Cannabis

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Offline chris

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Cannabis
« on: 06/11/2002 22:12:36 »
The following news flash just came up on the doctors.net.uk site - I thought people here might be interested, particularly in view of the MS question asked by another visitor previously...

"A cannabis medicine could be available in Britain next year following the success of trials, it was announced yesterday.
Trials of a cannabis spray have shown that it can reduce pain, spasticity and sleep disturbance.

The drug was compared with a placebo in the trial involving 350 patients, many of them suffering from multiple sclerosis, developer GW Pharmaceuticals said.

The company said it was undertaking a further five sets of phase III trials.

Dr Philip Robson, medical director of GW medical director, said: "The results show statistically significant reductions in neuropathic pain, which is recognised as being difficult to treat and is often particularly distressing.

"There were also significant improvements in other symptoms in patients with MS, notably spasticity and sleep disturbance. "

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Offline george

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #1 on: 13/11/2002 20:19:19 »
I'm sorry but I just don't agree with the concept of 'legalising' cannabis. True, some people might get some benefit from its medicinal purposes, or perhaps they are just too zonked out on it to notice, nor care any more that they are ill, but what sort of message does it send out to 'healthy' people that this drug is now legal. Look at the problems associated with the other 2 legal drugs - alcohol and cigarettes. Nothing but trouble.

I say keep hash illegal. It's a recipe for disaster. And won't it encourage people to smoke ? Studies have shown that hash smoke is far worse for you than plain tobacco. Everyone will be wandering around like a zombie.

George
 

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #2 on: 12/04/2003 17:43:54 »
Well let's not throw out the baby with the bath water!  While I agree that alcohol and cigarettes are detrimental, I have seen ill people reap huge benefits from the use (as opposed to abuse) of mj.  

Get someone drunk and put them behind the wheel of a vehicle and chances are they will put the "pedal to the metal" and roar down the road.  Get someone stoned on mj and put them behind the wheel and they will likely putt along at about 15km/hr.  While I disagree with driving while under the influence of anything that alters perception, there will probably always be abusers.  Why not make alcohol (made by man) illegal and mj (made by Mother Nature) legal?  

Anyone got any information on how smoking affects driving?
« Last Edit: 14/04/2003 00:27:22 by Donnah »
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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #3 on: 13/04/2003 23:35:33 »
GW Pharmaceuticals have announced 'Sativex', an aerosol dispenser for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana). The aerosol is designed to dispense the drug sublingually (beneath the tongue), thus avoiding the need to smoke hash to derive the pharmacological benefits. It also has the added advantage of a)being legal as it will be available on prescription, and b) you avoid marijuana-induced lung disease.

Good eh ?

Incidentally, the source of the THC used in the spray is 40,000 hash plants that the company have been licensed to cultivate at a secret location in SE England ! Bet there are 1 or 2 hippies would love to know the location of that 'farm' !

TNS
« Last Edit: 14/04/2003 09:09:12 by NakedScientist »

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Offline Exodus

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #4 on: 14/04/2003 00:32:46 »
Donnah, i don't agree with drugs and don't do them. I've spoken to people and from what i can make out, surely if someone smoked and drove, they would have slower reactions or be likely to make rash decisions?

Thats Economics...

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Offline pat

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #5 on: 14/04/2003 09:10:21 »
Seconded.
 

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #6 on: 16/04/2003 06:38:15 »
Slower reactions and difficulty making decisions?  Quite possibly.   As I said, I disagree with driving while impaired (altered perception) in any way, shape or form.    

What about cell phones, and other distractions?  I saw a woman driving who was smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee, and talking on the phone.  This left me wondering what appendages were left to operate her car[V].
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Offline chris

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #7 on: 16/04/2003 10:49:42 »
Surprising - it's usually phone, lipstick and nail varnish being applied to various bits of the body, commonly whilst stopped at the traffic lights (which are usually green), with an angry hoard of motorists sitting frustradely behind.

