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  #51  
Old 5th January 2018, 02:42 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.

Corrigendum:
For "ban it", please read "prohibit it by default and place all kinds of conditions on access".
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  #52  
Old 5th January 2018, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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David Nicholls said View Post
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
Sure, and I have already said the war on drugs and prohibition hasn't worked. Which is why I am pro-decriminalisation, because that alone will enable society to allocate resources away from drug law enforcement and into drug education and medical services.

But to some extent, you can't really separate pot use from other recreational drugs, which may act synergistically [increasing the ill effects] in those who use more than one drug.

I am cognisant of the fact that smoking pot is a reality. I have smoked some myself, and probably know as many people who have indulged as have not.

Many drug problems come not only in terms of side effects on vulnerable genotypes, but also the lack of control over the product, which may be impure [or deliberately laced with other drugs to create more diverse demands]. Of course I am talking generically here. And why not, because pot is not the only thing people want free access to. Pot is usually relatively harmless in comparison to other drugs out there, ice, smack, PCP, etc. If we are thinking about pot, we may as well think about these too.

It is a bit like being concerned about racism, and nothing else. There is sexism, and any number of of other bigotries. Any sensible policy about bigotry and drug abuse should eventually have protocols and policies that address societal problems in the case of the specific drug and the problems of drug abuse generally, and bigotry should be treated the same way.

To my mind the bigotry example works. Bigotry is bigotry, no matter what form, and the effects can be from the mildly unpleasant to the unbearable and deadly. Likewise with non-prescribed drugs, psychoactive or not, especially if used recreationally by a largely uninformed public.

I suppose that is another gripe about how society goes about reform. It is done in bits and pieces, and this mostly ends up as a legislative cluster-fuck. it is band-aiding or the quick hack to try and fix a particular bug, rather than good global programming that looks at the whole chess board.

Take bigotry. Once one becomes aware that -say- racism is wrong, surely one must at least consider sexism, ageism and any other bigotry as at least being potentially harmful? Not fucking rocket science.

But no, we spend ages as a society tweaking here, knob-twiddling there, with no thought to the vista of problems [often related] before us!
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  #53  
Old 5th January 2018, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

I agree with most of that except a lot I've read about decriminalisation seems to leave it open for criminal activity to take place. Not sure how that works but it seems to be a common view.

To make most 'mind-bending' drugs legal seems the way to go in more enlightened societies. That doesn't mean everyone in those societies is enlightened but there's a good groundswell that are.

The example of how smoking nicotine (no inference inferred about those who stilll smoke ) has become a negative pastime happened over a very short period once the extremely serious effect on health could no longer be hidden. Me a past smoker and the most addictive personality on the planet has given it up. Wasn't easy but supper glad I could as I never thought I'd be able to.

And it is noticeable that alcohol is starting to get quite a large anti-health bashing (Not that they really understand beer ) and now I haven't given up beer but have cut down considerably. Same with sugar, replacing it with stevia or such like.

I think one of the troubles with what have been and are illicit drugs is the misinformation spread through, as you say, wowserism, racism, religionism etc. Young people especially mistrusted and mistrust the authorities on the effects. That is changing with alcohol and tobacco and I see no reason why an educated approach explaining the harms and benefits of other drugs cannot happen successfully.

It won't cure those with a problem bigger than they can handle, but overall, it will help. There needs to be a much bigger effort in real help for those in trouble with addiction. And hell, if at least dope was legalised, the taxes could pay for that assistance and buy a few atomic weapons with ease.

David

Last edited by David Nicholls; 5th January 2018 at 05:17 PM.
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  #54  
Old 5th January 2018, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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142857 said View Post
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.
I find this interesting, I wouldn't say most but for some this is true, particularly for bipolar and depression.

I do wonder though if this is a chicken and egg situation. I spoke to a psychiatrist about this not that long ago that works in public hospital outreach crisis care. She was firmly of the opinion these people (that she regularly saw) once talking about their full past history, had existing underlying problems already (signs of these conditions) that for whatever reason were not addressed and they merely turning to cannibis in order to self medicate.

