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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the read-it-before-the-feds-distort-the-facts-again dept.

5 Discoveries About Marijuana That You Won't Hear in the Corporate Media

Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) reports via AlterNet

Scientific discoveries are published almost daily in regard to the healing properties of the cannabis. But most of these findings appear solely in subscription-only peer-reviewed journals and, therefore, go largely unnoticed by the mainstream media and by the public. Here are five just-published cannabis-centric studies that warrant attention.

  • Men Who Smoke Pot Possess a Reduced Risk of Bladder Cancer
  • Long-Term Pot Exposure Isn't Damaging to Lung Health
  • Alcohol, Not Pot, Alters the Brain
  • Marijuana Use Doesn't Lead to Depression
  • Marijuana Possesses a Unique Margin of Safety Compared to Other legal and Illegal Drugs

Cannabis is Bad for You, Cannabis is Good for You - Confused?

The BBC's Radio 4 has been running a series this week regarding the use and abuse of cannabis in the UK, and they offer this report of part of the discussions that have been aired. From the report:

Cannabis is bad for you, cannabis is good for you - confused? That's not surprising. Complicated and controversial, cannabis is revealed by recent science to have a dual personality, with a dark side and a more positive one. Radio 4's PM programme is this week running a whole series on cannabis, and the debate surrounding it.

Key to understanding this strange plant are two of the ingredients that make it up, known by their initials as THC and CBD. I asked Professor Val Curran of University College London to describe how they work and she came up a memorable answer:

"In a way, THC and CBD are a bit like yin and yang. The THC makes you stoned, but it can also make you anxious. It can also make you feel a bit psychotic, and it will seriously impair your memory.

"The other side of the yin/yang is CBD, which has almost the opposite effects. CBD calms you down, it has anti-psychotic properties and it also offsets the effects on memory, so that on CBD-containing cannabis you're less likely to forget what's going on."

So the first step to understanding cannabis is to realise how it can vary, how different types contain very different quantities of these polar opposites, with dramatically different outcomes.

One of the problems highlighted is that the cannabis available today (particularly 'skunk') is often much stronger than was available 20 - 30 years ago, and the balance of THC to CBD has changed, with potentially serious consequences. For example: "If you smoke high-potency skunk at all, then you are three times more likely to be psychotic. If you smoke high-potency cannabis every day, you are five times more likely to be psychotic." There is much more in the article, so give it a look.

Related Stories

Study Links Daily High-THC Cannabis Use to Higher Rates of Psychosis 62 comments

Daily Marijuana Use And Highly Potent Weed Linked To Psychosis

Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode.

Several past studies have found that more frequent use of pot is associated with a higher risk of psychosis, that is, when someone loses touch with reality. Now a new study published Tuesday [open, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30048-3] [DX] in the The Lancet Psychiatry shows that consuming pot on a daily basis and especially using high potency cannabis increases the odds of having a psychotic episode later.

[...] The study also shows that three European cities — London, Paris and Amsterdam — where high potency weed is most commonly available actually have higher rates of new cases of psychosis than the other cities in the study. [...] The researchers identified 901 people aged 18 to 64 who were diagnosed with their first episode of psychosis between May 2010 and April 2015, at a mental health facility anywhere in 11 cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, other cities across Europe, and one site in Brazil.

The researchers then asked these individuals and a control group of 1,200-plus other healthy people about their habits, including their use of weed. "We asked people if they used cannabis, when did they start using it and what kind of cannabis," explains study author Marta Di Forti, a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at King's College London. People reported the names of weed strains they used, like skunk in the U.K., or the Dutch Nederwiet, which allowed the researchers to identify the THC content in each product through data gathered by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction and national data from the different countries.

The study found that those who used pot daily were three times more likely to have a psychotic episode compared to someone who never used the drug.