Men are just content to pick their noses...!

Chris
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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #8 on: 17/04/2003 04:48:16 »
Thanks for that bit of enlightenment, Chris[:D].

Do you suppose that if men quit checking out women so much [:p] that women would be less concerned with their looks[:X]?
« Last Edit: 17/04/2003 04:58:43 by Donnah »
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Offline chris

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #9 on: 17/04/2003 12:00:22 »
Nope.
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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Offline shug

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #10 on: 26/10/2003 13:15:27 »
quote:
Originally posted by Exodus

Donnah, i don't agree with drugs and don't do them. I've spoken to people and from what i can make out, surely if someone smoked and drove, they would have slower reactions or be likely to make rash decisions?

Thats Economics...



They tend to drive slower and more safely. Thats according to US Dept of Transportation research carried out in real life situations in the Netherlands.
See newbielink:http://www.ukcia.org/research/driving.htm [nonactive]

The Netherlands have never reported any problem with cannabis and driving despite their 25 years or tolerating use.

Even the UK's Dept of Transport failed to find any evidence that cannabis is detrimental to driving.
"The main conclusion from this report is that there is insufficient evidence of the accident risk associated with cannabis"
See newbielink:http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsafety_504567-12.hcsp [nonactive]

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #11 on: 26/10/2003 21:50:50 »
I have recovered from fibromyalgia, and one herb helped me tremendously.  It eased pain, relaxed muscle spasms, enabled me to get the sleep my body required to heal, and gave me a much needed mental break.  It was gentle on my body, unlike the morphine, codeine and Fiorinal that were injected or prescribed.  I wholeheartedly support the legalization of this amazing plant.  Marijuana is good medicine and to bring relief and pleasure into a pain-filled world is the right thing to do.
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline chris

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #12 on: 27/10/2003 11:02:45 »
I have had a look at the report by the Dept. of Transport which seems to tell a slightly different story that the somewhat subjective and biased interpretation offered by shug :

"Evidence of impairment from the consumption of cannabis has been reported by studies using laboratory tests, driving simulators and on-road observation. The laboratory tests generally indicate acute impairment of memory, attention and psychomotor control. Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a 'change' from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect 'impairment' in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk. However, the results do suggest 'impairment' in terms of performance efficiency given that the increased compensatory effort resulting from cannabis use limits the available resources to cope with any additional, unexpected or high demand, events.

In conclusion, cannabis impairs driving behaviour..."[/i]

A car is a potentially lethal weapon. It is totally irresponsible to suggest that people drive better when they have taken cannabis. This is a misinterpretation of the facts. It's like building an atomic bomb and then claiming it's safe - simply because no one has tested it properly by the time you make the claim.


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Offline shug

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #13 on: 27/10/2003 19:17:17 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

I have had a look at the report by the Dept. of Transport which seems to tell a slightly different story that the somewhat subjective and biased interpretation offered by shug :



I didn't interpret, I quoted from their conclusion. If there is a problem, why is it not shown by the research. There are 5-7 million users in the UK alone - where are the bodies? There aren't any and there is no evidence that cannabis makes you a dangerous driver.

If you read further you'll see the bit you quoted means - cannabis drivers drive further behind the vehicle in front. Shocking dangerous behaviour!



Hugh Robertson
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Offline chris

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #14 on: 27/10/2003 22:32:23 »
Yes, it also states that "the results do suggest 'impairment' in terms of performance efficiency given that the increased compensatory effort resulting from cannabis use limits the available resources to cope with any additional, unexpected or high demand, events"...

...indicating that even if they are miles behind the car in front, a person under the influence of cannabis has a reduced capacity to react sufficiently fast to counter the unexpected.

Would you be happy to have a surgeon operate on you, under emergency conditions requiring rapid responses to changing circumstances, whilst under the influence of a drug ?



