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Thread: Legalise Cannabis

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    Quote pipbarber said View Post
    @DB
    Its a novel idea to get a medical certificate to say its safe to consume thc recreationally but how would that be determined and by who? And if you failed to get the license you just buy it from your local black market source anyway and as has been noted above, you have no control over the strength and strain of the compound, so to me, this seems counterproductive. And if you do get your license, where do you buy your gear? The black market again.

    Also, i'm not sure i'd attribute drug taking to 'inequitable society' and 'religion, greed, and just plain assholeness.' No doubt that may be the case in some, maybe many, instances but there is evidence that humans have been using drugs and alcohol since before the agricultural revolution, and not just humans. See our recent thread on dolphin parties.

    I'm not convinced by your argument here DB, although i do share your concern regarding thc and mental health. I just think the best way to ameliorate the mental health problem connected to cannabis use is to legalise, control, manufacture and destigmatise.
    If you go to the doctor, and she says, fine, your tests say you are not likely to be addicted to drug X, and then you can get a prescription to to go get drug X.

    For example, I can't get a lot of drugs now without a prescription, but if I have a need [or a want] for a drug I would need one. It is not that antibiotics or epinephrine are illegal, there are just constraints on their use.

    That is why I used the word "decriminalisation". I don't want psychoactive/addictive drugs to be totally available, or as easy to buy as aspirin. [I am not ignoring recreational use here].

    But I think a reasonable level of "duty of care" by the drug user, their suppliers, etc is not unreasonable.

    I have no clue about what the street price of drugs are except they are way above the cost of manufacturing them.

    In any case, you are not going to stop drug abuse by legalising something. Valium is a legal drug, available on prescription, and yet many people get addicted to it.

    The advantage of prescription status for any drug is that you get the pure drug, and properly calibrated concentrations/dosages. And because it is legally manufactured , you don't have the problem of illicit drugs, drug-related crimes, mafia etc. And it is cheaper.

    But putting it on shop shelves, like it was aspirin or something, is just plain silly, IMHO.

    Alcohol and tobacco have been freely available for many years, and look what happened.

    Drug misuse can cause a lot of harm to society and self, so I don't think it is unreasonable that society tries to regulate use. On the other hand, we have freedoms and concern about the nanny state.

    But it seems to me if we have the medical technology to predict drug abuse, we should use it. Should we compel a person contemplating drug use to get medical advice? Or just make it part of our culture, and urge people to get a medical screen to say how vulnerable they are to addiction or the effects of the drug on them?

    Of course we don't have that situation now, because society, and even doctors, have a "moral" view about drugs, especially of the "recreational" type. So that shit has to change also.

    I guess most of us know someone who has dies or has suffered or is suffering from some form of drug abuse. Do we accept this cost for the sake of those lucky enough to abuse drugs without serious consequences?

    My tendency is more medicalisation, and less criminalisation of the drug problem. Excaclty how that should be framed, is not known, at least to me. I don't like either extreme of authoritarianism/punishment, vs total freedom, but somewhere in between.
    Drug abuse occurs largely due to a lack of drug education and social support, in my not inconsiderable experience. Any legalisation that I might support (and I support a good fucken lot of it) would include measures with that in mind.

    You use smoking and alcohol as examples. They are good examples. You became addicted to tobacco in a time and place that was conducive to precisely that behaviour, and that expressly didn't include education about how incredibly addictive and damaging smoking was. I knew that smoking could kill you before I started, but I still bloody started and was only able to quit after adequate medical intervention became available within my means over-the-counter, which only happened after sufficient education about the risks and effects of tobacco smoking became widely enough known to reach fixative levels in society.

    I imagine you'd have an easier time quitting if you could devote more energy to yourself and avail yourself of a publicly-funded support system.

    Now to alcohol: You say you're not subject to that addiction, for reasons I'll not dispute here, but you know quite well someone who is a functioning alcoholic, and they are a fucking drunk both because they like being drunk and because they don't actually have sufficient access to the sort of support that would have prevented it in the first place.

