Random discussion about marijuana

Not_Your_Therapist
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Random discussion about marijuana

So, for some reason this morning I have been thinking about marijuana and it's illegality in the USA. I apologize if this topic has been covered before, but I have never heard a strictly rational perspective on the use of and criminalization of pot.

I have a feeling opinions will vary widely on this issue.  I am not even sure how to start this topic except to say:

 "So what do you guys all think about marijuana? Ready? Set. Go!"

 

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zarathustra
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I don't parttake of it

I don't parttake of it (presently), but I object to its illegality.  One of the many activities the government seeks diabolically to restrict, which only affect the individuals engaged in them.

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zarathustra wrote: One of

zarathustra wrote:
One of the many activities the government seeks diabolically to restrict, which only affect the individuals engaged in them.
So if you get run over by a drunkard you're not affected by his drinking (or rather the consequences thereof)?


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pettman wrote: zarathustra

pettman wrote:
zarathustra wrote:
One of the many activities the government seeks diabolically to restrict, which only affect the individuals engaged in them.
So if you get run over by a drunkard you're not affected by his drinking (or rather the consequences thereof)?

 

If I beat someone to death with a shovel, should shovels be made illegal? Strawman aside, marijuana should be reclassed into the same category as alcohol. We should look to the Netherlands as a model.

 

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JB_Montag wrote: If I beat

JB_Montag wrote:

If I beat someone to death with a shovel, should shovels be made illegal? Strawman aside, marijuana should be reclassed into the same category as alcohol. We should look to the Netherlands as a model.

 

I agree.

Marijuana is certainly no worse than alcohol. There have not been any studies to show it is any more harmful than alcohol, tobacco or caffeine.


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There have also been plenty

There have also been plenty of studies that show it is less harmful than alcohol in some respects - you can't OD on it and it doesn't damage your liver. If eaten and not smoked, it does no damage to the lungs whatsoever.

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Not_Your_Therapist

Not_Your_Therapist wrote:
There have also been plenty of studies that show it is less harmful than alcohol in some respects - you can't OD on it and it doesn't damage your liver. If eaten and not smoked, it does no damage to the lungs whatsoever.

 

No damage? You haven't seen my fridgeLaughing!!

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zarathustra
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pettman wrote:

pettman wrote:
zarathustra wrote:
One of the many activities the government seeks diabolically to restrict, which only affect the individuals engaged in them.
So if you get run over by a drunkard you're not affected by his drinking (or rather the consequences thereof)?

Is there some semantic confusion over the word  "only"? If someone wants to drink himself literally to death in the privacy of his home, that's fine with me, and I don't feel it's the government's job to interfere. Now if someone has even 1 drink and starts a car, I want the government involved, because at this point his behavior is a threat to others. A similar dichotomy should apply to marijuana.

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As long as alcohol is legal,

As long as alcohol is legal, pot should be legal. Period.
Any study would reveal the former to be the worse of the two. Aren't the prisons full of non-violent drug offenders?


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I honestly cannot think of a

I honestly cannot think of a good reason why marijuina is illegal. Concern over productivity and health/safety of citizens? I doubt it, given that cigarettes and alchohol, both of which are more dangerous, are present in abundant quantity. It's just a plant that makes you happy and dumb for a few hours. I would caution against overuse, since it can make you happy and dumb for a lot more than a few hours when the THC acid which is a major component begins to cause neural apoptosis.

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Its all done by the health

Its all done by the health industry. Marijuana is to effective to "mellow people out". They wouldnt be able to push all those antidepressive and pain pills.

Plausible conspiracy theory at its best Smiling

 

Edit:

What was I smoking when I wrote this ? 

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I agree that it should be

I agree that it should be legal, with the same applicable laws as alcohol regulation.  Such as a DUI is a DUI, period.

Marijuana has been consumed by man for thousands of years.  Hmmm, "Pot existed before Jesus" would make a nice t-shirt to wear to a family restaurant!

