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Re: [bafuture] Is Cannabis actually a dangerous drug? Guardian London Newspaper

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  • Joschka Fisher
    from joschka fischer: You really need to elaborate here. Otherwise I don t understand what you re trying to say. Do you mean the Government, in proscribing
    Message 1 of 28 , Dec 16, 2005
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      from joschka fischer:

      You really need to elaborate here. Otherwise I don't
      understand what you're trying to say.

      Do you mean the Government, in proscribing something
      as helpful to you never distinguishes whether it is
      addicting?

      Take note the article says the Government classified
      said substances as harmless. Which sidesteps the issue
      of addiction. Then too: psychological addiction,
      physical addiction?

      Government ( also a nebulous term that lots are
      addicted to using) consitutes what? The FDA?,
      Environmental Protection Agency?, Who in the
      "Government" determines if:

      a) a substance is controlled and if so by whom? I.E.
      caffein is not a controlled substance therefore
      Starbucks puts a shitload in your coffee and you keep
      coming back for more.

      b) Where the jurisdiction of the FDA vs the AMA vs a
      corporation putting some product out there on the
      market..is another question that comes to mind here.
      Can you address this cause I don't know.
      --- Steve Dekorte <steve@...> a écrit :


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

      On 15-Dec-05, at PM 06:05, Joschka Fisher wrote:
      > When the government last year downgraded it to a
      class
      > C drug, the message seemed pretty clear: cannabis is
      > harmless. Since then, there has been mounting
      evidence
      > of a link between the drug and mental illness. So is
      > it safe to skin up? Blake Morrison reports

      I'd just like to note that whether or not a substance
      is good for you
      is a different question from whether or
      not it is helpful to imprison people for it's use. An
      obvious
      distinction, but one that this article implicitly
      assumes does not to
      exist.

      -- Steve



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    • Steve Dekorte
      ... I m saying that whether or not it s helpful to take a substance is a separate question from whether or not it s helpful to criminalize it. For example, the
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 17, 2005
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        On 16-Dec-05, at PM 11:34, Joschka Fisher wrote:
        > Do you mean the Government, in proscribing something
        > as helpful to you never distinguishes whether it is
        > addicting?

        I'm saying that whether or not it's helpful to take a substance is a
        separate question from whether or not it's helpful to criminalize it.

        For example, the question of whether or not obesity may be hazardous to
        one's health is a separate question from whether the behavior of eating
        to the point where one becomes obese should be criminalized.

        -- Steve
      • Joschka Fisher
        from joschka fischer: The Great Dichotomy of taking versus criminalizing. Well...yea... but how does this fit in the context of the article I posted? ...
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 17, 2005
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          from joschka fischer: The Great Dichotomy of taking
          versus criminalizing.

          Well...yea... but how does this fit in the context of
          the article I posted?


          --- Steve Dekorte <steve@...> a écrit :


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

          On 16-Dec-05, at PM 11:34, Joschka Fisher wrote:
          > Do you mean the Government, in proscribing
          something
          > as helpful to you never distinguishes whether it is
          > addicting?

          I'm saying that whether or not it's helpful to take a
          substance is a
          separate question from whether or not it's helpful to
          criminalize it.

          For example, the question of whether or not obesity
          may be hazardous to
          one's health is a separate question from whether the
          behavior of eating
          to the point where one becomes obese should be
          criminalized.

          -- Steve



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        • Steve Dekorte
          ... From my original response: An obvious distinction, but one that this article implicitly assumes does not to exist. -- Steve
          Message 4 of 28 , Dec 18, 2005
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            On 17-Dec-05, at PM 02:39, Joschka Fisher wrote:
            > from joschka fischer: The Great Dichotomy of taking
            > versus criminalizing.
            >
            > Well...yea... but how does this fit in the context of
            > the article I posted?

            From my original response:
            " An obvious distinction, but one that this article implicitly assumes
            does not to exist."

            -- Steve
          • Joschka Fisher
            from joschka fischer: OK... Steve...once again that s neither the title nor the subtext of the article. There are associated articles ( a bevy!) adjacent to
            Message 5 of 28 , Dec 18, 2005
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              from joschka fischer:

              OK... Steve...once again that's neither the title nor
              the subtext of the article. There are associated
              articles ( a bevy!) adjacent to the text. Some of
              those cover criminalization and problems of
              regulation. Some on an empirical basis others more
              theoretical and world-wide.

              If you wanted to pursue your tautology, someone
              (since you didn't ) would start researching it (online
              or elsewhere) or do something wholly unusual for
              Americans...contact some experts or researchers by
              phone or email regarding the subject.

              If you could have expounded some commentary in that
              direction, then it would have been great!
              That you were stagnated by (to you) a seeming
              tautology of the two questions, serves rhetoric but
              doesn't give any substantive help in viewing the
              situation.
              If you were to wear or getinto the head of the
              regulators or regulatory process when dealing with
              subtstances that are harmful yet trying to convince or
              enforce restriction, prodding or criminalization of
              users...that's a whole book-in-itself, and a damned
              good look into science vs human nature.

              YOu know questions and investigations such as:

              a) How successful has Britain been with banning and
              criminalizing?

              b) If some substance is "bad" for you ( by whatever
              definitions this may entail: toxicity, LD50,
              Psychological delusions ) surely you don't sit around
              pandering the question, you move to ban, regulate etc.
              Have you ever bothered to look into or walk in the
              shoes of the reulgatory process, it might prove more
              insightful.

              Also, regarding your obesity analogy...they don't
              criminalize the eater, they do try to get the
              restaurant and fast-food industry to comply but it's a
              "bully-pullpit" situation not a criminalization.

              Take a look at the work of former McDonald's CEO Jim
              Cantelupo's work in bringing McDonalds out of debt by
              serving healthy meals. Though on a more pejorative
              perspective ironic that he should die of a
              heart-attack.

              I might also direct you to the myriad other articles
              attached to the main one above. They deal with
              associated issues and even point to previous articles
              databse ( including criminalization issues in
              England).
              In essence they're targeting the 10-fold factor
              increase in Cannabis vs what was offered 30 years ago
              and this is the crux of what makes "skunk" dangerous,
              now.
              Analogies to caffein content at Starbucks would
              serve an interesting insight to what can and can't be
              regulated, why and the consequences.

              joschka fischer




              --- Steve Dekorte <steve@...> a écrit :


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

              On 16-Dec-05, at PM 11:34, Joschka Fisher wrote:
              > Do you mean the Government, in proscribing
              something
              > as helpful to you never distinguishes whether it is
              > addicting?

              I'm saying that whether or not it's helpful to take a
              substance is a
              separate question from whether or not it's helpful to
              criminalize it.

              For example, the question of whether or not obesity
              may be hazardous to
              one's health is a separate question from whether the
              behavior of eating
              to the point where one becomes obese should be
              criminalized.

              -- Steve



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            • Christian C. Burke
              ... Hi Joschka, I ve been a lurker on this list for a while, and I have appreciated your many postings and articles. That said, even though I understand your
              Message 6 of 28 , Dec 20, 2005
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                > how does this fit in the context of the article I posted?

                Hi Joschka,

                I've been a lurker on this list for a while, and I have appreciated your
                many postings and articles. That said, even though I understand your desire
                to provoke discussion, Steve's response is right-on...and it's an
                appropriate response to a very fluffy and irrelevant article. With all due
                respect, the very problem is that it's barely applicable to any context
                whatsoever. It is 90% overly dramatized opinion, with absurd conclusions
                derived from unsupported presuppositions. Even most of the credible
                [sounding] sources quoted in the article actually seem to undermine the
                author's position.

                Next, the appeal to fear based on the schizophrenia study is a huge
                strawman. I truly hope there was a *lot* of information left out, because
                I've seen more convincing statistics use in Salad Shooter infomercials. Ten
                percent of *those who smoked* compared to 3% in the control group: a mere
                7% difference between those who smoked and those who didn't, in only 750
                subjects? That's pretty weak all by itself, but even that percentage means
                nothing unless you know *how many* smoked. For all we know, it could have
                been 10 smokers total and just one happened to be schizo. You need to
                compare apples to apples, otherwise the correlation can barely be considered
                coincidental, much less causal.

                Then comes the whopper: 4.5 times more likely to be schizo if you smoke
                pot!!! Yawn. A similar study might show schizophrenics are 1000% more
                likely to have eaten Crayons. Would I then be expected to believe eating
                crayons causes it? How high on skunk bud was the author when he wrote this?
                When were these results published in Nature Magazine (I seemed to have
                missed it)? Perhaps it was Nature Neuroscience? Wait...they have several
                new journals...don't tell me they have a Nature Pseudoscience now? ;)

                The author also didn't mention what *other* drugs these people were using,
                or what else the schizophrenics had in common. By the way, I'd be curious
                to know what percentage also happen to use alcohol and/or
                cigarettes...especially in England! What about family and personal history?
                Neglect? Abuse? Emotional trauma? Occupation? (Food for thought: How
                much more likely are you to be diagnosed with a mental disorder simply
                because you're a psychologist or psychiatrist?) People who are prone to
                mental disorders or emotional problems are highly likely to use and abuse
                various substances - both before and after diagnosis. No big surprise
                there.

                To believe what the author is suggesting requires a very simplistic
                understanding of psychology, neurology, and biochemistry. It also requires
                ignoring/underestimating how many people actually use marijuana. According
                to the quoted stats, I would expect about 50% of England's population to be
                schizophrenic by now. The potency issue doesn't hold water either. The
                "Skunk" variety has been on the market for at least 20 years...and there are
                many other varieties that are even better...er um...I mean stronger. I have
                extensive personal experience. Of course, I cannot be 100% sure I'm sane
                now and forever...but I can tell you this: If any credible professional
                ever diagnoses me with a serious mental disorder, they better not waste my
                time or money trying to blame it on marijuana. I'm not buying it.

                When it comes to legality, I consider the entire harmful/harmless argument
                irrelevant. Regardless of whether or not marijuana is harmful, I don't
                believe prohibition laws have the effect of protecting people. Instead,
                they just create business opportunities for criminals, make drugs more
                attractive to the eternally rebellious teen/young adult population, and
                require huge piles of tax dollars to enforce. There is no valid reason to
                invest such enormous resources trying to protect people from themselves
                anyway...unless there is an economic benefit, such as the one created by a
                huge black market. Alcohol, tobacco, and [arguably] caffeine are far more
                problematic to public health and safety than marijuana...yet they are legal
                in most modern countries. Obviously those particular substances have much
                greater cultural acceptance, and that's the point. In the case of these
                [indeed] addictive and psychoactive drugs, public approval/demand for them
                apparently overrides the public health/safety concerns. In other words, the
                market ultimately decides...so any rhetoric about needing to protect people
                from a specific drug holds very little credibility with me. The so-called
                "war on drugs" is a dismal failure - doomed to fail by its very design. Of
                course, you might not see it that way if you're one of the people who have
                gotten very rich from it. :]

                Regards,

                CCB

                "Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." - Mark
                Twain

                Christian C. Burke

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              • Christian C. Burke
                Hi Wayne, I know you felt this was off-topic for the list, but I feel my response is - because your question is one of the biggest emotional hurdles in the
                Message 7 of 28 , Dec 21, 2005
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                  Hi Wayne,

                  I know you felt this was off-topic for the list, but I feel my response is -
                  because your question is one of the biggest emotional hurdles in the
                  legalization debate.

                  > Do you think this is true of all drugs? I don't worry about legalizing
                  > marijuana but I have second thoughts when it comes to extremely
                  > addictive/deadly drugs like heroin.

                  I understand this concern, because I agree drugs like heroin, cocaine,
                  crystal meth, etc. are extremely destructive. Still, I believe it should be
                  treated as an educational/psychological/medical issue rather than a criminal
                  one...as long as the only person being directly harmed is the person using
                  the drug. Driving under the influence for example, or any other activity
                  that endangers others, is a different context.

                  As a rule, the government should have zero responsibility or right to
                  protect me from myself...and I don't buy in to the concept of victimless
                  crimes. If someone wants to kill themselves, that's their choice. If
                  someone wants to sniff glue and watch Jerry Springer all day, I certainly
                  wouldn't want to enable it...but I also don't want my tax dollars used to
                  punish them for it. If public interest clearly requires intervention,
                  that's different...but someone getting a buzz on, in and of itself, should
                  not be a legal concern. Since the beginning of history, people have been
                  using substances to alter their conscious states. There is no reason to
                  expect them to stop any time soon. A better use of public funding would be
                  for research grants - to find better recreational drugs, with less negative
                  effects, that are safer and more readily available than the dangerous ones.

                  For me, it boils down to a core meta-belief: Choice is *always* better than
                  no choice. This is the philosophy that provides structure for our national
                  values of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" - and last I heard
                  these were suppose to be "unalienable" rights. With those also comes the
                  right to pursue misery...and they should have wrote it in there! The whole
                  point is, if we cannot make our own life choices then we are not free. If
                  we are not free, then the Declaration of Independence also provides a
                  remedy:

                  "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
                  their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form
                  of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the
                  People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
                  its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as
                  to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


                  Regards,

                  CCB

                  Christian C. Burke

                  "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
                  persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress
                  depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw



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                • Joschka Fisher
                  from joschka fischer: Just let me say: No I don t think this if off topic . I just wanted more...explanation of what you were getting at, that s all.
                  Message 8 of 28 , Dec 21, 2005
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                    from joschka fischer:

                    Just let me say: "No I don't think this if off
                    topic".

                    I just wanted more...explanation of what you were
                    getting at, that's all."

                    joschka
                    ==========
                    --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                    écrit :


                    ---------------------------------
                    Hi Wayne,

                    I know you felt this was off-topic for the list, but I
                    feel my response is -
                    because your question is one of the biggest emotional
                    hurdles in the
                    legalization debate.

                    > Do you think this is true of all drugs? I don't
                    worry about legalizing
                    > marijuana but I have second thoughts when it comes
                    to extremely
                    > addictive/deadly drugs like heroin.

                    I understand this concern, because I agree drugs like
                    heroin, cocaine,
                    crystal meth, etc. are extremely destructive. Still,
                    I believe it should be
                    treated as an educational/psychological/medical issue
                    rather than a criminal
                    one...as long as the only person being directly harmed
                    is the person using
                    the drug. Driving under the influence for example, or
                    any other activity
                    that endangers others, is a different context.

                    As a rule, the government should have zero
                    responsibility or right to
                    protect me from myself...and I don't buy in to the
                    concept of victimless
                    crimes. If someone wants to kill themselves, that's
                    their choice. If
                    someone wants to sniff glue and watch Jerry Springer
                    all day, I certainly
                    wouldn't want to enable it...but I also don't want my
                    tax dollars used to
                    punish them for it. If public interest clearly
                    requires intervention,
                    that's different...but someone getting a buzz on, in
                    and of itself, should
                    not be a legal concern. Since the beginning of
                    history, people have been
                    using substances to alter their conscious states.
                    There is no reason to
                    expect them to stop any time soon. A better use of
                    public funding would be
                    for research grants - to find better recreational
                    drugs, with less negative
                    effects, that are safer and more readily available
                    than the dangerous ones.

                    For me, it boils down to a core meta-belief: Choice
                    is *always* better than
                    no choice. This is the philosophy that provides
                    structure for our national
                    values of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of
                    happiness" - and last I heard
                    these were suppose to be "unalienable" rights. With
                    those also comes the
                    right to pursue misery...and they should have wrote it
                    in there! The whole
                    point is, if we cannot make our own life choices then
                    we are not free. If
                    we are not free, then the Declaration of Independence
                    also provides a
                    remedy:

                    "That to secure these rights, Governments are
                    instituted among Men, deriving
                    their just powers from the consent of the governed, —
                    That whenever any Form
                    of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is
                    the Right of the
                    People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
                    Government, laying
                    its foundation on such principles and organizing its
                    powers in such form, as
                    to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety
                    and Happiness."


                    Regards,

                    CCB

                    Christian C. Burke

                    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
                    unreasonable one
                    persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
                    Therefore all progress
                    depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard
                    Shaw



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                    Release Date: 12/19/2005



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                  • Wayne Radinsky
                    ... Christian: 1) It s EXTREMELY BAD ETIQUETTE to take a private email and post it on a public list REGARDLESS of whether YOU feel your response is on-topic or
                    Message 9 of 28 , Dec 22, 2005
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                      On 12/21/05, Christian C. Burke <ccburke@...> wrote:
                      > Hi Wayne,
                      >
                      > I know you felt this was off-topic for the list, but I feel my
                      > response is - because your question is one of the biggest emotional
                      > hurdles in the legalization debate.

