole Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches. 

    • #5
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:31 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Doug Watt Member

    Studies have also suggested specific links between marijuana use and adverse consequences in the workplace, such as increased risk for injury or accidents.60 One study among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and 75 percent greater absenteeism compared with those who tested negative for marijuana use.61

    Most likely you will see restrictions on recreational use of marijuana come from private, and public sector employers due to increased workmans comp, and health care costs. Some companies randomly test employees, that might change to a regular schedule of testing for all employees.

    • #6
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:32 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Doug Watt Member

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches.

    There is no expiration date on stupid stoners.

     

    • #7
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  8. Fred Cole Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches.

    There is no expiration date on stupid stoners.

    But some of the tired cliches have expired. No stoner I know has a lava lamp anymore. 

    • #8
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:47 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Okay, let me pick this apart piece by piece.

    I’ll respond to your comments below.

    Susan Quinn:

    We’re all being conned. As legalization of marijuana is being pushed forward in the US, we are discovering how little we really know about the drug,

    We actually have a lot of information about marijuana and marijuana use. People have been continually using marijuana despite the fool hearty prohibition laws imposed on us well meaning nanny-staters and overt race baiters. (Susan falls into the former category, not the latter.)

    Could you cite the long-term comprehensive studies? By the way, Fred, I don’t know about legalization, because I don’t think we have enough thorough information. Remember how they thought opioids were safe? And here we are, with an epidemic.

    The real con job was the arguments about scary negroes using marihuana and jazz music to seduce virginal white women into sex slavery. (That’s not hyperbole, look it up.) And the subsequent decades of false government propaganda about marijuana.

    This has nothing to do with the topic.

    Despite being a substance that targets the brain, if and how long-term cannabis use alters brain structure and function remain unknown. There are some known adverse effects. It acutely impairs mental functions and may exacerbate depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and use of other substances. Whether it is more harmful than substances such as alcohol or nicotine is still undetermined.

    Sure. There might be deleterious side effects for heavy users. The same is true for people who heavily consume alcohol, tobacco, tylenol, or chicken wings.

    No, there are long-term effects for heavy users. And those long-term effects damage the brain, sometimes permanently.

    Ten states have already allowed the recreational use of cannabis. According to an op-ed piece by Alex Berenson, the pro-marijuana groups have changed the discussion by talking about medical marijuana and the relief it can provide, rather than focusing on its recreational use.

    This is not a recent phenomenon. We already know the societal effects of widespread legal pot use. It’s been legal for medicinal use in California for decades. Medicinal cards were not hard to get.

    What’s your point? Where’s your data on the societal effects? Maybe you should look at Doug Watt’s comment below.

    Lo and behold, despite the scare tactics of the prohibitionists, the sky did not, in fact, fall when people were allowed to smoke pot!

    I’m not a prohibitionist. I don’t care for your sarcasm much, either.

    By the way, if you want to read a nice compilation of decades of prohibitionists scaremongering, innuendo, and half-truths, I recommend reading that Berenson piece.

    Can you back up that accusation? He was very clear about which data was proven through research, and where there appeared to be relationships with the data.

    Studies that are not widely publicized explain that the effects on children and teenagers can be long-term:

    When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, [snip] Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teenagers are especially susceptible to the hurtful effects of marijuana.

    Pot is bad for kids. We know this already. Hey kids, don’t smoke pot. Wait until you’re an adult.

    There’s no conspiracy of silence about the negative effects of pot on children. But the discussion isn’t about legalizing pot for children, it’s about legalizing pot for adults.

    To paraphrase a quote often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, pot prohibition for adults because it’s bad for children is like telling a man he can’t have steak because a baby can’t chew it.

    …the number of Americans who use cannabis heavily is soaring. In 2006, about 3 million Americans reported using the drug at least 300 times a year, the standard for daily use. By 2017, that number had increased to 8 million—approaching the 12 million Americans who drank every day. Put another way, only one in 15 drinkers consumed alcohol daily; about one in five marijuana users used cannabis that often.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument those numbers are true. (That is a big assumption because prohibitionists regularly lie about numbers.) There’s a simple explanation: Pot doesn’t give you a hangover.