I wonder is they did a poll on whether it chould be classified like alcohol, or not.  I wonder what the results of that would be. 

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Many people are going to

Many people are going to recreate chemically, whether it harms them or not.  It's rational to collect taxes and get the criminals out.

It's appropriate to regulate--I don't want my pilot stoned.

It would really be interesting if politics accepted the reality and stopped pandering to the religious right.  Science might well be able to come up with safe versions of substances currently used. 


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I pretty much agree with

I pretty much agree with what everyone here is saying. There is no good reason for pot to be illegal and it should be treated like alcohol.

I did a quick google of "Christians against marijuana" and I found a surprising number of websites where Christians are opposed to the criminalization of marijuana. Their line of thinking is that pot is a plant, god put all plants on earth for humans to eat, therefore making it illegal is like saying "god was wrong".

A few years ago I was bailing a friend out of jail (she wrote a bad check or something) and while we were waiting in the courthouse watching people go before the judge for stuff like traffic violations, they bring this guy out in full orange prison garb and handcuffs. He looked like his world was coming to an end. The charges were posession of some insignificant amount of marijuana. The guy broke down in tears in front of the judge saying he was sorry and he just wanted this to be all over with. It brought me to tears and I am not en emotional person. I don't remember what his sentance was but it just seemed so stupid to me. 

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I agree with all the

I agree with all the sentiments in this thread.

What's truly a crime is that people on chemo or have glaucoma can't legally purchase it.

I find it hard to understand how hard some fight against it when it is the will of the majority of the people in California and Arizona to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. 

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An underlying question,

An underlying question, maybe the question, is what is it in the American psyche that is anti-pleasure?  It pervades religious politics, sexual politics, substance politics, etc.

Kind of like some defect passed down by the pilgrims.  I understand that there are antidepressants sold in Europe and not allowed in this country--they make people feel too well.


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I'm thinking it comes from

I'm thinking it comes from the same place that says, "working two jobs and just getting by is the american way"...


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Wow, a whole group of

Wow, a whole group of rational thinkers all think that marijuana should be legal.  There's a shocker.

Who here wants to pool their money so we can buy an island and start our own country?

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deludedgod wrote: I

deludedgod wrote:
I honestly cannot think of a good reason why marijuina is illegal. Concern over productivity and health/safety of citizens? I doubt it, given that cigarettes and alchohol, both of which are more dangerous, are present in abundant quantity. It's just a plant that makes you happy and dumb for a few hours. I would caution against overuse, since it can make you happy and dumb for a lot more than a few hours when the THC acid which is a major component begins to cause neural apoptosis.

I wanted to reply to this, because there is a very simple reason marijuana continues to remain illegal in the US. Marijuana makes you think.

I see you have a common stereotype of marijuana that all it does is make you happy and stupid. That's actually a very superficial view on it. What marijuana appears to do (in my opinion) is to reduce your ability to think step-by-step, but at the same time increase your ability to think intuitively, or thinking by association.

Essentially my argument is that marijuana 'expands your mind', and the reason it's illegal is because 'the system' doesn't want people with expanded minds who think for themselves. They are afraid of it, for many of the same reasons they are afraid of atheists.

I doubt you'll find many fundamentalists who use marijuana regularly. It's not just that fundamentalism teaches against marijuana (didn't hear anything about it in the Bible), it's that you cannot remain a fundie when you realize that 'revelation' can come from a plant! 

 I should state that I'm not claiming marijuana makes everybody who does it smarter or whatnot. No. In fact, it CAN make you happy and stupid. If you don't care about expanding your mind, smoking a joint isn't going to help you. Marijuana just makes it easier to pursue that path if you choose. You've heard alcohol being called a 'social lubricant'. A good metaphor, I think. Well, I would call marijuana a 'mind lubricant'. Sometimes, when thinking logically and rationally, we need to keep our minds a bit rigid, following rules of logic and continually on the look-out for self-deception. But when you are trying to break writer's block (for example), then more rigidity will just make it worse. A little mind lubricant might be just what's needed to open up your intuitive side and let it run around a bit.

