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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marijuana Isn't A Gateway Drug, But the Commentary Is Hilarious

I stumbled upon this article some time ago, and always meant to write about it, but for some reason or another, I just couldn't find my muse...until now. In brief, the article basically covers what most of us already know, that cannabis use is not a gateway to other drugs. However, according to this article we no longer need to rely on common sense as the "gateway" theory has now been dis-proven by a definitive scientific study. The article itself is informative, but the comments, oh man the comments, don't even get me started...too late, I'm already started.

"We Value Our Brain

April 24, 2009
by Anonymous, 21 weeks 5 days ago

Comment id: 36349

ha ha
There is no way that none-users will "try" marijuana.

We value our brains, as they are, undamaged. You will never get your intellect back.

We will never be influenced by user comments."

That's fantastic! If you don't smoke pot, then there will be more for me. On the subject of your brain being undamaged, well first off, I think it may be more damaged than you think as the title of your comment is "We Value Our Brain." We? Brain? As in two people sharing one brain? Are you sharing your brain with a conjoined twin?

By the way, I still have my intellect as pot doesn't cause brain damage, but alcohol does Mr./Ms. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I apologize to anyone who actually has FAS and was offended by being compared to this genius.

"Dear Anonymous (Comment id: 36223)

April 21, 2009 by Anonymous, 22 weeks 1 day ago

Comment id: 36311

Response to the writer of "you know what look at a." You are not doing any good to the people who want to legalize marijuana. You see what a life time of smoking pot does to you. Makes you write long run on sentence full of misspellings. Set the bong down and pick up a grammar book you illiterate son of a..."

Oh, oh dude, let me help you out and make some much needed corrections to your post...

Here is how it should look:

In response to the author of the post titled You Know What Look At A. You are not doing any good for the people who want to legalize marijuana. Don't you see what a life time of smoking pot does to you? It makes you write long wrong on sentences full of misspellings. Set the bong down and pick up a grammar book you illiterate son of a bitch (this is the Internet, its okay to swear).

Now who is the illiterate one?

In all fairness though, the post he/she was replying to wasn't very eloquent...

"You Know What Look At A

April 17, 2009 by Anonymous, 22 weeks 5 days ago

Comment id: 36223

you know what look at a smoker of tobacco then look at a smoker of weed can you figure out the diffrience cause i know what it is one ask a smoker who smokes daily for a ciggerete then look at a kid 15 16 and see what he dose when he gets some the first thing he dose is calls his or her friends and saies hey man i just got some cool new shit bring your piece and we can smoke some bowl then go and ask a smoker of cigertettes and see what they say some will give it to you and walk away and mabey offer you a light but others will just be like no i see weed as a better thing to do if any of the two even if it is illegaile thats why ill never smoke a ciggerete peace"

I'm not even going to go there, except to say that pot use is not a reliable indicator of literacy.

"Hey stupid, yeah you

April 15, 2009 by Anonymous, 23 weeks 3 hours ago

Comment id: 36165

just to let your pot smoking ass know...MAIL is spelled assuming since you are possibly a MALE you should know how to spell your own gender. just a thought...have a nice day love you bye

love michelle"

Holy Shit! That is feisty. In all seriousness though, is this your argument for why pot should be illegal? Simply because it may cause someone to spell "male," "mail?" How can you get on someone about something so trivial when you don't even capitalize your own name?


February 25, 2009 by Anonymous, 30 weeks 2 hours ago

Comment id: 34834

Hmmm. All I have to say is screw the studies and look at the facts. If you look around ANY high school, the teenagers catorgorized under "stoners" AREN'T the straight A students and don't participate in any extra cirrucular activities. I believe weed ruins relationships and makes you say stupid things that aren't yourself!! If your going to smoke pot, look around you first."

Screw the studies and look at the facts? Where the hell do you think facts come from? Your facts obviously come from your butt-hole. Furthermore, I never got straight A's in high school, and yet I never tried cannabis until after I graduated. Does that mean that because I didn't get straight A's in high school that I was a stoner by default? Oh, oh! I think I have an answer; not that many students get straight A's. Think about that the next time you go see your doctor (if you have health care that is). By the way, you spelled "categorized" and "curricular" wrong.

