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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reefer Madness

My local TV listings magazine, TV Week, has a column by Dr. Rhonda Low, who gives health advice on CTV news programs. Her column from Sept. 29 (which never made it online) addresses a recent study, in The Lancet, compiling the results of 35 medical studies on marijuana use:

      ....The studies found that smoking marijuana could increas the risk of developing a psycholtic illness by an alarming 40 per cent. And worse, the more you use, the greater your risk. "Heavy users" (defined in the research as daily or weekly users) showed a 50 to 200 per cent increase in the risk of developing psychosis.

        "It is actually confirming what we have seen clinically, in that people are prone to psychosis have a chance of having exposure to a drug like marijana and that will bring the psychosis home," says Dr. [Bill] MacEwan [director of the Schizophrenia Clinic at the University of B.C.]"

Dr. MacEwan goes on in the column to qualify what he says, noting that there are many factors in a person's life that lead to mental illness, but he adds "So, if you have that family history of schizophrenia, I'd say yes, you should maybe watch what kind of substances you use and how much you are using."

It will be interesting to see if these sorts of medical findings will lead to Canada having a stricter law-enforcement attitude towards marijuana.

Posted by Rick Hiebert on October 14, 2007 in Science | Permalink

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Comments

They really should be more strict, the prohibition on Alcohol in the United States has shown how successful it can be to not allow any mind altering substances.

Time that Canada follows.

Thankfully, Stephen Harper is already on it:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hUvLbSdjOyIsYKd90lMb5EPMonrQ

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-10-14 4:27:14 PM


Snowy,

Excellent black and white sarcasm. Well done!

While we're at it, let's legalize not wearing seatbelts as well.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-10-14 4:45:02 PM


. . . and motorcycle helmets as well - once we are compiling a list.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 5:02:41 PM


The prohibition model simply doesn't work - in fact, prohibition is the black marketers dream come true.
The government isn't committed to changing the culture - if they were they'd have legalized pretty much every recreational drug by now. Who is a junkie going to go to - a dealer that charges $150 for a fix, and requires a high-risk criminal transaction, or a druggist that sells him his fix for $5.00 and requires him to speak with a doctor and a drug counsellor?
If you want to take marijuana out of the culture, allow people to grow their own, for their own use. I project that within a couple of generations, much of the population will have lost interest.
The current direction of this government appears to be to build a bunch more prison capacity, driving up the margins in illicit intoxicants, increasing the attraction to organized crime.
And finally, our drug problems, in order of significance, are: alcohol, prescription drugs, tobacco, other recreational drugs. Funny how the government always wants to start at the bottom and not actually face down the real problem.
The statistics in the story linked above suggest that while many teens will try marijuana, they don't seem to stick with it. It claims a third of Canadians have tried pot. If a third of Canadians have tried pot and feel threatened by the proposed legislation, I suspect this government will not survive the next election. In reality, of course, many Canadians have tried pot and not continued to use it. That suggests the answer isn't in legislation and enforcement, but rather, honest, not contrived, education.
Reefer Madness, indeed!

Posted by: Rob Gilgan | 2007-10-14 5:03:57 PM


One can see who is still using dope by the responses on this thread.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 5:07:31 PM


h20 ~

On reflection, I think I see snowflake's beef:

"Hey, guys. I'm posting on a conservative blog and these guys here can't recognize my brilliance. They are ganging up on me and refuse to see that I am right and they are wrong. They even call me names! That's not fair! We in lotus land don't behave so reprehensibly on our web sites. How dare you folks not acknowledge the truth of my superior wisdom, intellect and morality versus your ignorance, racism and religious whackery."

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 5:12:23 PM


Drug problems are not new. At the beginning of the 1900, in China, there were lawful opium saloons. Read the books of Lucien Bodard who lived there. And it kept enslaving people.

It may be that drugs are more about what a society is than the other way around. Maybe we should ask how to bring back moral values into our society.

On the other hand, it will not help legalizing drugs. Just like it was of no help in China that opium was legalized in 1900.

And I don't see alcohol as a drug. Man has been drinking wine and alcoholic beverages since the beginning. If used with wisdom, it doesn't hurt too much.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2007-10-14 5:31:13 PM


drugs should be legalized. let people sink or swim on their own character. organised crime would take a major hit, we would need less police, and the courts would be cleared up and more efficient to deal with real criminals. dope should be taxed and legislated. the only reason users are called criminals is because the State has labeled them as such.

experienced conservative/libertarians like William F. Buckley, Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and Walter Williams agree.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-14 5:38:33 PM


shel ~

. . . only if they waive their right to taxpayer paid medical care as a result of their drug use.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 5:53:11 PM


obc. absolutely. and that's the problem with tax payer funded medicare: where to draw the line.

we should emulate the US system. privatization, with cheap rates for the poor. insurance companies aren't Satan's minions like our social liberals would have us believe.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-14 5:59:41 PM


shel ~

In the UK, they are beginning to deny medical care to smokers and the obese.

