Marijuana is Harmless – Except for that Psychosis Thing…

We’ve all heard the pro-Pot propaganda – “it’s harmless”, “it’s not addictive”, “I know a doctor/lawyer/businessman/writer/(your profession here) who smokes marijuana twice a day, and is a leader in his field.”

On the third point – you’re probably being lied to, as successful adults generally do not have drug habits, and those who do quickly burn out in a blaze of misery. On the second point – you’re certainly being lied to, as anything can be addictive (particularly, anything that numbs the mind). On the first point, science is once again confirming that regular marijuana  use is anything but harmless. A study released today by British researchers concludes that regular marijuana use increases by up to 300% the chances of developing mental psychosis at a later age:

Smoking Pot Makes People More Prone to Psychosis

By Eva von Schaper – July 27 (Bloomberg) — Smoking marijuana increases the risk of developing psychosis later in life by 40 percent, with heavy users having an even higher risk of mental problems, British researchers said.

The researchers analyzed 35 previous studies and concluded that using marijuana or cannabis raised the risk of hallucinating and being delusional later in life.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in countries including the U.S. and the U.K., the authors, led by Glyn Lewis of the University of Bristol, said in the study, published today in The Lancet. Reducing the use of cannabis may help avoid 14 percent of psychoses in Britain, they said.

“We now know that there is a long-term risk associated with the use of cannabis,” Merete Nordentoft, of the department of psychiatry at the Copenhagen University Hospital, said in an interview. Nordentoft, in a commentary accompanying the study, said there is a need to warn the public and establish treatments to help users.

The studies that were examined included patients with disorders such as psychosis, schizophrenia, delusions and hallucinations, the researchers said. A link to depression or obsessive compulsive disorder couldn’t be as clearly established, they said. The research was funded by the U.K.’s Department of Health.

As my favorite public intellectual, Dennis Prager, says about science: any study that can be confirmed by common sense is probably correct. And anyone with common sense can tell you that hippie holdovers from the ’60s and ’70s are experiencing a sad meltdown into absolute psychosis as we speak.

Exhibit A: Topless Protestors at Hillary Clinton Rally (warning: very disturbing images! Not for children – or adults, either.)

(7/27 Update): Exhibit B: Hippie Burnouts Join Cindy Sheehan for March on Washington.

In an era where parents not only fail to discourage drug use, but in many cases actually obtain pot for their spoiled teenage children, I worry very much about the burnouts I’m going to have to deal with as my life progresses… 

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57 Comments

Filed under Canada Loves Marijuana

57 responses to “Marijuana is Harmless – Except for that Psychosis Thing…

  1. Rachel

    I typed a long explanation of how an association is not a cause, but that got erased and I’m not retyping it. I’ll just suffice it to say that the people most likely to smoke pot may also be the ones most prone to psychosis anyway. And if everything can be addictive, as you say, and all things with addictive properties should be banned, then everything should be banned! And if you are just talking about things that “numb the mind”, then alcohol, most prescription drugs, network television, and Thanksgiving turkey should be banned.

    I’ll give you another argument. There is risk involved with everything. Forcibly stopping people from taking risks is a slippery slope, because beyond banning leaving a loaded gun in a toddler’s playpen, you are needlessly stopping people from making their own choices.

  2. Psychosis seems to have set in early, Rachel!

    1) If you are implying that I erased your “long explanation”, you are a liar – I haven’t erased a comment of any kind all week.

    2) I never said all things with addictive properties should be banned. I have no idea where you got that idea. The point I was making was that pothead activists use the LIE that marijuana is not addictive.

    The whole point is, Marijuana is bad for many reasons, including the fact that it can be addictive, the fact that it numbs the mind, and the fact that it has both short-term and long-term harmful effects to the brain that, according to science, contribute to mental illness.

    Circular, paranoid logic like Rachel’s is the greatest argument available against the state sanction of pot consumption.

  3. MA

    THANK YOU for posting this! What a relief to read some common sense about this! What a mixed message it sends kids to legalize this poison. It’s too bad we need studies to tell us this…though it makes you wonder about the the low levels we’ve stooped to as a society, if we need them.

  4. Damn now she tells me, my kid really likes that Gun too!

  5. Maybe we should all leave bongs & zippos in our children’s rooms…just in case they choose to be pot smokers.

    Libertarians, gotta love ’em – too smart to be liberals, too dumb to escape the childish naivetee of Ayn Rand.

  6. “…published today in The Lancet.” Is this any better than the Iraqi civilian deaths one ?

  7. in2thefray: The Lancet certainly did lose some credibility by publishing those ridiculous Iraq death count studies. But using the Pragerian standard that I paraphrased in the post, this study passes the smell test: it confirms common sense. Everyone with any experience either with marijuana, or with people who smoke it habitually, knows that it messes with your brain, and not in any good way.

  8. I remember listening to a Pot Head “Author” – his book was a sort of Michelin guide for dope- being interviewed. The host was cracking about all the hop heads he knew having zero initiative. He fell off his chair when the “Author” told him it took him 5 years to write his book – Hop Head couldn’t make the connection.

