General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Why is there still the rumor that tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis, marijuana, hashish) is a relatively harmless drug?

Asked by mattbrowne (31449 points ) May 16th, 2009

From http://www.marijuanaaddiction.info

Marijuana addiction is characterized as compulsive, often uncontrollable marijuana craving, seeking, and use, even when the individual knows that marijuana use is not in his best interest. Marijuana is both emotionally and mentally addictive. Once an individual becomes addicted to marijuana it develops into part of who they believe themselves to be. Avoiding their friends who do not use, the addict will gravitate to others that do. Marijuana has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed, usually by smoking or ingestion. The minimum amount of THC required to have a perceptible psychoactive effect is about 10 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. Scientists now know many facts about marijuana’s effect on the body and how delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active chemical in Marijuana, acts in the human brain. When marijuana is smoked, THC travels quickly through the body and into the brain where it unites with specific receptors on nerve cells. Areas of the brain with the most receptors affected by THC are parts of the brain that control pleasure, thought, memory, sensory, concentration, time perception, and coordination.

Marijuana use has been shown to be associated with several illnesses. Masijuana has been associated with lung cancer. Whilst some studies and tests have proven inconclusive, a recent study by the Canadian government found cannabis contained more toxic substances than tobacco smoke. It contained 20 times more ammonia, (a carcinogen) and five times more of hydrogen cyanide (which can cause heart disease) and of nitrogen oxides, (which can cause lung damage) than tobacco smoke.

More recently, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study published research showing an increased risk of psychosis for marijuana users with a certain genetic predisposition, held by 25% of the population. In 2007, a study published in The Lancet and a poll of mental health experts showed that a growing number of medical health practitioners are convinced that marijuana use increases susceptibility to mental illness, accounting for 14% of United Kingdom psychosis cases. Cannabis use can also lead to anxiety and panic reactions. There is also evidence that some of the above effect can become permanent with heavy usage. Multiple studies have shown that chronic heavy marijuana smoking is connected with increased symptoms of chronic bronchitis, such as coughing, production of sputum, and wheezing.

My view on the subject? Yes, there are far more dangerous drugs like meth or crack. Yes, there are far more alcoholics than cannabis addicts. But does this make cannabis harmless? It’s possible to drink alcohol in moderation and lead a long and successful life. Is the same possible for marijuana use? I’m not sure. And why the rumor? Has it do to with the student movements of the late 60ies? The Woodstock festival glorification? Any thoughts?

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106 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

Because it is a relatively harmless drug. For every article you can find that vilifies marijuana there is another that touts it’s glories. I’ve smoked a lot of pot and known many others who have and believe me, it’s harmless.

If it’s a health concern, remember, you take a great health risk every time you decide to get out of bed in the morning.

dynamicduo's avatar

Because it is harmless, much less so than alcohol and tobacco, much less so than a hamburger every day. You cannot overdose on it. It does not make you insane or want to murder people.

There have been THOUSANDS of lies and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage and costs associated with prosecuting it, and for no real reason whatsoever.

There have been many other studies indicating that marijuana is not harmful to the extent that people and governments make it out to be. There was one spectacular report done by my Canadian government about the effects of cannabis not only physically but legally etc, and its conclusion was that it is not harmful and could be tolerated in society (I have tried to find the report but I cannot yet, it is widely available online). Thanks, but I will take this report’s opinion over any others you can provide (especially ones coming from the tainted American government), because it was a very comprehensive report which was very grounded in reality.

The reason I want to see it legalized is that a, I’m tired of having to hide it (not like I really do, thanks to being in Canada), but b, I’d love to have competition enter the field. The government wins with tax money and reduction in police force use (this is a TON of $$ per year down in America), crime goes down, the overall pot use could also go down as it has in other countries that have legalized, consumers get safe and delicious weed for great prices, more jobs are created, more money is spent, more tacos sold… it’s a win win situation.

Alcohol and tobacco kill thousands each year. Cannabis kills zero directly. Sure people are found with it in their systems, but it’s always with alcohol or other drugs too. Just as with all drugs, people need to be aware of the minuscule risks associated with it, such as for those who are predisposed to severe mental illnesses. And people need to not be dumb and smoke and drive, but that’s what police are for (not to mention the studies showing that stoned drivers are much safer and slower drivers, I still don’t support that behavior).