                      Christian:

                      1) It's EXTREMELY BAD ETIQUETTE to take a private email and post it
                      on a public list REGARDLESS of whether YOU feel your response is
                      on-topic or not!!! Don't EVER do that again. If you insist on
                      bringing a question raised in private back to a public forum, do it
                      in a generic fashion without quoting from the private message or
                      identifying the person who sent it.

                      2) Your response is still off topic because this whole discussion
                      about marijuana is off-topic. This is the bafuture list not the
                      badrugs list. I was not replying to the public list on purpose,
                      because I didn't want to encourage Joshka Fisher to post
                      more off-topic stuff.

                      Wayne
                    • Christian C. Burke
                      Wayne, First off, my apologies for directly quoting you. I normally wouldn t ever post a private message without permission...I suppose I thought it was a
                      Message 10 of 28 , Dec 22, 2005
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                        Wayne,

                        First off, my apologies for directly quoting you. I normally wouldn't ever
                        post a private message without permission...I suppose I thought it was a
                        generic enough question (as opposed to any sort of statement or personal
                        opinion). I meant no harm, but in hindsight I realize it was not my
                        position to make such an assumption. Must have been that Reefer Madness
                        kicking in again. While I don't appreciate getting chewed out publicly,
                        your point is made.

                        That said, I am curious to know why marijuana is any less topical than the
                        rest of the fluff that gets posted here. Just look in your message
                        list...look at the wide spectrum of subject lines. How is *this* topic
                        different, simply because my opinion on it differs from your own? When I
                        joined this group, I read the following description:

                        "Making a rapidly changing world fascinating, manageable, and profitable for
                        you."

                        I recognize this is not supposed to be a forum for political debate, but the
                        topic of drug legalization should be of *major* fascination to anyone who
                        claims to be proactively facing the future. Drug use (both legal and
                        illegal) will surely play a major role in how people adapt to accelerating
                        change...especially when it comes to neuro-emotional (psychological) health.
                        The numbers of people being diagnosed and medicated for stress-related
                        conditions such as ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. are
                        increasing with our technology and overall speed of life. You think
                        self-medication for stress management is going to play a major role in our
                        economical, cultural, neurological, and physical evolution? I sure as heck
                        do! When cannabis goes legit, I'll be there investing in FUTURES. =)

                        My $0.02,

                        CCB

                        Christian C. Burke

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                      • Christian C. Burke
                        While I m waiting for feedback on topicality, I thought I would give those who are interested a better idea of the *actual* current scientific consensus on
                        Message 11 of 28 , Dec 22, 2005
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                          While I'm waiting for feedback on topicality, I thought I would give those
                          who are interested a better idea of the *actual* current scientific
                          consensus on marijuana. The following article is comprehensive, balanced,
                          and chock-filled with credible sources.

                          CCB

                          <snip>

                          MARIJUANA HEALTH MYTHOLOGY

                          by Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., Coordinator, California NORML - Rev. Mar. 2005

                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          ----
                          Safety of Cannabis - Smoking and Lungs - Accidents - Drug Testing
                          Potency - Brain - Sterility and Birth Defects - Heart - Immune System -
                          Chromosomes - Gateway Effect - Schizophrenia & Psychosis
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          ----

                          Myth: Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug
                          Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact that there have been
                          numerous official reports and studies, every one of which has concluded that
                          marijuana poses no great risk to society and should not be criminalized.
                          These include: the National Academy of Sciences' "Analysis of Marijuana
                          Policy"(1982); the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (the
                          Shafer Report) (1973); the Canadian Government's Commission of Inquiry (Le
                          Dain Report) (1970); the British Advisory Committee on Drug Dependency
                          (Wooton Report) (1968); the La Guardia Report (1944); the Panama Canal Zone
                          Military Investigations (1916-29); and Britain's monumental Indian Hemp
                          Drugs Commission (1893-4).

                          It is sometimes claimed that there is "new evidence" showing marijuana is
                          more harmful than was thought in the sixties. In fact, the most recent
                          studies have tended to confirm marijuana's safety, refuting claims that it
                          causes birth defects, brain damage, reduced testosterone, or increased drug
                          abuse problems.

                          The current consensus is well stated in the 20th annual report of the
                          California Research Advisory Panel (1990), which recommended that personal
                          use and cultivation of marijuana be legalized: "An objective consideration
                          of marijuana shows that it is responsible for less damage to society and the
                          individual than are alcohol and cigarettes."

                          References: For an excellent summary of the true health facts about
                          marijuana, see Lynn Zimmer and Dr. John Morgan, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana
                          Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence (Lindesmith Center, NY, 1997).
                          The National Academy of Sciences report, Marijuana and Health (National
                          Academy Press, 1982) remains a good overview, its major conclusions
                          remaining largely unaffected by two decades of research. Lovinger and Jones,
                          The Marihuana Question (Dodd, Mead & Co., NY 1985) is the most exhaustive
                          and fair-handed summary of the evidence against marijuana. Good, positive
                          perspectives may be found in Lester Grinspoon's Marihuana, the Forbidden
                          Medicine (Yale Press, 1993) and Marihuana Reconsidered (Harvard U. Press
                          1971), which debunks many of the older anti-pot myths.

                          Myth: Marijuana is Harmless
                          Just as most experts agree that occasional or moderate use of marijuana is
                          innocuous, they also agree that excessive use can be harmful. Research shows
                          that the two major risks of excessive marijuana use are: (1) respiratory
                          disease due to smoking and (2) accidental injuries due to impairment. In
                          addition, marijuana speeds the heartbeat, which can be dangerous for
                          patients with serious heart disease.

                          Recent studies have also shown that marijuana can aggravate symptoms of
                          mental illness in persons with schizophrenic tendencies. At least four
                          studies - in Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands - have found
                          that early, repeated use of cannabis is associated with exacerbation of
                          schizophrenia in young patients so inclined (Source: British Medical Journal
                          "Cannabis and Mental Health." 23 Nov 2002). Marijuana is therefore generally
                          disrecommended for schizophrenics, though it may also occasionally be
                          medically useful for treatment of certain schizophrenic symptoms.

                          Marijuana and Smoking:

                          A survey by the Kaiser Permanente Center found that daily marijuana-only
                          smokers have a 19% higher rate of respiratory complaints than
                          non-smokers[01] These findings were not unexpected, since it has long been
                          known that, aside from its psychoactive ingredients, marijuana smoke
                          contains virtually the same toxic gases and carcinogenic tars as tobacco.
                          Human studies have found that pot smokers suffer similar kinds of
                          respiratory damage as tobacco smokers, putting them at greater risk of
                          bronchitis, sore throat, respiratory inflammation and infections[02]

                          Although there has not been enough epidemiological work to settle the matter
                          definitively, it is widely suspected that marijuana smoking causes cancer.
                          Studies have found apparently pre-cancerous cell changes in pot smokers[03]
                          Some cancer specialists have reported a higher-than-expected incidence of
                          throat, neck and tongue cancer in younger, marijuana-only smokers[04] A
                          couple of cases have been fatal. While it has not been conclusively proven
                          that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the evidence is highly
                          suggestive. According to Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA, the leading expert on
                          marijuana smoking[05]

                          "Although more information is certainly needed, sufficient data have already
                          been accumulated concerning the health effects of marijuana to warrant
                          counseling by physicians against the smoking of marijuana as an important
                          hazard to health."

                          Fortunately, the hazards of marijuana smoking can be reduced by various
                          strategies: (1) use of higher-potency cannabis, which can be smoked in
                          smaller quantities, (2) use of vaporizers and other smoke reduction
                          technologies[06] and (3) ingesting pot orally instead of smoking it.

                          Myth: One Joint Equals One Pack (or 16, or maybe just 4) Cigarettes
                          Some critics exaggerate the dangers of marijuana smoking by fallaciously
                          citing a study by Dr. Tashkin which found that daily pot smokers experienced
                          a "mild but significant" increase in airflow resistance in the large airways
                          greater than that seen in persons smoking 16 cigarettes per day[07] What
                          they ignore is that the same study examined other, more important aspects of
                          lung health, in which marijuana smokers did much better than tobacco
                          smokers. Dr. Tashkin himself disavows the notion that one joint equals 16
                          cigarettes.

                          A more widely accepted estimate is that marijuana smokers consume four times
                          as much carcinogenic tar as cigarettes smokers per weight smoked[08] This
                          does not necessarily mean that one joint equals four cigarettes, since
                          joints usually weigh less. In fact, the average joint has been estimated to
                          contain 0.4 grams of pot, a bit less than one-half the weight of a
                          cigarette, making one joint equal to two cigarettes (actually, joint sizes
                          range from cigar-sized spliffs smoked by Rastas, to very fine sinsemilla
                          joints weighing as little as 0.2 grams). It should be noted that there is no
                          exact equivalency between tobacco and marijuana smoking, because they affect
                          different parts of the respiratory tract differently: whereas tobacco tends
                          to penetrate to the smaller, peripheral passageways of the lungs, pot tends
                          to concentrate on the larger, central passageways[09] One consequence of
                          this is that pot, unlike tobacco, does not appear to cause emphysema.



                          Myth: Prohibition Reduces the Harmfulness of Pot Smoking
                          Whatever the risks of pot smoking, the current laws make matters worse in
                          several respects: (1) Paraphernalia laws have impeded the development and
                          marketing of vaporizers and other devices that could significantly reduce
                          the harmfulness of marijuana smoke. (2) Prohibition encourages the sale of
                          pot that has been contaminated or adulterated by insecticides, Paraquat,
                          etc., or mixed with other drugs such as PCP, crack and heroin. (3) By
                          raising the price of marijuana, prohibition makes it uneconomical to consume
                          marijuana orally, the best way to avoid smoke exposure altogether; this is
                          because eating typically requires two or three times as much marijuana as
                          smoking.

                          Unlike the government, NORML is interested in reducing the dangers of pot
                          smoking. California NORML and MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for
                          Psychedelic Studies) have sponsored research on alternative inhalation
                          systems, in particular vaporizers, which are designed to deliver smoke-free
                          cannabinoid vapors. The results indicate that it is possible to virtually
                          eliminate the risk of smoking-related respiratory damage by using vaporizers
                          instead.

                          References on Marijuana and Smoking:

                          Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking Hazardous To Health,?"
                          Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7; June 1993; Research Findings on
                          Smoking of Abused Substances, ed. C. Nora Chiang and Richard L. Hawks, NIDA
                          Research Monograph 99 (National Institute on Drug Abuse, Rockville, MD
                          1990); NAS Report,op. cit.; California NORML, "Health Tips for Marijuana
                          Smokers."







                          Myth: No One Has Ever Died From Using Marijuana
                          The Kaiser study also found that daily pot users have a 30% higher risk of
                          injuries, presumably from accidents. These figures are significant, though
                          not as high as comparable risks for heavy drinkers or tobacco addicts. That
                          pot can cause accidents is scarcely surprising, since marijuana has been
                          shown to degrade short-term memory, concentration, judgment, and
                          coordination at complex tasks including driving[10] There have been numerous
                          reports of pot-related accidents - some of them fatal, belying the
                          attractive myth that no one has ever died from marijuana. One survey of 1023
                          emergency room trauma patients in Baltimore found that fully 34.7% were
                          under the influence of marijuana, more even than alcohol (33.5%); half of
                          these (16.5% used both pot and alcohol in combination[11] This is perhaps
                          the most troublesome research ever reported about marijuana; as we shall
                          see, other accident studies have generally found pot to be less dangerous
                          than alcohol.

                          Nonetheless, it is important to be informed on all sides of the issue. Pot
                          smokers should be aware that accidents are the number one hazard of moderate
                          pot use. In addition, of course, the psychoactive effects of cannabis can
                          have many other adverse effects on performance, school work, and
                          productivity.

                          Myth: Marijuana is a Major Road Safety Hazard
                          Numerous research studies have found that marijuana is on balance less of a
                          public road hazard than alcohol. Various accident surveys have found that
                          over half of fatal drivers have alcohol in their blood, as opposed to 7 -
                          20% with THC, the major psychoactive component of marijuana (a condition
                          usually indicative of having smoked within the past 2-4 hours)[12] However,
                          the great majority (70% - 90%) of THC-positive drivers also have alcohol in
                          their blood. There is little accordingly little evidence that marijuana use
                          by itself is a major public safety hazard [ 13].

                          Two major studies by the National Highway Transportation Safety
                          Administration have confirmed marijuana's relative safety compared to
                          alcohol. The first, the most comprehensive U.S. drug accident study to date,
                          surveyed blood samples from 1882 drivers killed in car, truck and
                          motorchycle accidents in seven states during 1990-91[14] Alcohol was found
                          in 51.5% of specimens, as against 17.8% for all other drugs combined.
                          Marijuana, the second most common drug, appeared in just 6.7%. Two-thirds of
                          the marijuana-using drivers also had alcohol. The report concluded that
                          alcohol was by far the "dominant" drug-related problem in accidents. It went
                          on to analyze the responsibility of drivers for the accidents they were
                          involved in. It found that drivers who used alcohol were especially culpable
                          in fatal accidents, and even more so when they combined it with marijuana or
                          other drugs. However, those who used marijuana alone appeared to be if
                          anything less culpable than non-drug users (though the date were
                          insufficient to be statistically conclusive). The report concluded, "There
                          was no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause of fatal accidents."
                          (It must be emphasized that this is not the case when marijuana is combined
                          with alcohol or other drugs).

                          The second NHTSA study, "Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance,"
                          concluded that the adverse effects of cannabis on driving appear "relatively
                          small" and are less than those of drunken driving[15] The study, conducted
                          in the Netherlands, examined the performance of drivers in actual freeway
                          and urban driving situations at various doses of marijuana. It found that
                          marijuana produces a moderate, dose-related decrement in road tracking
                          ability, but is "not profoundly impairing" and "in no way unusual compared
                          to many medicinal drugs." It found that marijuana's effects at the higher
                          doses preferred by smokers never exceed those of alcohol at blood
                          concentrations of .08%, the minimum level for legal intoxication in stricter
                          states such as California. The study found that unlike alcohol, which
                          encourages risky diring, marijuana appears to produce greater caution,
                          apparently because users are more aware of their state and able to
                          compensate for it (similar results have been reported by other
                          researchers[16]).

                          However, a recent Australian study by Drummer found that drivers with high
                          blood levels of THC (> 5 ng/ml) had a significantly higher rate of accident
                          culpability than drivers who were drug-free, comparable to drunken drivers
                          [16A]. This was not true of drivers with only trace amounts of cannabinoids
                          in their systems. High blood levels are indicative of recent use within the
                          last couple of hours. This suggests that acute, current pot use is a driving
                          hazard, though not residual after-effects of chronic use, which often show
                          positive in drug tests.

                          Another survey of 2,500 drivers in South Australia failed to find evidence
                          that marijuana is a significant road safety hazard[16B]. The researchers
                          examined blood samples from drivers in non-fatal accidents for traces of
                          alcohol, cannabinoids (marijuana), benzodiazepines (tranquilizers), and
                          amphetamines. The researchers then assessed the drivers' degree of
                          culpability for the crashes. Overall, they found no increase in culpability
                          for drivers showing cannabinoids alone compared to drug-free drivers. In
                          contrast, there was a very strong relation between alcohol blood levels and
                          accident culpability. The combination of marijuana with alcohol also showed
                          strongly increased accident culpability. Benzodiazepines, but not
                          amphetamines, also showed higher culpability. Another analysis of 1,052
                          fatal drivers in Australia suggested that marijuana is if anything
                          associated with a decreased risk of accidents.

                          Similar results have been reported in other driving studies as well[16C]. It
                          should be noted that these results may not apply to non-driving related
                          situations, where forgetfulness or inattention can be more important than
                          speed (this might explain the discrepancy in the Baltimore hospital study,
                          which looked at accidents of all kinds). In addition, the second NHTSA study
                          warned that marijuana could also be quite dangerous in emergency situations
                          that put high demands on driving skills.

