Acceptance of Drugs: A Challenge to Culture and Evangelization

cheech & chong smokin

I recently gave a talk entitled “Beer and the Renewal of Catholic Culture.” Based on the Roman Ritual’s traditional blessing for beer, my argument was that beer is both a work of God given to gladden our hearts (along with wine) and an important work of human culture, a shaping of the goods of the earth. Recovering the long Catholic tradition of brewing and practicing them on a small scale can be an important service to the renewal of culture.

What surprised me most in response to the talk was the number of questions and comments related to drugs. I guess I should not have been surprised in the sense that I do live in Colorado where marijuana has been legalized by voters and then accepted by the Obama Administration. The response in relation to drugs consisted in this: can some of them, at least, also be seen as the fruit of God’s creation? What is the difference in the enjoyment derived from them, especially since we see so many people wounded by problems with alcohol? The answers to these questions are now pressing as the acceptance of drugs is growing in our country. In fact, I surprisingly have found friends and students unwilling to take a stand against drugs.

In response to this growing acceptance, I want to argue very clearly that drugs intrinsically undermine culture. They are not simply a fun relief from the stresses of life, but rather an escape that removes one from reality in an escalating fashion. In fact, I have seen, as I’m sure most have, the devastating effect of drugs on family and friends. The question from a Catholic point of view really comes down to whether or not drugs promote the human good. If they do, they can be drawn into the life of virtue; if they do not, they are rather a part of vice and sin.

Let’s dive into this more deeply by looking at the nature of virtue and sin. First, Aquinas says that “virtue implies ‘directly’ a disposition whereby the subject is well disposed according to the mode of its nature” (ST I-II, q. 71, a.1). Virtue enables us to thrive as human beings, particularly according to the mode of our nature, which is reason. Vice, on the other hand, does the opposite: “Now man derives his species from his rational soul: and consequently whatever is contrary to the order of reason is, properly speaking, contrary to the nature of man, as man” (ibid., a. 2). This is why Aquinas can roughly define sin as something contrary to right reason. This does not deny, but includes, the fact that sin ultimately is a denial of God’s will, which is rooted in our very nature as well as revealed to us.

How then does this apply to drugs? First, we can look at how it applies to alcohol. Once again we can turn to Aquinas for guidance on what makes drunkenness a mortal sin:

It may happen that a man is well aware that the drink is immoderate and intoxicating, and yet he would rather be drunk than abstain from drink. Such a man is a drunkard properly speaking, because morals take their species not from things that occur accidentally and beside the intention, but from that which is directly intended. In this way drunkenness is a mortal sin, because then a man willingly and knowingly deprives himself of the use of reason, whereby he performs virtuous deeds and avoids sin, and thus he sins mortally by running the risk of falling into sin. (ST II-II, q. 150, a. 2).

What we see in deliberate drunkenness is the problem of denying one’s rationality, rescinding precisely what makes one human, the source of one’s nobility and goodness. To retreat to this non-rational state is both a degradation of one’s state and also one’s relation to others while in that state. It is important to note, on the other hand, that alcohol can be consumed in a temperate and therefore rational manner that can actually promote the flourishing of human life: nutrition, good cheer, and fellowship, all of which can and should be ordered toward God.

Aquinas’s description of drunkenness is exactly the foundation for understanding why drugs are harmful to human life and culture. Unlike alcohol they cannot be used moderately, but intrinsically involve a surrender of a full possession of reason and self-possession. They are a retreat from a rational and responsible confrontation with reality. Pope Benedict stated it even more strongly by arguing that they also represent an escape from the reality of the spiritual life that God presents to us: “The patient and humble adventure of asceticism, which, in small steps of ascent, comes closer to the descending God, is replaced by magical power, the magical key of drugs—the ethical and religious path is replaced by technology.  Drugs are pseudo-mysticism of a world that does not believe yet cannot rid soul’s yearning for paradise” (Turning Point for Europe? 20). Here we see drugs specifically as a distorted attempt to respond to our rational and religious nature, but in a way that ultimately undermines them.

The Catechism does not take up this line of reason in response to drugs, but rather demonstrates more clearly how drugs violate the commands of God, specifically the Fifth Commandment. Nonetheless, the emphasis is still on the harm that drugs inflict on us, this time, emphasizing the basic threat they pose to human life:

The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law (§2291).

Ironically, drugs made their first legal inroad in the United States under the rubric of health, which then has quickly expanded to include recreational use. The Catechism does note that drugs can be used for therapeutic reasons, but the need to alleviate pain has to be balanced with the effects that this therapy has on the soul. The right use of reason and one’s spiritual health have to trump simply physical concerns. In this light, it is important to consider whether other options for care are available that respect our rational nature and support it, rather than work against it.

Culture is meant to draw us together in the common pursuit of human goods as we work together to form a genuine way of life. This requires the proper formation of reason (which is meant to occur in education) and then the exercise of that reason in the service of others. Drugs, once again, represent a retreat from reality, this time of a common culture. They rather stand as a “no” to common goods and self-transcendence and offer a retreat into oneself. Pope Benedict once again provides illumination: “The anti-culture of death, which finds expression for example in drug use, is thus countered by an unselfish love which shows itself to be a culture of life by the very willingness to ‘lose itself’ (cf. Lk 17:33 et passim) for others” (Deus Caritas Est, §30). The contrast is between a culture of death in which one selfishly withdraws from others and a culture of life in which one sacrifices oneself for others.

To me, drugs stand at the heart of modern disillusionment with life. This is understandable as our culture continues to reach new lows. At the heart of this crisis is the lack of a central unifying force for our culture. We’ve lost a sense of purpose and something to inspire us to want to live in the reality in which we find ourselves. Ultimately, it is a spiritual question, as Pope Benedict describes:

The new forms of slavery to drugs and the lack of hope into which so many people fall can be explained not only in sociological and psychological terms but also in essentially spiritual terms. The emptiness in which the soul feels abandoned, despite the availability of countless therapies for body and psyche, leads to suffering. There cannot be holistic development and universal common good unless people’s spiritual and moral welfare is taken into account, considered in their totality as body and soul (Caritas in Veritate, §76).

To resign ourselves to a culture that accepts and embraces drugs is to cave into a position of spiritual despair. It is not just a question of physical harm, which certainly does follow from drug use, but more importantly is one of evangelization. As Catholics, we have good news, which can re-inspire and provide hope to the lost.

Accepting drugs is a defeat for culture, a lowering of our standards, and a sign that we will tolerate even what undermines the personal and common good. It is not just a question of reinserting religion into people’s lives, but teaching them to re-embrace the human goods of culture: nature, community, and ultimately reason. Rather than seeking to escape from reason, we need to rediscover the power of reason to face the difficult questions of human life. We need to face up to our problems, embrace them, and work through them with Christ. Christ, the Word, the truth itself and thus the foundation of reason, is the one who helps us to see reality more clearly and to confront it more courageously. Embracing Christ is the only answer to our cultural decline, which will invigorate not just our spiritual life, but also will lead to a recovery of nature and reason. We need to stop the escape and rediscover who we are as rational and spiritual beings.

Editor’s note: The picture above is a scene from Up in Smoke staring Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong and distributed by Paramount Pictures (1978).

R. Jared Staudt

By

R. Jared Staudt is Assistant Professor of Theology and Catholic Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND and Co-Editor of the theological journal, Nova et Vetera. His interests include systematic theology, especially in St. Thomas Aquinas, and the relationship of religion and culture.

  • Christopher

    “Unlike alcohol they cannot be used moderately, but intrinsically involve
    a surrender of a full possession of reason and self-possession.” This is not true in every case and with every drug. Marijuana certainly does not do this.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I agree- not reason and self-possession, but almost always destroys will power and good common sense.

  • john

    While I definitely agree that with most drugs, a single “hit” renders the user incapacitated for all moral purposes (and would obviously fall under the opprobrium Staudt recommends). I’m less clear, if only out of ignorance, whether it is possible to enjoy pot “in moderation” and in ways that encourage sociability, etc., as one or two alcoholic beverages can. Not having any experience with pot, I’ll defer my judgement, but if it is possible that the experiences of both pot and alcohol in moderation are similar, I don’t necessarily see a moral difference (except that in most places, it is a violation of a just law, which is in itself immoral).

    • Christopher

      The matter is reduced to habituation. A single “hit” of pot will do nothing to you save provide a feeling of lethargic euphoria, and does not prevent the coherent exposition of ideas in a symposium, or any other social venue. Whilst the “high” of pot is not entirely the same as that of alcohol, both of these drugs should be used when not planning to drive, etc. So, in reality, I also don’t see any moral difference between the two. The real difference is historical-social: Alcohol has a venerated history in our Western tradition–and whilst pot is also quite ancient, it was always seen as alien and subversive.

      • redfish

        I’d say part of the difference is a single drink of a common alcoholic beverage like a wine or beer won’t provide a substantial high, especially if its taken during a meal, which is the most socially acceptable way of drinking. The more drinking moves to less socially acceptable forms, like drinking intentionally to get buzzed, or with hard liquors, the more of a potential problem its seen to be, akin to cannabis.

        • MikeParent

          What’s the source of your statement? Alcohol has been scientifically proven to ne much more harmful than cannabis on MANY levels. Are you implying that alcohol can be used responsibly but Cannabis cannot?

          Heres the science; FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
          BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
          Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
          http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

          • redfish

            You’re addressing something completely different than I am. Christopher was saying the only reason pot is regarded differently than alcohol is its more alien and foreign. Is it? That’s what I’m addressing. Regardless of whether alcohol is more addictive physically, most people who use it aren’t using it to get drunk, whatever buzz you get from a single drink isn’t worth it; and getting binge drinking is also looked down on.

            • MikeParent

              I was responding to this portion of your post; “The more drinking moves to less socially acceptable forms, like drinking
              intentionally to get buzzed, or with hard liquors, the more of a
              potential problem its seen to be, akin to cannabis.” Your implication is that alcohol abuse is akin to marijuana USE. Clarify that point, please.

              • redfish

                What I was saying is that drinking to get buzzed is like smoking pot to get high. In both cases, its the psychoactive effect that’s desired. I would say in smoking pot the general intent is to get high.

                • MikeParent

                  Do you agree that both can be used, responsibly? High and inebriated are not synonomous. Another factor to be considered is the effects of the substances. When smoked, marijuana’s effects are immediate. Drinking alcohol causes a slower release and many people do not realize when they’ve gone past the point of no return.

                  • redfish

                    I’m not saying anywhere that I agree with pot being criminalised if that’s what you’re asking. People can use either responsibly. I think there’s a reason though that parents don’t want to introduce their kids to smoking pot and are okay with them having a drink, though. I’d also argue that the fact that pot seems more harmless causes more pot users to use it habitually, and habitual use of a drug isn’t good emotionally even if it isn’t physical addiction and even if it doesn’t have as deleterious physical effects.

                    • MikeParent

                      No proposed marijuana legalization law nor the laws in WA or CO allow for use by minors. Every molecule consumed by a minor was done so under prohibtion. The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

                    • redfish

                      I’m just covering aspects of why people treat alcohol and cannabis as different substances.

                    • MikeParent

                      The answer is; Culture and Prohibitionist Propaganda.

      • kevin_hunt

        “it was always seen as alien and subversive.”?

        Not really, it was sold at drugstores under the name ‘cannabis extract’ until 5 robber barons convinced Congress in 1937 to outlaw ‘marijuana’, which most Congressmen at the time thought was a different plant.

        The AMA was against outlawing it:

        “There is positively no evidence to indicate the abuse of cannabis as medicinal agent or to show that its medical use is leading to the development of cannabis addiction. Cannabis at the present time is slightly used for medical purposes, but it would seem worthwhile to maintain its status as a medicinal agent for such purposes as it now has. There is a possibility that a restudy of the drug by modern means may show other advantages to be derived from its medical use. “



        Testimony at the Atlantic City Convention of the American Medical Association, June 1937. “Report of Committee on Legislative Activities,” JAMA, 108 (June 26, 1937): 2214.

      • MikeParent

        Except, that alcohol can kill you as it does many millions, world wide and marijuana ingestion has never be cited as a cause of death.

        • Art Deco

          The notion that it has never been cited is tommyrot.

          That aside, deaths from alcohol poisoning are quite rare. Deaths from cirrhosis of the liver and associated ailments (e.g. esophageal hemorrhage) are more common, but that takes decades of abuse of alcohol.

          And comparing the gross death tolls attributed to alcohol use (which is quite common), tobacco use (which is quite common, and not a stupefacient) to the use of street drugs is misleading. One is prevalent and the question at hand is whether policies are to be adopted which render the other more common than it is. Something James Q. Wilson pointed out a generation ago: the age adjusted death rate for heroin users exceeds that of their non using peers by a factor of 28.

          Society does not need more than one intoxicant (an no one smokes mary jane for the taste).

          • kevin_hunt

            “The notion that it has never been cited is tommyrot.”

            Name one person that has died from ingesting marijuana, Mr. Tommyrot.

            “Society does not need more than one intoxicant?

            Are you saying that no one uses marijuana now because it is illegal in most states?

          • MikeParent

            That is one specious pieve of Obfuscation Cite ONE death that listed marijuana ingestion as a cause of death, please . I’ll wait.

            Again here’s what the Science says; FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
            BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
            Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
            http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

    • lotus eaters

      Smoking pot is a form of “deliberate drunkenness”. When you light up, you are doing so with the intention to drastically alter your mental state.
      Now, it may very well be possible for everyday users to use “in moderation”, as their tolerance is so high, but for one who rarely uses, only a few puffs are necessary to induce intoxication. It is not a simple “lethargic euphoria”, but rather an overwhelming change of your thought process.

      • kevin_hunt

        “doing so with the intention to drastically alter your mental state.”?

        And your peer-reviewed proof is where? I’d hate to think you weren’t being scientific about this issue.

        • Art Deco

          Kevin, you do not need a peer-reviewed study to conclude people take bong hits to alter their mental state. That’s kind of the whole point.

          • kevin_hunt

            Maybe YOU don’t need scientific evidence because all you have is bogus opinions.