"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #15 on: 27/10/2003 23:17:12 »
I think that people should refrain from driving while under the influence of cannabis, alcohol, fatigue or any of the numerous other factors that can reduce the capacity to react appropriately.  Cannabis is useful, so is morphine, but neither of them belongs in the driver's seat.  Drunk or stoned drivers are easy to spot on the road, and the stoned ones are usually too far away and going too slow to scare me, but the drunks are very aggressive and frightening.  What I'm driving at is that cannabis abusers are, in my mind,  a much lesser evil than alcohol abusers.
« Last Edit: 27/10/2003 23:21:13 by Donnah »
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Offline bezoar

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #16 on: 28/10/2003 04:27:31 »
You know, I can't remember the name of the drug but the THC in pill form is already in use in the US for our AIDS and cancer patients as an appetite stimulant.  And heroin used to be the drug of choice for child birth.  And CocaCola used to have cocaine in it.  Any drug, in the proper place with good control has its merit.  And abuse is abuse, whether legal or illegal, prescribed or street drug.  

Had a case recently with a lawyer where a woman was taking prescribed drugs for pain and got into an accident that resulted in a fatality.  Seems they recently put her on Oxycontin (long acting morphine).  Trying to use it sparingly, she broke the pill in half and took it, thereby destroying the time release mechanism and giving herself a big dose of morphine all at once.  Fell asleep at the wheel and killed someone.  Normally, this woman functioned on doses of medication that would have put all of us to sleep, however no one cautioned her not to break the pills, and she hadn't developed a tolerance to the morphine yet.  Bad news for the other driver.
 

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #17 on: 28/10/2003 17:25:19 »
Very sad.  Now she's got more pain to live with.  

Recently I had to swerve into the next lane to avoid a driver whose driving pattern was that of a person heavily sedated.  Lucky for me the driver beside me saw and moved over, giving me an escape route.  When I reported her license number, the police told me that they could phone the registered owner and discuss the issue, but could only charge her if I could identify the driver.  In this case I feel that making her aware of how badly she was driving may be enough.

I have a friend who is a single parent with cancer.  She's frequently on morphine but still has to get her children to and from school, pick up groceries and all those good things.  I'd like to see a better support system for people like her.
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline shug

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #18 on: 28/10/2003 19:49:10 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

Yes, it also states that "the results do suggest



I've heard hundreds of suggestions. Please provide peer-reviewed cites that prove, not "suggest", to back up your opinions.



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Offline chris

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #19 on: 28/10/2003 22:14:58 »
Mate - it's exactly the same reference that you quoted from earlier on in this piece but is the bit that you forgot to mention - maybe the hash is affecting your memory [;)]

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Offline shug

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #20 on: 29/10/2003 19:19:08 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

Mate - it's exactly the same reference that you quoted from earlier on in this piece but is the bit that you forgot to mention - maybe the hash is affecting your memory [;)]



I didn't forget it, it is not evidence, merely a suggestion. Please provide some science to back up your personal opinion.
Thanks

Hugh Robertson
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drkev

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #21 on: 29/10/2003 21:43:35 »
Now this is a situation I have been in before....

When people talk about the legalisation of Cannabis someone always says "Yeah but Alcohol is legal and that's more dangerous" or "But Tobacco is legal"

The legalisation of a drug should not be based upon the fact that another possibly more dangerous drug is legal. The deciscion must be purely based upon the merits of the Cannabis itself.

Now that we have moved that aside, here is some of what I have learned during the research of this drug.

The main ingredients in Cannabis that we must concern ourselves with when considering the medical benefits of Cannabis are the Cannabinoids of which there are over 60 including: Tetra hydra cannabinol, Cannabidol propyl analogue etc

All the Cannabinoids have analgesic properties, anti spasmodic effects and act as anti convulsants. They also have an anti emetic effect and appetite stimulant properties.

However cannabis can produce adverse mood effects leading to anxiety, depression and paranoia.

Cannabis can produce acute psychosis, confusion and amnesia.

Cannabis use causes increased heart rate by 20%-100%. Postural blood pressure is also affected.

