Sep 25

Marijuana: Benefits and Dangers

In Brief—A discussion of marijuana and other drugs examines the facts, the myths and the misunderstandings surrounding the acceptance of and resistance against consciousness-altering substances.

America’s Erratic Drug Policies—

I have a confession. I have used consciousness-altering drugs until 2011 when a tumor and an operation ended my use. I drank wine, an occasional dram of single malt whisky and an even more occasional margarita. I used these drugs in moderation or sometimes not at all. However…

All these drugs—and they are drugs—are legal, regulated, readily available…and dangerous. They contain alcohol. Alcohol kills thousands every year through disease, accidents and overdoses while contributing to violence, addiction, homelessness, physical abuse, rape, divorce and other societal ills. Alcohol costs America billions of dollars per year in costs, social, medical, law enforcement and judicial. These costs come out of your pocket.

Marijuana:medicalMeanwhile, the mild hallucinogen marijuana is classified as a federal Schedule 1 drug—along with truly dangerous drugs like heroin—and far too often results in imprisonment for small amounts, even paraphernalia…and yet it is relatively harmless AND medically valuable. Deaths from marijuana overdoses? Zero!!

The United States is, to say the least, erratic when it comes to drugs. Some states allow marijuana, some allow medical marijuana but limited or no personal use, and some states allow neither. Regardless, the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to arrest and prosecute people who use this mild hallucinogen despite the fact that they may hold a legitimate medical marijuana card (as Tommy Chong does) or use the drug in the privacy of their own living quarters.

And heaven help you if you happen to be a minority. The ACLU has documented that black people are arrested nearly four times as often as white people even though they use the drug less. Hispanics are similarly targeted. The enforcement agencies deny that race is a factor. Yeah, sure. If it walks like a duck, has feathers like a duck, etc.

lllegal Drugs—

Earlier I stated that I had used a consciousness-altering drug in the form of legal alcohol. I also confess I used illegal consciousness-altering drugs: primarily marijuana and hashish but also small amounts of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), peyote (once; it tastes awful) and LSD (once; a positive experience). Simultaneously, my use of alcohol dropped to nearly nothing. By the way, did I mention I’m white?

Given my personality, I researched the bejeezus out of these drugs before using them. I even read material from as far back as the mid-19th century. I could find no support for the government’s ludicrous scare stories. Although I would double-check if the government announced the sun rises in the east, since these drugs are Schedule 1 drugs, I avoided cocaine and all the harder drugs because they didn’t pass my research muster.

I used marijuana and the other mentioned drugs on weekends for about fifteen years. One day I simply decided to not use them any more. I had expanded my senses, loosened up and benefitted from their use, but the life of the mind became more important to me. That fact alone knocks the government’s addiction and dependence nonsense into a cocked hat. As I said, government pronouncements kick my skepticism into high gear. I advise healthy skepticism for you, too.

Of all my friends, acquaintances and associates, only two individuals refrained from using marijuana. However, musicians, doctors, lawyers, judges, police officers and college students all used marijuana. Without exception, everybody was stoned at every party I attended. I observed the joints and bongs being passed around. Anybody who tells you they never smoked weed is probably lying.

 Dangers of Marijuana—

  •  Arrest and prosecution!! This is particularly true for people of color. Be very careful whatever your skin pigmentation. This is also true in Sweden which propagandizes even now.
  •  Youngsters whose brains are not yet fully mature should not use. It is reported that the brain is not mature until a human is about 21. Children should NOT use…Period!
  •  Mentally unstable or dependent personality types probably shouldn’t use. Check an honest, unbiased and knowledgeable drug expert on this.

 Benefits of Marijuana—

  •  Food, sex, and music are enhanced. I’d even say they were great.
  •  Numerous medical conditions are treatable or improved: anti-cancer chemotherapy weight loss; chronic pain; post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD); sleeplessness; arthritic pain; epileptic seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis; colitis, approaching death anxiety and more.
  •  Tax revenues can improve state and federal budgets.
  •  Law enforcement and judicial costs can be reduced. A side-effect might be that inasmuch law enforcement no longer targets minority people, race relations might improve.

At the top of this piece, I said that the U.S. government was erratic in its treatment of drug violations. To see just how erratic they are while being entertained, click on the link below to see four comedians discussing the treatment of Tommy Chong, formerly of the comedy team of Cheech and Chong, explain his imprisonment for….paraphernalia (bongs). It’s hilarious, but it’s mind-boggling to learn that federal agents threated to imprison Chong’s wife unless he pled guilty. This is just a glimpse at America’s discombobulated drug laws. Funny but enraging. Click on the link below.

