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View Diary: Supporting medical pot is like supporting civil unions (219 comments)

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  •  It may seem like too little, (20+ / 0-)

    but it's never too late.

    The whole "it leads to other drugs" comment is NOT on the mark. Marijuana does not have some chemical in it that makes one's body crave other drugs.
    What habitual marijuana use MAY do is put the user in proximity with people who have chosen to use other drugs and that improves one's opportunity and exposure to it.

    Legalize it and sell it in smoke shops and that opportunity is greatly mitigated.

    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:05:38 AM PST

    •  The "gateway drug" theory (6+ / 0-)

      I just heard from an addiction psychologist friend of mine that the idea of grass as a gateway drug was bunk. I hadn't really thought about the idea -- it was just conventional wisdom, I suppose.

      Not being a user, the only way I can imagine it leading to other drugs is if a dealer started to offer other things to a regular buyer. That won't happen with medical marijuana.

      I'm not 100% convinced that another fully legal recreational drug is a good thing for us, but it seems clear that grass can have medical benefits. It would be great if we could regulate it more like a regular medication, and also work out dosing -- because there's no way of knowing exactly how much patients are getting when they smoke.

      •  Legalize it (16+ / 0-)
        I'm not 100% convinced that another fully legal recreational drug is a good thing for us
        The laws against marijuana are far more harmful to people and society than marijuana itself.

        +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

        by cybersaur on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:19:06 AM PST

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      •  Gateway drug is alcohol: (16+ / 0-)

        Whether or not booze or weed is good for us is a health issue.
        There's a lot of stuff that's not good for us, including crappy food and soda and probably more than a few of the "legal" drugs you see advertised constantly.
        Criminalizing choices that might not be good for us is idiotic and about as un-American as you can get.

        •  Yeah (11+ / 0-)

          When one tiny little pill rocks me harder than a night of smoking weed or chugging booze does, and that little pill is handed out like candy by doctors and dentists by the bottle, our priorities are really screwed up.

          Had to have oral surgery recently, was given a prescription for percoset, only used any the first night, haven't touched the rest of the bottle. I don't know why they gave me a whole bottle of the stuff, when they could have just handed me a couple of pills on my way out, and be done with it. Doctors giving out opioids like that is creating more addicts than people getting baked at parties ever could.

          First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

          by Hannibal on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:46:39 AM PST

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          •  And because they increase the pool of people (7+ / 0-)

            with addiction problems there is a big move to severely restrict perscriptions for pain meds which leaves millions of chronic pain sufferers to live in constant pain and agony.

            Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

            by OHdog on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:51:22 AM PST

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          •  in oklahoma they prescribe them like candy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            damnedest thing i ever saw.

            every doctor i had there would say
            "You are over 40 you need these"
            writing scripts for percocet and other pain killers.

            i'd shove those in the back of the medicine cabinet
            and let them get old.

          •  Visiting the Netherlands, I needed an opiate once. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hannibal, BYw

            The "granularity" of prescriptions and packaging was one tablet. The doctor prescribed, and the pharmacist dispensed, exactly four tablets.

            Getting to be the same thing with antibiotics now. You only get exactly as many as you need for the prescribed time period, and not one more.

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

            by lotlizard on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:56:53 AM PST

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          •  3 times in my life, I lived on Vicodin for (5+ / 0-)

            3 months at a time due to ruptured disks in my lower spine.

            But for those 3 months, I mostly slept, ate and used the john. The pain was intense. After each surgery, I consumed maybe 3 doses while the incision was healing, but then let it age out. (I can do a toilet dump because I'm rural and not hitched up to sewer or municipal water. I have a well and septic.)
            I still have half a bottle of vicodin from last fall when I had a bulging disk pinching a nerve in a facet in my neck. I'm lucky that I've never done anything drug-wise, prescribed or not, that I couldn't just walk away from. Though there were a few things, like coke, that I liked too much to allow myself to do again.  

            I don't have addictive tendencies. I'm lucky. I smoked pot rather regularly from age 19 until my 1st child was born when I was 29. A decade of pretty regular (ab)use. After I quit officially, for quite a while my friends gave weed to me as in, "I bought something better, so you can have this." or they misunderstood my quitting as a financial symptom and gave it to me for all the times I'd kept them floating over the years.