Related: Media Leaps to Questionable Conclusions from Study on the Effects of Marijuana on the Brain
Marijuana - Both Sides of the Story
Study Finds That Legalized Medical Cannabis Led to a Decline in Medicare Prescriptions
New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
World Health Organization Clashes With DEA on CBD; CBD May be an Effective Treatment for Psychosis


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:42AM (#147697)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis#Cannabis [wikipedia.org]

    "Cannabis use has increased dramatically over the past few decades whereas the rate of psychosis has not increased. Together, these findings suggest that cannabis use may hasten the onset of psychosis in those who may already be predisposed to psychosis.[70] High-potency cannabis use indeed seems to accelerate the onset of psychosis in predisposed patients.[71] A 2012 study concluded that cannabis plays an important role in the development of psychosis in vulnerable individuals, and that cannabis use in early adolescence should be discouraged.[72]"

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:03AM (#147714)

      What you cited doesn't support the title of your post. You don't so much "become" a psycho; it just hastens the development of psychosis in individuals already vulnerable to it.

      What really matters is replication and scientific consensus, which are checks on human error, bias, and quackery. People who cite studies they agree with and pretend that the matter is settled are horribly biased at best, and intentionally deceiving people at worst (in the case of the media). This applies to every 'side,' including those who cite every study that says cannabis is good for you, whether or not they have been replicated, and regardless of scientific consensus.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:45PM (#147819)

        It absolutely matches the title. We're just waiting to become psychos.

        I don't support the criminalization of plants. Bring on the psychos.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:49AM (#147963)

          In other words, a psycho is just waiting to become a psycho, and cannabis might just reduce the waiting and little more.

          It should be noted that people who use cannabis regularly do so because they are self medicating. Most people do not form a cannabis habit. Do you think that people who self medicate are more likely to have mental disorders? Some people do it for effective and safe pain control, but there are others who do it simply because it helps their mind.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aristarchus on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:47PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:47PM (#147841) Journal

        People who cite studies they agree with and pretend that the matter is settled are horribly biased at best, and intentionally deceiving people at worst

        Oh, great! How are we supposed to discuss AGW on Soylent after you have pointed this out!

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:19AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:19AM (#147984) Homepage

      In some previous discussion these points also came up, and the notion that perhaps cannabis can be used as an early warning method for oncoming psychosis.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by K_benzoate on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:07AM

    by K_benzoate (5036) on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:07AM (#147699)

    At the very least, it's less harmful than alcohol, which is legal. It's OK if you're for alcohol being legal and not cannabis, just admit you're making an emotional judgment and not a logical one--that's within your right, but don't expect respect for it.

    --
    Climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by engblom on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:55AM

      by engblom (556) on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:55AM (#147728)

      The problem with alcohol is that it can no longer get forbidden as it is too common. It has gained too deep roots in the society so the society will get alcohol regardless of what the law says.

      In many places cannabis usage is in far minority, so it still can be prevented by law. As long as it is forbidden by law you still send the signals that it is dangerous. If it gets allowed you signal it is not that dangerous anymore. So many more will try cannabis if you get it easily without having to search for it and if you even see the government not considering it as dangerous anymore.

      We should not let cannabis get as deep roots as alcohol.

      • (Score: 2) by francois.barbier on Saturday February 21 2015, @11:34AM

        by francois.barbier (651) on Saturday February 21 2015, @11:34AM (#147736)

        Legal ≠ moral.
        Do you blindly accept and follow every law?
        Even immoral ones?
        Hello sheep ;-)

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:13PM (#148088)

          Do you blindly accept and follow every law?

          Pretty much, yeah. Except for the laws of physics and the law of averages.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:09PM (#147741)

        Portugal decriminalized drugs like fifteen years ago. Usage in all types of drugs has dropped.

        Colorado legalized pot, and actually sold less of it then they were expecting.

        Just because its legal doesn't mean usage will increase.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:19PM

        by digitalaudiorock (688) on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:19PM (#147776)

        We should not let cannabis get as deep roots as alcohol.

        So we should continue to advertise the more dangerous drug on TV, and throw people in jail for the far more benign drug...never mind continuing a policy that's failed even more miserably than alcohol prohibition miserably for 60 years...because alcohol was the "lucky" one that got there first? That's a pretty bizarre argument, and again, it assumes that the current policy of prohibition actually accomplishes anything beyond creating crime turning people into criminals.

        • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Monday February 23 2015, @02:05PM

          by CoolHand (438) on Monday February 23 2015, @02:05PM (#148456) Journal

          I completely agree with the parent's post with the slight nitpick of saying that alcohol was the lucky one that got there first. I believe that Cannabis has been used by humans in history for longer than Alcohol, and was even used regularly throughout the history of the U.S., just like alcohol. However, certain corporate interests (Herst) decided to git rid of cannabis/hemp to decrease competition for their own interests (paper). So, they demonized it and got it made illegal. It should have never happened... <sarcasm> Thank you Capitalism! Those corporate profits sure were worth all those jailed and all those lives destroyed! </sarcasm>

          --
          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Sunday February 22 2015, @05:28AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Sunday February 22 2015, @05:28AM (#147999) Journal

        If you are a logical person swayed by reason, watch this (it's Glenn Greenwald debating GWB's drug czar on the legalization of drugs). Pay close attention to the costs outlined in fighting the drug war (not just monetary) and understand that without the drug war all those costs go away.

        https://vimeo.com/32110912 [vimeo.com]

        If you are motivated by irrational reasons to support the drug war (e.g., moralism, paternalism, a pecuniary interest, prejudice against dirty hippies), don't bother watching. Arguing with the irrational is like arguing with a mud puddle.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by t-3 on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:57PM

        by t-3 (4907) on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:57PM (#148178) Journal

        Cannabis already has those deep roots - it's been used and cultivated for thousands of years.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nuke on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:31AM

      by Nuke (3162) on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:31AM (#147732)

      At the very least, it's less harmful than alcohol

      Alcohol does not stink and make smoke for others like tobacco and smoking cannabis do. I rented a terrace house next to an Indian family, and the grandfather who lived there must have smoked it or something like it because he made my front room uninhabitable with the stink that inevitably percolated through.

      What a pity that just as we are beginning to make tobacco smoking unacceptable, we have this new angle arising..

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @11:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @11:32AM (#147735)

        I wondered about the smell associated with the use of Vapes.
        Folks here have said it's not a big deal.

        Now, how difficult could it be to use the same gadget with hemp oil?
        Before that takes off, however, it would have to be legal.

        Some folks like to eat their cannabis in brownies. No smell at all.

        I think you have an abundance of intolerance and a lack of imagination.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Pax on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:46PM

          by Pax (5056) on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:46PM (#147838)

          it's really quite simple to do so.
          For example buy yourself a quarter ounce(7 grams) , put in onto some baking paper and then into a baking tray and seal the top with some tin foil.
          Written instructions will follow:
          1: Pre heat a fan oven to 100C or 220F
          2: Grind herbs until medium to fine
          3: Place herbs in ceramic dish and cover with foil.
          4: Place the dish into the oven for 30-40 minutes.(converts the THC-a to THC)
          5: Prepare the solution use a ratio of 8ml liquid to 1g herb for a low strength, 5ml of liquid for a medium strength
          6: Use 7 parts Vegetable Glycerine to 3 parts Propylene glycol
          7: Remove herbs from the oven and allow to cool before removing foil
          8: Place herbs into mason jar containing solution and mix well.
          9: Place jar into hot water bath and shake/swirl every 15-20 minutes.
          10: Continue this for 2-3 hours.
          11: Keep lid on for the entire process.
          12: Once the time is done, remove from the heat and allow the jar to cool until you can handle it safely.
          13: Place contents of the jar into material, and then proceed to squeeze out the liquid. You can use a potato/rice press, fine sieve, cheese cloth or NUT MILK BAG to help with this process.
          14: Collect liquid with syringes and place into the dropper bottles.
          15: Add any flavourings your might want to add (optional)
          16: Enjoy end product, store in a cool - dark place and use in any e-cigarette you wish. Product will last up to 12 months.
          I tend to use 3ml per gram and that helps with the pain in my back and knees(arthritis) much better than tramadol even could and without the addictive qualities of tramadol either.
          I use Aspire batteries and Aspire Nautilus tanks. these have a ceramic wick which is much better and also has a variable voltage. I have found that 3.8volts for normal vape liquid and 4.2 volts for cannabis vape liquid.
          Hope that helps bud