BookReader's avatar

Hello Matt, I’m in agreement with you mostly… However, I’m going to pursue a different tangent on the subject and strike a simple comparison with peanuts.

While there are a great number of individuals who are seemingly unaffected from eating an enormous amount of peanuts, it is impossible to overlook that a small number of individuals are greatly affected should they consume even a small amount.

Further, the range from no expression to a full blown expression is paradoxal.

Darwin's avatar

Because those that use it wish to justify their use of it.

mattbrowne's avatar

I’m not sure how accurate this comparison of substances is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg

but it says that cannabis is more addictive than LSD and ecstacy and it’s not so far away from alcohol.

BookReader's avatar

@mattbrowne- the comparison of substances is entertaining…with focus being on basic or acidic ph indicators- how do they compare (cannabis, lsd, ecstacy, alcohol)?

Work with me on this question towards an answer…

Ivan's avatar

So far the only people arguing that marijuana is harmless are those who would benefit from the drug’s legalization. That is, most people who argue in favor of marijuana are those who want to smoke it. This is a conflict of interest and a contamination of objectivity. I will indulge in discussion with anyone who does not smoke marijuana and yet still feels it should be legal.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think the jury is still out on this one…we need more research done to determine the possible long-term effects of pot…like, if you smoke a lot of it when you’re younger, how will it affect your mental state when you’re older? Say what you want, but the truth is, we don’t have enough data on this yet.

If it’s proven that it’s safe in both the long term AND short term, then I don’t have an issue with legalizing it. The states could get revenue from taxes on it and we could insure that the pot itself is pure and safe (no dangerous fillers).

Regardless, I think there are lots of other reasons NOT to smoke pot:
1) It’s illegal (for now) and if you get caught with it, you can NEVER go to med school.
2) It costs money which could be better spent elsewhere
3) You get the munchies, which can can lead to weight gain.

Having a metabolic disorder, the munchies factor alone makes me never want to do it.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivandoesn’t the fact that you don’t smoke it also slant your bias?

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon Not that I can see. If I had something to gain by making marijuana illegal, that would slant my bias, but I don’t.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan…As someone who belives that it should remain illegal your gain is that it stays that way.

seekingwolf's avatar

@Blondesjon

But how does making it illegal benefit him? He doesn’t even use it.
Unless he works in rehab or is a narc of some kind, I fail to see how he’s biased.

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon

What? I think you’re stretching here. What then, do you feel would be the objective position?

Darwin's avatar

I do think it definitely should be legalized for medicinal use, just as substances such as oxycodone and morphine are, and that it should be available by prescription.

However I am neutral as far as legalizing it generally, the way that alcohol is. I do think that making it obtainable by adults has financial benefits to the state both in the form of taxes and by the fact that buying it at the “pot store” will reduce exposure to folks who think it is fine to break the law by selling illegal substances and thus reduce potential crime.

I believe that it is not harmless, but then neither is alcohol or even mayonnaise or chocolate in excess.

It certainly should be illegal to drive while under the influence of either alcohol or marijuana, or anything else that impairs ones judgment or reflexes.

Linda_Owl's avatar

My feelings on marijuana are that it should be legal on the same basis as alcohol. Alcohol damage done to the human body has been well established – however, we all know what happened when it was made illegal. Medical studies are frequently not as unbiased as we are led to believe & the results they end up with is rarely applicable to everyone. The use of marijuana is almost as wide spread as the use of alcohol – but the individuals who use marijuana can end up in prison just for using it. We have far too many people in prison & with damaged rights to the way they live their lives, from having been convicted of marijuana possession & use. This is not in anyone’s best interest (with the exception of whatever entities benefit financially from supplying things needed by the prisons). Marijuana & hemp should be made legal. The growing of hemp could certainly reduce the demands on our forests for the myriad of paper products. Hemp grows rapidly & has a wide range of useful applications. A society can only go just so far in attempting to protect individuals from themselves. Using marijuana & using alcohol should be a personal decision, not an illegal action.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan…There is no objective position. It’s a debate. That’s my point. You dismissed out of hand the group of people who make up the majority of your opposition.

@seekingwolf…If you choose one side or the other in any debate you are biased. We like to kid ourselves into a false sense of superiority by saying we are above either side while still taking a definite position.

Just tryin’ to cut through the bullshit ma’mm.

oratio's avatar

I agree with @Darwin. It should be illegal to drive under any influence.