                          A good summary of the literature on driving under the influence of marijuana
                          may be found at Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen's IACM - DUIM Project site. See also
                          Cannabis and Driving: A Review of the Literature and Commentary (U.K.
                          Department for Transport)



                          Myth: Marijuana Prohibition Improves Public Safety
                          There is no evidence that the prohibition of marijuana reduces the net
                          social risk of accidents. On the contrary, recent studies suggest that
                          marijuana may actually be beneficial in that it substitutes for alcohol and
                          other, more dangerous drugs. Research by Karyn Model found that states with
                          marijuana decrim had lower overall drug abuse rates than others; another
                          study by Frank Chaloupka found decrim states have lower accident rates
                          too[17] In Alaska, accident rates held constant or declined following the
                          legalization of personal use of marijuana[18] In Holland, authorities
                          believe that cannabis has contributed to an overall decline in opiate abuse.
                          Recent government statistics showed that the highest rates of cocaine abuse
                          in the West were in Nevada and Arizona, the states with the toughest
                          marijuana laws.

                          Myth: Drug Urinalysis Improves Workplace Safety
                          There has never been a single, controlled scientific study showing drug
                          urinalysis improves workplace safety. Claims that drug testing works are
                          based on dubious anecdotal reports or the mere observation of a declining
                          rate of drug positives in the working population, which has nothing to do
                          with job performance. Such scientific studies as have been conducted have
                          found little difference between the performance of drug-urine-positive
                          workers and others. The largest survey to date, covering 4,396 postal
                          workers nationwide, found no difference in accident records between workers
                          who tested positive on pre-employment drug screens and those who did not[19]
                          The study did find that drug-positive workers had a 50% higher rate of
                          absenteeism and dismissals; put another way, however, drug users had a 93.4%
                          attendance record (versus 95.8% for non-users) and fully 85% kept their jobs
                          for a year (versus 89.5% for non-users)! An economic analysis of postal
                          workers in Boston concluded that the net savings of drug testing were
                          marginal, and that there could be many situations where it is not
                          cost-effective[20] Another survey of health workers in Georgia found no
                          difference in job performance between drug-positive and drug-negative
                          workers[21]

                          Myth: Random Urinalysis is Needed in Safety-Sensitive Transportation Jobs
                          Government rules mandating random drug testing were promulgated without any
                          prior statistical evidence that illicit drugs constituted an inordinate
                          safety hazard. Not a single commercial passenger airline accident has ever
                          been attributed to marijuana (or, for that matter, alcohol) abuse[22] Drug
                          tests on rail workers found no elevated incidence of drug use among workers
                          involved in accidents[23]

                          Random drug testing of transportation workers was enacted as a hysterical
                          reaction to a single 1987 train collision, in which 16 Amtrak passengers
                          were killed by a Conrail train that failed to stop. The engineer and
                          brakeman of the Conrail train at fault were found to have recently smoked
                          marijuana, though it was never firmly proven that marijuana caused the
                          accident. The Conrail engineer had an extensive record of speeding and
                          drunken driving offenses and was known by management to have drinking
                          problems. Critical safety equipment that would have averted the accident was
                          missing or disabled. A subsequent investigation by the National
                          Transportation Safety Board recommended that Conrail improve both its
                          management and equipment, but did not recommend random testing. Nonetheless,
                          Congress responded by mandating random drug testing on the entire
                          transportation industry, from airline flight attendants to gas pipeline
                          workers.

                          Myth: A Single Joint Has Effects That Linger for Days and Weeks
                          While it is true that THC and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble and linger
                          in the body for prolonged periods, they do not normally affect behavior
                          beyond a few hours except in chronic users. Most impairment studies have
                          found that the adverse effects of acute marijuana use wear off in 2-6 hours,
                          commonly faster than alcohol[24] The one notable exception was a pair of
                          flight simulator studies by Leirer, Yesavage, and Morrow, which reported
                          effects on flight simulator performance up to 24 hours later[25] The
                          differences, described by Leirer as "very subtle" and "very marginal," were
                          less than those due to pilot age. Another flight simulator study by the same
                          group failed to find any effects beyond 4 hours[26] Similar "hangover"
                          effects have been noted for alcohol[27]

                          Chronic users may experience more prolonged effects due to a build-up of
                          cannabinoids in the tissues. Some heavy users have reported feeling effects
                          weeks or even months after stopping. However, there is no evidence that
                          these are detrimental to safety.


                          References on Accidents and Drug Testing: Alcohol, Drugs and Driving:
                          Abstracts and Reviews Vol. 2 #3-4 (Brain Information Service, UCLA 1986);
                          Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident Safety," Journal of
                          Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan.-Mar 1988); Dr. John Morgan,
                          "Impaired Statistics and the Unimpaired Worker," Drug Policy Letter 1(2):
                          May/June 1989, and "The 'scientific' justification for drug urine testing,"
                          The University of Kansas Law Review 36: 683-97 (1988); John Horgan, "Test
                          Negative: A look at the evidence justifying illicit-drug tests," Scientific
                          American, March 1990 pp. 18-22, and "Postal Mortem," Scientific American,
                          Feb. 1991 pp. 22-3; Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or Uromancy?" in Strategies
                          for Change: New Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy Foundation, 1992).

                          Myth: Pot is Ten Times More Potent and Dangerous Now Than in the Sixties
                          The notion that pot has increased dramatically in potency is a DEA myth
                          based on biased government data, as shown in a recent NORML report by Dr.
                          John Morgan[28] Samples of pot from the early '70s came from stale,
                          low-potency Mexican "kilobricks" left in police lockers, whose potency had
                          deteriorated to sub-smokable levels of less than 0.5%. These were compared
                          to later samples of decent-quality domestic marijuana, making it appear that
                          potency had skyrocketed. A careful examination of the government's data show
                          that average marijuana potency increased modestly by a factor of two or so
                          during the seventies, and has been more or less constant ever since.

                          In fact, there is nothing new about high-potency pot. During the sixties, it
                          was available in premium varieties such as Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, etc. ,
                          as well as in the form of hashish and hash oil, which were every bit as
                          strong as today's sinsemilla, but were ignored in government potency
                          statistics. While the average potency of domestic pot did increase with the
                          development of sinsemilla in the seventies, the range of potencies available
                          has remained virtually unchanged since the last century, when extremely
                          potent tonics were sold over the counter in pharmacies. In Holland,
                          high-powered hashish and sinsemilla are currently sold in coffee shops with
                          no evident problems.

                          Contrary to popular myth, greater potency is not necessarily more dangerous,
                          due to the fact that users tend to adjust (or "self-titrate") their dose
                          according to potency. Thus, good quality sinsemilla is actually healthier
                          for the lungs because it reduces the amount of smoke one needs to inhale to
                          get high.



                          Myth: Pot Kills Brain Cells
                          Government experts now admit that pot doesn't kill brain cells[29] This myth
                          came from a handful of animal experiments in which structural changes (not
                          actual cell death, as is often alleged) were observed in brain cells of
                          animals exposed to high doses of pot. Many critics still cite the notorious
                          monkey studies of Dr. Robert G. Heath, which purported to find brain damage
                          in three monkeys that had been heavily dosed with cannabis[30] This work was
                          never replicated and has since been discredited by a pair of better
                          controlled, much larger monkey studies, one by Dr. William Slikker of the
                          National Center for Toxicological Researc[31] and the other by Charles
                          Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International[32] Neither found any evidence
                          of physical alteration in the brains of monkeys exposed to daily doses of
                          pot for up to a year. Human studies of heavy users in Jamaica and Costa Rica
                          found no evidence of abnormalities in brain physiology[33] A 15-year study
                          of 1,318 chronic marijuana users by Johns Hopkins University found no
                          evidence of long-term decline in mental function[34] Even though pot does
                          not appear to cause permanent brain damage, users should be aware that
                          persistent deficits in short-term memory have been noted in chronic, heavy
                          marijuana smokers after 6 to 12 weeks of abstinence[35] It is worth noting
                          that other drugs, including alcohol, are known to cause brain damage.

                          Myth: Marijuana Causes Sterility and Lowers Testosterone
                          Government experts also concede that pot has no permanent effect on the male
                          or female reproductive systems[36] A few studies have suggested that heavy
                          marijuana use may have a reversible, suppressive effect on male testicular
                          function[37] A recent study by Dr. Robert Block has refuted earlier research
                          suggesting that pot lowers testosterone or other sex hormones in men or
                          women[38] In contrast, heavy alcohol drinking is known to lower testosterone
                          levels and cause impotence. A couple of lab studies indicated that very
                          heavy marijuana smoking might lower sperm counts. However, surveys of
                          chronic smokers have turned up no indication of infertility or other
                          abnormalities.

                          Less is known about the effects of cannabis on human females. Some animal
                          studies suggest that pot might temporarily lower fertility or increase the
                          risk of fetal loss, but this evidence is of dubious relevance to humans[39]
                          One human study suggested that pot may mildly disrupt ovulation. It is
                          possible that adolescents are peculiarly vulnerable to hormonal disruptions
                          from pot. However, not a single case of impaired fertility has ever been
                          observed in humans of either sex.


                          Myth: Marijuana Causes Birth Defects
                          While experts generally recommend against any drug use during pregnancy,
                          marijuana has little evidence implicating it in fetal harm, unlike alcohol,
                          cocaine or tobacco. Epidemiological studies have found no evident link
                          between prenatal use of marijuana and birth defects in humans[40] A recent
                          study by Dr. Susan Astley at the University of Washington refuted an earlier
                          work suggesting that cannabis might cause fetal alcohol syndrome[41]

                          Although some research has found that prenatal cannabis use is associated
                          with slightly reduced average birth weight and length[42] these studies have
                          been open to methodological criticism. More recently, a well-controlled
                          study found that cannabis use had a positive impact on birthweight during
                          the third trimester of pregnancy with no adverse behavioral consequences[43]
                          The same study found a slight reduction in birth length with pot use in the
                          first two months of pregnancy. Another study of Jamaican women who had
                          smoked pot throughout pregnancy found that their babies registered higher on
                          developmental scores at the age of 30 days, while experiencing no
                          significant effects on birthweight or length[44]

                          While cannabis use is not recommended in pregnancy, it may be of medical
                          value to some women in treating morning sickness or easing childbirth.

                          Myth: Pot Causes High Blood Pressure
                          According to the NAS, the effects of marijuana on blood pressure are
                          complex, depending on dose, administration, and posture[45] Marijuana often
                          produces a temporary, "moderate" increase in blood pressure immediately
                          after ingestion; however, heavy chronic doses may slightly depress blood
                          pressure instead. One common reaction is to cause decreased blood pressure
                          while standing and increased blood pressure while lying down, causing people
                          to faint if they stand up too quickly. There is no evidence that pot use
                          causes persisting hypertension or heart disease; some users even claim that
                          it helps them control hypertension by reducing stress.

                          One thing THC does do is to increase pulse rates for about an hour, a
                          condition known as tachycardia. This is not generally harmful and may even
                          be beneficial since exercise does the same thing. However, just like hard
                          exercise, pot use may precipitate heart attacks in patients with
                          pre-existing heart disease. A study by Dr. Murray Mittleman found that users
                          face an elevated risk of heart attack within an hour of pot smoking, similar
                          to the risk from physical exercise or having sex [45A]. Chronic users may
                          develop a tolerance to tachycardia and other cardiovascular reactions.

                          Myth: Marijuana Damages the Immune System
                          A variety of studies indicate that THC and other cannabinoids may exercise
                          mild, reversible immuno-suppressive effects by inhibiting the activity of
                          immune system cells know as lymphocytes (T- and B-cells) and macrophages. It
                          is dubious whether these effects are of import to human health, since they
                          are based mainly on theoretical laboratory and animal studies. According to
                          a review by Dr. Leo Hollister[46] "The evidence [on immune suppression] has
                          been contradictory and is more supportive of some degree of
                          immunosuppression only when one considers in vitro studies. These have been
                          seriously flawed by the very high concentrations of drug used to produce
                          immunosuppression. The closer that experimental studies have been to actual
                          clinical situations, the less compelling has been the evidence."

                          The immune suppression issue was first raised in research by the notorious
                          cannabophobe Dr. Gabriel Nahas, but a flurry of research by the Reagan
                          administration failed to find anything alarming. The recent discovery of a
                          cannabinoid receptor inside rat spleens, where immune cells reside, raises
                          the likelihood that cannabinoids do exert some sort of influence on the
                          immune system[47] It has even been suggested that these effects might be
                          beneficial for patients with auto-immune diseases such as multiple
                          sclerosis. Nevertheless, not a single case of marijuana-induced immune
                          deficiency has ever been clinically or epidemiologically detected in humans.

                          One exception is the lungs, where chronic pots smokers have been shown to
                          suffer damage to the immune cells known as alveolar macrophages and other
                          defense mechanisms[48] It is unclear how much of this damage is due to THC,
                          as opposed to all of the other toxins that occur in smoke , many of which
                          can be filtered out by waterpipes and other device[49].

                          There is no reason to think marijuana is dangerous to AIDS patients. On the
                          contrary, many AIDS patients report that marijuana helps avert the deadly
                          "wasting syndrome" by stimulating appetite and reducing nausea. Cannabinoids
                          do not actually damage the T-cells, which are depleted in HIV patients: one
                          study even found that marijuana exposure increased T-cell counts in subjects
                          (not AIDS patients) whose T-cell counts had been low[50] Epidemiological
                          studies have found no relation between use of marijuana or other drugs and
                          development of AIDS[51]

                          Myth: Marijuana Causes Chromosome and Cell Damage
                          According to the NAS[52] "Studies suggesting that marijuana probably does
                          not break chromosomes are fairly conclusive." Cannabinoids in themselves are
                          neither mutagenic nor carcinogenic, though the tars produced by marijuana
                          combustion are. Some laboratory studies have suggested that high dosages of
                          THC might interfere with cell replication and produce abnormal numbers of
                          chromosomes; however, there is no evidence of such damage in realistic
                          situations.

                          Myth: Marijuana Leads to Harder Drugs
                          There is no scientific evidence for the theory that marijuana is a "gateway"
                          drug. The cannabis-using cultures in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin
                          America show no propensity for other drugs. The gateway theory took hold in
                          the sixties, when marijuana became the leading new recreational drug. It was
                          refuted by events in the eighties, when cocaine abuse exploded at the same
                          time marijuana use declined.

                          As shown above, there is evidence that cannabis may substitute for alcohol
                          and other "hard" drugs. A survey by Dr. Patricia Morgan of the University of
                          California at Berekeley found that a significant number of pot smokers and
                          dealers switched to methamphetamine "ice" when Hawaii's marijuana
                          eradication program created a shortage of pot[53] Dr. Morgan noted a similar
                          phenomenon in California, where cocaine use soared in the wake of the CAMP
                          helicopter eradication campaign. In its report "Marijuana and Medicine," the
                          National Institute of Medicine found no scientific evidence for the gateway
                          theory[54].

                          The one way in which marijuana does lead to other drugs is through its
                          illegality: persons who deal in marijuana are likely to deal in other
                          illicit drugs as well.


                          MYTH: Marijuana Is a Major Cause of Schizophrenia & Psychosis
                          Some studies have indicated that marijuana may be a risk factor in
                          schizophrenia, psychosis, or other mental illnesses. For example, a study of
                          Swedish military personnel found that chronic marijuana users were twice as
                          likely to be schizophrenic [55]. However, no increase in the rate of
                          schizophrenia or psychosis has been detected in those parts of the world
                          where cannabis use has increased greatly in recent decades. It therefore
                          appears that cannabis does not increase the incidence of such problems in
                          the general population, as concluded by the New Zealand Parliamentary
                          Committee [56].

                          On the other hand, several studies have found that marijuana use may
                          precipitate earlier onset of schizophrenia or aggravate its symptoms in
                          those already so predisposed. [57] However, the effects of cannabis on
                          schizophrenics are not necessarily detrimental. Cannabis has also been
                          observed to mitigate symptoms in many patients. [58] It may therefore be
                          that the purported link between marijuana use and schizophrenia is due to
                          self-medication.

                          In general, the evidence regarding cannabis and schizophrenia / psychosis is
                          conflicting, so caution is advisable. Persons with psychotic tendencies
                          should consult their physicians before using cannabis.





                          [01] Michael R. Polen et al. "Health Care Use by Frequent Marijuana Smokers
                          Who Do Not Smoke Tobacco," Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 596-601 (June
                          1993).

                          [02] Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking Hazardous To Health?"
                          Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7 (June 1993).

                          [03] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                          on the Lung," in Research Findings on Smoking of Abused Substances, NIDA
                          Research Monograph 99 (1990).

                          [04] Paul Donald, "Advanced malignancy in the young marijuana smoker," Adv
                          Exp Med Biol 288:33-56 (1991); FM Taylor, "Marijuana as a potential
                          respiratory tract carcinogen," South Med Journal 81:1213-6 (1988).

                          [05] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                          cit.