    Fred, if you’re going to make these kinds of comments, I’m not going to respond. Making a statement like, “prohibitionists regularly lie about numbers” doesn’t cut it. Back up your comments with real data instead of personal attacks.

    The potency of the drug has also increased. Rather than the 2% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) of the 1970s, marijuana is routinely 20-25%.

    Yes. People grow better strains of pot now than in the 1970s. That’s because we’ve had a quarter century of legal medicinal pot and the accompanying improvements in the product that markets bring.

    It sounds very alarming … unless you think about it for three seconds.

    First, just as everyone who has a glass of wine in the evening doesn’t drink to get blind stinking drunk, not everyone smokes pot to get blazed out of their mine.

    What does that mean? If someone uses marijuana that is produced much stronger than in the past, how do you know whether they’ll get stoned or not. So what if they don’t plan to get bombed?

    Most people don’t drink Everclear straight. Not everyone likes the strongest pot. There are different strains with different potencies based on consumer preference.

    Really? Do the stores that sell marijuana list the potency so you can choose light and heavy? What makes you think people wouldn’t go with stronger stuff?

    Even more alarming than this data is the lack of information on the link between mental illness, violence, and the use of marijuana:

    Okay. I’m going to decline to quote the stats here because it’s a bunch of scary innuendo. I can dismiss it with one sentence:

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    I thought Berenson showed the potential for real relationships. The problem is, the research has not been done.

    You can blame any social conservative boogeyman you want for the alleged rise in mental illness. Pot prohibitionists blame pot. Porn prohibitionists blame porn. Back 70 years ago, people blamed social ills on pinball and comic books. You can just as easily blame pot as you can violent video games. The nanny instinct works just as well.

    If you think the opioid crisis was a tragedy, just wait and see the results of widespread marijuana legalization.

    If you’re concerned about the “opiod crisis,” you should want pot legalization. I’d much rather have people smoking pot than popping hydrocodone for pain management.

    Look, pot legalization isn’t meant to be a utopia. It’s just meant to be less terrible than prohibition. That’s actually a pretty low bar, since prohibition has been a total disaster.

     

     

    • #9
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Richard Easton Member

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches.

    There is no expiration date on stupid stoners.

    But some of the tired cliches have expired. No stoner I know has a lava lamp anymore.

    How many stoners do you know.

    • #10
    • January 7, 2019, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches.

    There is no expiration date on stupid stoners.

    But some of the tired cliches have expired. No stoner I know has a lava lamp anymore.

    Do you know any stoners that can take a joke?

    • #11
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:02 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    No. I’m not as concerned, primarily because I believe it will be like drinking. Once the novelty wears off, fewer people will use it. It will also become heavily taxed and mostly unaffordable for every day users.

    I do think there are more long term effects, though, and we will find out over time with the best in vivo research with the most willing subjects.

    TRN, I appreciate your analysis, but I just don’t know if that will be the outcome. Just like cheap beer, people will find a way to buy it, taxes notwithstanding. My biggest concern is how little we know about it. Without extensive research, I think it’s unwise to legalize it.

    • #12
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:03 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. La Tapada Member

    I really have a hard time deciding what sources to trust. First I read sources such as Susan has quoted, then I read others that say the opposite. Three people in my family have bipolar disorder and all three have chosen to self-medicate. Two have chosen to self-medicate with pot and I’m not sure whether it’s a help to them or not. I’d like to really know. We need more research into it.

    Then, I also read that where pot has been legalized there is still a lot of incentive for people to grow and sell it “under the table.”

    • #13
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    La Tapada (View Comment):

    I really have a hard time deciding what sources to trust. First I read sources such as Susan has quoted, then I read others that say the opposite. Three people in my family have bipolar disorder and all three have chosen to self-medicate. Two have chosen to self-medicate with pot and I’m not sure whether it’s a help to them or not. I’d like to really know. We need more research into it.

