Since the USA has introduced the legalization of marijuana in a few states now, I feel its time for me to address this total clusterfuck of new laws. Seriously? Whomever wrote the bill, passed it or voted for it must be users because to the rest of educated society it’s a disgrace. Gay couples can’t get married but fuck yeah let’s all get high.
The facts are there are piles of peer-reviewed clinical published works that prove the use of MJ is NOT a good or harmless thing. Anyone who has seen a functional MRI of a chronic users brain will know it literally eats holes in it. They will also know that the prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed till 25, so making it legal at 21 is only to fit in with states drinking laws. The fun doesn’t stop there as the brain is constantly pruning your entire life and neural pathways forming and making new ones. MJ changes this process, due to its intoxicating effects and altering of brain chemicals. Much the same as alcohol.
So now we have a drug that’s legal akin to alcohol, which of course has been legal forever except during times of contraband. So yes they are comparable, except one has been legal, despite all the negative health outcomes and the other hasn’t. Does society ever learn? Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it safe or innocuous. So comparing the two is similar on effect level but not on a legal level. There is NO WAY a population would vote for delegalizing alcohol, regardless of its negative effects. But we should learn from this example.
There is overwhelming evidence, peer-reviewed, that conclusively proves MJ causes mental health issues. Which is a domain that the U.S. struggle with already. It also causes numerous health issues, again another area the US struggles with. So we’ve just added to that burden.
It causes anxiety, depression, psychotic breaks to mention just a few. There is some evidence to suggest that psychotic breaks only happen in people with a predisposition to it. But you have to wonder, who knows they have that till it happens? It’s a recessive thing, so you could go generations who carry the genetic weakness and not have it manifest till both parents pass on that gene. Who’s up for a game of mental health Russian roulette?
I agree MJ is just as bad as alcohol, no debating that. Though we’ve just established that will never be criminalized. So it’s really an argument that has no legs. Just cause it’s legal, doesn’t make it any less harmful. It just means as a society we are more willing to accept these dangers and let’s face it we live in a drinking culture.
There is also the argument that prescription drugs can be just as bad. Agreed. But they are regulated and prescribed for a medical reason. Getting high isn’t a reason that will get you a prescription. Plus the rates of hardcore painkillers and benzodiazepines prescription in the US are more than in any other developed country. That needs to be addressed also. But it’s not cause it’s easier to throw pills at people and cheaper than treating them and therapy. It’s also the reason you have so many strung out individuals in society. The over prescription issue is a huge one but one that won’t be addressed unless the U.S. health system gets a total overhaul or becomes better regulated. Here, you want Xanax? Never going to happen! Valium or any other benzodiazepine your doctor needs to be able to prove to our governing bodies they are not over prescribing and meeting their duty of care to their patients.
Ok so it’s legal and they are going to tax the crap out of it. Well that sure as shit won’t stop the illegal drug trade. Actually it’s likely to have the reverse effect. Who’s going to pay premium taxed price when you can get it illegally cheaper? Never pay full retail remember. Plus we are making the massive assumption that people want to smoke pure weed, homegrown. Not the supercharged stuff or laced with other drugs. Most people who smoke week want the most potent form and laced, more bang for their buck. Legalizing homegrown pot won’t stop that. It actually might enhance the trade of other drugs, so they can lace their own. Problem right there!
That then brings me to associated cost that legalization will provide. Not now, now they are gaining money. But when the laws have been in place a few years to decades the health and mental health industries are going to feel it. Not to mention the fact the effect second and third hand smoke will have on children and non users. Will the tax revenue cover that? Will it cover policing intoxicated driving? Enforcing not being intoxicated in public? The fact children will have easier access to it if it’s in their homes? We are potentially creating a while generation of addicts. THC is addictive both psychologically and physically. So it might be a bit of a leap but a generation with easy access to a drug that makes you lazy and unfocused? Well you can kiss goodbye to an educated society because they won’t be motivated enough to become educated. They will be sitting at home all day watching TV, giggling and eating cookies. Maybe those MBA’s WILL be worth more than the paper they are written on some day. I NEVER thought I’d say that!
That’s not saying all smokers won’t achieve (there are always exceptions), that’s to blanket. My question is will they achieve to the same level? Again you can’t quantify because what’s unaffected potential measured v affected potential when you can’t have individualized baseline unaffected data. It’s impossible to measure but obviously since it affects memory (says the peer-reviewed studies) it becomes a matter of how much an effect it might have/had. We will never know. What we do know is you won’t real FULL potential, even if you gain an education. But he’ll if you’re happy with “as best as I could do given the circumstances” then go for it. But it’s NOT the same as the best you could have done. Simple. Same as if you go out drinking regularly, you can still pass all your classes but your grade will be affected. Nature if the beast. Not only cause it addled the brain but because it cuts into study time, attention span and recollection of what you’ve learned. Each to their own.
I wonder how many users pursue post-graduate studies? Or more than a diploma or bachelors degree? I think you’d find nowhere near as many as who didn’t smoke both due to motivation and grades that don’t reflect true potential.
Then you could argue usage won’t go up. Sure it will, it’s now legal. Current users will use more and people who have never used in the past will try it out. Laws act as to both punish and deter. Gone. So yes usage will go up.
Another point is how will companies drug screen employees? THC stays in your system for literally months. So they won’t be able to tell really if you used today or 3 months ago. Well unless they develop a measure to determine how much of the chemical is present in the body. Though since we all have varying metabolisms, that will be problematic alone.
My next thought then goes to children of users. Here if you fail a drug test pregnant at term, the baby is taken from you and so are the rest of your kids. A high parent isn’t a responsible one. Plus not to mention the effects it might have in a developing baby. Since we have no way of measuring future potential without drug exposure v with drug exposure it’s a question that has no answer. All we can do is look at what it does to an adult brain and make an educated guess. My educated guess is you are altering potential and harming the baby’s brain, just like the user is theirs. It’s not a real leap that one. Same with alcohol, though fetal alcohol syndrome is something we can identify. Smoking when pregnant causes rates of childhood cancer to increase 500 fold. So again my leap is it will have negative effects on a developing brain, again not a large one. Plus when the baby is born it will go through withdrawal, which can be fatal.
Another argument is MJ cannot be OD’ed on. True. So statistically it can be skewed that MJ isn’t deadly like cocaine or heavier drugs. It causes ZERO deaths. Well that’s directly. What about indirectly? From accidents, from health related issues, to mental health related issues to neglectful parenting. Sure you can’t OD but you cannot say it causes ZERO deaths when it can have a large part to play indirectly through use, it just won’t kill you by using it directly.
Dont get me wrong for medical purposes it can be a wonderful thing. From chronic pain, to inducing appetite in patients undergoing treatment and palliative care. Just like morphine or any other drug used for any of these purposes. The point again is that it’s a legitimate need, you’re not getting high and you have a good medical reason for using it. Not a recreational one.
So that’s my thoughts in the matter. You might disagree and I’d assume you’re a smoker of it anyway or use Dr Google to look up “facts”…. See what that’s done for immunizations and childhood diseases. (The evidence of the non vax movement is horrifying). Look at proper peer-reviewed, clinical trials, studies with sound methodology and scientific merit and then see what door has just been opened. But for the love of God don’t just google cause anyone can put anything on the Internet, regardless of scientific merit.
Fuck, they let me publish stuff on the Internet. Enough said!
I recommend neurobiological journals, neuroscience journals, psychology journals, abnormal psychology journal and anything related to that to see my point.