The whole point of this piece is that marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that has never killed a soul, but there it sits on Schedule 1 as a dangerous drug. You have to wonder whose interest keeps it there.

Follow the money” suggests that your representatives are dancing to someone else’s tune, not yours. So what are you going to do about it?


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    • Dave Meyers on September 25, 2016 at 17:59

    Yes…..I have smoked pot too. Back in the late 60’s…..a few times… social settings…..when to refuse it as it passed around got you some suspicious looks. It was nothing to me and I have never purchased it or kept it for solo use. I had no interest what so ever, and could care less about others using it. I never saw it as a social or medical danger….I just didn’t care.
    I’m older now and live in Colorado where it’s legal and easily obtained. The pot store, ‘Maggie’s Farm’, a couple miles away from me has a perpetually packed parking lot.
    The opposition to it becoming legal here was loud and nearly hysterical before the law that allowed it was finally passed. Opponents suggested that the highways would become killing fields and no child would be safe as bands of roving stoners moved across the country side. Citizens who just knew our society would crumble, carried signs and made the evening news with their prognostications of doom….”Make pot legal, and watch as your community turns into a lawless and immoral Hell Hole!”
    Well, here we are a couple years later, and there are NO signs of such an apocalypse. In fact, there are NO signs at all! There are some growers getting mighty rich and city and state coffers have swelled beyond expectation…..and there are no more conservative legislators screaming foul any more.
    I have considered becoming a customer at Maggie’s Farm myself to help deal with some neuropathy issues. But, so far have not followed through on that idea. Maybe I should first hit the super market and stock up on Cheetos and Moon Pies before crashing in my bean-bag chair, firing up my lava lamp, and partaking of my LEGAL purchase.

      • Susan on September 25, 2016 at 20:45

      I’m just gonna use it, that’s what I’m gonna do abt it.
      There has been research lately on use of CBD’s and THC. Take a look at Rick Simpsons pages by googling.
      I thought I could help you out. So much has changed. Definitely it affects my pain. Wouldn’t be at all surprised it it helped your cut nerves to regenerate.
      It’s the new/old miracle cure.

        • Don Bay on September 26, 2016 at 10:26

        See my reply to Dave. You are right!! And vote for Proposition 64 in November.

      • Don Bay on September 26, 2016 at 10:10

      Since you live in Colorado and since you have physical problems, I have little doubt that you can use medical marijuana to alleviate your symptoms and, by the way, enjoy music, food and sex. Colorado has embraced the future. Can the other states be far behind?

      All of that said, the usual suspects will scream like mashed monkeys over legalizing marijuana. The pharmaceutical industry will lose profits, the private prison industry will go out of business, the liquor industry will sell fewer poisons, the ignorant religious folks will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century and soft-on-crime politicians will lose their target. AND, the people will find good health free of government oppression.

      Susan is right, join the marijuana revolution. You’ll be glad you did.

    • Susan on September 25, 2016 at 20:43

    I’m just gonna use it, that’s what I’m gonna do abt it.
    There has been research lately on use of CBD’s and THC. Take a look at Rick Simpsons pages by googling.
    I thought I could help you out. So much has changed. Definitely it affects my pain. Wouldn’t be at all surprised it it helped your cut nerves to regenerate.
    It’s the new/old miracle cure.

      • Don Bay on September 26, 2016 at 10:37

      Aside from your good advice to Dave, I’m sure you are aware that he lives in Colorado that is treating marijuana rationally. Although California is liberal to the extent of allowing medical marijuana and treating possession of small amounts as an infraction rather than a crime, remember to vote for Proposition 64 in November. If it passes, California will join Colorado in the rational parade.

      Be sure to read my reply to Dave to see the rationales of the opposition. Fingers crossed that Prop 64 will pass overwhelmingly and send the opponents limping back to their caves.

  1. My son has military induced PTSD. The Veterans Administration says marijuana is a useful treatment for PTSD. His wife says marijuana use is a sin, and she forbids his use of it. It’s not just the laws that are dysfunctional.

      • Don Bay on September 26, 2016 at 10:23

      Your son needs to get a more liberal wife. The Veterans Administration is right and shows just how backward your son’s religious wife is. Talk to your son and tell him to stop listening to his wife and to step into the future. If your son is resistant for any reason, send him the research (and my blog piece) showing the beneficial uses of marijuana, one of which is PTSD. As an intelligent person, he will come around as long as he isn’t badgered. The evidence is there by the truckload. Fingers crossed he reads it.

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