            “That’s kind of the whole point.”? OMG LOL

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  • Ford Oxaal

    One question is where to draw the line defining “drug” — coffee, tobacco, snuff, cocaine, etc. — are all these drugs? Second, some drugs are stimulants and seem to promote the use of reason when ingested in moderation — some are depressants and seem anti-social, etc. — are there good drugs and bad drugs? Third, should the law err on the side of lenience or tolerance? I am pretty sure St. Aquinas would say tolerance. I am of the opinion that the illegality of drugs strongly promotes governmental corruption because there is so much money to be made (maintains strong demand). Better might be legality, but propaganda (in the positive sense) against. My own opinion is that if your interior life begins to be affected, you are heading into a bad area. I would also argue that alcohol is somehow unique, but I don’t know enough of the science to make that case well myself.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      One notable distinction between the use of alcoholic beverages (no one drinks ethanol) and other drugs is that price bears little relationship to alcoholic content. A bottle of Laphroaig or Lagavulin will cost at least as much as four bottles of cheap vodka, although the alcohol content of a bottle of the one is the same as the other. In other words, the pleasure sought from drinking a good single malt is different from, or additional to, the pleasure of drinking another beverage of similar alcoholic strength. In the case of wines, the differential is even more striking.

      • slainte

        The words Laphroaig and pleasure do not go together for some, unless of course one enjoys consuming a spirit with a fragrance, if not the taste, of gasoline/petrol.
        Your point regarding the relationship between price and alcohol is well taken.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Well, Slainté, for those unfortunates who do not appreciate the peaty malts of Islay, substitute the aroma of a great Armagnac

          • slainte

            I hang my head in shame as I acknowledge that I am among the poor unfortunates unable to appreciate the aromatic product of Scotland’s bogs. Even worse though, I am equally unable to appreciate the bouquet of a fine bottle of Irish poitin. Such sorrow. :)

            I am forever grateful though for the warmth of a turf fire on a rainy day and will pay my due respects to the bogs of Ireland next summer when I visit the West.

            Thank you for your recommendations.

            • Ford Oxaal

              Poitin — oh no. Now we are into the hallucinogens. I know an Irish family with their own secret recipe — after an effective dosage they all start barking at the moon….

              • slainte

                I’ve never observed anyone bark at the moon, but among my grandparents’ generation, poitin was referred to as the “Spring Water” or “Holy Water”. It was a clear liquid (indecipherable from water) that trailed a firey path from the tip of the tongue all the way down the gullet landing with aplomb in the stomach….scorching everything in its way. It was usually accompanied by a pint of porter or stout and a Carroll’s or Dunhill cigarette. Some men and women smoked the pipe.
                In the 70s all generations of families and neighbors alike would gather together for house parties especially when someone returned from America or England. Good food, good drink, Irish music, dancing, singing, and lots of laughter. I was there many times as a child and can attest that the parties went well into the night. There were red cheeks and tired eyes on dispay the following day.
                People were poor but they did not have the good sense to know it….a blessing from God.

                • Adam__Baum

                  You guys need to have some “Boilo”. That’ll put hair on your chest. (Yes even if you are female).

              • slainte

                It’s moonshine Mr. Oxaal not unlike what the descendants of the Scotch Irish made in their stills in the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky. Even their bluegrass music sounds very much like Irish or maybe Scottish music, a lasting legacy of celtic roots still resonating after 200 years in the U.S.

                • Ford Oxaal

                  Yes, well when you put some weird bark and stuff in there, it comes out like some kind of magic poition, ha ha. A friend is going to Ireland for the weekend, and promises to bring me back this odd elixir. You can probably make an incendiary device with it as well :)

  • John Uebersax

    I think you are right to be concerned here. But I don’t think public acceptance of cannabis means the end of the world. Just as with the sexual revolution, at first people may ‘go crazy’ with the new-found freedom, but eventually they’ll realize it doesn’t make them happy. In any case, if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that our ‘war on drugs’ approach hasn’t worked. At least normalizing cannabis will put it under greater public scrutiny and hopefully help eliminate criminal elements. Meanwhile, I think the Church has a great role to play here in the formation of conscience, supplying what is necessary for people to realize that drugs aren’t making them happy. Put another way, rampant drug use is in some sense a manifestation of where churches have failed. Look at the country today, and it’s hard to really blame people for wanting to ‘escape reality.’ The failure of American culture today is the failure (so far) of American Christianity to be a vital and dominant force in that culture.

    • michael susce

      For anyone to say, in light of rampant pornography, homosexuality as a good, rampant divorce, children dressing like Brittany Spears, pornographic rock concerts and the majority of children born out of wedlock, that our culture did not ‘go crazy’ as a result of the sexual revolution……a time of silence is called for…..
      Secondly, the failure of American Christianity is partly due to the legal persecution of practicing and proclaiming our beliefs i.e. loss of job for asserting homosexuality is evil, losing business because of just discrimination, charges against churches for organizing against abortion clinics via the RICO act etc.
      When the richest nation in the history of mankind decides to consider legalization of drugs as a solution to the drug problem…..again a time of silence…and prayer is called for.

      • malcolmkyle

        Homophobia is a fear of the latent homosexual that one recognizes within oneself. When you homophobes attack homosexuals, you are vicariously attacking your own inner repressed homosexual. ‘Coming out’ is the only real cure for you, then, with professional help (talk therapy and psychotropic drugs), you will learn how to manage your illness, duly allowing you to function properly in a civilized society.

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      I agree it is much more effective to explain philosophically why certain drugs are harmful than to simply try to eliminate them by force.

      • malcolmkyle

        * Marijuana has never, ever, directly killed anybody, not even small children.

        * FDA approved Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans, including children, every year.

        * An estimated 770,000 people are either injured or die each year in hospitals from adverse drug events (ADEs), defined as an injury that has resulted from medical intervention and is related to a drug.

        * The number of deaths from drug poisonings in the U.S. has increased sixfold since 1980.

        * Fully 40% of these deaths, in 2008, involved the use of prescription opioid pain relievers, such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. The same figure for 1999 was 25%.

        * In 2008, drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone (these are the main ingredients in Oxycontin and Vicodin) landed 305,885 Americans in emergency rooms. This is more than double the figure for 2004, 144,644. Source: Samsha and the CDC, 2010

        * Overdose deaths involving oxycodone, hydrocodone, and synthetic narcotics such as fentanyl and propoxyphene now exceed deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    • AcceptingReality

      I do agree with you that the Church could and should be more effective in forming people’s value systems. Especially it could be more effective in preaching the values of chastity and sobriety. But I seriously doubt that most people have realized that the “sexual revolution” doesn’t make them happy. Why else would there be such proclivity of contraception, promiscuity, abortion, pornography, pederasty, homosexuality and so on? Why else would there be a nationwide push to call homosexual involvement “marriage”. And why the overall social push to make monogamy and traditional marriage seem prudish and backward? The sexual revolution is an ever expanding circle.

      That said, having had plenty of experience with pot I can say I am much happier (and smarter) without it. I also think greater acceptance of pot use, socially and legally, will lead to the same for more dangerous drugs. It’s not a road we should go down. The line of reasoning which compares it to alcohol thereby proving it should be legal is not logical at all.

    • JohannaNemo

      Besides the fact that cannabis is extremely addictive to most people. So if they go crazy with it, the millstone is already around their neck and by that time they are rationalizing it’s use – even though it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.

      • kevin_hunt

        “cannabis is extremely addictive to most people.”?

        Do you have proof of this?

        Jack Henningfield Ph.D. in psychopharmacology and formerly of the institute of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal Benowitz MD of the University of San Fransisco ranked 6 common substances in 5 problem areas. They compared heroin, alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, and caffeine, in the areas of withdrawal, reinforcement, tolerance, dependence, and intoxication.

        Marijuana was found to be the best drug out of the 6 as far as those symptoms go. It even ranked better than caffeine in terms of all the factors except for intoxication. Caffeine, they found, actually has worse withdrawal, reinforcement, and tolerance effects than marijuana.

        Not only did these health officials rank marijuana as the least addictive drug, they ranked it as 3 times less addictive than every other drug compared.

        • Art Deco

          Thanks for the info, Spicoli.

          Ordinal level data, and all.

          • kevin_hunt

            Thanks for not refuting the evidence in a logical manner.

          • MikeParent

            That was an excellent example of sophmoric humor, while eschewing the science..

            • kevin_hunt

              He failed to mention that Spicoli was a hero. He saved Brooke Shields from drowning.

              • Adam__Baum

                And today, Sean Penn is a raging whack-job.

                • kevin_hunt

                  …..And that has nothing to do with the fictional character, whom you accused me of being.

            • Art Deco

              What’s your science? You are saying SCIENCE demonstrates that a society which has been assiduous for nearly 80 years in constructing alternatives to the labor market and assiduous for around about 50 years at reducing the authority families have over their errant members is behaving perfectly prudently if it allows unregulated traffic in intoxicants?

              • kevin_hunt

                Who proposed an ‘unregulated’ market?

                • Art Deco

                  Waal, be my guest, Kevin, propose standards for getting a prescription.

                  • kevin_hunt

                    Medical use of marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions.

                    (a) “Debilitating medical condition” means:

                    (I) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for such conditions;

                    (II) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or treatment for such conditions, which produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following, and for which, in the professional opinion of the patient’s physician, such condition or conditions reasonably may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana: cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

                    (III) Any other medical condition, or treatment for such condition, approved by the state health agency, pursuant to its rule making authority or its approval of any petition submitted by a patient or physician as provided in this section.

        • JohannaNemo

          The reason I say “addictive” is because all of the people I know who smoke marijuana (15 not counting the ones I ran into in high school and college) – it isn’t something they do every once in a while. It is a lifestyle. Includes my family members, friends, and others I know who smoke. So if it isn’t “addictive” then maybe the word “habit forming” would be better? Or maybe “pothead”. I was told growing up that it wasn’t addicitve at all, but low and behold everyone that I knew and know that smoke – don’t stop and they don’t just do it on the weekend. It is at least once a day for When my highschool friend tried to quit cigarrettes and marijuana, he was only able to quit cigarettes. When my hubby quit (twice now – because it is so habit forming, or addictive) It has been at least 2 months of drama trauma for him to do so. I am not sure what these scientists are basing their paper theorem that “marijuana is non-addictive” on besides a random person who might be a social smoker.

          • kevin_hunt

            They are basing their research on a sample pool which is most likely larger than ‘some guys that you know’.

            • JohannaNemo

              Family and close friends affect me incredibly more often than “random” testing that tests.. whomever they tested. I am 40 now, so friends and family are important, and I really despise how MJ is habitual. If it isn’t addictive, then the vice scale on MJ must be a 10 out of 10.

              • kevin_hunt

                No, that ’10’ is reserved for heroin and cigarettes.

                You know nothing.

                • JohannaNemo

                  The times in my life when I thought, “I know nothing”
                  1. When I turned 5.
                  2. My first day in college.
                  3. When I got married.
                  4. When I became a Catholic.
                  5. When I joined MyFitnessPal

                  I don’t think that is the end of it either. I think I have another coming up for adopting children. The moment they step through the door to our home I will think, “I know nothing”. A little reminder of how much I don’t know is always good. I never said I was a professional with all things pot. Lols, that makes me giggle.

  • Oremusman

    Interesting.

  • Eamonn McKeown

    a simple google search about pot brings up it’s effects on teenagers, especially females – not good stuff at all.

    • malcolmkyle

      Government sponsored reefer madness is no substitute for real science.

      Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users

      Thomas F. Denson, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the California State University at Long Beach, and Mitch Earleywine, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, wrote the following in their Apr. 2006 study titled “Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users,” published in Addictive Behaviors:

      “Those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana. Specifically, weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users… Our results add to the growing body of literature on depression and marijuana and are generally consistent with a number of studies that have failed to confirm a relationship between the two after controlling for relevant variables…

      The potential for medical conditions to contribute to spurious links between marijuana and greater depression requires further investigation.”

      No Loss of Motivation in Marijuana users:

      “Laboratory studies provide additional information on the causal relationship between motivation and marijuana. The Mendelson experiment, where hospitalised volunteers worked on an operant task to earn money and marijuana for 26 days, found that the dose of marijuana smoked did not influence the amount of work done by either the casual-user group or the heavy-user group; all remained motivated to earn and take home a significant amount of money in addition to the work they did for the marijuana. It seems clear that marijuana does not cause a loss of motivation.”

      —Mendelson, H.H., Kuehnle, J.C., Greenberg, I., & Mello, N.K. (1976). The effects of marihuana use on human operant behavior: Individual data. In M.C. Broude & S. Szara (eds.), _Pharmacology of marihuana_, vol. 2(pp. 643-653). New York: Academic Press.

    • malcolmkyle

      How did you miss these?

      Here is a list of 25 studies showing that marijuana cures cancer, categorized by the type of cancers being cured in each study. Note that the consistent theme between them is that marijuana shrinks tumors and selectively targets cancer cells.

      Cures Brain Cancer

      http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v95/n2/abs/66032

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11479216

      http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/17/6475.abstra

      http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/308/3/838.ab

      http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/10/1/90.abstra

      Cures Mouth and Throat Cancer

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516734

      Cures Breast Cancer

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20859676

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025276

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21915267

      http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2006/0

      http://www.molecular-cancer.com/content/9/1/196

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22776349

      http://www.pnas.org/content/95/14/8375.full.pdf+ht

      Cures Lung Cancer

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22198381?dopt=Abstract

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21097714?dopt=Abstract

      http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v27/n3/abs/12106

      Cures Uterine, Testicular, and Pancreatic Cancers

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabi

      http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/13/67

      Cures Prostate Cancer

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12746841?dopt=Abstract

      http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v101/n6/abs/6605

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339795/?tool=pubmed

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22594963

      Cures Colorectal Cancer

      http://gut.bmj.com/content/54/12/1741.abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22231745

      Cures Ovarian Cancer

      http://www.aacrmeetingabstracts.org/cgi/content/abstract/2006/1/1084?maxtoshow&hits=80&RESULTFORMAT&fulltext=cannabinoid&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=560&resourcetype=HWCIT

      Cures Blood Cancer

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

      • MikeParent

        He missed them because he wasn’t looking and was parroting prohibitionist rhetoric.

      • Adam__Baum

        “Cures Mouth and Throat Cancer”
        That would be great, because it’s sure not prophylaxis against it, I have a now speechless friend who described his surgery as “being opened like a pez dispenser” to remove a good bit of his throat.
        Smoked lots of pot.

        • kevin_hunt

          Anecdotal tales like yours are no substitute for peer-reviewed research.

          A population-based case-control study of 611 lung cancer patients revealed that chronic low Cannabis exposure was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer or other upper aerodigestive tract cancers and found no positive associations with any cancer type (oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, lung, or esophagus) when adjusting for several confounders, including cigarette smoking

          Source: “Marijuana Use and the Risk of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control Study” Mia Hashibe et al. (2006)

          • Adam__Baum

            Pay attention. I said it’s not prophylaxis, I didn’t say it was causative.

            • kevin_hunt

              You introduced a correlation, but denied a causation Got it.

              • Adam__Baum

                What part of this is unclear?

                “because it’s sure not prophylaxis against it”.

                Have another bong hit, it might mellow you out.

