A Safer Society through Legalizing Marijuana

Drug use is demonized, and the “evil” of drugs is propagandized in the corporate media. This helps to sustain the long-running, selective “drug war” in the United States and elsewhere.

One logical and ethical solution to the prodigious resources devoted to the “drug war” is the recognition of each person’s sovereignty over his own body. Consumption of drugs and whatever else is the decision of adult individuals in reasonable command of their mental faculties. Society (as it is presently constituted, the state) should monopolize drug sales. The state will save money fighting illegal drug sales and assure that unadulterated, untainted drugs are sold. The drugs can be sold with necessary information and warnings (ideally factually accurate information — neither disinformation nor propaganda) about the drugs, so that the individual is fully informed of the potentialities from drug consumption.

Others, however, choose to live by different principles or rules. In most societies, the ruling class arrogates the right to decide what is best for others and enforce this decision. This is the case in the US for drug use – even for the comparatively harmless marijuana plant.

Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert approached the right to use marijuana from a different tangent. They argue, in the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, that because it is far safer than alcohol, marijuana for personal use should be legalized.

MJ

      Marijuana Is Safer
      So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
      By Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert
      Paperback: 192 pages
      Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (2009)
      ISBN-10: 1603581448
      ISBN-13: 978-1603581448

Study after study shows that alcohol is linked with violence: acts of aggression, assaults, rapes, and murders. Alcohol is toxic; marijuana is not toxic. In fact, marijuana is therapeutic for certain disorders – perhaps even having anti-cancer properties (as the writers note, the US government holds the anti-cancer patent). Alcohol may have some benefits for blood-thinning properties in moderated daily doses, but it is not a prescribed treatment. The writers, therefore, question why marijuana use, which does not promote violence, is so harshly punished and alcohol use is not.

Fox et al. cite the 1997 World Health Organization final report that held: “On existing patterns of use, cannabis [the psychoactive component in marijuana] poses a much less serious public health problem than is currently posed by alcohol and tobacco in Western societies.”

Therefore, to treat drugs fairly (and alcohol is a drug) based upon “facts” established through unbiased and sound scientific studies, either alcohol must be prohibited or marijuana legalized. Marijuana Is Safer does not advocate a return to alcohol prohibition.

Alcohol consumption is largely accepted in society; marijuana use though widespread is usually done discreetly lest one risk being arrested.

The penalties that marijuana users face are many and severe. Fox et al. write, “Believe it or not, virtually no other criminal offenses – including violent crimes like rape or murder – trigger the same plethora of sanctions.”

Indeed, when US president Richard Nixon launched the official government war on drugs, “public enemy number one” was marijuana.

The Outcome of Marijuana Prohibition

The authors hold that the harsh legal enforcement of marijuana has artificially lowered marijuana use and led to increased alcohol consumption.

They identify at least one cause of marijuana prohibition as being racially motivated, an example being crazy Mexicans. This is a part of the onslaught of disinformation that surrounds the use of marijuana.

For this reason, the book includes a chapter tackling the myths and facts surrounding marijuana use, such as it leads to “harder” drug use, that marijuana is highly addictive, that it causes many traffic accidents (the writers do not recommend driving after toking), that it causes brain damage, etc.

There is probably a likelier cause for the maintenance of the prohibition against marijuana that the authors touched on: the alcohol industry has a hand in maintaining marijuana prohibition – protecting its profit margins from competition. Marijuana — “weed” — would be tough competition for alcohol.

Why Legalize Marijuana?

Society would benefit not just in increased safety but also economically. As one example, the book notes that “annual alcohol-related health care costs were forty-five times greater than marijuana-related health care costs!”

The authors contend that “modern marijuana prohibition is a ‘cure’ that is much worse than the disease”

“Why should we add another vice?”The authors argue, “The fact that alcohol causes so many problems in society is not a reason to keep pot illegal; rather it is the reason we must make it legal.” Marijuana is not adding a vice, but rather providing a “less harmful recreational alternative.”

The authors attempt to steer an honest assessment of marijuana compared to alcohol. While Marijuana Is Safer debunks many of the myths existing about marijuana use, it does not insist that driving under the influence of marijuana is safe; it does not insist that marijuana has no addictive properties. It cautions against young people “who lack the maturity” from using mind-altering drugs. It seems here that Fox et al. in, perhaps, a bid to appear impartial, strayed from evidential analysis.