                          [06] Contrary to what might be expected, waterpipes do not reduce the
                          proportion of tars in marijuana smoke; the most promising alternative may be
                          to "vaporize" the THC with devices that heat marijuana below the point of
                          combustion. D. Gieringer, "Marijuana Waterpipe/Vaporizer Study," MAPS
                          (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Newsletter, VI#3,
                          1996, pp. 59-66)

                          [07] D. Tashkin, "Respiratory Status of 74 Habitual Marijuana Smokers,"
                          Chest 78 #5: 699-706 (Nov. 1980).

                          [08] T-C. Wu, D. Tashkin, B. Djahed and J.E. Rose, "Pulmonary hazards of
                          smoking marijuana as compared with tobacco," New England Journal of Medicine
                          318: 347-51 (1988).

                          [09] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                          on the Lung," loc.cit.

                          [10] Herbert Moskowitz, "Marihuana and Driving," Accident Analysis and
                          Prevention 17#4: 323-45 (1985).

                          [11] Carl Soderstrom et al., "Marijuana and Alcohol Use Among 1023 Trauma
                          Patients," Archives of Surgery, 123: 733-7 (1988).

                          [12] Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident Safety," Journal of
                          Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan-Mar 1988).

                          [13] H. Klonoff, "Marijuana and driving in real-life situations," Science
                          186: 317-24 (1974).

                          [14] K.W. Terhune et al., "The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally
                          Injured Drivers," NHTSA Report # DOT-HS-808-065 (1994).

                          [15] Hendrik Robbe and James O'Hanlon, "Marijuana and Actual Driving
                          Performance," NHTSA Report #DOT-HS-808-078 (1994).

                          [16] Klonoff, loc. cit.; A. Smiley, "Marijuana: On-road and driving
                          simulator studies," Alcohol, Drugs and Driving: Abstracts and Reviews 2#3-4:
                          15-30 (1986).

                          [16A] Olaf Drummer et al, 'The involvement of drugs in drivers of motor
                          vehicles killed in Australian road traffic crashes," Accident Analysis and
                          Prevention c (2004) 36(2):239-48.

                          [16B]C.E. Hunter, R.J. Lokan, M.C. Longo, J.M White and M.A. White, "The
                          Prevalence and Role of Alcohol, Cannabinoids, Benzodiazepines and Stimulants
                          in Non-Fatal Crashes." Forensic Science, Department for Administrative and
                          Information Services, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, May
                          1998.

                          [16C] A good summary is given in Michael Bates and Tony Blakely, "Role of
                          Cannabis in Motor Vehicle Crashes," Epidemiological Reviews 21#2: 222-32
                          (1999).

                          [17] Frank Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthal, "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and
                          Marijuana? Some Empirical Evidence," Working Paper No. 4662, National Bureau
                          of Economic Research, Cambridge Mass. (1994); K.E. Model, "The Effect of
                          Marijuana Decriminalization on Hospital Emergency Room Episodes: 1975-8,"
                          Journal of the American Statistical Association, 88:423, 737-47; cited in
                          Peter Passell, "Less Marijuana, More Alcohol?" New York Times June 17, 1992.

                          [18] Michael Dunham, "When the Smoke Clears," Reason March 1983 pp.33-6.

                          [19] Norman, Salyard and Mahoney, "An Evaluation of Preemployment Drug
                          Testing," Journal of Applied Psychology 75(6) 629-39 (1990).

                          [20] Zwerling, Ryan and Orav, "Costs and Benefits of Preemployment Drug
                          Screening," JAMA 267(1): 91-3 (1992).

                          [21] David Charles Parish, "Relation of the Pre-employment Drug Testing
                          Result to Employment Status: A One-year Follow-up," Journal of General
                          Internal Medicine 4:44-7 (1989).

                          [22] Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or Uromancy?" in Strategies for Change: New
                          Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy Foundation, 1992); testimony of R.B.
                          Stone in Hearings on the Airline and Rail Service Protection Act of 1987,
                          Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Feb. 20, 1987.

                          [23] Gieringer, op. cit.; statistics reported in Federal Register Vol. 53
                          #224, Nov. 21, 1988 p. 47104.

                          [24] Alison Smiley, "Marijuana: On-Road and Driving Simulator Studies,"
                          Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving 2 #3-4: 121-34 (1986).

                          [25] V.O. Leirer, J.A. Yesavage and D.G. Morrow, "Marijuana Carry-Over
                          Effects on Aircraft Pilot Performance," Aviation Space and Environmental
                          Medicine 62: 221-7 (March 1991); Yesavage, Leirer, et al., "Carry-Over
                          effects of marijuana intoxication on aircraft pilot performance: a
                          preliminary report," American Journal of Psychiatry 142: 1325-9 (1985).

                          [26] Leirer, Yesavage and Morrow, "Marijuana, Aging and Task Difficulty
                          Effects on Pilot Performance," Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 60:
                          1145-52 (Dec. 1989).

                          [27] Yesavage and Leirer, "Hangover Effects on Aircraft Pilots 14 Hours
                          After Alcohol Ingestion: A Preliminary Report," American Journal of
                          Psychiatry 143: 1546-50 (Dec. 1986).

                          [28] John Morgan, "American Marijuana Potency: Data Versus Conventional
                          Wisdom," NORML report (1994). See also T. Mikuriya and M. Aldrich, "Cannabis
                          1988: Old drug, new dangers, the potency question," Journal of Psychoactive
                          Drugs 20:47-55.

                          [29] Dr. Christine Hartel, Acting Director of Research, National Institute
                          of Drug Abuse, cited by the State of Hawaii Dept of Health, Alcohol and Drug
                          Abuse Division in memo of Feb. 4, 1994.

                          [30] For an overview, see NAS Report, op. cit., pp. 81-2. R.G. Heath et al,
                          "Cannabis sativa: effects on brain function and ultrastructure in Rhesus
                          monkeys," Biol. Psychiatry 15: 657-90 (1980).

                          [31] William Slikker et al., "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus
                          Monkey," Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 17: 321-32 (1991).

                          [32] Charles Rebert & Gordon Pryor - "Chronic Inhalation of Marijuana Smoke
                          and Brain Electrophysiology of Rhesus Monkeys," International Journal of
                          Psychophysiology V 14, p.144, 1993.

                          [33] NAS Report, pp. 82-7.

                          [34] American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1, 1999.

                          [35] "Cannabis and Memory Loss," (editorial) British Journal of Addiction
                          86: 249-52 (1991)

                          [36] Dr. Christine Hartel, loc. cit.

                          [37] NAS Report, pp. 94-9.

                          [38] Dr. Robert Block in Drug and Alcohol Dependence 28: 121-8 (1991).

                          [39]NAS Report, p. 97-8.

                          [40] NAS Report, p. 99.

                          [41] Dr. Susan Astley, "Analysis of Facial Shape in Children Gestationally
                          Exposed to Marijuana, Alcohol, and/or Cocaine," Pediatrics 89#1: 67-77 (
                          June 1992).

                          [42] Dr. Barry Zuckerman et al. "Effects of Maternal Marijuana and Cocaine
                          Use on Fetal Growth," New England Journal of Medicine 320 #12: 762-8 (March
                          23, 1989); Dr. Ralph Hingson et al., "Effects of maternal drinking and
                          marijuana use on fetal growth and development," Pediatrics 70: 439-46
                          (1982).

                          [43] Nancy Day et al., "Prenatal Marijuana Use and Neonatal Outcome,"
                          Neurotoxicology and Teratology 13: 329-34 (1992).

                          [44] Janice Hayes, Melanie Dreher and J. Kevin Nugent, "Newborn Outcomes
                          With Maternal Marihuana Use in Jamaican Women," Pediatric Nursing 14 #2:
                          107-10 (Mar-Apr. 1988).

                          [45] NAS Report, pp. 66-67.

                          [45A] Murray Mittelman, article inCirculation June 12, 2001; cited in
                          Science News 160:31, Jul. 14, 2001.

                          [46] Dr. Leo Hollister, "Marijuana and Immunity," Journal of Psychoactive
                          Drugs 20(1): 3-8 (Jan/Mar 1988).

                          [47] Sean Munro, Kerrie Thomas and Muna Abu-Shaar, "Molecular
                          characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids," Nature 365:61-5
                          (Sept. 2, 1993) ; Leslie Iversen, "Medical Uses of Marijuana?", ibid. pp.
                          12-3.

                          [48] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                          cit.

                          [49] Nicholas Cozzi, ibid.

                          [50] Donald Tashkin et al., "Cannabis 1977," Ann. Intern. Med. 89:539-49
                          (1978).

                          [51] Richard A Kaslow et al, "No Evidence for a Role of Alcohol or Other
                          Psychoactive Drugs in Accelerating Immunodeficiency in HIV-1-Positive
                          Individuals," JAMA 261:3424-9 (June 16, 1989).

                          [52] NAS Report, p. 101.

                          [53] "Survey: Hawaii war on pot pushed users to 'ice,'" Honolulu Advertiser,
                          April 1, 1994 p. 1.

                          [54] "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Institute of
                          Medicine, National Academy Press (1999) pp 3.22-23

                          [55] S. Andreasson et al, "Cannabis and Schizophrenia: A Longitudinal Study
                          of Swedish Conscripts," Lancet 2: 1483-6 (1986).

                          [56]"An inquiry into the public health strategies related to cannabis use
                          and the most appropriate legal status," New Zealand Parliament, August 2003,
                          p. 17
                          http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/SelectCommitteeReports/i6c.pdf

                          [57] Three articles with such findings were published in British Medical
                          Journal, 325 (23 Nov. 2002)

                          [58] K.T. Mueser et al, "Prevalence of Substance Abuse in Schizophrenic
                          Demographis and Clinical Correlates," Schizophrenia Bulletin 16: 31-56
                          (1990); R. Warner et al., "Substance Use Among the Mentally Ill: Prevalence,
                          Reasons for Use, and Effects on Illness," American Journal of
                          Orthopsychiatry 64: 30-39 (1994).


                          --
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                        • Wayne Radinsky
                          ... Hi Christian, I should have sent you an email privately -- sorry about that. ... That s it exactly -- all the fluff . And it s all posted by Joshka
                          Message 12 of 28 , Dec 22, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On 12/22/05, Christian C. Burke <ccburke@...> wrote:
                            > Wayne,
                            >
                            > First off, my apologies for directly quoting you. I normally wouldn't ever
                            > post a private message without permission...I suppose I thought it was a
                            > generic enough question (as opposed to any sort of statement or personal
                            > opinion). I meant no harm, but in hindsight I realize it was not my
                            > position to make such an assumption. Must have been that Reefer Madness
                            > kicking in again. While I don't appreciate getting chewed out publicly,
                            > your point is made.

                            Hi Christian,

                            I should have sent you an email privately -- sorry about that.

                            > That said, I am curious to know why marijuana is any less topical than the
                            > rest of the fluff that gets posted here. Just look in your message
                            > list...look at the wide spectrum of subject lines.

                            That's it exactly -- all the "fluff". And it's all posted by Joshka
                            Fisher, and I specifically wanted _not_ to respond to it because I
                            didn't want to encourage him to post more off-topic stuff. That's why
                            I sent a message to you privately.

                            But since this whole issue is public now, let me say this to Herr
                            Fischer and everyone else posting here: if you're going to post
                            articles here please at the very least explain what they have to do
                            with the future, and if you can't explain that then don't post it.
                            That's all. If you really want to impress me, post something truly
                            new and surprising -- something that will radically change my
                            expectations for the future.

                            Not something I can read on any science/tech/business news site. Jobs
                            are going to India? This is news? The internet has pedophiles? Gee I
                            never heard that before. Marijuana might be dangerous? Never heard
                            that either. Microsoft in a lawsuit? Again? Yawn. Why waste my time
                            and everyone else on the list with this? I don't know about everyone
                            else but I don't have spare time to waste. In retrospect I think I
                            should not have even sent a private message to you (Christian),
                            because now I'm spending all this additional time writing all this
                            stuff about postings that weren't worth spending time to read in the
                            first place.

                            > How is *this* topic different, simply because my opinion on it
                            > differs from your own?

                            Ha ha, if that were the case everything would be off-topic because I
                            don't know if you noticed but nobody around here agrees with me about
                            anything. Which is fine as long as they can explain the underlying
                            reasons why they think things work differently than what I think. I'm
                            all for intelligent discussion.

                            > When I joined this group, I read the following description:
                            >
                            > "Making a rapidly changing world fascinating, manageable, and
                            > profitable for you."

                            Yeah, ok, Mark wrote that, and he is the guy in charge, not me, I
                            can't enforce any of this. That's why I was just trying to let it all
                            slide. Oh well. Until Mark weighs in with official policy, I'm just
                            giving my opinion.

                            I admit I didn't study the exact wording in the group description. I
                            was just operating under the assumption that the topic at hand is the
                            long term future, so stuff posted on the list should be related to
                            that topic. I know I post stuff on odd topics, but I explain what it
                            has to do with the future, e.g. I posted about Katrina, but my real
                            point was how hard it is for people to think on long timeframes (and
                            the hurricane exposed those flaws), and I posted on religion, but I
                            wasn't trying to convince people that "religion X is the truth",
                            rather I was trying to anticipate how religious belief and AI would
                            interact in the (more distant) future. That's why I think, whether
                            you disagree or disagree with what I say about the huricane or about
                            religion, my posts on those topics were on-topic for this list.

                            When I look at that quote you gave, the operative words to me are
                            "rapidly changing world", since the principle of "accelerating
                            change" is a big part of my view of the future. It's fundamental,
                            actually, to my view of how the world works.

                            Anyway, to sum up: I hope people would be able to explain what their
                            messages have to do with the future and belong on the list. And I
                            would love to read articles that really surprise me and radically
                            (and credibly) change my expectations for the future.

                            > I recognize this is not supposed to be a forum for political debate, but the
                            > topic of drug legalization should be of *major* fascination to anyone who
                            > claims to be proactively facing the future. Drug use (both legal and
                            > illegal) will surely play a major role in how people adapt to accelerating
                            > change...especially when it comes to neuro-emotional (psychological) health.
                            > The numbers of people being diagnosed and medicated for stress-related
                            > conditions such as ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. are
                            > increasing with our technology and overall speed of life. You think
                            > self-medication for stress management is going to play a major role in our
                            > economical, cultural, neurological, and physical evolution? I sure as heck
                            > do! When cannabis goes legit, I'll be there investing in FUTURES. =)

                            That would be a great conversation to have and definitely on-topic.

                            But that it wasn't the conversation that we were having. We were
                            having yet another "Should [recreational drug X] be legalized?"
                            debate. These debates have been going on my whole life, and as far as
                            I can tell, all that's happened is that more drugs have been made
                            illegal and more people have gone to jail. So what's the point?

                            Wayne
                          • Joschka Fisher
                            from joschka fischer: but......aren t you missing an exceedingly important, flagrant and yet overlooked point? ... While I m waiting for feedback on
                            Message 13 of 28 , Dec 23, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              from joschka fischer:

                              but......aren't you missing an exceedingly important,
                              flagrant and yet overlooked point?
                              ======== know what that one point is?



                              --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                              écrit :


                              ---------------------------------
                              While I'm waiting for feedback on topicality, I
                              thought I would give those
                              who are interested a better idea of the *actual*
                              current scientific
                              consensus on marijuana. The following article is
                              comprehensive, balanced,
                              and chock-filled with credible sources.

                              CCB

                              <snip>

                              MARIJUANA HEALTH MYTHOLOGY

                              by Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., Coordinator, California
                              NORML - Rev. Mar. 2005

                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              ----
                              Safety of Cannabis - Smoking and Lungs - Accidents -
                              Drug Testing
                              Potency - Brain - Sterility and Birth Defects -
                              Heart - Immune System -
                              Chromosomes - Gateway Effect - Schizophrenia &
                              Psychosis
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              ----

                              Myth: Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug
                              Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact
                              that there have been
                              numerous official reports and studies, every one of
                              which has concluded that
                              marijuana poses no great risk to society and should
                              not be criminalized.
                              These include: the National Academy of Sciences'
                              "Analysis of Marijuana
                              Policy"(1982); the National Commission on Marihuana
                              and Drug Abuse (the
                              Shafer Report) (1973); the Canadian Government's
                              Commission of Inquiry (Le
                              Dain Report) (1970); the British Advisory Committee on
                              Drug Dependency
                              (Wooton Report) (1968); the La Guardia Report (1944);
                              the Panama Canal Zone
                              Military Investigations (1916-29); and Britain's
                              monumental Indian Hemp
                              Drugs Commission (1893-4).