However, the risk of overdose is nil as the acute toxicity risk very low.

When cannabis is smoked, 4 times the amount of tar is deposited on the lungs when compared to tobacco.

Use of cannabis has been linked to bronchitis, increased abnormalities in bronchial tissue when compared to smokers, erythema and is 3 times more carcinogenic than tobacco.

There have also been cases of cancer found in the digestive tracts of young people with a history of cannabis use. This is significant because this is rarely found in people under the age of 60 even among tobacco smokers.

THC also inhibits reproductive function resulting in decreased fertility in Men.

My essay is 4500 words long so I do not wish to reproduce it here!!!

Instead I hope I have introduced you to some of the FACTS.

Without more research on the harmful effects of this drug I do not support legalisation.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #22 on: 30/10/2003 00:24:28 »
Dear Kevin

your essay sounds interesting - how would you like to submit it, or a shortened version, to the Naked Science articles section on the site ?

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/columnmenu.htm

TNS

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drkev

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #23 on: 30/10/2003 12:48:31 »
I will abridge it and send it for your approval with full references in case people want to research it further.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #24 on: 30/10/2003 14:41:27 »
Dear Kevin

yes please, that sounds great. Please endeavour to include some diagrams and images with it (please note, it is your responsibility to secure copyright permissions on all images and diagrams that you submit).

If it is too long it is always possible to turn it into a series of articles, each inn turn tackling a different aspect of the pharmacology of cannabis.

This will be good CV points if we can get it published for you.

TNS

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #25 on: 01/11/2003 10:34:20 »
Some interesting facts you bring up, Kevin.  But you know what?  There are quite a few things we do to ourselves willingly that can cause health problems, but they are not illegal.  Poor diet and lack of exercise are just as dangerous to one's health as smoking.  

Eating at McDonalds and sitting on one's big fat ass watching TV all day will take YEARS off one's life.  How about we do some studies, conclude it's dangerous, and make it all against the law?  Mandatory salads and pushups for all!  

Sound stupid?  Now you know how the pro-marijuana community feels.  Instead of legislating and punishing, how about we provide education and treatment?  To steal a slogan from the abortion argument:  My body, my decision.  


I think most pot smokers, medical or recreational, are aware the health risks.  We may be stoned but we're not stupid.  For living in a society that seems to be hung up on freedom and personal responsibility, this whole issue is retarded.  Don't like it?  Don't smoke it.  




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Offline tweener

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #26 on: 01/11/2003 20:55:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by cannabinoid

 ...
For living in a society that seems to be hung up on freedom and personal responsibility,.....




Freedom is being degraded every day, primarily by those who refuse to take personal responsibility for anything.  Unfortunately, they are rapidly becoming the majority and will thus control our society completely.


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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #27 on: 02/11/2003 00:25:00 »
Responsibility (aka accountability).  Is that related in some way, shape or form to our governing bodies?
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Offline tweener

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #28 on: 04/11/2003 04:36:02 »
I don't think so.   At least I can't see any accountability in the last 4 or 5 administrations.  I know there is none at the state level.  Maybe a little on the local level, but not much.

Yours truly, the eternal pessimist.


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drkev

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #29 on: 04/11/2003 12:09:01 »
Quote "My body, my decision"

So should heroin be legalised then? Should cocaine be legal then? If it's your body hell you can do what you want to it.

I am not a lawyer, I'm a pharmacologist (future doctor). My job is to research and investigate the effects of drugs on people.

We live in a structured and organised society with rules and regulations. You don't like that then you go live on a desert Island.

"..provide treatment" You choose to pump that crap into your body so why shouldf the overstretched NHS have to pay for your treatment? When it is a known fact that Cannabis is 3 times more carcinogenic than tobacco and 4 times the amount of tar is deopsited on the lungs.

When Mrs Jones has to wait for her hip operation because Mr "I can do what I want to my body is in her hospital bed" then my point will be clear.

We have laws that prohibit dangerous activity for reasons. So should the following be legal?