It seems to me that drug users and people who practice unsafe sex and end up with HIV and other STDs should also be refused service at our expense.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 6:04:17 PM


Maia Szalavitz at Stats at George Mason University puts the findings into context.

“A 40% increase in risk sounds scary, and this was the risk linked to trying marijuana once, not to heavy use. To epidemiologists a 40% increase is not especially noteworthy-- they usually don’t find risk factors worth worrying about until the number hits at least 200% and some major journals won’t publish studies unless the risk is 300 or even 400%. The marijuana paper did find that heavy use increased risk by 200-300%, but that’s hardly as sexy as try marijuana once, increase your risk of schizophrenia by nearly half!

By contrast, one study found that alcohol has been found to increase the risk of psychosis by 800% for men and 300% for women."

http://www.stats.org/stories/2007/will_one_joint_schizoid_july30_07.htm

Speaking of correlation, that is precisely what epidemiological studies have consisted failed to show and there is no causation without correlation. Specifically, should there be a causal link between marijuana and schizophrenia, there should be a positive correlation between marijuana consumption and schizophrenia, but such a correlation is conspicuous by its absence. Despite a massive increase in the number of Australians consuming the drug since the 1960s, Wayne Hall of the University of Queensland found no increase in the number of cases of schizophrenia in Australia. http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking3/MJScience.html Mitch Earleywine of the University of Southern California similarly found the same with regard to the US population http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking3/MJScience.html and Oxford’s Leslie Iversen found the same regard to the population in the UK. http://www.stats.org/stories/2007/will_one_joint_schizoid_july30_07.htm According to Dr. Alan Brown, a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University,
"If anything, the studies seem to show a possible decline in schizophrenia from the '40s and the '50s,"
http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/09/19/reefer_madness/index.html

As Szalavitz notes, this is marked contrast to what happened with cigarette consumption and lung cancer.

“When cigarette smoking barreled through the population, lung cancer rose in parallel; when smoking rates fell, lung cancer rates fell.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maia-szalavitz/reefer-inanity-never-tru_b_58353.html

Much of the evidence linking marijuana to schizophrenia suggests not that it causes schizophrenia per say but rather that it causes the earlier onset of symptoms in people who would sooner or later develop schizophrenia. Much to Gordan Brown’s dismay, this is opinion of Dr Iddon.

"Dr Iddon, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on drugs misuse [Britain], said the study did not convince him it was time to return cannabis to class B. "I don't think the causal link has been proved. I think cannabis might - possibly for genetic reasons - trigger psychosis at an earlier age." The MP, who is also a member of the science and technology select committee, said there was a danger of criminalising "hundreds of thousands of young people" if the status of the drug was changed. "If Gordon Brown changes the class of the drug, it won't be evidence-based but for political reasons," he said.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,2136479,00.html


Posted by: koby | 2007-10-14 6:22:05 PM


"By contrast, one study found that alcohol has been found to increase the risk of psychosis by 800% for men and 300% for women."

Alcohol use - or regular binge drinking? Normal occasional alcohol use is just that - NORMAL!

Churchill smoked and drank like a fish - and lived to be 90!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 6:25:58 PM


Remi - many of the herbs that now sit on controlled lists predate alcohol by centuries. You don't consider alcohol a drug? You just dropped out of any earnest debate. From your point of view, it would appear that any substance the government doesn't benefit from fiscally, should be controlled. Our governments are our drug dealers - both in the wholesale and retail sales and the legislation (and absence thereof) of prescription drugs. It's significant to understand - marijuana, for example, was made illegal in the United States through an intense lobbying effort by the distilling industry.
I don't advocate recreational drug use - but I do recognize that governments have failed miserably in every attempt they've made to control them.