                              It is sometimes claimed that there is "new evidence"
                              showing marijuana is
                              more harmful than was thought in the sixties. In fact,
                              the most recent
                              studies have tended to confirm marijuana's safety,
                              refuting claims that it
                              causes birth defects, brain damage, reduced
                              testosterone, or increased drug
                              abuse problems.

                              The current consensus is well stated in the 20th
                              annual report of the
                              California Research Advisory Panel (1990), which
                              recommended that personal
                              use and cultivation of marijuana be legalized: "An
                              objective consideration
                              of marijuana shows that it is responsible for less
                              damage to society and the
                              individual than are alcohol and cigarettes."

                              References: For an excellent summary of the true
                              health facts about
                              marijuana, see Lynn Zimmer and Dr. John Morgan,
                              Marijuana Myths, Marijuana
                              Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence (Lindesmith
                              Center, NY, 1997).
                              The National Academy of Sciences report, Marijuana and
                              Health (National
                              Academy Press, 1982) remains a good overview, its
                              major conclusions
                              remaining largely unaffected by two decades of
                              research. Lovinger and Jones,
                              The Marihuana Question (Dodd, Mead & Co., NY 1985) is
                              the most exhaustive
                              and fair-handed summary of the evidence against
                              marijuana. Good, positive
                              perspectives may be found in Lester Grinspoon's
                              Marihuana, the Forbidden
                              Medicine (Yale Press, 1993) and Marihuana Reconsidered
                              (Harvard U. Press
                              1971), which debunks many of the older anti-pot myths.

                              Myth: Marijuana is Harmless
                              Just as most experts agree that occasional or moderate
                              use of marijuana is
                              innocuous, they also agree that excessive use can be
                              harmful. Research shows
                              that the two major risks of excessive marijuana use
                              are: (1) respiratory
                              disease due to smoking and (2) accidental injuries due
                              to impairment. In
                              addition, marijuana speeds the heartbeat, which can be
                              dangerous for
                              patients with serious heart disease.

                              Recent studies have also shown that marijuana can
                              aggravate symptoms of
                              mental illness in persons with schizophrenic
                              tendencies. At least four
                              studies - in Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and the
                              Netherlands - have found
                              that early, repeated use of cannabis is associated
                              with exacerbation of
                              schizophrenia in young patients so inclined (Source:
                              British Medical Journal
                              "Cannabis and Mental Health." 23 Nov 2002). Marijuana
                              is therefore generally
                              disrecommended for schizophrenics, though it may also
                              occasionally be
                              medically useful for treatment of certain
                              schizophrenic symptoms.

                              Marijuana and Smoking:

                              A survey by the Kaiser Permanente Center found that
                              daily marijuana-only
                              smokers have a 19% higher rate of respiratory
                              complaints than
                              non-smokers[01] These findings were not unexpected,
                              since it has long been
                              known that, aside from its psychoactive ingredients,
                              marijuana smoke
                              contains virtually the same toxic gases and
                              carcinogenic tars as tobacco.
                              Human studies have found that pot smokers suffer
                              similar kinds of
                              respiratory damage as tobacco smokers, putting them at
                              greater risk of
                              bronchitis, sore throat, respiratory inflammation and
                              infections[02]

                              Although there has not been enough epidemiological
                              work to settle the matter
                              definitively, it is widely suspected that marijuana
                              smoking causes cancer.
                              Studies have found apparently pre-cancerous cell
                              changes in pot smokers[03]
                              Some cancer specialists have reported a
                              higher-than-expected incidence of
                              throat, neck and tongue cancer in younger,
                              marijuana-only smokers[04] A
                              couple of cases have been fatal. While it has not been
                              conclusively proven
                              that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the
                              evidence is highly
                              suggestive. According to Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA,
                              the leading expert on
                              marijuana smoking[05]

                              "Although more information is certainly needed,
                              sufficient data have already
                              been accumulated concerning the health effects of
                              marijuana to warrant
                              counseling by physicians against the smoking of
                              marijuana as an important
                              hazard to health."

                              Fortunately, the hazards of marijuana smoking can be
                              reduced by various
                              strategies: (1) use of higher-potency cannabis, which
                              can be smoked in
                              smaller quantities, (2) use of vaporizers and other
                              smoke reduction
                              technologies[06] and (3) ingesting pot orally instead
                              of smoking it.

                              Myth: One Joint Equals One Pack (or 16, or maybe just
                              4) Cigarettes
                              Some critics exaggerate the dangers of marijuana
                              smoking by fallaciously
                              citing a study by Dr. Tashkin which found that daily
                              pot smokers experienced
                              a "mild but significant" increase in airflow
                              resistance in the large airways
                              greater than that seen in persons smoking 16
                              cigarettes per day[07] What
                              they ignore is that the same study examined other,
                              more important aspects of
                              lung health, in which marijuana smokers did much
                              better than tobacco
                              smokers. Dr. Tashkin himself disavows the notion that
                              one joint equals 16
                              cigarettes.

                              A more widely accepted estimate is that marijuana
                              smokers consume four times
                              as much carcinogenic tar as cigarettes smokers per
                              weight smoked[08] This
                              does not necessarily mean that one joint equals four
                              cigarettes, since
                              joints usually weigh less. In fact, the average joint
                              has been estimated to
                              contain 0.4 grams of pot, a bit less than one-half the
                              weight of a
                              cigarette, making one joint equal to two cigarettes
                              (actually, joint sizes
                              range from cigar-sized spliffs smoked by Rastas, to
                              very fine sinsemilla
                              joints weighing as little as 0.2 grams). It should be
                              noted that there is no
                              exact equivalency between tobacco and marijuana
                              smoking, because they affect
                              different parts of the respiratory tract differently:
                              whereas tobacco tends
                              to penetrate to the smaller, peripheral passageways of
                              the lungs, pot tends
                              to concentrate on the larger, central passageways[09]
                              One consequence of
                              this is that pot, unlike tobacco, does not appear to
                              cause emphysema.



                              Myth: Prohibition Reduces the Harmfulness of Pot
                              Smoking
                              Whatever the risks of pot smoking, the current laws
                              make matters worse in
                              several respects: (1) Paraphernalia laws have impeded
                              the development and
                              marketing of vaporizers and other devices that could
                              significantly reduce
                              the harmfulness of marijuana smoke. (2) Prohibition
                              encourages the sale of
                              pot that has been contaminated or adulterated by
                              insecticides, Paraquat,
                              etc., or mixed with other drugs such as PCP, crack and
                              heroin. (3) By
                              raising the price of marijuana, prohibition makes it
                              uneconomical to consume
                              marijuana orally, the best way to avoid smoke exposure
                              altogether; this is
                              because eating typically requires two or three times
                              as much marijuana as
                              smoking.

                              Unlike the government, NORML is interested in reducing
                              the dangers of pot
                              smoking. California NORML and MAPS (the
                              Multidisciplinary Association for
                              Psychedelic Studies) have sponsored research on
                              alternative inhalation
                              systems, in particular vaporizers, which are designed
                              to deliver smoke-free
                              cannabinoid vapors. The results indicate that it is
                              possible to virtually
                              eliminate the risk of smoking-related respiratory
                              damage by using vaporizers
                              instead.

                              References on Marijuana and Smoking:

                              Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                              Hazardous To Health,?"
                              Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7; June 1993;
                              Research Findings on
                              Smoking of Abused Substances, ed. C. Nora Chiang and
                              Richard L. Hawks, NIDA
                              Research Monograph 99 (National Institute on Drug
                              Abuse, Rockville, MD
                              1990); NAS Report,op. cit.; California NORML, "Health
                              Tips for Marijuana
                              Smokers."







                              Myth: No One Has Ever Died From Using Marijuana
                              The Kaiser study also found that daily pot users have
                              a 30% higher risk of
                              injuries, presumably from accidents. These figures are
                              significant, though
                              not as high as comparable risks for heavy drinkers or
                              tobacco addicts. That
                              pot can cause accidents is scarcely surprising, since
                              marijuana has been
                              shown to degrade short-term memory, concentration,
                              judgment, and
                              coordination at complex tasks including driving[10]
                              There have been numerous
                              reports of pot-related accidents - some of them fatal,
                              belying the
                              attractive myth that no one has ever died from
                              marijuana. One survey of 1023
                              emergency room trauma patients in Baltimore found that
                              fully 34.7% were
                              under the influence of marijuana, more even than
                              alcohol (33.5%); half of
                              these (16.5% used both pot and alcohol in
                              combination[11] This is perhaps
                              the most troublesome research ever reported about
                              marijuana; as we shall
                              see, other accident studies have generally found pot
                              to be less dangerous
                              than alcohol.

                              Nonetheless, it is important to be informed on all
                              sides of the issue. Pot
                              smokers should be aware that accidents are the number
                              one hazard of moderate
                              pot use. In addition, of course, the psychoactive
                              effects of cannabis can
                              have many other adverse effects on performance, school
                              work, and
                              productivity.

                              Myth: Marijuana is a Major Road Safety Hazard
                              Numerous research studies have found that marijuana is
                              on balance less of a
                              public road hazard than alcohol. Various accident
                              surveys have found that
                              over half of fatal drivers have alcohol in their
                              blood, as opposed to 7 -
                              20% with THC, the major psychoactive component of
                              marijuana (a condition
                              usually indicative of having smoked within the past
                              2-4 hours)[12] However,
                              the great majority (70% - 90%) of THC-positive drivers
                              also have alcohol in
                              their blood. There is little accordingly little
                              evidence that marijuana use
                              by itself is a major public safety hazard [ 13].

                              Two major studies by the National Highway
                              Transportation Safety
                              Administration have confirmed marijuana's relative
                              safety compared to
                              alcohol. The first, the most comprehensive U.S. drug
                              accident study to date,
                              surveyed blood samples from 1882 drivers killed in
                              car, truck and
                              motorchycle accidents in seven states during
                              1990-91[14] Alcohol was found
                              in 51.5% of specimens, as against 17.8% for all other
                              drugs combined.
                              Marijuana, the second most common drug, appeared in
                              just 6.7%. Two-thirds of
                              the marijuana-using drivers also had alcohol. The
                              report concluded that
                              alcohol was by far the "dominant" drug-related problem
                              in accidents. It went
                              on to analyze the responsibility of drivers for the
                              accidents they were
                              involved in. It found that drivers who used alcohol
                              were especially culpable
                              in fatal accidents, and even more so when they
                              combined it with marijuana or
                              other drugs. However, those who used marijuana alone
                              appeared to be if
                              anything less culpable than non-drug users (though the
                              date were
                              insufficient to be statistically conclusive). The
                              report concluded, "There
                              was no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause
                              of fatal accidents."
                              (It must be emphasized that this is not the case when
                              marijuana is combined
                              with alcohol or other drugs).

                              The second NHTSA study, "Marijuana and Actual Driving
                              Performance,"
                              concluded that the adverse effects of cannabis on
                              driving appear "relatively
                              small" and are less than those of drunken driving[15]
                              The study, conducted
                              in the Netherlands, examined the performance of
                              drivers in actual freeway
                              and urban driving situations at various doses of
                              marijuana. It found that
                              marijuana produces a moderate, dose-related decrement
                              in road tracking
                              ability, but is "not profoundly impairing" and "in no
                              way unusual compared
                              to many medicinal drugs." It found that marijuana's
                              effects at the higher
                              doses preferred by smokers never exceed those of
                              alcohol at blood
                              concentrations of .08%, the minimum level for legal
                              intoxication in stricter
                              states such as California. The study found that unlike
                              alcohol, which
                              encourages risky diring, marijuana appears to produce
                              greater caution,
                              apparently because users are more aware of their state
                              and able to
                              compensate for it (similar results have been reported
                              by other
                              researchers[16]).

                              However, a recent Australian study by Drummer found
                              that drivers with high
                              blood levels of THC (> 5 ng/ml) had a significantly
                              higher rate of accident
                              culpability than drivers who were drug-free,
                              comparable to drunken drivers
                              [16A]. This was not true of drivers with only trace
                              amounts of cannabinoids
                              in their systems. High blood levels are indicative of
                              recent use within the
                              last couple of hours. This suggests that acute,
                              current pot use is a driving
                              hazard, though not residual after-effects of chronic
                              use, which often show
                              positive in drug tests.

                              Another survey of 2,500 drivers in South Australia
                              failed to find evidence
                              that marijuana is a significant road safety
                              hazard[16B]. The researchers
                              examined blood samples from drivers in non-fatal
                              accidents for traces of
                              alcohol, cannabinoids (marijuana), benzodiazepines
                              (tranquilizers), and
                              amphetamines. The researchers then assessed the
                              drivers' degree of
                              culpability for the crashes. Overall, they found no
                              increase in culpability
                              for drivers showing cannabinoids alone compared to
                              drug-free drivers. In
                              contrast, there was a very strong relation between
                              alcohol blood levels and
                              accident culpability. The combination of marijuana
                              with alcohol also showed
                              strongly increased accident culpability.
                              Benzodiazepines, but not
                              amphetamines, also showed higher culpability. Another
                              analysis of 1,052
                              fatal drivers in Australia suggested that marijuana is
                              if anything
                              associated with a decreased risk of accidents.

                              Similar results have been reported in other driving
                              studies as well[16C]. It
                              should be noted that these results may not apply to
                              non-driving related
                              situations, where forgetfulness or inattention can be
                              more important than
                              speed (this might explain the discrepancy in the
                              Baltimore hospital study,
                              which looked at accidents of all kinds). In addition,
                              the second NHTSA study
                              warned that marijuana could also be quite dangerous in
                              emergency situations
                              that put high demands on driving skills.

                              A good summary of the literature on driving under the
                              influence of marijuana
                              may be found at Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen's IACM - DUIM
                              Project site. See also
                              Cannabis and Driving: A Review of the Literature and
                              Commentary (U.K.
                              Department for Transport)



                              Myth: Marijuana Prohibition Improves Public Safety
                              There is no evidence that the prohibition of marijuana
                              reduces the net
                              social risk of accidents. On the contrary, recent
                              studies suggest that
                              marijuana may actually be beneficial in that it
                              substitutes for alcohol and
                              other, more dangerous drugs. Research by Karyn Model
                              found that states with
                              marijuana decrim had lower overall drug abuse rates
                              than others; another
                              study by Frank Chaloupka found decrim states have
                              lower accident rates
                              too[17] In Alaska, accident rates held constant or
                              declined following the
                              legalization of personal use of marijuana[18] In
                              Holland, authorities
                              believe that cannabis has contributed to an overall
                              decline in opiate abuse.
                              Recent government statistics showed that the highest
                              rates of cocaine abuse
                              in the West were in Nevada and Arizona, the states
                              with the toughest
                              marijuana laws.

                              Myth: Drug Urinalysis Improves Workplace Safety
                              There has never been a single, controlled scientific
                              study showing drug
                              urinalysis improves workplace safety. Claims that drug
                              testing works are
                              based on dubious anecdotal reports or the mere
                              observation of a declining
                              rate of drug positives in the working population,
                              which has nothing to do
                              with job performance. Such scientific studies as have
                              been conducted have
                              found little difference between the performance of
                              drug-urine-positive
                              workers and others. The largest survey to date,
                              covering 4,396 postal
                              workers nationwide, found no difference in accident
                              records between workers
                              who tested positive on pre-employment drug screens and
                              those who did not[19]
                              The study did find that drug-positive workers had a
                              50% higher rate of
                              absenteeism and dismissals; put another way, however,
                              drug users had a 93.4%
                              attendance record (versus 95.8% for non-users) and
                              fully 85% kept their jobs
                              for a year (versus 89.5% for non-users)! An economic
                              analysis of postal
                              workers in Boston concluded that the net savings of
                              drug testing were
                              marginal, and that there could be many situations
                              where it is not
                              cost-effective[20] Another survey of health workers in
                              Georgia found no
                              difference in job performance between drug-positive
                              and drug-negative
                              workers[21]

                              Myth: Random Urinalysis is Needed in Safety-Sensitive
                              Transportation Jobs
                              Government rules mandating random drug testing were
                              promulgated without any
                              prior statistical evidence that illicit drugs
                              constituted an inordinate
                              safety hazard. Not a single commercial passenger
                              airline accident has ever
                              been attributed to marijuana (or, for that matter,
                              alcohol) abuse[22] Drug
                              tests on rail workers found no elevated incidence of
                              drug use among workers
                              involved in accidents[23]

                              Random drug testing of transportation workers was
                              enacted as a hysterical
                              reaction to a single 1987 train collision, in which 16
                              Amtrak passengers
                              were killed by a Conrail train that failed to stop.
                              The engineer and
                              brakeman of the Conrail train at fault were found to
                              have recently smoked
                              marijuana, though it was never firmly proven that
                              marijuana caused the
                              accident. The Conrail engineer had an extensive record
                              of speeding and
                              drunken driving offenses and was known by management
                              to have drinking
                              problems. Critical safety equipment that would have
                              averted the accident was
                              missing or disabled. A subsequent investigation by the
                              National
                              Transportation Safety Board recommended that Conrail
                              improve both its
                              management and equipment, but did not recommend random
                              testing. Nonetheless,
                              Congress responded by mandating random drug testing on
                              the entire
                              transportation industry, from airline flight
                              attendants to gas pipeline
                              workers.