Playing on railways?
Jumping off of buildings?
Running in traffic?
Cocaine?
Heroin?
Self Harming?

After all it's your body

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

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Offline tweener

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #30 on: 04/11/2003 16:30:31 »
Maybe all that and more should be legal. The only illegal things should be interfering with others lives, property and wellbeing (define "dangerous" as damaging to others).  As for the medical treatment, self-inflicted problems should be at the bottom of the list.  If someone kills themself, maybe the gene pool is a little better for it.  Maybe if someone is having trouble in their life, treatment is better than fines and imprisonment (which just makes more trouble).

I know this is incendiary for this group, but the idea of suicide being a bad thing seems to be rooted in the judeo-christian religion rather than real human nature.  The big answers are not easy, but making a law against something does not make it go away.  It mostly just makes the people not breaking the law feel better about themselves.




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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #31 on: 05/11/2003 01:51:19 »
I want marijuana legalized.  To penalize the sick who could benefit from its use because of others who abuse it makes no more sense than banning pharmaceuticals that are sold in the black market.
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Offline Ylide

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #32 on: 05/11/2003 09:47:54 »
quote:  So should heroin be legalised then? Should cocaine be legal then? If it's your body hell you can do what you want to it.

  Yes, absolutely.  Make it all legal.  I think we've already proven that prohibition is largely ineffective.  Instead of dumping hundreds of billions of dollars putting these people into prison, how about we spend a fraction of that treating their addiction and god-forbid do some medical research into addiction and find an inexpensive solution.  What do you think costs the state more...a couple months in rehab or 10 years in the pokey?  Considering the average cost to house and feed a prisoner is greater than the median household income in this country, I think we both know the answer to that.  

You make a claim of having  an old woman that can't get her hip replacement surgery because some junkie is taking up a bed.  Denying someone medical treatment because of health issues caused by personal choice goes against everything medicine stands for.  If you truly have that attitude, I feel sorry for any patients you may have should you go into medical practice.  As I stated above, many of our choices in life result in poor health.  Maybe Mrs Jones needs a new hip because she's a big fat slob who couldn't watch what she ate her whole life and the strain of being heavy gave her arthritis.  Does that make her morally superior because her self-induced health issues were not caused by a substance that a few old religious white guys decided made people a little too happy?

Maybe the issue is not wether or not drugs should be illegal, but wether we as a nation have the ability develop a sensible health care plan.  Education and treatment do a lot more in the prevention of drug use than incarceration ever will.  If your goal is truly that of the welfare and health of your fellow man, drkev, perhaps you should take that into consideration.  



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drkev

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #33 on: 05/11/2003 10:45:15 »
Quote "...define dangerous as being damaging to others"

OK so what about all the people who choose not to pollute their bodies with that crap and some idiot comes along and decides to smoke it in their presence?

You see there are people who choose not to smoke either tobacco or cannabis and we have that choice taken away from us by inconsiderate smokers who don't give a damn.

We have a right to fresh air and we do not want to passivly smoke either tobacco smoke or cannabis smoke.

So it is damaging to others.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

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Offline genegenie

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #34 on: 05/11/2003 11:02:45 »
I would also like to see it legalized. As far as I'm concerned, we should be able to make our own (informed) choices about what we do with our bodies. As long as we are aware of the risks, and we are not harming others (ie. ban smoking in public places) it should be our choice.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #35 on: 05/11/2003 12:20:49 »
Unfortunately, people obviously do not wisely control what they do with their bodies, and when they don't, it affects the rest of us directly or indirectly, from the coke head who gets paranoid and attacks someone, to the smoker who gets emphysema and ends up costing thousands in medical care that will be subsidized by his private insurance company, making the rates go higher for the rest of us, or by Medicare, and the reimbursements will drop for the docs while the cost goes up.  There has to be some type of control.  I'm not sure what the answer is, but I don't think an across the board legalization with an anything goes type attitude is it.