                • kevin_hunt

                  You can have another bong hit…I’m too busy doing research.

                  Marijuana Compounds Can Kill Some Cancer Cells: Study

                  “Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive,” study author Dr. Wai Liu, an oncologist at the University of London’s St. George medical school, told The Huffington Post. “For that reason, it has really good potential over other drugs that only have one function. I am impressed by its activity profile, and feel it has a great future, especially if used with standard chemotherapies.”

                  Liu’s study was recently published in the journal Anticancer Research. It was supported by funding from GW Pharmaceuticals, which already makes a cannabis-derived drug used to treat caused by multiple sclerosis.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Research huh?

                    What lab are you working in?

                    Googling articles which promote the possibility that derivatives of cannabis might have therapeutic effects when used with “standard chemotherapies” and presenting them as support for your predetermined position that recreational use should be legal isn’t research.

                    I don’t need a bong hit, I’m getting enough natural euphorics reading your indignant, pretentious responses. The best part is that I don’t really have a position on the matter, but it’s fun messin’ with Sasquatch.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      “I’m getting enough natural euphorics reading your indignant, pretentious responses”?

                      Likewise!

                    • Adam__Baum

                      The difference is I’m treating as a casual and entertaining experiment in human nature, enjoying this and you think you can make the case that you are a serious “researcher”.

                      It’s no fun getting under your skin when you make so easy..

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Thinking that you are somehow arguing with ‘superior motives’ is the ultimate ‘pretentious response’.

                      How’s that glass house?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I have no “superior motives”. I am simply fascinated by the absolute lack of proportion exhibited by legalization advocates.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      I don’t care.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Oh you care a great deal, because you keep answering me.

      • Art Deco

        Here is a list of 25 studies showing that marijuana cures cancer,

        Yeah, just like laetrile.

    • MikeParent

      No proposed legalization law allows for use by minors except for dire medicinal purposes. Every minor that has been negatively affected has been so under Prohibition. Prohibition is a morally bankrupt policy that rewards criminals and corrupts those in authority. What it does not do, is keep ant substance out of the hands of minors. So far, the USA has spent a $ TRILLION and jailed many tes of Millions of Americans dor using substances safer than what the Govt allows. People are getting rich off this policy, that has done next to nothing to address tye issues it was intended for.

      Eamonn, please cite the source of your statement. TIA

      “THE CHILDREN” If they really cared for the children they’d legalize and regulate marijuana. If they really wanted to keep any substance out of the hands of “The Children” they first must take control of distribution away from black market dealers. They haven’t accomplished that in 40+ years at a taxpayers cost in the hundreds of billions. It’s time to treat marijuana as we do alcohol. My 28 year old daughter still gets “carded ” when she buys alcohol, yet your 13 year old can buy anything the black market dealer has for a price whether it be money or “something else”. FACT: Your kids have a better chance dying at the hands of someone enforcing marijuana laws than they do from ingesting it. (ZERO %).
      http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf Scientific Proof Marijuana is not a Gateway drug!
      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijuana-legalization- wont-boost-teen-pot-use-study-finds/

      LEAP member, NYPD, ret.

      • Art Deco

        I believe the sum of expenditures on jails and prisons in the United States in an average years is around about $200 bn. About 20% of the prison and jail census consists people for whom the top count on the bill of particulars was a drug charge and for the most part these are people who had something to do with the drug trade. The man-hours logged by people busted for possession of dope and only for possession are minimal.

        • MikeParent

          Tell that to the 3/4 Million people who are arrested every year. Everyone of them was arrested for choosing a substance, scientifically proven, safer than what the govt allows, currently. Some were killed in the arrest process and some have died while in custody. Marijuana prohibition is a cash cow for the morally bankrupt.
          Do you believe that “spending” $ 20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for marijuana is a sound policy?

        • kevin_hunt

          You are wrong on several counts. 50% of inmates are incarcerated on drug-related charges.

          “The man-hours logged by people busted for possession of dope and only for possession are minimal.”?

          False.

          NEW YORK — The NYPD spent 1 million hours making 440,000 arrests for low-level marijuana possession charges between 2002 and 2012, according to a new report released Tuesday — just as legislative leaders in Albany are deciding whether to pass a bill reforming drug laws.

          • Art Deco

            I do not know where you obtained your figures, but you are wrong. The share incarcerated of those incarcerated where drug charges constitute the top count is 21%. Lots of stoner libertarians confound the federal prison census with the census of all prisoners. Only 11% of all those incarcerated are in the federal system. Federal prisoners are modally drug offenders. Please note that they are federal prisoners, which is to say drug mules and superordinate layers of the trafficking mafia.

          • Art Deco

            While we are at it, of course cops arrest low level drug offenders. That’s broken windows policing, which has been very effective in the five boroughs.

            • kevin_hunt

              “That’s broken windows policing, which has been very effective “?

              By ‘effective’ do you mean overly racist and unconstitutional?

              Judge Rejects New York’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy

              “But the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, found that the Police Department resorted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” as it increased the number of stops in minority communities. That has led to officers’ routinely stopping “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.”

              The judge called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms, including the use of body-worn cameras for some patrol officers, though she was “not ordering an end to the practice of stop-and-frisk.”

              In her 195-page decision, Judge Scheindlin concluded that the stops, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, as well as the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.”

              • Art Deco

                Not only was Judge Scheindlin removed from the case, some of her orders were vacated by the appeals court which removed her and she was publicly dressed down by that appeals court for irregular conduct in scheming to have the case assigned to her in the first place.

                Do try to stay current.

                • kevin_hunt

                  What has changed since 11/09/13?

                  Attorneys for New York City asked a federal appeals court Saturday to vacate a judge’s orders that require the police department to change its stop-and-frisk practice that critics argue unfairly targets minorities.

                  The city said in filings with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin’s orders this summer should be thrown out largely for the same reasons a three-judge panel of the appeals court gave in staying her decision on Oct. 31, pending an appeal.

      • Eamonn McKeown

        I’ll apologize for a hefty degree of laziness in my statement – but here’s one, as I said, done with a simple google search.
        Feel free to tell how wrong it is, honestly.

        http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/adolescents.htm

        I don’t recall imbuing my words with a call to arms in the drug war, or saying marijuana will kill you. I personally don’t feel it’s use should be encouraged or excused as harmless, relative to alcohol or otherwise, however – and that is just my opinion, pretty worthless to all but those closest to me.

        • MikeParent

          That’s a Red Herring. Who has recommended marijuana use by minors and how has prohibition worked in preventing the minors mentioned in your link from accessing it? The point is that prohibition doesn’t prevent availability to teens, whose developing brains can and are effected by many substances and activities.

    • Adam__Baum

      It’s also associated with gynecomastia in males, with prolonged heavy use.
      (aka “man-boobies” or “b*tch t*ts”)

      • kevin_hunt

        Prove it. That’s an urban legend.

        • Adam__Baum
          • kevin_hunt

            Even your own studies prove you wrong. Nice try.

            Marijuana has been associated with the development of gynecomastia in an early case series, but a case control study showed no association. An association with gynecomastia is plausible but has NOT been convincingly demonstrated.

            • Adam__Baum

              As I wrote “associated”. Associated doesn’t even mean positively correlated, let alone definitely causative.
              Plausible is still possible. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take, but to each his own. I could imagine you might like a walk on the wild side.

  • Brian

    I’d like to believe that there is a clear and undeniable distinction between alcohol and other drugs (or intoxicants-the author seems to assume that alcohol is not a drug per se), a difference in kind and not merely degree, but, at least for some drugs, that doesn’t appear to be the case. It is certainly possible to use small amounts of marijuana that don’t “…intrinsically involve a surrender of a full possession of reason and self-possession” (not that I’m much of a fan of pot myself. the few times i tried it in college resulted in negative experiences). Sure, it can be overused, but of course so can alcohol.

    I don’t use any drugs, and wouldn’t were they made legal. I just can’t seem to find a knockdown argument against their (moderate) use in a society that tolerates (moderate) use of alcohol.

    • HigherCalling

      In a debate over the legalization of marijuana, someone brought up the fact that both Churchill and Roosevelt very likely started their days with a belt (or two) of stiff drink, and they likely had several more through the day. The two went on, of course, to mastermind the defeat of evil in their day. One wonders what the outcome would have been if they woke up calming their nerves with a good hit off the bong, a good stiff toke at lunch, and couple more to balance out their evenings.

      • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

        Sure, they were leaders who needed (liquid?) courage to get the job done. Marijuana lends itself to a more contemplative and creative state of mind.

      • kevin_hunt

        “with a good hit off the bong, popped a good stiff toke at lunch, and lit up a couple more to balance out their evenings.”?

        That is the way that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got started.

      • MikeParent

        Stalin also masterminded the purge of his “perceived” enemies to the tune of a few million Russians. He also tried for world dominence and forced the cold war. Tell us more about the virtues of drinking alcohol, I need a laugh.

  • Anthony Ray Hernandez

    Last time I had some marijuana I decided to make a detailed confession at church the next day, obtain an indulgence for my near-of-kin dead, one for myself, attend the liturgy and have one offered for me in thanksgiving for recovery and survival through sickness. Pot is not the end of the world. I can get very high and still manage to be reasonable and interact with others in a mature way. Then again, I’m also the type who gets nicer when I drink, so make of that what you will.

    • Anthony Ray Hernandez

      I should also mention that although our culture commits the fallacy of lumping “illicit” substances under the title “drugs”, while calling socially acceptable ones by their names, alcohol for instance can be an extremely potent and dangerous drug yet due to a long history of use the Church has no problem serving it at get-togethers and even blessing it. I think the Latin of the Catechism makes it clear that what’s forbidden are drugs that either rob us of our rational faculties (or doses that do, in the instance of alcohol) and drugs that wreck our health. I don’t think that marijuana really classifies for either criteria and thus can be used in good conscience.

      • Carl

        LOL, what ingredient in pot is required by the human body, smoke in the lungs? THC to repel predator and bacteriological invaders? Just what practical use did pot ever have? Who ever used pot in moderation? Really? Smoke without getting high? Is smoking actually a pleasurable experience?

        Whereas beer in almost entirely comprised of water which we need to drink several glasses a day. The human body is comprised of about sixty percent of water. And I’ll put up drinking my chocolate oatmeal stout to your toxic smoke fill lungs and room anytime!

        • Carl

          I will admit I do enjoy the occasional smell of cigars, even though I never smoked one, and I noticed my buddy kept all the bugs away from him and on me while fishing!

          You don’t inhale cigars!

          • Carl

            Practical uses of Hemp are oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel—note human ingestion is not one of them.

            • Anthony Ray Hernandez

              Yeah, I get the point, you’re superior to me because you know nothing about the health benefits of marijuana, nevermind the fact that there’s a ton of research already done that you apparently refuse to peruse. I for one use it for my PTSD, so you can boast all you want over your purity while I actually manage to get out of the house after a small hit of marijuana. Also, you don’t seem to get that being high isn’t inherently debilitating. In fact, you seem to know nothing about the experience of getting high, which explains why you think it’s an all-or-nothing sort of thing.

              • Anthony Ray Hernandez
              • JohannaNemo

                I have PTSD as well, my dr prescribed an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety. I take the anti-depressant every day, but the anti-anxiety I usually take before I leave the house or I will not leave the house and will totally go fetal in the bed under covers. That being said, I wish I didn’t have any emotional disorders at all so I could be a normal person talking about drugs I don’t have to take but want to for some odd reason I don’t understand. Once you HAVE to take drugs, you really get burnt on them. I can’t tell you how many mentally ill people resent their medicines. I think all of them do.

                • Anthony Ray Hernandez

                  I got totally fried by some of my meds. I was given Adderall as a teen and became permanently psychotic. I took Paxil and now I’m angry all the time and extremely, obsessively depressed. But still I take medication and attend counseling. It’s just that sometimes weed is 1) more fun (not gonna lie there) and it also does things that no other medicinal drug has done, such as ease my symptoms of autism and getting me to push through triggers and such.

                  • JohannaNemo

                    I wish that “Charlotte’s Web” weed was available for people like us (well not me because I really like my lungs), because I think what makes MJ so problematic is actually the THC. And when the herb people grow weed for specific medical problems, the make sure it has less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff – win win. I am very sorry for all you have gone through. I can commiserate to an extent, when I took Wellbutrin I immediately started having grand-mal seizures. Took a bit for my body to calm down, but now I don’t have seizures (praise be to God!). Do you call on St. Dymphna for help? I know she helps me a ton! A great saint for people like us, she is beautiful and a devotion to her has done me so much good. Our Lady of course helps me out, or I would have more suicidal/cutting thoughts. When I get those kind of thoughts obsessively, I stop everything and PRAY. She gets right in there and helps, cuz she knows I won’t stop until the bad thoughts do.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      “well not me because I really like my lungs”?

                      The ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain that you are referring to was made into an orally administered extract by the Stanley Brothers.

                      You wouldn’t have to worry about your lungs if you were eating the extract.

                    • JohannaNemo

                      If it was legal, and safer, and I didn’t have to smoke it – I would totally be down! I know it has a good side. Also, I don’t get addicted easily myself, not that I purposely test this out. But dr’s often gave me very addictive meds for panic attacks and the like and I have been able to easily stop taking them when my PTSD lessened a bit. The only drug that I had serious withdrawal with was Prednisone, which has nothing to do with this particular thread – it was for my hives that I have had for 10 years. I am in the second month of withdrawal and still trying to get my stamina back. I was still able to do two 5K’s for charity, so I think I am on the mend as long as I don’t get to anxious or freaked out.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Glad you are feeling better!

            • kevin_hunt

              Why are you so ignorant on this subject? Hemp foods are sold at Costco.

              The reported health benefits of hemp seed oil, and especially the essential fatty acids, are well documented. When diets are supplemented with omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA in the proper 3:1 ratio, numerous benefits to health are achieved, including but not limited to greater resistance to cancer, inflammation, and blood clotting. A general increase in metabolism and lowering of overall blood cholesterol levels has also been observed. In addition to all of these positive health benefits associated with the use of hemp oil, there seems to be a complete lack of negative effects from its consumption. To date, there has been no reported cases of toxicity from the ingestion of hemp seed oil. Toxicity has also not been observed with any of the other constituents that were found as contaminants, which are primarily the cannabinoids. One reason for the lack of negative side effects from excessive ingestion of hemp oil is specifically related to the ratio of LA:LNA. Because most oils do not contain the optimum ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA, they tend to promote the accumulation of metabolic intermediates that in turn hinder fatty acid metabolism. The properly balanced hemp seed oil does not promote an over-accumulation of certain metabolic products and all of the fatty acid metabolic pathways have the necessary intermediates to work efficiently regardless of the quantities consumed.

              Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional & Medical Foods Vol. 2(4) 2000

          • kevin_hunt

            According to the American Cancer Society, the cigar smoke that you were breathing is toxic. Do you want to ban tobacco, since you claim to be against ‘toxic smoke’?

            “Cigar tobacco has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds (nitrates and nitrites). When the fermented cigar tobacco is smoked, these compounds give off several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), some of the most potent cancer-causing substances known. Also, because the cigar wrapper is less porous, the tobacco doesn’t burn as completely. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and tar — all very harmful substances.”

        • kevin_hunt

          “Just what practical use did pot ever have?”

          Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD): Attenuates (slows the effects of) cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Retards beta cell (-cell) damage in type 1 diabetes. Manages obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae, and should remain open for consideration. Prevents type 1 in mice and protects against diabetic retinopathy in animals (American Diabetes Association funded a $300,000 study looking into it). Protects nerves and preserves retinal barrier. Offers therapeutic opportunities for a variety of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, allergic asthma, and autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Has a therapeutic role in managing neurological complications of diabetes.

        • malcolmkyle

          1) Tobacco is cancer causing largely because it delivers specific carcinogens such as NNK and NNAL that are not present in cannabis. Not all “tar” is created equal, and tobacco has some of the most carcinogenic types of tar known to science, whereas cannabis does not.

          http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/91/14/1194

          2) Cannabis (marijuana) use is associated with a DECREASE in several types of cancer… potentially even providing a protective effect against tobacco and alcohol related cancer development.

          Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

          Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

          “Components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways whereas tobacco smoke enhances some. Both types of smoke contain carcinogens and particulate matter that promotes inflammatory immune responses that may enhance the carcinogenic effects of the smoke. However, cannabis typically down-regulates immunologically-generated free radical production by promoting a Th2 immune cytokine profile. Furthermore, THC inhibits the enzyme necessary to activate some of the carcinogens found in smoke. In contrast, tobacco smoke increases the likelihood of carcinogenesis by overcoming normal cellular checkpoint protective mechanisms through the activity of respiratory epithelial cell nicotine receptors. Cannabinoids receptors have not been reported in respiratory epithelial cells (in skin they prevent cancer), and hence the DNA damage checkpoint mechanism should remain intact after prolonged cannabis exposure. Furthermore, nicotine promotes tumor angiogenesis whereas cannabis inhibits it.”

          See:http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/2/1/21

          So there we have it: Tobacco Causes Cancer and Cannabis Prevents Cancer – even when smoked!

  • Tracy

    “Unlike alcohol they cannot be used moderately, but intrinsically involve
    a surrender of a full possession of reason and self-possession.” This is simply false. Using the word “drugs” in this way is scientifically meaningless (as alcohol is a “drug,” also, as are many herbs and plants not legally proscribed). Most drugs can be used moderately and are used moderately, even when they’re “abused” in the legal sense. While some drugs, such as meth and cocaine, are more powerful in their effects and in terms of their addictive qualities, it’s not even so that they can’t be used moderately and, quite simply, are. Further, many drugs, such as opiates, don’t affect the intellect much or at all.

    • Anthony Ray Hernandez

      Not to mention methamphetamine is actually prescribable in the US.

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      I agree that this article lacks some precision in its terminology. However, opiates are most certainly psychotropics. Unrefined opium has a cultural history in the East and can perhaps be used by some people without losing reason or becoming addicted. Refined opiates, however, such as heroin, are extremely dangerous and have destroyed many lives. You might want to watch the movie Trainspotting, which includes a scene in which a couple addicted to heroin have become so anesthetized as to forget that they have a baby and let it starve to death, before saying that opiates don’t affect the intellect.

      • John

        Her point was not to say that drugs in general do not cause problems like those describe by the author. Her point was to say that “drugs” is a very vague way of referring to very different things in the same category. For example, “Say no to drugs!” when talking about whether they are right or wrong to use, or good or bad for you, is like saying, “Say no to food!” because somebody is overweight: some foods are good, some foods are not, and most foods are good or bad depending on 1) their short-term effects 2) the moderation required in consumption of these foods, and 3) whether we adhere to moderation.

        “Drug” is vague because it’s a general category, and as it is used in this post, it is a weasel word: it deceitfully obscures the fact that some drugs (like cannabis) are most definitely not *implicitly* detrimental to rational and straightforward thinking, whereas other drugs (e.g., opiates and methamphetamine) generally are.

        • John

          “Deceitfully” is a strong way to put that – a better choice would be “ignorantly” (with no perjorative intent, for the record).

    • JohannaNemo

      Opiates affect memory and your sense of reality, I think that would go under “reason” if not intellect.

  • HigherCalling

    In the essay, Omar and the Sacred Vine, Chesterton contrasts rational and irrational drinking — making the case for irrational drinking, which, rightly seen, is sacramental. Rational drinking (or drinking for health or because we need it) is medicinal and shuts out the universe; irrational drinking (or drinking for festivity and joy) is poetical and reveals the universe. Later he goes on to show the errors in the “carpe diem” religion and the fatalistic notion of “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Rationalizing happiness turns eating, drinking and merry-making into a medicine, shutting out the worth and essence of things. Living only for the moment and enjoying things for those moment’s sake blinds us to the immortal love that creates those moments and to the eternal happiness in the nature of those things. He finishes the essay by contrasting the “seize the day” doctrine with a much better one (which must be read!).

    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/chesterson01.htm

  • Carl

    While not a “poison” per se, the active incredient in THC and other cannabinoids act as predator and bacteriological deterrents.

    THC effects the nerve cells related where memories are formed in the brain. Smoking Marijuana damages the lungs because marijuana users may inhale the smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible. Marijuana smoke contains some of the same toxic particles as tobacco-sometimes in higher concentrations. Users will often have reddened eyes. So how can cigarettes be bad and joints good?!

    Long-term users may develop a psychological dependence on it and eventually require more to get the same high. Another long-term effect can be a loss of motivation and inability to complete projects.

    Even “moderate” use users can experience loss of motor skills, inability to accomplish tasks requiring multiple mental steps.

    Where as alcohol is used by the human body, and yes, there’s generally no reason to consume alcohol to maintain these levels. But studies have shown that moderate usage may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

    In Fact, Brewing Ale and beer was a major dietary staple for hundreds of years until technics were invented to sanitized and purify drinking water! The process of brewing beer clears most of the impurities in the water, only recently was the alcohol percentage raise to five percent. Beer most common a hundred years ago had low alcohol content.

    • Anthony Ray Hernandez

      Total logical fallacy “smoke is smoke”. Explain to me why asthmatics can smoke marijuana without going into an attack if the smoke is so much worse than tobacco. Honestly I don’t think you care an ounce about the science (as evidenced by you spewing “facts” that have already been debunked.) as much as you’re a legalist who finds themselves superior because your choice of drug is (not actually) healthier.

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      It’s true marijuana can produce psychological dependence. But note this is unlike alcohol, which produces both a physical and psychological dependence!

      • malcolmkyle

        An ever-growing body of scientific research clearly demonstrates that Marijuana is less addictive than a cup of tea.

        http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/basicfax5.htm

        Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco ranked six psychoactive substances on five criteria.

        Withdrawal — The severity of withdrawal symptoms produced by stopping the use of the drug.

        Reinforcement — The drug’s tendency to induce users to take it again and again.

        Tolerance — The user’s need to have ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.

        Dependence — The difficulty in quitting, or staying off the drug, the number of users who eventually become dependent

        Intoxication — The degree of intoxication produced by the drug in typical use.

        The tables listed below show the rankings given for each of the drugs. Overall, their evaluations for the drugs are very consistent. It is notable that marijuana ranks below caffeine in most addictive criteria, while alcohol and tobacco are near the top of the scale in many areas.

        The rating scale is from 1 to 6 — 1 denotes the drug with the strongest addictive tendencies, while 6 denotes the drug with the least addictive tendencies.

        HENNINGFIELD RATINGS

        Withdrawal Reinforcement Tolerance Dependence Intoxication

        Nicotine 3 4 2 1 5

        Heroin 2 2 1 2 2

        Cocaine 4 1 4 3 3

        Alcohol 1 3 3 4 1

        Caffeine 5 6 5 5 6

        Marijuana 6 5 6 6 4

        BENOWITZ RATINGS

        Withdrawal Reinforcement Tolerance Dependence Intoxication

        Nicotine 3 4 4 1 6

        Heroin 2 2 2 2 2

        Cocaine 3 1 1 3 3

        Alcohol 1 3 4 4 1

        Caffeine 4 5 3 5 5

        Marijuana 5 6 5 6 4

    • kevin_hunt

      I’m not buying the ‘alcohol good marijuana bad’ argument. Marijuana does not have to be ‘smoked’, which eliminates the ‘smoke concerns’.

      According to the CDC, there are 40,000 deaths per year from alcohol and zero from marijuana.

      Your post reads like a beer commercial.

    • malcolmkyle

      Researchers have found that there are no differences between daily marijuana users and those using no marijuana in their use of the emergency room, in hospitalizations, medical diagnoses, or their health status.

      “Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) studied 589 adults who screened positive for drug use at a primary care visit. Those patients were asked about their drug use, their emergency room use and hospitalizations, and their overall health status. In addition, information about other medical diagnoses was obtained from their medical records. They found the vast majority of the study sample (84 percent) used marijuana, 25 percent used cocaine, 23 percent opioids and eight percent used other drugs; 58 percent reported using marijuana but no other drugs. They also found no differences between daily marijuana users and those using no marijuana in their use of the emergency room, in hospitalizations, medical diagnoses or their health status.”

    • MikeParent

      Alcohol is 52 Times as likely to be detected in a fatal collision than marijuana. Alcohol ingestion causes numerous disease. People die from ingesting alcohol. Comparitively speaking, alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana.

      Are you employed by the liquor industry?

      • Art Deco

        Alcohol is 52 Times as likely to be detected in a fatal collision than marijuana. Alcohol ingestion causes numerous disease.

        It is also sold in high quantities on every street corner and tested for with portable equipment. (Presuming you did not pull that metric out of your rear end).

  • Daryl Wheeler

    I think the difference is in the intent. That seems to be what Aquinas was saying, drinking to get drunk is a sin, simply having a glass of wine is not. Alcohol can be consumed for the simple pleasure of enjoying a good glass of wine or a good beer. Drugs can not. The only reason to take drugs is the affect they have whether one is taking them “in moderation” or not is immaterial, they are being taken strictly for the affect.

    • malcolmkyle

      Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users

      Thomas F. Denson, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the California State University at Long Beach, and Mitch Earleywine, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, wrote the following in their Apr. 2006 study titled “Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users,” published in Addictive Behaviors:

      “Those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana. Specifically, weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users… Our results add to the growing body of literature on depression and marijuana and are generally consistent with a number of studies that have failed to confirm a relationship between the two after controlling for relevant variables…

      The potential for medical conditions to contribute to spurious links between marijuana and greater depression requires further investigation.”

      No Loss of Motivation in Marijuana users:

      “Laboratory studies provide additional information on the causal relationship between motivation and marijuana. The Mendelson experiment, where hospitalised volunteers worked on an operant task to earn money and marijuana for 26 days, found that the dose of marijuana smoked did not influence the amount of work done by either the casual-user group or the heavy-user group; all remained motivated to earn and take home a significant amount of money in addition to the work they did for the marijuana. It seems clear that marijuana does not cause a loss of motivation.”

      —Mendelson, H.H., Kuehnle, J.C., Greenberg, I., & Mello, N.K. (1976). The effects of marihuana use on human operant behavior: Individual data. In M.C. Broude & S. Szara (eds.), _Pharmacology of marihuana_, vol. 2(pp. 643-653). New York: Academic Press.

  • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

    Repent. Stop making excuses. Stop using drugs.

    • malcolmkyle

      It’s not a question of people wanting to get stoned—prohibition is simply a failed and dangerous policy and the majority of us are fed up of paying for its consequences.

      When we regulate something we do NOT automatically condone it’s use; the regulations concerning alcohol and tobacco are there to protect us from the vast increase in criminality that would otherwise exist were these substances to be prohibited.

      A regulated and licensed distribution network for all mind altering substances would put responsible adult supervision between children and premature access to drug distribution outlets (illegal street dealers). Regulated and licensed distribution would reflect and respect society’s values, thus preventing children obtaining easy access to these substances. What we need is legalized regulation. What we have now, due to prohibition, is a non-regulated black market to which everybody has access and where all the profits go to organized crime, corrupt politicians, and terrorist cells.

      Prohibition causes massive crime and suffering, causes government/police corruption, causes America to have the highest prison population of any nation in the history of the planet, causes Americans to lose all their rights and all their true values, causes the waste of trillions in taxpayer dollars, and causes wars, violence and death.

      The prisons are bursting. Much of the judiciary and most (if not all) law enforcement agencies are corrupt. We are no no longer safe in our own homes. The whole country is on the verge of a total social and financial collapse. Please wake up!

  • Pig Slop

    Drinking or taking drugs to achieve an altered state, is not GOD’s Will.
    Drinking with a meal, feast is okay, because it is an extended period of time. To drink to get drunk is a sin. It falls under the Virtue of Temperance. Balance is what Jesus was and is all about.

    • malcolmkyle

      The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the U.S. alone, an estimated 79,000 lives are lost annually due to “excessive” drinking. The study estimates that the overall cost of excessive drinking by Americans is $223.5 billion each year.

  • Barb

    I hate to admit, Cheech & Chong attended the same Catholic high school I did in the Los Angeles area being just a few years older than I. The drug culture is alive and well, still attractive and a source capable of numbing the reality we would like to forget, no matter your age or status. The Church is one of the few entitities trying to preserve the concept of the dignity, uniqueness and inherent goodness of mankind. There are people out there who are trying to debase that “original and old fashioned” concept, offering instead a blurred definition of mankind to support political and social issues. The idea is to reeducate the masses to push their agenda…And wouldn’t that be easier if people’s brains were fuzzy from any substance that numbs or alters normal thinking? I believe so.

    • kevin_hunt

      Cheech and Chong are smarter than the characters that they play. They wrote most of their own material.

      From IMDB: Tommy Chong is credited for acting in 35 films and shows, writing 11 movies, 11 soundtracks, producing 3 shows, and directing 6 movies.

      Cheech Marin has credits for 98 movies and shows, writing 18 movies and shows, 16 soundtracks, producing 4 shows, and directing 2 movies.