Posted by: Rob Gilgan | 2007-10-14 6:26:06 PM


obc. i agree. but there's a problem. we're trapped in a sacred socialist religion of universal healthcare. if we had a private system, there would be no issue.

in the States, with private healthcare, when one signs a contract with a company, one must regulate his own lifestyle. if he smokes, drinks, does drugs, or becomes obese (barring proveable medical issues), his coverage comes into question. it's to his own advantage, then, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so when he becomes sick (and we all do, eventually), he'll be covered.

the problem is, we're trapped. i want to agree with you, but we're all forced to be equal by the system. we're all paying into it with our taxes, so if the State becomes arbitrary and crazy, and we can't take our business elsewhere, like we could if an insurance company gets stupid, things could get out of hand.

so, as much as i dislike it (and it does gall me), until we adopt a private system, i have to be universal (jeez, i hate that word). ;(

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-14 6:28:18 PM


"and we can't take our business elsewhere"

Aaah! But we can. Just like thousands of others, I am in the US today taking care of my own health care with no governmental interference - and no 6 month waiting lists!

As I've often said before, our money is spent in the US rather than in Canada, strengthening the US economy and hurting the Canadian one. That includes hotels, gas, restaurants and other amenities for each visit.

And all the expenditures are claimed on our income tax as deductions! In other words, these mini-vacations are tax-deductible, plus the opportunity to go shopping for cheaper US products that are then brought back to Canada - hurting retailers in our home provinces, especially now that the two dollars are at par.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 6:36:45 PM


Churchill smoked and drank like a fish - and lived to be 90!

And he save the western world and achieve the title of "Man of the 20th Century" along the way.

Not bad .. but they were Cuban cigars he was smoking and Scotch whiskey he was drinking. Both of of those items quality as manna from heaven. Not related to the drinking and smoking as we know it here and now.

;0)

Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 7:22:46 PM


obc. yeah, i guess i could take my cash south if i have to get medical help. i think i'll go close to Baja, while i'm there so i can do some hiking. :)

good night

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-14 7:29:12 PM


One thing for sure, everybody here would benefit from smoking weed once in a while.

It's certainly less dangerous than the massive dose of pills and the transformed food this country is getting.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-14 7:30:02 PM


There is no answer to the drug problem where pot is concerned. It is easy and cheap to produce to the government cannot compete in that arena since they have already proved in Manitoba coal mine shafts that they cannot do it as well as a 15 year old in moms basement.

There is no way to to stop pot smoking, we may just have to live with it as we have been.

The problem of hard drug use such as heroine and crack etc is another story. There must be some effort to control this.

I suggest this. ... first rule of business is to respond to a demand. So, reduce demand by picking up and jailing users at every opportunity. After a couple of forced dry-outs they will leave the area or quite using. This will help discourage dealers from proliferating in your town.

Next, when you catch the dealer, give him a near death experience in Jail for a long time with hard labor. Then, deport if not a citizen. In other words, no mercy to the users or the dealers of hard drugs.

Allow pot smokers to politely grow and use their pot until they realize that they are in a stupor and cannot get very far up the career path with this handicap of not being aware of the passing of time or the inability to stop eating Twinkies.

Now let's review ... Pot not a big deal ... hard drugs ... show no mercy.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 7:31:40 PM


And I agree that doctors are drug dealers that need to reigned in as well.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 7:32:34 PM


"when you catch the dealer, give him a near death experience in Jail for a long time with hard labor."

HA! We don't give murderers, rapists and child molesters that kind of treatment in Canada!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 7:45:11 PM


Count me with the crowd that has had enough of governments deciding how I run my life. They have no business forcing seat belts, bicycle helmets, non-smoking and all the other regulations. People are people and there will always be those who choose wrong decisions; no law will stop them all. At the same time I do not want government forcing me to pay for the same people - injection sites, etc.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-14 7:48:21 PM


"organised crime would take a major hit,"

Yup. I can see/hear it all now. At the meeting of the local hells angels the discussion goes like this.

President says:Well ,now that all drugs have been legalized there isn't anthing that we can sell. So I've posted a listing of jobs avialable in the community. Home Depot needs a guy in lumber-pays $15 per hour. Wallmart needs 3 greeters etc.etc.etc.

Posted by: Horny Toad | 2007-10-14 8:07:58 PM


Shel, obc,

The US medicare system is not as free market as you might think. There is plenty of government intervention. Though much less than Canada.

I heard the other day we rank tight up there with Cuba and North Korea when it comes to forbidding people from spending their own money on procedures they choose that are covered by health care. I dont know if that is true but it is interesting if it is.

Even Socialist France has a dual system.

Posted by: TM | 2007-10-14 9:52:43 PM


The point many drug users, who choose to use illegal drugs, or drugs that would have otherwise been legal--except they don't have a legal right to use them, is that there are reasons why drugs are used, and reasons why drugs are not used.

For the most part, drugs--especially marijuana--but not exclusive to marijuana, turns the user into a big fat BLAH!!!! --who cannot say much but BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! You can see them riding down the road, on their fat behinds, with the sideways smile sticking out from the top of their pants. Sure, lots of marijuana smokeage and who knows what else, turned them all into comfort seeking munching eataholics!

