ESSENTIAL CANNABIS FAQ

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Published on July 10, 2012 with No Comments

ESSENTIAL CANNABIS FAQ

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Table of contents

Part I – What, who, why and how?

Part II – Common misconceptions and arguments about the ‘Assassin of Youth’

Part III – Related issues and further reading

Part I – What, who, why and how?

Introduction

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society.
If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles,
we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity,
ignorance, greed and love of power.
–P. J. O’Rourke

I wrote this to dispell all the ignorance and misinformation being spread by the government and anti-drug groups about marijuana.

Before I discuss the ‘evil green weed’, let me mention something off-topic. Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless, odorless chemical compund that causes tens of millions of dollars worth of property damage every year in many parts of the world. DHMO has scientifically been shown to increase the chance of a motor vehicle accident. DHMO in liquid form causes the death of thousands of people a year – mainly children – by accidental inhalation, even in small quantities. Long exposure to DHMO in solid form can cause irrevisible skin and body issue damage. DHMO is also a major constituent of acid rain.

DHMO is used widely by terrorist organizations and gangs. It is the byproduct of hydrocarbon combustion, such as the compression operation that takes place in an air conditioner, it is used in automobiles and is used in many cleaning solvents. DHMO is used as an additive in many foods and carbonated beverages we consume daily.

High amounts of DHMO has been found in the bodies of suicide victims, violent criminals and in delenquent children. DHMO causes dependence. A recent survey has shown that victims suffering from dependence on DHMO all claim that they can’t function properly without it. Studies have also shown that withdrawal or an overdose of DHMO can be fatal.

The scary part? Despite its dangers, DHMO remains legal and readily available, even to children. It has even been found in many schools throughout the US.

Guess what, Dihydrogen Monoxide is H2O, it is just another name for water. Believe it or not, Aliso Viejo, California nearly banned foam cups because DHMO (water) is part of their production. Petitions resulted in countless signatures from people who approve of banning DHMO.

This has nothing to do with marijuana, why did I bring it up? I am trying to show that it’s important to do your own research about a topic. Most people form their opinion about something just from reading a pamphlet, watching something on tv, or reading it on a website. Many people think marijuana causes insanity, permanent brain damage and/or leads to the use of hard drugs like heroin. It is obvious that none of these people have done their own research on the drug. If the same people who spread information that marijuana is the ‘assassin of youth’ also spread around the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide, there’s no doubt that the same people who disapprove of marijuana would feel the same about DHMO.

The truth is, it’s possible to make anything – be it marijuana, coffee or even water – look dangerous and evil. If you want the public to be afraid of something, just do the following:

  1. Heavily exagerrate and focus on the potential dangers of the item. No matter how rare they are.
  2. No matter how minor they may be, heavily exagerrate the negative effects of the item.
  3. Only point out scientific studies that are in your favor. Ignore or hide any other studies.
  4. Create statistics and graphs showing the item linked to violence/crime/death (people always believe numbers, percentages and graphs)

Above, I showed how these can be applied to water. When it comes to marijuana, these same things apply. The two things the DEA and most politicians against the drug focus on is “marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to harder drugs” and “the drug is stronger than it was 20 years ago. That weed was safe, todays weed is not.” In this paper, I will address these, as well as most other concerns surrounding the drog.

 

Here is another example, hopefully this will stir your interest enough for you to read through this document, or at least you take away some of the brainwashing done by the media.

The following is from taima.org about the history of coffee:

Though not many people in Japan are aware of the fact, pharmacologically caffeine belongs in the same category of drugs as cocaine and amphetamines. They are all stimulant drugs. One major difference of course is that caffeine is legal while cocaine and amphetamines are not, but that has not always been the case. Cocaine was first made a controlled substance in 1914 and amphetamines were given the same status in the 1950s. As early as 1542 coffee was banned in the Ottoman (Turkish) empire, where coffee had been introduced from Ethiopia and Yemen, and coffee drinkers were persecuted by the authorities much like modern day drug users. Later the ban was revoked because it could not be enforced and coffee became a source of taxes.

The following is from taima.org on coffee as a stimulant:

In low doses the effects of caffeine and cocaine are indistinguishable. Tea made from the leaves of coca plants which is popular in Bolivia has the same refreshing effect as caffeine based drinks. The original recipe for Coca Cola contained not caffeine but cocaine and it was advertised as a medicinal drink. Nowadays Coca Cola still contains coca leaf extracts, but the cocaine is removed and caffeine is added instead.