  9. William

    Correlation does not equal causation. Rachel’s logic is not “paranoid,” it’s something any scientific researcher understands and hopefully employs. You can tear apart what people say, but it’s in vain. “Messes with your brain” is not logical, nor is “hippie burnout.” This clearly seems like a personal problem to some people. Everything affects one’s brain. If we could understand what “causes” psychosis, we would live in a very different world. However, “psychosis” seems not to be specifically a problem of the brain, there isn’t conclusive evidence for that. Brain surgery is not performed on people with psychosis. Psychosis is not something you can locate in the body, like other “diseases.” It instead seems to be a problem of living. If you want to criticize how “hippie burnouts” live, that’s fine. And you don’t have to like pot. I don’t like pot myself. But why do you care that other people smoke it? They’re not going around killing people. Your (with the exception of Rachel) ideas border on fascism.

  10. William

    By the way, who do you mean by “Liberal?”

  11. “But why do you care that other people smoke it? They’re not going around killing people.”

    Ahh, the logic of the potheads and libertarians. If this is a coherent argument, then let me ask these rhetorical questions as well:

    – Why do you care if people evacuate their bowels in the middle of the street? They’re not killing anyone.
    – Why do you care if 12-year-olds go to casinos? They’re not killing anyone.
    – Why do you care if someone dumps his garbage on the shoulder of the highway? He’s not killing anyone.
    – Why do you care if an NFL quarterback engages in competitive Pit Bull fighting? He’s not killing anyone.

    William, most people care about the environment we live in, and in the signals being sent by adults to children. If widespread, legal, habitual marijuana use in society doesn’t alarm you, then you are simply not a responsible adult or a serious person.

  12. alex

    4 properties in Canada,2 in the US.
    Gotcha! I am a deviant Pot smoker.
    And to sum things up ,I also employ 50 people in Ontario.
    No i do not condone the use of pot .
    But give it up already!

  13. Keep on coming, pot smokers! Your incoherence continues to bolster my point.

  14. All the evidence I need is contained in the comments;) Thanks Flagg!

  15. Rachel

    William, thanks for clarifying the correlation vs. causation thing. I couldn’t explain it that well, especially not in so few words (it must be all the pot I’m supposedly smoking!)

    flaggman,

    1) I am not implying that you erased my comment. And resorting to ad-hominem attacks does absolutely nothing to advance your point (calling me psychotic).

    2) I didn’t say that you said that all things with addictive properties should be banned. I was just pointing out a flaw in your logic: the only rationale you used to prove that marijuana is addictive was the evidence that all things can be addictive. My point was, if all things are addictive, you cannot use the hazards of addiction to ban or demonize one thing unless you do that to everything. If everything is addictive (unless you wish to prove marijuana is MORE so) then the term is useless in determining the relative hazards of things.

    Please explain to me how my logic was circular, and how any logic can be “paranoid”. Also, it’s rather offensive that you refer to anybody who questions your position as a pot smoker. I do not and have never smoked pot but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect others’ rights to do so.

    I think it’s your antagonistic attitude and personal attacks on these so-called “pot smokers” that are keeping them from posting, not your supposedly flawless logic/ their incoherence. Nobody likes to be called names for expressing their opinion.

  16. Rachel

    I was on break at work when I typed my last response. Now to counter some of your other arguments:

    – Why do you care if people evacuate their bowels in the middle of the street? They’re not killing anyone.

    Public health problem. You may think that marijuana use is a public health problem but there is an important distinction: defecating on the street affects people who do not wish to be affected. The relatively minor risks involved with smoking pot only affect the individual who is choosing to use it, at least by and large. (You can nitpick at this, but almost every action is bound to have at least a small effect on others. The question is how much.)

    The street is public property. You don’t have the right to ruin public property, or anyone else’s, but you do own your body.

    – Why do you care if 12-year-olds go to casinos? They’re not killing anyone.

    12-year-olds’ brains are not developed enough for it to be fair for them to have to live with their bad choices.

    – Why do you care if someone dumps his garbage on the shoulder of the highway? He’s not killing anyone.

    Same as the first one.

    – Why do you care if an NFL quarterback engages in competitive Pit Bull fighting? He’s not killing anyone.

    I think the NFL quarterback part is irrelevant, but the competitive Pit Bull fighting is animal cruelty. He is hurting something.

    I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I don’t think William’s point was just that anything that doesn’t kill another person should be legal. My view is that unless the choice you make harms others who do not wish to be involved, you should be allowed to make it.

    Define “numbs the mind”. Pot can heighten the senses and many artists use it for creative inspiration. Does it slow reaction times? Yes. But you don’t really need to be on your toes when you’re relaxing. Think alcohol.

    I’m not entirely sure about the science of the article, but even if pot use leads to a 300% greater chance in becoming psychotic, so what? Alcohol causes cancers and liver disease, among other things, which I’d bet include mental illness. Tobacco causes lung cancer and heart disease. If you were to research all the terrible things that these and prescription drugs can do to your body, an increased risk of psychosis (which is not very much considering the low occurrence of it in the general population), seems tame.

    In my last post I said it was offensive that you were calling me a pothead and pointed out that I am not. But I kind of regret being defensive about that, because what about the people who do smoke pot? What if I did use drugs? Would that void my points? No. Instead of refuting what I have said, you attack what you perceive to be my personal choices. At first I was taken aback that you assumed you knew the type of person I was, but really, what I do or don’t do is irrelevant to the debate.

