Pot war 35 years Old pot Still Winning


darkbeaver
Republican
#1

It's Been an 'All Out War' on Pot Smokers for 35 Years

By Paul Armentano, AlterNet
Posted on March 22, 2007, Printed on March 22, 2007
www.alternet.org/story/49597/ (external - login to view)


Thirty-five years ago this month, a congressionally mandated commission on U.S. drug policy did something extraordinary: They told the truth about marijuana.
On March 22, 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana (sic) and Drug Abuse -- chaired by former Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond P. Shafer -- recommended Congress amend federal law so that the use and possession of pot would no longer be a criminal offense. State legislatures, the commission added, should do likewise.
"[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use," concluded the commission, which included several conservative appointees of then-President Richard Nixon. "It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior, which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.
"... Therefore, the commission recommends ... [that the] possession of marihuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration, no longer be an offense."
Nixon, true to his "law-and-order" roots, shelved the report -- announcing instead that when it came to weed, "We need, and I use the word 'all out war' on all fronts." For the last 35 years, that's what we've had.
Consider this: Since the Shafer Commission issued its recommendations:
  • Approximately 16.5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana violations -- more than 80 percent of them on minor possession charges.
  • U.S. taxpayers have spent well over $20 billion enforcing criminal marijuana laws, yet marijuana availability and use among the public remains virtually unchanged.
  • Nearly one-quarter of a million Americans have been denied federal financial aid for secondary education because of anti-drug provisions to the Higher Education Act. Most of these applicants were convicted of minor marijuana possession offenses.
  • Total U.S. marijuana arrests increased 165 percent during the 1990s, from 287,850 in 1991 to well over 700,000 in 2000, before reaching an all-time high of nearly 800,000 in 2005. However, according to the government's own data, this dramatic increase in the number of persons arrested for pot was not associated with any reduction in the number of new users, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the black market price of marijuana.
  • Currently, one in eight inmates incarcerated for drug crimes is behind bars for pot, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion per year.
Perhaps most troubling, the factor most likely to determine whether or not these citizens serve jail time or not isn't the severity of their "crime," but rather where they live. Today there are growing regional disparities in marijuana penalties and marijuana law enforcement -- ranging from no penalty in Alaska to potential life in prison in Oklahoma. In fact, if one were to drive from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore., he or she would traverse more than a dozen jurisdictions, all with varying degrees of penalties and/or tolerance toward the possession and use of pot.
Does this sound like a successful national policy?
There is another approach, of course. The Shafer Commission showed the way more than three decades ago.
Marijuana isn't a harmless substance, and those who argue for a change in the drug's legal status do not claim it to be. However, as noted by the commission, pot's relative risks to the user and society are arguably fewer than those of alcohol and tobacco, and they do not warrant the expenses associated with targeting, arresting and prosecuting hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.
According to federal statistics, about 94 million Americans -- that's 40 percent of the U.S. population age 12 or older -- self-identify as having used cannabis at some point in their lives, and relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health effects due to their use. America's public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals.
Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, D.C.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: www.alternet.org/story/49597/ (external - login to view)
 
jimmoyer
#2
Over long usage, like any other crutch, it will make you stupid.

Darkbeaver, you are definitely in the groove. You're a believer.

LOL !!!
 
tamarin
Conservative
#3
Subjectively, pot smokers are agreed that "relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health effects due to their use" but most in the potless crowd are bemused. Potheads have an unusually benign view of the world and seldom venture an opinion that's well seasoned. They live in the toke-swollen moment.
 
mabudon
#4
ahh yes "potheads".

That term is meaningless to me, but I find it funny that folks who would caution against painting ANYTHING with too wide a brush are more than happy to whip one out and get busy on this subject.

Glad the "war" will never be "won" since I really don't like synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Anyone else who has NO empirical evidence whatsoever care to post their "observations"??
 
jimmoyer
#5
Mabudon, Google marijuana in England. Over the past few years there have been
a lot of headlines in the Guardian and other English newspapers about long term usage.

On this issue as on many others, it is often a good idea to actively research the best arguments
against your own prejudice. Such behavior will allow you to change your mind or make your
argument better.

I'm sure you know that, Mabudon, and don't mean to imply you don't.

Every once in awhile I like to say it out loud for my own edification.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

Over long usage, like any other crutch, it will make you stupid.

Darkbeaver, you are definitely in the groove. You're a believer.

LOL !!!

It's a plant Jim, an outlaw terrorist plant. Someone who gets arround riding a nationalistic nuclear tipped wheelchair should bear that in mind.I'm a beaver, I couldn't leave her, if I tried.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Subjectively, pot smokers are agreed that "relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health effects due to their use" but most in the potless crowd are bemused. Potheads have an unusually benign view of the world and seldom venture an opinion that's well seasoned. They live in the toke-swollen moment.

We possibly have an explanation for my supposed ailments, but Tamarin from your post we have to assume that you cannot use the same defence, that would mean you have none. Well seasoned is one way to politely describe rotted or stale.Moderation in all things except moderation.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#8
DB, you're terminal. I can only think that the most aggressive of plans must be initiated to save you. I guess that means we'll have to allow you some medicinal exceptions. Doesn't that make you happy!
 
jimmoyer
#9
LOL !! Darkbeaver, let me leave you to your muse.