When used in high doses caffeine can cause heart problems and, given very high doses, even lead to death. There are cases of people having died from taking too many caffeine pills (which are used for treating migraine headaches or to stay awake). The lethal dose of caffeine is a fairly safe 75mg per kg of body weight. By comparison the lethal dose of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana) is about 13 times higher, around 1000mg per kg of body weight.

Besides caffeine roasted coffee beans also contain about 800 other chemical substances, some of them only in very small quantities of course. Of 21 of these substances that have been tested on laboratory animals 16 have been shown to cause cancer.

Despite this we generally regard coffee as a very safe drug and do not prohibit its use. By the same standards cannabis should also be legal to use by adults.

If coffee was illegal today, the government would spread misinformation and bogus statistics about it, the media would exagerrate the dangers of it, and the general public would be as fearful of it as they are today about illicit drugs. Fortunately, we can drink our morning cup of java without fear of persecution, but unfortunately when it comes to marijuana, and a number of other drugs, this is not the case.

Nowadays religion, power and especially money play a big part in what laws get passed. Politicians are afraid of openly discussing issues or stating how they really feel about an issue if it will pose a threat to their political status, or to their wallet.

The War on Drugs is – and has been since it began – a huge failure. Drugs are available anywhere there is demand for them, regardless of that drug’s legality. Every year, billions of our tax dollars are being poured into a battle we simply can’t win using prohibition. Remember alcohol prohibition? As George Santayana warned, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Every year, we are told that pouring more money into it will fix it, but while we continue to pour more money, we don’t see any results. We’ve been fighting this war for over seven decades and we are no better now than when we began.

How can we stop a $400 billion dollar/year market? If we can’t keep drugs out of prisons, how do we expect to keep them out of the country? There is huge profit to be made, and an infinite number of people to risk doing it. A recent example is of two TODO who smuggled $11.6 million dollars worth of Ecstacy (MDMA, a stimulant) from Germany into the US on military cargo planes.

Drugs have always been, and will continue to be a part of human culture around the world. Going against human nature’s desire to seek pleasure to create a ‘drug free America’ is simply not possible, and it never will be — not even by suppressing information, spreading lies and using scare tactics. In fact, the War on Drugs is proof that doing just that does more harm to the public than good.

The ‘drug problem’ is a health problem, and it needs to be address accordingly. Educating the public about the dangers of drugs, implementing harm reduction strategies and dealing with addiction has proven to be a more effective way of dealing with the drug problem in many parts of the world. As it stands, the War on Drugs is not effective at all, and it’s about time we try something else, no matter how ridiculous that solution sounds.

The following are most concerns the public has about decriminilization or legalization of marijuana. I don’t hope to change your mind about marijuana, I only hope for you to see things differently and start doing your own reserach, as opposed to just blindly accepting whatever the media, government and D.A.R.E program shove down your throat.

Read on, and pass this along.

What is marijuana?

“A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly fifteen hundred pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response… In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many of the foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.” DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young, Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law

Marijuana is a collection of the dried leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis sativa has been used for a countless number of things for thousands of years. In 2737 B.C. Emperor Shen Nung taught his people to value Cannabis as a medicine.[REF] The Cannabis Sativa is also the best source of hemp. You can read more about hemp on Brian (TODO) Cannabis FAQ, or a.

Marijuana is also refered to as weed, pot, mary jane, bud, ganja, reefer, grass and some refer to it as dope, but this term isn’t accurate because in some places, dope is used to refer to heroin and more recently to methamphetamine.

More common in Europe and Asia, marijuana is also available in a form known as hash (short for hashish). This form is usually a brown, rubbery substance, although depending on origin and quality, the physical properties can differ greatly. It is common in countries where marijuana is grown outdoors, such as Afghanistan or Morocco. Hash has many names throughout the world, some include charas, shit, chocolate, gandah, and low-quality, usually highly adultrated hash is refered to as soapbar.

Hash is created by compressing together the trichomes from a mature Cannabis sativa plants flowers and/or leaves. Trichomes are very small hollow hairs which secrete resin. They are sticky and differ in color depending on the plants strain, age and condition.