Bezoar
 

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Offline tweener

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #36 on: 05/11/2003 20:37:22 »
Kevin, I agree that second hand smoke is annoying and possibly dangerous, though I think the danger may be overrated.  Thus there should definitely be controls on where smoking anything is permitted.

Bezoar, I also agree that in reality, damaging behavior affects all of us in some fashion and there must be some sort of control.  

My smart-ass answer above is a good theory, but it neglects way too much real-world reality.  The laws we have certainly aren't doing the job, and I really don't see how more laws are going to help.  There must be some other approach, but I don't have a clue what it might be.


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Offline genegenie

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #37 on: 05/11/2003 22:25:58 »
I agree Bezoar, people don't wisely control what they do with their bodies, which is why life-style type diseases are so prevalent. Yet it seems ridiculous that people can drink and smoke tobacco and eat junk until they end up suffering a stroke, or liver cancer, and our health system welcomes them with open arms, while someone with an illegal drug problem is treated like a second-class citizen. Surely the wasted Govt revenue spent on catching drug users could be redirected to education about the health risks. And if drugs were legalised, you could be sure that the Govt would put a hefty tax on it, which could also be redirected to health care etc. I wonder whether legalization would actually increase drug use - it would certainly take away the 'coolness' value for some.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #38 on: 05/11/2003 23:11:03 »
I wish psychology was a compulsory part of our education.  It has certainly been one of the most useful subjects I've ever studied.

"The effectiveness of punishment depends entirely on how and when it is used.  Punishment should be swift...sufficient without being cruel...also consistent, or certain.  By itself, punishment simply inhibits or supresses behavior.  It doesn't teach an alternative behavior to replace what is being punished...We are not born with all our motives intact.  We have already seen that even motives that appear to be unlearned - such as hunger, thirst, and sex - are actually learned in part.  As we develop, our behavior becomes governed by new motives, that are almost entirely learned.  Although these new motives are learned rather than innate, they can exert just as much control over our behavior as unlearned drives and motives do."

Quoted from Understanding Psychology by Charles G. Morris
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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drkev

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #39 on: 06/11/2003 00:51:38 »
The tax money that the governemnt places upon Cannabis if any legalisation takes place would not cover the cost of the healthcare. The tax on tobacco does not cover the cost of treating smokers.

I learned this in Sociology so I can reference this as fact.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #40 on: 06/11/2003 01:31:03 »
There's no tax on stupidity and that is frequent and incurs huge costs.
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #41 on: 06/11/2003 03:29:46 »
Drkev:

So ban smoking in public places.  Second hand smoke is largely over-rated in danger (you're in WAY more danger from UV and background radiation), but yeah it sure is annoying.  Most pot smokers don't care if we can smoke a joint in a restaurant, but we'd sure like to be able to tie one on relaxing at home without having to worry about criminal records or dealing with black market types.  Cigarette smokers will get over it, too.  I can't see banning smoke in bars and clubs, but even when I was a smoker, I hated smelling smoke in restaurants.  

As far as tax money paying for smoker health care cost...you don't pay any tax at all on food in most places.  What about the costs of treating overweight people for heart disease?  Where does that money come from?  Oh that's right...smokers and fat people have health insurance as frequently as healthy people do.  

Tweener, that other approach you're looking for is to treat drug use as a social problem, not a criminal one.  Some of the drugs that are illegal are, for the most part, harmless when used infrequently and in small amount.  Some are highly addictive and destructive to the body, but putting someone in jail for using doesn't teach them anything other than where to get more drugs and how not to get caught.  Prison also has this nasty side effect of turning otherwise-decent folks who made a mistake or two into loser degenerate criminals.  A man will behave in the manner you treat him.  I'm not saying all criminals are innocent, many of the people in prison absolutely deserve to be there, but locking someone up who has otherwise committed no other crime?  Come on.  These people need help, not punishment.  I've known junkies.  I've had more than one friend develop a serious addiction problem.  Jail didn't do a damn thing except screw up their chances at ever being treated like a human being again.  What got them clean?  Compassion and support.  No one wants to be a junkie the rest of their life...no one CAN, the body can't take it.  Compassion, man.