                              Myth: A Single Joint Has Effects That Linger for Days
                              and Weeks
                              While it is true that THC and other cannabinoids are
                              fat-soluble and linger
                              in the body for prolonged periods, they do not
                              normally affect behavior
                              beyond a few hours except in chronic users. Most
                              impairment studies have
                              found that the adverse effects of acute marijuana use
                              wear off in 2-6 hours,
                              commonly faster than alcohol[24] The one notable
                              exception was a pair of
                              flight simulator studies by Leirer, Yesavage, and
                              Morrow, which reported
                              effects on flight simulator performance up to 24 hours
                              later[25] The
                              differences, described by Leirer as "very subtle" and
                              "very marginal," were
                              less than those due to pilot age. Another flight
                              simulator study by the same
                              group failed to find any effects beyond 4 hours[26]
                              Similar "hangover"
                              effects have been noted for alcohol[27]

                              Chronic users may experience more prolonged effects
                              due to a build-up of
                              cannabinoids in the tissues. Some heavy users have
                              reported feeling effects
                              weeks or even months after stopping. However, there is
                              no evidence that
                              these are detrimental to safety.


                              References on Accidents and Drug Testing: Alcohol,
                              Drugs and Driving:
                              Abstracts and Reviews Vol. 2 #3-4 (Brain Information
                              Service, UCLA 1986);
                              Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident
                              Safety," Journal of
                              Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan.-Mar 1988); Dr.
                              John Morgan,
                              "Impaired Statistics and the Unimpaired Worker," Drug
                              Policy Letter 1(2):
                              May/June 1989, and "The 'scientific' justification for
                              drug urine testing,"
                              The University of Kansas Law Review 36: 683-97 (1988);
                              John Horgan, "Test
                              Negative: A look at the evidence justifying
                              illicit-drug tests," Scientific
                              American, March 1990 pp. 18-22, and "Postal Mortem,"
                              Scientific American,
                              Feb. 1991 pp. 22-3; Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or
                              Uromancy?" in Strategies
                              for Change: New Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy
                              Foundation, 1992).

                              Myth: Pot is Ten Times More Potent and Dangerous Now
                              Than in the Sixties
                              The notion that pot has increased dramatically in
                              potency is a DEA myth
                              based on biased government data, as shown in a recent
                              NORML report by Dr.
                              John Morgan[28] Samples of pot from the early '70s
                              came from stale,
                              low-potency Mexican "kilobricks" left in police
                              lockers, whose potency had
                              deteriorated to sub-smokable levels of less than 0.5%.
                              These were compared
                              to later samples of decent-quality domestic marijuana,
                              making it appear that
                              potency had skyrocketed. A careful examination of the
                              government's data show
                              that average marijuana potency increased modestly by a
                              factor of two or so
                              during the seventies, and has been more or less
                              constant ever since.

                              In fact, there is nothing new about high-potency pot.
                              During the sixties, it
                              was available in premium varieties such as Acapulco
                              Gold, Panama Red, etc. ,
                              as well as in the form of hashish and hash oil, which
                              were every bit as
                              strong as today's sinsemilla, but were ignored in
                              government potency
                              statistics. While the average potency of domestic pot
                              did increase with the
                              development of sinsemilla in the seventies, the range
                              of potencies available
                              has remained virtually unchanged since the last
                              century, when extremely
                              potent tonics were sold over the counter in
                              pharmacies. In Holland,
                              high-powered hashish and sinsemilla are currently sold
                              in coffee shops with
                              no evident problems.

                              Contrary to popular myth, greater potency is not
                              necessarily more dangerous,
                              due to the fact that users tend to adjust (or
                              "self-titrate") their dose
                              according to potency. Thus, good quality sinsemilla is
                              actually healthier
                              for the lungs because it reduces the amount of smoke
                              one needs to inhale to
                              get high.



                              Myth: Pot Kills Brain Cells
                              Government experts now admit that pot doesn't kill
                              brain cells[29] This myth
                              came from a handful of animal experiments in which
                              structural changes (not
                              actual cell death, as is often alleged) were observed
                              in brain cells of
                              animals exposed to high doses of pot. Many critics
                              still cite the notorious
                              monkey studies of Dr. Robert G. Heath, which purported
                              to find brain damage
                              in three monkeys that had been heavily dosed with
                              cannabis[30] This work was
                              never replicated and has since been discredited by a
                              pair of better
                              controlled, much larger monkey studies, one by Dr.
                              William Slikker of the
                              National Center for Toxicological Researc[31] and the
                              other by Charles
                              Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International[32]
                              Neither found any evidence
                              of physical alteration in the brains of monkeys
                              exposed to daily doses of
                              pot for up to a year. Human studies of heavy users in
                              Jamaica and Costa Rica
                              found no evidence of abnormalities in brain
                              physiology[33] A 15-year study
                              of 1,318 chronic marijuana users by Johns Hopkins
                              University found no
                              evidence of long-term decline in mental function[34]
                              Even though pot does
                              not appear to cause permanent brain damage, users
                              should be aware that
                              persistent deficits in short-term memory have been
                              noted in chronic, heavy
                              marijuana smokers after 6 to 12 weeks of
                              abstinence[35] It is worth noting
                              that other drugs, including alcohol, are known to
                              cause brain damage.

                              Myth: Marijuana Causes Sterility and Lowers
                              Testosterone
                              Government experts also concede that pot has no
                              permanent effect on the male
                              or female reproductive systems[36] A few studies have
                              suggested that heavy
                              marijuana use may have a reversible, suppressive
                              effect on male testicular
                              function[37] A recent study by Dr. Robert Block has
                              refuted earlier research
                              suggesting that pot lowers testosterone or other sex
                              hormones in men or
                              women[38] In contrast, heavy alcohol drinking is known
                              to lower testosterone
                              levels and cause impotence. A couple of lab studies
                              indicated that very
                              heavy marijuana smoking might lower sperm counts.
                              However, surveys of
                              chronic smokers have turned up no indication of
                              infertility or other
                              abnormalities.

                              Less is known about the effects of cannabis on human
                              females. Some animal
                              studies suggest that pot might temporarily lower
                              fertility or increase the
                              risk of fetal loss, but this evidence is of dubious
                              relevance to humans[39]
                              One human study suggested that pot may mildly disrupt
                              ovulation. It is
                              possible that adolescents are peculiarly vulnerable to
                              hormonal disruptions
                              from pot. However, not a single case of impaired
                              fertility has ever been
                              observed in humans of either sex.


                              Myth: Marijuana Causes Birth Defects
                              While experts generally recommend against any drug use
                              during pregnancy,
                              marijuana has little evidence implicating it in fetal
                              harm, unlike alcohol,
                              cocaine or tobacco. Epidemiological studies have found
                              no evident link
                              between prenatal use of marijuana and birth defects in
                              humans[40] A recent
                              study by Dr. Susan Astley at the University of
                              Washington refuted an earlier
                              work suggesting that cannabis might cause fetal
                              alcohol syndrome[41]

                              Although some research has found that prenatal
                              cannabis use is associated
                              with slightly reduced average birth weight and
                              length[42] these studies have
                              been open to methodological criticism. More recently,
                              a well-controlled
                              study found that cannabis use had a positive impact on
                              birthweight during
                              the third trimester of pregnancy with no adverse
                              behavioral consequences[43]
                              The same study found a slight reduction in birth
                              length with pot use in the
                              first two months of pregnancy. Another study of
                              Jamaican women who had
                              smoked pot throughout pregnancy found that their
                              babies registered higher on
                              developmental scores at the age of 30 days, while
                              experiencing no
                              significant effects on birthweight or length[44]

                              While cannabis use is not recommended in pregnancy, it
                              may be of medical
                              value to some women in treating morning sickness or
                              easing childbirth.

                              Myth: Pot Causes High Blood Pressure
                              According to the NAS, the effects of marijuana on
                              blood pressure are
                              complex, depending on dose, administration, and
                              posture[45] Marijuana often
                              produces a temporary, "moderate" increase in blood
                              pressure immediately
                              after ingestion; however, heavy chronic doses may
                              slightly depress blood
                              pressure instead. One common reaction is to cause
                              decreased blood pressure
                              while standing and increased blood pressure while
                              lying down, causing people
                              to faint if they stand up too quickly. There is no
                              evidence that pot use
                              causes persisting hypertension or heart disease; some
                              users even claim that
                              it helps them control hypertension by reducing stress.

                              One thing THC does do is to increase pulse rates for
                              about an hour, a
                              condition known as tachycardia. This is not generally
                              harmful and may even
                              be beneficial since exercise does the same thing.
                              However, just like hard
                              exercise, pot use may precipitate heart attacks in
                              patients with
                              pre-existing heart disease. A study by Dr. Murray
                              Mittleman found that users
                              face an elevated risk of heart attack within an hour
                              of pot smoking, similar
                              to the risk from physical exercise or having sex
                              [45A]. Chronic users may
                              develop a tolerance to tachycardia and other
                              cardiovascular reactions.

                              Myth: Marijuana Damages the Immune System
                              A variety of studies indicate that THC and other
                              cannabinoids may exercise
                              mild, reversible immuno-suppressive effects by
                              inhibiting the activity of
                              immune system cells know as lymphocytes (T- and
                              B-cells) and macrophages. It
                              is dubious whether these effects are of import to
                              human health, since they
                              are based mainly on theoretical laboratory and animal
                              studies. According to
                              a review by Dr. Leo Hollister[46] "The evidence [on
                              immune suppression] has
                              been contradictory and is more supportive of some
                              degree of
                              immunosuppression only when one considers in vitro
                              studies. These have been
                              seriously flawed by the very high concentrations of
                              drug used to produce
                              immunosuppression. The closer that experimental
                              studies have been to actual
                              clinical situations, the less compelling has been the
                              evidence."

                              The immune suppression issue was first raised in
                              research by the notorious
                              cannabophobe Dr. Gabriel Nahas, but a flurry of
                              research by the Reagan
                              administration failed to find anything alarming. The
                              recent discovery of a
                              cannabinoid receptor inside rat spleens, where immune
                              cells reside, raises
                              the likelihood that cannabinoids do exert some sort of
                              influence on the
                              immune system[47] It has even been suggested that
                              these effects might be
                              beneficial for patients with auto-immune diseases such
                              as multiple
                              sclerosis. Nevertheless, not a single case of
                              marijuana-induced immune
                              deficiency has ever been clinically or
                              epidemiologically detected in humans.

                              One exception is the lungs, where chronic pots smokers
                              have been shown to
                              suffer damage to the immune cells known as alveolar
                              macrophages and other
                              defense mechanisms[48] It is unclear how much of this
                              damage is due to THC,
                              as opposed to all of the other toxins that occur in
                              smoke , many of which
                              can be filtered out by waterpipes and other
                              device[49].

                              There is no reason to think marijuana is dangerous to
                              AIDS patients. On the
                              contrary, many AIDS patients report that marijuana
                              helps avert the deadly
                              "wasting syndrome" by stimulating appetite and
                              reducing nausea. Cannabinoids
                              do not actually damage the T-cells, which are depleted
                              in HIV patients: one
                              study even found that marijuana exposure increased
                              T-cell counts in subjects
                              (not AIDS patients) whose T-cell counts had been
                              low[50] Epidemiological
                              studies have found no relation between use of
                              marijuana or other drugs and
                              development of AIDS[51]

                              Myth: Marijuana Causes Chromosome and Cell Damage
                              According to the NAS[52] "Studies suggesting that
                              marijuana probably does
                              not break chromosomes are fairly conclusive."
                              Cannabinoids in themselves are
                              neither mutagenic nor carcinogenic, though the tars
                              produced by marijuana
                              combustion are. Some laboratory studies have suggested
                              that high dosages of
                              THC might interfere with cell replication and produce
                              abnormal numbers of
                              chromosomes; however, there is no evidence of such
                              damage in realistic
                              situations.

                              Myth: Marijuana Leads to Harder Drugs
                              There is no scientific evidence for the theory that
                              marijuana is a "gateway"
                              drug. The cannabis-using cultures in Asia, the Middle
                              East, Africa and Latin
                              America show no propensity for other drugs. The
                              gateway theory took hold in
                              the sixties, when marijuana became the leading new
                              recreational drug. It was
                              refuted by events in the eighties, when cocaine abuse
                              exploded at the same
                              time marijuana use declined.

                              As shown above, there is evidence that cannabis may
                              substitute for alcohol
                              and other "hard" drugs. A survey by Dr. Patricia
                              Morgan of the University of
                              California at Berekeley found that a significant
                              number of pot smokers and
                              dealers switched to methamphetamine "ice" when
                              Hawaii's marijuana
                              eradication program created a shortage of pot[53] Dr.
                              Morgan noted a similar
                              phenomenon in California, where cocaine use soared in
                              the wake of the CAMP
                              helicopter eradication campaign. In its report
                              "Marijuana and Medicine," the
                              National Institute of Medicine found no scientific
                              evidence for the gateway
                              theory[54].

                              The one way in which marijuana does lead to other
                              drugs is through its
                              illegality: persons who deal in marijuana are likely
                              to deal in other
                              illicit drugs as well.


                              MYTH: Marijuana Is a Major Cause of Schizophrenia &
                              Psychosis
                              Some studies have indicated that marijuana may be a
                              risk factor in
                              schizophrenia, psychosis, or other mental illnesses.
                              For example, a study of
                              Swedish military personnel found that chronic
                              marijuana users were twice as
                              likely to be schizophrenic [55]. However, no increase
                              in the rate of
                              schizophrenia or psychosis has been detected in those
                              parts of the world
                              where cannabis use has increased greatly in recent
                              decades. It therefore
                              appears that cannabis does not increase the incidence
                              of such problems in
                              the general population, as concluded by the New
                              Zealand Parliamentary
                              Committee [56].

                              On the other hand, several studies have found that
                              marijuana use may
                              precipitate earlier onset of schizophrenia or
                              aggravate its symptoms in
                              those already so predisposed. [57] However, the
                              effects of cannabis on
                              schizophrenics are not necessarily detrimental.
                              Cannabis has also been
                              observed to mitigate symptoms in many patients. [58]
                              It may therefore be
                              that the purported link between marijuana use and
                              schizophrenia is due to
                              self-medication.

                              In general, the evidence regarding cannabis and
                              schizophrenia / psychosis is
                              conflicting, so caution is advisable. Persons with
                              psychotic tendencies
                              should consult their physicians before using cannabis.





                              [01] Michael R. Polen et al. "Health Care Use by
                              Frequent Marijuana Smokers
                              Who Do Not Smoke Tobacco," Western Journal of Medicine
                              158 #6: 596-601 (June
                              1993).

                              [02] Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                              Hazardous To Health?"
                              Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7 (June 1993).

                              [03] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of
                              Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                              on the Lung," in Research Findings on Smoking of
                              Abused Substances, NIDA
                              Research Monograph 99 (1990).

                              [04] Paul Donald, "Advanced malignancy in the young
                              marijuana smoker," Adv
                              Exp Med Biol 288:33-56 (1991); FM Taylor, "Marijuana
                              as a potential
                              respiratory tract carcinogen," South Med Journal
                              81:1213-6 (1988).

                              [05] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                              Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                              cit.

                              [06] Contrary to what might be expected, waterpipes do
                              not reduce the
                              proportion of tars in marijuana smoke; the most
                              promising alternative may be
                              to "vaporize" the THC with devices that heat marijuana
                              below the point of
                              combustion. D. Gieringer, "Marijuana
                              Waterpipe/Vaporizer Study," MAPS
                              (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
                              Studies) Newsletter, VI#3,
                              1996, pp. 59-66)

                              [07] D. Tashkin, "Respiratory Status of 74 Habitual
                              Marijuana Smokers,"
                              Chest 78 #5: 699-706 (Nov. 1980).