Otherwise there are two issues here. One regards your own long term health.
The other is the criminalization or non-criminalization of it --and I am undecided on that matter.
England is a good experiment to watch and so are some American cities that have both
announced that their police departments will not waste time and expense on prosecuting
marijuana usage.

As far as long term health, there are more cons than pros.

But as usual this issue has its extremists on both sides adhering more to ideology
than unruly facts.
 
hermanntrude
#10
it's not legal in england yet is it? Last I heard it was taken down a level but still basically illegal just not very punishable if u had very small amounts
 
DurkaDurka
No Party Affiliation
#11
Anyone read about this guy who got spent 17 years in jail for a smoking pot while on probation? He was convicted as a young offender... so much for rehabilitation.
Pot smoker gets pardon

Perry's conditional release symbolizes repair of judicial ills
09:13 AM CST on Saturday, March 10, 2007

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
begerton@dallasnews.com (external - login to view)
Gov. Rick Perry granted a conditional pardon Friday to Tyrone Brown, a prisoner from Dallas whose extreme punishment has become symbolic of the ills of the Texas criminal justice system.
Mr. Brown – sentenced to life as a teenager 17 years ago after smoking marijuana while on probation – isn't getting the simple commutation recommended by Dallas County officials and the Texas parole board. Instead, he must report indefinitely to a parole officer and meet other conditions or risk going back to prison.
File
Tyrone Brown


Harry Whittington, a confidant of two prior Republican governors, praised Mr. Perry for freeing the prisoner. He linked the situation to recent DNA exonerations in Dallas County and the state's burgeoning youth-prison abuse scandal.
"As Texans learn about these sickening cases," he said, "they will be demanding an overhaul of the system that allows such flagrant miscarriages of justice to occur."
But Mr. Whittington, an Austin lawyer who previously served on the board overseeing the state's adult prisons, also sounded a somber note.
"From my 27 years' experience in state government, I have learned that decency and morality are not very high priorities in administering criminal justice," he said. "There is not much respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life."
Judge Keith Dean initially put Mr. Brown on probation in 1990, when he took part in an armed robbery in which no one was hurt. One positive drug test led to the life term in prison.
Also Online
1/20/07: Parole of Dallas man now up to Perry (external - login to view)
12/21/06: (external - login to view) Judge asks for man to be freed (external - login to view)
12/13/06: (external - login to view) Men say judge vows to rectify life sentence (external - login to view)
12/09/06: (external - login to view) DA wants prisoner's freedom (external - login to view)
04/23/06: (external - login to view) Scales of justice can swing wildly (external - login to view)
Link: (external - login to view) Read Judge Keith Dean's letters to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (external - login to view) (.pdf)


