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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
January 03, 2005


The Case Against Medical Marijuana
Greg Lewis

There are two fairly well-defined positions that have emerged regarding the issue, under consideration by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, of whether the use of marijuana should be legalized for the treatment of certain medical conditions.

The first of these sees marijuana's limited legalization as, in almost all cases, the effort of so-called "stoners" (in contemporary parlance people who pretty much can't live without getting high on marijuana on a daily basis) to find a way to circumvent existing laws that criminalize the use of wacky weed so that they (the stoners), with the consent of their croakers (q.v., below), can stay high all the time with impunity. Those who oppose passing laws which legalize the use of marijuana in "medically" sanctioned cases are seen by those who favor such laws' passage as inflexible obstructionists (scare quotes intended to emphasize the rather cynical view taken by opponents of legalization to the validity of the term "medical").

The term "croaker" is Beat-Generation slang for "doctor." I first encountered it in the writings of William S. Burroughs. Its meaning has since the 1950s been narrowed somewhat to denote a physician who stretches prescription medication guidelines to insure that his or her patients do not have to endure existential pain beyond what contemporary drug mediation can guarantee is acceptable. Under the proposed new laws, I can't imagine marijuana becoming anything ? at least in California ? but a substance any croaker would readily prescribe for patients with the same sort of substance cravings Burroughs and his cronies flaunted 50 years ago, and for which their croakers provided relief by prescribing opiates when heroin (Burroughs' drug of choice) was in short supply.

On the other side of this issue are those who favor the blanket legalization of medical marijuana. The "medical" umbrella seems to be providing, for people who would ultimately remove any restrictions whatsoever on smoking grass, something of an entry-level platform from which they might leverage across-the-board approval of the use of boo to ameliorate pretty much any condition that might create stress in any human who tends to respond to "stressful" situations by freaking out. All of this is to say that, where the use of marijuana is concerned, the currently-enumerated "medical" conditions are designed to protect a sub-class of American citizens from coping with their lives in traditionally accepted (read "pharmacologically unmediated") ways.

In fact, if such legislation is allowed by the Supreme Court to stand, it will become not much more than an excuse for a bunch of pot-smokers of every ilk to do what abusers of the Americans With Disabilities Act and their attorneys have done: find ways to twist and subvert and otherwise undermine legislation designed to provide succor to a class of American citizens who are legitimately entitled to government-sanctioned relief from their afflictions so that the legislation in question becomes the instrument, in this case, for a bunch of stoners "getting over" at the expense of American taxpayers, who will minimally be presented with the bill for legal fees in the lawsuits that result from potheads' bringing actions against the state if they are denied, for any reason whatsoever, funded access to the drug which has been the foundation of their lifestyles for, in many cases, the past several decades.

But these arguments beg the real question, which has to focus on the consequences for human brain chemistry and, subsequently, human behavior, of the overuse of psychotropic substances. A psychotropic substance is one which, when ingested and absorbed into the bloodstream, interacts directly with brain chemistry to alter moods and behavior. Psychotropic substances can dramatically change the way we feel and the way we respond to our environments. Psychotropic substances are all potentially addictive, and marijuana is most assuredly a psychotropic substance.

Let me backtrack a bit. Hundreds of substances ? from the caffeine in coffee to the nicotine in cigarettes to the alcohol in "adult" beverages ? that many of us routinely ingest are psychotropic. Add to these innumerable prescription drugs, from antidepressants to allergy medications to painkillers to stimulants, and you'll begin to get an idea of the range of "acceptable" psychotropic substances tens of millions of Americans consume on a daily basis. And I haven't even mentioned so-called "street" drugs, from ecstasy to cocaine to heroin to marijuana, that millions more Americans use on a more-or-less regular basis.

What no legislation, and no public policy that I'm aware of, has ever taken into account is the biochemistry of drug use. While physicians routinely prescribe drugs that have jarring effects on human brain chemistry, they also routinely fail to acknowledge or to advise their patients that such drugs, although often suppressing symptoms of everything from allergies to depression, at the same time alter brain chemistry in such a way that the humans taking the drugs become more and more dependent on them and that their bodies and psyches are consequently less and less able to mount natural responses to their conditions. In other words, the greater the degree to which you rely on any sort of psychotropic drug to mediate between you and the events of your life, the less "human" you become.