At the same time, this expanded intuition can backfire, and you can end up spouting all kinds of nonsense. Typical 'stoner talk'. It helps to keep in mind that these 'ah ha' experiences are not supernatural and are not some amazing source of truth above and beyond reason and rationality. They are more like Archimedes shouting "Eureka!" in his bathtub. Some revelations are just your own fantasies, and you have to remain aware of that.

BTW, alcohol makes me stupid. Weed makes me smart. I have had so many good ideas from my experience that I would encourage those curious to try it in a safe environment. However, marijuana is not good for everyone. Some people find it makes them paranoid. IMHO, these people have brains that are already strongly in the intuitive-mode and adding more intuition juice makes them start to see 'connections' that aren't really there, i.e. paranoia. However, I've never experienced this paranoia, so I can't say for sure. It's simple though. If you don't like it, don't use it.

(Above is my opinion only.) 

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I think people should be

I think people should be allowed ingest whatever they desire, once they reach the age of majority.  However, it is easy to tell if a kid has been into booze, they stink of it.  How do we know when they have been into marijuana?  It is a little tougher to police.  That may effect its legalization.

In general, though, I agree. Let the hippies have their bongs.

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What would the effects of

What would the effects of legalizing it have on a capitalist soceity?


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There's an interesting

There's an interesting debate going on in the UK about this at the moment with the government publishing a public consultation document to survey public opinion before the new drug laws are passed next year. I gave them my tuppence worth although I don't hold out too much hope for anything similar to my ideas to be the result as most of my friends are too scared to fill in a government survey. They are looking at the way that drugs are classified. The supposed reason is based on their level of harm to the individual and society while in fact many drugs are legislated against for purely political reasons - LSD being a case in point. I'd go a lot further than just marijuana and cannabis though. You can see my answers to the questions posed here:

http://www.bloglines.com/blog/snafu23uk

Interstingly, since cannabis was downgraded to class C, there was a significant drop in the number of arrests and prosecutions for people caught with it, relieving some of the pressure on our already strained prison system.   They are now talking about moving it back to class B.   Compulsive reasoning behind this proposal is sasly lacking esecially since a number of current cabinet ministers have recently admitted to smoking pot when they were younger. 

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I have the opinion that the

I have the opinion that the only solid reason why marijuana is illegal is because it's almost impossible to tax. Sure if it were legal there would be "convenience smokers" that would buy a pack of "Marlboro Greens" and that would pay some tax but most smokers I know would just grow it in their back yard because it's a fairly low maintenance plant (as long as animals don't eat them Sealed).

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Nero wrote: How do we know

Nero wrote:

How do we know when they have been into marijuana? It is a little tougher to police.

I think it has something to do with the how high the pile of empty junk food wrappers is.

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Being a black dude with

Being a black dude with dreadlocks I guess it's inevitable that I would comment on this. Seeing how its prohibitions original purpose was to alienate blacks and mexicans. We have gone from being told thats its pure evil and will make black men rape white women to comercials telling teens that its dangerously safe and you may have a conversatoin with your dog after sitting on Petes couch for 11 hours . So how do feel?

It's a prohibition does more harm then good and it should be regulated. *hooray stereotypes*


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cookednooky wrote: Being a

cookednooky wrote:

Being a black dude with dreadlocks I guess it's inevitable that I would comment on this.

 I would have said that it was more inevitable because you were a young person living in todays society but that's just me

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magilum wrote: As long as

magilum wrote:
As long as alcohol is legal, pot should be legal. Period.
Any study would reveal the former to be the worse of the two. Aren't the prisons full of non-violent drug offenders?
My guess is that prisons are full of non-violent non-caucasian drug offenders.  That, in itself, is pretty telling.