Last spring, in a story that attracted national attention, The Dallas Morning News contrasted Mr. Brown's case with that of a well-connected murderer whom Judge Dean put on probation. The killer, John Alexander Wood, repeatedly tested positive for cocaine and committed other violations, yet avoided prison. He even got permission to quit reporting to a probation officer and quit taking drug tests.
Neither man had a prior criminal record. The judge, who was voted out of office in November, has refused to explain his actions.
"It's almost unbelievable," said state Rep. Helen Giddings, a Dallas Democrat who was among several legislators pressing the governor to free Mr. Brown. "It is unbelievable."
Mr. Brown is expected to be released from prison next week, although no date has been set. In addition to reporting to a parole officer, he must live with his mother, find a job and work with a therapist. It's unclear how long he'll remain under supervision; the governor ordered parole officials to give him an annual report to be used in deciding that question.
None of that mattered Friday to Nora Brown, who's long been planning a party for her son.
"He's coming home!" she said before answering another in a long series of congratulatory phone calls, from politicians, ministers and friends. "Everybody's calling me now."
State lawmakers want to know how many more sentencing disparities need to be rectified, Ms. Giddings said.
"A lot of us are going to be taking a deeper look at this," Ms. Giddings said. "You have to wonder what else is under the surface."
The issues at stake go beyond justice and fairness, she added, because excessive sentences are "a drain on the taxpayers."
Texas prisons, after a major expansion in the 1990s, are full, and legislators are currently debating whether to build more. A bipartisan group of politicians is resisting expansion, calling for greater focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
Sentencing disparities
Dallas County's new district attorney, Craig Watkins, has stressed these same goals as part of his "smart on crime" philosophy. He's also positioned himself as someone who's willing to undo the mistakes of the past – he recently agreed to an unprecedented outside review of applications for post-conviction DNA testing.
"Our criminal justice system in Texas is on trial right now," Mr. Watkins said.
Sentencing disparities are part of the problem, he said, but "how are we going to sift through all the cases?
"I wish I did have the resources to do that. We just don't," he added. "Let's go forward and make sure that it doesn't happen again."
Mr. Watkins said the judge in the Brown and Wood cases should not be singled out for criticism.
"We're all to blame for it because we let it happen," he said. "The judge was elected. He pretty much followed what the electorate wanted him to do.
"Fortunately, we've matured, I believe," said Mr. Watkins, the county's first black district attorney. "I wouldn't be here if we hadn't."
Victim support
Mr. Dean now works as a defense lawyer in Dallas with Frederick "Rick" Russell, the attorney who prepared Mr. Brown's commutation paperwork.
Shortly before leaving office, Mr. Dean recommended cutting Mr. Brown's sentence. So did outgoing District Attorney Bill Hill.
The parole board concurred last month, in a 5-2 vote, and sent the matter to the governor for a final decision.
Board chair Rissie Owens, who sided with the majority, cautioned against viewing Mr. Brown as a symbol of larger problems. "It's really hard to compare one case to another," she said.
Ms. Owens said the two "no" votes came from colleagues who were concerned about Mr. Brown's behavior in prison. He failed to finish his high school education, fought with guards and joined a gang before cleaning up his act in recent years.
The governor's appreciation of those concerns led him to reject commutation in favor of a conditional pardon, spokesman Ted Royer said. Mr. Perry, he said, felt Mr. Brown would need supervision "to assist in his reintegration."
Mr. Brown attracted supporters nationwide after ABC-TV's 20/20 news program highlighted The News' coverage of the two cases.
One, Andrew Linberg, a psychiatric social worker in Massachusetts who is experienced in helping prisoners re-enter society, will be Mr. Brown's long-distance therapist.
Mr. Linberg said that after learning of Mr. Brown's case, "I just lost my mind. I said, 'This is just so wrong.' "
Another out-of-state advocate was Charlie Douglas, a Florida lawyer who helped set up a Web site to press Mr. Brown's cause.
"Although I had hoped for a complete commutation, I am not disappointed with a conditional pardon because Tyrone will be leaving prison and coming home," Mr. Douglas said. "I have no doubt that Tyrone will be an upstanding citizen of Dallas, and he will contribute to the community that has given him so much."
In all, more than 800 people around the country contacted the governor's office in favor of commutation. No one wrote or called in opposition, Mr. Royer said.
Much of the support came from outside the Dallas area. Former Dallas NAACP president Bob Lydia, who worked behind the scenes for months on Mr. Brown's behalf, said that was because "a lot of people here have allegiances to Judge Dean."
Mr. Perry previously had rejected most other commutation recommendations made by the board. One commutation he granted, over the protest of a robbery victim, ended badly – the freed prisoner later got arrested on drug charges and is back in prison.
The Brown case, however, came with strong support from the victim.
"I think he's done his time," said Bill Hathaway, whom Mr. Brown robbed of $2. "I have nothing against him."
 
mabudon
#12
Jim- honestly, when I can do my own research, empirically and combine it with genius-level thought processes, I don't need to read what anyone has to say... I have no "argument" really at all, as there is no need for one, I am comfortable knowing that whatI have learned is correct, and also comfortable wit hthe knowledge that causality is a VERY hard thing to prove in this modern world

Personally, I have smoked the stuff for... hmm almost 20 years. Even on a day where I have very little planned, I do NOT wake up and get "high". I have some anxiety issues, some semi-chronic pain and a hyperactive mind, and the many things I've tried to help me with these "conditions" have been fruitless (including therapies, meditation, yoga, you name it)

Marijuana seems to help in all aspects, but the strongest one is the "quiet mind". It makes it easier for me to isolate elements of complicated abstract constructs, and to focus in a way on said elements that I have found impossible any other way- and I am not referring to staring at my hands and saying "Whoah" either- in painting, writing and music production, sometimes it can be impossible to "quiet" my mind enough to do truly proper "work".

It's a cheap, easy "aid". I know enough folks who have smoked it for a LONG time, and from them I can state at least one of almost every kind of "typical" case, from this I would return to my original post- for the screw-ups, what EXACTLY was the cause of it?? What about the successes?? I am 100% certain that marijuana was not the "Prime move" either way, and to state otherwise would just not make sense (and I'll stop here for now, sorry for the "rant" of sorts)
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Subjectively, pot smokers are agreed that "relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health effects due to their use" but most in the potless crowd are bemused. Potheads have an unusually benign view of the world and seldom venture an opinion that's well seasoned. They live in the toke-swollen moment.

Where'd you pull that nugget from, Tamarin?

Here are some links regarding long term use.

alcoholism.about.com/cs/pot/a/blucsd030628.htm (external - login to view)

www.straightdope.com/columns/060414.html (external - login to view)

I used it all throughout college and maintained a 3.25 unweighted GPA....even when I spent 6 months on crutches and 6 more in a walking cast. I had 10 screws and a plate pit in me, plus major family issues (bipolar disease in 2 of the women in my life), PLUS a bad relationship.

I can't find it right now, but I read a study in college which stated that a sneeze kills more braincells than smoking an entire joint.

My family doctor says there is little wrong with its use, and suggested that using a water pipe for filtration would negate most of the harmful effects on a user's lungs.
 
jimmoyer
#14
  1. "A review of the literature suggests that the majority of cannabis users, who use the drug occasionally rather than on a daily basis, will not suffer any lasting physical or mental harm. Conversely, as with other ‘recreational’ drugs, there will be some who suffer adverse consequences from their use of cannabis. Some individuals who have psychotic thought tendencies might risk precipitating psychotic illness. Those who consume large doses of the drug on a regular basis are likely to have lower educational achievement and lower income, and may suffer physical damage to the airways. They also run a significant risk of becoming dependent upon continuing use of the drug. There is little evidence, however, that these adverse effects persist after drug use stops or that any direct cause and effect relationships are involved."