Lets also not forget that the black market inflates prices to a degree that the IRS can only dream of.  If you remove the black market element from the drug trade, not only do you remove the criminal element from the distribution and manufacturing/growing of the substance, you also decrease the prices and decrease the health risks from impure products.  Most large gangs and other organized crime are supported by income from illegal drug trade.  This eliminates much of their resources.  Lower prices means not only are addicts going to be less likely to committ a crime to afford their habit, but drug users are less likely to use harder street drugs when safer, less damaging, less addicting drugs are available.  

Criminalization hurts society.  Drkev, you said you've studied sociology.  Why don't you dig up your old notes on social construction theory?  The costs of supporting a criminal justice system that punishes victimless offenders is far more than the cost of supporting the healthcare costs of supporting some of those people who develop health problems and don't have insurance.  




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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #42 on: 06/11/2003 07:53:00 »
Jay,

Very well put.

I don't want to sound like a conspiracy freak, but.... Don't you think that the government has weighed all of this? Doesn't it stand to reason that they may want to keep this element alive? It's been lining pockets for years. It's scare tactic propoganda and it keeps people locking their doors. It feeds the egos and bellies of law enforcement and judiciary systems. It makes the money flow. All the monkeys dance when the big boys start grinding out laws. Money, money, money.
It's actually a shameful thing. Have you ever seen the nightly news in Amsterdam? It's like a freakin' variety show. There's no crime. But, Amsterdam isn't the big scary power that the US is... The police nation. If we stay scared and confused, we keep spending.

Just a thought.
 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #43 on: 06/11/2003 10:31:30 »
Ians Daddy:  Yeah, before the big terrorist "threat", crime and drugs were the two main things used by the goverment to terrorize citizens into letting themselves be controlled.  Check out a book called Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner.  It talks about exactly that...how we let ourselves be terrified by goverment and media and how stupid it all is.  Intolerance, racism, injustice...all products of us allowing ourselves to be told what to do.  I don't know that the motivation is purely financial...I think 9/11 proved that fear can sometimes make people STOP spending,  but it is most certainly about control.  And control is what keeps the fat old white guys in power.

Have you ever heard the real reason cannabis was declared illegal?  It's because of Dupont's patented paper manufacturing process.  You know, the one that uses up real long-lived actual trees and creates nasty chemical byproducts.  Hemp paper was commonly used before that (our Consitution is written on it!) and is better quality and produces less chemical byproducts.  So Dupont lobbied his buddies in Philadelphia (I don't think DC was US capital at that point...this was the 1800s)  and let them know that hemp came from the same plant that the dirty Mexicans smoked that make them all crazy, thus it should be banned.  Of course, smokable marijuana plants and hemp plants are have completely different THC contents, but our gov't listened to their pals in industry and here we are.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #44 on: 07/11/2003 04:45:58 »
Jay,
Both of your posts are well put.  I'll have to check out the book Culture of Fear, as I agree with the idea and just have not put much thought into it before.  As you can see in many of my other posts, I believe most of the power in the world is dominated by money, and whatever happens does so to generate more money and/or power for someone.  Sometimes this is not bad and sometimes it is horrible.  It is rarely good always true.


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Offline Ylide

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #45 on: 08/11/2003 21:27:14 »
I just looked at the topic list and there were 420 views of this thread.  That's surely a sign that weed is good.  =)



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Offline Nikita

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #46 on: 23/12/2003 19:13:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by drkev

Quote "My body, my decision"

So should heroin be legalised then? Should cocaine be legal then? If it's your body hell you can do what you want to it.

I am not a lawyer, I'm a pharmacologist (future doctor). My job is to research and investigate the effects of drugs on people.

We live in a structured and organised society with rules and regulations. You don't like that then you go live on a desert Island.