THC, the psychotropic ingredient in marijuana, substitutes for the brain chemical anandamide, which plays a role in such important functions as memory, mood, appetite, and pain perception (just in case you were wondering why stoners can't seem to concentrate, can't recall what's happened from one moment to the next, and need to be constantly resupplied with munchies). But while no one is arguing that marijuana might not play some role in mitigating certain types of pain, becoming an habitual marijuana user has other significantly damaging side effects, including lethargy, loss of motivation, inability to focus, the aforementioned memory lapses, and, after prolonged use, difficulty in experiencing pleasure, among numerous others.

Legislation which broadens the scope of acceptability of our use of psychotropic substances ? no matter whether the substance be marijuana or Paxil, cocaine or Ritalin (Ritalin, for the record, interacts to disrupt brain chemistry in exactly the same way cocaine does) ? is legislation that expands institutional authority over what we accept as "human." This is to say that legislation which expands the acceptability and the legality of using psychotropic substances for the purpose of helping us cope with the physical or psychological pain of existence is legislation which contributes, ultimately, to the disaffirmation of our humanity, of our ability to experience fully what it means to be human.

This is not to say that I don't favor, for instance, the use of painkilling prescription drugs to ease the suffering of those who are in the final stages of a terminal illness. The use of painkillers for the purpose of making bearable another human's last days on earth is to me not only an acceptable but even an honorable application of modern pharmacology. Nor do I object to the short-term use of prescription psychotropic substances in times of crisis, such as enabling someone to bear otherwise debilitating pain while recovering from physical or emotional trauma.

Rather, at issue here is the legitimization of what has been regarded as a "street" drug for the purpose of ameliorating the suffering associated (at least anecdotally) with certain medical conditions. (Indeed, the evidence that marijuana is effective in reducing physical pain among its users is totally anecdotal to my knowledge.) Further, the issue involves adding yet one more psychotropic substance to the list of such substances that can be legally used to reduce our humanness, our ability to build the natural strength to respond to the events and conditions of our lives without biochemical mediation. It is, finally, for this reason that I would argue against the legalization of marijuana use for medical purposes.



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Writer Greg Lewis is co-author, with Dr. Charles Gant, of the Warner Books hardcover "End Your Addiction Now." Dr. Lewis is a frequent contributor of political and cultural commentaries to several websites. His next book, "The Politics of Anger: How Marxism's Heirs Are Redefining Liberalism in America Today," is due out in late Spring. Read more of his work at GregLewis.org.
 

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I was wondering when you were going to break that out Custer. :thumbup1:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I forgot until I saw that article. It was so "him" that it brought my memory back.
 

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Poof no eyebrows
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This is one of those issues that i'm mixed on. I have seen the effects that drugs like Roxanol(sp?) have on people adn they get way to dependent on that. I have no experience with pot so I can't say how it afects people but how can it be mre addictive than say roxanol?
 

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Medicinal marijuana is just a step down the slippery slope leading to medical decisions being made by patients and doctors instead of by the government.

I say nip it in the bud (unintentional pun).

If we have medicinal marijuana, next thing you know we'll have medicinal morphine for severe pain.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about some hemp, too?

Case for Hemp Made at American Farm Bureau Convention; U.S. Farmers Deserve Right to Grow Industrial Hemp for Global Demand

1/3/2005 1:47:00 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To: National Desk

Contact: Adam Eidinger, 202-744-2671, for Vote Hemp

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Representatives of the Hemp Industry will exhibit on January 9-12 at the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) annual convention at the Charlotte Convention Center to educate farmers about the need to change federal laws that prevent them from growing industrial hemp. Vote Hemp (booth 614), a non-profit advocacy organization, will give away hemp food and display a wide variety of hemp products, such as automobile parts and paper, sold in the U.S. but made with imported industrial hemp.

"The U.S. government treats hemp the same as marijuana even though dozens of countries including Canada, England and Germany understand the difference. American farmers know that hemp isn't a drug. What we will show them is that there is a global market for industrial hemp that they are unfairly locked out of," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, who will attend the AFBF convention. "The American Farm Bureau Annual Convention is the perfect place for Vote Hemp to jump-start our legislative and education efforts by networking with farmers from across the country who want to grow industrial hemp."

