LET'S CLEAR UP SOME OF THE MYTHS ABOUT MARIJUANA

The following is a rebuttal of a website that was supposed to confirm that marijuana causes physical withdrawal symptoms like booze or heroin. Click on the link below for the article.


“Marijuana—Addiction and Other Issues.”

Overall I thought the University of Wisconsin -- Madison piece was naïve, scientifically invalid and sophomoric. The article was written by people who probably never gotten high in their life and have no idea what the Spirit of Woodstock is all about. To me to be afraid of grass is to be afraid of your own mind and a rejection of one's own humanity. I repeat, this statement is my apostate, non-conformist worldview.

I welcome any comments that will help clear up some of the misconceptions and delusions surrounding mj (incuding my own wild, unsupported assertions). Let’s get at the truth; the country has suffered Reefer Madness long enough and many innocent souls are rotting in jail for nothing more than getting high.

The italicized excerpts are from the piece.

But just because addiction doesn’t occur in all users, or even most users, doesn’t mean that addiction doesn’t happen to any user.

We can use the same argument to outlaw booze, cigs and even motor cars. A tiny percentage of people who take a sip of merlot become hopeless winos; does this mean we should close the wineries in California? A percentage of people who drive become reckless maniacs; does this mean we should shut down GMC and Ford?

Addiction to marijuana has the same features as addiction to other substances.

Absolutely not. Marijuana is not physical addictive, so how can it have the same features? There are no nausea nor delirium tremors on withdrawal. There is strong physical addiction in heroin and especially alcohol.

After a period of regular controlled use, users gradually develop an inability to consistently use within the limits that they have set for themselves.

Not so. In fact, continued usage of mj leads to less usage. An experienced “head” can take one or two hits for the desired effect. This is the opposite of alcohol where the imbiber has to take more and more to feel relief. This results in liver, kidney and eventually heart problems. Yet alcohol is legal and mj not.

Use won’t just result in “fun” or “getting high”; it will lead to problems with job performance, school performance, interpersonal relationships, or even health.

Suppose mj were legal and everybody got high, then being square would result in damaged job performance, school performance and interpersonal relationships. The fact is grass increases the ability to concentrate. Society has created insane conditions and then blamed grass for not fitting in with the conditions. DEA agents throw paraquat on marijuana plants and then blame mj for getting people sick. These are the actions of a government at war with its own people.

How about the University of Wisconsin doing an experiment to test learning ability of a “high” class versus a “straight or normal” class. Keep everything scientifically correct. I’ll bet the high group does okay—and if the class is creative writing or art related, my money’s on the freaks.

As far as “even health” goes, please name the organs that are sickened by THC. The lungs aren’t a factor: if good grass were available, one or two hits would suffice for a good buzz. Lungs damage is negligible compared to cigs. With a strong addiction to cigarettes (aren't they all?) the victim will inhale each cig around ten times. With a two-pack-a-day habit, that's four hundred administrations of the addiction every day. What else do you do 400 times a day other than breathe? Yet tobacco is legal and mj not.

Grass even has a built-in safety device: if people overuse, they’ll simply pass out and wake up without even a hangover. Nobody ever ODed on cannabis. Legal anti-depressants cause all kinds of damage and controversy, and some deaths. Fluoxetine (Prozac), as with most antidepressants, can cause nausea, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness and loss of appetite. No one ever developed stomachaches because of smoking grass.

Abuse, which involves continued use despite legal, occupational, or academic problems (e.g., recurrent use after an arrest for impaired driving, or after a drug-related work suspension) is more common.

If cannabis were legal none of these problems would exist. Automobile drivers on pot have increased consciousness of the speed they’re going. Thirty mph seems like 60 and the driver is well aware of how much damage an accident at that speed would do. Most suburban drivers coming home from work have no consciousness of speed, just over or under the speed limit. Accidents happen because of stress and grass helps relieve stress.

People who have used marijuana as a way to control underlying anger may also experience irritability, increased mood swings

Since when does mj claim to cure people’s personal, social or medical problems? (In the latter it actually can, at least slow up degeneration in the case of glaucoma.) This is like putting Novocain on a terrible toothache and then blaming the Novocain for the resumption of pain when it wears off. If a person is angry and violent to begin with, of course he/she is going to have mood swings as the high wears off. He’s changing from one conscious state to another and if he’s angry initially, it makes sense he’s irritable, but don’t blame the grass.

and even an increase in aggressive behavior, as symptoms of withdrawal.