          • (Score: 1) by Pax on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:11PM

            by Pax (5056) on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:11PM (#147854)

            Also you can use the zero nicotine flavoured vape liquid to mask the smell.
            OR you can save a bit more money by using the very same flavourings that the vape companies use.. FOOD FLAVOURINGS.. like vanilla essence.
            but i imagine there'll be some experimentation to get the correct amount of it.
            I just mix a 10ml bottle of blueberry flavoured vape liquid( 0% nicotine version) and that works a treat

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:12PM (#147742)

        So you feel it should be illegal because you don't like the smell? Suck it up buttercup. This shit is medication to me. Let me go outside and smoke it without fear of getting arrested for smoking in public and then you wont have an issue.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Pax on Saturday February 21 2015, @02:04PM

          by Pax (5056) on Saturday February 21 2015, @02:04PM (#147762)
          indeed, I am a disabled Veteran and rather than take the Tramadol as prescribed by my Doctor I'll have some cannabis. My doctor approves of this and it was he who actually suggested it as an alternative when I stated i didn't want to get addicted to the Tramadol.
          it's medicine and has been used as such for thousands of years. Also no mention that CBD(the cannabanoid that gives the heavy stone and is present is higher numbers in the likes of black hashish) is actually a known and studied anti-psychotic??????
          however here's the rub.. www.fullfacts.org looked at this so called study in South London and ripped it apart.

          “Cannabis causing a quarter of psychosis”—Daily Telegraph front page, Monday 16 February 2015

          This claim also appeared in the Daily Mail and the Mirror yesterday.

          But it’s not true. Researchers studied people who had psychotic disorders in South London, and found that 24% of these cases were linked to use of a claim verdictmore potent type of cannabis (often called ‘skunk’). But the use of skunk, and consequently psychotic disorders, is more common in South London than elsewhere in the UK.

          So the figure isn’t representative of the rest of the UK, as the researchers pointed out in their paper. While this was made clearer in the body of the Telegraph and Mirror articles, that doesn’t justify the misleading headlines. We’re asking for these to be corrected.

          Why population matters—an example

          Imagine a study that looks at broken legs in an alpine town. Half the people in the town ski regularly, and the other don’t.

          For the sake of argument let’s say people who ski are far more likely to break a leg or two. So much so that 90% of broken legs in our fictional town are a result of skiing accidents.

          The study would tell you a lot about the relative riskiness of skiing in the alps compared to not doing so, and could make interesting reading for anyone who’s considering a holiday to that particular resort.

          But it’d be ludicrous to suggest that 90% of all broken legs are a result of skiing accidents. That figure is specific to the people under study because the way they behave (particularly their skiing habits) isn’t typical.

          That’s what we’re doing when we take the proportion of cases in South London that are cannabis-related and apply it to everyone in the UK.

          The research found that smoking skunk—but not hash—increases the risk of psychosis

          The research found that compared to people who’d never used cannabis, skunk users were at three times the risk of developing a psychotic disorder. If they smoked it every day they were at five times the risk.

          Users of hash, a less potent form of cannabis, were found to be at no higher risk of psychotic disorders than non-users, irrespective of how often they smoked it.

          source https://fullfact.org/factcheck/health/cannabis_psychosis_risk_skunk_hash-39451 [fullfact.org] comment

          what is crazy is that they "study" only included 100 people from a part of South London, 24 of those admitted they cannabis was used at "SOME POINT" and this somehow constitutes a scientific study?? MY ACHING ANUS !!!!! THAT is a statistically insignificant amount of people and a bullshit study which will be happily cherry picked and quoted a LOT as this is... AN ELECTION YEAR..... bullshit.. THAT WHAT IT IS!

