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Science vs Prohibition

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Antt View Drop Down
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  Quote Antt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2008 at 19:24
What I've been dwelling on recently is the tenuous Schizophrenia concept.
 
Considering it is generally accepted that Cannabis' connections to Schiz is 'unknown' (Meaning either 'non-existant' or 'existant but clearly not a huge problem') I find it quite disturbing that this 'problem' is pretty much the only 'solid' reason not to smoke cannabis.
 
Now, let's do a quick check... Hands up who has smoked Cannabis regularly (ie. daily, several times a week) for a year or more. Uh huh.
    Now hands up which of you has Schizophrenia.
I see.
 
They can keep spouting this almost-entirely unfounded nonsense for years; it's bring no one any closer to definitive proof. I think it's about time they launched a serious, huge-scale investigation into this, with the legality of cannabis hanging on the result.
 
Antt.
 
No, wait. Ganja - I had a look at that Scheduling nonsense. When I read your post, my mouth gradually opened more and more, until a small goose flew into it and I had to close it. It is quite amusing, that they can publish such blatant biased misinformation on a Government site. Says a hell of a lot about the priorities of the world.
 
Antt (Again).
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  Quote Ganja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2008 at 16:46
I made a helpful chart:


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Antt View Drop Down
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  Quote Antt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2008 at 15:27
Thanks Ganja, that is incredibly interesting. So potency has actually increased in the last few decades, consumption is obviously higher than ever, but mental illness is static (or does it even decline slightly? - Can't tell if it's just me)
 
Thanks
 
Antt.
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  Quote Alibaba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2008 at 15:32
Hi Ganja!

Love the helpful chart and understand and agree with the sentiment but are you sure that incidence of mental illness hasn't increased in the last 50 years? I find this a little hard to believe.

For example there have been many 'advances' in psychiatry over this time, resulting in all kinds of new illnesses which were unheard of then. These 'new' illnesses would previously been ignored or dealt with in alternative ways (a child with 'ADHD' would probably have been given the cane/birch/cat'o'nine tails on a regualr basis for bad behaviour until they'd got over it) and not recognised as mental illness. Just by the fact there are more  illnesses (and indeed people) to diagnose and more pyschiatrists means it is likely that there has been an increase in the incidence in mental illness.

Though I don't have any evidence to support this.

lots and lots of pot head pixies riding round in teapot taxis
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  Quote Ganja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 March 2008 at 11:55
That's the thing, the status of conditions like ADHD, 'restless foot syndrome' etc, as mental illnesses is highly debatable. Many doctors and researchers who are not owned by pharmaceutical interests question whether these are real conditions, or merely vague sets of 'symptoms' cobbled together in order to sell a product to treat the hypothetical illness.

When considering real mental illness - schizophrenia, severe depression, psychosis - and factoring in the various changes in methodology (both the greater ability to detect when something is wrong and the more exact classification of the problem), serious mental illness has remained level in industrialised nations for about a century (including population growth). There are good records of this in the UK, Australia and the US.

When considering hypothetical mental illness, newly defined conditions may indeed be on the increase, but there is an enormous profit motive involved that undermines the neutrality of such hypotheses in the eyes of many serious researchers.

In recent news - prozac has been found to be no more effective than a placebo.

In other news (and the reports of this are getting more numerous every year) it has been shown that half a dozen different SSRIs (prozac analogues) are not only unsuitable for young people, but actually cause many of the feelings and behaviours that worry parents so much - suicidal thoughts, self harm, depression, etc.

By coincidence, in the US, where SSRIs and other antidepressants are being fed to children under 5 (the fastest growing segment of the medicated population), cannabis is said to cause many of the same effects. Freaky.

You will occasionally get a quack claiming that his personal experience of mental ilness incidence is on the rise. There is one doctor in Southwark (SE1 London) who makes just such a claim - that mental illness in his area is rising - and attributes it to cannabis.

Leaving aside his anomalous statistical bubble, having visited Southwark extensively, I can state with certainty that if the increased incidence is real, there are about a million things in Southwark that any sane person would identify as contributing factors to mental illness before considering cannabis.
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[sensi_noob] View Drop Down
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  Quote [sensi_noob] Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2008 at 16:09
IMHO, the US is by far the most hypocritical and inconsistent country when it comes to drug laws in general... I should know, having lived there for 8 years. Just a few anectodes:
 
1) The Volstead Act, aka alcohol prohibition in the 20's and early 30's - maybe they should have kept it that way though, seeing as alcohol kills hundreds of thousands of people yearly, directly or indirectly...whereas I've never heard of anyone ever being killed by cannabis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

2) George Washington, the very first, and one of the most respected US presidents, grew marijuana on his farm and actually encouraged its development, both for industrial hemp and the psychoactive form we all love.
And of course, everyone knows about the "I didn't inhale" quote by Bill Clinton, another quite well respected and liked US president (unless you're a hardcore republican). Not to mention our little friend W Bush who had been arrested in possession of cocaine and publicly admitted having smoked marijuana.

