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  #41  
Old 4th January 2018, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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pipbarber said View Post
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.
Ohh yes I very much agree prohibition only increases the problems on multiple fronts. I am just curious about that slightly OT subject.. ;-)
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  #42  
Old 5th January 2018, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
2008 article I found in an embedded linky in my book notes

More @ source

Maybe looking harder at schizophrenia might help.
Thanks Mr Black. Although I had generalised from cannabis to a range of psychoactive "recreational" drugs, not only does cannabis seem to be a risk factor in people developing schizophrenia [beyond the "background frequency"], but people can take more than one type of drug, and so one also has to consider interactions of drugs in many cases.

Given the complexity of large brains as seen in humans, and the stresses they are put under, and the fact that these are evolved systems, it is almost a wonder these things work at all, never mind with reasonable facility, most of the time.

Perturbing such systems above the background rate [eg normal living stresses] by adding psychoactive drugs to the mix, is asking for trouble. Brains can differ widely in their ability to robustly resist, and more importantly recover their former stable state if the stimulus/stimuli is severe or prolonged.

So IMHO we are not going to significantly reduce societal stresses on humans any time soon. Political, economic and religious factors are too entrenched to be solved overnight. One thing which we can change, by various means, is drug abuse.

Decriminalisation is one thing, but liberalisation is another. Unfortunately most people don't think very well, and even those that do, have lapses in judgement.

Most politicians don't even acknowledge that society is broken. How can they, when they think any criticism of globalisation and robotics is necessarily Luddite and invariably misinformed? Or that prayer in parliament or chaplains in schools are not the best ideas going? Or that vast inequalities of wealth and income have little or no consequences? Or that there is nothing wrong with free trade or any number of the other stupidities that are sold as being good for us?

I don't think drugs are intrinsically evil or that drug users are immoral, because I am not coming at this from a religious stance, but a public health one.

If drugs were communicable diseases, then there would be little controversy. But pathogens do much the same thing. Their toxins and activities in the host, seriously [sometimes fatality], perturb the host's systems.

Should we "liberalise" the use of ebola or anthrax? NO. There is such a thing as Botox injections for cosmetic reasons, but this is done by doctors, not in one's own home with a needle.

My SENTIMENT is that society should give individuals as much freedom as possible, but the needs of reality are somewhat different.
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  #43  
Old 5th January 2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

Special pleading until you're off the tobacco, Pup?
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  #44  
Old 5th January 2018, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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Thanks Mr Black. Although I had generalised from cannabis to a range of psychoactive "recreational" drugs, not only does cannabis seem to be a risk factor in people developing schizophrenia [beyond the "background frequency"], but people can take more than one type of drug, and so one also has to consider interactions of drugs in many cases...
My bold.

I might be misunderstanding you here DB but that is not the conclusion i drew from the paper.

Quote:
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.
My bold

The paper is suggesting that people who develop schizophrenia from cannabis induced psychosis presented with the same factors as people who develop schizophrenia without using pot.

Just one paper though, obviously more research required but it does cast some doubt on the claim that cannabis use causes schizophrenia.
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  #45  
Old 5th January 2018, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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Special pleading until you're off the tobacco, Pup?
Not really. As I said above, I have seen a lot of suffering as the result of being a carer and guardian of someone who developed schizophrenia [without drug abuse], and many more in hospitals who suffer the disease both as a consequence of developmental perturbations, and drug abuse. Smoking has little to do with it, except that as an addict, I do appreciate some of the difficulties a drug addict faces.

I don't see how schizophrenia, and its various causes are in any way "special pleading".

No doubt there are people, perhaps many people, perhaps most of us, who can take drugs recreationally and be fortunate not to suffer significant side-effects. There is your special privilege, if you need one. Is that a case of "I am am all right jack, and I don't give a fuck about anyone else?

Some laws are silly. I am sure that at least some of those people who make laws to privilege religion are not doing it for power, alone, but concern [however misguided] over people's souls etc. [No doubt others are doing it because they love power].

Why have laws at all? After all, most people do do the right thing, most of the time. Murder, while not as rare as we would like, is still rare. So why have a law? Would educational programs ill the gap, and THEN everyone would do the right thing [or not do the wrong thing]?