You see, many drugs are legally used by people, including morphine. But the user has to have the legal right--and usually the reason for useing the drug, is that they are in so much pain, that denying them the drug amounts to druelty!

BUT WHAT ABOUT ME!!!! I, for one, experience great pains every time I see one of those hog drivers, scooting around, with their pants hanging off their buts, and their guts hanging over their pants, and their teeth rotting out of their faces, while their greasy hair hangs out from underneath their greasy smelly black or whatever helmets! It is painful to watch.

Still, as one who chooses not to look, I can say that not looking actually does reduce the pain--quite substantially.

Drugs always create more problems for people than they are worth.

The article was about the fact that marijuana useage does create psychosis in a large percentage of the population. And, this is a total waste of human beings, to permit people to take drugs that ruin them. For that matter, whatever drug that does that--it is a shame.

It is a shame in every single city across Canada, that people take these drugs, and waste away their lives. People who say that it is only the individual who is taking the drugs, who suffers, are missing the entire picture. We, as a Society, are compossed of the SUM of us. And whenever someone ruins their life, by taking drugs and being stupid, they hurt everyone else who has done whatever they can to turn that person into a whole contribution fully functioning person.

The person who chooses to take the drugs, chooses not only to dull out their minds, but also to be dull when a person next to them, needs to have a whole person standing next to them. Instead, what they find is a narcistic drug numbed down idiot (male or female) whose sole purpose is to serve themselves.

Sure, there are people who take drugs all their lives, and still make something of it. But imagine what they could have been, if they had never taken drugs? And imagine what that could have done for the entire Canada--hmmm?

Sure, many Canadian have tried drugs--and yet to date, more have not. And of those who tried, most of them seem to have seen the light, that it is not worth the bother--that in the end, you hurt yourself and your loved ones the most.

Take a look at what crystal meth is doing to young people. See the lives of healthy good people zapped up in matter of months. And the first thing they could have done for themselves, would have been to never have taken it in the first place. Liberal liberality has stolen the juice of life from so many people, and turned them into rot--and the only people who seem to care a damn, are neo-conservatives.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-10-15 12:04:33 AM


>"The article was about the fact that marijuana usage does create psychosis in a large percentage of the population. And, this is a total waste of human beings, to permit people to take drugs that ruin them."
Lady

Not a fact at all.

I read this 'recent study' some months ago and expected it to appear as the basis of a thread back then.

Marijuana is an illegal, proscribed substance.
There are no tests or studies done with proper sample groups to show anything of the kind that these 'studies' purport to demonstrate.

Only people who are ignorant of the scientific method and the need for controls in a study would believe this old shibboleth of the drug warriors, that marijuana causes 'Reefer Madness'.

Do any of you really think that the sort of conditions that have to be met, clinical trials, took place which would determine a drug's safety prior to being released into the market?

If you really look into this so-called 'study' or conclusion drawn from a group of 'studies' which didn't even have as a hypothesis for each individual study, that marijuana has affects human psychological abnormality, then you find these aren't actual scientific studies or medical trials.

No control factors were used.
The pre-existing psychological disposition of individuals comprising the sample group was not examined nor that of the individuals family history.

Dosage, frequency of use, work or living environment were not controlled for in the 'experiments', use of other substances, dietary factors etc. were not taken into account.

In short these so called 'studies are nothing more than the same old drug warrior propaganda.


Posted by: Speller | 2007-10-15 7:07:55 AM


It seems the Canadian health system wants cancer patients to die BEFORE any money is "wasted" on curing them. And if you don't have a family doctor like 1 million Ontarians, you don't even count in these statistics because you don't even get the "honor" of being placed on the waiting list:


"Wait times for surgery in Canada at all-time high: study"

A typical Canadian seeking surgical or other therapeutic treatment had to wait 18.3 weeks in 2007, an all-time high, according to new research published Monday by independent research organization the Fraser Institute.

"Despite government promises and the billions of dollars funnelled into the Canadian health-care system, the average patient waited more than 18 weeks in 2007 between seeing their family doctor and receiving the surgery or treatment they required," said Nadeem Esmail, director of Health System Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the 17th annual edition of Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada.

Total waiting times increased in six provinces: Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Total waiting times increased in six provinces: Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The survey measures median waiting times to document the extent to which queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures are used to control health-care expenditures.

"It's becoming clearer that Canada's current health-care system cannot meet the needs of Canadians in a timely and efficient manner, unless you consider access to a waiting list timely and efficient," Esmail added.

