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Old 08-18-04, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan-2003
Posts: 1,470
MJ - Your Opinions

**NOTE** Please sway away from politics at all costs so that this subject may be discussed without being deleted.

Well, I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker in regards to the use of marijuana. From my point of view, there are two distinct sides - some believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, where others put it in the same category with hard substances. From my point of view, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. If society accepts alcohol, that should give all lee-way to the use of marijuana from the way I see it.

Also from my point of view, the reason behind the opposition is such propaganda which states such effects as killing brain cells. I watched a movie the other day which was called 'Reefer Madness.' It exemplifies such propaganda put fourth by the government towards the opposition of the use of marijuana. In the opening of the movie, it states that the use of marijuana will lead to "acts of shocking violence, ending often in incurable insanity."

Anyhow, out of boredom I decided to do some research to cure personal curiosity. I found some interesting information as I searched for information for or against the common misconceptions, or facts, of marijuana. I will only tackle the main two:

It is addictive.
The majority of sources were against this, and relate those individuals who appear 'addictive' to their 'addictive personalities' which 10% of our population possesses. I also found sources stating that on a relative scale, marijuana is less habit forming than either sugar or chocolate.

Marijuana kills brain cells.
Of all things I found, this was the most interesting. Why? Because this is one of the key 'facts' against MJ. This idea was generated through Professor Gabriel Nahas's study on the Rhesus Monkey in the late 1970's. The study was based on four monkeys, each of which a mask was attached to their face. In five consecutive minutes, the monkeys were forced to breathe in the amount of smoke equivalent to sixty seven joints. Through these conditions, the animals died of asphyxiation, and brain damage was recorded. Smoke from burning wood would cause the same damage. In another study, laboratory rats were injected with pure THC, at doses corresponding to twelve hundred times that is ingested by a marijuana smoker. This test showed degeneration of the nerve connections between brain cells in the hippocampus, where THC is known to be active. Similar studies were done through Dr. Robert G. Heath, both of which are heavily criticized and proven to be inconclusive.

I came upon other interesting snippets, such as the fact that there has never been one death attributed to the use of marijuana. THC is one of the few chemicals for which there is no known toxic amount. The federal agency NIDA says that autopsies reveal that 75 people per year are high on marijuana when they die: this does not mean that marijuana caused or was even a factor in their deaths. This chart in particular shocked me; it compares the number of deaths attributable to selected substances in a typical year:

Tobacco-----------340,000 - 395,000
Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents)----------125,000+
Drug Overdose (prescription)----------24,000 - 27,000
Drug Overdose (illegal)----------3,800 - 5,200

I found it interesting that the majority of damage caused through the use of marijuana is through the burning of the plant itself - smoking anything is harmful to ones' health. I thought this would be an interesting discussion for the general forum - although I am not an advocate, I feel if society can accept caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, there is a huge bias somewhere along the line. The other night, I was thinking about all the negative effects of alchohol, which I have seen first hand (such as 'encouraging' a female to have sex) and how it could have possibly been accepted.

Last edited by tHeGiNo; 08-18-04 at 11:57 PM..
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