    Just for the record, I’m not a libertarian either (not that I’m against libertarians.) I am a liberal. Or at least I think I am; after reading your insightful post about I realize I could be too stupid to even know.

    To William, you outright said “If widespread, legal, habitual marijuana use in society doesn’t alarm you, then you are simply not a responsible adult or a serious person.” THAT’S circular logic. If we don’t agree with you, we’re not responsible adults, and if we’re not responsible adults, then our opinions cannot be taken seriously. If you directed that comment at me, though, you’d be right. I am not a responsible adult; I am not an adult at all. And yet you cannot debate me without calling me “psychotic,” “paranoid,” “childish,” “naive,” “incoherent,” or “dumb”.

  17. screaming monk

    Legalizing would not encourage usage amongst youth, but it would remove the criminal element, perhaps the far greater evil.

    Interesting to note that where it is illegal, such as in Canada, more people smoke marijuana than where it is legal, such as in some regions of the Netherlands. (Canada came in first place of developed countries). Then again, perhaps especially cruel laws against consumption and trafficking could reduce national usage, but in my thinking, there will always be the same relative proportion of alcoholics, over-eaters, cigarette smokers and pot heads irrespective of the laws.

    The salient element of a democracy is the freedom to choose.

  18. Kirk

    Well, when I deal with a musician who uses pot, it’s a double-edged sword. It’s good for a musician to relax while playing his/her music. And when they are relaxed, they often play better, if marijuana is smoked in moderation.

    The problem is that when we go to review the material we worked on while the musician was high – it’s forgotten. The musician plays “in the moment” and that’s part of one’s short term memory. So, basically, practices are wasted.

    That bothers me a lot. Also, what kind of artist is worth their salt if they can only operate when high? Not much. Results are unable to be reproduced. And yes, the artist is often less motivated to do anything if they are not high. That IS a problem. It directly affects their daily behavior.

    So, yes, marijuana is not helping anybody in the long run. That’s the problem with those who smoke marijuana. They don’t REALLY look at the big picture. Cause and effect.

    They are unmotivated when they are not high. This is caused by being high.

    They generally cannot reproduce or remember key things they did during the time they were high.

    Why is this not seen as a problem?

    Also, is life so damn terrible that a person has to be high to make it better? If a person develops their mind, they can release the chemicals that make them feel good. I feel good when I want to, and depressed when I want to. I have the ability to change my own mind and personality. I do not smoke marijuana. I don’t drink very often (about 4 – 8 times a year, in small amounts).

    The big picture is that people are using marijuana for a quick fix to feel better about their lives, which are miserable for whatever reason. With the myriad of ways to make yourself feel better, the only reason that I can see that anyone would choose to smoke marijuana is because it is quick.

    Sounds like the “loser’s way out” to me.

    I understand that these results of being high are general, and that there are people who do not experience the amount of memory loss that others do. I have also found this to be a rare thing. Most people I have met that smoke marijuana are of medium to low intelligence. I have met several. I live in a city that appears to be perpetually wasted. And when I meet these people of medium to low intelligence, they all sink to super-low intelligence. Conversation is impossible. Connecting with anybody is impossible. It’s similar to being surrounded by puppies.

  19. kelseywood

    flaggman sounds like an American to me…

  20. Anti-Americanism – the last refuge of the intellectually lazy, emotionally unstable, and chronically unhappy.

    If I were an American, I’d be a proud one.

  21. EmZi

    kelseywood,

    Are you implying that all non-Americans, or at least Canadians, think alike? (Or that Americans all think alike for that matter?) This kind of “thinking” that the U.S. says apples, so I say oranges to assert my identity is lacking in maturity and self-confidence. It reminds me of my younger sibling’s behaviour and attitude upon following me into the same high school: just trying to do a lot differently than me, sometimes even to her detriment, just to assert her “identity” or her sense of “independence”. Nonsense.

    It’s pathetic that we even think we need studies to prove that this drug is damaging. Keeping this drug in our bad books keeps a lot of the very damaging lead-up to its distribution and consumption to/by our kids from occuring: the dangerous, often deadly, drug/gang liasons, and the inattention from school, which in turn unleashes all kinds of social problems on society.

    To say nothing of psychosis.

  22. Peter

    Actually, keeping marijuana in our bad books is what ENABLES the drug/gang liasons. Wasn’t Prohibition supposed to cut down on alcohol sales and stop crime? If I remember correctly, crime skyrocketed during prohibition. Legalising drugs will free many prisons, as nonviolent drug offenders will no longer be criminals. Why does something that seems socially unacceptable to some authoritarians have to be considered a crime worthy of mandatory minimums.

    PS. Don’t anyone dare to call me a liberal. Because if you do, then you are the biggest liars ever.

  23. Peter is a liberal.

    Prohibition was not meant to stop crime – it was meant to ban drinking. Legalizing marijuana will not reduce crime, it will just cause the criminals to spend their time pushing the harder drugs like meth, coke, heroin, and the rest.

    Potheads simply underperform in life – at work, at home, in bed, in conversation, at sports, at school, etc etc etc. Legalizing pot will increase usage, and thus increase loserhood.