IMHO, laws help us not to be foolish. They set boundaries, and provide disincentives [and occasionally incentives] to canalise our behaviour. Many prophylactic laws are related to Hardin's/Lloyd's "Tragedy Of The Commons" where what be good or may not be bad for an individual can be bad or toxic for society.

Societies may have started anti-drug laws with the motivation of religious or moral paternalism, but that does not make them always or necessarily wrong. To my mind, wowserism [by itself] is no valid reason to restrict another's freedoms.

Legitimate concerns over individual, and indeed public health, is another matter.
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  #46  
Old 5th January 2018, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

Note that the article indicates that schizophrenia is already present in the families of many schiz-affected marijuana users.

Surely the cause should be more thoroughly investigated.

As far as special pleading goes: "<Substance> causes severe health problems, hurting families and putting a large drain on public medicine.

Ban it! (Unless it's tobacco or alcohol!)"

I will not strawman, like some: enlarge on the difference if you will.
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  #47  
Old 5th January 2018, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

DBD’s opposition to the death penalty because of the “oops factor” is the penultimate argument for its abolition. But, it’s not the only argument. Another is that whilst so called democratic countries have the death penalty on their books, it legitimises it in places where lack of proper judicial practice and/or tyrannical/religious systems exists and corruption is rife.

Not to be forgotten is that in some countries people are being imprisoned for being in possession of dope. Even in some democracies you can end up with a record for life if you are busted. This is perfect enticement for some to want to capitalise on the situation and take the risk of being a supplier/carrier and end up imprisoned for a very long time or dead. No good saying they knew the penalty as the carrot can be too strong as is well known.

I’m not saying these are the only reasons for legalising marijuana but as with the death penalty, criminalisation in so called progressive countries has to be a factor in maintaining repressive laws in not so progressive places.

To me, who doesn’t smoke marijuana (any more) the fact that it is readily available on the black market, hasn’t proper controls on the end product and the law has developed a twisted importance concerning those who smoke/ingest makes it imperative that it be legalised with some cautionary qualifications.

And, of course, with anything humans do, bad things happen. Drive a car, swim with sharks, eat meat Harm minimisation is utilised in all these other cases. Why not with legalisation?

It has to be admitted that such a move is a social experiment but the experiment already exists in the real world with only 'legal' and 'safe' missing. If perchance some huge fuck-up happens with this experiment, then a form of intelligent prohibition might be warranted.

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Old 5th January 2018, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

Most heavy, long-term smokers of cannabis that I have known have developed mental health issues, often severe. These might not always be classified as schizophrenia or psychosis. Often it is debilitating depression or paranoia. Most people who have dabbled with the stuff occasionally for fun because it makes them laugh or because it makes music sound better... have been just fine.

After trying it a few times many years ago, personally I won't touch the stuff again, it sometimes triggered some extremely unpleasant states of mind that I wouldn't want to revisit. But that is just common sense, like how an aggressive drunk should stay away from alcohol. Or someone with emphysema should probably not smoke tobacco.

Like any drug, of course, excessive use tends to cause issues. Is criminalisation the best way to handle those issues, given how easy it is to obtain the stuff illegally? I'd say no.

One of the concerns I have with kids obtaining the stuff from dealers is concerns about what they are actually buying. And the fact that it puts them into contact with someone who can encourage them to try other substances which are far more dangerous.
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  #49  
Old 5th January 2018, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Note that the article indicates that schizophrenia is already present in the families of many schiz-affected marijuana users.

Surely the cause should be more thoroughly investigated.

As far as special pleading goes: "<Substance> causes severe health problems, hurting families and putting a large drain on public medicine.

Ban it! (Unless it's tobacco or alcohol!)"

I will not strawman, like some: enlarge on the difference if you will.
You just did straw man as I have already said I am all for decriminalisation and the use of drugs under medical advice. That is not banning. Requiring someone to pass a driver's test before they can drive is not banning either.

Nobody is banned from practising medicine per se
, although there may be economic or intellectual barriers to a person wanting to study medicine. Provided one get's one's ticket to practice, [And don't fuck up too much] there is no ban on being a doctor.