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by SlimmPickens on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:18AM

    by SlimmPickens (1056) on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:18AM (#147701)

    I've posted this before, but since we're here again...http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/001559.html [schizophrenia.com]

    It was reported today by New Zealand researchers that a double dose of a faulty gene could be the connection between cannabis use and the development of schizophrenia

    ...

    The gene they investigated, called COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase), encodes an enzyme that breaks down a signalling chemical dopamine in the brain.
    COMT comes in two forms, one of which is marginally more common in people with schizophrenia and is thought to be a risk factor for the disease.
    The results were crystal clear.
    The team found that in New Zealanders with two copies of the "normal" version of COMT, smoking cannabis had little effect on their mental health. In people with one normal and one "bad" form of the gene, smoking cannabis slightly increased their risk of psychosis.
    But for people with two copies of the bad gene, cannabis spelled trouble: smoking the drug as a teenager increased their likelihood of developing psychosis by a factor of 10.

    Now I'm all for legalizing pot here in my country, but obviously we need some systems in place that alcohol does not require.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:13AM (#147702)

      alcohol can also cause schizophrenia

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:56AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:56AM (#147705) Journal

      Well, one might argue that there are genes that determine which of us will alcoholics.

      If it were to come down to a couple simple genetic tests, perhaps people could be tested in high school and told which recreational substances to avoid, and which to enjoy. A lot of heartache could be avoided.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:52AM (#147710)

        Well, one might argue that there are genes that determine which of us will alcoholics.

        My bartender's name is Gene. Thanks for the headsup. He's on my list now.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:24AM (#147706)

      Maybe I'm just being overprotective, but I'd love for this kind of testing to be widely available in years to come for the sake of my sons. Not that I'd hand them a spliff if they had grade-A results, but more so they could be aware if the deck may be stacked against them.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @06:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @06:25PM (#148145)
      • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:18PM

        by SlimmPickens (1056) on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:18PM (#148165)

        Not saying alcohol has no problems, actually ALDH2 is the reason New Zealand has so many pot smokers, but it's not in the same category because you get a lengthy period of warning instead of just getting slammed with Schizophrenia.

        I think Frojack got it right though, we should be testing for all of this stuff in early high school. The genome is now ≈ $1000.

  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by engblom on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:39AM

    by engblom (556) on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:39AM (#147707)

    I have met one man online who said he is "more extreme than an extreme fundamental Muslim" (his own words) when it comes to fighting for cannabis. Besides him I have met many other online who does propaganda for cannabis. They have succeeded as cannabis got legalized in many places. However they got it legalized by spreading lies.

    When it comes to cannabis, you better quote real academic papers as most stuff you find online is just lies. For this topic, this paper is very suitable: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12703/full [wiley.com] .

    My point is that the negative sides of cannabis usage is far bigger than what general uneducated population believe. The original poster of this article should provide from a reliable source backup for the claims of the positive effects before I believe as I have seen too much of lies. The claims there sounds like propaganda.

    I am the father of a boy with cancer and because of this I have done extensive research among http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed [nih.gov] and other places and found that most claims about cannabis healing cancer is just lies. There might be some cases where it helps, but then there are other more potential methods.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:11AM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:11AM (#147719)

      Besides him I have met many other online who does propaganda for cannabis.

      I have likewise met many people who spread propaganda against cannabis. Individuals eager to cite studies that they agree with generally do not care about scientific consensus or whether or not the studies have even been replicated. It would be better if they would think about these things before they (or the media) cites every study that comes out, but that's clearly not going to happen.

      However they got it legalized by spreading lies.

      As I said elsewhere [soylentnews.org], the focus must be on freedom, not on safety. Whether cannabis has significant negative health effects or not is an interesting question, but it does not affect my position on whether it should be legalized in the slightest.

      Even if cannabis turns out to be harmful, government thugs have no business telling people they can't use it.

      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by engblom on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:22AM

        by engblom (556) on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:22AM (#147722)

        As I said elsewhere, the focus must be on freedom, not on safety. Whether cannabis has significant negative health effects or not is an interesting question, but it does not affect my position on whether it should be legalized in the slightest. Even if cannabis turns out to be harmful, government thugs have no business telling people they can't use it.