    Marc Emery is a zero, not a hero.

  24. Peter

    Cite proof, please, Mr. Flagg.

    I wonder if the War On Drugs here in the States has reduced any crime. Show me the proof where crime is refuced whenever there is an all-out war on drugs.

    Show me proof of your claims, and I will retract my statement.

  25. @ Peter one can find no lack of links not to mention hard copy studies for both sides of the argument. Here is a PBS link that has a Yes and No approach.

  26. Perhaps you have a reading comprehension problem. As I said: prohibition wasn’t intended to reduce crime, and marijuana laws aren’t intended to reduce crime. They are intended to reduce the use of mind-altering substances. The war on drugs may be expensive, and may not always work well, but an absence of fighting against drug dealers would simply mean more abuse, more wrecked lives, and a far weaker society.

  27. Oh, and why in the world would I want you to retract your statement? I don’t even know who you are, liberal.

  28. Chris S

    Yeah I’ve heard the psychosis claim before. They been saying that since the 1920’s. Unfortunately it’s a crock of shit. The rates of usage of Marijuana in Britain have increased, but the rates of psychosis have not. If you ask any psychologists, you will be very unlikely to find one who has found a case of Marijuana induced psychosis. Furthermore, I’m sure you’d find a link between tobacco, alcohol and even coffee consumption and psychosis. People who are/ become psychotic are likely self medicating and use marijuana, but its very unlikely that marijuana causes any for of psychosis. Plus the Lancet recently published something about how marijuana is relatively harmless.

  29. Chris S

    And Cpt. Kirk in reply to your comment about the marijuana user being intellectually devoid, and one without drive, or desire or motivation you are certainly incorrect. I have used marijuana on and off for the past sevenish years, and I manage to maintain a relatively high GPA (3.89) in math and science courses at a competitive school. When I’m not high, I’m either reading, running or studying. I’m tired at night time like most other individuals. I think you’ll find that the people who smoke marijuana and are of low intelligence were of low intelligence to begin with. It is possible to enjoy marijuana without it taking over your life. In addition, smoking marijuana doesn’t get you “wasted”. I retain all of the decision making skills, and my personality is unadulterated when I consume marijuana. People piss their lives away on the beer and the snuff. My uncle smokes marijuana damn near every day and runs a very successful financial management firm. Get over yourself. You’re the type who prides them self on sobriety, because it makes you feel superior to other individuals. Some of the best artists smoked marijuana, and you will never be as great as a whole lot of them.

  30. Derek

    marijuana affects everyone differently. I am 27. I have been smoking weed since I was 14. and I have to agree with chris s on the subject of marijuana users not being intellecually devoid. and not motivated. I have a iq of 135 and been smoking right at half my life. If what capt. kirk was saying was true then I should be stupid ass hell by now. I am also in shape and work out 4 to 5 times a week. If I had no motivation would I be doing that………I do think that theres a chance that it helps induce pschosis. as I am psychotic…… I dont think that it caused it. more then likely being molested, beaten, and not knowing who my father was had more to do with it. and being controlled by my step father and mother. Of course in a interesting twist my father who I thought was my father up until age 14 or so is I think actually is psychotic himself. and also makes stuff up in his head and believes his own lies. a simple dna test would prove that he is my father im sure but I dont talk to him anymore. but just trying to figure that out for all those years helped push it over the edge. Point is marijuana by its self is not that bad. but added together with other factors I think it can help induce pyschosis.

  31. Hey Flaggman,

    I was thinking about you and how frustrated you’ve been feeling. I thought this might cheer you up, and possibly encourage you to share a little love with all of us!

    (yes I found the link on an academic website, but I know you can’t possibly be so unhappy to not enjoy positive vibes once in a while 🙂

  32. kelseywood

    Flaggman and EmZi, you guys are too sober for sarcasm. Like Chris and Derek, I’ve smoked weed off and on for half my life… to no ill effect. I sailed through an ivy league college with a GPA of 3.9, having gotten high and/or drunk almost every night. I continue to be a thoughtful, moral and successful person no matter what I dedicate myself to. Your rhetoric about the dangers of marijuana use to individuals and society does, however, smack of War On Drugs propaganda, initiated by who else but the United States… I should know, I was raised in the US and went through the public school system’s D.A.R.E. program. Free-thinking liberal Americans like myself come to Canada with the belief that we will find saner policies and more open-minded policy-makers than we can ever hope for at home… don’t let me down, I was hoping to become a citizen:(

  33. jake

    “The whole point is, Marijuana is bad for many reasons, including the fact that it can be addictive, the fact that it numbs the mind, and the fact that it has both short-term and long-term harmful effects to the brain that, according to science, contribute to mental illness”

    All of this is true for Alcohol as well, so shouldn’t you spend some more of your time writing about that, SINCE ITS ALREADY LEGALIZED instead of bitching about pot? Yes it will probably be legalized in the near future if nothing is changed, which hopefully is the case, (as i know many people who aren’t potheads who are very much for the legalization of the substance (including myself, and a respected judge in my area)), but alcohol is already legal, and is JUST AS BAD.

    Get your priorities set out properly friend.