I am not sure what to think about marijuana per se, but I really don’t think people involved with it belongs in jail with heavy criminals. That’s just wrong. And it doesn’t seem to wear down people like other narcotics.

I lean towards legalizing, though I haven’t smoked in my whole life. Tobacco or MJ.

EDIT: And I think I recall, but couldn’t find it now, that they failed to show a connection between cannabis and lung cancer. Anyone recognize this?

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan I haven’t smoked marijuana in almost a year and don’t plan to ever smoke it again. I’m still in favor of legalization.

Marijuana legalization is most likely illegal for its industrial uses compared to it’s psychedelic effects anyways.

Those industrial reasons are the exact reason it should be legalized. It’d basically (and most likely) be an economic uptake. And in the situation we’re in now, that could only be good.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The weed addicted people I know say weed changes with usage. The calm and focus they initially felt when they first started smoking evolved into paranoia, panic attacks and irritability the more they smoked and even worse if they stopped smoking. I’ve never been a fan but the few experiences I’ve had gave me all the negative aspects right off so it wasn’t even of interest to me.

TaoSan's avatar

Okay guys, c’mon. The fact that marijuana is addicitve, is as established as the fact that gay marriage will immediately corrode our society into Sodom and Gomorrah instantaneously!~

Cannabis is suitable for psychological dependence just as much as alcohol, fatty/salty food, sex, weightlifting or any other activity/substance that influences the release and reuptake of certain neurotransmitters.

Soooo, why are there some still vehemently trying to make it out to be harmful? Little research project and food for thought:

Compare the per capita use of Prozac and Lunesta of the Netherlands to that of the USA, and then think again who has an interest in making you believe that Cannabis is harmful. Never trust a study you haven’t forged yourself, and keep in mind that table salt is toxic in the right amount.

tinyfaery's avatar

It should definitely be illegal to drive under the influence of stupidity.

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon

“There is no objective position. It’s a debate.”

What? You’re not making any sense here. There are people who favor one side of an argument because they would benefit from it. Then there are people who favor one side because they have made an objective analysis and reached their conclusion based on logic and reason. Anyone who favors marijuana legalization who smokes pot has not reached their conclusion because it is logical and reasonable; they have reached it because they want to smoke pot.

bea2345's avatar

Say it is about as harmless as tobacco. Then why is it not legal? Might as well legalize it.

Ivan's avatar

@bea2345

Because tobacco is extremely harmful.

bea2345's avatar

My point exactly. The cost we non users pay for the interdiction of illegal drugs is a little too high. And it does not even work.

Ivan's avatar

@bea2345

Well then let’s make it work. Let’s make the cost lower. Just giving up isn’t going to solve anything.

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan People are never going to stop smoking pot.

The vast majority of these people are not criminals in any other way, and in those people, most are probably active and productive members of society.

These productive and active members of society are being put in jail for years at a time for smoking pot… and that’s it.

oratio's avatar

@Ivan Do you think much more people smoke pot and abuse it if it was legal? Just your opinion. I think that pot is so common it wouldn’t make much difference.

kenmc's avatar

Basically, making marijuana illegal is legislating morality.

What you believe isn’t what someone else believes and that should be okay as long as they don’t harm anyone. Marijuana has never directly caused death.

I’m pro choice for the same reason.

dynamicduo's avatar

@Ivan you are completely wrong, especially when you say things like “Anyone who favors marijuana legalization who smokes pot has not reached their conclusion because it is logical and reasonable; they have reached it because they want to smoke pot.”

One reason I would like cannabis legalized is because of the immense amount of tax dollars spent on arresting and incarcerating people who smoke weed.

Why is it that my opinion is worth less to you because I consume marijuana? I sure as hell have reached my opinion through many avenues including rational logical thought. Just because I also smoke it should not and DOES not invalidate my opinion. I could say the exact same thing in reverse, those who have not smoked weed have no right to make any claims about it, however I enjoy hearing from all types of people, thus I say no such thing.

dynamicduo's avatar

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I don’t want it legalized so that I can smoke it – I’m doing that right now with absolutely no impediments whatsoever. Though as I have mentioned, it being legal would indeed make the quality and variety available go up.

Ivan's avatar

@oratio

I don’t know, but I don’t think our current method is doing much good. As you said, marijuana use is common. I am not simply in favor of keeping our current laws in place, I am in favor of reforming our current policies so that marijuana use is not common.