                              [08] T-C. Wu, D. Tashkin, B. Djahed and J.E. Rose,
                              "Pulmonary hazards of
                              smoking marijuana as compared with tobacco," New
                              England Journal of Medicine
                              318: 347-51 (1988).

                              [09] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of
                              Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                              on the Lung," loc.cit.

                              [10] Herbert Moskowitz, "Marihuana and Driving,"
                              Accident Analysis and
                              Prevention 17#4: 323-45 (1985).

                              [11] Carl Soderstrom et al., "Marijuana and Alcohol
                              Use Among 1023 Trauma
                              Patients," Archives of Surgery, 123: 733-7 (1988).

                              [12] Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident
                              Safety," Journal of
                              Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan-Mar 1988).

                              [13] H. Klonoff, "Marijuana and driving in real-life
                              situations," Science
                              186: 317-24 (1974).

                              [14] K.W. Terhune et al., "The Incidence and Role of
                              Drugs in Fatally
                              Injured Drivers," NHTSA Report # DOT-HS-808-065
                              (1994).

                              [15] Hendrik Robbe and James O'Hanlon, "Marijuana and
                              Actual Driving
                              Performance," NHTSA Report #DOT-HS-808-078 (1994).

                              [16] Klonoff, loc. cit.; A. Smiley, "Marijuana:
                              On-road and driving
                              simulator studies," Alcohol, Drugs and Driving:
                              Abstracts and Reviews 2#3-4:
                              15-30 (1986).

                              [16A] Olaf Drummer et al, 'The involvement of drugs in
                              drivers of motor
                              vehicles killed in Australian road traffic crashes,"
                              Accident Analysis and
                              Prevention c (2004) 36(2):239-48.

                              [16B]C.E. Hunter, R.J. Lokan, M.C. Longo, J.M White
                              and M.A. White, "The
                              Prevalence and Role of Alcohol, Cannabinoids,
                              Benzodiazepines and Stimulants
                              in Non-Fatal Crashes." Forensic Science, Department
                              for Administrative and
                              Information Services, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, South
                              Australia 5000, May
                              1998.

                              [16C] A good summary is given in Michael Bates and
                              Tony Blakely, "Role of
                              Cannabis in Motor Vehicle Crashes," Epidemiological
                              Reviews 21#2: 222-32
                              (1999).

                              [17] Frank Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthal, "Do Youths
                              Substitute Alcohol and
                              Marijuana? Some Empirical Evidence," Working Paper No.
                              4662, National Bureau
                              of Economic Research, Cambridge Mass. (1994); K.E.
                              Model, "The Effect of
                              Marijuana Decriminalization on Hospital Emergency Room
                              Episodes: 1975-8,"
                              Journal of the American Statistical Association,
                              88:423, 737-47; cited in
                              Peter Passell, "Less Marijuana, More Alcohol?" New
                              York Times June 17, 1992.

                              [18] Michael Dunham, "When the Smoke Clears," Reason
                              March 1983 pp.33-6.

                              [19] Norman, Salyard and Mahoney, "An Evaluation of
                              Preemployment Drug
                              Testing," Journal of Applied Psychology 75(6) 629-39
                              (1990).

                              [20] Zwerling, Ryan and Orav, "Costs and Benefits of
                              Preemployment Drug
                              Screening," JAMA 267(1): 91-3 (1992).

                              [21] David Charles Parish, "Relation of the
                              Pre-employment Drug Testing
                              Result to Employment Status: A One-year Follow-up,"
                              Journal of General
                              Internal Medicine 4:44-7 (1989).

                              [22] Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or Uromancy?" in
                              Strategies for Change: New
                              Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy Foundation,
                              1992); testimony of R.B.
                              Stone in Hearings on the Airline and Rail Service
                              Protection Act of 1987,
                              Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and
                              Transportation, Feb. 20, 1987.

                              [23] Gieringer, op. cit.; statistics reported in
                              Federal Register Vol. 53
                              #224, Nov. 21, 1988 p. 47104.

                              [24] Alison Smiley, "Marijuana: On-Road and Driving
                              Simulator Studies,"
                              Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving 2 #3-4: 121-34 (1986).

                              [25] V.O. Leirer, J.A. Yesavage and D.G. Morrow,
                              "Marijuana Carry-Over
                              Effects on Aircraft Pilot Performance," Aviation Space
                              and Environmental
                              Medicine 62: 221-7 (March 1991); Yesavage, Leirer, et
                              al., "Carry-Over
                              effects of marijuana intoxication on aircraft pilot
                              performance: a
                              preliminary report," American Journal of Psychiatry
                              142: 1325-9 (1985).

                              [26] Leirer, Yesavage and Morrow, "Marijuana, Aging
                              and Task Difficulty
                              Effects on Pilot Performance," Aviation Space and
                              Environmental Medicine 60:
                              1145-52 (Dec. 1989).

                              [27] Yesavage and Leirer, "Hangover Effects on
                              Aircraft Pilots 14 Hours
                              After Alcohol Ingestion: A Preliminary Report,"
                              American Journal of
                              Psychiatry 143: 1546-50 (Dec. 1986).

                              [28] John Morgan, "American Marijuana Potency: Data
                              Versus Conventional
                              Wisdom," NORML report (1994). See also T. Mikuriya and
                              M. Aldrich, "Cannabis
                              1988: Old drug, new dangers, the potency question,"
                              Journal of Psychoactive
                              Drugs 20:47-55.

                              [29] Dr. Christine Hartel, Acting Director of
                              Research, National Institute
                              of Drug Abuse, cited by the State of Hawaii Dept of
                              Health, Alcohol and Drug
                              Abuse Division in memo of Feb. 4, 1994.

                              [30] For an overview, see NAS Report, op. cit., pp.
                              81-2. R.G. Heath et al,
                              "Cannabis sativa: effects on brain function and
                              ultrastructure in Rhesus
                              monkeys," Biol. Psychiatry 15: 657-90 (1980).

                              [31] William Slikker et al., "Chronic Marijuana Smoke
                              Exposure in the Rhesus
                              Monkey," Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 17: 321-32
                              (1991).

                              [32] Charles Rebert & Gordon Pryor - "Chronic
                              Inhalation of Marijuana Smoke
                              and Brain Electrophysiology of Rhesus Monkeys,"
                              International Journal of
                              Psychophysiology V 14, p.144, 1993.

                              [33] NAS Report, pp. 82-7.

                              [34] American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1, 1999.

                              [35] "Cannabis and Memory Loss," (editorial) British
                              Journal of Addiction
                              86: 249-52 (1991)

                              [36] Dr. Christine Hartel, loc. cit.

                              [37] NAS Report, pp. 94-9.

                              [38] Dr. Robert Block in Drug and Alcohol Dependence
                              28: 121-8 (1991).

                              [39]NAS Report, p. 97-8.

                              [40] NAS Report, p. 99.

                              [41] Dr. Susan Astley, "Analysis of Facial Shape in
                              Children Gestationally
                              Exposed to Marijuana, Alcohol, and/or Cocaine,"
                              Pediatrics 89#1: 67-77 (
                              June 1992).

                              [42] Dr. Barry Zuckerman et al. "Effects of Maternal
                              Marijuana and Cocaine
                              Use on Fetal Growth," New England Journal of Medicine
                              320 #12: 762-8 (March
                              23, 1989); Dr. Ralph Hingson et al., "Effects of
                              maternal drinking and
                              marijuana use on fetal growth and development,"
                              Pediatrics 70: 439-46
                              (1982).

                              [43] Nancy Day et al., "Prenatal Marijuana Use and
                              Neonatal Outcome,"
                              Neurotoxicology and Teratology 13: 329-34 (1992).

                              [44] Janice Hayes, Melanie Dreher and J. Kevin Nugent,
                              "Newborn Outcomes
                              With Maternal Marihuana Use in Jamaican Women,"
                              Pediatric Nursing 14 #2:
                              107-10 (Mar-Apr. 1988).

                              [45] NAS Report, pp. 66-67.

                              [45A] Murray Mittelman, article inCirculation June 12,
                              2001; cited in
                              Science News 160:31, Jul. 14, 2001.

                              [46] Dr. Leo Hollister, "Marijuana and Immunity,"
                              Journal of Psychoactive
                              Drugs 20(1): 3-8 (Jan/Mar 1988).

                              [47] Sean Munro, Kerrie Thomas and Muna Abu-Shaar,
                              "Molecular
                              characterization of a peripheral receptor for
                              cannabinoids," Nature 365:61-5
                              (Sept. 2, 1993) ; Leslie Iversen, "Medical Uses of
                              Marijuana?", ibid. pp.
                              12-3.

                              [48] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                              Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                              cit.

                              [49] Nicholas Cozzi, ibid.

                              [50] Donald Tashkin et al., "Cannabis 1977," Ann.
                              Intern. Med. 89:539-49
                              (1978).

                              [51] Richard A Kaslow et al, "No Evidence for a Role
                              of Alcohol or Other
                              Psychoactive Drugs in Accelerating Immunodeficiency in
                              HIV-1-Positive
                              Individuals," JAMA 261:3424-9 (June 16, 1989).

                              [52] NAS Report, p. 101.

                              [53] "Survey: Hawaii war on pot pushed users to
                              'ice,'" Honolulu Advertiser,
                              April 1, 1994 p. 1.

                              [54] "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science
                              Base," Institute of
                              Medicine, National Academy Press (1999) pp 3.22-23

                              [55] S. Andreasson et al, "Cannabis and Schizophrenia:
                              A Longitudinal Study
                              of Swedish Conscripts," Lancet 2: 1483-6 (1986).

                              [56]"An inquiry into the public health strategies
                              related to cannabis use
                              and the most appropriate legal status," New Zealand
                              Parliament, August 2003,
                              p. 17
                              http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/SelectCommitteeReports/i6c.pdf

                              [57] Three articles with such findings were published
                              in British Medical
                              Journal, 325 (23 Nov. 2002)

                              [58] K.T. Mueser et al, "Prevalence of Substance Abuse
                              in Schizophrenic
                              Demographis and Clinical Correlates," Schizophrenia
                              Bulletin 16: 31-56
                              (1990); R. Warner et al., "Substance Use Among the
                              Mentally Ill: Prevalence,
                              Reasons for Use, and Effects on Illness," American
                              Journal of
                              Orthopsychiatry 64: 30-39 (1994).


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                            • Joschka Fisher
                              Answer: Everyone is speaking for Cannabis or a mixture thereof at different dose levels!!! The article I posted re: skank which is 10x (at least) more
                              Message 14 of 28 , Dec 23, 2005
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Answer: Everyone is speaking for Cannabis or a mixture
                                thereof at different dose levels!!!

                                The article I posted re: skank which is 10x (at least)
                                more concentrated.

                                Show me what does level any of those public studies
                                that found marijuana harmless?

                                ...and what did they test for (before and after)?

                                ...what were the psychological findings (before and
                                after?)
                                --- Joschka Fisher <grabarkowic@...> a écrit :


                                ---------------------------------
                                from joschka fischer:

                                but......aren't you missing an exceedingly important,
                                flagrant and yet overlooked point?
                                ======== know what that one point is?



                                --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                écrit :


                                ---------------------------------
                                While I'm waiting for feedback on topicality, I
                                thought I would give those
                                who are interested a better idea of the *actual*
                                current scientific
                                consensus on marijuana. The following article is
                                comprehensive, balanced,
                                and chock-filled with credible sources.

                                CCB

                                <snip>

                                MARIJUANA HEALTH MYTHOLOGY

                                by Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., Coordinator, California
                                NORML - Rev. Mar. 2005

                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                ----
                                Safety of Cannabis - Smoking and Lungs - Accidents -
                                Drug Testing
                                Potency - Brain - Sterility and Birth Defects -
                                Heart - Immune System -
                                Chromosomes - Gateway Effect - Schizophrenia &
                                Psychosis
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                ----

                                Myth: Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug
                                Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact
                                that there have been
                                numerous official reports and studies, every one of
                                which has concluded that
                                marijuana poses no great risk to society and should
                                not be criminalized.
                                These include: the National Academy of Sciences'
                                "Analysis of Marijuana
                                Policy"(1982); the National Commission on Marihuana
                                and Drug Abuse (the
                                Shafer Report) (1973); the Canadian Government's
                                Commission of Inquiry (Le
                                Dain Report) (1970); the British Advisory Committee on
                                Drug Dependency
                                (Wooton Report) (1968); the La Guardia Report (1944);
                                the Panama Canal Zone
                                Military Investigations (1916-29); and Britain's
                                monumental Indian Hemp
                                Drugs Commission (1893-4).

                                It is sometimes claimed that there is "new evidence"
                                showing marijuana is
                                more harmful than was thought in the sixties. In fact,
                                the most recent
                                studies have tended to confirm marijuana's safety,
                                refuting claims that it
                                causes birth defects, brain damage, reduced
                                testosterone, or increased drug
                                abuse problems.

                                The current consensus is well stated in the 20th
                                annual report of the
                                California Research Advisory Panel (1990), which
                                recommended that personal
                                use and cultivation of marijuana be legalized: "An
                                objective consideration
                                of marijuana shows that it is responsible for less
                                damage to society and the
                                individual than are alcohol and cigarettes."

                                References: For an excellent summary of the true
                                health facts about
                                marijuana, see Lynn Zimmer and Dr. John Morgan,
                                Marijuana Myths, Marijuana
                                Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence (Lindesmith
                                Center, NY, 1997).
                                The National Academy of Sciences report, Marijuana and
                                Health (National
                                Academy Press, 1982) remains a good overview, its
                                major conclusions
                                remaining largely unaffected by two decades of
                                research. Lovinger and Jones,
                                The Marihuana Question (Dodd, Mead & Co., NY 1985) is
                                the most exhaustive
                                and fair-handed summary of the evidence against
                                marijuana. Good, positive
                                perspectives may be found in Lester Grinspoon's
                                Marihuana, the Forbidden
                                Medicine (Yale Press, 1993) and Marihuana Reconsidered
                                (Harvard U. Press
                                1971), which debunks many of the older anti-pot myths.

                                Myth: Marijuana is Harmless
                                Just as most experts agree that occasional or moderate
                                use of marijuana is
                                innocuous, they also agree that excessive use can be
                                harmful. Research shows
                                that the two major risks of excessive marijuana use
                                are: (1) respiratory
                                disease due to smoking and (2) accidental injuries due
                                to impairment. In
                                addition, marijuana speeds the heartbeat, which can be
                                dangerous for
                                patients with serious heart disease.

                                Recent studies have also shown that marijuana can
                                aggravate symptoms of
                                mental illness in persons with schizophrenic
                                tendencies. At least four
                                studies - in Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and the
                                Netherlands - have found
                                that early, repeated use of cannabis is associated
                                with exacerbation of
                                schizophrenia in young patients so inclined (Source:
                                British Medical Journal
                                "Cannabis and Mental Health." 23 Nov 2002). Marijuana
                                is therefore generally
                                disrecommended for schizophrenics, though it may also
                                occasionally be
                                medically useful for treatment of certain
                                schizophrenic symptoms.

                                Marijuana and Smoking:

                                A survey by the Kaiser Permanente Center found that
                                daily marijuana-only
                                smokers have a 19% higher rate of respiratory
                                complaints than
                                non-smokers[01] These findings were not unexpected,
                                since it has long been
                                known that, aside from its psychoactive ingredients,
                                marijuana smoke
                                contains virtually the same toxic gases and
                                carcinogenic tars as tobacco.
                                Human studies have found that pot smokers suffer
                                similar kinds of
                                respiratory damage as tobacco smokers, putting them at
                                greater risk of
                                bronchitis, sore throat, respiratory inflammation and
                                infections[02]

                                Although there has not been enough epidemiological
                                work to settle the matter
                                definitively, it is widely suspected that marijuana
                                smoking causes cancer.
                                Studies have found apparently pre-cancerous cell
                                changes in pot smokers[03]
                                Some cancer specialists have reported a
                                higher-than-expected incidence of
                                throat, neck and tongue cancer in younger,
                                marijuana-only smokers[04] A
                                couple of cases have been fatal. While it has not been
                                conclusively proven
                                that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the
                                evidence is highly
                                suggestive. According to Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA,
                                the leading expert on
                                marijuana smoking[05]

                                "Although more information is certainly needed,
                                sufficient data have already
                                been accumulated concerning the health effects of
                                marijuana to warrant
                                counseling by physicians against the smoking of
                                marijuana as an important
                                hazard to health."

                                Fortunately, the hazards of marijuana smoking can be
                                reduced by various
                                strategies: (1) use of higher-potency cannabis, which
                                can be smoked in
                                smaller quantities, (2) use of vaporizers and other
                                smoke reduction
                                technologies[06] and (3) ingesting pot orally instead
                                of smoking it.