        I am all for freedom when it comes to every choice one can make without affecting the people around negatively. When it comes to cannabis, it is not the case. All studies I have seen (and they are many) shows cannabis is giving depression. Depression is costing a lot for the tax payers/insurance payers. The same with other negative effects from cannabis. If you want to cloth yourself in pink cloths with green dots, the government should not tell you to not do so as it is a choice only affecting you, however cannabis usage is not affecting only you.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:29AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:29AM (#147723)

          You go down that line and shake your fist at the butterflies halfway around the world whose flapping wings "affect" you.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:56AM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:56AM (#147729)

          I am all for freedom when it comes to every choice one can make without affecting the people around negatively.

          Nope. Indirectly affecting others (perhaps through higher taxes or health insurance costs) is not enough of a reason to curtail freedom. The harm must be direct. Using this logic, you could ban any form of unnecessary physical entertainment that carries a risk of injury. Soon, the government would be running all of our lives and getting rid of things it deems unnecessary to save taxpayer dollars. The ends don't justify the means. I'll accept paying more in taxes so others can live in freedom.

          I had a feeling you'd reply in such a way; hardcore authoritarians typically feel as you do, in my experience. Anything that even slightly inconveniences (however indirect) them must be banned. Government thugs have no business banning drugs; that's the freedom-minded answer.

          • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:00AM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:00AM (#147730)

            Also, not every use costs taxpayers more money, and perhaps not even most use. When it comes to insurance, you typically choose which company you deal with. You're essentially saying that, because it *could* cost you more money somehow (which is by no means certain), it must be banned. Hammers could be abused, so they must be banned. Everything must be banned, because it could be abused.

            You'll find that few activities have no effects at all on others. I suggest you not go down this "It affects me indirectly, so that's enough reason for it to be banned!" road, because you'll find that it's not a road that leads to more freedom.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:29PM (#147743)

          Let me start by saying the plural of anecdote is not data.

          I am still going to share my anecdote with you though.

          I am a veteran who has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Mild TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). After I was discharged from the service I actually ended up in a two year slump. I lived in a small apartment, leaving only often enough to buy cigarettes. I was unemployable at the time as even the tiniest stressor could cause me to flip out either angry or crying. I made it though the day primarily by drinking. To say I was depressed at this time would be an understatement. I was damn near suicidal. I had ruined my relationship with my girlfriend, my friends, and my family.

          It was actually my VA social worker who in a roundabout way suggested pot as she had seen it help another of other veterans. It did help. It helped me calm my emotions down enough to gain control of them. I was no longer flipping out and scaring those around me. This let me start to work on my social skills again and get used to being a civilian again. It took a while but I was able to work myself up to going back to school. Pot helped me get my emotions under control, when the Box'o'pills the VA sent me every month did not. This allowed me to get back to being a human being. I now have a great job, a wonderful girlfirend and I smoke pot daily.

          So to anyone who feels we should leave alcohol legal (the shit almost killed me) and pot illegal (the shit I credit with saving my life), well they can just go fuck themselves.

          • (Score: 1) by JNCF on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:48PM

            by JNCF (4317) on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:48PM (#147886) Journal

            I totally get where you're coming from, I even modded your post Insightful when I first read it. Then I remembered that you're replying to a man who has just told you that his son has cancer. Maybe not the best time to tell somebody to go fuck himself?

            He's still opposed to you having freedoms, I just think it ideal to debate fascists politely.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:42AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:42AM (#147950)

              I am the AC you replied to.

              Maybe the wording was strong. I feel for his son and I hope he recovers fully.

              To the parent, I apologize and wish the best for you and yours. I still take the position that you are incorrect. I wish you would keep an open mind and continue to look at the evidence. I am far from the only veteran who turned to this.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:29AM (#147724)

      I am very sorry to hear that your son has cancer. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I hope he has a complete recovery and lives a long, full life.

