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?

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  1. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):
    There is much here to correct. If exercising your rights harms others (violates their rights), that is a strong signal that you are not actually exercising your rights.

    Yeah.

    Basically, there is no right to violate the rights of another, except in extreme circumstances. (Killing a person to keep them from killing you, for example.)

    So all these drug laws are unconstitutional? Take it up with SCOTUS. Frankly you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    I was speaking in general about rights. Not just what you think the Constitution recognizes.

    Obviously you’ve created a “right” given that SCOTUS does not consider these laws unconstitutional.

    • #181
  2. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    I see you that can’t cite a Constitutional authorization for drug prohibition.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the notion that our government has only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the tenth article of that Bill of Rights thing you seemed so in favor of.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    So how come there are federal drug laws? Obviously you’re missing something. Read up on how Article 1 is interpreted and applied. I’m neither a lawyer nor do I have the time to keep pursuing this. Federal laws exist to prohibit drugs and they are constitutional. Face it.

    Fortunately, the busybody nannystate consensus is finally breaking down. And those federal laws that are use to control people are in their way out.

    Federal pot prohibition will be gone in 10 years.

    No, no such consensus exists.  Pot may be legalized but not on the basis of a “right.”  Pot will have been deemed to be too cost prohibitive to control.

    • #182
  3. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Manny (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    I see you that can’t cite a Constitutional authorization for drug prohibition.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the notion that our government has only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the tenth article of that Bill of Rights thing you seemed so in favor of.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    So how come there are federal drug laws? Obviously you’re missing something. Read up on how Article 1 is interpreted and applied. I’m neither a lawyer nor do I have the time to keep pursuing this. Federal laws exist to prohibit drugs and they are constitutional. Face it.

    Fortunately, the busybody nannystate consensus is finally breaking down. And those federal laws that are use to control people are in their way out.

    Federal pot prohibition will be gone in 10 years.

    No, no such consensus exists. Pot may be legalized but not on the basis of a “right.” Pot will have been deemed to be too cost prohibitive to control.

    Is the All-Seeing Wisdom of the People different from a consesus?

    Manny, I hate to break it to you, but there are many things done in Washington, D.C. that violate the constitution. For a couple of very clear examples, fully automatic weapons are so heavily regulated as to be a clear violation of the second amendment, and even semi-automatic rifles have been over-regulated (see the 1994 crime bill). Those are but two examples.

    • #183
  4. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    I see you that can’t cite a Constitutional authorization for drug prohibition.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the notion that our government has only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the tenth article of that Bill of Rights thing you seemed so in favor of.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    So how come there are federal drug laws? Obviously you’re missing something. Read up on how Article 1 is interpreted and applied. I’m neither a lawyer nor do I have the time to keep pursuing this. Federal laws exist to prohibit drugs and they are constitutional. Face it.

    Fortunately, the busybody nannystate consensus is finally breaking down. And those federal laws that are use to control people are in their way out.

    Federal pot prohibition will be gone in 10 years.

    No, no such consensus exists. Pot may be legalized but not on the basis of a “right.” Pot will have been deemed to be too cost prohibitive to control.

    Is the All-Seeing Wisdom of the People different from a consesus?

    Those are essentially the same, though indirectly.  Legislators can and sometimes do make decisions outside the will of the people.  We don’t have direct democracy, but if the people want something strong enough in time it will happen.

    • #184
  5. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Manny (View Comment):

    I never said lack of regulation is an intrusion. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m advocating government intrusion when societal concerns warrant it.

    Allow me to quote you (again).

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Though I am opposed to drug abuse, I cannot find grounds to use the force of law to stop someone else from doing it.

    Whoa. That’s pretty Libertarian Josh. There’s not an once of conservatism in that.

    You’re saying there’s no place in conservatism for the notion that we must justify government intrusion into private decisions? That you have to show how my actions hurt you, before you can get government to take action against me?

    When those government intrusions have deleterious social consequences – such as the legalization of heroin – then the answer is no. Conservatism does not support such a legal right.

    And formula is not a lazy anything. Formula is what you Libertarians use and it’s dumb. Careful consideration of the situation is what is warranted, and that is how humanity actually works, and what the constitution calls for.

    Without actually diagramming the sentence, you appear to be saying that legalization is a government intrusion. Perhaps that’s not what you meant to say.

    I never said you should use a formula. “Formula” is an insult you big-government conservatives use, and it’s dumb. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m advocating government intrusion when someone’s rights are violated, and the Constitution warrants it.

    • #185
  6. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

     

    I never said lack of regulation is an intrusion. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m advocating government intrusion when societal concerns warrant it.

    Allow me to quote you (again).

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Though I am opposed to drug abuse, I cannot find grounds to use the force of law to stop someone else from doing it.

    Whoa. That’s pretty Libertarian Josh. There’s not an once of conservatism in that.

    You’re saying there’s no place in conservatism for the notion that we must justify government intrusion into private decisions? That you have to show how my actions hurt you, before you can get government to take action against me?

    When those government intrusions have deleterious social consequences – such as the legalization of heroin – then the answer is no. Conservatism does not support such a legal right.

    And formula is not a lazy anything. Formula is what you Libertarians use and it’s dumb. Careful consideration of the situation is what is warranted, and that is how humanity actually works, and what the constitution calls for.

    I never said you should use a formula. “Formula” is an insult you big-government conservatives use, and it’s dumb. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m advocating government intrusion when someone’s rights are violated, and the Constitution warrants it.