Marijuana Is Safer does not posit foreknowledge of what changes will come about with the legalization of marijuana other than society will, assuredly, be safer. It seems this assurity is premised on people switching from alcohol to safer marijuana and neophyte recreational drug users choosing marijuana over alcohol.

Evidence does exist to support the premise that knowledge of the risks of drug taking does influence taking of the drug. There is a huge advertising industry based on the notion that how information is packaged and presented influences people. Nowadays, cigarette packages clearly indicate that smoking may cause lung cancer and other terrible diseases. Despite this some people continue to smoke. Yet, the numbers of smokers have declined and this is attributed to the increased knowledge of the dangers of smoking. The Canadian Cancer Society stated in 2002: “It’s clear that the advertisements work [to discourage smoking].” The CBC reported that the province of Nova Scotia had a youth (15-19 years) smoking rate of 31 percent in 2000 – when the warning ads on cigarette packages were introduced – and in 2007 the youth smoking rate had dropped to 12 percent.

The reasoned logic of Marijuana is Safer is something all members of society should take time to question and consider. Who stands to benefit from the present policy against marijuana use? What are the benefits and costs to society from the present policy? Marijuana is Safer compellingly reveals the irrationality behind the selective drug prohibition policy, a policy which puts people in comparative danger.

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim.

41 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Erroll said on August 24th, 2009 at 11:58am #

    Kim Petersen notes that “marijuana is therapeutic for certain disorders” which in all likelihood is certainly correct. He even points out that “smoking may cause lung cancer”. But what he does not say for some unexplained reason is that smoking marijuana enough times can also cause lung cancer just as surely as does tobacco which, one would think , should put to rest the misconception that marijuana can be considered a “good” and “safe” drug.

  2. Conservative Christian said on August 24th, 2009 at 12:03pm #

    Taxation and regulation of marijuana is in the public interest. The refusal to implement a regulatory program for marijuana in the United States is irresponsible and a violation of the public trust.

    The cartels would be poorer and our people safer if we implemented a Personal Use and Cultivation Permit: $100 per year for a dozen plants. Split the proceeds between the States and the Fed.
    Let’s put the cartels out of business.
    Let’s let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

  3. Kim Petersen said on August 24th, 2009 at 12:21pm #

    Erroll, Thanks for your comment. It seems that the thesis of the book was missed. It does not claim that marijuana is a “good” or “safe” drug. The title of the book says it all: Marijuana Is Safer, safer than alcohol.

  4. Paul Armentano said on August 24th, 2009 at 12:36pm #

    Kim,

    Thank you for your thoughtful review of our book. Yes, your comment represents are position accurately.

    RE: Eroll’s comment:

    Cannabinoids are non-toxic to healthy cells and organs. By contrast, alcohol/ethanol is toxic to healthy cells and organs. Ethanol is converted by the body within under an hour to acetaldehyde — a known carcinogen. Hence the elevated risk of various cancers in those who drink even under 6 drinks per week. See:

    http://www.tothecenter.com/index.php?readmore=10799

    By contrast, cannabinoids have anti-cancer properties and are associated with a reduced risk of cancers:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19638490

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9328194

    including lung cancer:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17035389
    Marijuana use and the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: results of a population-based case-control study

    We conducted a population-based case-control study of the association between marijuana use and the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers in Los Angeles. METHODS: Our study included 1,212 incident cancer cases and 1,040 cancer-free controls matched to cases on age, gender, and neighborhood. Subjects were interviewed with a standardized questionnaire. The cumulative use of marijuana was expressed in joint-years, where 1 joint-year is equivalent to smoking one joint per day for 1 year. RESULTS: Although using marijuana for > or =30 joint-years was positively associated in the crude analyses with each cancer type (except pharyngeal cancer), no positive associations were observed when adjusting for several confounders including cigarette smoking.

    We explain all of these matters, as well as the issue of psychomotor impairment, objectively in the book, and I look forward to folks reading it..