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I greatly disagree with

I greatly disagree with you... marijuana causes both short and long term memory loss, more long term memory loss the short term and it usually isnt permant, but it can cause the illusion of "opening ones mind" or thinking that one has a better understanding of things that one didnt understand before, but that doesnt make it true that ones thoughts reach out better then they once did any more then just relaxing would cause....

I in no way support the illegalization of marijuana, i just disagree with that point.


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Who is to protect us from

Who is to protect us from ourselves, and by what authority?  The debate seems to be touching on Kevorikan territority.

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getting away from the

getting away from the discussion of it's use as a drug, the main opposition to it's legality has nothing to do with ingestion.

 

The opposition will come from drug companies and timber/paper/textile companies.  Hemp's fiber is superior in almost all respect, it grows quickly in a wide variety of climates and needs no irrigation.  It's fiber is even better to make into ethanol than corn, which is getting billions of dollars in subsidies (it's a scam).  The real shame is that industrial hemp is illegal despite the fact that it has almost no THC.  This country is just absurdly moronic when it comes to thinking critically and making good choices. 

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Not_Your_Therapist

Not_Your_Therapist wrote:

I did a quick google of "Christians against marijuana" and I found a surprising number of websites where Christians are opposed to the criminalization of marijuana. Their line of thinking is that pot is a plant, god put all plants on earth for humans to eat, therefore making it illegal is like saying "god was wrong".


it would appear that the deviding line between "theists" and "non-theist" is not as pronounced as some would like to believe

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Hi rolat33 and Darth

Hi rolat33 and Darth Redding and welcome to the forums.

We'd like to get to know you a little better.  We'd love it if you'd take a minute and hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions an Humor forum and introduce yourselves! 

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I smoked a lot of pot back

I smoked a lot of pot back in the Seventies and Eighties and I believe that most people who I've talked to on the subject have always considered it to be........wait..........I forgot what I was talking about.

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Susan wrote: Hi rolat33

Susan wrote:

Hi rolat33 and Darth Redding and welcome to the forums.

We'd like to get to know you a little better. We'd love it if you'd take a minute and hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions an Humor forum and introduce yourselves!

is that an order?

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Darth Redding wrote: Susan

Darth Redding wrote:
Susan wrote:

Hi rolat33 and Darth Redding and welcome to the forums.

We'd like to get to know you a little better. We'd love it if you'd take a minute and hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions an Humor forum and introduce yourselves!

is that an order?

Not an order at all; simply a request because we'd like to know you a little better.  

If you are uncomfortable posting an introduction, don't worry about it.  It's not a requirement. 

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In Pot we trust

I saw a pretty good documentary on the "Medical" benefits of marijuana. I personally think that the United States is a long way away from Legalizing it. I am not going to say it is impossible but I doubt that the Fundies in our govt will ever try to change anything. I mean Marijuana doesn't have big financial backing like Tabacco and Alcohal do. So while Millions of people die every year from the likes if Alcohal and Lung cancer, Marijuana continues to not do much harm to anyone. So statistics and scientifi data are in Marijuna's favor but sadly that doesn't do very much.

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Even during the prohibition

Even during the prohibition days of alcohol, our president and government, became "criminals", along with a huge portion of our society, by consuming vast quantities of this intoxicating liquid. It's illegal because the government can't make a profit and control it now.

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The illegalization of

The illegalization of marijuana had nothing to do with any religion as a surprising number of allegedly informed Americans seem to think. Originally it was used to target Mexican and blacks. many Jazz musicians at the time used it, as did immigrant workers from Mexico. Campaigns were launched to send back Mexicans (as the depression was in swing and people wanted those jobs) and to keep blacks from working because they were "criminals" and "dangerous" because of marijuana.

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What you say is basically

What you say is basically how I understood the issue, Darth.

 So what about the other "reasons" people think marijuana should be kept illegal? Such as the whole "gateway drug" theory?

I find it amusing that so many people cite MJ as being a gateway drug.. yet alcohol isn't.... cigarettes aren't... There is no statistical relationship... it is one of those facts that sounds true to the average ill-informed person, but just isn't.