I'm going to stop there because there are far too many comments, and too few hours in the day to dissect and criticize them.

To see these comments and more go here. Its well worth reading the comments if you need a good laugh, in addition to a lively Internet debate, there are also plenty of accusations of folks knob slobbing, dick sucking, ass licking and being retarded to boot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How the Legal Status of Cannabis Fosters and Environment For Organized Crime to Profit

In the 1920s, the Volstead act made alcohol effectively illegal in the United States, and the result was utter chaos. It is hard to say whether or not anyone saw the ensuing storm of lawlessness coming, or whether it would have even been possible to predict it, but when the storm hit, the United States government was woefully unequipped to handle the issue. The result of the prohibition on alcohol was that it became America’s hottest black market commodity. The financial incentives to break the law by bootlegging booze were too much to resist for many people, particularly after the onset of the great depression.

Fortunately, the United States government was roused from its fairy tale fantasy and reversed the Volstead act with the 21st amendment, thus once again making alcohol legal, like it had always been. Unfortunately, the 21st amendment did not reverse the lasting legacy of the prohibition; organized crime. The high profitability of bootlegged alcohol allowed for the establishment of large and powerful organized crime networks. Once alcohol was made legal again, those networks of organized crime were forced to branch out into new enterprises, mainly other drugs.

This brings us to cannabis, which found itself on the wrong side of the legal fence with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Of course at this time, cannabis wasn’t very popular amongst the majority ethnic group in America; white people. However, that all changed in the 1960s, and today white folks consume more cannabis than those of Latin American or Africa-American descent. In fact, two thirds of all white Americans consume or have consumed cannabis, while only one fourth of Latin Americans and Black-Americans consume or have consumed cannabis. What is even more interesting is the fact that despite the relatively low numbers of users in both ethnic minorities, those two minorities represent the vast majority of citizens incarcerated for cannabis possession and distribution.

The funny thing about cannabis, is that it is regarded as relatively cheap drug, so how could it be so profitable for organized crime? There are plenty of other drugs out there that have much higher street value, such as cocaine, and are much more addictive, thus keeping users coming back for more day in and day out. With all these other drugs available to sell, why sell cannabis?

To begin with, cannabis isn’t only cheep to buy, it is cheep, and easy to produce. Think about it, cannabis is a plant. Have soil? Got sun? Great, plant a seed, water and wait. It’s that easy, and three to five months later you have a large quantity of consumable cannabis buds that will return an incredible profit for your investment. There are no chemical processes that need to be applied to extract the drug; the buds you pick from your plants are as ready to smoke, as picked cherries are ready to eat. Since its illegal, you can also expect to be able to command a great enough fee to cover your risks as well.

How large will the return be? Well that depends, however the average cannabis plant grown outdoors will produce up to one pound of cannabis buds at harvest. Cannabis sold on the streets is literally worth it’s weight in gold, with an average price of $200-$350 dollars an ounce. Just planting a few plants and selling the harvest can amass a profit well into the tens of thousands.

The question is, why is it worth so much? Its not because it’s a drug, coffee is a drug, and it certainly doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars an ounce. Tobacco is also a drug, and despite the government’s best efforts to increase its price via taxation, it also isn’t worth hundreds of dollars an ounce. Both products are in high demand, and all three drugs have ample supply, so why is cannabis worth so much more? Well, its pretty obvious isn’t it? Cannabis’s value is artificially inflated by its legal status. Since it is illegal, a buyer pays a premium for the risk involved in its distribution.

There is one other factor involved in cannabis’s massive black market value, its popularity. There are a couple of factors that drive it’s popularity for sale and consumption. What makes it so popular for consumption is the fact that it is safe, far safer than other street drugs, and far safer than drugs like alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine. Why? Because it isn’t possible to overdose on it’s main psychoactive ingredient, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

What makes it so popular for sale, is who happens consumes it. The majority of consumers are members of the wealthiest and most powerful ethnic demographic in the United States, white people. Thus the market is rather large, and the consumers have the money to spend on the commodity.