    See, you're right in a way but also wrong. Yes, we have alcohol and tobacco as entirely legal drugs to use as examples in this discussion, but you're utterly neglecting to account for the fact that they were purely uncontrolled experiments.
    -Geoff Rogers

    @Goldenmane3


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  3. #32
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Goldenmane said View Post
    Drug abuse occurs largely due to a lack of drug education and social support, in my not inconsiderable experience. Any legalisation that I might support (and I support a good fucken lot of it) would include measures with that in mind.

    You use smoking and alcohol as examples. They are good examples. You became addicted to tobacco in a time and place that was conducive to precisely that behaviour, and that expressly didn't include education about how incredibly addictive and damaging smoking was. I knew that smoking could kill you before I started, but I still bloody started and was only able to quit after adequate medical intervention became available within my means over-the-counter, which only happened after sufficient education about the risks and effects of tobacco smoking became widely enough known to reach fixative levels in society.

    I imagine you'd have an easier time quitting if you could devote more energy to yourself and avail yourself of a publicly-funded support system.

    Now to alcohol: You say you're not subject to that addiction, for reasons I'll not dispute here, but you know quite well someone who is a functioning alcoholic, and they are a fucking drunk both because they like being drunk and because they don't actually have sufficient access to the sort of support that would have prevented it in the first place.

    See, you're right in a way but also wrong. Yes, we have alcohol and tobacco as entirely legal drugs to use as examples in this discussion, but you're utterly neglecting to account for the fact that they were purely uncontrolled experiments.
    I accept all of your criticisms, Geoff, except your view that I "neglected them". Well, I did remove some nuance to try to get to essentials. This was as much for me as for the reader!

    Your criticism that what we have, me citing "uncontrolled experiments" [our experience of drug abuse in history has problems and doesn't prove anything. But I don't think such information is worse than useless, we just have to be very careful and tentative with any "conclusions" [ok, speculations!].

    I was not intending to imply that there were no non-functioning drug-addicts, because clearly they are. But just because an addict is capable of high function does not mean damage is not occurring, and reduces both quality and duration of life for the sufferer.

    Of course, where do we intervene? When there is a clear and present danger to life and health, or when such dangers may take decades to develop?

    Nevertheless I am very unsatisfied with what I have been writing about this.

    I agree that education and support are a help. But in any case more fundamental problems remain. Mainly that the world is more assholey than it needs to be, which prompts many intro drug abuse anyway. [IMHO]

    I live in dread of the future, not only the Trump phenomenon, or a Crazy North Korea, and stuff like that, but automation and globalisation taking away most of the population's work, before we have learned how to use this enforced leisure constructively, rather than destructively.

    It occurs to me that I may come across as patronising or authoritarian, but the human population at large seems little prepared for changes that will put intense pressure on both individuals and societies. Such pressures on all levels of society usually lead to war.

    We may be becoming less god-struck, but the human race seems to be substituting Marx's "Opium Of The Masses" with chemical addictions, and a vast and growing array of them.

    The human race, largely has acclimatised itself [as a species , but not some individuals] to alcohol use, but most of the drugs out there are novel. The science of treating severe mental illness is still in its infancy with people who develop mental illness "naturally" , never mind treating mental illnesses caused by drug abuse of an increasing number of substances which we do not know the long term consequences for. At the very least, even drug testing is lagging behind drug use. In some cases people are presenting under the influence of some drugs that cannot be properly identified. And if they can't be properly identified, this severely prejudices treatment.

    Drug abuse puts an additional, and severe strain on public medical and psychiatric services.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

  4. #33
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    My tendency is more medicalisation, and less criminalisation of the drug problem. Excaclty how that should be framed, is not known, at least to me. I don't like either extreme of authoritarianism/punishment, vs total freedom, but somewhere in between.
    Would your idea of medicalisation of drugs preclude those who just want some fun mind altering experiences, or would those people still have access to drugs, just under a support framework that can help identify which people/drug combos are bad and which are fine?