    Source: Iversen, Leslie L., PhD, FRS, "Long-Term Effects of Exposure to Cannabis," Current Opinion in Pharmacology, Feb. 2005, Vol. 5, No. 1, p. 71.
  2. According to research published in the journal Addiction, "First, the use of cannabis and rates of psychotic symptoms were related to each other, independently of observed/non-observed fixed covariates and observed time dynamic factors (Table 2). Secondly, the results of structural equation modelling suggest that the direction of causation is that the use of cannabis leads to increases in levels of psychotic symptoms rather than psychotic symptoms increasing the use of cannabis. Indeed, there is a suggestion from the model results that increases in psychotic symptoms may inhibit the use of cannabis."
    Source: Fergusson, David M., John Horwood & Elizabeth M. Ridder, "Tests of Causal Linkages Between Cannabis Use and Psychotic Symptoms," (external - login to view) Addiction, Vol. 100, No. 3, March 2005, p. 363.
  3. The Christchurch Press reported on March 22, 2005, that "The lead researcher in the Christchurch study, Professor David Fergusson, said the role of cannabis in psychosis was not sufficient on its own to guide legislation. 'The result suggests heavy use can result in adverse side-effects,' he said. 'That can occur with ( heavy use of ) any substance. It can occur with milk.' Fergusson's research, released this month, concluded that heavy cannabis smokers were 1.5 times more likely to suffer symptoms of psychosis that non-users. The study was the latest in several reports based on a cohort of about 1000 people born in Christchurch over a four-month period in 1977. An effective way to deal with cannabis use would be to incrementally reduce penalties and carefully evaluate its impact, Fergusson said. 'Reduce the penalty, like a parking fine. You could then monitor ( the impact ) after five or six years. If it did not change, you might want to take another step.'
    Source: Bleakley, Louise, "NZ Study Used in UK Drug Review," The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand: March 22, 2005), from the web at http://www.mapinc.org/newscsdp/v05/n490/a08.html (external - login to view), last accessed March 28, 2005.
  4. "The results of our meta-analytic study failed to reveal a substantial, systematic effect of long-term, regular cannabis consumption on the neurocognitive functioning of users who were not acutely intoxicated. For six of the eight neurocognitive ability areas that were surveyed. the confidence intervals for the average effect sizes across studies overlapped zero in each instance, indicating that the effect size could not be distinguished from zero. The two exceptions were in the domains of learning and forgetting."
    Source: Grant, Igor, et al., "Non-Acute (Residual) Neurocognitive Effects Of Cannabis Use: A Meta-Analytic Study," Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Cambridge University Press: July 2003), 9, p. 685.
  5. "These results can be interpreted in several ways. A statistically reliable negative effect was observed in the domain of learning and forgetting, suggesting that chronic long-term cannabis use results in a selective memory defect. While the results are compatible with this conclusion, the effect size for both domains was of a very small magnitude. The "real life" impact of such a small and selective effect is questionable. In addition, it is important to note that most users across studies had histories of heavy longterm cannabis consumption. Therefore, these findings are not likely to generalize to more limited administration of cannabis compounds, as would be seen in a medical setting."
    Source: Grant, Igor, et al., "Non-Acute (Residual) Neurocognitive Effects Of Cannabis Use: A Meta-Analytic Study," Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Cambridge University Press: July 2003), 9, p. 686.
  6. "In conclusion, our meta-analysis of studies that have attempted to address the question of longer term neurocognitive disturbance in moderate and heavy cannabis users has failed to demonstrate a substantial, systematic, and detrimental effect of cannabis use on neuropsychological performance. It was surprising to find such few and small effects given that most of the potential biases inherent in our analyses actually increased the likelihood of finding a cannabis effect."
    Source: Grant, Igor, et al., "Non-Acute (Residual) Neurocognitive Effects Of Cannabis Use: A Meta-Analytic Study," Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Cambridge University Press: July 2003), 9, p. 687.
  7. "Nevertheless, when considering all 15 studies (i.e., those that met both strict and more relaxed criteria) we only noted that regular cannabis users performed worse on memory tests, but that the magnitude of the effect was very small. The small magnitude of effect sizes from observations of chronic users of cannabis suggests that cannabis compounds, if found to have therapeutic value, should have a good margin of safety from a neurocognitive standpoint under the more limited conditions of exposure that would likely obtain in a medical setting."
    Source: Grant, Igor, et al., "Non-Acute (Residual) Neurocognitive Effects Of Cannabis Use: A Meta-Analytic Study," Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Cambridge University Press: July 2003), 9, pp. 687-8.
  8. A Johns Hopkins study published in May 1999, examined marijuana's effects on cognition on 1,318 participants over a 15 year period. Researchers reported "no significant differences in cognitive decline between heavy users, light users, and nonusers of cannabis." They also found "no male-female differences in cognitive decline in relation to cannabis use." "These results ... seem to provide strong evidence of the absence of a long-term residual effect of cannabis use on cognition," they concluded.
    Source: Constantine G. Lyketsos, Elizabeth Garrett, Kung-Yee Liang, and James C. Anthony. (1999). "Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 149, No. 9.
  9. "Current marijuana use had a negative effect on global IQ score only in subjects who smoked 5 or more joints per week. A negative effect was not observed among subjects who had previously been heavy users but were no longer using the substance. We conclude that marijuana does not have a long-term negative impact on global intelligence. Whether the absence of a residual marijuana effect would also be evident in more specific cognitive domains such as memory and attention remains to be ascertained."
    Source: Fried, Peter, Barbara Watkinson, Deborah James, and Robert Gray, "Current and former marijuana use: preliminary findings of a longitudinal study of effects on IQ in young adults," Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 2, 2002, 166(7), p. 887.