Here are some facts about marijuana.

  • Even with thousands of years of use, there are no (zero, zilch, nil) recorded deaths caused by marijuana consumption.[REF]
  • In the US, cocaine and amphetamine are schedule II drugs while marijuana is schedule I, even though marijuana has dozens of studies and thousands of years of medicinal use. It is currently being used for medical purposes in 11 states in the US, and does not cause dependence like cocaine or amphetamine.[REF]
  • Statistics show that caffeine and nicotine are a lot more physically addicting than marijuana. Marijuana does not cause withdrawal symptoms and dependence, two things that determine how physically addictive a drug can be. [REF]
  • Although theortically possible, overdosing on marijuana is extremely unlikely. Even if somebody wished to overdose, consuming the amount estimated to be a lethal dose is physically impossible, because you will vomit or get knocked out before you finish consuming all of it.[REF]
  • Marijuana has been used as medicine and for recreational purposes for thousands of years. It was also widely prescribed for a number of ailments before the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 made it too expensive. [REF]
  • 11 states, including California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, currently allow the use of medical marijuana if a doctor recommends it. Legislators in New Jersey and other states are working on passing bills permiting the use of the drug by patients who can benefit from it.[3]
  • Possessing and using marijuana for personal use is legal in the Czech Republic. You can possess, consume, grow and sell the drug with no penalty. The Czech Republic’s drug arrest, and crime rate is much lower than ours [todo_REF]. This also serves as proof that marijuana being a gateway or stepping-stone drug theory is false. Many other countries, particularly in Europe, have either decriminalized the drug, or have put the drug as a low priority, and don’t bother wasting time and money trying to enforce that unenforcable law.

Who uses marijuana?

“Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.” Jay Leno

Despite marijuana’s legality in many parts of the world, last year 300 million people worldwide admitted to having smoked the drug[REF]. This number is likely to be slightly higher, because many people are reluctant to admit their illegal activies.

So who uses marijuana? The list varies greatly. From the typical ‘9 to 5’ hard working middle class, to A+ students, to celebs, and even some tribes around the wrold use it in ceremonies. The typical ‘Pothead’ is rarely the stereotype potrayed in anti-drug propaganda. Most marijuana users are responsible, hard working people who are not involved in any violent crimes, yet are still treated like criminals. Nearly 80 million people in the US have admitted to smoking marijuana. This number also includes business leaders and state and federal elected officials. [REF]

Some ill patients who do not have health insurance can benefit greatly from the drug. They can grow a few plants in their home for personal use to elevate their symptoms. Many recreational users of the drug currently grow their own plants for personal use, despite the fact that the penalties for cultivation are tougher in most places. Other than the price advantage, this is safer than buying of a dealer because you know exactly what you’re consuming. You’re also more likely to get caught buying from a dealer, than you are growing a few plants in the privacy of your own home. It is estimated that the chance of getting arrested of marijuana possession is 2% a year [REF]

In Canada, it is estimated that at there are TODO_N grow-ops. The Canadian government recently passed a law which allows BC Hydro, a Canadian power company, to keep a two year record of every resident’s power usage and submit the resident’s info to the feds if the usage exceeds a certain amount or fluctuates suspiciously. The feds will give the resident a certain amount of time before coming in to stomp on any illegal plants that might be growing. Unfortunately, this will do little to curb the drug problem. Not only can grow-ops can be taken down very fast, but the more alarming issue is that many growers will now turn to modifiying their home electrical wiring as to bypass the electrical meter. This will pose a problem to firefighters, neighbors, people living in the house, as well as future home owners.

TODO celebs, rich, famous people

Why do so many people use it regularly, and how?

In any civilized society, it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws. – Martin Luther King Jr.

The reason people use it differs greatly. A number of people use it recreationally either alone or with alcohol or another drug. Some people use it to take the edge of other drugs, such as when coming down from a cocaine trip, or to ease their alcohol hangover. Others try it simply because they are curious what the fuss is all about.

A large and growing number of people use marijuana for medical purposes. You can read about some of its medical benefits in Medical marijuana’s pros and cons

The blah blah blah blah use it for religious ceremonies and many people find that it helps them reach ‘higher levels’ when meditating.