    I was trying to find the article, but I read some time ago about a group/person in NZ who was working to create synthetic drugs that replicated the mind altering experiences, but with less bad/addictive side effects. I would hope to see something like that supported in our approach to drugs. I can't see how it would be that hard to do given sufficient resources. There just isn't motive to spend those resources while we still have a "drugs are bad" mindset.

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  6. #34
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Wrenn said View Post
    Would your idea of medicalisation of drugs preclude those who just want some fun mind altering experiences, or would those people still have access to drugs, just under a support framework that can help identify which people/drug combos are bad and which are fine?

    I was trying to find the article, but I read some time ago about a group/person in NZ who was working to create synthetic drugs that replicated the mind altering experiences, but with less bad/addictive side effects. I would hope to see something like that supported in our approach to drugs. I can't see how it would be that hard to do given sufficient resources. There just isn't motive to spend those resources while we still have a "drugs are bad" mindset.
    I am not a wowser. My opposition to drugs is not based on wowserism, but the possible negative [sometimes severely negative] use of drugs, including addiction, possible permanent destabilisation of mental state, consequences to others and the community etc.

    Temporary "trips" are fine, but the reality is that certain psychoactive drugs can, and as yet we don't have a full picture exactly how this occurs, and in which individuals. There are many drugs suspected to fuck with brain chemistry in such a way they can be more vulnerable or likely to develop schizophrenia than should be the case. They are risk factors. And some forms of schizophrenia are very hard to treat, leading to misery for the sufferers and their families.

    I freely admit I am biased here, because as a carer I have spent several decades with a relative who has schizophrenia. Countless meetings with psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, and probably thousands of hours visiting mental wards/hospitals, where I not only see my ward [I am guardian] but also many others suffering from this horrific fucking disease that steals a person's life from them in a variety of nasty ways.

    Around one or two percent of the population are vulnerable to develop schizophrenia without drug abuse ["naturally", as it were]. We are beginning to see many more who develop schizophrenia and other mental [and of course physical] problems as a result of drug abuse.

    While I can find much to criticise the appropriateness of many government policies that try to deal with the problems, I do not doubt the need for action on many fronts.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

  7. #35
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    I just hope IF they do legalise cannabis they don't go the corporate route. I.e. Personal use growth has even bigger penalties than today and the government sell expensive licences to large companies.

    On the psychosis front I have known many long term smokers and only one who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, thought to have been caused by it. Interestingly/disturbingly he "went" very quickly, even from the first time he smoked it had a very profound and strange effect on him which lasted days.

    Is there any good research to say whether these particular people have latent schizophrenia and it just triggers it, or whether it on fact causes the condition?
    "Faith: not wanting to know what is true" - Nietzsche

    “Religion the protector of the well fed and consoler of the hungry.” - Mikhail Bakunin

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  9. #36
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    Quote Goldenmane said View Post
    Drug abuse occurs largely due to a lack of drug education and social support, in my not inconsiderable experience. Any legalisation that I might support (and I support a good fucken lot of it) would include measures with that in mind.

    You use smoking and alcohol as examples. They are good examples. You became addicted to tobacco in a time and place that was conducive to precisely that behaviour, and that expressly didn't include education about how incredibly addictive and damaging smoking was. I knew that smoking could kill you before I started, but I still bloody started and was only able to quit after adequate medical intervention became available within my means over-the-counter, which only happened after sufficient education about the risks and effects of tobacco smoking became widely enough known to reach fixative levels in society.

    I imagine you'd have an easier time quitting if you could devote more energy to yourself and avail yourself of a publicly-funded support system.

    Now to alcohol: You say you're not subject to that addiction, for reasons I'll not dispute here, but you know quite well someone who is a functioning alcoholic, and they are a fucking drunk both because they like being drunk and because they don't actually have sufficient access to the sort of support that would have prevented it in the first place.