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First of all i believe that

First of all i believe that we should be able to put anything in our body we went... that is our right as a human and its ridiculous that some ridiculous gov't agency decided we cant. That being said i will personally do and consider doing anything that doesnt fall into these catagories. Physically addictive... weed OK, Shrooms OK, LSD OK, and you cant overdoes... hmmm weed OK, Shrooms OK, LSD OK.... the only real risky drug i do is alcohol.... im drinking a 40 of hurricane right now... i wish i was being safer and smoking a nice J


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Not_Your_Therapist

Not_Your_Therapist wrote:

What you say is basically how I understood the issue, Darth.

So what about the other "reasons" people think marijuana should be kept illegal? Such as the whole "gateway drug" theory?

I find it amusing that so many people cite MJ as being a gateway drug.. yet alcohol isn't.... cigarettes aren't... There is no statistical relationship... it is one of those facts that sounds true to the average ill-informed person, but just isn't.

I understand the idea behind the "gateway" theory, but it has a flaw. When someone who commits a crime is booked with drugs in their system they are "flagged" later they are surveyed to find out which drugs they took before they took what was in them.
The main problem with this is what about all the people that smoke it that haven't commited a crime? Besides, if you relly wanted to you could link breast feeding with LSD overdoses.

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for the record, you can OD on LSD

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Say No to Marijuana!

I used to smoke marijuana off and on from the age of 18 until about the age of 32. I'm glad I don't touch it anymore, I wish I had never touched it and really think the marijuana laws should be a lot tougher.

Someone commented that they have never suffered paranoia when smoking marijuana, I'm sorry but every single person I have met (and that includes me) suffers paranoia from it. Most people don't know what paranoia really is so that is why they think they don't suffer from it under the influence.

According to the Online Merriam Webster Dictionary:

1 : a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations
2 : a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

Number 2 in the case of marijuana use is the more important one. Just to be clear, ever been under the influence and walked back into a roomful of people and you think some or all are talking behind your back? That's a part of it.

I have friends that have followed my lead in that have either given it up or severely decreased their usage and they have noticed how their lives aren't as full of conflict anymore. In general their lives have gotten a lot better.

Yeah I'm ranting a bit, but if you really truely want to see what I am talking about and you yourself smoke it. Then don't touch it for about 6 months, it's really eyeopening.

 

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I can see ultramonk's point,

I can see ultramonk's point, however I know at least one person who has an emotional disorder and benefits greatly from the use of recreational drugs. He has gone off marijauna for a month and it's been horrible for him and his friends. Maybe it's not for everyone but for people like my friend it works better than prescription meds at evening them out. It's sad that if he gets caught with it he'll be punished when he functions so much better in society with it.


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Okay well out with

Okay well out with it: 

 I am 25 years old, I have been high twice in my life. Once over this past summer, my friend offered me a brownie. I had 1/4 of said brownie.

About a month ago I smoked.

I certainly agree with rampant usage is bad. It can fuck you up, ruin your life, and have quite a few negative consequences. Of course, the same can be said for rampant usage of ANYTHING. Alcohol, tobacco, caffiene, red meat, water... The best thing people can do is control themselves. Before trying pot, I pretty much felt the same way I do now about it's legality. I didn't really get why it was illegal while alcohol remained legal.

It definitely made me very paranoid. The brownie was really too much and it caused visual and sensory hallucinations which scared the shit out of me at first. At first I was wondering why people would ever, ever want to have the experience I was having.  I tried to calm myself down by listening to music. The music was like a switch. I listened to my favorite album and it became the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. I could physically feel the music. My appriciation of music does not seem to have dissapeared, it is as if my perception of music was permanently altered for the better.

When I smoked, the effect was much milder. I felt mildly paranoid but I told myself it was the drug, and music became absolutely amazing again. It also lasted only a few hours wheras the brownie lasted about 12 hours. 