    Then, I also read that where pot has been legalized there is still a lot of incentive for people to grow and sell it “under the table.”

    I’m so sorry, @latapada. I guess that one thing you can do is see who is conducting the studies, how rigorous they are and long-term. I’m not speaking against grass due to some righteous orientation. I just don’t like stuff legalized that’s not researched.

    • #14
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:09 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @susanquinn, I’m on your side. Not so much due to the statistics and medical research. I lean toward the idea that we all have the right to be stupid, but only if we are the only ones that have to pay for it. I like the Jeffersonian crack about if something doesn’t pick my pocket or break my arm it’s none of my business.

    Marijuana legalization fails the test in my mind because too many other people are impacted by the user’s decision to do something stupid. I’m thinking primarily of the highways here.

    I will agree that our regulation of alcohol is very poorly done, which to my mind begs the question, why should our regulation of dope be any better?

    There is one important difference between alcohol and marijuana: alcohol can cause or aggravate aggressive behavior, and dope doesn’t. That’s about the only argument I can find on the legalization side.

    • #15
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:23 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I do not. I am 65 and have been smoking pot on and off since junior year in high school. I have a master’s degree in theology from Duke, which I was awarded magna cum laude in 1992. I have been a conscientious, i.e., detail-oriented text editor for the past thirty years and have many sources vying for my attention. I have gotten one speeding ticket in my life (for going 45 in a 25 mph zone on Duke’s campus) and have had a total of two automobile accidents since getting my license half a century ago. And I helped raise a daughter who’s now 23 (it’s complicated) with whom I always had and continue to retain a very close relationship based on trust, the ability to listen, and my having been there when I said I would I be.

    In recent years, having been treated successfully for colon cancer, I have found that pot has other good qualities. For whatever reason, it helps me keep my mind off of my continuing bowel difficulties (related solely to the surgery) and, so, makes my life more comfortable, more predictable. I realize that it’s affecting the brain in doing this, but so do some pain medications that tend also to have deleterious side effects (notably, opioids, though I suspect its negatives are being way over hyped to the long-term detriment of chronic pain sufferers).

    I do agree, though, that pot is not good for unrealized ambition. It can make you lazy–and eat too many sweets, which to my mind is probably the worst side effect health-wise. Stoner is a good description of that result. And some people have very negative physical reactions to it.

    But in my view, pot is way safer than alcohol, which I also love (wine and beer, that is) while recognizing its perils. In short, I’ve evaluated the trade-offs and found pot to be way more on the positive than the negative side of the ledger. But, then, I also am naturally disposed to oppose government efforts to impose morality, both philosophically and with a historical view to the unintended consequences that seem always to result from them.

     

    • #16
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:24 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    There is one important difference between alcohol and marijuana: alcohol can cause or aggravate aggressive behavior, and dope doesn’t. That’s about the only argument I can find on the legalization side.

    I don’t think that’s a correct assumption, although psychosis isn’t necessarily aggressive. But it can be coupled with marijuana. From my OP:

    What is clear is that, in individual cases, marijuana can cause psychosis, and psychosis is a high risk factor for violence. What’s more, much of that violence occurs when psychotic people are using drugs.

    Thanks for chiming in, @douglaspratt!

    • #17
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:39 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    I do not. I am 65 and have been smoking pot on and off since junior year in high school. I have a master’s degree in theology from Duke, which I was awarded magna cum laude in 1992. I have been a conscientious, i.e., detail-oriented text editor for the past thirty years and have many sources vying for my attention. I have gotten one speeding ticket in my life (for going 45 in a 25 mph zone on Duke’s campus) and have had a total of two automobile accidents since getting my license half a century ago. And I helped raise a daughter who’s now 23 (it’s complicated) with whom I always had and continue to retain a very close relationship based on trust, the ability to listen, and my having been there when I said I would I be.