  5. Voice of Reason said on August 24th, 2009 at 12:37pm #

    Can you please site your evidence that smoking marijuana causes lung cancer? Dr. Donald Tashkin recently completed a 30 year study that concludes that marijuana not only does not increase risks and actually provides an insular effect. Dr. Tashkin did not set out to extoll the virtues of marijuana, in fact, he was contracted by NIDA ( National Institute of Drug Abuse) to conclusively prove the carcinogenic properties of marijuana which he could not do . The propaganda machine rolls on and uninformed unmotivated individuals still spew the rhetoric of the government.

  6. ReggieZero said on August 24th, 2009 at 12:47pm #

    “But what he does not say for some unexplained reason is that smoking marijuana enough times can also cause lung cancer just as surely as does tobacco which, one would think , should put to rest the misconception that marijuana can be considered a “good” and “safe” drug.” -Erroll

    Give me one case of Lung Cancer caused by Marijuana and I will give you a medal. Fact is that a lot of the carcinogens found in tobacco are unnatural additives such as cyanide and tar that are not present in Marijuana

  7. Cindy said on August 24th, 2009 at 1:16pm #

    I for one tell me three kids that if they are ever going to try something even though they know they shouldn’t, that we as parents would MUCH rather them make that mistake with marijuana than alcohol, I would like to see my children live to an old age thank you very much!

    Its messed up beyond belief………

    We have companies that contribute to politicians/law makers in order to be able to have add after add being advertised to my children on TV, for anything from sexual drugs to little skinny girls drinking alcohol with guys on the beach, and drugs that are marketed toward teenagers like anti depressants, yet if a safer choice is made they get thrown into jail because they were not contributing to the corporate profits! Its all screwed up over here, who would of thought that the American Gov. would end up more corrupt than the Mexican Gov? At least they care about their citizens and have made possession of all drugs legal because they see the damage and death that is created by the American Drug Policy. The War on Drugs is nothing more than the US Governments biggest scam on the American people.

  8. TYC said on August 24th, 2009 at 1:27pm #

    Hello, this is the 1930’s calling. We wanted you to know that prohibition didn’t work last time either. Well, gotta go. There’s a depression to worry about. We’re dead broke. There aren’t any jobs. And the government is so concerned about someone drinking alcohol that they are completely paralyzed against anything else. Anyway, we wish you all the good fortune of alcohol prohibition. Good luck at stopping people from using that want to use!

  9. Alex said on August 24th, 2009 at 1:33pm #

    The active ingredient in Marijuana, THC, actually helps fight cancer and prevent it to an extent in some parts of the body. THC kills off cells that are weak and vulnerable to being cancerous, while the healthy cells are unharmed.

  10. Trogo said on August 24th, 2009 at 1:57pm #

    Erroll,
    Even if smoked cannabis were connected to lung cancer, of which it is not and there have been no direct links between cannabis smoking and lung cancer, it becomes a debate of whether the patient is able to feel better with the use of cannabis.
    Additionally, most medication that is prescribed have far more serious long-term and short-term side effects than a theorized connection between lung cancer and smoked cannabis. I know this from personal experience. I will take the unproven possibility of lung cancer from smoked cannabis than the horrible side effects I experience now on a daily basis, and who knows what these meds will do to me in the long run.
    Lastly, smoking cannabis is not the only option. The use of vaporizers provide a sufficiently better alternative to smoking cannabis, and still have the immediate effects compared to delayed effect ingestion methods, like eating, use of tinctures, etc.

  11. Erroll said on August 24th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    Kim P.

    Not to belabor the point, but if I were asked if I would rather be in a car with a person who had a few belts of booze or someone who had a few joints of marijuana, my choice would be to ride with, shockingly, neither one. The authors of this book go along with this assessment. My point is that if one decides to take a number of hits before [or even during] driving a car it remains to be seen how much safeR marijuana is as compared to knocking back a few shots of whiskey. I submit that the only true way to be safe is to neither drink alcohol nor inhale marijuana while or before driving a car. If someone wishes to do either, let them do it in the safety of their house.

  12. EndtheProhibition said on August 24th, 2009 at 2:44pm #

    Whether marijuana’s safer or not is irrelevant. The fact is 6,000 people were killed last year solely because the prohibition prevents us from undercutting cartel prices and driving them out of the market.