The 2007 survey found the total median waiting time for patients between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, increased to 18.3 weeks from 17.8 weeks observed in 2006. This was primarily due to an increase in the first waiting period, between seeing the general practitioner and attending a consultation with a specialist.

Total waiting times increased in six provinces: Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. This masked the decreased waiting times in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Waiting times best in Ontario

Ontario recorded the shortest waiting time overall (the wait between visiting a general practitioner and receiving treatment) at 15.0 weeks, followed by British Columbia (19.0 weeks) and Quebec (19.4 weeks). Saskatchewan (27.2 weeks), New Brunswick (25.2 weeks) and Nova Scotia (24.8 weeks) recorded the longest waits in Canada.

The waiting time between referral by a GP and consultation with a specialist rose to 9.2 weeks from the 8.8 weeks recorded in 2006. The shortest waits for specialist consultations were in Ontario (7.6 weeks), Manitoba (8.2 weeks) and British Columbia (8.8 weeks).

The longest waits for consultation with a specialist were recorded in New Brunswick (14.7 weeks), Newfoundland and Labrador (13.5 weeks) and Prince Edward Island (12.7 weeks).

The waiting time between specialist consultation and treatment — the second stage of waiting — increased to 9.1 weeks from 9.0 weeks in 2006. The shortest specialist-to-treatment waits were found in Ontario (7.3 weeks), Alberta (8.9 weeks) and Quebec (9.4 weeks), while the longest waits were in Saskatchewan (16.5 weeks), Nova Scotia (13.6 weeks) and Manitoba (12.0 weeks).

Among the various specialties, the shortest total waits (between referral by a general practitioner and treatment) occurred in medical oncology (4.2 weeks), radiation oncology (5.7 weeks) and elective cardiovascular surgery (8.4 weeks).

Patients waited longest between a GP referral and orthopedic surgery (38.1 weeks), plastic surgery (34.8 weeks) and neurosurgery (27.2 weeks).

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-15 8:55:17 AM


Your comments are my thoughts, Lady. I, too, hate seeing drug addicted people with holes in their cheeks and death in their eyes. I heard one lady define her drug addicted brother as a man without a soul. It sent chills to my heart; her brother is 25 years old! He has spent all her parent's money and has stolen money from all of his brothers and sisters. The resources of that family have all gone up her brother's nose and into his scab ridden veins. They have ambivalent feelings for him because less than a year ago he was a brother and son who helped and loved his family.

Drug addiction is worse than death for both the addict and the people who care about the person that that addict used to be. Love cannot be turned on and off like a tap; the guilt and the heartache suffered by the families of drug addicts is beyond comprehension if it has never happened to you.

Using drugs or alcohol to escape reality is every person's choice - all choices in life involve risk but this choice is often taken by young people to draw attention to themselves or to have the thrill of risking their life. Young people have been denied a feeling of usefulness and value in the nanny state. If everyone in a family has an important, contributing role in the family unit then responsibility and love will steer most people away from drugs and alcohol addiction.

Getting drunk is a much cheaper thrill that dipping into drugs for the simple fact that alcohol is water soluble and it washes out of the system in 24 hours. Drugs, including marijuana, are fat soluble consequently the drug stays in the system 7 years; further, it lodges in places where the most important fat of the body is found: the reproductive organs and the brain.

We all know what a drink imbibed by an expectant mother can do to the brain of an unborn child - FAE and FAS. I suspect that drugs have the same detrimental effects on unborn children.

This open discussion about this topic, here on Shotgun, is definitely a step in the right direction. Parents need to have information so they can take steps to dis-wade their children from turning to drugs as a way to cope with the pressures of living life.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-15 11:26:59 AM


Hi Jema,

Agree with you on all points except for this one:

"Young people have been denied a feeling of usefulness and value in the nanny state."

Perhaps it is moot, however individual usefulness is decided by the individual--not the state. yes, we have a nanny state--but only up to a point. Too many times, and too often, I hear people on the left say that the reason people take drugs, is because of oppression by the state. Well, all we have to do to see what the state does for people, is to see to what ends the state goes to educate and feed children. No, it is not perfect--but there are many children in the world who dream about the opportunities our young people have--from the moment of their births. I feel that when someone experiements with marijauna, sure that is experimentation--but if they insist on useing it and all the other drugs out there, every day--they are narcists and have spit on their freedom. They--not the drug dealer, have spit on their freedom, and they are responsible for their actions. Yes, they are someone's baby--BUT like you and many others have said, the family hurts so badly--and these people just keep one doing it over and over again.