@boots

I don’t think anyone morally opposes marijuana any more than they morally oppose alcohol or cocaine.

@dynamicduo

Let me put it this way. Do you know a whole lot of pot smokers who think it should be illegal?

oratio's avatar

Does anyone here really think that pot smokers belong in jail?

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan

Well those drugs have directly killed people. Marijuana has not.

Also, I don’t know what that has to do with the argument at hand. I haven’t mentioned those drugs and I’m not sure why you did…

Ivan's avatar

@boots

Because I presume there are some drugs you think should be illegal. What, exactly, is the difference between a direct death and an indirect death? Is an indirectly dead person less dead than a directly dead person?

@oratio

For multiple offenses or dealing, sure.

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan You know the difference between a direct and an indirect death.

In this case, why would you blame a drug for a person’s stupidity? If someone drives under the influence of any drug, they should be punished, but if someone is quietly using marijuana at home, why should the DEA be able to beat down their door with a battering ram?

You’re not blaming the real problem when it comes to death from marijuana use. If someone dies while high, they should have known that driving (or whatever) under the influence is more likely to get them killed.

Like most everything, proper education is key. Not propaganda and unethical laws.

Say someone gets a bladder infection from drinking too much water and not urinating. Do you blame the water?

TaoSan's avatar

I say make it all illegal! Smoking, drinking, sexing. Outlaw fastfood, actually, cars kill more people than anything, lets get rid of those too while we’re at it. And since we’re getting rid of alcohol, lets get rid of bars too, no use for them anymore anyways. Let’s all become drones, now that would be being a productive member of society, no?

The one answer the “antis” always fail to give is why? Why be against it? Why why why?

Why studies by obscure weird government sponsored think tanks, when the biggest field study in history, Amsterdam, is open for anyone to see. Why whackjob nutcracker statistics by some people we never heard of with “test subjects” no one has ever seen.

Idiotic…..

TaoSan's avatar

@mattbrowne

One interesting fact. Your info and reference is http://www.marijuanaaddiction.info

That domain is registered to Narconon. Narconon is Scientology…...thanks a bunch…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narconon

I guess they’re running out of cheap-labor heroin junkies, so now they’re trying to expand their “recruitment base”.

Domain ID:D1311329-LRMS
Domain Name:MARIJUANAADDICTION.INFO
Created On:26-Nov-2001 07:05:57 UTC
Last Updated On:04-Dec-2007 18:45:40 UTC
Expiration Date:26-Nov-2009 07:05:57 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Tucows Inc. (R139-LRMS)
Status:OK
Registrant ID:tug1dFOkJ3Ig6nvw
Registrant Name:Larry Trahant
Registrant Organization:Narconon Southern California, Inc.
Registrant Street1:1810 W. Ocean Front
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Newport Beach
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:92663

syz's avatar

I don’t smoke pot (or anything else, for that matter). But I clearly recognize the hypocrisy of tobacco and alcohol being legal while marijuana is not. I can also clearly recognize that the whole “war on drugs” crap does not work. It’s also very clear to me that our prisons are overcrowded and that our judicial system has become so bogged down as to be ineffective. And it certainly seems possible that taxing and regulating marijuana could reduce crime and raise revenue.

So, which way do we go, and how far? Do we make everything illegal? Do we legalize everything? What about just some things? Who gets to decide? And based on what?

I don’t claim to know what the answer is, but what we have now just isn’t working.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t smoke pot because I don’t like it. I’d rather have a beer any day. That said, I’m all for legalization. My reasons have already been given by others, so I won’t reiterate them.

As to the idea that pot causes mental illness… while that might be true, mightn’t it also be true that mentally ill people are just more likely to use pot to self-medicate and that’s why there is a correlation?

bea2345's avatar

If, as some say, marijuana is harmful; I don’t care. When the only smokers in my community were elderly men and women having a quiet one every evening, nobody thought anything of it. You grew your ganja under licence, and sold it to the smoke shop. Then the Americans came. God forbid we should encourage vice: and we criminalized the weed. As late as 1959 there was a farmer’s textbook in my school laboratory, which included such crops as opium and marijuana. Now the cultivation and sale of illicit marijuana is a multimillion dollar business, almost as much as cocaine. I am sick of reading of dead men found in the bush, killed because they triggered off a trap gun – set to protect the cultivation. Our prisons are full to overflowing. Legalize the thing. Like abortion, keep it safe and legal. Good men and women should not die in the interdiction effort. It is just not worth it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe that marijuana is harmful, I don’t use it, but I would like to see it legalized, and taxed with the money going to the health issues caused by using it, instead of being funded by the rest of the taxpayers like it is now.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I used to smoke pot. I don’t now. I found it had ill effects on my health. Anything in excess is harmful to the body. Water is the stuff of life, and yet, too much can kill you. Perrsonally, I don’t care who smokes the shit, and as long as they aren’t out driving around and running over little kids and old ladies, let em smoke it until they figure out what I figured out. The stuff isn’t doing you any good, even if it isn’t doing you any harm.