  • JM

    Mr. Staudt, you are an asst. prof. of theology. That you cannot see that your arguments against drug use apply to alcohol is mind boggling to say the least. You are right that certain drugs render complete moral paralysis after one “hit”. Marijuana is not one of those drugs. Please do your research on this before you put out such a silly article. It makes you and Crisis magazine look very bad. I have personal experience with most drugs and can attest to the fact that marijuana shouldn’t be grouped with such things as cocaine, meth, opiods, etc.

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      JM, I think what the author actually meant by “drugs” was something like “drugs which necessarily prevent the exercise of reason.” I agree it would have been helpful for him to make that definition explicitly.

      • malcolmkyle

        “drugs which necessarily prevent the exercise of reason.”

        Alcohol (United States) is a factor in the following:

        * 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

  • tamsin

    Hello Jared, I really appreciated this article. I learned a lot.

    The use of recreational drugs to treat social/emotional/mental pain has the same potential for harm to human dignity as the use of prescription drugs to treat pain of all sorts.

    In the paper today I read about a young man named Timothy Fazio who joined the Marines, went to Iraq, was injured, returned from Iraq, and has received a whole lot of drugs from the VA over the last several years to treat his pain and PTSD. His life is very difficult.

    I worry that this man needs a chaplain more than he needs oxycodone. But nothing in the article suggests he has been offered (or has rejected) support for finding meaning and purpose in life beyond this life.

    Mr. Fazio’s case embodies a problem these patients can face: The drugs prescribed for their physical pain also temporarily relieve their mental strains. Mr. Fazio was originally prescribed narcotic painkillers after injuring his hand in Fallujah, Iraq. Once the pain subsided, he kept taking the drugs to help numb his troubled dreams and waves of anxiety. They helped “erase” his mind, he said.

    He got hooked. When he couldn’t get more from the VA, he moved on to street heroin. His parents say he tried to provoke police into shooting him on at least one occasion. (When asked, Mr. Fazio sometimes denies doing that, while other times he suggests it is true.)

    Now 30, Mr. Fazio grew up in a close Catholic family with two brothers and two sisters in Sterling, Mass., about an hour’s drive from Boston. He was a popular, scrappy hockey player who made decent grades, despite being hard-pressed to concentrate, his parents say.

    • kevin_hunt

      Opiate pain pills are highly addictive and kill more people than cocaine, meth, and heroin combined. Marijuana kills no one.

      Cannabis Can Relieve PTSD in War Veterans

      This review shows that recent studies provided supporting evidence that PTSD patients may be able to cope with their symptoms by using cannabis products.

      Cannabis may dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories.

      Source: Drug Testing and Analysis

      Volume 4, July-August 2012

  • T

    Interesting, alcohol is a drug no matter how you look at, yet there is justification for it’s use all over the place. It causes just as much damage if not more than pot, from alcoholism to family strife to drinking driving etc etc. It is far less natural than pot in a sense that it is distilled, brewed or fermented. Yet it is OK to drink. But smoking drugs is bad.
    Alcohol is culturally acceptable and thus we have justification for it’s use. Now Marijuana is becoming culturally acceptable and logically you need apply the same justification for it’s use as you would for alcohol or else it loses it’s credibility. Alcohol has a longer and a more favourable history. Yet it was not that long ago that alcohol was illegal in America, what happened? It’s what people do.
    I think that at the end of the day it comes down to intent and reason for the use. If you substitute Marijuana for alcohol in any of the reasons you justify drinking alcohol should work just the same and probably easily interchangeable. Both can be very detrimental to one self and society in general.
    Both probably should be avoided and no real need to do either, but if you do, then use sense and moderation.

  • Tony

    In my years in college I never saw anybody toking marijuana without the desire to get high. Not a buzz, but to get high. One glass of wine does not make you drunk or high …

    • kevin_hunt

      I get a buzz from one glass of wine. Perhaps you have a high tolerance from all the drinking you did at college?

    • malcolmkyle

      Alcohol, when used alone, is “involved” in far more emergency department visits than every illegal drug combined. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control): “In the single year 2005, there were more than 1.6 million hospitalizations and more than 4 million emergency room visits for alcohol-related conditions.” A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in 2012 suggests that as many as 50 percent of emergency room visits could be alcohol-related. In New York City for instance, nearly 74,000 people visited hospitals in 2009 for alcohol-related reasons, compared with just 22,000 in 2003.

    • MikeParent

      Are you speaking for everyone?

      I never saw anyone die from marijuana ingestion. Can you say the same for alcohol?

      • Tony

        I never saw anybody die from alcohol ingestion, either. I’m talking about being an eyewitness. I imagine that plenty of people have gotten into auto accidents while they’ve been driving under the influence of one drug or another. My sense of that is that marijuana makes you dopey and unlikely to drive fast, or to do anything at all fast.
        The wisdom of criminalizing marijuana use is a separate matter from the morality of marijuana use. But there is no question that the law should be obeyed, so long as it is the law. There are two kinds of laws that must be disobeyed:
        The law that compels you to do something evil.
        The law that forbids you to do something morally necessary.
        So a Catholic cannot cooperate in abortion. And a Catholic must worship God regardless of what the state says. But we are not talking about a moral necessity in the case of marijuana. We are bound to obey the law, and if we don’t like the law, we may work to change it.

        • kevin_hunt

          “and if we don’t like the law, we may work to change it.”?

          …and what do you think has happened in CO and WA? How about the 18 other states that permit marijuana for medical purposes?

        • MikeParent

          Tell the Bankers who caused the Financial crisis how the laws are applied. Marijuana laws were conceived, born and nurtured from lies, greed and racism. Their foundation is in sin!

          Rosa Parks was bound by a morally bankrupt law, which she broke. Should she have not done that? We, at http://www.LEAP.cc (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) are working to change those laws as we speak.

          • Adam__Baum

            uh, “Bankers” didn’t cause the Financial Crisis. The government did with the CRA, Fannie and Freddie and Dodd and Frank and Jamie Gorelick and Franklin Raines and the rest of the Hee-Haw Gang- and let’s not forget Greenspan’s tiny bubble.

            http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/RUSS-final.pdf

            • MikeParent

              Right, the Bankers were just innocent dupes. /// Sarcasm off!

          • Art Deco

            Mike, the most salient component of the ‘financial crisis’ was generated not by ‘bankers’ but by the Financial Products unit of the American International Group, which is an insurance company. They sold (by some accounts) $400 bn worth of unhedged credit default swaps.

            Next in line are the mortgage maws. Financing their deficits under the conservatorship established in September 2008 is responsible for about 70% of the federal government’s losses to date. The salient turning point occurred in 2003, when Freddie Mac cut underwriting standards on the mortgages it purchased. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not common commercial enterprises but privileged crony capitalist enterprises chock-a-block with people from the Washington insider nexus (nearly all Democrats). Fannie and Freddie are K street, not Wall st.

            One of the reasons underwriting standards were slashed was in response to the federal government’s efforts to promote homeownership. It is asinine to try to twist the arms of commercial enterprises to make bad business decisions, but it was done with escalating vigor. One conduit through which that promotional strategy was effected was in the discretionary approval or disapproval of bank mergers. Characters like Angelo Mozilo and the geniuses running Washington Mutual (which continued subprime lending into 2007) got their mergers approved. More prudent bankers did not.

            Then of course you have the pervasive mispricing of risk by so many actors in the system, mortgage originators included.

            To date the money pits have been the mortgage maws, the auto industry components, and AIG, in that order. AIG is the only one of the foregoing which was not a Democratic Party client. The banks have repaid about 96% of the TARP funds extended them and paid dividends on the preferred stock in the interim.

            I think many of us find casino banking repellant and friends of mine in the banking trade have been for six or seven years now aghast with what Citigroup and others were able to get away with as regards traffick in collateralized debt obligations. However, these chaps are not at the front of the queue.

          • Art Deco

            Southern caste regulations were gross and disagreeable (and quite unnecessary. (The South got along without them prior to about 1890). Somehow I think manufacturing a matrix of insult in which people have to live their lives is somewhat more injurious than refusing to have an uncontrolled market in stupefacients.

            Nice bit of self-aggrandizement on your part, Spicoli.

        • kevin_hunt

          “My sense of that is that marijuana makes you dopey and unlikely to drive fast”

          I will agree with the ‘unlikely to drive fast’ statement.

          “…most marijuana-intoxicated drivers show only modest impairments on actual road tests. Experienced smokers who drive on a set course show almost no functional impairment under the influence of marijuana, except when it is combined with alcohol”

          Am J Addict. 2009; 18(3): 185–193.

          THE EFFECT OF CANNABIS COMPARED WITH ALCOHOL ON DRIVING

          R. Andrew Sewell, MD,corresponding author James Poling, PhD, and Mehmet Sofuoglu, MD, PhD

  • Tony

    I also never saw marijuana add to conviviality. It makes people dull and dopey. There is nothing more boring on this earth than to be in a room with people who have been smoking weed …

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      Perhaps, but I’d bet you’ve never seen them starting fights or beating their wives, either?

      • thebigdog

        They can’t fight and their wives beat them.

        • malcolmkyle

          Like Mike Tyson?

      • lotus eaters

        It makes a lot of people very anxious and paranoid.

        • kevin_hunt

          Unlike the false confidence that alcohol brings? Have you ever heard of ‘beer muscles’?

        • MikeParent

          And? Is that a problem? Those people will probably eschew it in the future. No harm done.

    • kevin_hunt

      Your charming anecdotal tales doesn’t prove anything other than you need to get some new friends that aren’t so boring.

  • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

    I generally agree with this article, but I have a few quibbles, which I hope aren’t too pedantic.

    Alcohol is a drug. Any reasonable definition of the word “drug” includes alcohol. I realize this is not a scientific article and the writer is using colloquial terminology, but still, why is alcohol acceptable for Catholics, and “drugs” are not? Of course I know the answer when it comes to cocaine, LSD or heroin: they are too strong to be used safely. But marijuana? The effects of alcohol use on the body are much worse than marijuana, which has no inherent adverse physical effects: the only physical harm is caused by the smoke inhalation, which can be avoided by ingestion. Psychologically, marijuana can have deleterious effects, but used in moderation, it can produce the same kind of gladdening of the heart as alcohol. And there are few if any marijuana-induced pub brawls, domestic violence incidents, or regretted sexual encounters.

    The author also passes over the fact that other drugs, primarily caffeine and nicotine, are also used for their psychological effects, but are generally accepted by the Church and pretty much everyone else in the world. (Like marijuana, the negative effects of nicotine are related to the delivery mechanism, i.e. smoking, not the drug itself.) Of course, I know the answer here too, it’s that these drugs have relatively mild effects, and in fact usually aid in rationality rather than detract from it.

    So more mature readers will be able to parse out what’s meant by “drugs,” that is, psychotropic drugs which void the faculty of reason. But for the benefit of younger readers trying to work their way through such issues, it might be helpful to use more precise terminology, in order to maintain credibility.

  • Prof_Override

    Attempting to differentiate between alcohol and pot is absurd – they are both “drugs”, as are tobacco products, as are a whole slew of other products both legal and not. Drinking too much water will dilute your electrolytes to the point of stopping your heart, hence it is a drug. Where does one draw the line, this isn’t black and white. Unless one of y’all has magically transmogrified into the supreme being why should I, or anyone else, trust your judgment on where to draw that line?! This is truly an area where libertarian thought should prevail (as it slowly is electorally). The absurd “war on drugs” which can directly be linked to Mexico’s “Drug Lord” problems is the last nail in the coffin of such relativistic moralism, hiding in cloak of the church.

    • Centipede Galaga

      wow. Logical problems all over the place here. There are proven benefits to moderate alcohol consumption (google them). There are some benefits attached to chemicals in Marijuana, but THC is the problem. It has lasting effects on the cognitive functions of humans (check pub med files for that info). Excessive consumption of almost anything is detrimental to health. That takes away the stigma of alcohol being a health hazard. THC has been synthesized into Marinol to avoid the issues with brain function. If the positive effects of this drug are needed, there is Marinol. The intention is the key in morality. People are mostly intending to get high when they smoke pot. The intention to drink in excess is also bad, but small amounts of alcohol are not the same as small amounts of Marijuana (because Marijuana has lasing effects on cognitive function and is fat soluble and stays around for a while). The intention is key. That has been left out.

      • kevin_hunt

        wow. Logical problems all over the place here.

        “THC has been synthesized into Marinol to avoid the issues with brain function. “?

        Marinol is a synthetic THC isomer that is made from 100% synthetic precursor chemicals. The government approved it, because the manufacturing process does not require cannabis plants. The government is desperate to keep people from growing all forms of cannabis, even industrial hemp. It’s a P.R. scam.

        Marinol is not as effective as extracts made from cannabis because Marinol does not contain CBD and other cannabinoids.

        Marinol DOES cause a high because it is THC.

      • kevin_hunt

        “It has lasting effects on the cognitive functions of humans When “?

        That is 1980’s drug war propaganda.

        “and is fat soluble and stays around for a while”

        You do know that you are referring to INACTIVE metabolites, right?

        “Schreiner looked at studies that included heavy cannabis users evaluated during states of extreme intoxication, she found some statistical impairments in memory, learning, and attention. But she was unable to provide evidence of long-lasting impairment. Specifically, the participants demonstrated no significant cognitive deficiencies once the intoxication period ended. Additionally, Schreiner found no symptoms of impairment in the individuals who had abstained for 25 days. In conclusion she said, “These results fail to support the idea that heavy cannabis use may result in long-term, persistent effects on neuropsychological functioning.”

        Reference:
Schreiner, A. M., Dunn, M. E. (2012). residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology

      • malcolmkyle

        Health concerns regarding marijuana tend to come from a self-fueling group of discredited scientists funded by the pharmaceutical, prison, tobacco, and alcohol industries. They push non-peer-reviewed papers, fraught with conjecture and confounding variables, while relying upon reports issued by others in their own group to further support their own grossly misleading research and clearly biased agendas.

        The Duke University (New Zealand) study, the one which claimed that smoking marijuana in your teens leads to a long-term drop in IQ, has since been utterly rebuked by a new paper, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examined the research and found its methodology to be flawed.

        Here is a recent peer-reviewed Study proving that Marijuana is not linked with Long Term Cognitive Impairment:

        Amy M. Schreiner of the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida recently led a study that looked at 33 existing meta-analyses of cognitive impairment experienced by heavy cannabis users. Schreiner was unable to provide evidence of long-lasting impairment. Specifically, the participants demonstrated no significant cognitive deficiencies once the intoxication period ended. Additionally, Schreiner found no symptoms of impairment in the individuals who had abstained for 25 days. In conclusion she said, “These results fail to support the idea that heavy cannabis use may result in long-term, persistent effects on neuropsychological functioning.”