I’d like to see studies to support this. Angry and aggressive people smoke for a while. They calmed down considerably. Somebody takes the grass away and they become more angry and aggressive than they were before they started. Sure, they’re mad because somebody took their grass away.

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Comment by Scott on August 1, 2009 at 9:48am
Oh no, I never meant to give that impression. I am speaking of my own experiences. But I was referring to pot in the previous post. My whole point was how these special interest groups have propelled the war on drugs to a point where someone who clearly has an addiction problem is treated far worse than a murderer. That was all.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on July 31, 2009 at 10:46pm
Jay, catch my story about getting busted in Florida for a six-pack of beer. Fun read.
Comment by JayBarti on July 31, 2009 at 10:33pm
Actually DUI for alcohol was what I was referring too. I can't imagine in some states what they would give you if you where high at the time.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on July 31, 2009 at 10:23pm
Scott, keep in mind that mj and the harder drugs are not in the same chemical classifications. H and meth have nothing in common with grass.

Blow is another case. It has a checkered history—even Sigmund Freud got hooked. I had too much respect for its addictive power and didn't mess with it.

Jay, what you say about DUI for smoke being more punishable than grass, really sucks. Don't the cops know it's difficult to get into an accident when you're going 30 miles per hour. That's fast enough for me. I like to enjoy the scenery.
Comment by Scott on July 31, 2009 at 10:01pm
It takes a few DUI's to go to prison in Florida. One posession charge of a moderate weight ( 1-2 Lbs. ) will probably get you 18-24 months. Provided your record is fairly clean!
Comment by JayBarti on July 31, 2009 at 9:33pm
I thought I read that in some states your get less for drunk driving then you do for possession, it seems to be crazily out of proportion.
Comment by Scott on July 31, 2009 at 9:02pm
Yeah, I guess it would be a bit more politically correct of me to be hooked on percocet instead of heroin!!! What was I thinking! As far as cigarettes and booze go, a prohibition on these goodies would probably start a civil war. Plus we have far too many politicians using them as well. The war on drugs has been the single largest waste of taxpayer money in history! I like a line of blow every now and again but I am not for legalization of narcotics but does a user really deserve a 20 year prison sentence for a rock of cocaine.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on July 28, 2009 at 11:26pm
Right on, Scott. Did you know that DARE and The Parnership For a Drug-Free America are founded and funded by Big Pharma? Pot is bad for business because it diminishes consumerism. In hippie days I didn't care if I wore designer jeans or not. I didn't need genuine Corithian leather in my imported luxury car.

Why else would cigs and booze be legal, and mj not, when nobody ever died of lung cancer from pot?
Comment by Scott on July 28, 2009 at 9:49pm
First let me say that I do not encourage anybody to experiment with narcotics, but I have done more than my fair share of cocaine and heroin and nearly any other drug that was worth the effort. For anyone to make a comparison of pot to any physically addictive substance is utter nonsense! Drug abuse is only a symptom of the disease. The real issues with a "chemically dependent" person is psychological. Of course some narcotics are physically addictive and cause withhdrawl. You are absolutely right about the negligable physical effects of smoking pot. The tar is the problem but you can not compare the high tar content of a joint with a cigarette. I may smoke a pack a day versus a few joints so that argument is moot. Whenever I hear the phrase "Studies show that..." used in cultural or personal choice issues I smell a rat. These studies are never independent. They always involve special interest groups pushing an agenda.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on July 28, 2009 at 8:32pm
Hannah, thanks for your input to rejuvenate this discussion.

If light users are experiencing the same symptoms as heavy users, it's probably more than just a habit. Why are light users experiencing withdrawal symptoms?

For one thing very little can be concluded from such a small population size. I’ll let that slide.

Let’s consider the same experiment with tobacco instead of mj. Of course, withdrawal symptoms are going to be similar no matter how many pack-years the subjects have behind them.

That's suggestive of a physical substance addiction; not a habit.

I don’t see how you can infer the above from such meager evidence. Even if there is a slight withdrawal symptom, compared to tobacco or booze it’s minimal. Yet cigarettes and alcohol are legal and mj not.

In my own case, in over 40 years of on and off grass, I never had the slightest withdrawal inconvenience or discomfort. If somebody has some good smoke and the conditions are right, let’s smoke. If not, we’ll do something else and not even think of marijuana. I’ve gone months, years, without the slightest urge to turn on.

One thing is for sure, I don’t transmogrify into a vampire or escaped madman as depicted in the stupid Reefer Madness. The movie show how mendacious and unconcerned with the truth that the government is.

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