Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cannabis is Magical!!1!11!!!!

Context. And more context.

Or at least seems to induce a fair amount of magical thinking.  And that would be magical thinking not a hell of a lot different than claims of magical gods, psychic phenomena or the belief that vaccines, cancer drugs and many other medicines are actually poisons being peddled to unwitting consumers by the evile of Big Pharma.  People who rightly mock conspiracy theories about 9/11 and new world order, secret governments, turn around and make the base assumption that none of the evidence showing that cannabis has more than negligible deleterious effects can be true, because there's a government conspiracy to hide the truth and scare the masses.

There is fairly exhaustive evidence that indicates the legal status of cannabis is absolutely absurd and that the scare tactics engaged by most public agencies is vastly overblown.  That is not to say that there isn't risk and evidence for harm stemming from cannabis use, on many different levels. 

There is no question that smoking anything causes respiratory damage and damages cilia in the upper throat.  Anyone who has ever cleaned a pot pipe knows that the tar left behind is impossible to clean off with water alone, unless it's boiling - this same tar mattes the cilia in the esophagus and like tobacco, coats the lungs.  While the average cannabis smoker, smokes less than the average tobacco smoker, thus lessening the overall damage of smoking it, the tar that is formed is actually worse weight to weight, than the tar from tobacco.  There is a great deal of evidence indicating that cannabis smokers who do not smoke tobacco have a higher incidence of  bronchitis and chronic bronchitis, than non-smoking populations.

No links have been found between cannabis smoking and lung cancer or emphysema - though there is evidence of proteins that are thought to be precursors to cancer in cannabis smokers, there is also evidence that cannabis use may inhibit the development of those proteins into cancer.  It is important to note however, that there is no evidence that it impacts the incidence of cancer in concurrent tobacco smokers.

Reproduced studies have indicated that the incidence of cannabis addiction in cannabis smoking populations is around fifteen percent.  Addiction being defined by the DSM IV criteria, a conjunction of pervasive use, in spite of significant personal harm.  Cut that by a third to be certain you've weeded out biased diagnosis - cannabis is magical you know - and you still have one out of every twenty cannabis smokers addicted at some point in their life.  When we look at populations that use cannabis and also have concurrent neurological issues, the percentage skyrockets.  And it is very common for people with neurological issues such as ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders to use tobacco, use cannabis and other illicit drugs. 

I could go on and on, but here are some articles that do a much better job than I.  I am way too busy at the moment and will get to more evidence - recent studies and the like, when I can.  These peer reviewed journal articles and reports are not protected by pay walls and easier to throw out there, because you can read them and I don't have to summarize anything.  I don't have the time to summarize material that is paywall protected, I'll get to it asap, but I am trying to get through a lot of credits this summer and it's more than a little stressful.

A Lancet Seminar.

The 2001 Australian study on the health effects of cannabis use.  I suggest looking at the summaries of each section and then looking at the body of each section, if you have questions.

The British Journal of Anesthesia

The British Journal of Psychiatry

This wasn't hard to find folks.  And this is just what I looked for to throw something up that isn't paywalled.  Are we to believe that there is some conspiracy that is trying to toe the usual line of most public agencies in the U.S.  Oh shit, I'm sorry but are we to believe that there is some government conspiracy to contradict the usual line of said public agencies?

Of course there is, because I just keep forgetting that cannabis is fucking magical.  Sorry, I'll try better to keep that in mind from now on.


Anonymous said...

exactly, dude.

see, this is why i don't get into blogging about this shit over at my own place, and why i go so far as to avoid using my normal pseud while commenting on these discussions to keep from directing traffic over there. (nevermind the whole potential exposure of who i am. this is not a large field of research, you know.)

i've read the motherfucking literature. a whole lot of it. and yes, there is evidence of long-term harm. is it usually counterbalanced by studies that find no evidence of harm? yes. but lack of evidence isn't exactly the end-all, be-all.

and one CANNOT just ignore the data one does not like.

unless it's cannabis, which, as you said, is just fucking magical. oh, and EVERYONE is an expert on what THE ENTIRE POPULATION will experience. and the legalize-it crowd will go so far as to push it as unequivocally GOOD FOR YOU. (i've seen some massively distorted media coverage of related studies.)


thx DuWayne.