TaoSan's avatar

The stuff isn’t doing you any good, even if it isn’t doing you any harm.

Well said…

dannyc's avatar

I would prefer my kids buy it from the government (who usually acts somewhat criminal anyway) than from the local drug peddlers who actually are criminals.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I took a Marijuana class in college. I got a minor degree in Substance Abuse Prevention.

I have to agree that Marijuana is absolutely not harmless. There are even more harms done by marijuana than what have been listed in this message.
I also agree that it appears to be less harmless than many other drugs including alcohol.
It also has medicinal properties.

I guess it all depends on how you determine cost vs. benefit.

What I find a bit annoying is people who recognize the positive to the extreme without acknowledging the very real negative potential as well. It is almost as if they are overcompensating. Lets get real here so we can have educated discussions.
(i am not implying anyone in this thread but this topic comes up a lot and thus I have seen these arguments quite a bit).

RedPowerLady's avatar

@syz Good Answer!

elijah's avatar

I don’t have much to add besides I do not use (I did 14 years ago) yet I support legalization.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Just my opinion. A lot of things have medicinal properties, and taken in too high of doses are considered deadly. Science has discovered that many so-called poisons, taken in micro doses, have medicinal properties.

mattbrowne's avatar

@TaoSan – I was looking for sources with a good overview, but I take your point, other sources might be more trustworthy. I found an article here:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/95165.php

called ‘Study Could Help Clinicians Treat Marijuana Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms’

Same as fatty food? Frequent sex? Weightlifting? Chocolate? You are correct that everything we do has an influence on the release and reuptake of certain neurotransmitters. But that’s exactly the point. Because the nature of the influence is vastly different. Everything from a nudge to a slap to a bullet and so on. Higher doses of tetrahydrocannabinol or alcohol seem more like a machine gun while, cocaine is light artillery and heroin a cruise missile headed for the human brain.

@Linda_Owl – Yes, I agree with you. Marijuana should be legal on the same basis as alcohol. But this doesn’t mean the substance is harmless. Alcohol is many cases is not harmless. Nicotine isn’t harmless. We should invest in education and prevention.

TaoSan's avatar

@mattbrowne

LOL Love the “armory” analogy :)

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I also don’t smoke it, but I think it should be legalized.

charis23's avatar

I think its ignorant to claim that it’s harmless. As far as I’m aware the weed in America is of a much weaker strain than that which is in widespread use in Britain. I think to deny that using weed increases the risk that something is going to go more wrong than it otherwise might, is pretty hopeful and ignorant. I know two people from my social circle who have been institutionalised, anbd though of course there are more factors involved, it did happen at a time when major amounts of cannabis were being smoked! I personally smoked it 9 days out of 10 for about 4 years (18 to 22) in which time I dropped out of uni, ended up unemployed for over a year, gained weight, gained health problems and was really very depressed and paranoid. I found myself avoiding leaving the house, accusing my closest friends of all kinds, and genuinly terrified of whatever, quite frequently. I havent smoked it in 2 years now, but I am definately still in the process of undoing the damage that this period had on my life.

The fact that weed can have totally different effects on different people based on their pre-disposition to paranoia etc, the varying strength of the weed, and the length of use have contributed to to its ambiguous reputation.

I also think that people like to fit it and seem cool, and saying that you think weed is bad, just isnt cool.

Blondesjon's avatar

jesus wept

charis23's avatar

that’s clever

charis23's avatar

@Blondesjon honestly, I for one am impressed by you. I think you’re great.

mattbrowne's avatar

@charis23 – Yes, weed in Germany is also stronger and is still getting stronger because of selective plant breeding. More than 95% of all students age 14 to 18 who smoke weed drop out of school. They can’t lead an organized life anymore. But the same is true for students who drink heavily. The occasional beer or glass of wine seems to be no problem. Interestingly, cigarettes (while nicotine is certainly highly addictive) does not change the behavior of humans. They stay in school and pursue successful careers as long as they stay healthy. The only thing they require is the extra break.

arnbev959's avatar

More than 95% of all students age 14 to 18 who smoke weed drop out of school.