  10. "Although the heavy current users experienced a decrease in IQ score, their scores were still above average at the young adult assessment (mean 105.1). If we had not assessed preteen IQ, these subjects would have appeared to be functioning normally. Only with knowledge of the change in IQ score does the negative impact of current heavy use become apparent."
    Source: Fried, Peter, Barbara Watkinson, Deborah James, and Robert Gray, "Current and former marijuana use: preliminary findings of a longitudinal study of effects on IQ in young adults," Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 2, 2002, 166(7), p. 890.
  11. In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on various aspects of marijuana, including the so-called Gateway Theory (the theory that using marijuana leads people to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin). The IOM stated, "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."
    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," (external - login to view) Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).
  12. The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on marijuana explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, usually before they are of legal age."
    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," (external - login to view) Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).
  13. A 1999 federal report conducted by the Institute of Medicine found that, "For most people, the primary adverse effect of acute marijuana use is diminished psychomotor performance. It is, therefore, inadvisable to operate any vehicle or potentially dangerous equipment while under the influence of marijuana, THC, or any cannabinoid drug with comparable effects."
    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," (external - login to view) Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).
  14. The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.:
    Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 198, p. 57.
  15. Commissioned by President Nixon in 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that "Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it. This judgment is based on prevalent use patterns, on behavior exhibited by the vast majority of users and on our interpretations of existing medical and scientific data. This position also is consistent with the estimate by law enforcement personnel that the elimination of use is unattainable."
    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. V, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).
  16. When examining the relationship between marijuana use and violent crime, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, "Rather than inducing violent or aggressive behavior through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness lethargy, timidity and passivity."
    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. III, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).
  17. When examining the medical affects of marijuana use, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, "A careful search of the literature and testimony of the nation's health officials has not revealed a single human fatality in the United States proven to have resulted solely from ingestion of marihuana. Experiments with the drug in monkeys demonstrated that the dose required for overdose death was enormous and for all practical purposes unachievable by humans smoking marihuana. This is in marked contrast to other substances in common use, most notably alcohol and barbiturate sleeping pills. The WHO reached the same conclusion in 1995.
    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. III, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972); Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 199.
  18. The World Health Organization released a study in March 1998 that states: "there are good reasons for saying that [the risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco."
    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, (contained in original version, but deleted from official version) (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 199.
  19. The authors of a 1998 World Health Organization report comparing marijuana, alcohol, nicotine and opiates quote the Institute of Medicine's 1982 report stating that there is no evidence that smoking marijuana "exerts a permanently deleterious effect on the normal cardiovascular system."
    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 199.
  20. Some claim that cannabis use leads to "adult amotivation." The World Health Organization report addresses the issue and states, "it is doubtful that cannabis use produces a well defined amotivational syndrome." The report also notes that the value of studies which support the "adult amotivation" theory are "limited by their small sample sizes" and lack of representative social/cultural groups.
    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 199.
  21. Australian researchers found that regions giving on-the-spot fines to marijuana users rather than harsher criminal penalties did not cause marijuana use to increase.
    Source: Ali, Robert, et al., The Social Impacts of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme in South Australia: Summary Report (Canberra, Australia: Department of Health and Aged Care, 1999), p. 44.
  22. "Cannabis is only considered a risk factor for traffic accidents if drivers operate vehicles after consuming the drug. Robbe (1994) found that 30% to 90% of his participants were willing to drive after consuming a typical dose of cannabis. This is consistent with a recent Australian survey in which more than 50% of users drove after consuming cannabis (Lenne, Fry, Dietze, & Rumbold, 2000). A self administered questionnaire given to 508 students in grades 10 to 13 in Ontario, Canada, found that 19.7% reported driving within an hour after using cannabis (Adlaf, Mann, & Paglia, 2003)."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 974-5.
  23. According to a literature review on the effects of cannabis on driving, "Most of the research on cannabis use has been conducted under laboratory conditions. The literature reviews by Robbe (1994), Hall, Solowij, and Lemon (1994), Border and Norton (1996), and Solowij (199 agreed that the most extensive effect of cannabis is to impair memory and attention. Additional deficits include problems with temporal processing, (complex) reaction times, and dynamic tracking. These conclusions are generally consistent with the psychopharmacological effects of cannabis mentioned above, including problems with attention, memory, motor coordination, and alertness.