And I know it is not to your point, but there is a whole bunch of propaganda out there that says that marijuana is harmless. Well, marijuana fits into a drug culture, and as you know, the drug culture does not exactly see a moral distinction between the use of mj and the use of other harder drugs.

Sure, there are those who only do it on occassion--but the article was about those who get mentally ill from taking the drug--not those who do not get mentally ill from taking the drug. And, it is not about the so-named "reefer madness" as depicted inthe movie "reefer madness". I saw the movie many years ago, and laughed till I cried.

In regards to the scientific method, as Speller alluded to, there would be no way that anyone would be given a thumbs up to do a scientific experiement on marijuana useage--to the extent that would be required, in order to see the kinds of responses that are often seen by social workers and law enforcement officers around the clock. So, the only kinds of studies that can be conducted are quasi-scientific at best--as in after the fact and as a result of after the fact reports. Given the propensity of one type of user to use drug along with others, there is no doubt in my mind that you cannot exactly strip the effects of one drug away from the others. yet to do that would not make sense, because in the real world, those who use as often as would be required to get a measure, typically abuse everything--including their food intake, their whole bodies, and as Jema so eloquently and tragically stated, their loved ones.

Yes, substance abuse is substance abuse--no doubt--but a lack of concern over one area of drug abuse, is making it more and more difficult for people to get help--prolonged help--and law and social workers are having a more difficult time, being recognized for facing such an incredably difficult situation, when people generally soften their outlook on marijuana and undermine the credibility of research that exposes a real present danger in our populations. All these people, who would have otherwise been fully participating in our society--are rendered down to incompetent societal drains.

What we need is a social reorganization that places drug abuse back where it really is--as a crime against society--and not just a crime that effects the individual.

.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-10-15 11:59:31 AM


I can speak with some authority on this as a young person raised in a drug infested neighbourhood in Scotland.

Young people do drugs because they are bored, want an escape and have little sense of pride or self worth and see no prospects for their future.

This has nothing to do with the state. It has everything to do with having parents who are addicts themselves, are often not much older than their children and who experience the same level of hopelessness.

I've seen all the naive social workers and naive do-gooders plying their trade among these people. It does little good.

Harsh measures are the only solution. By this I mean incarceration at enforced labour and treatment (in jail). Anything to get these losers off the street and away from their loser parents and loser friends and other bad influences until they finally get a sense of pride and self worth and become winners.

If that does not work then there is no choice but to discard them and let them commit their slow suicide.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 12:22:02 PM


"And I don't see alcohol as a drug. Man has been drinking wine and alcoholic beverages since the beginning. If used with wisdom, it doesn't hurt too much."

Exactly the same scene with marajuana.

It's a choice, a freedom.

If your worried about health risks, ban cigerettes.

Posted by: bzloki | 2007-10-15 1:10:25 PM


Bzloki, pointing fingers at other vices does nothing to diminish the harm done by marijuana.
It also diminishes the great efforts made to curb smoking and drinking which everyone recognizes are health hazards.

And finally, there is a difference between exercising freedom as a rational human being and exercising freedom as a complete idiot.

I shall leave it to you and others to draw further conclusions.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 1:16:00 PM


Thanks for the astute response Lady. In my reference to nanny state, it was not to blame the state for the drugs; it was to blame the state for interfering in the family. I make the error of assuming that others follow my train of thought without giving them the reference. I am on the same page as you regarding state responsibility for dereliction.

The nanny state reference was to infer that a country that encourages farming out children to day cares undermines that child's worth and self esteem. My great uncles had a job herding bulls when they were 8 and 10 years old. They lived in a tent and kept a rifle, two horses and a border collie with them. They were paid by local ranchers for their work. My Great Grandparents needed the money, they had 13 children and they had just arrived in the West via covered wagon.

Did these two boys grow up derelicts you ask - no they did not - one joined the Princess Pats and was killed in the trenches during WWI, he was a marksman and a magnificent rider before he went to war so he didn't need much training. My family still morns the loss of this treasured man; he has legendary status for his contribution to his family. The other uncle raised cattle, grain and Appaloosa horses - and nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews. He never married because his sweetheart married a returned soldier. I was one of the great nieces he helped raise; he once bought 4 welsh ponies and told my brothers and I to take them home and train them! What a magnificent gift to 4 kids! Any wonder that we remember our great uncle? What daycare worker could measure up to just two members of my family who expected to be needed and expected to work for a living? My brothers and I took very good care of those ponies and the foals that were born to the mares while they lived at our place. My great uncle sold one of those foals for a big price because we had done such a good job of training her - it was give and take with true love - true love always has responsibility attached to it. Children of day-cares never have the opportunity to form this relationship with members of their families.