By far the most common method is smoking a marijuana cigarette, also known as a ‘joint.’ In places where hash is more common than smoking the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant, they usually combine tobacco with a piece of hash in a joint, some call it a ‘spliff’, but if the user doesn’t wish to inhale tobacco, an alternative herb can be used. Marijuana and hash are also commonly smoked in a pipe, also known as a ‘bowl’ or a water-pipe, also known as a ‘bong.’ Hookas, although not too common in Northern America and Europe, can also be used.

A cleaner method of smoking is using a vaporizer. This heats up the drug just enough for the THC to evaporate, leaving behind tar and other would-be harmful chemicals. Many people either can’t, or don’t wish to smoke, and for them the most common method of ingestion is cooking the drug – it is fat-soluble, so it has to be heated in butter or oil – into food. Heating up the drug produces Cannabis butter, or ‘cannabutter’ as it is more commonly known. This is a greenish butter that contains the main active ingredient in marijuana, THC, and is used in place of regular butter to make anything from brownies to an omelate, or it can be eaten as-is. This eliminates any respiratory problems associated with smoking.

There is also a prescription medication which contains synthetic THC. It is provided by doctors in capsule form for a number of conditions, but unfortunately, it has proven to be less effective than smoking. You can read more about it in Medical marijuana’s pros and cons.

Why is marijuana illegal?

“[Marijuana is taken by] musicians. And I’m not speaking about good musicians, but the jazz type…” Harry J. Anslinger Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1948

blah blah blah blah

Part II – Common misconceptions and arguments about the ‘Assassin of Youth’

I don’t do drugs, why should I care about drug reform?

“[In] my era everybody smoked and everybody drank and there was no drug use ”
Current DEA Chief Thomas Constantine,
July 1, 1998

blah blah blah TODO

Marijuana is illegal, therefore it’s bad

“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger, 1929

The general public believes a misconception that the government does things purely because they care about the public’s health and safety. . Here are some examples of what the US government has done in the past:

  • Slavery was considered normal less than 150 years ago
  • Interracial marriage was illegal in 41 – and a felony in 28 – states until 1967. It remained illegal in Alabama until the year 2000.
  • Alcohol prohibition (read more about it in Alcohol prohibition vs the War on Drugs)

when alcohol was prohibited in TODO, a black market almost instantly . Organized crime was making huge profits smuggling and selling hard liquor. This black market was often very violent, and the government soon found it a waste of effort and money trying to enforce the law. All the organized crime disappeared when prohibition was finally repealed in 1933. Oddly enough — The US did not learn from the past. The same thing is happening now in the ‘War on Drugs,’ but on a bigger scale. Instead of legalizing and regulating substances that the government simply can’t prohibit, every year they just throw more money into the problem, with no positive results.

Marijuana is a gateway drug. Anyone who uses it will eventually move on to hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine

“I’d always done a lot of glue as a kid. I was very interested in glue, and then I went to lager and speed, and I drifted into heroin because as a kid growing up everybody told me, ‘Don’t smoke marijuana, it will kill you.'” Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting

The ‘gateway’ or stepping-stone drug theory has long been discredited by the medical community. This is the main tactic used against marijuana during the Reefer Madness period. This tactic is still used today, and many people believe it is true. Being that we have no records of marijuana ever causing a single death[REF], studies showing it is not physically addicting[REF], and even studies showing that marijuana has little – if any – impact on driving, compared to alcohol[REF], politicians can only keep the public afraid of marijuana by labeling it as a ‘gateway drug.’ Claiming that anyone who uses it will eventually move on to hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

If TODO million people use marijuana on a regular basis in the United States, why aren’t there TODO people using hard drugs?

Politicians even try to use statistics that show current drug addicts use, or have used marijuana in the past. These statistics are inaccurate, make assumptions, and exclude important information in their collected data. The statistics don’t document the subject’s past or present alcohol or tobacco use. All the subjects ate white sugar, watched TV, and listened to music, does this mean all these things are always a gateway leading to hard drug use? Not to mention that most people have drank or smoked tobacco, and some have used prescription medication before trying marijuana, or any other illicit drug.

If anything is a gateway to harder drugs, it’s the fact that the government spreads lies about drugs. For example, if a student believes everything D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistence Education TODO) tells him or her, then one day he or she happens to try marijuana, or finds out somebody close to them is using it, the student will start thinking, “Wow, weed isn’t all that bad. It’s not deadly or addicting like DARE told me. It doesn’t lead to hard drug use. Maybe DARE also lied about heroin!”