I really need to see a good source for that one. And let’s also be clear: correlation does not imply causation.

oratio's avatar

@mattbrowne I am sure you are right do you have a source link?, but you are talking about kids and underaged people. Kids should not deal with things like this, as they should not smoke tobacco, or drink alcohol. Where are their parents in all this?

I am interested in how the information is in school about tobacco, cannabis and alcohol in Germany. From what age and what is the information?

Most people I know who use MJ, use it to party. Not every day, just as I don’t know anyone who drinks alcohol everyday. I think abuse of anything is dangerous. Cannabis can probably – for some – be something you escape to when life is too much – just as alcohol.

@charis23 I am sorry to hear that your life went array. I am sure there are plenty adults who cannot handle it. There are adults who can’t handle most things. Alcoholism sometimes is rampant in different areas and times. It doesn’t mean that alcoholics should be put in jail, for using alcohol. They need help with the abuse. They are not put in jail, but the point made is that most cannabis users handles it, but are punished and put in jail for using it.

mattbrowne's avatar

@oratio – There was a newspaper article plus a town-wide initiative of policemen visiting schools in our area. My wife is a biology and chemistry teacher. The policeman spent 45 minutes with the class. He was talking among other things about the plant breeding phenomenon aiming at increasing the THC content of the plants. And he mentioned that the typical average dosage in America was significantly lower. The 95% was for German schools in the district he was referring to (I think it was northern Bavaria, so this is not a worldwide statistic!!). He compared it with heavy drinking, which also leads to the conclusion that moderate alcohol and moderate THC consumption might not lead to severe problems. The debate is about the potential. In this respect neither alcohol nor THC is harmless. If you look at some of the previous comments we can get a feel what higher THC dosages can do.

So therefore I think tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis, marijuana, hashish) isn’t a relatively harmless drug. Some people have the discipline to use it wisely in moderation and other don’t. Same for alcohol.

Information in German schools? I think it starts at around age 12 (it did when I was that age). Recently a very successful alcohol program was launched. Schools invite real alcoholics who managed to get clean. All they do is tell the students the stories of their lives. How it began. The fun. The trouble. The doubts. The misery. First rehab. The living hell on Earth. Second rehab. More living hell on Earth and so forth.

Very effective from what I’ve heard.

Slides with photos of amputated feet or dead heroin addicts found at train stations don’t work. Listening to real people does.

oratio's avatar

@mattbrowne That sounds like a very good and interesting approach. I just think it goes without saying that under aged people shouldn’t smoke or drink. I believe the discussion about legalizing is about adults and if they should be punished for using it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

“It’s possible to drink alcohol in moderation and lead a long and successful life. Is the same possible for marijuana use? I’m not sure.”

I know right, i mean like Michael Phelps and Barack Obama did NOTHING of importance….....oh wait a minute…..

Darwin's avatar

I do know from the experience of several of my male college friends that at least some people who smoke pot end up with a side effect known as gynecomastia, or as my son calls it “man boobs.” This is a natural outcome of certain conditions which represent imbalances or toxicities in the body, specifically ones where too much estrogen (or comparatively too little testosterone) is produced, compounded with problems with the liver that prevent the excess from being filtered out.

Apparently, the frequent intake of substances found in marijuana will alter the ratio of estrogen to testosterone in the body. This is a known medical fact.

Being a guy and having a big rack is not necessarily physically harmful in and of itself, although it can be emotional quicksand. However, having too much estrogen for too long can lead to a bunch of problems based on increases in blood clotting. Too much clotting lead to heart attacks, pulmonary emboli, and strokes. It also makes the body a better environment for microorganisms to invade and thus increases rates of illness and even male breast cancer.

So marijuana may not be the evil demon weed as portrayed in that infamous movie Reefer Madness, but it still isn’t good for you or even harmless.

In any case, since it does have some beneficial medicinal effects, marijuana should definitely be available by prescription. In addition, as long as we allow the sale of alcohol and tobacco, we have no reason to ban marijuana.