      Many spread lies on both sides of this issue. Some just repeating what they've heard others say and some with an agenda. Like everything else don't believe it just because it's what you want to hear.

      Only a very small percentage of drugs actually cure a disease. Cannabis, like most of the rest, can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life in individuals who suffer from certain diseases, syndromes and conditions. I use it occasionally to deal with the pain, nausea, stress and high blood pressure caused by my severe migraines. I've never even considered that a cure was available, let alone that cannabis could be a 'magic bullet'. Pain meds don't help at all and often have nasty side effects (including hangovers and rebound headaches). For some people cannabis can have mild to severe negative effects as well - just like any other drug.

      As more research is published more informed public debate will occur. The government's stance against cannibas has probably prevented or suppressed many studies and left the medical community decades behind where they should be. Do I think cannabis is a cure for any disease? No. Can it be part of successful treatment that improves quality of life? Yes, in some individuals with certain conditions. Can it be abused? Absolutely, just like many drugs.

      I certainly hope that your research finds something that improves your son's life, and that of others. Progress and advancements in the management of any disease take place by those who follow the prevailing mindset as well as those who go against the tide to discover new approaches and different/better treatments.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by engblom on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:40AM

        by engblom (556) on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:40AM (#147726)

        Drugs have sometimes their use at clinics and hospitals. When it comes to cancer, it is not magically curing cancer as much propaganda claims. Otherwise my son would receive it as cure.

        My son did receive morphine based pain killer however. I did not tell the hospital workers to stop giving it to him as it has a clear effect and is well documented and researched.

        While I do sound negative, my negative comments are all about allowing drugs freely for anyone to abuse. Besides harming healthy individuals it is causing extra costs for the other people in the same society.

        You do not allow speed driving as it is has big chance to affect other in the society. The same should be with drugs.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:32PM (#147745)

          I do not believe I have ever seen anyone claim it "cures" cancer.

          It is used by those on chemo to bring back their appetite.

          Perhaps you are mistaken with what you are reading. All of the study's I have seen about pot and cancer say it might help prevent it. That of course its not a given.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tathra on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:32PM

          by tathra (3367) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:32PM (#147796)

          prohibition harms everyone far more than legalization would. most of the rights loss in the US have been directly due to the DEA and the "war on drugs": asset forfeiture (if you have drugs on you, expect to lose everything even without charges), parallel construction (the DEA takes pride in inventing this), loss of the 4th amendment (most targets of the NSA dragnet are for drugs), police militarization (directly due to the drug war), etc. and thats not even bringing up all the racist effects of it (blacks are arrested and prosecuted far more than whites for non-violent drug offenses). prohibition directly gives power and funds to drug cartels and terrorists, and the drug smuggling channels enable weapon and human trafficking as well.

          the world would be far safer for everyone if not for prohibition.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:27PM (#147779)

    And my conclusion is...
    What was I going to say? I forgot.
    Dr Walter Bishop (Fringe Division)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:26PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:26PM (#147793) Journal

    I have tried it a few times and it was a mixed bag. Pot and beer while playing GTA Vice City was an excellent balance of mellow and adrenaline. Paralyzed and incurably thirsty in a Saigon hotel room, hearing hidden messages in the Vietnamese propaganda playing on the loudspeakers outside, was not exactly enjoyable. Meh, if you like it, go for it.

    It does seem like long-term use has repercussions, though. My brother-in-law in his mid 40's has been smoking it daily since he was 13. It is the center of his life. He will eschew everything and everyone, tie himself into intricate knots, to get to his pipe. And if he can't for some reason get and sustain his buzz, he metamorphoses from a kind, gentle guy into a raving asshole. It beats being a sot, because he is quasi-functional, but pot boosters ought to acknowledge that it remains a dependency with all the drawbacks of other addictions.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:44AM

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:44AM (#147992) Journal

      Perhaps he is unknowingly self-medicating. Who knows what he might be like had he never smoked.

      But true enough, anything can be taken too far. Some people naturally get habituated to things and they react badly when they can't have them.