Lying about the dangers of drugs and spreading misinformation is not only ineffective, but it can also be dangerous. Money should be put into educating the public about safe drug use and harm reduction.

Marijuana is addicting

“The importation and sale of marijuana is condemned and punished as a serious crime, but we accept as legitimate the manufacture and sale of an infinitely more addictive and deadly drug: the nicotine in cigarettes that cost the lives of 390,000 American citizens last year.” Jimmy Carter 1990

The short answer is no, it’s not addicting in the same sense as alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine and some prescription drugs.

The long answer is that it can be addicting, but to understand the answer to this question, we first have to understand the meaning of addiction.

There are two types of addictions, physical and psychological. The physical addiction of something depends on three things. Tolerance, dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance is when the user has to increase the dosage of the drug because the desired effect(s) have faded away with regular, or heavy usage of that drug. Dependence refers to the side effects that the user experiences if he or she abrupbtly, and completely discontinues using the drug. Finally, withdrawal symptoms are the physical and emotional side effects the user has to go through after he or she completely stops using the drug.

Phycological addiction is TODO

There are a number of studies that show marijuana is not physically addicting when compared to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and a number of illicit drugs[REF]. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine all have physical withdrawal symptoms that make it hard for people to stop using those drugs. Opiates, substances derived from the Poppy plant’s resin opium such as heroin and the medications prescribed for severe pain (oxycontin, vicodin, and morphine, among others), as well as benzodiazepines, medications commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders or depression such as Alprozepam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), or Loraepam (Ativan) are known to have very adverse physical and psycological withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes even causing coma and death if use of the drug stops abruptly after long term regular use. Most people when they quit using marijuana, report no physical, nor psychological withdrawal symptoms or demand for the drug, even after years of heavy use.

For some people, especially those suffering from a mental illness which marijuana can help cope the symptoms of, they can become psycologically dependent on marijuana. However, many things – if not anything has the potential to become psychologically addictive, be it video games, the internet, watching TV, or even eating. For example, many people binge on chocolate or ice cream when they feel anxious or depressed.

If marijuana isn’t addicting, why don’t you stop using it?

“And I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned!” Bob Dylan Rainy day women nos. 12 & 35

If you think the drug is addicting, please read above.

Even after giving the facts to some people, they will blurb out “If marijuana isn’t addicting, why don’t you just stop using it?” If video games aren’t addicting, why don’t you stop playing them? If sex isn’t addicting, why don’t you stop having it? If hanging out with friends is not addicting, why not stop? Marijuana has many uses, and one of them is for recreation. Which means it is used in one’s leisure time. It passes time and if used responsibly, does not cause much harm, if any.

Studies have shown that curiousity in something is normal, and abstaning completely TODO

It really boils down to being a moral issue. Some people just think that all drugs in general are bad. They feel like pleasure should be earned, and do not believe that anyone should alter their conciousness.

Marijuana causes schizophrenia (psychosis) or depression

“The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it
is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it.” J.W.D Henderson Director of the Bureau of Human Drugs, Health and Welfare, Canada

There have been no studies found to cause psychosis or depression in people who smoke Marijuana, even heavy smokers who have been using the drug on a daily basis for years. However, if you have an underlyning condition such as psychosis or depression, you should not use any drug, including alcohol or marijuana.

There is a risk that the drug might trigger a psychotic episode if you suffer from schizophrenia already and cases of depression might make it easier for you to become psychologically addicted to any mind-altering substance, including marijuana. Statistics showing marijuana use linked to depression or schizophrenia are usually misleading. People who are depressed or schizophrenic are more likely to smoke marijuana than people not suffering from these conditions. They may use the drug as a way of self-medicating, to cope with the symptoms of their mental illness. This doesn’t mean that marijuana itself is to blame, but again, it’s important to abstain from any drug if you’re suffering from a mental illness.