    "A meta-analysis by Krüger and Berghaus (1995) profiled the effects of cannabis and alcohol. They reviewed 197 published studies of alcohol and 60 studies of cannabis. Their analysis showed that 50% of the reported effects were significant at a BAC of 0.073 g/dl and a THC level of 11 ng/ml. This implies that if the legal BAC threshold for alcohol is 0.08 g/dl, the corresponding level of THC that would impair the same percentage of tests would be approximately 11 ng/ml."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 975-6.
  24. "Several studies have examined cannabis use in driving simulator and on-road situations. The most comprehensive review was done by Smiley in 1986 and then again in 1999. Several trends are evident and can be described by three general performance characteristics:
    "1. Cannabis increased variability of speed and headway as well as lane position (Attwood, Williams, McBurney, & Frecker, 1981; Ramaekers, Robbe, & O’Hanlon, 2000; Robbe, 1998; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley, Moskowitz, & Zeidman, 1981; Smiley, Noy, & Tostowaryk, 1987). This was more pronounced under high workload and unexpected conditions, such as curves and wind gusts.
    "2. Cannabis increased the time needed to overtake another vehicle (Dott, 1972 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]) and delayed responses to both secondary and tracking tasks (Casswell, 1977; Moskowitz, Hulbert, & McGlothlin, 1976; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981).
    "3. Cannabis resulted in fewer attempts to overtake another vehicle(Dott, 1972) and larger distances required to pass (Ellingstad et al., 1973 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]). Evidence of increased caution also included slower speeds (Casswell, 1977; Hansteen, Miller, Lonero, Reid, & Jones, 1976; Krueger & Vollrath, 2000; Peck, Biasotti, Boland, Mallory, & Reeve, 1986; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981; Stein, Allen, Cook, & Karl, 1983) and larger headways (Robbe, 1998; Smiley et al., 1987)."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 977-8.
  25. "Both simulator and road studies showed that relative to alcohol use alone, participants who used cannabis alone or in combination with alcohol were more aware of their intoxication. Robbe (199 found that participants who consumed 100 g/kg of cannabis rated their performance worse and the amount of effort required greater compared to those who consumed alcohol (0.05 BAC). Ramaekers et al. (2000) showed that cannabis use alone and in combination with alcohol consumption increased self-ratings of intoxication and decreased self-ratings of performance. Lamers and Ramaekers (2001) found that cannabis use alone (100 g/kg) and in combination with alcohol consumption resulted in lower ratings of alertness, greater perceptions of effort, and worse ratings of performance."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 978.
  26. "Both Australian studies suggest cannabis may actually reduce the responsibility rate and lower crash risk. Put another way, cannabis consumption either increases driving ability or, more likely, drivers who use cannabis make adjustments in driving style to compensate for any loss of skill (Drummer, 1995). This is consistent with simulator and road studies that show drivers who consumed cannabis slowed down and drove more cautiously (see Ward & Dye, 1999; Smiley, 1999. This compensation could help reduce the probability of being at fault in a motor vehicle accident since drivers have more time to respond and avoid a collision. However, it must be noted that any behavioral compensation may not be sufficient to cope with the reduced safety margin resulting from the impairment of driver functioning and capacity."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 980.
  27. A literature review of the effects of cannabis on driving found, "Another paradigm used to assess crash risk is to use cross-sectional surveys of reported nonfatal accidents that can be related to the presence of risk factors, such as alcohol and cannabis consumption. Such a methodology was employed in a provocative dissertation by Laixuthai (1994). This study used data from two large surveys that were nationally representative of high school students in the United States during 1982 and 1989. Results showed that cannabis use was negatively correlated with nonfatal accidents, but these results can be attributed to changes in the amount of alcohol consumed. More specifically, the decriminalization of cannabis and the subsequent reduction in penalty cost, as well as a reduced purchase price of cannabis, made cannabis more appealing and affordable for young consumers. This resulted in more cannabis use, which substituted for alcohol consumption, leading to less frequent and less heavy drinking. The reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed resulted in fewer nonfatal accidents."
    Source: Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues, Dec. 2004, pp. 980-1.
  28. Since 1969, government-appointed commissions in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and the Netherlands concluded, after reviewing the scientific evidence, that marijuana's dangers had previously been greatly exaggerated, and urged lawmakers to drastically reduce or eliminate penalties for marijuana possession.
    Source: Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence, Cannabis (London, England: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1969); Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry, The Non-Medical Use of Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Information Canada, 1970); The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, (Nixon-Shafer Report) (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1972); Werkgroep Verdovende Middelen, Background and Risks of Drug Use (The Hague, The Netherlands: Staatsuigeverij, 1972); Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, Drug Problems in Australia-An Intoxicated Society (Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1977); Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, "The classification of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971" (London, England, UK: Home Office, March 2002), available on the web from http://www.drugs.gov.uk/ReportsandPublications/Communities/1034155489/Classific_Cannabis_MisuseDrugsAct1971.pdf ; House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Third Report, "The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?" (London, England, UK: Parliament, May 9, 2002), from the web at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmhaff/318/31802.htm (external - login to view) and "Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy," report of the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Senate of Canada, September 2002).
