Skip to comments.One Reporter's Opinion – Never Legalize Pot!
Posted on 06/10/2005 2:32:31 PM PDT by Nachum
It is this reporter's opinion that each generation in turn takes a new look at the marijuana question. Now it's this generation's turn. In a 6-to-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-marijuana statutes overrule the laws in ten states that allow the use of marijuana plants to ease pain or nausea.
Fifty years ago, as a much younger television reporter, I did a series of interviews with Dr. Hardin B. Jones, Professor of Medical Physics and Physiology at the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Jones, in his thorough study, raised disturbing questions about marijuana's effects on the vital systems of the body, on the brain and mind, on immunity and resistance, and on sex reproduction.
Dr. Jones addressed such problems of society as the hazards to non-smokers, crime, the law, and the effect of widespread smoking among the military including atomic weapons personnel. And he didn't stop there. The good doctor included telling comments from interviews conducted with scores of marijuana users and ex-users.
I concluded, after this exhaustive study, that the very idea of legalizing marijuana is to follow a senseless, immoral, perilous path a slippery slope, that the use of marijuana is dangerous on many fronts, that it impairs memory, alters time perception, reduces coordination, damages the immune system, is psychologically habit-forming and creates a wide range of effects on moods and behavior.
Dr. Jones offered an open letter to parents. Following are the main points discussed in his letter:
Marijuana is not a benign drug. Use of this drug impairs learning and judgment and may lead to the development of mental health problems.
Smoking marijuana can injure or destroy lung tissue.
Teens who are high on marijuana are less able to make safe, smart decisions about sex, including knowing when to say "no."
Marijuana can impair perception and reaction time, putting young drivers and others in danger.
Marijuana use may trigger panic attacks, paranoia, and even psychoses.
Marijuana can impair concentration and the ability to retain information during a teen's peak learning years.
Recent research indicates a correlation between frequent marijuana use and aggressive or violent behavior.
Dr. Jones concludes: MARIJUANA IS ADDICTIVE, and says that more teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.
Personally, I recall one visitation to a rehabilitation center where we interviewed recovering heroin addicts. We had to interview 25 hard-core drug users before we found a single one who had not started with marijuana!
As for those who say they must rely on marijuana to treat their pain, Dr. Jones cited a Washington University School of Medicine study on the subject: the experiment on twenty young men who were experienced marijuana smokers. Before and after they smoked reefers, electric impulses of different strengths were applied to their fingers and pain thresholds recorded. It was a method that earlier had verified the pain-killing effects of morphine, aspirin and codeine. MARIJUANA NOT ONLY FAILED TO LESSEN PAIN, IT ACTUALLY INCREASED IT! That finding casts doubt on the usefulness of marijuana as an analgesic.
The same facts and conclusions are repeated generation after generation with the same conclusion: DON'T EVER LEGALIZE POT!
Note to moderator:
Sorry for the double post. I did not see that the first one had effectively been posted.
The arguments are ludicrous. The whole debate is whether pot should be taxed. If it won't be taxed it will be prohibited, which seems a strange thing to do with a weed that grows everywhere. Pot smoking screws up the mind and makes a nation easy pickings, but that is another issue.
Gee, sounds like alcohol. Let's reinstate prohibition.
I agree that pot should be illegal, but my objection to the SC case is that this is a matter reserved for the states. The federal law went beyond a reasonable interpretation of the commerce clause.
Heck, under such a broad commerce clause, the 10th Amendment has no meaning.
All of his points should be irrelevant. Current law dealing with the substance is the result of a much larger & intrusive federal power grab. It took a Constitutional amendment to give the federal government power over alcohol use. What puts all other ingestable things under the thumb of federal power?
"MARIJUANA NOT ONLY FAILED TO LESSEN PAIN, IT ACTUALLY INCREASED IT!"
this must be why all these chronic pain sufferers swear by the stuff ?
Maybe they are all masochists !?
Anyway , we should all know by now to take the word of 'Studies' over direct experience . What good are our God given senses anyway?
I question regulating it for adults, even at the state level. Our governments should not think they have the power to act like our nannies. Educate, rather than legislate!
Clue ~ the guys banning MJ already have the power ~ all of it! Their purpose is to ban MJ.
Ohh what a load of crap.
MJ is - by orders of magnitude - much less dangerous then alcohol. Use any metric you like... damage to health, loss of productivity, crime and antisocial behavior, addiction rates etc. etc.
The only reason I would like MJ to stay illegal, is because if it was sold by state sanctioned stores, it most prolly would be seedy, stemmy brown mexican shit.
Two questions I'd like someone more knowledgable than I to address:
Has Marijuana ever been medically proven, by studies in accordance with accepted scientifc method, to alleviate symptoms from the various diseases claimed?
If, in fact, the active ingredient in Marijuana (THC, i.e. Tetrahydracannabinol) has been, or can be, proven to be medically effective, is there any reason why the THC cannot be synthesized and administered pharmaceutically in the same fashion narcotics etc. are?