Please note that I do not smoke pot or tobacco, I never have, and I do not plan to start.

TaoSan's avatar

@uberbatman

LOL. You just summed it up so eloquently, technically the thread should be over now, haha. Wish I could quadruple-lurve…

@Darwin

About 90% of all cases of gynecomastia you see, is what medical professionals call pseudo-gynecomastia. This is caused by another culprit altogether: burgers and fries.

oratio's avatar

Thought I’d just post an link to this over-? simplified chart over european countries and legal attitude towards marijuana. I thought it was interesting.

Darwin's avatar

@TaoSan – I am aware of pseudogynecomastia. However, marijuana use can cause true gynecomastia.

My son has gynecomastia due to medications he takes for his mental difficulties, and I know others who have it for other reasons. However, these guys had it from marijuana use. They were otherwise lean and their testosterone/estrogen levels were totally off-kilter due to something in the marijuana.

I apologize for the previous link being incorrect. It should have been this.

TaoSan's avatar

@Darwin

You are right, there is a connection; that’s established fact. I just wanted to put the numbers into perspective.

mattbrowne's avatar

@uberbatman and @TaoSan – What I meant was:

“It’s possible to drink alcohol in moderation your whole life and lead a successful life. Is the same possible for marijuana i.e. using a moderate dose your whole life and being successful?” When did Obama quit smoking pot? Did he quit to drink beer?

Suppose pot were legal or decriminalized in the US too, would Obama still have his daily joint at the White House?

How many people (or % or users) have the discipline to use

a) alcohol in moderation
b) THC in moderation ?

Is THC more harmful or less harmful or equally harmful compared to alcohol?

Is there a positive flower power image with folks high from THC (“Woodstock was great”) versus pity for the lurching and babbling alcoholic (“that guy needs help”). The whole point is about image and being harmless or not.

tinyfaery's avatar

Willie Nelson

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery Great choice. That man is a phenomenon. His biography in wikipedia tells of his multiple achievements and controversies without bias.

Blondesjon's avatar

what were we talking about man

arnbev959's avatar

@mattbrowne: I know a lot of pot smokers, and I know a lot of drinkers. I do know one person who has a drinking problem, but I don’t know anyone who smokes so much pot that their day-to-day life is adversely affected. I do know several people who have had / currently do have a coke problem.

You asked whether THC is more harmful or less harmful or equally harmful when compared to alcohol. It is much less harmful. This isn’t to say that it is completely harmless, but it is relatively harmless. That isn’t a rumor. That is true.

mattbrowne's avatar

@petethepothead – Maybe we can agree that American pot is relatively harmless while European pot is not? Obviously it’s a matter of the dose.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mattbrowne pot is pot is pot. Its how one choices to use it that makes the difference.

As far as the whole potency thing goes, i know for a fact that we can get the same strains here in America that you can find over in Europe.

mattbrowne's avatar

@uberbatman – So European pot users make unwise choices then. I’ll tell them to learn from Americans ;-)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mattbrowne i suppose, i dont know any european pot users. Im just saying its all the same shit.

jerrytown's avatar

I dont believe anyone of those things that Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study published research said. Some of the most ridiculus stuff ive read in a while, more toxins than found in tobaco? It’s possible to drink alcohol in moderation and lead a long and successful life— Is the same possible for marijuana use? I’m not sure. @mattbrowne you must be high.

vegelizabeth's avatar

hahah well you should read my thread about Marijuana and see what you get out of that.
203 responses later, let me know what you get out of it. hahahaha

http://www.fluther.com/disc/36879/how-do-you-kick-a-marijuana-addiction/

bea2345's avatar

Whether or not marijuana is safe has ceased to be important. People want to be able to use it – there was this girl’s grandmother in Jamaica who used to flavour her cakes with ganja. Why not? I presume the old lady did not intend any harm to her relatives. Use the thing. Legalize it. Face up to the fact that man has been smoking, imbibing, drinking, shooting up, etc. etc. etc. ever since some prehistoric person discovered mood altering substances. I am fairly certain that it was a woman.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bea2345 “I am fairly certain that it was a woman.” why?

bea2345's avatar

Women, being the child-bearers and -carers, were also the principal gatherers (roots, herbs, fruit, etc.) Anything that eased the pains of living would be noticed.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bea2345 hmm yea, that does make sense.