Not only that, cannabis isn’t particularly addictive, and it does not have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms usually associated with opiates and psycho-stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. In fact it is significantly less addictive than tobacco, which is regarded by some to be even more addictive than heroin. Cannabis is probably even less addictive than caffeine, not to mention that the withdrawal symptoms, if any, are also less severe than caffeine as well. What this means, is that not only do users have the money to spend on the drug, they also are a lot less likely to rob or maybe even kill their dealer or someone else to get the drug, making it a relatively safe and profitable drug to sell.

It is easy to see why cannabis is such an enticing criminal enterprise; it’s easy to produce, cheap to produce, and commands massive profits. No wonder so many Mexican drug cartels are growing mega crops of cannabis and smuggling it across the border. Likewise, is it any wonder that so many Americans are willing to go to Canada and take advantage of the virtual decriminalization of cannabis there, so that they can smuggle large quantities of high grade cannabis across the border and cash in its massive profits?

Profiteering by organized criminal enterprises aside, the worst part about cannabis being illegal is that it is impossible to prevent it from falling into the hands of minors. The reason for this is that there is no way to control who it is sold to. Unlike in a store where a clerk has no financial incentive to sell to an underage buyer, a dealer who needs to sell their stash quickly to pay off any debts and avoid getting caught, will sell a bag to anyone who has the money in hand, and aren’t likely to card the buyer to verify their age.

To sum up, if alcohol was easy enough to produce during the prohibition, despite its complicated, time consuming, and costly production process, and that prohibition failed, how can our government possibly expect to control the production of a plant? Anyone can grow a plant, and the cannabis plant grows itself, it is after all, a weed. It grows naturally in all but the most extreme environments on the planet. We might as well be trying to stop people from growing tomatoes or roses. In fact, we might as well be trying to get the planet to not produce vegetation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Is it Candy or Medicine?

Just for fun/quick reference, you know, just in case.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Marijuana Manifesto: Why The United States Should Legalize Cannabis

Marijuana, its green, its sticky, and it can get you high. Sadly, that’s probably the full extent of most people’s understanding of the Cannabis plant. For this reason it has become the most controversial drug, rather, the most controversial plant on the planet. As of right now, it is strictly illegal in the United States, save the few states that allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in spite of superseding federal laws. However, the cannabis plant’s expansive industrial and medicinal value and remarkably large margin of safety warrant it’s immediate legalization.

To begin, the cannabis plant has vast industrial and medicinal value. Most people probably don’t know this, but the cannabis plant is possibly the most valuable renewable resource on the planet. Almost everything that we produce today could be made with the cannabis plant. Just one acre of hemp is the equivalent to 4.5 acres of trees for paper production. It is extremely easy to cultivate, requires little to no pesticides, and returns most of its nutrients to the soil. An acre of hemp can be grown in one season, while an acre of trees may require ten to twenty. On top of that it can be used to make fuel for cars, clothing more durable and comfortable than cotton, and about 25,000[1] other commercial products, heck, we could build house made completely from hemp.

As a drug, there are a multitude of ailments that can be treated with cannabis. Some of the more common ailments include glaucoma, post-chemotherapy nausea, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, migraines, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal chord injury, and various other painful and debilitating conditions. However the list doesn’t end there and it is believed that cannabis may be useful for the treatment of many more conditions. In addition to that, not only is it possible to treat many conditions with cannabis, cannabis itself may even be safer than the treatments already in place.

That’s all well and good, but it’s still a drug isn’t it? Well, yes it is a drug, however according to the DEA’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, in a 1988 ruling, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”[2] Yet the federal government still list marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, which means that it has no medical value, it is addictive, and it is not safe to use, even under medical supervision. The federal government places marijuana in the same category as drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy. Why does this matter? Because marijuana doesn’t belong on that schedule, unlike most schedule I drugs, marijuana cannot kill you.

The safety of a drug is determined by its therapeutic index. A therapeutic index is determined by dividing the dose that is lethal in 50% of test subjects by the dose that is effective in 50% of test subjects.[3] The therapeutic index for heroin is 6, meaning that it is lethal at a dose six times its therapeutic dose. For alcohol it is 10, for cocaine 15, aspirin 20. Marijuana’s therapeutic index is so high that it is probably impossible to quantify, although it is usually listed as "<" 1000. That means a smoker would need to consume about 1500 pounds in 15 minutes to cause a lethal reaction.[4]

As a medicinal and recreational drug, marijuana is extremely safe, safer than most substances that we consume regularly. In fact, in 5000 years of human experience with cannabis, there is not one credible record that indicates that anyone has ever died from consuming cannabis.[5] By comparison, tobacco causes 435,000 deaths per year, and alcohol causes 85,000 deaths per year, even over the counter pain medicines such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve) manage to pull down a couple thousand deaths a year.