    We must stand up for what’s right and demand that we be allowed to commercially produce and sell marijuana to adults!

  13. toto said on August 24th, 2009 at 3:55pm #

    Lets not forget marijuana can be vaporized or orally ingested.

  14. Ron Mexico said on August 24th, 2009 at 5:15pm #

    Erroll, do you even have a point?

  15. Jim Crosson said on August 24th, 2009 at 5:17pm #

    Erroll commented, “smoking marijuana enough times can also cause lung cancer just as surely as does tobacco “. If anyone can provide some research citations I would appreciate it.

    Thanks for the post Kim.

  16. Don Hawkins said on August 24th, 2009 at 5:33pm #

    The first weed I smoked was in 1966 cost five dollars and was in a match box. Today or even then it was called dirt weed. Today from what I hear much better stuff. Is that true?

  17. thecelt said on August 24th, 2009 at 6:30pm #

    No doubt Don, no doubt. You should check it out sometime. Its become an art form. (an incredibly useful one at that)

  18. Erroll said on August 24th, 2009 at 6:37pm #

    At the risk of having even more derision thrown my way, I will link to an article which states, among other things, that:

    * “Marijuana & cigarette smoke contain many of the same toxins including one which has been identified as a key factor in the promotion of lung cancer.”

    * Marijuana has also been linked to causing pulmonary
    infections, respiratory cancer, bronchitis, etc.

    * “One joint has four times more tar than a cigarette.”

    * The article notes that medical marijuana may exacerbate the very
    illness for which it is designed to help.

    * “It implies, but does not establish, that smoking marijuana may
    lead to some of the same results as smoking cigarettes.”

    I find it simply amazing that people wish to believe that inhaling smoke from a marijuana joint would be totally beneficial without the least possibility that it may do damage to their bodies. As for me, I prefer to err on the side of caution by inhaling as little smoke as I can, [either of tobacco or of marijuana] into my lungs.

    http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/evidence99/marijuana/Health_1.html

  19. Don Hawkins said on August 24th, 2009 at 6:58pm #

    * “One joint has four times more tar than a cigarette.” And did you know that the new chocolate chunky bar is five thousand two hundred and fifty milligrams bigger than any other chocolate bar on the market today. Please

  20. Kim Sweet said on August 24th, 2009 at 7:41pm #

    The Drug War is America’s holocaust.

  21. Paul Armentano said on August 24th, 2009 at 7:52pm #

    Erroll,

    You seem to be missing the point of the book. The title is Marijuana Is Safer, not marijuana is harmless. All substances pose some sort of harm — an adult can overdose from overhydration. But relative to the known harms, both to the user and to society as a whole, of alcohol cannabis is objectively safer and our political policies ought to reflect this fact. Once again, I encourage to actually read our book, and reference our 300+ citations, and then respond.

  22. Kim Petersen said on August 24th, 2009 at 8:20pm #

    Erroll,
    With all due respect, you are arguing at cross purposes. There is no scenario drawn up in the article or the book that argues it is better to drive under the influence of marijuana than alcohol. In fact, if you read more carefully, I wrote: “While Marijuana Is Safer debunks many of the myths existing about marijuana use, it does not insist that driving under the influence of marijuana is safe.” [bold added]

    Second, the comparison made in the book is between marijuana and alcohol — not marijuana and tobacco.

    Third, nobody has stated “that people wish to believe that inhaling smoke from a marijuana joint would be totally beneficial without the least possibility that it may do damage to their bodies.” This is another sentence of your conjuration.

    Fourth, as for your claims about lung cancer, there are plenty of studies that refute your claim that marijuana causes lung cancer. I pasted “marijuana lung cancer” in google and came up with:

    The first two links are videos of a “Pulmonary specialist and Federal Government researcher from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine finds that marijuana does not cause lung cancer in …”

    The third link claims, “The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, …”

    I recommend for those interested in the matter to do a deeper review of the scientific literature.

  23. phuque yew said on August 24th, 2009 at 9:13pm #

    While this might be off-point with regards to the content of the book and Kim’s review, legalization of marijuana would reduce associated judicial and incarceration costs in the US manifold. But then, I don’t think most of the purveyors of violence, greed, and consumption really want a bunch more free-thinking anti-capitalists on the streets – who knows, someone might start a revolution after smoking a bowl. Indeed, I believe that Nixon’s opposition to pot was based in part on weed’s symbolic use by the counterculture and anti-war “fanatics,” something this country needs now more than ever!