Juniper Shoemaker said...

I'm glad you found the time for this post!

Jason Thibeault said...

Brilliant as usual. Bravo.

I don't think, though, the people who usually go off on the hypocrisy of banning pot but not alcohol, do so because they think pot is magically harm-free -- just that it's significantly less harmful than alcohol. Granted, some of the pot proponents are fucking out there -- it certainly doesn't help your cause to posit vast conspiracies without any kind of evidence -- but the laws they're railing against are anything if not draconian in their scope and proportionality of punishment.

There's this study ( -- put out by NORML, so you know it's unbiased! ;) ) suggesting that vaporisers are being overlooked in most harm studies. Granted, that's probably because they're supposedly expensive, and you know the average smoker isn't exactly going to up and plunk down that much money on a different delivery method when they could get a pound of dank kush instead.

(Did I use the lingo right?)

All of that said, I'd personally rather see no laws legislating what an informed decision-maker can and cannot put into their body, and into what orifice, and using what delivery method. But I don't think it's a conspiracy. I'm in the habit of looking for real reasons for stuff rather than just making them the fuck up.

Sorry. Rant over. Seems this is a topic that spurs a lot of ranting.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Holy shit Jason, I would love to see a pound of great weed going for the price of a decent vaporizer!!! But the reality is that you're actually looking at the price for about half an ounce, to an ounce.

And I am well aware of the draconian nature of the drug laws, which is one of the reasons I want to see them overturned - not just for the cannabis, but for most illicit drugs.

Abby Normal said...

But... but... but... I really want pot to be harmless. I would feel so much better about the whole thing if it was. There would be no need to worry about gray areas. I wouldn't need to think about the drug warriors being anything but wrongheaded fascists. Everything would be so simple. Why do you have to be so cruel with your "facts" and your "science" ruining everything. Come on man.

Jason Thibeault said...

Oh. What kind of price ranges do vaporizers have, then? Volcano's website says it's in USD but since it's in Germany, I'd figure it's more costly than the ~$120

Haha, Abby, funny that. In the meantime, the jackbooted thugs are busy convincing everyone that licentiousness and debauchery and murder are all your young child will get if weed is decriminalized. Everyone always wants to make every issue black and white so it's so easy to categorize something as good or bad and thus someone as human or subhuman.

Jason Thibeault said...

Also: I suck at imperial measurement systems. How many grams is a pound? And how many Libraries of Congress in a furlong?

(Yes, drug use up here uses imperial. Just like people still weigh themselves in lbs. It's retarded but true.)

DuWayne Brayton said...

Oh fuck all Jason, you have to ask these "mathy" type questions...

Figure a kilo (1,000gr) is a little more than two pounds.

For price range of a pound of weed - figure anywhere from $600-1200 for shit weed, to three to five grand for good weed and more for particularly good weed. An ounce of really good weed would run about three hundred.

Vaporizers run anywhere from around sixty, to three hundred bucks.

Abby -

It's all ok, because the weed is fucking magical. So don't worry about it - it can't possibly hurt you and if it does, it's the fucking gubbermint's fault...

Abby Normal said...

Thank DuWayne, I feel better now.

Jason, a Library of Congress is greater than a furlong. So you should be asking how many furlongs in a Library of Congress. The answer to that is 184.

Jason Thibeault said...

Holy shit.

Look... it's been a while... but the last time I had any idea as to pricing, in Toronto, an ounce of what I understand to be "decent BC hydro" was $110, Canadian playmoney. Now maybe my info is seriously skewed one way or another, but wow. I think prices have gone up, or Canadian weed is way cheaper.

Either way, I should have said "ounce". But hey, I said "am I using the lingo right?" So that insulates me! Nyah nyah.

Abby: that just made my day. Brilliant.

Dan J said...

Back in the day I used to buy a quarter (1/4 ounce) for about $40. I was pretty much self-medicating depression and ADD. Now I just smoke tobacco, which ends up being worse for my health, and I really need to quit, but quitting tobacco is a lot harder than giving up the kind bud.