If marijuana was legal, the amount of people driving intoxicated would increase, or even double

“Compared to alcohol, which makes people take more risks on the road, marijuana made drivers slow down and drive more carefully. Cannabis is good for driving skills, as people tend to overcompensate for a perceived impairment.” Professor Olaf Drummer, a forensic scientist the Royal College of Surgeons, In Melbourne in 1996

Although studies show that marijuana decreases your motor skills like alcohol or benzodiazepines, marijuana does not cause you to lose your judgement like alcohol does. When ‘high’, most people simply refuse to drive, knowing that they are putting their life (as well as others’) at risk. Studies have shown that people under the influence of marijuana were less likely to engage in dangerous activities such as driving while intoxicated, or engaging in unsafe sex.

Anti-marijuana groups try to show statistics to prove that driving while under the influence of marijuana is responsible for a lot of car accidents. The statistics however, do not take into account if the driver was under the influence of other drugs such as alcohol or a prescription drug. Some anti-depressants (such as Mirtazapine) and medications prescribed for anxiety, such as benzodiazepines (xanax is one) can heavily impair psychomotor ability. Some statistics are even so inaccurate and misinformative that they will say something along the lines of ‘3 out of 4 in the car were found to have marijuana in their system’, not stating whether the driver had any drugs in his system or not.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. Some people are reckless and will drive while intoxicated, as well as engage in other dangerous activities. Some already do smoke weed and drive, even though both, are illegal. People also drive under the influence of prescription drugs which causes them to severly lose their motor skills (such as benzodiazepine Xanax, or Diazepam) This is proof that being legal or not is not going to stop everyone from doing it. The effective thing to do would be to use a bit of the $60 billion dollars a year spent on the ‘War on Drugs’ to come up with better methods of tackling this problem, such as public awareness about the dangers of driving intoxicated. Most people are responsible, and the act of a few should not determine the fate of everybody else.

Marijuana has side-effects, and/or causes permanent memory impairment

“Music and herb go together. It’s been a long time now I smoke herb. From 1960s, when I first start singing.” Bob Marley

Marijuana has a few temporary side-effects, but they last while you’re ‘stoned’ (under the influece of Pot), if not end shortly within beginning your session. Not everybody experiences all of these side-effects, but it’s good to know what to expect.

The first-side effect that most people who aren’t experienced notice is anxiety. However, most anxiety is associated with getting caught, as this – as opposed to the drug itself – is the main danger when consuming marijuana. The anxiety usually subsides within 30 minutes, and becomes less of a problem as you use marijuana more often. It can be eliminated completely if you are in a safe, comfortable environment, and know what to expect before using the drug.

You might also feel very thirsty, reffered to as ‘cotton mouth’ by some. This is very common but it only takes a sip or two of a beverege to remedy.

Short-term memory impairment is quiet common when using marijuana. It’s not uncommon to forget what you’re saying in the middle of the sentence, or walk into a room and forget what your purpose in the room was. Your long-term memory is NOT impaired, meaning you will retain any information you had previous to smoking. This side-effect is not permanent and after regular use of the drug, becomes less of a problem for most people. Some researchers claim this is because you’re brain gets used to the short-term memory impairement (TODO, this sentence sounds shitty) and compensates for it.

You might feel hungry when under the influence. This is reffered to universally as ‘the munchies.’ Although your mileage may vary, most people claim that marijuana makes them crave sweet foods. Some researchers hypothesise that this is the body’s way of trying to get rid of the THC in your blood. THC is fat-soluble and your body is telling you to eat something with fat so the THC can be quickly absorbed. That being said, some people lose their high after eating too much. Nevertheless, you can smoke again after if you want to get high again. (TODO, sounds childish)

If marijuana became legal, everybody will become a Pothead

“Smoking’s a way to let you down slowly from a ballgame. It also makes you use less of the resources around. It makes people better in the way they act towards society. Everybody’s nicer. It’s hard to be mean when you’re stoned.” Bill Lee (Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox)

In many places around the world, marijuana is illegal according to law, but the law is usually not enforced. For example, in Holland, you are allowed to grow it, have it, and smoke it, but you aren’t allowed to sell it. Holland is also popular for having coffee shops that sell the drug. Although not 100% legal, the cops turn the other cheeks and do not go after these coffee shops.

In the United States, although federal law prohibits even possessing a small amount for personal use, many states have altered their marijuana law. In Alaska, state law permits having 3 ounces of marijuana for personal use. Even after the FDA’s politically driven statement about marijuana having no medical value, some states allow the use of medical marijuana for individuals who need it.