Given that tobacco and alcohol are perfectly legal, and kill plenty of people every year, does cannabis use even matter at all? Yes and no. The amount of harm done by cannabis is virtually non-existent, with the exception of the artificial harm that has been fabricated by the Justice Department via arrest and conviction. However if cannabis were legal, the tax revenue from cannabis and all of its constituents would be massive, and its legalization could even save our ailing economy, while displacing many if not most harmful and high pollution industries. Now that matters.

So know you know, cannabis is remarkably safe, and incredibly useful. Of course, this isn’t new information; people have known this for centuries. It has only been the last century that cannabis has had any formal sanctions against its production and use. The question remains, how can we reverse a century of flawed policy? Education; educate yourself, and then educate others.

Next Time: Find out how cannabis’s legal status fosters an environment for organized crime to profit.

[1] Harris Sherline, The Case For Hemp.” Santa Ynez Valley Journal. 06 Aug 2009.

[2] Young, Pg. 58

[3] Daniel E. Becker, DDS. “Drug Therapy in Dental Practice: General Principles Part 2—Pharmacodynamic Considerations.” Anesthesia Progress. Spring 2007. Pgs 19-24.

[4] Francis L. Young. Marijuana Rescheduling Petition Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision of Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young. 06 December 1988. Pg 57.

[5] Young, Pg. 57

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reefer Madness: See the Film That Started It All

Okay, its Friday night, you've got nothing going on, you're bored, and you need something to do (must be the case if you're visiting my sight). Well my friend, look no further for entertainment because you've found it.

If you have been living on the moon and have never heard of the iconic film Reefer Madness, also known as Tell Your Children, here is a little background information. The film was originally produced by a church group, and later it was purchased and re-cut by exploitation filmmaker Dwain Esper, who released the film in 1936. The film was used as an educational film and has been released under several titles since its original release. Today it is a cult classic for modern stoners and old school hippies alike.

For more on the history of the film, I suggest you check out the Wiki

The film itself is about an hour long, so I suggest you spark up a fat one and enjoy the film in it's entirety, which I have embedded below.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Movie Review: The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

There are a lot of "pot-umentaries" out there, and many of them aren't even worth watching stoned. However, Brett Harvey's film The Union: The Business Behind Getting High is NOT one of those movies. It is hands down the best documentary covering any aspect of marijuana that I have seen to date, period. This movie should be watched by everyone in the United States, hell on the American continent, North and South for that matter.

The Union is a Canadian documentary, and for the large part focuses on flaws in Canadian drug policy. However, those flaws are highly applicable to the very flawed United States drug policy. The fact of the matter is that the drug policies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico are intrinsically entwined, and it is hard to talk about just one while excluding the others, and this film does a good job of including everyone.

The film itself focuses mainly on legalization vs. decriminalization, which is becoming a hot-button issue in both Canada and the USA. Harvey argues that legalization is the best alternative for a number of reasons, the main reason being that legalization of marijuana would take a very large chunk out of the profits of organized crime. Other reasons include tax revenue, and better control over sale to minors.

Harvey's arguments are compelling, however, what really sets his movie apart from others is the expert contribution to the documentary. Unlike other documentaries pertaining to marijuana, Harvey's film includes interviews from high level Canadian politicians including mayors and senators, the former Chief of Police for Seattle, WA, Harvard medical doctors, chemists, and biologists. The point I'm making here is that this film has real expert testimony from real experts, explaining why marijuana should be legal.

Well that's the short of it, I highly recommend you see the movie for yourself to get the rest. After you see the movie, get your friends and family to watch it too. If we want pot to be legal, we can't be afraid to share our point of view with those close to us, so please, share this film. This is a film anyone can enjoy, and everyone should find informative and enlightening.