So I had better sum up, or re-iterate my position.

1. Decriminalise drug use
2. Education programs
3. Licencing of drug use.

I do not see this as special pleading, for reasons I have stated in earlier posts.

Her is my model of brain function and dysfunction [by no means unique, if you read the literature deeply and widely].

We are evolved social creatures, with cognition. As individual we vary in all sorts of shit, including brain function. Most of us are average in brain function [as regards cognition, memory and mental robustness], but some are less functional, and some are very functional.

No surprises here I hope. We all vary in vulnerability to pathogenic disease [and different diseases], have different athletic skills, and brain function.

Now here is the thing, building a brain, especially a robust and well functioning one, is not easy. And this designoid organ was put together by evolution.

Let us take schizophrenia. Current research is pointing to over a hundred locii as candidates for contributing to schizophrenia [and there is substantial overlap for illness such a bipolar]. That is the situation at the genomic level. More complicated is how epigenomic markers modify which of these genes to express [or not express] and by how much, based on previous exposure to environmental perturbations.

From my POV, t seems that in effect we have some brains which appear to be more robust than others, and the robustness to certain perturbations in the environment differ between individuals also. [Hence the push to individualised medicine by the way, because one size fits all means many people's illnesses may fall between the cracks].

In other words, some people have multiple "walls" that protect them from X malfunctioning, and others less. Some have almost no walls at all.

This is how to correctly interpret the results. Yeah, you can develop schizophrenia "naturally" due to the genome and epigenome you inherit, and how you developed. Development is always a partly stochastic process. Of course, natural selection will try and minimise this, because it is damn expensive to build a human being or similar complex organism, so we evolve [often imperfect] mechanisms to minimise the wrinkles.

So some people are confusing cause and effect here. It is not the case that people who tend towards schizophrenia if they smoke pot were going to develop schizophrenia anyway, because that is trivially true. Nearly ALL of us, perhaps all of us, could develop schizophrenia, given sufficient perturbation to the system.

All of us can certainly experience a psychotic episode, given a sufficiently serious mental trauma. The question lies in how psychosis becomes more or less permanent in the schizophrenic. So there is the homoeostasis of mental well-being in a person who is not very vulnerable, vs the new homoeostasis established in the first episode psychos of the more chronically mentally ill.

What anti-psychotics "try" to do, is not only reduce or eliminate psychosis, but help the body re-establish normal homoeostasis. Of course, the results are very mixed.

Respiradone for example, is a relatively new anti-psychotic which basically [and overly simplistically] tries to restore a more normal serotonin-dopamine balance. This works for most people, but there are problems, here are a few

1. Side effects. [Relatively speaking not too bad considering other anti-psychotics]

2. It has no effect on some people.

3. People can develop tolerance to the drug, and thus resume psychotic episodes.

So the issue is not hey, only some people have a bad trip, but whether they are likely to continue to have bad trips and the situation becomes chronic.

Now I don't think medical science can absolutely predict who will succumb to acute or chronic mental illness from using cannabis and of course other psychoactive "recreational" drugs, BUT certainly someone who has a large proportion of the candidate alleles and epigenetic profiles associated with schizophrenia will have a much greater risk of developing the disease than the others in the population with fewer markers.

What we want to do in the light of such information is another matter.
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  #50  
Old 5th January 2018, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

DBD, as much as I admire your grasp of science and scientific principles, my opinion is you are overemphasising your case and not taking into account the realities of marijuana in society at present. Even though it is extremely important, it isn’t the main point that some people, as sad as that may be, are susceptible to bad effects from smoking/ingesting pot, although that needs greater study, it matters more that it’s happening already and in an uncontrolled manner.

Attempting to stop society from using marijuana by the present method, that is prohibition, is not working. It will not work to have it on a prescription basis for medical conditions either. It is a recreational drug that a whole lot of folk will take no matter what the legality/risk. That is what has to be looked at and harm minimisation put into effect.

Your personal involvement with the bad effects of smoking pot is a real thing and has to be taken into account. But, that cannot be the final arbiter on the topic not that you have stated it is.

David
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