    The demonization of drugs, in particular hemp, has long been parlayed into a symptom of capitalistic disengagement, not the least because it does seem to go along with more open minds, social tolerance, and kindness towards fellow human beings. No one in the power bowels of a fascist culture wants more free-thinkers.

    I’ve smoked weed since 1972, and I’m still physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually fit and active. I drive high quite often (OK, I won’t recommend that to everyone – but what a lame capitulation to the status quo – how many people do you pass on the road every day who’ve been drinking alcohol, or caffeine, for that matter?). I have a productive business, and contribute time and money to various progressive causes. I love my life and the people in it. This might not be everyone’s experience of ganja, but it’s mine, and I’m glad I toke.

    Hey, Errol, take a hit, it might lower your blood pressure and clean out those neanderthal cobwebs.

  24. Justin said on August 24th, 2009 at 9:27pm #

    On the topic of legalization, I do think the conditions in California are ideal; that is, partial legalization with card. Marijuana legalized in the current command and control economy would most likely result in the impurification of the substance. As a daily pot smoker, for better and worse, I would buy my bud 10 times out of 10 not from marlboro or whatever oligopolies would receive the rights, but rather from a friend of acquaintance.

    Say No to Genetically Modified Bud!

    Flouride weed would result in some serious brain cell death

  25. Jinx said on August 24th, 2009 at 11:23pm #

    As far as social effects, I FAR prefer my spouse smoke cannabis than drink. When he drinks, “Instant Asshole”! When he smokes, he is creative, funny, cuddly, rather talkative, and calm after a stressful day at work.

    I use medical marijuana on occasion, but do NOT like to smoke. I eat snack foods with THC, use sprays and tinctures, and only a few times a year receive a “shotgun” of smoke. No other medicine has had the same positive effect on my insomnia and pain.

    Along the lines of social effects, consider the monetary savings when those arrested on solely marijuana related crimes are released from prison!

    It’s “high” time that legalization happens.

  26. mjosef said on August 25th, 2009 at 4:49am #

    1. Can somebody ever say something critical without getting smacked around for having the temerity to question the soliloquist? Erroll has every right, and is to be commended, for voicing his points. The authors of the drug book should expect, and welcome, rejoinders from the hoi polloi.
    2. The number of citations are no guarantee of delphic wisdom: I can amass 1,000 citations on any topic in the world, but if my fundamental philosophy is deficient, I am shoveling without purpose.
    3. We cannot live as if there is no social reality, especially in an incarceral state. Society has many rules and regulations to shape individual behavior, and its promotion of unlimited alcohol is surely insane, but these practices are the ones we have inherited.
    4. Whatever my views and practices on this subject are, they are not not going to “influence” the public debate, because I’m just another shouter in the crowd. I value alertness and a functioning mind, have switched to only two small glasses of red wine a night, and regard driving while high or drunk as inherently wrong, since the car is such a death-dealing machine., yet millions will drive successfully in a mind-altered state tonight. So what for what I do? There is a lot that all of us do and think that is connected to practically indefensible, destructive arrangements.
    5. I’m all for public health and safety, which is why the “body as sovereign” crowd are fantasists, since what you do to yourself often has great and deleterious effects on others. Yet most all of our societies are riven with religion-dominated traditionalism, such as war, taxes to support war, the rich getting far richer, mass unemployment, none of which are going to be curtailed by giving every human a stash. I would ask of the authors: give me one real, measurable public outcome about either cannabis or alcohol you would like to see. And I will tell you, most likely, that it is not going to happen. Social policy is dominated, by corporate forces, corporate tax-supported death instrument cigarette manufacturers, corporate death-instrument alcohol manufacturers, corporate money-laundering illegal narcotics syndicates and their happy banks. You fine and upstanding stoners are good people, true enough, and I’m a buzz kill, but we should all make our comments and then be on our divergent ways.