  34. nemacyst

    I typed a long explanation of how an association is not a cause, but that got erased and I’m not retyping it. I’ll just suffice it to say that the people most likely to smoke pot may also be the ones most prone to psychosis anyway. And if everything can be addictive, as you say, and all things with addictive properties should be banned, then everything should be banned! And if you are just talking about things that “numb the mind”, then alcohol, most prescription drugs, network television, and Thanksgiving turkey should be banned.

    I’ll give you another argument. There is risk involved with everything. Forcibly stopping people from taking risks is a slippery slope, because beyond banning leaving a loaded gun in a toddler’s playpen, you are needlessly stopping people from making their own choices.

    flaggman
    July 27, 2007 at 1:10 pm
    Psychosis seems to have set in early, Rachel!

    1) If you are implying that I erased your “long explanation”, you are a liar – I haven’t erased a comment of any kind all week.

    OOOOHH THE IRONY

  35. frank

    In my experience the only people who vociferously support and defend drug use are the ones who use them, which is predictable enough. I can’t think of any good reason for putting anything in your body other than clean air and water and healthy food. Can anyone tell me of a single instance where any positive good has come from anyone using drugs alcohol or tobacco? I certainly can’t reference any such case nor do I know of anyone who can. Why fool with things that have the potential for such great harm? Does that make sense? I have information from a number of psychiatric hospitals that provide very strong, substantive links between patients with serious mental disorders-emotional problems and psychoses-and use of illicit drug use, including marijuana. Just to reiterate-drugs can’t possibly do anything good for anyone, so why use them. This takes in the effects on the individual user but doesn’t even hint at the harm done to others-families and society as a whole. I could go on indefinitely but at this point I’d have to say you either get it or you don’t.

  36. Don’t forget, eating meat causes imbalances in your hormone levels and raises your chances of developing cancer over 100%.

    I’d get your hormones checked Flaggman!

  37. “The World Health Organization has determined that dietary factors account for at least 30 percent of all cancers in Western countries and up to 20 percent in developing countries. When cancer researchers started to search for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop the disease. Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.1-3 ”

    http://www.cancerproject.org/survival/cancer_facts/meat.php

    Do you get it yet? Please ban meat and the industry around it. It will SAVE LIVES. You cannot continue to tax citizens to continue eating the UNHEALTHY SHIT you do. This means, that YES WE HAVE TO STOP EATING MEAT JUST LIKE WE HAVE TO STOP SMOKING MARIJUANA.

    GO GOVERNMENT CONTROL.

  38. Wow

    Alcohol & pills have ruined so many more lives than marijuana. Every marijuana-using individual I have seen that were losers, were destined for it anyway. I am a 16 year old, I have been considered smart all of my life by family, peers, and teachers. I started smoking marijuana a year ago, and nothing has changed. My mother, a survivor of a rare case of influenza and a women that has missing discs in her back, smokes it to relieve pain. However, marijuana is not harmless, duh. Inhaling combusted plant matter is never good. That is about the only real risk of it. If you aren’t a total fuck up, you can use marijuana and have just a successful life as any of the stuck up sobers out there. Kiss my ass, flaggman. Think about domestic abuse and alcohol use and how they go hand in hand. The prescription pills do more harm then good. Can you OD on marijuana? No. Is it addictive? No. Say it is? Well studies have concluded that it has no addictive properties and there is no withdrawal. If any withdrawal, it is from habitual routine. Everyone against pot, get real and look at the things legal drugs in our society – tell me which is more harmful. Marijuana may have carcinogens, yet it has never been linked to cancer. The prohibition is just meshing pot slingers with needle junkies. Fuck that. And fuck you. The prohibition is doing more harm than good. Now go watch The Union documentary and shut the fuck up, flaggman.

  39. Wow is my hero

    Hope everyone reads Wow’s words and takes it in real good. Everything is spot on, even inhaling burning plant matter can be resolved, vaporize!

  40. dr. storm

    this is a stupid article lacking any science do some research idiot

  41. Professor Plant

    I am 16 years old and have smoked marijuana nearly every day for the past two years. I am junior in high school in three honors classes and French 3, and have a 3.9 gpa. I am the only honors student in my grade to have ever smoked pot, yet I seem to have some of the best test scores in all my classes and am more interested and attentive then nearly all my peers. I don’t drink, smoke cigarettes, or consume any other illicit or prescription drugs.
    Saying that all marijuana users are underachievers and moron is immature because me and im sure thousands of others are proof that this is not true. There are kids at my school that smoke, drop acid, drink, thizz, fail their classes, and are going nowhere in life. They are not stupid because of the weed, but instead became lazy and their lives were consumed by the very substance that they smoke. Smoking marijuana cannot make you stupid, but it sure as hell can make you a loser. If all you do is indulge then when it comes time to work, you no longer have the motivation. It is not the drug’s fault that you decided to do it all the time, it is your fault plain and simple. Marijuana can be maturely consumed if the person is careful and does not overindulge. The legalization of marijuana will cause some people to become addicted, even to a substance that is not physically addicting and does not have a withdrawl. The problem therefore is not the drug, but the user. Legalize marijuana, cut down on crime, introduce new consumer products, and make money for the national government. If you were a rational person flaggman you would obviously try marijuana instead of banning it because you heard through the grapevine that it can cause psychosis and makes you a dumbass.