     

     

    “Intrusions” must have been a mistake.  My mind must have been juggling more than one thought at a time.  I guess I meant to say, “When a substance has a deleterious social consequence…”  Sorry for the confusion.

    • #186
  7. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Manny (View Comment):

    “Intrusions” must have been a mistake. My mind must have been juggling more than one thought at a time. I guess I meant to say, “When a substance has a deleterious social consequence…” Sorry for the confusion.

    Fair enough.

    Your approach lacks the necessary guard rails that would protect individual liberty, or even keep government from getting top-heavy, and sucking a lot of money out of the economy.

    • #187
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    James Of England (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    So much for hard and fast, never wavering, can’t give an inch, thinking.

    So, there’s another term for “hard and fast, never wavering, can’t give an inch, thinking” that you keep denigrating.

    It’s called “having principles.” That used to be something that self-described conservatives believed in.

    One can describe a lack of beliefs in trade offs and the problems with absolutism as having principles, and there have been self described conservatives who have done so. Nonetheless, Utopianism and the belief in free lunches is antithetical to conservatism to a degree that almost nothing else is. Perhaps a lack of commitment to opposition to evil empires, but that is ultimately a closely related thing.

    Better put than I did, as usual, James. 

    • #188
  9. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    “Intrusions” must have been a mistake. My mind must have been juggling more than one thought at a time. I guess I meant to say, “When a substance has a deleterious social consequence…” Sorry for the confusion.

    Fair enough.

    Your approach lacks the necessary guard rails that would protect individual liberty, or even keep government from getting top-heavy, and sucking a lot of money out of the economy.

    OK, I understand, but that’s the constitution.  And social problems cost money too.  Anyway I think we’re beginning to repeat ourselves.  

    • #189
  10. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Manny (View Comment):
    OK, I understand, but that’s the constitution.

    No the Constitution has guard rails. We’re just ignoring them.

    You’re right that it’s not a very productive conversation, though.

    • #190
  11. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    OK, I understand, but that’s the constitution.

    No the Constitution has guard rails. We’re just ignoring them.

    You’re right that it’s not a very productive conversation, though.

    It was productive. Both sides made their points. We’ve just reached the end. Peace.

    • #191
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It was a little edgy at times, but you guys handled yourselves pretty well. Thank you for the civil exchange!! And 191 comments. Wow!

    • #192
  13. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    James Of England (View Comment):

    One can describe a lack of beliefs in trade offs and the problems with absolutism as having principles, and there have been self described conservatives who have done so. Nonetheless, Utopianism and the belief in free lunches is antithetical to conservatism to a degree that almost nothing else is. Perhaps a lack of commitment to opposition to evil empires, but that is ultimately a closely related thing.

    I hasten to note that free lunches are also antithetical libertarianism. The first symbol of the Libertarian Party, adopted in 1972, was the “Libersign”

    And I need to correct you, James.

    Your comments apply only to pre-2016 conservatism. Conservatives don’t believe that anymore.

     

    Libertarians have that as a slogan, but not as a belief. The line comes from Heinlein, who constantly fills his books with Mary Sue stuff showing the brilliant libertarian introducing policies that make everyone better off with no real downside. In the real world, pot legalization is just one of many areas that most of them are certain that there is no downside.

    Much like you’ll find plenty of libertarians who run on “taxation is theft”, that any amount of taxation is felonious, and then in office or as pundits call for incremental reforms. The number of libertarians who seriously call for exclusively voluntary support for the state is vanishingly small, but the number who use the slogans that would be earned by doing so is large.

    The enthusiastic pursuit of radical chic means that absurd utopianism will always get a pass. Like the never giving an inch stuff. But when you engage in utopianism, you run from adult responsibilities.

    The right has always had people who didn’t get conservatism. Goldwater has his book ghost written by a guy who lived in Spain because he thought that actual fascism was a good way to run a country and that the US was deeply evil. “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” That’s the type of self described conservatism you’re talking about, and it’s rhetoric that Malcom X found handy because it was deeply unconservative. 

    But the movement got over Goldwater. Most conservatives were never taken in by him (hence the prominence of the Birchers in his campaign). Similarly, today most conservatives in the punditry, Congress, and state political classes believe the same stuff they believed in 2015. Fred Cole is so blinded by the horrors of Trump (as he was similarly blinded by the horrors of Romney; 2016 wasn’t so big a change here), that he will support a guy who exploded spending, debt, incarceration rates, built border wall, attacked Obama for being insufficiently interventionist, and otherwise opposes every non-narcotic thing Fred stands for. But most politicians and pundits are more grounded. Mike Gallagher, Ben Sasse, Tom Tillis, etc etc etc will still be conservative in 2025, because they understand the truth behind conservatism. 

    • #193
  14. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    I see you that can’t cite a Constitutional authorization for drug prohibition.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the notion that our government has only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the tenth article of that Bill of Rights thing you seemed so in favor of.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    So how come there are federal drug laws? Obviously you’re missing something. Read up on how Article 1 is interpreted and applied. I’m neither a lawyer nor do I have the time to keep pursuing this. Federal laws exist to prohibit drugs and they are constitutional. Face it.

    Fortunately, the busybody nannystate consensus is finally breaking down. And those federal laws that are use to control people are in their way out.

    Federal pot prohibition will be gone in 10 years.

    It’s probably true that the feds will cease to ban it, but that isn’t responsive to Manny’s correct claim. The extensive regulation of the industry will rely on the same constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce and will still be with us in 2029.

    • #194
  15. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Meow, James.

    • #195
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