Eventually the self medication stops working, or they have other life stresses that overwhelm them and they end up in trouble. Or they start using other drugs which more profoundly compound their existing issues.
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  #55  
Old 5th January 2018, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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I find this interesting, I wouldn't say most but for some this is true, particularly for bipolar and depression.

I do wonder though if this is a chicken and egg situation. I spoke to a psychiatrist about this not that long ago that works in public hospital outreach crisis care. She was firmly of the opinion these people (that she regularly saw) once talking about their full past history, had existing underlying problems already (signs of these conditions) that for whatever reason were not addressed and they merely turning to cannibis in order to self medicate.

Eventually the self medication stops working, or they have other life stresses that overwhelm them and they end up in trouble. Or they start using other drugs which more profoundly compound their existing issues.
Schizophrenics tend to self-medicate by smoking. Somewhat ironically [given the medical problems smoking generates], it actually does help somewhat. But some researchers find the cognitive and other benefits to schizophrenics reduces over time, due to tolerance.

This paper seems a balanced one [medical researchers do have a burr up their arse about smoking, understandably enough], and has the additional virtue of open access via the HHS/NIH:-


Leonard, S., et al. (2007). "Smoking, Genetics and Schizophrenia: Evidence for Self Medication." Journal of dual diagnosis 3(3-4): 43-59.
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Schizophrenia is a common mental illness with a high prevalence of smoking. More than 80% of schizophrenics smoke compared to 25% of the general population. Both schizophrenia and tobacco use have strong genetic components, which may overlap. It has been suggested that smoking in schizophrenia may be a form of self-medication in an attempt to treat an underlying biological pathology. Smoking normalizes auditory evoked potential and eye tracking deficits in schizophrenia, as well as improving cognitive function. Nicotine acts through a family of nicotinic receptors with either high or low affinity for nicotine. The loci for several of these receptors have been genetically linked to both smoking and to schizophrenia. Smoking changes gene expression for more than 200 genes in human hippocampus, and differentially normalizes aberrant gene expression in schizophrenia. The α7* nicotinic receptor, linked to schizophrenia and smoking, has been implicated in sensory processing deficits and is important for cognition and protection from neurotoxicity. Nicotine, however, has multiple health risks and desensitizes the receptor. A Phase I trial of DMXB-A, an α7* agonist, shows improvement in both P50 gating and in cognition, suggesting that further development of nicotinic cholinergic drugs is a promising direction in schizophrenia research.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2613326/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...nihms74401.pdf


Not an pro-smoking argument of course, because nicotine can be delivered in less toxic ways than smoking it, but it also explains why lots of mentally ill folks smoke. In some of the older MH [stand alone] clinics like Bentley, Swan and Swanbourne, smoking was tolerated for longer than elsewhere, and of course the newer hospitals like SJOG, ban it.
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Old 5th January 2018, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

Because of the absurd illicit connotations and imposed stigma to do with smoking marijuana or doing any recreational drug, doing them anyway, in the face of that, and identification with those of the same attitude to conformism, authoritarianism, wowserism, is not an unhealthy thing IMO. I am into autonomy. Do no harm.

But I have had a heavy time on very powerful weed. You inhale, hold it in, it comes on and now you just have to handle it, overly aware of how others are sensing how that's going for you. Then the 6 paper number comes around again. If you are prone to self consciousness in such a situation, high arousal, Aspergers tendencies perhaps, that can spell a bummer. One doesn't just chill like everybody else seems to be able to do.

Smoking weed makes me very creative with music There are social situations I personally wouldn't like to be stoned in. I've been there.

Surely those who associate with drugs generally identify themselves in contraposition to those they categorise as straight. Others can construe what that term connotes. Think Peter Dutton.

If marijuana and all drugs were legalised, the big deal and wowserism over the drug experience in the current status quo, would be largely removed, making for less alienation and paranoia which experience can leave lasting personality changes.

And who needs the expectation of being busted if they aren't driving?