  42. tim

    The rambling incoherent thoughts with occasional bursts of anger and profanity in this discussion, to me, are funny and telling.

  43. Politicians are 10 years behind the times when it comes to hemp use. People have been fighting for a long time against marijuana and pot prohibition with some movement going on now. Still too slow for those caught up in the jail system for possessing a little weed. Our freedoms have been trampled on by folks who know nothing about how beautiful cannabis can be for someones life, if one learns how to grow cannabis. Keep up the good work.

  44. Kevin

    OK, didn’t read through all the comments, but there is a flaw in the article: It doesn’t mention the age of when they smoked. Is says in this sciencedaily.com that heavy marijuana use can increase schizophrenia chances as a –> teen <–. Just like, you know, alcohol is harmless to a growing body. Ironic, no? Oh yea, to all the anti-marjiuana activists, quit chugging the kool-aid. Marijuana is a drug, but it is way less worse than alcohol, in fact it is a medicine. Here is the link for sciencedaily btw (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175105.htm)

  45. Flaggman, you disgust me. You attacked anyone who posted something you disagreed with. You made assumptions about their character, even though the sum total you know about them are the few words they posted in a comment.

    Most of your arguments have been refuted by people here, yet you refuse to even listen to them. Instead you attack their character, since you can’t refute their arguments.

    Prohibition WAS instituted to cut down on drinking. The point people were trying to make is that as soon as alcolhol became illegal, a huge surge of crime grew up around the creation and sale of liquor.

    A whole illegal industry was born overnight. This is a matter of historic record, not something you can refute. When they repealed prohibition the crime IMMEDIATELY dropped.

    Following that logic, and I know this is hard for you because logic is not your strong point, what do YOU think will happen if pot is made legal?

    Crime will drop. People who currently sell weed will be out of business. Corporations will begin selling it. Corporations that can be both regulated and taxed.

    It will no longer be profitable for dealers, so they will drop out of selling it. Dealers are the ones selling pot to kids, so if pot can be bought like cigarettes suddenly minors have a harder time getting it.

    Your arguments are specious and misinformed, and you are a loud mouthed judgemental fool. You attack libertarians without understanding what they espouse. They simply seek smaller government, and ask that the government only interfere in the areas that are absolutely necessary.

    Defecating in the street is a public safety hazard. Smoking marijuana or cigarettes in public is also a public safety hazard. Smoking marijuana on your couch in the safety of your own home is a victimless crime, because it only effects -you-.

    The fact that you can liken that to leaving a gun with an infant is a testament to your lack of intelligence. That is as flawed an analogy as I have ever had the misfortune to hear.

    As others have stated, why are you so gung ho on the evils of a drug that is already illegal? Tobacco and caffeine are indisputedly more addictive than marijuana. Both have longterm health risks. So does alcolhol. Why aren’t you crusading against them?

    Painting every person who smokes marijuana with the same wide brush is assinine. How is that different than generalizing about everyone who smokes cigarettes, drinks alcolhol or coffee? It’s not.

    Is marijuana harmful? Sure is. So is a double quarter pounder with cheese. The differences is that marijuana will effect your short term memory, your ability to get it up and eventually might lead to cancer. The quarter pounder will lead to a heart attack far sooner.

    Should we ban fatty foods? How about alcolhol? Cigarettes? Coffee? If not, how is that any different than calling for marijauna to stay illegal.

    I’ll repeat, your arguments are specious. If you aren’t sure what that word means look it up. You can try shouting us down by saying.

    “Oh look, more liberal drivel.”

    But that’s a cop out. You aren’t willing to actually debate with those of us who smoke pot. I no longer do, but I did for many years. I was an EVP of a mortgage bank while I did. I made a six figure income. How do you explain that if marijuana destroys the lives of those who use it?

    Any drug can be abused. Alcolhol, caffeine, pot, tobbaco or prescription drugs. Yet all but marijuana is the only one that’s illegal. Please explain to me how its worse than the others I listed, if you can.

    You can’t. So how about you drop the insults and actually try discussing instead of attacking people? All you are proving is that you’re an asshole with an axe to grind.

    Did you get rejected by a girl who smoked marijuana at some point? What’s your deal?

  46. shutthefuckup

    burnouts u’ll have to deal with later on in ur life? who the fuck are u and why do u think ur little opinions matter so much? how about the preppy little over-opinionated douche-bags that i have to deal with right now? u don’t agree with smoking weed thats great…u’ve found scientific evidence of it’s harmful effects, great do-tell….as for your negative labelling of people who smoke it why don’t u keep ur opinions to yourself…you don’t know these people or why they smoke so keep condemning them as you drink your starbucks coffee and consume alcohol “socially” and believe its ok because your government says its legal. suck a dick and die slow