            My point? I survived just fine. I do have friends who have smoked pot regularly since the 60s. And they are weird at times- unnecessarily paranoid, and a couple have some issues with short-term memory.
            All things in moderation.

            I'll tell you this, I'd rather negotiate driving on the expressway with the occasional stoned driver than the occasional drunk driver. I have had some hairy close calls with people d.w.i.. I lost a cousin in the 70s to a drunk driver in Denver.
            I don't believe I've ever been threatened by someone driving while a little too happy. (DWALTH)

            Back in the day, I'd miss an exit or two, but who cares? The journey's the thing.

            Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by Gentle Giant on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:23:58 AM PST

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      •  Fear vs. science (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, 714day, BYw, flevitan, Arfeeto

        The conventional wisdom on this is neither conventional nor wisdom. It has long been based on fear rather than solid science. There would never have been a prohibition of marijuana starting the late 1930's had fear and racism not been a factor.

        •  In the Navy in the late 70s, early 80s, (0+ / 0-)

          marijuana was classified as a narcotic. Knowing the military world, it probably still is.

          Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Gentle Giant on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:26:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree it isn't science (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant

          I don't agree that it isn't necessarily true -- as I said elsewhere, I've been around a while - and I have never seen anyone go to hard drugs without starting with pot.  It may not be a gateway, but then come up with another name -- don't ignore the fact that people do pot - and some of them then want a harder high and they go out and get it.

          I find it somewhat ironic that so many people who support gun control also support legalization of some (or as some writers of comments here prove - many) drugs.  It seems to me, based only on my life experience, that the two positions are mutually exclusive.

          •  Correlation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Minnesota Deb, BYw

            It's basically a false correlation that attempts to link marijuana as a gateway to harder drug. You're not entirely wrong, that abusers of harder drugs did marijuana along the way. My guess is that they tried cigarettes and alcohol as well. Are those also gateways, and should we make their usage criminal acts as well?

            If 95% percent of marijuana users never use anything "harder" than that, and if most harder drug users  once used marijuana (along with cigarettes and alcohol) is this a fair statistical game to play?

          •  The reasoning is backwards (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Minnesota Deb, BYw, flevitan

            If you go back far enough in life, they also start out with milk!

            You need to know not whether hard drug users once used pot, but whether a side effect of pot is that it makes someone crave "hard" drugs more.

            I don't get why gun control advocacy is mutually exclusive of supporting legalization of some drugs.

            Guns can kill people, and marijuana can't.  Violent criminals or people who have a history of threatening to harm a spouse or other individual, or who have severe mental illness should not be given access to guns.  I don't see why wanting to pass laws controlling gun-sellers in this way has anything to do with not wanting to pass laws saying you can't buy or possess or smoke marijuana.

      •  it's pretty clear the effect on smooth muscle (5+ / 0-)

        tissue is a useful medical benefit for people with
        nausea or inflamatory conditions.

      •  Eh, it can be a gateway, in a backass way (8+ / 0-)

        My generation heard a lot of horror stories that lumped marijuana in with methamphetamine and heroin.

        We tried marijuana, and found out that the horror stories were, well, lies.

        So a lot of us figured that all of the negative things we had heard about other drugs were also untrue.

        Some of them were.

        But a direct causual relationship- not at all.

      •  That's mainly why I'm not using it now for fibro. (0+ / 0-)

        I need to know that X amount has Y effect; I can't say, "Oh, that batch was way more potent...sorry, can't cook dinner, can't clean house, can't help you get dressed and undressed, I gotta go sleep this off."  That's unacceptable to me.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:51:55 AM PST

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      •  "Gateway" was/is part of the Drug Warrior (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SFLiberal, BYw, OldGrandet

        mythology ...

        The Drug War. going back to its roots in 1906  has been typified by bad science, bad math, --  and bad faith   It's not surprising you'd pick up some misinformation, if you weren't paying close attention to the issue.

        Let me recommend  David Musto's classic work on the subject  

        The American Disease, Origins of Drug Control

        Now,  about "working out dosing" ... yes ... that's a good idea  so that the taxation of marijuana more closely parallels the taxation of alcohol ... more active ingredient, more tax revenue.