        Reference:

        Schreiner, A. M., Dunn, M. E. (2012). residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029117

    • redfish

      There isn’t a moral difference between getting drunk and getting high. The only difference is that most people who drink alcohol don’t drink to get drunk — they drink a glass with a meal — but most people who smoke pot are smoking to get high. The social uses between the drugs are vastly different.

      Of course, that says nothing about what the laws should be, which is a different issue. You can think alcohol and pot are different and still think both should be legal.

      • kevin_hunt

        “The only difference is that most people who drink alcohol don’t drink to get drunk”?

        Please explain why there are no ‘non-alcoholic liquor stores’ ? People drink wine instead of grape juice so they can get the pleasant feeling of a mild alcohol buzz.

        • redfish

          Grape juice doesn’t quite taste like wine. People don’t cook with wine to get a buzz either.

          • kevin_hunt

            “Grape juice doesn’t quite taste like wine.”

            …and milk doesn’t taste quite like Bailey’s Irish Creme. Guess which one has psychotropic effects?

            “People don’t cook with wine to get a buzz either.”?

            So what?

            CDC reports: 40,000 deaths per year from alcohol ingestion.

            Zero deaths from marijuana ingestion.

            • redfish

              We’re arguing different things. I’m not saying anywhere that people don’t do hard liquor or don’t binge drink, or either that marijuana is particularly bad and worse than liquor and should be criminalized.

              I’m addressing why people see the two types of substances differently. In that regard, I’m just saying most people who drink don’t do hard liquor or binge drink, they drink alcohol for the taste; and those people look down on binge drinking, too. That’s what gives alcohol some social respectability.

              Note, the OP also implies there’s not a good reason why water and cannabis are seen as different, since you can die from water.

              • kevin_hunt

                ” I’m just saying most people who drink don’t do hard liquor or binge drink,”

                Agreed.

              • malcolmkyle

                Levels of intoxication for cannabis increase on a steep-curve for a few minutes before reaching a plateau, at which point levels of intoxication/impairment will hardly increase with further use.

                Alcohol intoxication, on the other hand, is more gradual and has no top limit, short of death.

      • malcolmkyle

        Apart from the fact that legal drugs cause more crime and kill far more people than all the illegal drugs combined, debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. Are drugs like Cocaine, Heroin, Meth or Alcohol dangerous? It simply doesn’t matter, because if we prohibit them then we sure as hell know that it makes a bad situation far worse. If someone wants to attempt to enhance or destroy their lives with particular medicines or poisons, that should be their business, not anybody else’s. Their lives aren’t ours to direct. And anyway, who wants to give criminals, terrorists and corrupt law enforcement agents a huge un-taxed, endless revenue stream?

        A great many of us are wising up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation, which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco. These are clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances, but we have learnt to regulate them properly, and not hand the whole market over to organized criminals and corrupt politicians.

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  • mollysdad

    Once you accept the practice of “pharmakeia” (Galatians 5:19 et seq) for the purpose of procuring abortion and of contracepting, you can expect drug abuse to run through a society like a punishment from God.

    • kevin_hunt

      Man has no authority to ban a plant.

      Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

      Genesis 1:29

      • mollysdad

        If you read every reference to “pharmakeia” in the New Testament, you will see that it is banned not by man, but by God and on pain of eternal damnation.

        • malcolmkyle

          Jesus specifically told his disciples to “anoint” people. That anointing took place using a specific formula made from a recipe found in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

          That recipe (Exodus 30:23) includes about 6 pounds of “kaneh-bosen”.

          According to many biblical scholars, “kaneh-bosen” was/is Marijuana.

          Most of the diseases mentioned as being healed miraculously after anointing are, curiously, the same ones that cannabis can heal today. Things like epilepsy, leprosy, and “crooked limbs” (an obvious reference to multiple sclerosis).

          Exodus 30:

          23 Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

        • kevin_hunt

          Man cannot ban a plant without violating God’s word.

          The federal government banned industrial hemp, even though it does not cause ‘drug abuse’. So much for your wacky pharmakeia theories.

          Psalms 104:14-15 – He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth

  • anna lisa

    I appreciate a lot of the comments here. This is a confusing topic, as alcohol is clearly a drug. My son told me that many pharmaceutical drugs are one molecule away from Opium, so they can be patented and repackaged.

    Wouldn’t you love to see the looks on the drug lords’ faces if drugs were made legal? –(and the focus on education/rehabilitation over prosecution, like in Portugal) Imagine what would happen if the DEA’s budget was put toward our schools instead.

    • kevin_hunt

      You are right about Portugal.

      Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2000 and made drug treatment widely available. Here are the annual prevalence use rates (in percent of population ages 15-64) from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “World Drug Report 2011″:

      Opioids
      U.S. 5.90
      Portugal 0.46

      Cocaine
      U.S. 2.4
      Portugal 0.6

      Cannabis
      U.S. 13.7
      Portugal 3.6

      Amphetamines
      U.S. 1.5
      Portugal 0.2

      Ecstasy
      U.S. 1.4
      Portugal 0.4

  • lotus eaters

    With the marijuana that is around nowadays, it is virtually impossible to use it “moderately”. One hit, especially to infrequent users, is enough to drastically alter your perception and moral judgement. As a former drug user for several years, I can safely say the major reason people smoked pot was to get high, Simple as that.
    The only times one might not smoke with the sole reason to get high, was for those who smoked several times everyday. Then, they smoked simply to feel “normal”.

    • kevin_hunt

      “One hit, especially to infrequent users, is enough to drastically alter your perception and moral judgement. “?

      I’m not buying that argument. I have never seen anyone take one hit and stumble around like a drunk.

    • malcolmkyle

      It is simply another prohibitionist lie to state that “marijuana is now more dangerous because it’s far more potent.” Apart from the fact that many 60 year olds can safely vouch for the presence of very strong strains of weed and hash in the 60s and 70s, arguing that marijuana’s higher THC content makes it too dangerous to legally regulate is akin to saying that alcohol should be prohibited because spirits are far stronger than wine or beer. Just as the users of alcohol do not consume the same volume of spirits as they do of wine or beer, the higher the THC level the less people tend to smoke, vaporize or eat.

    • MikeParent

      Did they teach you that in Rehab? Define what High means to you? What are you basing your opinion on as you are a former user, not a current one. Word of Mouth?

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    I don’t think that all voters approve of decriminalizing drugs because they are for drugs use, but rather that they disapprove the enforcement against which has reached absurdity, doing more harm to users, their families and society than the drugs themselves.

    • kevin_hunt

      Right you are.

      Jose Guerana, an Iraq war veteran was gunned down by an AZ SWAT team who was trying to reach their quota of marijuana raids. No drugs were found. The officers denied paramedics access to their victim and allowed Guerena to bleed to death in front of his 4 year old son.

      Under the terms of a settlement, the family of Jose Guerena will receive $3.4 million from the various police agencies involved in his deat

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        And no one will do time for his murder, for the watchers watch the watchers and they take care of their own.

        • kevin_hunt

          Absolutely true. This is not an isolated case.

  • Dennis Neylon

    One aspect of the legalization of drugs that makes me nervous is what will become of those who sell/transport/produce what are currently illegal drugs. Those who were involved in the same way with alcohol during Prohibition did not become model citizens when alcohol became legal again. They simply diversified into other criminal enterprises. I doubt that those who are in the drug trade would be any different. The efforts by drug users to equate recreational drug use with alcohol use strike me as being similar to those who say if two people love each other, that is enough for marriage. What they are really saying (to my mind) is “I’m not sinning, I’m doing what makes me happy. Doesn’t God want me to be happy?” To which the answer would be, God wants you to be happy, but He also wants you to follow His law, which says marriage is between a man and a woman, and that you should maintain control of your mental faculties. One drink does not affect most people’s mental faculties, but one joint certainly does.

    • kevin_hunt

      “what will become of those who sell/transport/produce what are currently illegal drugs”?

      Are you saying that prohibition is a ‘make work’ program for criminals? That was not the intent of the failed drug war. The drug war was supposed to stop people from doing drugs. It clearly has not worked.

      If the War on Drugs was a social welfare program it would have been de-funded, abolished, and never heard from again forty years ago. As it is a critical part of the police-public prosecutor complex, it will continue like some nightmarish fiscal black hole, suc king up resources endlessly, while producing nothing but more drugs, political instability, corruption in financial services, violence, and death.

    • kevin_hunt

      ” One drink does not affect most people’s mental faculties, but one joint certainly does.”?

      And your peer-reviewed proof of this is where? How do you measure ‘impairment’?

    • malcolmkyle

      How does spending billions attempting to prevent people growing, selling, buying, and smoking various psychoactive plants protect us?

      It’s not a question of people wanting to get stoned—prohibition is simply a failed and dangerous policy and the majority of us are fed up of paying for its consequences.

      We can either ask the Tooth Fairy to stop people taking drugs or we can decide to regulate them properly. Prohibition is not regulation, it’s a hideous nightmare for all of us.

      Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again —only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

      Debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. Is marijuana dangerous? Is Cocaine dangerous? Is Alcohol dangerous? It simply doesn’t matter if they are or not; If it’s not directly hurting you and you forbid it, then you can be sure that it WILL create unforeseen circumstances, which will have an adverse affect on all our wellbeing.

      If you support prohibition then you’ve helped trigger the worst crime wave in history.

      If you support prohibition you’ve a helped create a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

      If you support prohibition you’ve helped to make these substances available in schools and prisons.

      If you support prohibition you’ve helped raise gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging.

  • John

    “Unlike alcohol they cannot be used moderately, but intrinsically involve a surrender of a full possession of reason and self-possession.” This is clearly false, as is evident to anyone who has taken a tylenol. Goods can be misused. You are apparently not arguing that drugs are inherently evil as that would contradict the passage of the catechism. Surely we must accept drugs on some level. Why not accept the moderate use of a drug that is not significantly harmful to the body, that is not physically addicting, and can be used to simply unwind after work much that same a a beer i.e., marijuana?

  • Barfly_Kokhba

    “And He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek.… And when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us. ‘You too come forth,’ He will say, ‘Come forth, ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!’ And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand before him. And He will say unto us, ‘Ye are swine, made in the Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!’ And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, ‘Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive these men?’ And He will say, ‘This is why I receive them, oh ye wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.’ And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before Him.… and we shall weep … and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand all!…”

    -Dostoevsky, Crime & Punishment

    • slainte

      “….that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this….

      Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3’

      “When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:16-17,
      A beautiful truth….that Our Lord is merciful to those who are humble, who have been worn down by life, and believe themselves to be unworthy of Him. There is hope for all people.

  • kevin_hunt

    ” Unlike alcohol they cannot be used moderately,”?

    Alcohol IS a drug. The CDC reports 40,000 deaths per year from alcohol and ZERO for marijuana. Jared Staudt is not giving us a science-based assessment of ‘alcohol vs. drugs’, he is giving us his opinions that are based on a cultural bias in favor of alcohol.

  • Pingback: An Anesthetized Culture: Further Reflections on Drugs | Crisis Magazine

  • malcolmkyle

    Alcohol (United States) is a factor in the following:

    * 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

    According to the Australian National Drug Research Institute (2003): “The research into the global burden of disease attributable to drugs found, that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (only 3 percent of all drug-related deaths).” Marijuana doesn’t get a mention.

    According to DrugRehabs.Org, national (USA) mortality figures for 2009 were: tobacco 435,000; poor diet and physical inactivity 365,000; alcohol 85,000; microbial agents 75,000; toxic agents 55,000; motor vehicle crashes 26,347; adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000; suicide 30,622; incidents involving firearms 29,000; homicide 20,308; sexual behaviors 20,000; all illicit drug use, direct and indirect 17,000; and marijuana 0.

    Researchers led by Professor David Nutt, a former chief drugs adviser to the British government, asked drug-harm experts to rank 20 drugs (legal and illegal) on 16 measures of harm to the user and to wider society, such as damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime. Alcohol scored 72 out of a possible 100, far more damaging than heroin (55) or crack cocaine (54). It is the most harmful to others by a wide margin, and is ranked fourth behind heroin, crack, and methamphetamine (crystal meth) for harm to the individual.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/drugs_cause_most_harm

    The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the U.S. alone, an estimated 79,000 lives are lost annually due to “excessive” drinking. The study estimates that the overall cost of excessive drinking by Americans is $223.5 billion each year.

    http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(11)00538-1/abstract

    Health-related costs per user are eight times higher for those who drink alcohol when compared to those who use marijuana, and are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers, according to a 2009 review published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal.

    It states, “In terms of [health-related] costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user.”

    http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/cannabis/bck/7

    Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day increases lung cancer risk by 30 percent.

    “Heavy drinking has multiple harmful effects, including cardiovascular complications and increased risk for lung cancer,”

    —lead researcher Stanton Siu, MD, of Kaiser Permanente

    http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/alcohol/heavy-alcohol-consumption-linked-with-greater-lung-cancer-risk

    Alcohol, when used alone, is “involved” in far more emergency department visits than every illegal drug combined. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control): “In the single year 2005, there were more than 1.6 million hospitalizations and more than 4 million emergency room visits for alcohol-related conditions.” A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in 2012 suggests that as many as 50 percent of emergency room visits could be alcohol-related. In New York City for instance, nearly 74,000 people visited hospitals in 2009 for alcohol-related reasons, compared with just 22,000 in 2003.

    http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm/

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/research/good-and-bad-news-of-alcohol-use-by-emergency-room-patients/1228118

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-11-15/local/27081356_1_binge-alcohol-poisoning-heavy-drinkers

  • malcolmkyle

    The following text is taken directly from the US government’s National Cancer Institute website:

    * ANTI-TUMOR EFFECTS

    One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.

    Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.

    In an in vivo model using severe combined immunodeficient mice, subcutaneous tumors were generated by inoculating the animals with cells from human non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines. Tumor growth was inhibited by 60% in THC-treated mice compared with vehicle-treated control mice. Tumor specimens revealed that THC had antiangiogenic and antiproliferative effects.

    There is far more there on anti-tumor effects but I’m limited here due to commenting restrictions.

    * ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS

    In addition, both plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied for anti- inflammatory effects. A mouse study demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation. As a result, a hypothesis that phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be useful in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer has been developed.

    * ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES

    Another study has shown delta-9-THC is a potent and selective antiviral agent against Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8. The researchers concluded that additional studies on cannabinoids and herpesviruses are warranted, as they may lead to the development of drugs that inhibit the reactivation of these oncogenic viruses. Subsequently, another group of investigators reported increased efficiency of KSHV infection of human dermal microvascular epithelial cells in the presence of low doses of delta-9-THC.