    See, you're right in a way but also wrong. Yes, we have alcohol and tobacco as entirely legal drugs to use as examples in this discussion, but you're utterly neglecting to account for the fact that they were purely uncontrolled experiments.
    I accept all of your criticisms, Geoff, except your view that I "neglected them". Well, I did remove some nuance to try to get to essentials. This was as much for me as for the reader!

    Your criticism that what we have, me citing "uncontrolled experiments" [our experience of drug abuse in history has problems and doesn't prove anything. But I don't think such information is worse than useless, we just have to be very careful and tentative with any "conclusions" [ok, speculations!].

    I was not intending to imply that there were no non-functioning drug-addicts, because clearly they are. But just because an addict is capable of high function does not mean damage is not occurring, and reduces both quality and duration of life for the sufferer.

    Of course, where do we intervene? When there is a clear and present danger to life and health, or when such dangers may take decades to develop?

    Nevertheless I am very unsatisfied with what I have been writing about this.

    I agree that education and support are a help. But in any case more fundamental problems remain. Mainly that the world is more assholey than it needs to be, which prompts many intro drug abuse anyway. [IMHO]

    I live in dread of the future, not only the Trump phenomenon, or a Crazy North Korea, and stuff like that, but automation and globalisation taking away most of the population's work, before we have learned how to use this enforced leisure constructively, rather than destructively.

    It occurs to me that I may come across as patronising or authoritarian, but the human population at large seems little prepared for changes that will put intense pressure on both individuals and societies. Such pressures on all levels of society usually lead to war.

    We may be becoming less god-struck, but the human race seems to be substituting Marx's "Opium Of The Masses" with chemical addictions, and a vast and growing array of them.

    The human race, largely has acclimatised itself [as a species , but not some individuals] to alcohol use, but most of the drugs out there are novel. The science of treating severe mental illness is still in its infancy with people who develop mental illness "naturally" , never mind treating mental illnesses caused by drug abuse of an increasing number of substances which we do not know the long term consequences for. At the very least, even drug testing is lagging behind drug use. In some cases people are presenting under the influence of some drugs that cannot be properly identified. And if they can't be properly identified, this severely prejudices treatment.

    Drug abuse puts an additional, and severe strain on public medical and psychiatric services.
    I've had a bloody tiring few days at work, so bookmarking for later brain-thinkery.
    -Geoff Rogers

    @Goldenmane3


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  11. #37
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Harrari's Homo Deus is a high impact read.

    This is the beginning of the era of Big Data, the Technocracy. Soon enough, within several decades or so, everyone will be subject to genome sequencing. There will be no circumventing it. Information is power. One's biodata will be tracked, even brain states, thoughts, personality type diagnosed, where the central computer, AI Central Command will be able to foreknow lawbreaking and ID offenders without fail. Proclivity to addiction will be predictable, controlled. The doctor will be a robot. Why study medicine for 6 or more years and still be subject to human error and misdiagnosing?

    There is much pessimism and obviously much to be burdened about in today's world. Everything is disposable. Escape is alluring. Novel substances are being created just like the latest in digital technology. It will happen because it can happen. Humans will develop the capability until AI gains autonomy.

    How many young people or those of any age are addicted to education? Kahneman's System 2 thinking is effortful, has to be learned.

    Aldous Huxley had prescience. State dispensed soma could well be the new opium of the people. Reproduction will be controlled. Activity will be monitored. For the Homo Deus such as a Jeff Bezos who owns Amazon, the great AI positivist, there will be computer interface and performance enhancers, existence ongoing.

    I know this doesn't inform what we should do about drugs in the meantime.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

  12. #38
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    I am not a wowser. My opposition to drugs is not based on wowserism, but the possible negative [sometimes severely negative] use of drugs, including addiction, possible permanent destabilisation of mental state, consequences to others and the community etc.