  27. Kim Sweet said on August 25th, 2009 at 5:08am #

    Lets go after coffee. More people use coffee. It is more harmful and additive than marijuana. Incaceration and property siezures would skyrocket. Cartels and the DEA could switch over. Starbucks could go underground. There there now, problem solved.

  28. SimonS said on August 25th, 2009 at 5:11am #

    Marijuana is safer than alcohol?

    What’s the point in stating that?

    Tell the world the fact that heroin, coke and meth are safer than alcohol.

  29. b99 said on August 25th, 2009 at 6:07am #

    Coffee harmful? Since when? What studies?

    Marijuana may be harmful, jeez, I’m sure it is. But in the big scheme of things, it’s small potatoes. No one should be in jail for it, or fined. Not while there is still alcohol out there – and who thinks alcohol should be prohibted anymore?

  30. Lynn said on August 25th, 2009 at 7:46am #

    If the premise of the book is that marijuana provides a safer alternative than alcohol, there is a problem, because when we look at patterns of use, those who use marijuana also use alcohol and 70% also smoke cigarettes. So marijuana will be used in conjunction of alcohol and probably tobacco as it is now, but use will go up with advertising and commercialism. It won’t be either/or but both alcohol/marijuana. Take the case of Diane Schuler who recently drove a car with five children, went the wrong way on a highway and crashed into an suv and killed herself, 3 children, and 3 passengers in another vehicle. The autopsy revealed she was drunk on vodka and had a large quantity of recently ingested THC in her system. The medical report says THC increases the impairment of alcohol. Smoking marijuana along with tobacco also increases the chance of COPD, says a recent study.

    So not only does marijuana pose the danger of addiction, driving accidents, memory loss, loss of concentration, problems with education, lung damage etc. in and of itself, when combined with alcohol, tobacco, and other substances, as it usually is, it is not actually safe. Changing our culture from an alcohol culture to a marijuana culture isn’t going to happen.

    By the way, coffee is addictive, but recent research shows it is high in antioxidents and helps the brain function, and protects against Type II diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other ailments. It is definitely safer than marijuana and alcohol and better for college students. And it is legal, so forget about marijuana and get your buzz from coffee.

  31. Indman said on August 25th, 2009 at 7:50am #

    Good article Kim, I hope some more people realize that they’re being lied to. I think more and more are and we’re going to see a change and a shift from alcholism to a newer more creative world.

    And Erroll, you’re speaking from some other dimension where everything you say is right and you don’t have to listen to other people, you should wake up.

  32. Chris L said on August 25th, 2009 at 1:59pm #

    In regards to the much repeated myth about driving while high. The Government study that most people refer to about accidents occurring while the driver was high on Marijuana actually mentions that -ALL- of the people in the study (survey? I’m not sure what wording is technically correct) had alcohol in their system above the legal limit in -ADDITION- to the Marijuana.

    I for one do not believe that driving while high is of any danger to an individual who is used to Marijuana. I have a friend who has a Marijuana card for chronic back pain who gets high -IN HIS CAR- after work every day. I’ve frequently driven with him during these times and have not noticed him driving more dangerously. As of now he has been doing this for a year, -EVERY DAY-, and has yet to crash his car.
    God I hope somebody gets the balls to mention this in the media.

  33. ty rowe said on August 25th, 2009 at 2:36pm #

    i hope they legalize marijuana soon there is people who have cancers and need this healing herb