    In recent years, having been treated successfully for colon cancer, I have found that pot has other good qualities. For whatever reason, it helps me keep my mind off of my continuing bowel difficulties (related solely to the surgery) and, so, makes my life more comfortable, more predictable. I realize that it’s affecting the brain in doing this, but so do some pain medications that tend also to have deleterious side effects (notably, opioids, though I suspect its negatives are being way over hyped to the long-term detriment of chronic pain sufferers).

    I do agree, though, that pot is not good for unrealized ambition. It can make you lazy–and eat too many sweets, which to my mind is probably the worst side effect health-wise. Stoner is a good description of that result. And some people have very negative physical reactions to it.

    But in my view, pot is way safer than alcohol, which I also love (wine and beer, that is) while recognizing its perils. In short, I’ve evaluated the trade-offs and found pot to be way more on the positive than the negative side of the ledger. But, then, I also am naturally disposed to oppose government efforts to impose morality, both philosophically and with a historical view to the unintended consequences that seem always to result from them.

     

    Thanks for commenting, @lesliewatkins, with your personal experience. I appreciate your balanced approach to sharing.Just a couple of comments in response. It looks like you weren’t a heavy user, so you didn’t suffer the worst effects. My own objections aren’t religious, but more practical (I think). I will say I have a bias for wanting to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. At 70, I have enough limitations creeping up on me without adding to the list! Thanks.

    • #18
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:44 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    We actually have a lot of information about marijuana and marijuana use. People have been continually using marijuana …

    Yes. People grow better strains of pot now than in the 1970s. That’s because we’ve had a quarter century of legal medicinal pot and the accompanying improvements in the product that markets bring.

    There is a contradiction in these two statements. The “long” history of using weak pot during a period of prohibition is not the same as the new situation of legalization (unlimited supply) and strong pot. This is really is an experiment, where the side effects are not well known. That is not necessarily bad, we just need to look for unintended consequences.

    What is the correct age for safe use? 25, when the male brain is fully formed?

    Also, the way we do policing over fines, de-criminalizing still leads to criminalization for poor folks. 

    • #19
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:53 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. tigerlily Member

    Here’s a question I have about pot ever since the recent legalization and decriminalization efforts have gained steam at the state level. And that is this – I assume that in states that have legalized pot it is still illegal to drive under the influence of pot. However, its my understanding that there is no established standard as to what level of THC in the blood constitutes impairment. According to this article, it is solely up to the judgement of the arresting officer that the driver was impaired. It seems to me that there should be an objective standard similar to blood alcohol level for alcohol but that may not be possible because of the way THC passes through the body.

    • #20
    • January 7, 2019, at 11:55 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DonG (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    We actually have a lot of information about marijuana and marijuana use. People have been continually using marijuana …

    Yes. People grow better strains of pot now than in the 1970s. That’s because we’ve had a quarter century of legal medicinal pot and the accompanying improvements in the product that markets bring.

    There is a contradiction in these two statements. The “long” history of using weak pot during a period of prohibition is not the same as the new situation of legalization (unlimited supply) and strong pot. This is really is an experiment, where the side effects are not well known. That is not necessarily bad, we just need to look for unintended consequences.

    What is the correct age for safe use? 25, when the male brain is fully formed?

    Also, the way we do policing over fines, de-criminalizing still leads to criminalization for poor folks.

    Each person is different, so it might be hard to measure “safe use.”

    • #21
    • January 7, 2019, at 12:01 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Here’s a question I have about pot ever since the recent legalization and decriminalization efforts have gained steam at the state level. And that is this – I assume that in states that have legalized pot it is still illegal to drive under the influence of pot. However, its my understanding that there is no established standard as to what level of THC in the blood constitutes impairment. According to this article, it is solely up to the judgement of the arresting officer that the driver was impaired. It seems to me that there should be an objective standard similar to blood alcohol level for alcohol but that may not be possible because of the way THC passes through the body.