  47. shutthefuckup

    oh yea and…why is it always the people who have never even smoked a joint in their life who are so ready to condemn weed? I dont get it. Cigarettes kill more people on an annual basis then EVERY ILLEGAL DRUG COMBINED and that can be backed with STATISTICS go ahead and check stats can. You’re not condemning that though right? Why because your precious gov’t says its “legal” to inhale rat poision, ammonia and about 2000 other toxic chemicals that are in cigarettes (which btw are more addictive then heroin)…bottom line is you’re clearly some nerdy little punk who got picked on by a bunch of pot-smokers so the only control you can exhibit in your meaningless existence is to make moral judgements about people’s character over a fucking blog? You really are a loser and should consider revising your life because I am 100% that if any of these people were standing right infront of you suddenly you wouldn’t have SHIT to say…like I said internet nerd…eat a dick and die slow I’m going to the gym

  48. Kiestre

    i smoked pot 4 da first time 6 yearz ago n now i got paranoid schizophrenia i have 2 c a doctor nd take meds but i still smoke itz da only thing dat be keppin ma melon on str8 na mean

  49. potsmoker

    Does flag man still post here?
    “The whole point is, Marijuana is bad for many reasons, including the fact that it can be addictive, the fact that it numbs the mind, and the fact that it has both short-term and long-term harmful effects to the brain that, according to science, contribute to mental illness” No No No. It is not PHYSICALLY addictive. It doesn’t numb the mind. It opens the mind. THC is neuroprotective. Cannabis does not “contribute” to mental illness. It does possibly increase the risk of schizo in people who HAVE THE GENE. you need to be predisposed to mental illness it doesn’t happen out of nowhere. you fail. the end

  50. sonjee

    Wow! I feel like this, just because you smoke it does not mean you have to condone it. I am one of those that can give you some personal reasons why pot can be dangerous. I have SEEN those who were wonderful, funny and bright, fall victim to weed. I have seen them go from being full of promise to needing to be hospitalized……. continuously. Please do not encourage young people to do this. My cousin smoked for YEARS before it caught up to him. He now sits and laughs and talks to himself. He is hardly ever present. He is almost always in another world. Its heartbreaking. When we were younger he said that he would never do HARD drugs, he was totally against it! He felt safe smoking weed; everybody does, right? Well now he is only the shell of who he use to be. The doctors concluded that smoking seemed to have triggered something, causing the psychosis.

    Now not everyone will succumb to mental illness but research the truth behind why its outlawed. Not because those that are in power dont want you to do it, but because its proven that if you forbid someone from doing something, it causes them to desire it even more. Its a form of control. Ask yourself or ask God or what ever you believe in, to guide you to the truth behind weed and mind control.

    Have any of you researched the effects of this drug on your energy field? Its really amazing! I believe its a Yin drug, effecting the flow of energy within the liver. This slows the flow of chi within the human body, causing one to be more sluggish, or what many consider, “laid back”. So, it is not that marijuana has no side effects, but rather that the side effects are complex, subtle and cumulative.

    Now I am not saying dont smoke it, you do what you feel is best for you but be aware of the consequences and be willing to deal with them, come what may.
    May ALL of you be blessed.
    namaste

  51. Chadworthy

    “relatively minor risks involved with smoking pot only affect the individual who is choosing to use it, at least by and large.”

    RACHEL: That is incorrect. I am going through psychosis now, and it is affecting my family, my girlfriend, my co workewrs etc. They “reletivly” minor risks are actually quite strong, and releative. And you even admit you never smoked pot, and someone who speaks about something they have never done can be summed up in one word: ignorance.

  52. jared

    people who smoke pot know the possible risks associated with it and still choose to use it. i have smoked weed everyday for the past three years and just stopped a week ago and i must say it is hard to stop. but look at what is legalized today; drinking and prescription drugs cause more deaths than any illegal substance out there. and i will admit i have probably tried almost all of them with no addiction. smoking weed is a way for some people to relax and relieve stress, and a much safer alternative to cigarettes. it is biased people like you who spread lies and rumours about marijuana like that it causes brain damage, or makes you impotent. the only risk with this drug is POSSIBLE psychosis, and it only raises your risk of developing it if you have a genetic predisposition to it. i would recommend you go buy a quality joint, sit back and relax with a bag of munchies and television and experience this harmless yet overhyped substance

  53. alexis

    Marijanna , pot , weed, does cause psychosis is ” some ” people and you will not know ,,, until you try it . and then it is too late. I have lived throught it , saw it with my own eyes.. Never be a nay sayer ..or defend something you really do not know all about it.

  54. “And anyone with common sense can tell you that hippie holdovers from the ’60s and ’70s are experiencing a sad meltdown into absolute psychosis as we speak.”

    This is ignorant. BioFeedback, which allows victims of paralysis to communicate with the outside world, was invented by an LSD chemist and advocate while he was undergoing trial for said chemistry — when he wasn’t busy inventing new synthesis techniques involving high-vacuum chambers and experimental digital-audio recording equipment for the Grateful Dead. (Timothy Scully.)

    Common sense says… you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    How about this — drug habits are more common among the poor, where absence of interest or application of psychiatric care is widespread. Do you know the difference between a cause and an association?