In the UK, this is a class C drug

In Mexico, a new bill passed by the Mexico Federal Legislature decriminalizes having 5 grams of marijuana on you for personal use. This bill also decriminalizes having small amounts of other drugs such as heroin, LSD, and peyote.

In Canada, although marijuana is illegal according to federal law, police have put Pot as a low priority. Some citizens claim that even if 95% of Canadians wanted the drug legalized, the government wouldn’t do it because it’s afraid of breaking ties with the US.

It’s not safe because dealers spray it with chemicals or lace it with opium

“The lesson has already been learned with alcohol prohibition. We tried to engineer an alcohol-free society and ended up with huge criminal enterprises, government corruption, children lured into organized crime and random violence that took the lives of countless innocent people.” Kurt Schmoke Mayor of Baltimore

If this is true, it can be blamed on marijuana being illegal. Using this as an argument against legalizing Pot is a catch-22: It’s illegal because it’s dangerous, and it’s dangerous because it’s illegal.

Fortunately, marijuana is rarely sprayed with anything. Drug dealers can’t afford to mix Marijuana with other drugs, especially something as expensive as opium or heroin.

That being said, rarely doesn’t mean never. There are reports of producers (TODO?) mixing goat dung and fertilizer with Hash. Hash is (usually) a brown, sticky, rubbery substance made from pressing together resin glands from the marijuana flower. Hash is popular in Europe (although recently, they’ve also turned to smoking the flower) and Asia. It is mixed with Tobacco in a joint, before being smoked. This form of Marijuana isn’t too popular in the US because most Marijuana here is grown indoors, and a potent form like Hash is really only needed for Marijuana grown outdoors, which is usually less potent than Marijuana grown indoors.

In the past, there have been reports of dealers selling marijuana cigarettes dipped in PCP (a hallucinogen also called ‘Angel Dust,’). Although this is rare, if it does happen, it is easily detected. The Marijuana

My friend/family member smokes weed and she dropped out, and ruined her life

“There are no long lasting ill-effects from the acute use of marijuana and no fatalities have ever been recorded … there seems to be growing agreement within the medical community, at least, that marijuana does not directly cause criminal behaviour, juvenile delinquency, sexual excitement, or addiction.” Dr J. H. Jaffe, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. L.Goodman and A Gillman, 3rd edn. 1965

People love to blame everything except the individual herself. If a person ends up dropping out of school, commiting homocide, commiting suicide, or even becoming obese, people, especially the parents of the individual will blame pressure from peers, drugs, video games, television, movies, music, or the internet. Bad parenting, or underlyning mental conditions in the individual never get blamed and never seem to be given a thought. If video games caused violence, why isn’t every kid who plays video games a cop killing, car stealing maniac?

There are TODO regular marijuana users in the United States, why aren’t there that many people dropping out of school and becoming couch-locked? Actually, most regular marijuana users are healthy, successful people; Leading normal lives and raising likewise children.

By saying that marijuana is the cause of a person ruining his life, you’re making a huge assumption. You’re assuming that had the individual not tried the specific drug, he or she would have been successful and achieving in life. People who have an underlyning condition are more likely to try drugs simply because they want to self-medicate, or need help coping with their symptoms. Many people who are suffering from depression might find life boring, and don’t feel like doing anything. They are more likely to use weed or alcohol, and in such cases, the drug gets blamed. This is dangerous because the individual might be forced to think he needs treatment for the specific drug problem, when he or she really needs help treating his underlyning condition.

In these cases, making the drug legal or not is not going to solve the individual’s problem. The fact is, if the demand is there, the supply will be there, and when it comes to drugs, this will always be true. Money should be taken out of trying to win a battle we have absolutely no chance of winning, and put into treatment centers, public education, and harm reduction.

Alcohol is safer than pot because I don’t have to drink enough to get drunk. If I take a few puffs of marijuana, I’ll be high

“It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics . . . dope and all that crap. It’s a thousand times better than whiskey – it’s an assistant – a friend.” Louis Armstrong

Controlling your dosage by smoking is easier than doing so by ingesting a substance orally. The effects peak within 10 minutes max – but usually a lot less – and you can decide to keep smoking or not. Most smokers find that smoking too much, much like getting too drunk, is rather unpleasant and know how much of the drug they need to achieve their desired effects. The fact that marijuana is illegal leads to major inconsistencies in the amount of THC in the marijuana, so users will usually slowly increase their dosage when buying from a new dealer.