    Temporary "trips" are fine, but the reality is that certain psychoactive drugs can, and as yet we don't have a full picture exactly how this occurs, and in which individuals. There are many drugs suspected to fuck with brain chemistry in such a way they can be more vulnerable or likely to develop schizophrenia than should be the case. They are risk factors. And some forms of schizophrenia are very hard to treat, leading to misery for the sufferers and their families.

    I freely admit I am biased here, because as a carer I have spent several decades with a relative who has schizophrenia. Countless meetings with psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, and probably thousands of hours visiting mental wards/hospitals, where I not only see my ward [I am guardian] but also many others suffering from this horrific fucking disease that steals a person's life from them in a variety of nasty ways.

    Around one or two percent of the population are vulnerable to develop schizophrenia without drug abuse ["naturally", as it were]. We are beginning to see many more who develop schizophrenia and other mental [and of course physical] problems as a result of drug abuse.

    While I can find much to criticise the appropriateness of many government policies that try to deal with the problems, I do not doubt the need for action on many fronts.
    Two points i’d like to make here. Firstly, we are talking about cannabis, not ‘drugs,’ as a generic term that might include anything. Secondly, prohibition does not prevent use.

    I’d argue that legalisation would provide far better mental health outcomes for those susceptible to illnesses triggered by cannabis usage. Also, as has been mentioned, being able to control the strain and genetically engineer the product could be crucial technology to better health outcomes. Prohibition does exactly nothing to help anyone, in my view.
    Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  13. #39
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    Quote joele said View Post
    I just hope IF they do legalise cannabis they don't go the corporate route. I.e. Personal use growth has even bigger penalties than today and the government sell expensive licences to large companies.

    On the psychosis front I have known many long term smokers and only one who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, thought to have been caused by it. Interestingly/disturbingly he "went" very quickly, even from the first time he smoked it had a very profound and strange effect on him which lasted days.

    Is there any good research to say whether these particular people have latent schizophrenia and it just triggers it, or whether it on fact causes the condition?
    Don’t know Joele but prohibition doesn’t stop usage, it just criminalises and stigmatises it and that is hardly helpful from a mental health perspective.
    Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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  15. #40
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    Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

    2008 article I found in an embedded linky in my book notes

    Pot-induced psychosis may signal schizophrenia

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who have long-lasting psychotic episodes after smoking marijuana may be exhibiting early signs of schizophrenia, researchers reported Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

    “Cannabis-induced psychosis,” in which a person loses touch with reality and the symptoms persist for at least 48 hours, is an established psychiatric diagnosis, but it is controversial, Dr. Mikkel Arendt of Aarhus University in Risskov, Denmark, and colleagues note in their report. There has been little research on the condition, and doctors have a hard time distinguishing it from other psychiatric disorders or developing a specific list of symptoms by which to characterize it.

    In a previous study, Arendt and colleagues found that nearly half of people who had an episode of cannabis-induced psychosis went on to develop schizophrenia within the next six years. In the current study, the researchers looked at the genetic roots of both conditions by comparing the family histories of 609 people treated for cannabis-induced psychosis and 6,476 who had been treated for schizophrenia or a related psychiatric condition.

    They found that individuals treated for post-pot smoking psychotic episodes had the same likelihood of having a mother, sister or other “first-degree” relative with schizophrenia as did the individuals who had actually been treated for schizophrenia themselves. This suggests that cannabis-induced psychosis and schizophrenia are one and the same, the researchers note. “These people would have developed schizophrenia whether or not they used cannabis,” Arendt explained in comments to Reuters Health.

    Based on the findings, the researcher says, “cannabis-induced psychosis is probably not a valid diagnosis. It should be considered schizophrenia.”
    More @ source

    Maybe looking harder at schizophrenia might help.
    Last edited by The Irreverent Mr Black; 4th January 2018 at 10:47 PM.
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