3) More recently in history (50's - 60's), project MKULTRA - LSD and other drug experiments on US soldiers, CIA members and other individuals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA

Incidentally, more or less around that time, heavy LSD experiments were conducted on schizophrenic patients as well chronic alcoholics to see if the drug could help. This was actually the subject of my semester essay in a class I took in college called "Drug use and behavior". Got a B- in that class... must have spent too much time doing lab experimentation at that time Wink 

Though there were mixed results in the case of schizophrenia, several experiments with alcoholics were actually quite successful, with success rates often much higher than standard group therapy or other methods. There are thousands of articles on this, but here's one: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061007111350.htm


4) On the plus side now... but still showing how ridiculously inconsistent that country is when it comes to its laws (granted this is due by their dual law system: state vs. federal laws, and in some cases, even city laws): several states have allowed marijuana for medical uses. Oakland, CA has actually fully decriminalized marijuana (including for recreational use) on the city level, but it's unclear how that goes into conflict with state and federal laws and how it actually affects day-to-day life in reality. If anyone here lives in Oakland, they could tell us... Other cities or counties have allowed growing within specific limits.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_that_have_decriminalized_marijuana_in_the_United_States
http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/ongoing/calimarijuana.html

People like Steve Hager, editor in chief of High Times magazine, have actually been fighting and lobbying for years to make this happen, at least for medical users... Let's hope that this movement can expand in the future.
 
Originally posted by Ganja

It's right there, codified on government websites - drugs which are generally non-addictive, which make people think and laugh, and some of which grow naturally form the planet and need no processing - they're the ones that are a danger to society and the people who take them. The drugs which unquestionably cause violence, stupidity and, crucially, less thinking - they're the ones that are seen as less harmful.

Not a mistake, a conscious plan for evil, IMHO.
 
I couldn' t agree more.

If I may add, drugs that are likely to make people see the world in a way that will reveal governments' lies, manipulation and true intentions (ie. most psychedelic drugs and marijuana) are a threat to them. They'd much rather see us brainwashed and watching TV all day, while a handful of - mostly anonymous and low-profile - billionaires who never appear in the media allied to a military industrial complex, slowly take control over our planet...

Cheers,

-sn
"Truth is what stands the test of experience." - Albert Einstein
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  Quote reddeathdj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2008 at 10:37
http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6701
 
Thought you guys might wanna check out this link (above) its something i stumbled upon in school tryin to tell people that marijuanas not as bad as proclaimed on t.v. I hope you find it interesting.so%20high
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  Quote [sensi_noob] Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2008 at 10:46
Hey reddeath,
 
Good article dude ! Thanks for the link ! It's kind of funny though that it says:
 
"cannabis is non-toxic and may hold significant neurological benefits, including the treatment of certain neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer's disease"...
 
Because we've all had those times where we were so stoned that the state of our short term memory was close to someone with alzheimer's Wink.

Did anyone see that recent episode of Weeds where Doug keeps going to the kitchen every 5 minutes, opens the fridge and says "where did all the cheese go ?"... That had me cracking up Smile
"Truth is what stands the test of experience." - Albert Einstein
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  Quote slowburn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2008 at 21:59
Originally posted by Ganja

I am thinking of a little research project, and anyone who wants to join in is welcome.

The project is to dig up the numerous reports and studies published over the last 100 years or so that have found cannabis to be overwhelmingly useful, safe and undeserving of prohibition.

The thing is, there are dozens of these studies which consistently find the hysterical view of cannabis and its dangers to be false - from The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894 - 3000+ pages) to the Wooton Report (1969)
to the various studies by the World Health Organisation (UN), to the recent report published in the British medical journal The Lancet and the studies done when the UK made cannabis a class 'C' drug.

The problem is that each one of these studies represents years of work - compiling and assessing data in a rigourous, scientific manner, then drawing rational conclusions and finally publishing them - only to be forgotten a few weeks after being made public. If they make the news services at all, they usually attract very little attention.

The process I've noticed in recent years is:
1) A reliable, neutral and above all informed organisation of experts (doctors, scientists, professional researchers) publishes a report finding cannabis to be relatively harm-free. In the case of recent studies, it's usually been to report that there's no real link between cannabis and mental illness (or, most recently, no link between smoking cannabis and lung cancer).

2) If the study is reported at all in the media, it's newsworthy for a day or two, then slips into obscurity

3) Within a week or two, a body of non-experts - 'family' groups, concerned citizens' organisations, advocacy groups for law-enforcement professions, etc. - issue a call for 'more studies into the effects of cannabis on mental health' or something similar, usually enhanced with emotional references to 'the children'. Such reactions are usually given much more publicity than the study itself.

In this way, the years of research and large sums of money that went into the study are effectively negated in the media with the simple and very low-cost technique of acting like the report never existed.

Every study that reports findings contrary to official cannabis propaganda just seems to disappear down the 'memory hole'. The calls for studies into the dangers of cannabis stay in the public imagination for much longer, due to their emotional content and their frequent repetition.

So, despite the flawless credibility of report after study after report, the impression that remains in the mind of the public (at least, that part of it with little personal experience of cannabis) is that there are unspecified 'concerns' about the safety of cannabis and of the mental state of cannabis users.

Compiling a list of the favourable studies done over the years may be 'preaching to the choir', given that all or most forum members already have a rational, informed view of cannabis.

Still, such a list will make interesting reading and a good reference.

Also, the real studies of cannabis are especially informative when their content, tone and interpretation of data are compared with the reports issued by prohibitionist organisations (most notably the US government).

Even without judging the merits of the arguments given by each side, the fact that anti-cannabis material is always filled with emotional appeals, anecdote and disingenuous framing of data, while the studies which find little or no danger in cannabis tend to be reasoned, neutral and present their findings in a scientific way.

It's almost as if one side has something to hide...
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  Quote martiniGR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 December 2010 at 20:26
I remember  a research program of the government of the U S A  in the Netherlands in i believe the 80'S
it was to prove that using cannabis in traffic is dangerous, i believe it was in the area of VENLO, on a new highway wich was not in use at the moment of research.
it stood in dutch newspapers: the conclusion was BLOWERS ARE BETTER DRIVERS, less accidents,better behavior all possitive!!!
the results of the researchtest were NEVER PUBLISHED IN THE U S A!!!
........
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