  29. The Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs recommended in its 2002 final report on cannabis policy that "the Government of Canada amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to create a criminal exemption scheme. This legislation should stipulate the conditions for obtaining licenses as well as for producing and selling cannabis; criminal penalties for illegal trafficking and export; and the preservation of criminal penalties for all activities falling outside the scope of the exemption scheme."
    Source: "Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy," report of the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Senate of Canada, September 2002), p. 46.
  30. The United Kingdom officially downgraded the classification of cannabis from Class B to Class C effective Jan. 29, 2004. The London Guardian reported that "Under the switch, cannabis will be ranked alongside bodybuilding steroids and some anti-depressants. Possession of cannabis will no longer be an arrestable offence in most cases, although police will retain the power to arrest users in certain aggravated situations - such as when the drug is smoked outside schools. The home secretary, David Blunkett, has said the change in the law is necessary to enable police to spend more time tackling class A drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine which cause the most harm and trigger far more crime."
    Source: Tempest, Matthew, "MPs Vote To Downgrade Cannabis," The Guardian (London, England), Oct. 29, 2003.
  31. UK Home Secretary David Blunkett announced in July 2002 that "We must concentrate our efforts on the drugs that cause the most harm, while sending a credible message to young people. I will therefore ask Parliament to reclassify cannabis from Class B to Class C. I have considered the recommendations of the Home Affairs Committee, and the advice given me by the ACMD medical experts that the current classification of cannabis is disproportionate in relation to the harm that it causes."
    Source: "'All Controlled Drugs Harmful, All Will Remain Illegal' - Home Secretary," News Release, Office of the Home Secretary, Government of the United Kingdom, July 10, 2002, from the web at 213.219.10.30/n_story.asp?item_id=143 (external - login to view) last accessed July 31, 2002.
  32. In May of 1998, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, National Working Group on Addictions Policy released policy a discussion document which recommended, "The severity of punishment for a cannabis possession charge should be reduced. Specifically, cannabis possession should be converted to a civil violation under the Contraventions Act." The paper further noted that, "The available evidence indicates that removal of jail as a sentencing option would lead to considerable cost savings without leading to increases in rates of cannabis use."
    Source: Single, Eric, Cannabis Control in Canada: Options Regarding Possession (Ottawa, Canada: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, May 199.
  33. "Our conclusion is that the present law on cannabis produces more harm than it prevents. It is very expensive of the time and resources of the criminal justice system and especially of the police. It inevitably bears more heavily on young people in the streets of inner cities, who are also more likely to be from minority ethnic communities, and as such is inimical to police-community relations. It criminalizes large numbers of otherwise law-abiding, mainly young, people to the detriment of their futures. It has become a proxy for the control of public order; and it inhibits accurate education about the relative risks of different drugs including the risks of cannabis itself."
    Source: Police Foundation of the United Kingdom, "Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971", April 4, 2000. The Police Foundation, based in London, England, is a nonprofit organization presided over by Charles, Crown Prince of Wales, which promotes research, debate and publication to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the UK.
  34. According to the federal Potency Monitoring Project, the average potency of marijuana has increased very little since the 1980s. The Project reports that in 1985, the average THC content of commercial-grade marijuana was 2.84%, and the average for high-grade sinsemilla in 1985 was 7.17%. In 1995, the potency of commercial-grade marijuana averaged 3.73%, while the potency of sinsemilla in 1995 averaged 7.51%. In 2001, commercial-grade marijuana averaged 4.72% THC, and the potency of sinsemilla in 2001 averaged 9.03%.
    Source: Quarterly Report #76, Nov. 9, 2001-Feb. 8, 2002, Table 3, p. 8, University of Mississippi Potency Monitoring Project (Oxford, MS: National Center for the Development of Natural Products, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2002), Mahmoud A. ElSohly, PhD, Director, NIDA Marijuana Project (NIDA Contract #N01DA-0-7707).
  35. "Statements in the popular media that the potency of cannabis has increased by ten times or more in recent decades are not support by the data from either the USA or Europe. As discussed in the body of this report, systematic data are not available in Europe on long-term trends and analytical and methodological issues complicate the interpretation of the information that is available. Data are stronger for medium and short-term trends where no major differences are apparent in Europe, although some modest increases are found in some countries. The greatest long-term changes in potency appear to have occurred in the USA. It should be noted here that before 1980 herbal cannabis potency in the USA was, according to the available data, very low by European standards."
    Source: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "EMCDDA Insights - An Overview of Cannabis Potency in Europe (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004), p. 59.
  36. "Although marijuana grown in the United States was once considered inferior because of a low concentration of THC, advancements in plant selection and cultivation have resulted in higher THC-containing domestic marijuana. In 1974, the average THC content of illicit marijuana was less than one percent. Today most commercial grade marijuana from Mexico/Columbia and domestic outdoor cultivated marijuana has an average THC content of about 4 to 6 percent. Between 1998 and 2002, NIDA-sponsored Marijuana Potency Monitoring System (MPMP) analyzed 4,603 domestic samples. Of those samples, 379 tested over 15 percent THC, 69 samples tested between 20 and 25 percent THC and four samples tested over 25 percent THC."
    Source: US Drug Enforcement Administration, "Drugs of Abuse" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, 2005), from the web at http://www
 