        But medically?

        Much of the point of  of smoking cannabis rather than using one of the cannabinoid oral pharmaceuticals is that the patient controls their own dose according to their own body's  needs of the moment.  

        The idea is to "use less" ... The goal: "more relief, less "high".  A  puff or two or three from a pipe gives much better control than swallowing a fixed-dose pill.

        A good many patients report that oral canabinol medications are either ineffective for their symptoms, or involve their being more stoned than they want to be more of the time than they're willing to be stoned.

        But this  idea: letting the patient strike a balance between the "side effects" ( euphoria, disinhibition, diminished balance and coordination, and so forth)  ... and the therapeutic value  is utterly alien to too many "mainstream" physicians.  vide: the resistance to using Patient Controlled Analgesia  (the "Pain Pump") by non-surgical patients, and those LIKELY to recover.

        The authoritarian traditions of control and restriction that the medical profession inherited from their 19th century Professors is still with us --

        "Tracking the 'fifth symptom', pain, does not necessarily mean actually alleviating it"  -- my mother's anesthesiologist."

      •  In two major studies, one in Europe and the other (0+ / 0-)

        here in America. The top "gateway drug" that led to serious drug addiction problems was nicotine with alcohol a close second...THC was way down at the bottom of the list.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:56:02 PM PST

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    •  Last time I checked, alcohol can also put you in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, oceanview, Gentle Giant, BYw

      proximity to users of other drugs.

    •  Illegal Pot is a gateway drug. (4+ / 0-)

      Illegal pot acts as a gateway to other drugs because the black market can put people looking for a little ganja in touch with people who want to sell them other, more profitable, substances. The legal mmj I can get at a co-op here in Seattle will be top shelf bud, and the bud tenders are not sketchy in the least.

      Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

      by rhonan on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:21:59 AM PST

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    •  I have to say, on balance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      I NEVER knew anyone that did take harder drugs that didn't start with pot.  Not one.  Some of them it was pot and beer - but - and I have always known skillions of people, there is a reason I was voted most popular male in my senior class in H/S despite being gay and NOT using drugs at all - I never knew one where it was ONLY beer.  People try to tell me that has changed and most young people who get involved in harder stuff now drink beer and jump to crack or meth or whatever -- I remain to be convinced of that.  So - does it MAKE people turn to harder stuff - no -- does it often lead to harder stuff?  I've seen it do so even recently when we tried to help one of my teenage son's friends who was booted out of his house.  He stayed with us -- Jason (my son) won't touch drugs including pot but his friend (who shall remain nameless) was a pothead, we all knew that and Jason talked to me about it because it really upset him).  Lo and behold, we knew something was going haywire when things suddenly started disappearing from the house.  We had to eject the friend -- something I have never in my life done to a kid in need -- and shortly thereafter found out he had moved on from pot to mushrooms and ecstasy - which had prompted the stealing.  Gateway drug?  Not exactly, but certainly a gaping hole in the wall that entices some people through.

      •  It's a matter of one's motivation. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch, Minnesota Deb

        Some personalities look for a higher high. Ever increasingly. In Keith Richard's bio, he addresses this saying that is how people o.d. and die.
        Some approach it as an adopted lifestyle- joining a social subgroup. They do it, at least partially, to belong.

        It's also a matter of one's interpretation of what "gateway" means.
        I contend once marijuana is fully decriminalized, much of what saddles it with the gateway drug label might/can/will be removed. Remove it from the criminal element and those who use won't be as apt to be exposed to illegal, more lethal substances.
        IOW, illegality is not the only reason marijuana is considered a gateway drug. But imo, it is probably the major reason it is.
        If it is decriminalized, and destigmatized, it would be much less so.

        Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Gentle Giant on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:36:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the same as why... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Most people learn to walk before they learn to drive.  You're more likely to encounter common drugs before uncommon ones.

        (Also, psilocibe mushrooms are cheaper than cannabis & difficult to use habitually.)

        Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

        by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:20:41 AM PST

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        •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

          I've gone through several periods of habitual psilocibe use.
          Admittedly, doses start getting crazy, so without a 0 cost source, it's unlikely.

          But totally doable.

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