"..provide treatment" You choose to pump that crap into your body so why shouldf the overstretched NHS have to pay for your treatment? When it is a known fact that Cannabis is 3 times more carcinogenic than tobacco and 4 times the amount of tar is deopsited on the lungs.

When Mrs Jones has to wait for her hip operation because Mr "I can do what I want to my body is in her hospital bed" then my point will be clear.

We have laws that prohibit dangerous activity for reasons. So should the following be legal?

Playing on railways?
Jumping off of buildings?
Running in traffic?
Cocaine?
Heroin?
Self Harming?

After all it's your body

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher

 

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Offline Thorin

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #47 on: 31/12/2004 18:48:24 »
quote:
Originally posted by Donnah

I want marijuana legalized.  To penalize the sick who could benefit from its use because of others who abuse it makes no more sense than banning pharmaceuticals that are sold in the black market.


Who are "the sick who could benefit from its use"?  For every claim of a "medical use" for marijuana there is evidence that the risks outweigh the benefits.  The delivery system for marijuana, smoking, is very unhealthy.  We already have marinol which is based on THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that is available in a safer oral dosage.  The tired argument of a small number of people that have problems with nausea taking an oral medicine is like refusing chemotherapy for cancer because chemotherapy causes nausea.

Marinol has one other difference compared with marijuana -- you don't get high.  And that is why advocates of legalization want it.  It doesn't have anything to do with "medical use", only with getting high.

There is no medical need for marijuana.
 

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Offline Limpet chicken

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #48 on: 03/01/2005 01:55:58 »
Cannabis has improved the quality of my life greatly, I have Asperger's syndrome, but only mildly, I smoke the herb daily, and it has improved my ability, so long as I don't get totally stoned[:D]
to communicate with people, it makes me a lot more receptive to listem to other people, and helps making me a lot more sociable, if I blaze a couple of bowls of hash or skunk in my pipe before I meet friends.

Obviously, the effects are better if I only smoke a couple of bowls, as too much and I get so stoned I am impaired and all I can think of is stuffing my face[:D]

I also have Osgood Schlatters' disease, which causes severe knee pain, Smoking a little pot completely takes away any paid I have on flare ups, impairs me a lot less than if I took street opiates or kratom, and is a pleasurable way to take your medicine too[8]

Non omnis moriar, tenebris e lumen.
Non omnis moriar, tenebris e lumen.

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Offline Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Cannabis
« Reply #49 on: 09/01/2005 11:19:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by Ylide

quote:  So should heroin be legalised then? Should cocaine be legal then? If it's your body hell you can do what you want to it.

  Yes, absolutely.  Make it all legal.  I think we've already proven that prohibition is largely ineffective.  Instead of dumping hundreds of billions of dollars putting these people into prison, how about we spend a fraction of that treating their addiction and god-forbid do some medical research into addiction and find an inexpensive solution.  What do you think costs the state more...a couple months in rehab or 10 years in the pokey?  Considering the average cost to house and feed a prisoner is greater than the median household income in this country, I think we both know the answer to that.  

You make a claim of having  an old woman that can't get her hip replacement surgery because some junkie is taking up a bed.  Denying someone medical treatment because of health issues caused by personal choice goes against everything medicine stands for.  If you truly have that attitude, I feel sorry for any patients you may have should you go into medical practice.  As I stated above, many of our choices in life result in poor health.  Maybe Mrs Jones needs a new hip because she's a big fat slob who couldn't watch what she ate her whole life and the strain of being heavy gave her arthritis.  Does that make her morally superior because her self-induced health issues were not caused by a substance that a few old religious white guys decided made people a little too happy?

Maybe the issue is not wether or not drugs should be illegal, but wether we as a nation have the ability develop a sensible health care plan.  Education and treatment do a lot more in the prevention of drug use than incarceration ever will.  If your goal is truly that of the welfare and health of your fellow man, drkev, perhaps you should take that into consideration.  



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