  55. Aaron

    Marijuana use does not cause schizophrenia or psychosis. That is an absolutely absurd statement. I know literally thousands of people personally that have used drugs heavily, and only 2 that turned out to be schizophrenic. Thats the same as the national average. Now the use of drugs, including marijuana (but certainly not because of it) can lead to schizophrenia or other forms of psychosis manifesting earlier than it would have without the drug use. They can not and will not however, cause schizophrenia, and marijuana will certainly not cause any form of psychosis. Schizophrenia and the vast majority of mental illnesses are inherited (schizophrenia ran in the families of both individuals I know who developed it), and is caused by things such as abnormal dopamine pathways (schizophrenia) or other physical abnormalities of the brain, not drug use. Stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines (obviously including crack cocaine and methamphetamine) being potent dopamine agonists can cause a psychosis with paranoid and delusional thinking which may very much resemble schizophrenia, and prolonged use of these substances may cause some lasting paranoid and delusional thinking. This however would be drug induced psychosis, not schizophrenia. And most people do not make it that far. Marijuana on the other hand, will certainly not cause this. Saying marijuana causes schizophrenia and psychosis is not only wrong, but immoral and irresponsible. Spreading propaganda does not work. Anslinger tried that in the 20’s with marijuana and the Reefer Madness film and other propaganda films, and it failed utterly. Marijuana is smoked more today than it ever has been previously. Stating that marijuana can cause psychosis is basically what they did in Reefer madness, and that movie is looked at today (by sane and rational people anyhow) as a complete joke, and is often watched for its comedic value. I know hundreds of people who have smoked (and many who still do) smoke marijuana exclusively, and not a single one is schizophrenic. Lazy maybe, schizophrenic, no. They are functional, working, and for the most part (except for the marijuana use I mean) law abiding citizens. You have talked to, worked with, live near, and are probably friends of (maybe not currently, but at one point) many people who have smoked and do smoke marijuana. They just may not disclose it to you.

    The average amount of time spent in prison on a 25 to life murder sentence is 7 years. There are rapists getting out in less than 5. This is all due to overcrowding due to the imprisonment of non violent drug offenders. Who would you rather have walking around the streets of your city? The friendly stoner, who doesn’t bother anyone, or the rapists and murderers? Prohibition does not work. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the war on drugs, and for what? To make the dangerous drug cartels so powerful that they control many cities, and kill thousands, if not 10’s of thousands of innocent people a year? Sell tainted drugs which kill users? Make them so expensive that the only way one can support their habit is by robbing and stealing and selling drugs? This money should be going to factual education regarding drugs (not propaganda scare tactics, which do not work. They just make people not believe anything they hear about the drugs from “authorities” on them), treatment programs for addicted people (and despite how you feel, they are just people. Sick people who need the help) and to prisons to keep dangerous criminals off the streets. Prohibition does not work on any level. They tried that with alcohol (which is far, far, far more dangerous than marijuana, and any doctor, medical or otherwise including addiction specialists will agree) and it was a total and complete failure. The mob became one of the most powerful organizations in the world, and still hold power today. Many people died because of tainted bathtub gin, ever younger people were drinking (dealers and rum runners don’t ID) and the crime and murder rate was the highest it ever was in this country (per capita) other than one other time in our great countries history…today, and ever increasingly since the start of “the war on drugs.” Coincidence? Certainly not. Controlling/regulating and taxing drugs would lead to the total destruction of many powerful criminal organizations, far less overdose deaths, reduction in hiv, hep C and other blood born pathogens spread by shared IV drug use, reduction in homelessness, parent-less children, and crime rates on all levels (both violent and non violent) and all in all a better world (how many gangs kill many people, many times innocent due to drug turf wars?). Not to mention it would generate potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue annually, all while saving taxpayers hundreds of billions a year. Put those together, and we could potentially provide the country with nearly a trillion dollars a year we are currently without. Anyone see a potential solution to the deficit? As a former teen drug user, let me tell you that it is far, far easier to get just about any illicit substance than it is alcohol. If the illicit substances were like alcohol, controlled, with age limits and not on the street sold by immoral people only out to make a dollar, teen drug use would drop significantly.

    The war on drugs, propaganda, and the whole “scared straight” approach has never, and will never work. Making absurd statements like marijuana causes psychosis only leads to people doubting everything said by the anti-drug advocates. I don’t know how long we have to fail for people to realize this. Einstein said insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. The war on drugs is just that. We have being doing the same thing for many years, and it has only made things worse. Not better. We continue to help the drug cartels (who despite what you may believe, certainly want drugs to remain illegal. Thats where the money is), kill innocent people, lock up otherwise good people, let dangerous violent criminals onto the street, and waste 10’s of billions of dollars (just in this country alone) a year. You think it may be time to try a different approach? I certainly do. As long as there are humans, there will be intoxicants. There will always be people who will want to, and will find a way to feel different. No amount of anything will ever change that. Its a nice thought that we could eradicate the desire for drugs, its just not at all realistic. Drugs have existed as long as man has, and they will continue to exist as long as man does. Even if you somehow managed to rid the world of every intoxicating substance known to man, people would still find a way to catch a buzz. Whether its holding your breath till you pass out, or spinning around in circles while hitting yourself with a hammer, they will find a way. When will enough be enough? I say its enough, and its been enough for a long, long time.

  56. Eric

    ya well im living proof that weed causes psychosis as I was a very heavy weed smoker and in my 40’s and It happened to me.Its the only explanation and I had warning signs that I ignored.

  57. Emilio Croft

    What if you only smoke marijuana once??

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