Won’t somebody please think of the children!

“Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana… We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society.” Dan Quayle, U.S. Representative and Vice president under President Bush, March 1977

When failing to find any argument to use against marijuana (or anything else, actually,) the one that crops up the most is that it’s damaging to children. Either causing physical hard to the child’s developing mind and body, or ruining the child’s dream and turning him or her into a drug addict. Not much research has been done on marijuana’s effect on the developing body or mind, but I believe parents should educate their kids about drug use. I believe it is for responsible adults only, like alcohol. Unfortunately, in the current state of affairs, if you ask any high school student which is easier to obtain, alcohol, cigarettes or illict drugs, illict drugs is most likely to be the answer. Drug dealers don’t have age limits, and many kids turn to drug dealing as a way of making a quick buck.

Minors right now can ask an older friend to get them alcohol or cigarettes. They can also order a lot of prescription drugs such as xanax, vicodin, zoloft, from online pharmacies, with no precription. The drugs come delivered discreetly – usually from oversease – to the person’s home. ‘Designer drugs’ such as 2C-I and Methylone can also be ordered online from overseas chemical research labs. Trying to prohibit a substance won’t keep it from our children, the answer is to legalize, tax and regulate the substance. Money should be spent on enforcing laws protecting minors from drugs, instead of jailing adults who take a puff of Pot.

Part III – Related issues and further reading

Medical marijuana’s pros and cons

“Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political” The Economist March 28th 1992

Some of its medical benefits include:

Nausea and vomiting

It is very effective at suppressing mild to moderate nausea and vomiting in AIDs patients and cancer patients going through chemotheraphy.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness in the US. Marijuana reduces blood pressure, as well as pressure within the eye. This helps with pain associated with glaucoma, and has shown to help slow down – or even stop – TODO

Pain relief

In the 1800s, marijuana was used for chronic pain relief. Currently, doctors prescribe opiates for pain, but these have a great potential for abuse and dependence.

(this FAQ was downloaded from SLASHCANNABIS.COM)

Multiple Sclerosis

According to user reports and mixed studies, marijuana might help with tremors, muscle spasms and pain associated with multiple sclerosis

Dronabinol (Marinol), which is synthetic THC, is also available in capsule form. It’s prescribed by doctors for many ailments but in practice it has proven less effective than smoking. It’s harder to adjust the dose because a pill takes significantly longer to take effect than smoking, and more importantly, swallowing a pill and keeping it in the stomach long enough to get into the bloodstream may prove difficult if the person is nauseous and vomiting already.

Hemp vs Marijuana – What is hemp and why is it illegal?

“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” -President George Washington

The history, uses and legal issues surrounding hemp have been well researched by both, Brian S. Julin in his Cannabis FAQ, and Thomas J. Bouril’s Marijuana and Hemp The Untold Story.

The DEA says drug use went down. The War on Drugs is a success!

“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.” Albert Einstein “My First Impression of the U.S.A.”, 1921

Most people think that just because drugs aren’t in the media much, and because you don’t see many drug users shooting up or smoking in public, that the War on Drugs is a success. Most drug users are successful individuals who only use drugs in their own privacy on weekends(TODO ref). The stereotypical Pothead who does nothing but sit on the couch and smoke, or the stereotypical heroin user who’s skinny, wearing ripped jeans and slumped over half asleep in with a needle sticking out of his am only makes up 10% of the total drug users worldwide(TODO ref).

The DEA will always come up with statistics that show the US winning the battle against drugs. It’s not uncommon for them to celebrate after a large drug bust, or to claim that drug use has went down. They talk a lot, but the statistics speak for themselves. Hell! Forget the statistics! The War on Drugs has been going on for decades, and all we have to show for it is the thousands of people in jail for possession of marijuana, suppressed research which could be the key to new medications, and continuous violence by the organized crime we’ve given rise to, which thrives on the $400 billion/year industry. The DEA have been spreading lies to protect itself ever since it began. (TODO – drug free America by 1995)

References

[]a URL accessed –2006

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html
[3] a, www.pbs.org, Supreme court hears medical marijuana case URL accessed 05-05-2006

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