  34. Trogo said on August 25th, 2009 at 4:32pm #

    Lynn,
    You are propagating the same fantastical propaganda that the Partnership for a Drug Free America likes to promote as “fact”. Your statements are actually unfounded and have not been substantially proven.
    – There is no direct link to COPD and cannabis. In fact, I have COPD and I did not get it from cannabis or tobacco.
    -There is not finite corollary between addiction and cannabis.
    -As far as memory loss, it has been found that any memory loss is directly tied to the time of use and does not affect what has been learned before or after.
    -You will experience just as much lung damage (if not more) walking the streets of a highly polluted city as you would if you smoked cannabis or tobacco. Part of the reason I have COPD now!
    -I know many people that do not drink and would not ingest cannabis as well. And please cite reference before you spout numbers like “70%”. There are always going to be those people that ingest cannabis and imbibe in alcohol regardless of the law. Also, if you have paid attention to any recentstudies, you would know that cannabis has been found to slow down, if not reverse, the negative effects of tobacco and alcohol.
    -Lastly, I love coffee. But caffeine is significantly more dangerous than cannabis. It is also highly addictive. A regular coffee drinker like myself will experience physical withdrawal symptoms that can make the person nauseous, painful migraines, stomach cramping, sleeplessness, sleepiness, and other multitudes of symptoms. Because cannabis is non-toxic, it does no have the same withdrawal symptoms that can occur from continuous tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, or even sugar use. I don’t like to say it, but those that say they are “addictied” to cannabis truly do not know what they are talking about. I have suffered through the horrible side effects incurred by continuous overuse of alcohol (yes I claim I am an alcoholic…I don’t believe the “disease” ideology though..it is more of an allergy), and it was physically painful. I have also worked in several rehab facilities, and have never met one person that has had the same physiological withdrawal symptoms characterized by more toxic substances like alcohol, heroin, tobacco, caffeine, etc. I do believe in a psychological dependence to cannabis, but that can attributed to anything in a person’s life.

    Lynn, please do your research beyond the loose claims of the FDA, your own beliefs/personal experiences, the NIDA, SAMHSA, or any other institution that disregards other more prolific studies from reputable universities. Frankly, I am fed up by people like yourself that don’t make considerations for both sides of the issue and just play follow the leader with important issues.

  35. The Guitar God said on August 26th, 2009 at 5:10pm #

    duh.

    think of what legal drugs would do to the crips and bloods.

    we need solutions to our social problems, not 60 year illusions of ‘fixes'; which intentionally keep people suppressed.

  36. Erroll said on August 27th, 2009 at 11:35am #

    Indman

    You state that I am “speaking from some other dimension where everything you say is right and you don’t have to listen to other people…” Do have any idea just what the hell you are talking about? I can say with absolute certainty that I have never said [and nor could I ever imagine] that I have been right about everything and that I have somehow believed that I do not have to listen to other people. I would like to think that, contrary to what you seem to believe, that I have the right to question and to challenge what I read and hear and that means whether those opinions and ideas are coming from the left or coming from the right. Despite your less than illuminating opinions, I hardly think that you possess what you seem to believe is a monopoly on the truth.

  37. Billy Bobbs said on August 27th, 2009 at 1:38pm #

    Why didn’t we learn from Prohibition of Alcohol and the rise of the Mafia and Al Capone. We are stupid or something, Repeal Cannabis Prohibition now and let us use this miracle plant with the potential to cure cancer. We are stupid and only money matters.

  38. Ntessier said on August 28th, 2009 at 7:00am #

    As far as I’m concerned it may as well be legal. Most people agree it is relatively harmless when compared to other legal substances and actually has beneficial effects. Smoking doesn’t have to be the only method of administration. Vaporizers are smokeless and it can be introduced into food as an ingredient so the second hand smoke crutch just doesn’t quite hold water.
    Mjosef I take offense to the term stoner. I’m sure you have a drink from time to time, how would you like it if I referred to you as a drunk, lush or alcoholic. I do not drink, can’t stand the stuff or the chemicals industrial medicine is peddling nowadays. I prefer my cannabis so, if you please, I am a consumer…just like you.
    Prohibition = failed.
    Live like it’s legal.
    Cannabis for your physical and mental well being.

  39. Ntessier said on August 28th, 2009 at 7:03am #

    P.S. Lynn
    Thank god there are people like you to protect me from myself. What would we do without such paternalistic protectors to save us from ourselves. (Dripping sarcasm)
    How about minding your own business. I don’t smoke ciagrettes either so there goes that theory.
    My body, my choice. Women aren’t the monopoly on the right to choose.

  40. yang said on September 1st, 2009 at 12:19am #

    kimmy bear
    i want to know more about marijuana
    but this is only very general outline of the book
    i want more
    hoho

  41. Tealnrose said on September 4th, 2009 at 12:48pm #

    Jim Crosson It was just in the news lately that research shows marijuana not as harmful as tobacco and gets rid of tumors…that is positive research…iknow of someone who was cured of arthritis by using it as a rub….mixed with rubbing alcohol… so there is more to this than our dumb government wants to admit.. by legalizing it all at once would give them no control of the money factor…