The Shotgun Blog
Friday, December 18, 2009
Prince of Pot Interview
Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on December 18, 2009 | Permalink
This explains a lot:
MONTREAL -- The effects of daily cannabis use on teenage brains is worse than originally thought and the long-term effects appear to be irreversible, new research from McGill University suggests.
The study, by Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatric researcher from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, suggests that daily cannabis consumption can lead to depression and anxiety.
The new study, published in Neurobiology of Disease, suggests that the reputed "soft" drug has an impact on serotonin and norepinephrine, compounds which help control mood and anxiety.
Her research team observed that 18 rats exposed to cannabis had decreased levels of serotonin, which affects mood, and higher levels of norepinephrine, which makes one more susceptible long-term to stress.
"These permanent changes in the brain are also linked to certain mental illnesses, like schizophrenia," Gobbi said in an interview yesterday.
"And we showed that even if we stopped the cannabis use at the end of adolescence, the changes were still detectable in adulthood."
While past epidemiological studies have shown how cannabis consumption can affect behaviour in some teenagers, Gobbi said the new study demonstrates that the effects are more devastating in teens compared to adults.
"Our study is one of the first to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms at the root of this influence of cannabis on depression and anxiety in adolescents," she said.
Gobbi says that the study reveals that because serotonin and norepinephrine systems are still in development during adolescence, cannabis interferes with their development.
"We don't know if some subjects would be more at-risk than others, including adults," said the McGill professor.
Gobbi said she will be observing a group of young human marijuana smokers to continue her research.
Posted by: set you free | 2009-12-18 8:30:17 AM
Set You Free, unlike Mr. Emery I have never claimed that weed is healthy for you, nor will I ever make that claim. It is clearly unhealthy and all the best scientists agree on this. The only area of disagreement is how unhealthy it is, especially compared to other legal recreational drugs such as alchohol and nicotine.
The point isn't the health risk, it is that people can take responsibility for their own actions.
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-18 8:38:02 AM
The argument as to health is simply a distraction. Do people have the right to control their own bodies?
Posted by: Charles | 2009-12-18 9:02:07 AM
Why isn't that drug dealer in prison yet? He should be locked away for many years and never heard from again. He should come out of jail a broken man incapable of harming anyone ever again.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-18 12:19:33 PM
"He should be locked away for many years and never heard from again."
Says the "fountain of disturbing comments".
Posted by: Charles | 2009-12-18 1:00:49 PM
Why does Emery continue to embarrass and further incriminate himself by doing this? Every word that comes out of his mouth adds to his pathetic reputation as a drug smuggler, dealer and user. He claims to be an advocate for liberty but has yet to show any proof of this. He is a colossal failure as a human being and should be spit on wherever he goes.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-18 4:58:13 PM
Yes you can.
Posted by: set you free | 2009-12-18 6:07:36 PM
"He is a colossal failure as a human being and should be spit on wherever he goes."
I feel the same way about you Zeb. How do you like that? Getting all warm and fuzzy? As far as I'm concerned, you are a waste of skin, with shit for brains. Your irrational hatred for someone you have never met, is mind boggling. Much like your anti TO rants. You are definitely a one trick pony.
Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-18 6:43:47 PM
Like many studies, the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Who funded the study? Were the rats given pot in moderation or to the point where they could'nt see the other end of the cage? Were they given the manditory munchies or were they left frustrated by lack of same?
Was Zeb part of the peer review ? Was this study part of the government pissing contest.
So many questions and so few answers. Not that it would make any difference to the people who smoke pot.
Posted by: peterj | 2009-12-18 8:53:17 PM
Yeah peer review worked so well for "climate change". Emery stands a better chance in the prison shower.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-18 9:01:16 PM
'weed is completely unhealthy, the best scientists agree on this.'
could you please point out how 'weed' is completely unhealthy?
Also do you have peer reviewed evidence that suppoports your claim?
To what 'best scientists' are you referring?
Whilst you gather your 'evidence' I will echo what was said by the 2002 HofC that recommended the decriminalization of Cannabis in Canada:
The greatest harm of Cannabis usage is not from the plant itself, but from the Prohibition of Cannabis.
I look forward to your 'evidence.'
Free Marc Emery!
Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-12-19 6:23:13 AM
Mr. MacIntyre said weed is 'clearly unhealthy.'
Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-12-19 6:41:15 AM
How many government committee recommendations have been heeded? 50% Less than 50%? Less than 10%? Hardly proof of anything.
In any case it wouldn't save that drug dealer Emery. He'll be in jail for a very long time because he deliberately broke US law, and arrograntly believed his external residence and citizenship would save him. What a fool. He deserves to be in jail.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-19 8:07:55 AM
The smoking of cannabis has been connected to bronchitis, increased likelihood of schizophrenia, and decreased sperm count. These are certainly negative side effects that make it unhealthy to consume.
But whatever, as Charles says the health argument is a distraction. The real point is individual choice.