    * APPETITE STIMULATOR

    Many animal studies have previously demonstrated that delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids have a stimulatory effect on appetite and increase food intake. It is believed that the endogenous cannabinoid system may serve as a regulator of feeding behavior. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide potently enhances appetite in mice. Moreover, CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus may be involved in the motivational or reward aspects of eating.

    * AS A PAIN KILLER

    The understanding of the mechanism of cannabinoid-induced analgesia has been increased through the study of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids), and synthetic agonists and antagonists. The CB1 receptor is found in both the central nervous system (CNS) and in peripheral nerve terminals. Similar to opioid receptors, increased levels of the CB1 receptor are found in sections of the brain that regulate nociceptive processing. CB2 receptors, located predominantly in peripheral tissue, exist at very low levels in the CNS. With the development of receptor-specific antagonists, much additional information about the roles of the receptors and the endogenous cannabinoids in the modulation of pain has also been obtained.

    Cannabinoids may also contribute to pain modulation through an anti-inflammatory mechanism; a CB2 effect with cannabinoids acting on mast cell receptors to attenuate the release of inflammatory agents, such as histamine and serotonin, and on keratinocytes to enhance the release of analgesic opioids.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Excellent piece Mr. Staudt. I completely agree. I would also add that the biggest difference between alcohol and drugs is that alcohol for better or worse has thousands of years of tradition within the culture. To strip it out as prohibition tried is impossible. Drugs have not yet integrated themselves into western tradition. Legalizing them would in essence do so. Why would we want to take this step? Once drugs become integrated they will never be able to be pushed out.

    • kevin_hunt

      “Drugs have not yet integrated themselves into western tradition”?

      You obviously don’t watch television. TV commercial for pharmaceuticals occupy 8% of all airtime. Three million American kids are prescribed amphetamines for ADD.

      Safe and effective cannabis extracts used to be sold at the drugstore before 1937, when 5 robber barons used a racist fear campaign convince mainstream Americans to outlaw hemp and marijuana.

      “To strip it out as prohibition tried is impossible.”

      ..which is the same concept for marijuana prohibition. It appears as if you didn’t learn from history.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Oh that’s completely different. There’s a vast difference between taking drugs for “recreational” use – more accurate, getting high – and because it’s prescribed by a doctor as a remedy. You’re just demogoging the issue by blurring the difference. And you know that.

        • kevin_hunt

          So no one takes pharmaceuticals for recreational purposes? What do you consider Viagra? How did a sex-drug slip past the morality police?

          Do you have any proof that marijuana wasn’t part of American culture before it was outlawed in 1937? Cannabis is possibly the OLDEST cultivated plant.

          Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.”

          – Thomas Jefferson

          “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”

          – George Washington

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Well, Viagra does address erectile dysfunction, so that’s not the same thing. What’s your fascination with pot? What do you get out of it? Today we are trying to unhook millions of people from nicotine cigarette addiction and trying to drive cigarettes out of the culture, and you want to add pot to the culture? Seems like you’re going the wrong way. No it is not part of the culture yet.

            • kevin_hunt

              Viagra IS used as a recreational drug.

              “Young men add Viagra to their drug arsenal

              By Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY

              Viagra, the anti-impotence drug nearing its third birthday, is being used as a “thrill pill.” It has become a party drug sold on college campuses and taken at clubs and rave parties where it is often downed in a life-threatening combination with street drugs, concerned experts say.”

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                illegal is illegal. If they got the drugs under false pretenses then they are breaking the law, just like buying pot off a dealer. You’re not making any sense.

                • kevin_hunt

                  “illegal is illegal. “?

                  Just like it used to be illegal to not return slaves to their masters?

                  “Well, Viagra does address erectile dysfunction”…and marijuana has medical uses, too. Marijuana is not illegal for medical uses in 20 states and D.C.

                  If your child had seizures that were not successfully treated with pharmaceuticals, would you try CBD (marijuana) extract or would you allow the child to die?

                  Even the federal government has a short list of patients that they supply with marijuana for medical purposes.

                  Your ‘illegal’ argument is falling apart.

                  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                    If a drug can be legitamately used for a remedy, then of course a doctor should be able to prescribe it. That’s no different than any drug. You’re arguing against a strawman.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      “I’m tired of arguing with you.”?

                      And yet here you are again.

                      “If a drug can be legitamately used for a remedy, then of course a doctor should be able to prescribe it.”?

                      ….So you support medical marijuana laws? Good to know.

                    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                      No that’s not correct. There are legalized famers who are allowed to grow MJ for the medical industry. Then there are the illegal outfits who sell it on the streets. You obviously are a demogogue or suffer from brain damage. You keep building up strawmen that don’t exist. Goodbye. Go get high.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      “There are legalized famers who are allowed to grow MJ for the medical industry. “?

                      So you agree that medical marijuana is, in some cases, legal. That seems reasonable.

                      “You obviously are a demogogue or suffer from brain damage.”

                      And yet my ‘brain damage’ does not preclude me from proving you wrong. Perhaps you have even worse ‘brain damage’. Or perhaps you are just a sore loser.

                      “Goodbye. Go get high.”.

                      No thanks, I don’t feel like getting ‘high’.

                      Goodbye and good riddance. Don’t come back. Earlier, you said you were ‘tired of arguing’ with me, so hopefully I will be rid of you.

                    • MikeParent

                      Can you tell us why Doctors can’t prescribe marijuana, considering what the DEA said, then ignored; In 1988, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in his ruling
                      “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of
                      the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
                      measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a
                      supervised routine of medical care.”
                      http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

                    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                      Because there are doctors and reseach that disagree. It’s a mixed bag and ambiguous. Plus it’s evident that lobbys are using the medicinal MJ route to stick their nose under the tent of legalizing it.

                    • MikeParent

                      Cite that research, please Those Drs were lied to by the DEA, or Profited by Prohibition. GIGO. That’s changed! Here’s some info you might appreciate.

                      http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/11/nation/na-marijuana-ama11 AMA/Change/

                      The GOVT. did thisunconscionable act to keep marijuana illegal; http://www.projectcensored.org/22-us-government-repressed-marijuana-tumor-research/

                      What is the reason to fear of marijuana legalization? FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
                      BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
                      Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
                      http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Doctors and research disagree on the safety of FDA approved drugs, also.

                      “Plus it’s evident that lobbys are using the medicinal MJ route to stick their nose under the tent of legalizing it.”?

                      So what? Free speech is LEGAL.

                      FDA warns that diabetes drug Actos may increase bladder cancer
                      FDA warns of liraglutide risk
                      COPD mist inhaler Spiriva may increase risk of death.
                      Seizure medications linked to pregnancy risk
                      FDA warns simvastatin may cause severe muscle damage
                      Osteoporosis Drugs & New Evidence on Heightened Risk of Femur Fractures
                      Meridia Recalled – Maker Pulls the Diet Drug Pill Due to FDA Concerns of Increased Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke
                      Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac & Zoloft Linked to Birth Defects
                      Yaz & Yasmin – linked to heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and death

                    • MikeParent

                      More Lobbyists are bribing politicians to keep marijuana illegal! Many More.

                • MikeParent

                  Not to tarnish your halo, but have you eever exceeded a speed limit?

                  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                    You’re creating more victums by legalizing it. Studies show there is a significant increase in an activity when it gets legalized.

                    • MikeParent

                      That’s patently ridiculous. Victims? How did you reach that conclusion? Was it from the Prohibitionist’s handbook? Marijuana has been proven to be safer and less addictive than what the govt currently allows. Many who will try it will be using it ni place of alcohol, which is much more dangerous.
                      Prohibition is a morally bankrupt policy, favored by Prohibitionist Parasites and the Ignorant who believ the lies and propaganda.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Your studies are bogus.

                      A study finds there is no evidence that legalization of medical marijuana increases teen drug use. “There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there’s no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use,” Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, said in a written statement.

                      Source: “Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use” Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows

                      Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

                      Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows

                      In Colorado, it appears that teen marijuana use is in decline while national use has gone up during the same period, according to data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) report compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

                      The CDC report shows:

                      Youth marijuana use in Colorado went down 2.8 percent from 2009 (24.8 percent) to 2011 (22 percent).

                      Youth marijuana use nationally went up 2.3 percent from 2009 (20.8 percent) to 2011 (23.1 percent).

                      In 2011, youth marijuana usage in Colorado fell below the national average — 22 percent in Colorado, 23.1 percent in the U.S.

                      But the CDC report didn’t just measure youth usage, it also measured drug availability on Colorado school grounds. The report shows:

                      Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percentfrom 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

                      Nationally, illegal drugs offered, sold or given on school property was up 3.1 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (25.6 percent).

                      Availability of illegal drugs on school grounds in Colorado is below the national average by 8.4 percent — 17.2 percent in Colorado, 25.6 percent in the U.S.

            • kevin_hunt

              “What’s your fascination with pot? What do you get out of it?”

              I get a thrill out of fighting government tyranny…just like our founding fathers did.

              “and you want to add pot to the culture?”

              No one is ‘adding’ anything. You must have missed my last post. Marijuana has been used for thousands of years. Our corrupt government succeeded in fooling the public that it was ‘evil’. Looks like you fell for it.

            • kevin_hunt

              Do you support the unconstitutional war on drugs?

              New Mexico Man Subjected To Repeated An al Probes After Routine Traffic Stop

              David Eckert was shopping at Wal-Mart. As pulled out of the store’s parking lot, City of Deming police noticed that he did a rolling stop at a stop sign.

              They asked Eckert to get out of his vehicle and noticed that he appeared to be clenching his butt ocks. The police arrested him and took him to Gila Medical Center.

              The first thing they did was X-ray Eckert’s abdomen. They found no drugs. Next, a doctor stuck fingers into Eckert’s an us. Again, no drugs. So they probed his anus with their fingers again. Still nothing.

              So they forced an enema on him then made him defecate in front of doctors and police officers while they watched. Still nothing. Then they did it again. And again. Three enemas, three times Eckert was made to evacuate his bowels in front of officers and doctors.

              No drugs turned up. So they x-rayed him again. Nothing.

              The doctors sedated him and performed a colonoscopy, searching Eckert’s rectum, colon and large intestines with a camera. They found no drugs.

              The Gila Medical Center charged Eckert for all of these procedures — none of which were done with his consent — and is threatening to sic a collection agency on him if he doesn’t pay.

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                Hey go take your drugs. I’m tired of arguing with you. You’re obviously brain dead from all that pot.

                • kevin_hunt

                  You are obviously so frustrated by your inability to prove me wrong that you feel the need to insult me.

                  You are a sore loser. Have a lousy day, prohibitionist.

                  FYI: You have no proof that I do the stuff.

                  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                    Hardly. I’ve proven you wrong and you don’t accept it.

                • MikeParent

                  What a brilliant way, you chose to engage in a conversation. Sarcasm off! Keep playing Ostritch!

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                I absolutely support the CONSTITUTIONAL war on drugs. Ask the Supremes.

                • MikeParent

                  As it’s a morally bankrupt policy, I guess that makes you morally bankrupt. Do you believe that Trillion Dollars we wasted over the past 40+ years was well spent and that we should keep throwing money at it to keep it going?

                • kevin_hunt

                  The war on drugs does not respect the 4th, 5th, or 10th Amendments. The most obvious violations are of the 4th Amendment.

                  Two former CIA employees are suing Kansas police, claiming a raid on their home was unfounded. They say a SWAT team descended on their home in April 2012 without a warrant in search of contraband, only to find vegetables growing in their basement.



                  “With little or no other evidence of illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors,” reads the couple’s lawsuit.

Robert and Adlyn said their two children, aged 7 and 13, were “shocked and frightened” when a SWAT team wielding assault weapons pounded on their door just after 7:00 in the morning.

Robert Harte said that the family had three tomato plants, one melon and two butternut squash growing in the basement after using high powered lights to build the hydroponic garden years ago.

                • kevin_hunt

                  Your drug war hero presided over a scheme to illegally supply the Contras with guns and money. The Contras used CIA cover to ship cocaine into the country. Does that fit your definition of ‘Constitutional”?

                  On April 17, 1986, the Reagan Administration released a three page report acknowledging that there were some Contra-cocaine connections in 1984 and 1985, arguing that these connections occurred at a time when the rebels were “particularly hard pressed for financial support” because U.S. aid had been cut off.

                  Source: “U.S. Concedes Contras Linked to Drugs, But Denies Leadership Involved”, Associated Press (17 April 1986).

            • MikeParent

              Really? Do you believe that most of the men who take Viagra have ED? If you do, think again. That’s like saying those who take OXY only do so for pain relief!

              • kevin_hunt

                SHHHHH..don’t tell him that Viagra is popular with the men of the gay club scene!

              • Art Deco

                No, I do not think physicians are doing a brisk trade in mercenary prescription of oxycontin or oxycodone, which are legitimate analgesics.

                • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                  They are pain klillers. If they are prescribing them illegally, then they are doing the same thing as drug dealers. You’re not making any sense. Illegal is illegal.

                • kevin_hunt

                  You have never heard of a ‘pill mil’?

                  Walgreens has been handed the largest fine in the history of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act

                  Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, will pay $80 million in fines to end a DEA probe into allegations it allowed millions of controlled substances, including the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone, to reach the black market.

                • MikeParent

                  Think again. There’s a reason why the DEA allows the Production of 110 Tons of oxy, Annually.

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                No clue, but that’s the rationale for the drug. If they’re getting it under false pretenses, then that might be a crime.

                • MikeParent

                  The vast majority use ED meds recreationally. The same goes for steroids.

    • MikeParent

      Slavery had millenia of tradition. Yet, I don’t see the redeeming value of it. Do you?
      Marijuana has been used for many decades by tens of miilions of Americans. If you don’t believe it has a niche in our culture, think again.
      Do you believe that wasting $20 Billion and jailing 3/$ Million Americans annually is a wise policy worthy of continuance? TIA

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        You make a point on the slavery being in tradition, but it is not analogous with drugs. There is no redeeming value of legalizing drugs and there is huge cost to society.

        • kevin_hunt

          There is no redeeming value to prohibition…unless you can correlate drug war spending with reduced marijuana use rates. Can you?

          The global supply of illicit drugs had likely not been reduced in the last two decades, the study said, and the availability of cannabis and opiates like heroin may even have increased.

          “These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market though law enforcement are failing,” said the paper published in the open-access journal BMJ Open.

        • MikeParent

          Sure there is if you consider the Failed Policy of Prohibition. What do we have to show for wasting That Trillion Dollars, so far? The cost to society is in the Prohibition. We waste $20 Billion annually enforcinfg Cannabis Prohibition and IT ENABLES CRIMINALS TO CONTROL DISTRIBUTION. As Cannabis has been proven safer than what the govt allows, currently, how could legalization be more expensive?