Anyway, I am in graduate school, I enjoy my brian cells, and I have responsibilities. I don't have time to party, so I won't. I am completely capable of regulating my usage of substances that enter my body. I have since decided that alcohol is not for me anyway. Alcohol makes me tired and antisocial as well as destroys brain cells and liver cells, so it is really rather pointless. I don't smoke either except for the occational clove (like.. a few times a year a year I might smoke one)

 So I guess the moral ofmy post is - control yourself! 

 

Your resident OTD/S, Christina
A good scientist will always change her mind if new evidence is presented which gives her sufficient reason to change it.
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Darth Redding
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UltraMonk wrote:

UltraMonk wrote:

Someone commented that they have never suffered paranoia when smoking marijuana, I'm sorry but every single person I have met (and that includes me) suffers paranoia from it. Most people don't know what paranoia really is so that is why they think they don't suffer from it under the influence.

So, no matter what people say, you're right? Yeah, thats a very mature way to look at things. Aren't you here to get away from that kind of thing?

Not_Your_Therapist wrote:

So I guess the moral ofmy post is - control yourself!

But that applies to anything. All things in moderation, always.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes] 

As you are, I was. As I am, you will be.


static_
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To the "paranoia" thing,

To the "paranoia" thing, that happens when you get too much THC in your system, and obviously "too much" is relative to your tolerance. And it's not like some uber-substance that, once you're screwed, you're screwed. Are you feeling paranoid and anxious? Drink some water. Actually, drink something thicker, with more substance. Filling your stomach calms you down immensely. I also found that brushing your teeth or gargling mouth wash (to get rid of the dry-mouth associated with being high) helps a lot too. Be weary of ingesting THC along with foods like brownies or cookies. They can hit you hard - way too hard. At best, eat a little bit.

To the main subject of this thread, I agree with the majority view. It should be put on an equal post to alcohol. You can't do it legally until a certain age, you can't be high in public, or operate machinery. It keeps the abusers at bay. I see no problem with smoking every once in awhile, as I do, if I've had a really bad week or something.

In UltraMonk's defense, being sober has a level of clarity and focus that no substance can match. However, this clarity wasn't as understood or respected until after I stopped abusing, so I can't say that I wish I was never a stoner.

And to the thought of Christians with weed - someone beat me to it, but I was going to say that most of the people I know that smoke weed are Christians. "God made it" is their rationale.


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I like what I am reading on

I like what I am reading on this thread. I wish I would have seen these earlier as we have been discussing Mary over on Fraud in a Rehab clinic.

For those of you interested in more on this topic here is a link. I had posted this previously.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/reducingharm/

http://www.harmreduction.org/

I would be interested in discussing any questions people have about harmreduction, substance use, D&A treatment and so forth.

For those of you in any counseling, medical or helping field and you live in Philly, the 2nd National HR conference is coming on November 2-4th.

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


Zombie
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Legaize it

I think north america would be a much safer place if it was legalized. Cops who spend their time on it could be better used to catch theives, rapists and murderers.

Morte alla tyrannus et dei


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Not_Your_Therapist

Not_Your_Therapist wrote:

 "So what do you guys all think about marijuana? Ready? Set. Go!"

 

I love it.

 

Certainly it should be legal. Abusing it is unhealthy, potentially harmful, and addictive for some people. But it's just not harmful enough to justify the government banning it.


Renee Obsidianwords
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I have never tried it. Is

I have never tried it. Is it really that great? My sister at one point last year 'partook' in the activity at least 3 times a day. She loves it but she also thinks it is cool to be able to introduce her supplier as her "pusher"

Would making a substance like that legal, make it less ..tempting? Less appealing to people as a forbidden drug? 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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Darth Redding

Darth Redding wrote:
Not_Your_Therapist wrote:
To Sleepy Norris: for the record, you can OD on LSD

 

Please provide your sources if you are still around... all i have seen in someone injecting tens of thousands of doses... and hey i cant even afford to OD that way.