    Very good point, @tigerlily. Maybe one of our police friends will weigh in on that question, whether a way will be developed to measure it.

    • #22
    • January 7, 2019, at 12:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

    I have no issues with legalizing all drugs if, and only if, we completely dismantle the welfare state which encourages abuse at the taxpayer’s expense. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen.

    • #23
    • January 7, 2019, at 12:05 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  24. Fred Cole Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yo dudes, and dudettes, start investing in Lava Lamp, Pringles, and black light shares.

    You could start an specific fund and call it DSC. Dated Stoner Cliches.

    There is no expiration date on stupid stoners.

    But some of the tired cliches have expired. No stoner I know has a lava lamp anymore.

    How many stoners do you know.

    Well, I am on the NYLP state committee, so…

    • #24
    • January 7, 2019, at 12:16 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Fred Cole Member

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):

    I have no issues with legalizing all drugs if, and only if, we completely dismantle the welfare state which encourages abuse at the taxpayer’s expense. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen.

    Because people will do drugs and go on welfare?

    There’s literally tens of millions of people who use drugs and aren’t on welfare. And the decision about what drugs are legal and what drugs aren’t legal is totally arbitrary. 

    Also, one could make the exact same argument you made in favor alcohol prohibition. 

    • #25
    • January 7, 2019, at 12:18 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Manny Member

    For what it’s worth: “Ex-New York police commissioner denounces ‘crazy’ ideas around legalizing marijuana.”

    Rudy Guilliani is also in agreement. It won’t change anyone’s minds, but it confirms my opinion.

    • #26
    • January 7, 2019, at 1:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Manny (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth: “Ex-New York police commissioner denounces ‘crazy’ ideas around legalizing marijuana.”

    Rudy Guilliani is also in agreement. It won’t change anyone’s minds, but it confirms my opinion.

    Super article, @manny! All the same objections I have, and more. I’ve always like Bratton, too. A good man. Thanks!

    • #27
    • January 7, 2019, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I just don’t like stuff legalized that’s not researched.

    I’m surprised to see conservatives taking this line of argument. Don’t we usually ask for reasons why government should be involved, rather than wanting a justification for repealing laws?

    FWIW, I have never used pot, and don’t intend to start. I don’t see a place for government in deciding what drugs people use.

    • #28
    • January 7, 2019, at 1:23 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    La Tapada (View Comment):
    Then, I also read that where pot has been legalized there is still a lot of incentive for people to grow and sell it “under the table.”

    The word “legalize” is a red flag that does not mean what many (most?) people think it means. 

    Etymologically, to “legalize” is to create laws, not to repeal laws. It’s a synonym for “regulate”, and not a synonym for “deregulate”. If there is no existing law to control something, and you want to create a law to control that thing, you are “legalizing” that thing.

    Look at lotteries. By 1860, lotteries were prohibited in all but two US states. Now, they’re run by the states. That’s what it means when something is “legalized”.

     

    • #29
    • January 7, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    There is one important difference between alcohol and marijuana: alcohol can cause or aggravate aggressive behavior, and dope doesn’t. That’s about the only argument I can find on the legalization side.

    I don’t think that’s a correct assumption, although psychosis isn’t necessarily aggressive. But it can be coupled with marijuana. From my OP:

    What is clear is that, in individual cases, marijuana can cause psychosis, and psychosis is a high risk factor for violence. What’s more, much of that violence occurs when psychotic people are using drugs.

    Thanks for chiming in, @douglaspratt!

    From my perspective as an ER doc we just don’t see violence from pot users. We rarely see them in the ER at all except when someone has a dysphoric paranoid reaction, usually a novice, or in combination with other substances.

    I think if you ask ER docs to pick between alcohol and marijuana in terms of negative health effects, alcohol is worse hands down. Doesn’t mean there are no negative effects.

     

    • #30
    • January 7, 2019, at 1:30 PM PST
    • 12 likes