          BTW, What’s the redeeming value of slavery? Cheap labor?

  • MikeParent

    “What is the difference in the enjoyment derived from them, especially
    since we see so many people wounded by problems with alcohol?” One should be familiar with the nature of the substances, before forming an opinion. Otherwise, you may get caught up in bearing false witness, unintentionally. Here’s the science;
    Lie , Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
    BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
    Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
    http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492
    Prohibition is a morally bankrupt and failed policy. It has wasted a TRILLION Dollars and jailed many tens of millions of Americans, and has made the USA the Nation with the highest incarceration rate, both in number and percentage, (USA 5% of the World’s population and 25% of the World’s prison population.) IN THE WORLD.

  • MikeParent

    The following is a compilation of what I have found. I stand by the statement that these facts and links are correct. Much of the anti marijuana policies are based on propaganda and blatant lies;
    Lie #1 Gateway Drug.
    FACT Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here’s a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so;.
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=97496
    Media overview; http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf

    Lie #2 Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
    BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
    Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
    http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

    Lie #’s 3 & 4, Marijuana has no Medicinal Use and is Dangerous.

    FACT In 1988, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in his ruling
    “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of
    the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
    measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a
    supervised routine of medical care.”
    http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

    FACT For good measure, the CDC reported Med Marijuana doesn’t increase teen use.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijua
    wont-boost-teen-pot-use-study-finds/”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/10/16/california-medical-association-wants-marijuana-legalized/

    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/01/11/top-10-cannabis-studies-the-government-wished-it-had-never-funded/

    “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
    — William F. Buckley,
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

    Dr Tashkin wrote: “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358713/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3080871/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538401/

    http://www.projectcensored.org/22-us-government-repressed-marijuana-tumor-research/

    http://www.marijuana.com/threads/the-higher-your-education-level-the-more-likely-you-are-to-smoke-pot.307901/

    Rand Paul Upsets Marijuana Activists by Saying the Drug Is ‘Not …
    http://www.usnews.com › News › Washington Whispers?
    by Steven Nelson – The Duke University (New Zealand) study, the one which claimed that … to a long-term drop in IQ, has since been utterly rebuked by a new paper …

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hangovers/DS00649/DSECTION=symptoms

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/11/nation/na-marijuana-ama11 AMA/Change

  • kevin_hunt

    Mormon mom wants medical marijuana for her sick son

    Jennifer May has tried 25 treatments in 10 years, a mix of prescribed diets and drugs, to quiet the lightning in her son’s brain.

    Only two eased Stockton May’s seizures. But their toxic side effects ravaged his bones and immune system, and the relief was temporary.

    His rare and intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, “always found a way around the treatment,” said his mom, a self-described conservative and devout Mormon who is now pursuing what for her was once unthinkable: medical marijuana.

    Use of marijuana is outlawed in Utah. But mounting evidence of its medicinal benefits — from controlling cancer pain and nausea to reducing seizures — has pushed 18 states to legalize it for medical use.

    Moved by preliminary studies and patient testimonials, May is now fighting for legislation to make it available to Utahns, including children with epilepsy.

  • Adam__Baum

    I think I need some SOMA.

    • kevin_hunt

      Do you mean carisoprodol ?

  • kevin_hunt

    New Hampshire prison official calls to ‘legalize, control, regulate, tax’ marijuana

    The head of one jail in New Hampshire said on Monday that his experience in the prison system had made him sure that it was time to legalize marijuana.

    “If we legalize, control, regulate, tax in the same way that we do for alcohol, we put the illegal drug dealer out of business.”

    The 20-year veteran of law enforcement pointed out that it costs about $32,000 to keep each non-violent drug offender incarcerated every year.

    “The fact is policies like mandatory minimum sentencing, drug war issues have meant that the United States has had to build over 900 jail beds every two weeks for the last 20 years, this while violent crime in our country is at a 30 year low,” he said.

    Van Winkler observed that both Washington and Colorado had legalized marijuana and “guess what? The sky is not falling.”

    • MikeParent

      But prohibitionist just want more time and more money. They’re not convinced by 40+ years of failure and all the associated problems Prohibition causes.

      • kevin_hunt

        They also have no clue why Nixon put marijuana in schedule I, against the wishes of his own science-based study.

        • MikeParent

          I know why; The people who used it, “Those G D Hippies” in Nixon’s words, were perceived by his drug addled brain, to be the enemy and keeping marijuana illegal gave him a means to punish them.

          • kevin_hunt

            Nixon said on a white house tape that “marijuana was the drug of choice for Mexicans, Hippies and Ni**ers”, all whom he hated.

            This is all documented on the white house tapes “The Nixon Years”.

            • MikeParent

              Yet, it was his “sage” judgement that these prohibitionists cling to.

              Marijuana laws were propped up by Hate, Racism and a Political agenda, under “Tricky Dick”. There’s a reason why he went out in disgrace, but no valid reason for the prohibition he so championed.

              • Adam__Baum

                “Marijuana laws were propped up by Hate, Racism and a Political agenda, under “Tricky Dick”. ”

                And now we hear the whistle of the crazy train leaving the station.

                Dude, Nixon left office 40 years ago, and we’ve had three
                acknowledged drug users in the White House, how come I didn’t inhale Clinton, George DWI and the star member of the “Choom gang” haven’t pursued whole legalization?

                Right, Obama is a closet Republican.

                • kevin_hunt

                  President Clinton States Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized

                  Thursday, 07 December 2000

                  This week, in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, President Bill Clinton says he believes people should not be arrested for possessing marijuana.
                  The self-admitted one-time marijuana smoker, who claims he did not inhale, told the magazine which hits newsstands on Friday, “I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be.”
                  He added, “We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment. Some people deliberately hurt other people and they out to be in jail because they can’t be trusted on the streets. Some people do things that are so serious that they have to be put in jail to discourage other people from doing similar things. But a lot of people are in prison because they have drug problems or alcohol problems and too many of them are getting out, particularly out of state systems, without treatment, without education skills, without serious efforts at job placement.”

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Yeah, and he didn’t inhale or have sex, with that woman Monica Lewinsky and he worked harder then he ever did on that middle class tax cut…

                    Now pay attention. If you gave a RS interview at the very end of your second term advocating any policy, but you did nothing in 94 months in office means YOU DID NOTHING to pursue that policy.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Bill Clinton was a cowardly president. There is no other explanation for why he was afraid to make a stand.

                      At the time, Democrats were competing with Republicans to see who could be ‘harder on crime’.

                      Forty one Republican senators voted with their Democrat partners in crime in 1993 to enact Joe Biden’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (H.R. 3355). The main focus of the Act was to increase the number of drug war prisoners and restrict gun ownership through the assault weapons ban.

                      Also, the act made ‘blocking access’ (protesting in front of an abortion clinic) a federal crime.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Am I supposed to Defend Bill Clinton’s character?

                      Whatever his reason, he did nothing and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t lighting candles in from of the White House bust of Nixon.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      I already said he was a coward.

                • MikeParent

                  Sparky, the policy remains, in law, embraced by politicians and business parasites who profit from it. If the crazy train left the station, how’d you miss it?

                  “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
                  — William F. Buckley,
                  Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Not so Sparky, the policy you want will be pursued by politicians and parasites who will profit from it, too. They’ll change from giving speeches about “protecting the children” to protecting the revenue.

                    • MikeParent

                      Will it stop the arrests of 3/4 Million Americans, annually?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Like I said “you are under arrest” is the important part. The charge is mere detail, and they will NOT overlook an opportunity tio make some “revenue”.

                    • MikeParent

                      Do you have any analogous details? How many alcohol/tax related arrests are made in your state, annually? Is it anywhere near 100, 10 or 1? Put your point in perspective, please.

                • kevin_hunt

                  WASHINGTON — The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.

                  A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a “trust but verify approach” to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states’ regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Where’s the legislation?

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Posted: 04/12/2013

                      Republicans and Democrats in Congress are coming together in defense of states’ rights — and marijuana.

                      Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) introduced a bipartisan bill (H.R.1523) to protect marijuana users and businesses from federal prosecution when they are following state laws. The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act would shield both medical and recreational pot users.

                      “This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states’ marijuana laws. It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal,” said Rohrbacher, in a statement.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Call me when it’s out of committee and passed.

                      http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/1523

                    • kevin_hunt

                      OK. Post your phone number here so I can call you.

                • kevin_hunt

                  “George DWI”..LOL. It’s also “George-AWOL”

                  Bush caught on tape admitting to Marijuana use

                  JOHN SHOVELAN: And the Texas governor explained why he wouldn’t be admitting to his own use of marijuana.

                  GEORGE BUSH: (inaudible) it doesn’t matter – cocaine, it’d be the same with marijuana. I wouldn’t answer the marijuana question.

                  DOUG WEAD: Uh-hunh.

                  GEORGE BUSH: Do you know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doin’ what I tried.

                  DOUG WEAD: Yeah, and it never stops, the question.

                  GEORGE BUSH: But you gotta understand, I want to be President, I want to lead, I want to set… do you want your little kid to say hey Daddy, President Bush tried marijuana, I think I will?

                  • Adam__Baum

                    You are making my point, pothead.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      You have no proof I do the stuff.

                      Insulting me makes you look desperate.

                    • Art Deco

                      Well, we all have our niche interests and go trolling about for bits and pieces of psycho-physiological research just out of pure curiousity. What’s a liberal education for?

                    • kevin_hunt

                      Who is ‘we’?

                  • Art Deco

                    It’s also “George-AWOL”

                    Debunked and debunked repeatedly. He even had his staff retrieve 32 year old pay stubs on microfiche to demonstrate that was nonsense.

                    Fraud.

                    • kevin_hunt

                      In September 2004, Lawrence Korb, an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan, after reviewing the payroll records for Bush’s last two years of service, concluded that they indicated that Bush did not fulfill his obligations and could have been ordered to active duty as a result

                      Roane, Kit R. “Bush’s military service in question – again (9/8/04)”.USNews dot com. Retrieved May 24, 2010

                • MikeParent

                  There is very little difference between Dems and Reps. They’re just two vultures picking at different piece of the carcus.

                • MikeParent

                  Dude, have you heard of the

                  Controlled Substances Act of 1970 – Summary of Federal Laws … counsel.cua.edu/fedlaw/csa1970.cfm‎ ?

                  Guess who had that Idiocy pushed through, as President and saw to it marijuana was wrongly classified as a Sched I substance?
                  Don’t miss your train.

    • Adam__Baum

      “control, regulate, tax”

      And yet libertarians and legalization adocates imagine this will reduce the scope and intrusion of government. I’m sure this will go down the same way legalized gambling worked in my state. Still waiting for the property tax refund “fast Eddie” promised me.

      “You are under arrest for possession” will be “You are under arrest for tax evasion”. So much better.

      • MikeParent

        Legalizatioon would mean that 3/4 Million Americans won’t be caged for choosing a substance safer than what the govt currently allows. That’s a huge factor on the side of legalization. Plus, having a “Drug Arrest” on ones record is a de facto fast track to becoming unemployable.

        • Adam__Baum

          And tax evasion is a traffic offense, right?

          • kevin_hunt

            The IRS typically does not come after people with paramilitary troops simply to investigate tax evasion.

            • Adam__Baum

              Who said IRS? The IRS doesn’t enforce state ad valorem taxes, genius.

              My state uses State Police to enforce liquor codes and gambling laws. They might not be wearing 5.11 Tactical gear, but they are well armed.

              • kevin_hunt

                Do the State Police conduct no-knock raids for most cases of tax evasion, genius?

                • Adam__Baum

                  There is vigorous enforcement of the liquor code in my state, including enforcement of tax provisions and ummary inspection of vehicles, moron.

                  • MikeParent

                    I thought we were speaking of Tax Evasion. There is even a more vigorous policy of searching vehicles w/o cause in the quest of finding marijuana. Of course, in many locales, they will stael the persons vehicle under the forfeiture clauses, regardless if there are drugs found. That wouldn’t happen if there was legalization.

                  • kevin_hunt

                    How many of those tax raids were no-knock paramilitary raids?

                    Your childish insult was noted and dismissed.

              • MikeParent

                How many liquor related tax arrests do they make, annually. Put a cited number on it, so we can have a better understanding of your point, please. TIA

                • Adam__Baum

                  You look it up. Of course the question is how many WILL there be.

                  • MikeParent

                    No thanks, I’ll just dismiss it as unsubstantiated as you’re the one who said it in the attempt to make a point.

          • MikeParent

            CO, allows for cultivation. How would they be evading taxes. If the Fed Govt allowed marijuana it would be taxed similar to alcohol. Are there many alcohol venders going to jail for tax evasion?

            • kevin_hunt

              Right. Up to 6 plants in Colorado is considered
              personal use’ and is not taxed.

            • Adam__Baum

              The position above was to “regulate, control and tax”.

              “Are there many alcohol venders going to jail for tax evasion”
              Yeah, the ones that distill without paying the tax, and get caught.
              Ever hear the term “moonshine”?

              • MikeParent

                Yes, from the Alcohol Prohibition. How many Moonshiners are going to the Pokey, nowadays? Cite Please.

                What was their issue, that they wouldn’t conduct business as prescribed by law?

      • kevin_hunt

        “You are under arrest for possession” will be “You are under arrest for tax evasion”?

        Anything is better than what we have now. Who gets killed by the police for ‘tax evasion’?

        How many people that brew 201 gallons/year of beer at home get raided for ‘tax evasion’?

        Minister dies as cops raid wrong apartment

        By Joseph Mallia and Maggie Mulvihill

        A 75-year-old retired minister died of a heart attack after struggling with 13 heavily armed Boston Police officers who stormed the wrong Dorchester apartment in a botched drug raid.

        Williams, a retired Methodist minister, was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at 4 p.m yesterday at Carney Hospital said hospital spokesman William Henderson.

        Evans said an investigation into the “facts and circumstances surrounding the execution of a search warrant” was under way. Said one police source: “It’s a terrible thing that an innocent victim died. Everyone feels terrible. He was totally legitimate.”

        Police found no drugs or weapons in the apartment, he said. Two neighbors mourned Williams as they watched a detective lead the retired minister’s wife to a police car, hours after the bungled raid. The wife had been away from the apartment shopping when the raid took place, a police source said.

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  • John Balog

    It is factually incorrect to state that using any drug (except alcohol) requires a full surrender of all faculties. People use heavy narcotics daily and still function perfectly well. The fact that a doctor prescribed them doesn’t change the fact that it is happening. “Drugs are IMPOSSIBLE to use without a full surrender of reason, unless a doctor says you can. then it’s totally fine.”
    It’s just a ridiculous, intellectually lazy statement.

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