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-19 10:36:41 AM
@Set you free.
The report of the study you posted is completely miss informing. Ill agree that decreased serotonin levels are associated with depression, the question is how much? Increase of norepinephrine on the other hand is one of the effects of ANTIDEPRESSANTS.
Furthermore the study was conducted with SYNTHESIZED THC, not cannabis (full range of cannabinoids) and does not represent reality. Also, this study was done with 18 rats. 18 rats, under any circumstances can not be used to draw accurate conclusions about the general human population about anything. Also this study showed that thc actually stimulates the production of new brain cells, another missed point.
Further reading that was left out by Set You Free about the study.
"It has been known for many years that depletion of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain leads to depression, so SSRI-class antidepressants like Prozac and Celexa work by enhancing the available concentration of serotonin in the brain. However, this study offers the first evidence that cannabis can also increase serotonin, at least at lower doses."
"Laboratory animals were injected with the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 and then tested with the Forced Swim test – a test to measure "depression" in animals; the researchers observed an antidepressant effect of cannabinoids paralleled by increased activity in the neurons that produce serotonin. However, increasing the cannabinoid dose beyond a set point completely undid the benefits, said Dr. Gobbi."
"Low doses had a potent antidepressant effect, but when we increased the dose, the serotonin in the rats' brains actually dropped below the level of those in the control group. So we actually demonstrated a double effect: At low doses it increases serotonin, but at higher doses the effect is devastating, completely reversed."
"Dr. Gobbi and her colleagues were prompted to explore cannabis' potential as an antidepressant through anecdotal clinical evidence, she said. "As a psychiatrist, I noticed that several of my patients suffering from depression used to smoke cannabis. And in the scientific literature, we had some evidence that people treated with cannabis for multiple sclerosis or AIDS showed a big improvement in mood disorders. But there were no laboratory studies demonstrating the antidepressant mechanism of action of cannabis."
So it easily goes BOTH ways on this study, which overall is a horrible representation of reality. Fail study.
Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-19 11:46:11 AM
Dear Zeb, if it weren't for people selling seeds like emery, EVERYONE would need to go to the black market to get cannabis. Growing your own via seeds removes ones involvement and money from the black market, and thus money from the pockets of organized crime. He is no monster, in fact he likely saved a life or 2 in the process by allowing people to completely remove themselves from interacting with, and unwittingly funding violent criminal enterprises. Idiot...
Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-19 12:09:51 PM
I don't buy the angle that Emery is doing a public service. He is a drug dealer, pure and simple. His storefront and formerly a city business license does not hide the fact that he is selling drugs. He's no better than those who sell in alleys and should be treated no less severely. In fact, if he was doing a public service, then why has no one come forward to defend him? He's a punk, and will rot in jail for years for his actions.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-19 12:29:03 PM
"I don't buy the angle that Emery is doing a public service."
Not necessarily directly, but indirectly he is, please refer to my previous explanation.
"His storefront and formerly a city business license does not hide the fact that he is selling drugs"
"His storefront and formerly a city business license does not hide the fact that he is selling drugs. He's no better than those who sell in alleys and should be treated no less severely."
First a question.. lets say someone is selling in an ally, and that person must pay money he makes selling drugs to a guy who lets say "runs" the ally, the "ally pimp" per say. Would you think that boss like figure should also be punished as severely? he openly and willingly profited from the sale of drugs, correct?
"In fact, if he was doing a public service, then why has no one come forward to defend him? He's a punk, and will rot in jail for years for his actions."
For 1, how about the person you are responding to, i'm someone. The fact were having this conversation defeats your point.
But neway, what about all the people who consistently argue with you. How about politicians who have spoke out for him. How about the people who held a rally for him for 40 days straight? O wait, your right, no one has come forward to defend him.
Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-19 12:53:21 PM
To add to my question, what about people who advertised and directed people toward buying this persons "drugs". Would you believe them to be guilty for directly helping enhance that "drug dealers" sales and profit?
Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-19 12:59:22 PM
"Let the three or four million Canadian smokers of pot no longer fear life as a criminal. Pro-Choice is a sensible alternative. Sell smokers a smoking license and be done with it." John Diefenbaker
Posted by: 1286 | 2009-12-20 9:45:31 PM
I've never heard that qoute before. Where did you get it?
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-12-21 2:41:07 AM
He made it up like most of the "academic supporting language" behind "legalization".
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-21 6:55:56 AM
Hugh. I made it up. I like the phrase pro choice and the concept of a smoking license like a fishing license. Often though, I do think of Diefenbaker championing the cause of liberty. I remember when he rented store space in Ottawa and stocked it with nothing but copies of 'The Happy Hooker' and dared the authorities to charge him with distributing illegal literature. Marc Emery and John Diefenbaker have quite a few common points of view and have used similar political tools to promote a point of view held by millions of Canadians.
Posted by: 1286 | 2009-12-21 10:36:19 AM
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