DailyDirt: Drugs Are Baaaad, mmKay?
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
If we really wanted to tackle drug problems, we might want to try alternatives to alcohol that might have antidotes. However, we’ve tried to outlaw alcohol before, and it didn’t turn out too well. Marijuana is beginning to become slightly less illegal (not on the federal level), and some studies show it’s not nearly as harmful a drug as some folks believe it is. Put down your bongs, stop giggling at that cartoon you’ve been watching all day, and check out some of these links on the effects of marijuana.
- Marijuana could actually be a performance-enhancing drug for athletes who run ultramarathons. After running a hundred miles, some runners enjoy some stress-relieving painkillers that prevent nausea and give you the munchies. [url]
- In national polls, almost half the US population admits to having tried marijuana. As more states legalize pot, some health researchers say there aren’t enough long-term health studies to assess its risks. [url]
- A recent study of recreational drugs ranks marijuana as the least risky drug — far behind alcohol, heroin, cocaine, tobacco and meth. But the stats just say you’re not going to die anytime soon from weed, not that it’s perfectly safe to abuse. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: alcohol, drugs, marijuana, recreational drugs, smoking, tobacco, ultramarathon
Comments on “DailyDirt: Drugs Are Baaaad, mmKay?”
What ever happened to just say no?
If you watch tv, certainly you have been exposed to the endless ads for pills that fix just about everything. Soft music accompanies the convincing words describing the horrible disease you most likely have contracted followed by advice that you consult your doctor about that disease you didn’t previously know about. The voice then increases speed in order to gloss over the possible side effects, not because they want you to be informed but because it is the law. And then … what drugs do they want to outlaw?
That is one of the reasons I like the US. Here in Europe most of the exuctive forces aka police think that weed is worse than alcohol and leads to heroin use.
When I asked them to quote the studies that their believe is based on the reply was “that is what we learnt”. So please if nothing else postive please, you the US, provide more studies that point out the positve uses of marijuana. Once they are done and published we can use them here in the EU to try to make it legal.
One of my friends (before retiring) was a senior nursing supervisor at a local hospital. Without going into details, she saw the effects of Marijuana on young people on a regular basis in the emergency department. Psychotic episodes was a common event amongst those whose brains were not fully developed (children and teenagers). It seemed that the older you were the less affected you were.
Studies of any sort can give results that are meaningless, particularly, if there is already a bias for/against a particular outcome.
It takes a lot of hard work and very specific setup to get a result that has not been biased towards a particular outcome. This effort is rarely done as it increases the cost of getting the study performed.
It is a feature of “scientific” study these days that adverse results (to the experimenter’s position) will be minimised or culled. We see enough of these examples every year. I sometimes get saddened that theory often gets in the way of experimental results. So for every proponent we’ll see an opponent and we get no closer to the actual facts of the matter.
Marijuana appears to have some medical uses as well as its hazards. What we don’t seem to have gotten a handle on is when/where/how/why of the effects of the active chemicals within the plant.
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Why yes, let us study this for a bit and we will let you know.
Please have a beer while you wait, as there have been exhaustive studies about the ill affects of alcohol on the human body. It’s ok I guess, since we are still allowed to drink it.
Too much of anything can and will be problematic, even water. Should we stop people from drinking water until we have a complete understanding of its affects? Sure!
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Alcohol – ummm. After years of cleaning up after semi-intoxicated and intoxicated imbibers, I was essentially turned off the stuff. I average less than half a dozen drinks per year these days.
Too much of anything can cause problems, half a stubbie has sent some into psychotic rages, whereas a large bottle of over-proof has barely touched a sixty kilo woman.
The major problem with anything like this is the individual biochemistry of the user. For some it may be completely harmless, for others it might make them completely armless.
For many people, observing what happens to them in situ, they should avoid it like the plague (as in black death). The same with cigarettes and other recreational substances.
One of biggest problems is when someone uses these substances and then proceeds to harm others or their property, they can generally get off because they were under the influence. However, they made the choice before hand and should face the consequences as if they made the decisions while in complete control of their faculties.
There are medicinal uses for alcohol, nicotine, etc. There are also abuses of these substances. It is determining the fine line and making people responsible for their choices.
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1) The typical time of onset of many psychological/psychiatric illnesses is similar to that of the typical onset of cannabis use. Correlation does not equal causation.
2) People with developing mental illnesses tend to self-medicate with whatever drugs are available.
3) There is some evidence that heavy cannabis use may accelerate the onset of schizophrenia. There is not yet any convincing evidence that this effect is causative rather than just a compression of the onset period.
4) Just as cops tend to gave a distorted view of society due to their constant contact with criminals, medics tend to have a distorted view due to their constant contact with illness. Happy and healthy stoners don’t have any reason to go to the ER.
5) Individual scientists are, of course, subject to personal biases. But if you think that there’s a widespread push amongst the psychopharmacology research community to suppress the evidence of cannabis-related harm, you’re well off into tinfoil hat territory. Any psychopharm researcher who could conclusively prove substantial cannabis-induced harms would have instantly made their scientific reputation and gained a huge boost in professional standing.
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No. However, the money behind the research (pro/anti) will have a significant influence on the outcomes reported.
1,2,3). However, the influence of the active components may well exacerbate the problems for the individual users. It is very difficult to determine (in such complicated biochemical systems) at times, whether a particular substance or group of substances is causing an effect. One usual warnings given on many medications is NOT to use if taking other medicines or drugs (alcohol, etc) as there is a high likelihood that there will be adverse effects.
4) Conversation overheard between two heroin users: they were bemoaning the fact (to them) that many users of various illicit drugs didn’t have a clue about how to use them safely and that they were taking them in various dangerous manners. The drugs discussed included both marijuana and heroin as well as a number of others.
I have seen happy drunks, but most have not been in this state, the general disposition of the imbiber has been towards the more belligerent state of mind.
We have enough problems with lack of self control without having to add active substances of various kinds to the mix as well.
If you are a happy user of marijuana and you choose this course of action, that is your choice. Just as it is your choice to be a psychotic user of marijuana (as well as everything in between). It is also your choice to the face the consequences of such use.
Only users lose drugs
What is a drug?
Obligatory Frank Zappa quote
For those who don’t actually know much about FZ, he was very against recreational drug use (except for alcohol). He considered it an idiotic activity. But he also felt that was a personal call and so he applied it to himself, not other people.
Re: Obligatory Frank Zappa quote
A gun is not bad. A gun is a mechanical device. The problem comes in when people who take guns treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.
Money is not bad. Money is a financial device. The problem comes in when people who take money treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.
Etc., etc., etc.
Drugs are Bad.
No Drugs are Badder.
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