Vote Hemp's (http://www.VoteHemp.com) ultimate goal is to free industrial hemp from restrictions meant for marijuana, so that U.S. farmers and business owners can once again profit from hemp's commercial cultivation. Vote Hemp is working with legislators on the introduction of an Industrial Hemp Farming Act. In January, when the 109th Congress convenes, Vote Hemp will focus lobbying efforts on bills to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

"Farmers are asking, if it's legal to sell hemp here in the U.S., why can't we grow it commercially? Automobile parts, paper, clothing, food, personal care products, and more are all being made from hemp, yet the American farmer is left out of the expanding marketplace, now estimated at more than $200 million in annual North American retail sales," says Steenstra.

In February 2004 the Hemp Industries Association won its three year legal battle against the Drug Enforcement Administration's misguided attempt to ban safe and nutritious hemp foods. The market for hemp seed and oil products that the DEA tried to ban is now among the fastest growing natural health food markets in the natural products industry which itself is among the fastest growing sectors of the US economy.

"More and more health foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil are appearing on store shelves since the legal status is no longer an issue," says Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. "Americans are looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and fish oil supplements. Right now the U.S. marketplace is supplied with hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe. We are working to convince Congress it is time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp so that they can participate in this lucrative growth market."

Beta Sp or DV Cam Video News Release Available Upon Request.
 

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One place I actually happen to agree with the prohibitionists on is that the movement towards legalization of medicinal marijuana and the move towards legalization of growing hemp as an agricultural product is that these really are points of leverage for legalization of recreational use of the herb.

So what?

Each of those three should stand on its own merits, and hopefully our lawmakers aren't so completely stoned all the time that they can't sort out the separate issues.

An excellent case can be made both for medicinal marijuana and for agricultural hemp.

Alas, the case for legalization of recreational pot is much weaker than either of those.

I really don't see what the big deal is with medicinal marijuana. The same arguments against it can also be made against medicinal use of morphine. In fact, a much stronger case can be made against medicinal use of morphine, since morphine is an addictive opiate and it's very difficult to get addicted to pot.

And I really don't see what the big deal is with agricultural hemp. Anyone who's smoked a few pounds of Kansas ditch weed and got nothing more than a headache for their efforts knows the difference between industrial hemp and recreational pot.
 

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There's a great article about the benefits of Medicinal Marijuana in last month's Scientific American.
I'd take the word of exceptionally learned biochemists over prohibitionist ravings any day.
There, I took Custer's bait.
I hope he's happy.
:p
 

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deactive ~ and in trouble
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It took you a couple of pounds huh? I knew by the second joint the stuff was no good ;)
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
D.B.Cooper said:
There's a great article about the benefits of Medicinal Marijuana in last month's Scientific American.
I'd take the word of exceptionally learned biochemists over prohibitionist ravings any day.
There, I took Custer's bait.
I hope he's happy.
:p
Not really. I don't know the right answer to this debate.
 

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Strange Destiny said:
I don't need anything that is going to make me want to eat more.
I've found that depends entirely on whether I'm with a woman who enjoys... well, you know.
 

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Strange Destiny said:
Smeg, Darling, your part would only involve a small bottle and a tank of liquid nitrogen.
:lol:
...Isn't it romantic
Music in the night
A dream that can be heard

Isn't it romantic
Moving shadows write
The oldest magic word
I hear the breezes playing
In the trees above
While all the world is saying
You were meant for love.

Isn't it romantic
Merely to be young
On such a night as this.



And what's with the tank of liquid nitrogen? Gives "frigid" new meaning.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Maybe you can enjoy this romantic ditty:


I met her in a club down in old soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola [lp version:
Coca-cola]
C-o-l-a cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said lola
L-o-l-a lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

Well I?m not the world?s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
Well I?m not dumb but I can?t understand
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
Oh my lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

Well we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
And said dear boy won?t you come home with me
Well I?m not the world?s most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
Lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola

I pushed her away
I walked to the door
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
Then I looked at her and she at me

Well that?s the way that I want it to stay
And I always want it to be that way for my lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo lola
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It?s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo lola

Well I left home just a week before
And I?d never ever kissed a woman before
But lola smiled and took me by the hand
And said dear boy I?m gonna make you a man

Well I?m not the world?s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I?m glad I?m a man
And so is lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
Lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola lo-lo-lo-lo lola
 

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Custer, another cool thing about being an old fart is that I got to see the Kinks perform, too. Thanks for the refresher-course.
 
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