That is all I was saying Lady...

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-15 1:23:02 PM


Everybody here seems to point @ the poors for drugs and drug abuses...
Yes, they're buying themselves a "piece of Haven" with alcool, Meth, Crack, glue, and some cheap prescription pills.

But what about the others...?
...A great deal of respected professionals abusing of coke, weed, speed, E, and massive use of legal pills.
Without those guys, colombian cartels, pharma compagnies and other organisations would go bankrupt.

The buzz word here is not the "legal" part, it's "moderation".

*

Guess it's time for another Zen moment with Mr. Rock...
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4GXb7-efd4M

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-15 1:40:47 PM


Marc, all the finger pointing I see is towards excuses, diversions and irrelevant side arguments. Most of these are being made by posters who I suspect are drug users themselves trying to justify their behaviour.

The only difference between a poor doper and a rich doper is the poor doper steals from other hard working people to support their destructive behaviours.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 1:58:31 PM


And a further note on your harmful comments about so called "moderate" drug use.

1. Do your kids see you whacked out on dope?
2. Do they smell drugs on you or find drug paraphernalia in your home?
3. Can they access your stash?
4. Do you drive while you are stoned?
5. Do you do a job where you potentially place others at risk?
6. Are you worried about failing a drug test at work and losing your job?
7. How do you like supporting outlaw gangs and murder and mayhem associated with illegal drugs by patronizing them with your purchases?
8. How do you like depriving your kids of family time because you are high or depriving your family of other monetary priorities because you thought buying drugs was a better use of your money.

I could go on and on but will leave it there.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 2:05:25 PM


I said, moderation.
Like for the use of Alcohol.
I did not agree with "legal" buzzword - like if there's a difference whatsoever...that's all.

Restart each of your "questions" but with "legal drugs" and "alcohol"...same shit. Also, am I the only one to see no signs of >moderation< in any of the questions you're presenting...?

Are you for real or you just desperately need to chat with someone ?

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-15 2:31:07 PM


Quote:

drugs should be legalized. let people sink or swim on their own character. organised crime would take a major hit, we would need less police, and the courts would be cleared up and more efficient to deal with real criminals. dope should be taxed and legislated. the only reason users are called criminals is because the State has labeled them as such.

experienced conservative/libertarians like William F. Buckley, Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and Walter Williams agree.

Posted by: shel | 14-Oct-07 5:38:33 PM

shel ~

. . . only if they waive their right to taxpayer paid medical care as a result of their drug use.

Posted by: obc | 14-Oct-07 5:53:11 PM

/end quote

I agree with you, shel. The war on drugs has been going on for how long? Are we any closer to success now than we were thirty years ago? There are (almost) daily shootings here as dealers fight over their turf. Sometimes innocent bystanders are injured or killed. How is this a good thing? How is continuing what we've been doing for decades suddenly, miraculously going to make a difference?

obc, you head down a very slippery slope when you suggest denying drug users health care. There is quite a long list of things people do that cause damage or injury to themselves. Should we deny health care to the skier who breaks his leg, or the rock climber who falls and cracks his head open? How about obesity?

Posted by: Larry | 2007-10-15 2:46:51 PM


Marc, you are a typical "moderate" drug abuser obfuscating the issue with trivial and petty arguments over semantics as part of your self denial. Seen it a hundred times buddy boy.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 2:51:27 PM


Please send the invoice directly at my office, Dr.Phil.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-15 3:21:31 PM


IN response to Epsilon's questions:

1. Do your kids see you whacked out on dope?

Impossible. Moderate amounts of pot does not "whack" one "out".

2. Do they smell drugs on you or find drug paraphernalia in your home?

If so, great time for a discussion on marijuana, it's actual effects, and the fact that, like alcohol, they shouldn't touch until they're at least 15 and in the company of their parents.

3. Can they access your stash?

Any idiot with drawer that locks can figure this one out.

4. Do you drive while you are stoned?

No. I don't drive after taking cough medicine either.

5. Do you do a job where you potentially place others at risk?

If so, don't smoke on the job, einstein. Or drink. Or take cough syrup. Or wear headphones. Or dance a jig, for that matter.

6. Are you worried about failing a drug test at work and losing your job?

The problem here is prohibition. If I am worried, I shouldn't have to be. Smoking moderate amounts of pot, like drinking moderately, is a personal choice of no concern or business of your employer's.

7. How do you like supporting outlaw gangs and murder and mayhem associated with illegal drugs by patronizing them with your purchases?