tamarin
Conservative
#15
Rar, studies are a dime a dozen. I'd have to have ten scrapbooks to contain those released in the last ten years. Some say weed is benign, others are far less sanguine. Whom do you believe? Yesterday's fanatic or tomorrow's Cassandra? Where's my saltshaker? I need my measure of purity.
 
Tonington
#16
The key is moderation. Just like with alcohol. The occasional puff from a pipe doesn't automatically turn me into Beavis or Butthead. Quite the opposite.
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Rar, studies are a dime a dozen. I'd have to have ten scrapbooks to contain those released in the last ten years. Some say weed is benign, others are far less sanguine. Whom do you believe? Yesterday's fanatic or tomorrow's Cassandra? Where's my saltshaker? I need my measure of purity.

I trust first-hand knowledge of myself, friends, relatives, teachers, professors, and family doctors. I use studies to back up my words, especially in internet fora.

I'm afraid the only two uses for saltshakers that I know of (around here) are a) for food and b) the superstition of tossing a little over one's shoulder after spilling some salt. I don't quite understand the 'purity' connection.
Last edited by Rar! I'm a scary monster!; Mar 22nd, 2007 at 11:41 AM..Reason: spelling, continuation of thought
 
tamarin
Conservative
#18
"Take that with a measure of salt..." is a very old, wise saying.
Surely, you're aware of it.
And salt has long been known for its medicinal properties, its ability to "cure."
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

"Take that with a measure of salt..." is a very old, wise saying.
Surely, you're aware of it.
And salt has long been known for its medicinal properties, its ability to "cure."

I've only heard it as "Take it with a grain of salt", which I attributed to being a size comparison between the grain and the words/actions purveyed or portrayed.

It is unclear (to me) as to whether you are applying that idiom to all sides on the marijuana issue or just certain ones.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#20
Idioms are neat little duffers. Everything in context.
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Idioms are neat little duffers. Everything in context.

Great! Now I have to Google the coloqiolism 'duffers'.....
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#22
One thing for certain in the pot wars is that that Big Pharma considers cannibis it's mortal enemy. While thier drugs exact a significantly greater toll on the public good we are asked nay ordered to suspend judgement because of officialdoms bootlicking addiction to big money. The long term effects of cannibis ingestion may cause harm, but that's not a choice we are freely allowed to make in a democratic manner. The welfare nanny state that spoon feeds corporate America and the Right World at large has decided it's just to damageing to allow freedom of choice with respect to grass but we're all perfectly free to smoke tobacco while we drink ourselves to death. What's wrong with me, why am I so stupid?
 
jimmoyer
#23
welfare nanny state ----------------Darkbeaver.

Hmm, haven't you been a "busy" one requiring the government to help us all ?

From cradle to grave, the liberal left has been issuing this "welfare nanny state."
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#24
Ah, labels. Why think when you can just shout "You're a lefty!!!!" and "You're a righty!!!!"?
 
jimmoyer
#25
Hey scary monster, what a convenient vacuous point !! LOL !!

Words are labels. Didn't George Orwell tell you how inconvenient and how problematic
thinking becomes without the words to label such thoughts ?

You got it bass ackwards.

More labels, more words, more thought.

Less labels, less words, lack of symbols to convey thought, the harder the thinking is.

This is why the classics are great. Take for example David Copperfield's classic where
one of the characters is Uriah Heep. Well there's a rock band with that name. In one name,
one title there lies a world of thought contained in one name, one label, one word or two.

Pithy, this label is.

How tedious it is to use a whole sentence and when maybe one word strikes at the
heart of the beast.

Why make up a spear right in the middle of a hunt ?

Why not use spear already made ? Why not use the word ?

Word up ?

Man up ?
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

welfare nanny state ----------------Darkbeaver.

Hmm, haven't you been a "busy" one requiring the government to help us all ?

From cradle to grave, the liberal left has been issuing this "welfare nanny state."

Certainly the welfare recipiants on the right would have us ignore thier nanny dependency. But when all is said and counted there is little doubt who's really responsible for the depleated public breast.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#27
..."the depleated public breast"...

Oh, homonymal hell! I should think a "depleated" boob might be full indeed! DB, you must take a spelling course. Your meaning is increasingly misconstrued.
 
Curiosity
#28
Do drug users have jobs? Or does the public pay for the pot?
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

..."the depleated public breast"...

Oh, homonymal hell! I should think a "depleated" boob might be full indeed! DB, you must take a spelling course. Your meaning is increasingly misconstrued.

Thier's no pleats in the fabric the breast is made of.
Last edited by darkbeaver; Mar 22nd, 2007 at 08:13 PM..
 
Rar! I'm a scary monster!
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

Hey scary monster, what a convenient vacuous point !! LOL !!

How tedious it is to use a whole sentence and when maybe one word strikes at the
heart of the beast.

Ironic that a person too lazy or loathe to describe others using "a whole sentence" waxes so (uselessly) philosophical when confronted about said gripe.

People deserve more than a convenient and often unfit label.

Ironic the 'vacuousness' in a lack of deeper thought (and description) of others too lowly to deserve individuality in some people's minds.

Tedium is reading words originating from those too ready to make sweeping generalisations.
 

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