Blondesjon's avatar

@bea2345. . .were mind altering drugs eve’s apple?

mattbrowne's avatar

@vegelizabeth – Thanks for the link. Interesting!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Blondesjon mushrooms are the tree of knowledge :)

vegelizabeth's avatar

@mattbrowne – i thought someone would.

Blondesjon's avatar

@uberbatman . . .for about five hours they sure as fuck are.

tinyfaery's avatar

My tree of knowledge doesn’t include nausea. Blech!

Blondesjon's avatar

@tinyfaery . . .a horrible side effect for sure but when you fianlly get to talk to the moon babies that live in the evening dew…

tinyfaery's avatar

I prefer LSD, but alas, it does not come from the earth.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s a derivative of a rye plant fungus. Earthy enough for me :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@tinyfaery no nausea if you make tea :) LSD is better though, i agree. Mushies are more spiritual i believe though.

tinyfaery's avatar

@uberbatman I tried tea—still nauseating. Boo for me. :(

El_Cadejo's avatar

@tinyfaery major boo. I usually get a bit nauseous in that first half hour, but once i smoke the nausea is all but a fleeting memory :)

Kraken's avatar

It’s not a rumor, it’s a fact. Loosen up and smoke a joint now and then and your attitude would change 180 degrees and you wouldn’t have such a prudish attitude toward such a benign substance as THC.

… this was meant to be a comment to someone’s answer. I forgot who Matt so anyhow, how the heck are you doing my friend?...

bea2345's avatar

@Blondesjoneve’s apple? I never thought of that before. Perhaps. It would explain the prohibition against eating from the tree of good and evil.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Kraken – I’m fine, thanks. Enjoying the summer temperatures… In moderation the alcohol in a glass of wine is also a benign substance. I think THC is in no way more benign than alcohol.

KasperPrip's avatar

There is no poisonous substances, only deadly amounts.

I know something similar have been said in this thread, but it’s just still awesome and true!

oratio's avatar

@KasperPrip I suspect that’s an attempt to paraphrase Paracelsus, but that’s…

Everything is poison, there is poison in everything. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison.

KasperPrip's avatar

@oratio well it wasn’t :) It’s a Latin saying. Can’t remember the Latin words though, but i remember it in Danish and translated to English it would be:
There is no poisonous substances, only deadly amounts. :)

oratio's avatar

@KasperPrip Ah ja. Det är inte viktigt. Ha det.

sophillyk's avatar

For me marajuana is a way of life, not a drug, it’s better than all those chemical compounds!

mattbrowne's avatar

@sophillyk – Why question was: is it a harmless way of life? Meth is worse, sure.

OutOfCuriosity's avatar

Why don’t you write an article about something that’s actually proven to be dangerous, like: aspirin, tobacco, alcohol, cheeseburgers, coffee, US Food quality/standards, or the government.

Those are all much greater dangers than cannabis, they are much more detrimental to health and overall well-being, and they directly effect MANY more people on a day to day basis. Get off your high horse, and talk about something that matters. Or is it less intimidating, throwing your weight around with a bunch of pot-heads, than it is taking on a real issue. :)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I happen to be in that twenty-five percentile that experiences anxiety and mild psychosis every time I have smoked weed. I have the precise opposite reaction than every other pot smoker I know. Therefore I don’t smoke it—I don’t pay good money for misery. I don’t begrudge my friends that do, however. And after watching one or two vietnam vets smoke daily for the past forty years and still live productive lives, I don’t see much harm in it. I seriously don’t think many alcoholics can pull that off. Some pot smoking friends are quite successful financially, others are successful in terms of self-fulfillment. Most are moderate smokers—a couple of times a week, if that. Recreational smokers, if you will. There is no documented fatal overdose. I’ve never seen anyone get violent on pot, as I have seen many times with alcohol users. I do believe that pot addiction exists. I have seen a few friends over the years exhibit mild addictive behaviours and the common result of withdrawal is a few days of mild depression at worst. And this is only with people who use pot daily for a long period. This is nothing the price an equally long-term alcoholic pays. As an admissions nurse at a rehab unit, I’ve seen alcoholics die in withdrawal. Most of my friends left pot behind about the same time they began having children. They left a lot of things behind like some of the more extreme sports and heavy partying in general. I believe pot should be legalized and taxed nationally as, like alcohol, people are going to use it anyway so why fill our prisons with potheads—turn them into an income resource instead of an expense. It is one of the more harmless escapes man can pursue.

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