ARG. This is the most annoying one. If pot were legal, skippy, we wouldn't be supporting gangs anymore, would we? problem solved.

8. How do you like depriving your kids of family time because you are high or depriving your family of other monetary priorities because you thought buying drugs was a better use of your money.

If you've got a family, chances are you'll spend more on milk in a week than you will on pot in a month. If you don't care enough about your kids to meet their needs, then you're just a lousy parent. The inability to budget does not a criminal make.


Epsilon, you say you "could go on". Please do, because what you have written so far is an affront to logic.

Posted by: zamprelli | 2007-10-15 3:24:48 PM


WoW! Zamprelli! Another "enlightened" drug abuser. Nice to see you have successfully reconciled drug abuse with family values.

Drug abusers always go to great stretches to somehow justify their abuse as being harmless to themselves, their families and to society.

It is your atitude of self denial that is the reason people are being gunned down in the streets by drug gang members.

You are part of the problem Zam and you are too cowardly to admit it.

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-15 3:31:35 PM


Epsi,

Use does not equal abuse. Talk to me when you manage to wrap your head around that.

Posted by: zamprelli | 2007-10-15 4:32:11 PM


Larry ~

I was pointing out what is already happening in the UK. Smokers and obese people are not being operated upon because they have caused their own problems - according to the NHP.

I was pointing out that AIDS patient are not treated the same way for PC reasons.

And yes - if these rules are to be implemented, rock climbers and skiers SHOULD also be excluded from NHP treatment - to be FAIR.

With no socialist health care, these issues do not arise, Private insurance covers everyone, even if it's more expensive to get that insurance if you are in a high-risk category by your own life choices.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-15 4:42:25 PM


Epsi,
http://youtube.com/watch?v=TKVAQLnm_5Y
Are you the actual wife on the floor ?

*
You live in Canada, producer of one of the best weed on earth. Our government allows sick people to smoke it for it's therapeutically proprieties, even if the pharma lobby made great pressure not to. The government of Canada is selling weed to people having health problems. Others have the right to grow it from their house. Let's face it, weed will be legalised in Canada in your lifetime. It is less dangerous than cigarettes, alcohol, prescription pills and fast food. We have no idea about the long term effects from the transgenic food our governement accepted to feed us with.

If you wish to juge our canadian system regarding violent drugs crimes, allow me to compare us with something many readers would love to be, the US...

In revenche, Canada is playing with the highest numbers if speakings of prescription pills.

For what i'm concern, we should be harder with those who sell hard drugs but I beleive it's YOUR dutie to raise your children properly, not the government. Since you seem to be a good mother, I just hope you tell them not using any prescription pills until their life depens on it. Just as well I hope you're cooking bio and kick their small asses if they pass 12 hours in front of their pc, just like obc.

Cool down with your weed obsession. You might offend some contributors around here.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-15 4:45:48 PM


First of all cut the condescending BS Marc. You and Zam are both unapologetic drug abusers and like all drug abusers you deny you have a problem. This is normal for people in your situation.

And you choose to completely ignore that your behaviours supports an industry that brings death, despair and sadness to too many people.

In short, you are short-sighted, irresponsible and a deadweight on society.

Now quit acting like a dumbass and exert some willpower and quit using the junk.

If you can't do it by yourself, get some help.

Sick and tired of the drug culture that is so pervasive in Canada as a result of a candy-ass drug enforcement policy of naivist liberal governments.

Epsi

Posted by: epsilon | 2007-10-15 4:57:32 PM


Epsi,

I am not a lefty. More of a classical liberal/individualist and staunch free market supporter. I dont do drugs of any kind.

I only read your last comment so maybe I am wrong. But you seem to favor more inforcement. The problem here is that it has never worked and it never will. Billions of dollars are spent in North America on the war on drugs with little or nothing to show for it.

Posted by: TM | 2007-10-15 5:07:58 PM


Sick and tired of the drug culture that is so pervasive in Canada as a result of a candy-ass drug enforcement policy of naivist liberal governments.

Posted by: epsilon | 15-Oct-07 4:57:32 PM

Do yourself a favour Epsi and never, EVER go to the Netherlands, you'll suffer a stroke and would have to actually deal with one of those inept socialized Medical Programs.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-10-15 5:09:50 PM


Billions of dollars are spent in North America on the war on drugs with little or nothing to show for it.

Posted by: TM | 15-Oct-07 5:07:58 PM

That's not true, the "War on Drugs" provides employment for for more than 10,800 people at the DEA alone, let's not forget all the equipment they need etc.

It is quite a successful industry.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-10-15 5:11:30 PM



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