I was busted by these thug cops for possession of a miniscule amount of grass in Queensland in the early 70s. The real bad old days are behind us I think, I would fucking hope.
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  #57  
Old 6th January 2018, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

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joele said View Post
I find this interesting, I wouldn't say most but for some this is true, particularly for bipolar and depression.

I do wonder though if this is a chicken and egg situation. I spoke to a psychiatrist about this not that long ago that works in public hospital outreach crisis care. She was firmly of the opinion these people (that she regularly saw) once talking about their full past history, had existing underlying problems already (signs of these conditions) that for whatever reason were not addressed and they merely turning to cannibis in order to self medicate.

Eventually the self medication stops working, or they have other life stresses that overwhelm them and they end up in trouble. Or they start using other drugs which more profoundly compound their existing issues.
I have little doubt that if I had smoked cannabis heavily over an extended period of time that I would have ended up batshit crazy. But I picked up on the fact that it made me paranoid, and gave me extremely negative thoughts, so I stopped. I don't think I smoked it on more than about half a dozen occasions.

Just running through the numbers in my head, out of about 9 or 10 heavy long-term smokers that I've known very well, all but one or two have ended up with serious mental health issues as a result. One brother-in-law was told by a psychiatrist that his "thought disorder" was a direct result of cannabis use.

I know a couple of people who struggled with depression and paranoia until they stopped smoking cannabis, and were later in no doubt that the cannabis was the primary issue.

I've known quite a number of people who smoke occasionally, for a bit of fun or relaxation, and most of them were fine.

Of course there is a huge chunk of bias in how I interpret the outcomes in people I have known, and my anecdotal evidence is far from conclusive or scientific.
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  #58  
Old 11th January 2018, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

I rewatched this documentary on the war on drugs in the US yesterday. I really reckon its a great and terrifying piece of work that goes way beyond the issue of drugs. It's from 2012 so i assume most have seen it but given recent developments in the US i found it even more disturbing in many ways. It's called 'the house i live in,' and i'll embed it in case anyone is interested in watching it. It goes for 148min so you'd need to set aside some time, but its well worth it.

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  #59  
Old 12th January 2018, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

Chasing the scream was a good book on this subject too IMHO.
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  #60  
Old 12th January 2018, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Legalise Cannabis

I've enjoyed some drugs more than others in my life. I take great pleasure in a glass of red wine - one a night is OK for health, although I've recently decided to make it every second night. Cannabis has been an absolute delight on and off over the years. Generally never more than once a week usage. It provides artistic inspiration and makes life so much sweeter, even when used only occasionally. I've found it can have a lingering effect, a sort of reverse hangover.

My cousin was a heavy pot smoker, he also had severe mental health issues, progressed to heroin, and died very young of an overdose. His father found him, the needle was under his body which lay in the kitchen. The illegality of all those drugs didn't help him. There's a political taboo that restricts the implementation of harm minimisation policies (e.g. pill testing) that goes with prohibition. The older members of my family are all for prohibition because of what happened. But those of us who've been happy pot smokers all these years see it differently. My cousin died under the prohibition regime.

I say legalise cannabis, don't just decriminalise it. But also, here is a chance to have a legal drug and get it right. No marketing, no branding, no advertising. Plain packaging from the start. Clear and evidence-based health warnings.

The marketing and advertising of alcohol and tobacco have been a disaster: the industry paying to have characters smoking cigarettes in films, associating it with sexuality, using every psychological trick in the book to ingrain it in society, to promote addiction, to keep the facts hidden. In the 80s I read the book "Smoke Ring" describing the early marketing campaigns for the first machine-rolled cigarettes. They had a horse-drawn wagon that would travel from town to town, and on the side was a picture of a cowboy smoking a cigarette, with the slogan "DO THIS". Well those days are gone, but alcohol sponsorship of sport is out of control. The cultural tradition of "getting blind" is a concept which I learned about from school mates in the 70s.

A while ago members of Bob Marley's family licensed some brand names in anticipation of being able to market ganja. It's a new version of "DO THIS", only with a rasta instead of a cowboy. This is exactly what we don't want to do.

But I am actually aggrieved that my modest, casual drug use is illegal.
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