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October 03, 2014

Comments

I appreciate the humor and logic in your comment Brian, but I disagree that weed is innocuous and all fun and games as you make it sound. There will be a price to pay in society for its ubiquitous use. People will suffer. This does not mean I think it should be underground. It's here to stay. I see that. Criminal enforcement is not the way to go.

My 22 year old son is a stoner. He comes over and smokes weed here all the time. Sometimes its my weed because I have a Medical Marijuana Card. He smokes all the time. He admits he can't sleep through the night without smoking before bed. He admits he is mentally and physically addicted but feels he functions well. And he does, to a point. He works hard at construction and landscaping. Makes sandals and furniture. Is a wilderness expert and a good musician. Has lots of friends. But he is moody and sullen if he does not get his weed. He can even go into a pretty nasty funk. All that smoke going into his lungs can't be good. Look at all the tar on a well-used weed pipe. Smoke is smoke.

Edibles may be a better choice but they hit harder and last longer. Some people may not like that. My son gave a girlfriend, who was not a marijuana novice by any means, a cannabis gummy bear before a plane flight. It was too much for her and she became paranoid and sick. Threw up on the plane before takeoff and had to be escorted off and she missed the flight. This drug is strong shit. It has to have negative side effects even though many users tolerate it well.

Stoned street thugs do fight on weed, even kill each other. It induces psychosis in a few people like a childhood friend of mine who remains institutionalized to this day. Some potsters do get anxious and paranoid. Some do lose motivation. It does dumb you down. You may be smart to begin with so dumbing you down may not take you as far as being just plain dumb but you may not be quite as smart as you are when you are straight either. After all, you are drugged on weed. This is obvious. Otherwise, why would anyone use it? It is a drug. Drugs have side effects. You have to weigh the pros vs the cons. It's not a cup of green tea.

Here is a government report on pot. Yeah, I know it is the government and they have their agenda but you wouldn't expect a completely objective report form the American Association of Marijuana Growers either.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

tucson, thanks for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences with marijuana. This is my general reaction...

I completely understand that marijuana use is problematic for some people. But since marijuana isn't physically addictive like tobacco, cigarettes, heroin, and other drugs are, the problem is personal and psychological, not general and physical.

At least, not unless someone has an adverse physical reaction, which is rare.

The way I see it, this is akin to food, sex, golf, gambling, and every other sort of activity that pleases pleasure centers in the brain. Some people have serious problems with over-eating, sex addiction, playing golf at every opportunity, gambling away the family savings, and such.

But most people can do these things in moderation. Society doesn't outlaw eating, having sex, playing golf, and gambling just because some people are harmed by engaging in the activity. Because the "addiction" is psychological, likely if they weren't addicted to one thing, it would be another.

Life isn't risk-free. Society tolerates the much greater harms that come from over-use of alcohol, tobacco, and habit-forming prescription drugs. Hardly anybody calls for making them illegal. Yet with marijuana, often people do say "let's keep marijuana use illegal. " Doesn't make sense.

I realize that marijuana has both direct effects and side effects. Everything I've mentioned does. There are good ways to pursue every activity in life, and there are bad ways. Some people ride a motorcycle safely, and some people kill themselves on one.

Let's not take everybody's rights away just because a few people aren't able to handle an activity such as using marijuana.

Brian,

Generally I agree with you, however, you wrote about marijuana:

"You feel good, but aren't really physically impaired. No stumbling around. No throwing up."

--I have used a certain strain of weed for back spasms upon occasion (I am not a regular user). It is a potent muscle relaxer and I do stumble around a bit after imbibing it. I'm not staggering down the hallway knocking over things like a drunk but I should not drive as my coordination is a bit off.

See my anecdote in the post above about the girlfriend throwing up on the plane after imbibing a cannabis gummy bear.

Sure, I don't like government butting in on private matters like whether you use cannabis or not, or drink large sodas. But let's not kid ourselves about cannabis. It is a strong drug with some strains containing 20-25% THC.

Research shows long term weed smokers trying to quit have withdrawal symptoms including irritability, sleeplessness, bizarre dreams and nightmares, decreased appetite, anxiety, and craving for the drug, all of which can make it difficult to abstain.

For these people weed is mentally and physically addictive.

Widespread weed use is not something entirely benign to celebrate about when it becomes legal which, as a practical matter, is the only choice available.

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