If the answers to these questions are indeed 'yes,' I'd assume the pharmaceutical companies would be salivating about developing a new, and it would seem very marketable (!), arrow for their quiver?
This whole medical MJ is just a scam by left-wing leftover hippies to legalize pot so they can smoke it. It has nothing to do with pain killing. There are many more effective pain killers than pot. Any pain killing properties that pot has, can be put into a pill. It would not have to be smoked. Right on George P for having the courage to speak the truth.
Ahhh... ya see, there you'd be wrong.
Given that THC is a natural occuring compound, it is not patentable.
Much better for the bottom line ($$$) for the pharmas to push strong, physically addictive manmade painkillers.
Yes, that's a quite plausible answer re the drug companies. But, what about the actual drug itself? Does it work?
Hitting the weed a bit too hard are we? :@)
The war on pot was initially justified by raising the fear that white girls would be seduced by black musicians using pot. The arguements have changed a bit since then, but not much.
OK -- using pot has potential bad consequences for some people.
That is an arguement for not USING pot, and arguement that should be presented to every young person.
That is NOT an arguement for CRIMINALIZATING pot.
Many of us hold two beliefs at the same time without contradiction:
1) Using Drugs, including Pot, is bad.
2) The War on Drugs is worse.
I am past 60, and I still haven't heard a good approach for discouraging vices (e.g., use of pot, tobacco, alcohol, prostitution, promiscuous gay sex, etc.) which do not create worse consequences than the vices being discouraged.
The war on pot has killed more people and destroyed more lives (e.g., due to mandatory minimum sentences for simple drug possession) than the pot would have if left alone and discouraged with education. It has resulted in the formation of a police state, and the loss of rights, the loss of restraints placed on the government by the Constitution. It has resulted in the waste of billions of dollars extracted from taxpayers at the point of a gun. It has resulted in the corruption of the justice system, from cops to prosecuters to judges to legislators.
It is time to look at ways of reducing harm, not exchanging the "use of drugs" harm for another which is much worse.
Gee, sounds like alcohol. Let's reinstate prohibition.
His opinion is based on 50 year old science? Wasn't the moon thought to be made of cheese back then?
Well I used to be libertarian about the subject, as long no one else is harmed then let people ruin their brains.
But one day I happened to watch a movie that changed my life. Everyone needs to see Reefer Madness to know how evil this killer weed is. I still wake up in cold sweats reliving in my dream that dememted druggie yelling "faster faster" to a drugged up female playing piano.
Never will try that demon weed, I get high the safe way by huffing gasoline out of a paper bag.
Course they have the power. Sometimes it's good to remind our fellow citizens that they have that power, cuz we let them have that power. Maybe my fellow citizens don't have a problem with it, because it's not their ox getting gored by it.
MJ is not my ox, but I know a goring when I see one. My ox was a toddler that got an earache on a weekend. His eardrum ruptured, green stuff was oozing out & he was spiking a high temp. His mother took him to a hospital emergency room. After waiting hours, a doctor finally looked at the child & witnessed the worst ear infection that he had ever seen. Because he didn't have the child's chart & couldn't trust the mother's account of the child's history of ear aches, he sent the child home without treating him!!! When the mother could finally get the child seen by his usual doctor, the doctor prescribed the medicine, in the dose that was refused from the emergency room doctor. That antibiotic prescription allowed refills & I'm talking about a multi-spectrum antibiotic, not your basic amoxicillin. If you do now know how rare that is, ask any pharmasict if they've ever seen one.
Take into account the extra suffering by that young child & add what correct treatment cost that family... No, I am not that mother. A bunch of old hippys wanna get high, that's no big deal, in face of the rest of the issue.
Did you hear that??? Teddy (shipface) Kennedy just fell off his throne at that suggestion.....
Take booze away from a Kennedy at your own risk.......
/s off :-)
No bag is needed.
Stuff's great until you need a new liver.
Yessirreebob, Medical Marijuana is the new Laetrile for a new age!
However bad for you pot may be, I would question where they got their data that pot increased aggressive or violent behavior. Not.
You've forgotten haven't you?
Your father didn't drink while he was smoking pot?
I am past 60, and I still haven't heard a good approach for discouraging vices
The right kind of teaching about faith is as good as it gets.
By William F. Buckley
Peter McWilliams is dead.
Profession? Author, poet, publisher.
Particular focus of interest? A federal judge in California (George King) would decide in a few weeks how long a sentence to hand down, and whether to send McWilliams to prison or let him serve his sentence at home.
What was his offense? He collaborated in growing marijuana plants.
What was his defense? Well, the judge wouldn't allow him to plead his defense to the jury. If given a chance, the defense would have argued that under Proposition 215, passed into California constitutional law in 1996, infirm Californians who got medical relief from marijuana were permitted to use it. The judge also forbade any mention that McWilliams suffered from AIDS and cancer, and got relief from the marijuana.
What was he doing when he died? Vomiting. The vomiting hit him while in his bathtub, and he choked to death. Was there nothing he might have done to still the impulse to vomit? Yes, he could have taken marijuana; but the judge's bail terms forbade him to do so, and he submitted to weekly urine tests to confirm that he was living up to the terms of his bail.
Did anybody take note of the risk he was undergoing? He took Marinol -- a proffered, legal substitute, but reported after using it that it worked for him only about one-third of the time. When it didn't work, he vomited.
Was there no public protest against the judge's ruling? Yes. On June 9, the television program 20/20 devoted a segment to the McWilliams plight. Commentator John Stossel summarized: "McWilliams is out of prison on the condition that he not smoke marijuana, but it was the marijuana that kept him from vomiting up his medication. I can understand that the federal drug police don't agree with what some states have decided to do about medical marijuana, but does that give them the right to just end-run those laws and lock people up?"
Shortly after the trial last year, Charles Levendosky, writing in the Ventura County (Calif.) Star, summarized: "The cancer treatment resulted in complete remission." But only the marijuana gave him sustained relief from the vomiting that proved mortal.
Is it being said, in plain language, that the judge's obstinacy resulted in killing McWilliams? Yes. A Libertarian Party press release has made exactly that charge. "McWilliams was prohibited from using medical marijuana -- and being denied access to the drug's anti-nausea properties almost certainly caused his death." Reflecting on the judge's refusal to let the jury know that there was understandable reason for McWilliams to believe he was acting legally, I ended a column in November by writing, "So, the fate of Peter McWilliams is in the hands of Judge King. Perhaps the cool thing for him to do is delay a ruling for a few months, and just let Peter McWilliams die." Well, that happened on June 14.
The struggle against a fanatical imposition of federal laws on marijuana will continue, as also on the question whether federal laws can stifle state initiatives. Those who believe the marijuana laws are insanely misdirected have a martyr.
Peter was a wry, mythogenic guy, humorous, affectionate, articulate, shrewd, sassy. He courted anarchy at the moral level. His most recent book (his final book) was called Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do. We were old friends, and I owe my early conversion to word processing to his guidebook on how to do it. Over the years we corresponded, and he would amiably twit my conservative opinions.
When I judged him to have gone rampant on his own individualistic views in his book, I wrote him to that effect. I cherish his reply -- nice acerbic deference, the supreme put-down:
"Please remember the Law of Relativity as applied to politics: In order for you to be right, at least someone else must be wrong. Your rightness is only shown in relation to the other's wrongness. Conversely, your rightness is necessary for people like me to look truly wrong. Before Bach, people said of bad organ music, `That's not quite right.' After Bach, people said flatly, `That's wrong.' This allowed dedicated composers to grow, and cast the neophytes back to writing how-to-be-happy music. So, thank me for my wrongness, as so many reviews of my book will doubtless say, `People should read more of a truly great political commentator: William F. Buckley Jr.' "
Imagine such a spirit ending its life at 50, just because they wouldn't let him have a toke. We have to console ourselves with the comment of the two prosecutors. They said they were "saddened" by Peter McWilliams' death. Many of us are -- by his death...and by the causes of it.
Buckley is a nationally syndicated columnist based in New York.
MAPS (Medical Marijuana Research
Government Finally Allows Marijuana-for-AIDS Study(1998)
Canada Approves Cannabis Medication Sativex® For Use By Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Just a few. There are more. The Feds say it doesn't work, other research says different. The users say different too. http://www.glaucoma.org/treating/treatment/marijuana.html
Your kidding right, because they need morphine to make it, not marijuana.
Sometimes, books get me to change my views. John Stossel's book "Gimme a Break" convinced me of the silliness of banning marijuana. Adults should be treated as adults. That means if you want to abuse your health, that's your right.
That also means if you want welfare, tough luck. Able-bodied adults should be able to care for themselves.
RightWhale says "The arguments are ludicrous."
The argument against pot are long as is their history. They are not lidicrous, just not something to hear if you have a pro-drug agenda.
Here's a little bit about pot and schitophrenia for you to chew on while you call this also ludacrous.
I bet you love how George checked out all these heavy drug users and they all started with pot. DING DING DING.
Some people's lack of common sense. Or desire to get high out of stupidity perhaps!
Yeah, many pain killers far better, and less addictive than pot...
I've never seen anyone become violent or aggressive due to use of pot.
Yeah, and Putnam for the last 20 years was screaming about illegal immigration from the south.
He seems always right, doesn't he.
Wow, so fifty years ago, George also found the same thing we find today with our violent offenders in state prison, that almost all violent offenders use pot in connection with their other drugs or it was their gateway drug...
More of what we all already know.
Our prisons are filled with violent offenders. But they hardly stop with pot Sender, what they do is mix pot with all kinds of junk then go out and kill or do other nasty stuff.
It's better to avoid it altogether IMO.
Those kinds of things are needed for people with cancer who are going to die or for those with bad backs where the disks have permanently damaged nerves who wish they were already dead.
Those poor people will have no life. It's a tough break.
That's probably true, better to avoid it altogether. However I don't think there should be anyone in prison, learning violent and criminal ways, just for possession of pot.
These guys are all dirty, and the way the MJ gets on their rap sheet is they plea bargain down to it.