                                Myth: One Joint Equals One Pack (or 16, or maybe just
                                4) Cigarettes
                                Some critics exaggerate the dangers of marijuana
                                smoking by fallaciously
                                citing a study by Dr. Tashkin which found that daily
                                pot smokers experienced
                                a "mild but significant" increase in airflow
                                resistance in the large airways
                                greater than that seen in persons smoking 16
                                cigarettes per day[07] What
                                they ignore is that the same study examined other,
                                more important aspects of
                                lung health, in which marijuana smokers did much
                                better than tobacco
                                smokers. Dr. Tashkin himself disavows the notion that
                                one joint equals 16
                                cigarettes.

                                A more widely accepted estimate is that marijuana
                                smokers consume four times
                                as much carcinogenic tar as cigarettes smokers per
                                weight smoked[08] This
                                does not necessarily mean that one joint equals four
                                cigarettes, since
                                joints usually weigh less. In fact, the average joint
                                has been estimated to
                                contain 0.4 grams of pot, a bit less than one-half the
                                weight of a
                                cigarette, making one joint equal to two cigarettes
                                (actually, joint sizes
                                range from cigar-sized spliffs smoked by Rastas, to
                                very fine sinsemilla
                                joints weighing as little as 0.2 grams). It should be
                                noted that there is no
                                exact equivalency between tobacco and marijuana
                                smoking, because they affect
                                different parts of the respiratory tract differently:
                                whereas tobacco tends
                                to penetrate to the smaller, peripheral passageways of
                                the lungs, pot tends
                                to concentrate on the larger, central passageways[09]
                                One consequence of
                                this is that pot, unlike tobacco, does not appear to
                                cause emphysema.



                                Myth: Prohibition Reduces the Harmfulness of Pot
                                Smoking
                                Whatever the risks of pot smoking, the current laws
                                make matters worse in
                                several respects: (1) Paraphernalia laws have impeded
                                the development and
                                marketing of vaporizers and other devices that could
                                significantly reduce
                                the harmfulness of marijuana smoke. (2) Prohibition
                                encourages the sale of
                                pot that has been contaminated or adulterated by
                                insecticides, Paraquat,
                                etc., or mixed with other drugs such as PCP, crack and
                                heroin. (3) By
                                raising the price of marijuana, prohibition makes it
                                uneconomical to consume
                                marijuana orally, the best way to avoid smoke exposure
                                altogether; this is
                                because eating typically requires two or three times
                                as much marijuana as
                                smoking.

                                Unlike the government, NORML is interested in reducing
                                the dangers of pot
                                smoking. California NORML and MAPS (the
                                Multidisciplinary Association for
                                Psychedelic Studies) have sponsored research on
                                alternative inhalation
                                systems, in particular vaporizers, which are designed
                                to deliver smoke-free
                                cannabinoid vapors. The results indicate that it is
                                possible to virtually
                                eliminate the risk of smoking-related respiratory
                                damage by using vaporizers
                                instead.

                                References on Marijuana and Smoking:

                                Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                                Hazardous To Health,?"
                                Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7; June 1993;
                                Research Findings on
                                Smoking of Abused Substances, ed. C. Nora Chiang and
                                Richard L. Hawks, NIDA
                                Research Monograph 99 (National Institute on Drug
                                Abuse, Rockville, MD
                                1990); NAS Report,op. cit.; California NORML, "Health
                                Tips for Marijuana
                                Smokers."







                                Myth: No One Has Ever Died From Using Marijuana
                                The Kaiser study also found that daily pot users have
                                a 30% higher risk of
                                injuries, presumably from accidents. These figures are
                                significant, though
                                not as high as comparable risks for heavy drinkers or
                                tobacco addicts. That
                                pot can cause accidents is scarcely surprising, since
                                marijuana has been
                                shown to degrade short-term memory, concentration,
                                judgment, and
                                coordination at complex tasks including driving[10]
                                There have been numerous
                                reports of pot-related accidents - some of them fatal,
                                belying the
                                attractive myth that no one has ever died from
                                marijuana. One survey of 1023
                                emergency room trauma patients in Baltimore found that
                                fully 34.7% were
                                under the influence of marijuana, more even than
                                alcohol (33.5%); half of
                                these (16.5% used both pot and alcohol in
                                combination[11] This is perhaps
                                the most troublesome research ever reported about
                                marijuana; as we shall
                                see, other accident studies have generally found pot
                                to be less dangerous
                                than alcohol.

                                Nonetheless, it is important to be informed on all
                                sides of the issue. Pot
                                smokers should be aware that accidents are the number
                                one hazard of moderate
                                pot use. In addition, of course, the psychoactive
                                effects of cannabis can
                                have many other adverse effects on performance, school
                                work, and
                                productivity.

                                Myth: Marijuana is a Major Road Safety Hazard
                                Numerous research studies have found that marijuana is
                                on balance less of a
                                public road hazard than alcohol. Various accident
                                surveys have found that
                                over half of fatal drivers have alcohol in their
                                blood, as opposed to 7 -
                                20% with THC, the major psychoactive component of
                                marijuana (a condition
                                usually indicative of having smoked within the past
                                2-4 hours)[12] However,
                                the great majority (70% - 90%) of THC-positive drivers
                                also have alcohol in
                                their blood. There is little accordingly little
                                evidence that marijuana use
                                by itself is a major public safety hazard [ 13].

                                Two major studies by the National Highway
                                Transportation Safety
                                Administration have confirmed marijuana's relative
                                safety compared to
                                alcohol. The first, the most comprehensive U.S. drug
                                accident study to date,
                                surveyed blood samples from 1882 drivers killed in
                                car, truck and
                                motorchycle accidents in seven states during
                                1990-91[14] Alcohol was found
                                in 51.5% of specimens, as against 17.8% for all other
                                drugs combined.
                                Marijuana, the second most common drug, appeared in
                                just 6.7%. Two-thirds of
                                the marijuana-using drivers also had alcohol. The
                                report concluded that
                                alcohol was by far the "dominant" drug-related problem
                                in accidents. It went
                                on to analyze the responsibility of drivers for the
                                accidents they were
                                involved in. It found that drivers who used alcohol
                                were especially culpable
                                in fatal accidents, and even more so when they
                                combined it with marijuana or
                                other drugs. However, those who used marijuana alone
                                appeared to be if
                                anything less culpable than non-drug users (though the
                                date were
                                insufficient to be statistically conclusive). The
                                report concluded, "There
                                was no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause
                                of fatal accidents."
                                (It must be emphasized that this is not the case when
                                marijuana is combined
                                with alcohol or other drugs).

                                The second NHTSA study, "Marijuana and Actual Driving
                                Performance,"
                                concluded that the adverse effects of cannabis on
                                driving appear "relatively
                                small" and are less than those of drunken driving[15]
                                The study, conducted
                                in the Netherlands, examined the performance of
                                drivers in actual freeway
                                and urban driving situations at various doses of
                                marijuana. It found that
                                marijuana produces a moderate, dose-related decrement
                                in road tracking
                                ability, but is "not profoundly impairing" and "in no
                                way unusual compared
                                to many medicinal drugs." It found that marijuana's
                                effects at the higher
                                doses preferred by smokers never exceed those of
                                alcohol at blood
                                concentrations of .08%, the minimum level for legal
                                intoxication in stricter
                                states such as California. The study found that unlike
                                alcohol, which
                                encourages risky diring, marijuana appears to produce
                                greater caution,
                                apparently because users are more aware of their state
                                and able to
                                compensate for it (similar results have been reported
                                by other
                                researchers[16]).

                                However, a recent Australian study by Drummer found
                                that drivers with high
                                blood levels of THC (> 5 ng/ml) had a significantly
                                higher rate of accident
                                culpability than drivers who were drug-free,
                                comparable to drunken drivers
                                [16A]. This was not true of drivers with only trace
                                amounts of cannabinoids
                                in their systems. High blood levels are indicative of
                                recent use within the
                                last couple of hours. This suggests that acute,
                                current pot use is a driving
                                hazard, though not residual after-effects of chronic
                                use, which often show
                                positive in drug tests.

                                Another survey of 2,500 drivers in South Australia
                                failed to find evidence
                                that marijuana is a significant road safety
                                hazard[16B]. The researchers
                                examined blood samples from drivers in non-fatal
                                accidents for traces of
                                alcohol, cannabinoids (marijuana), benzodiazepines
                                (tranquilizers), and
                                amphetamines. The researchers then assessed the
                                drivers' degree of
                                culpability for the crashes. Overall, they found no
                                increase in culpability
                                for drivers showing cannabinoids alone compared to
                                drug-free drivers. In
                                contrast, there was a very strong relation between
                                alcohol blood levels and
                                accident culpability. The combination of marijuana
                                with alcohol also showed
                                strongly increased accident culpability.
                                Benzodiazepines, but not
                                amphetamines, also showed higher culpability. Another
                                analysis of 1,052
                                fatal drivers in Australia suggested that marijuana is
                                if anything
                                associated with a decreased risk of accidents.

                                Similar results have been reported in other driving
                                studies as well[16C]. It
                                should be noted that these results may not apply to
                                non-driving related
                                situations, where forgetfulness or inattention can be
                                more important than
                                speed (this might explain the discrepancy in the
                                Baltimore hospital study,
                                which looked at accidents of all kinds). In addition,
                                the second NHTSA study
                                warned that marijuana could also be quite dangerous in
                                emergency situations
                                that put high demands on driving skills.

                                A good summary of the literature on driving under the
                                influence of marijuana
                                may be found at Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen's IACM - DUIM
                                Project site. See also
                                Cannabis and Driving: A Review of the Literature and
                                Commentary (U.K.
                                Department for Transport)



                                Myth: Marijuana Prohibition Improves Public Safety
                                There is no evidence that the prohibition of marijuana
                                reduces the net
                                social risk of accidents. On the contrary, recent
                                studies suggest that
                                marijuana may actually be beneficial in that it
                                substitutes for alcohol and
                                other, more dangerous drugs. Research by Karyn Model
                                found that states with
                                marijuana decrim had lower overall drug abuse rates
                                than others; another
                                study by Frank Chaloupka found decrim states have
                                lower accident rates
                                too[17] In Alaska, accident rates held constant or
                                declined following the
                                legalization of personal use of marijuana[18] In
                                Holland, authorities
                                believe that cannabis has contributed to an overall
                                decline in opiate abuse.
                                Recent government statistics showed that the highest
                                rates of cocaine abuse
                                in the West were in Nevada and Arizona, the states
                                with the toughest
                                marijuana laws.

                                Myth: Drug Urinalysis Improves Workplace Safety
                                There has never been a single, controlled scientific
                                study showing drug
                                urinalysis improves workplace safety. Claims that drug
                                testing works are
                                based on dubious anecdotal reports or the mere
                                observation of a declining
                                rate of drug positives in the working population,
                                which has nothing to do
                                with job performance. Such scientific studies as have
                                been conducted have
                                found little difference between the performance of
                                drug-urine-positive
                                workers and others. The largest survey to date,
                                covering 4,396 postal
                                workers nationwide, found no difference in accident
                                records between workers
                                who tested positive on pre-employment drug screens and
                                those who did not[19]
                                The study did find that drug-positive workers had a
                                50% higher rate of
                                absenteeism and dismissals; put another way, however,
                                drug users had a 93.4%
                                attendance record (versus 95.8% for non-users) and
                                fully 85% kept their jobs
                                for a year (versus 89.5% for non-users)! An economic
                                analysis of postal
                                workers in Boston concluded that the net savings of
                                drug testing were
                                marginal, and that there could be many situations
                                where it is not
                                cost-effective[20] Another survey of health workers in
                                Georgia found no
                                difference in job performance between drug-positive
                                and drug-negative
                                workers[21]

                                Myth: Random Urinalysis is Needed in Safety-Sensitive
                                Transportation Jobs
                                Government rules mandating random drug testing were
                                promulgated without any
                                prior statistical evidence that illicit drugs
                                constituted an inordinate
                                safety hazard. Not a single commercial passenger
                                airline accident has ever
                                been attributed to marijuana (or, for that matter,
                                alcohol) abuse[22] Drug
                                tests on rail workers found no elevated incidence of
                                drug use among workers
                                involved in accidents[23]

                                Random drug testing of transportation workers was
                                enacted as a hysterical
                                reaction to a single 1987 train collision, in which 16
                                Amtrak passengers
                                were killed by a Conrail train that failed to stop.
                                The engineer and
                                brakeman of the Conrail train at fault were found to
                                have recently smoked
                                marijuana, though it was never firmly proven that
                                marijuana caused the
                                accident. The Conrail engineer had an extensive record
                                of speeding and
                                drunken driving offenses and was known by management
                                to have drinking
                                problems. Critical safety equipment that would have
                                averted the accident was
                                missing or disabled. A subsequent investigation by the
                                National
                                Transportation Safety Board recommended that Conrail
                                improve both its
                                management and equipment, but did not recommend random
                                testing. Nonetheless,
                                Congress responded by mandating random drug testing on
                                the entire
                                transportation industry, from airline flight
                                attendants to gas pipeline
                                workers.

                                Myth: A Single Joint Has Effects That Linger for Days
                                and Weeks
                                While it is true that THC and other cannabinoids are
                                fat-soluble and linger
                                in the body for prolonged periods, they do not
                                normally affect behavior
                                beyond a few hours except in chronic users. Most
                                impairment studies have
                                found that the adverse effects of acute marijuana use
                                wear off in 2-6 hours,
                                commonly faster than alcohol[24] The one notable
                                exception was a pair of
                                flight simulator studies by Leirer, Yesavage, and
                                Morrow, which reported
                                effects on flight simulator performance up to 24 hours
                                later[25] The
                                differences, described by Leirer as "very subtle" and
                                "very marginal," were
                                less than those due to pilot age. Another flight
                                simulator study by the same
                                group failed to find any effects beyond 4 hours[26]
                                Similar "hangover"
                                effects have been noted for alcohol[27]

                                Chronic users may experience more prolonged effects
                                due to a build-up of
                                cannabinoids in the tissues. Some heavy users have
                                reported feeling effects
                                weeks or even months after stopping. However, there is
                                no evidence that
                                these are detrimental to safety.


                                References on Accidents and Drug Testing: Alcohol,
                                Drugs and Driving:
                                Abstracts and Reviews Vol. 2 #3-4 (Brain Information
                                Service, UCLA 1986);
                                Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident
                                Safety," Journal of
                                Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan.-Mar 1988); Dr.
                                John Morgan,
                                "Impaired Statistics and the Unimpaired Worker," Drug
                                Policy Letter 1(2):
                                May/June 1989, and "The 'scientific' justification for
                                drug urine testing,"
                                The University of Kansas Law Review 36: 683-97 (1988);
                                John Horgan, "Test
                                Negative: A look at the evidence justifying
                                illicit-drug tests," Scientific
                                American, March 1990 pp. 18-22, and "Postal Mortem,"
                                Scientific American,
                                Feb. 1991 pp. 22-3; Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or
                                Uromancy?" in Strategies
                                for Change: New Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy
                                Foundation, 1992).

                                Myth: Pot is Ten Times More Potent and Dangerous Now
                                Than in the Sixties
                                The notion that pot has increased dramatically in
                                potency is a DEA myth
                                based on biased government data, as shown in a recent
                                NORML report by Dr.
                                John Morgan[28] Samples of pot from the early '70s
                                came from stale,
                                low-potency Mexican "kilobricks" left in police
                                lockers, whose potency had
                                deteriorated to sub-smokable levels of less than 0.5%.
                                These were compared
                                to later samples of decent-quality domestic marijuana,
                                making it appear that
                                potency had skyrocketed. A careful examination of the
                                government's data show
                                that average marijuana potency increased modestly by a
                                factor of two or so
                                during the seventies, and has been more or less
                                constant ever since.

                                In fact, there is nothing new about high-potency pot.
                                During the sixties, it
                                was available in premium varieties such as Acapulco
                                Gold, Panama Red, etc. ,
                                as well as in the form of hashish and hash oil, which
                                were every bit as
                                strong as today's sinsemilla, but were ignored in
                                government potency
                                statistics. While the average potency of domestic pot
                                did increase with the
                                development of sinsemilla in the seventies, the range
                                of potencies available
                                has remained virtually unchanged since the last
                                century, when extremely
                                potent tonics were sold over the counter in
                                pharmacies. In Holland,
                                high-powered hashish and sinsemilla are currently sold
                                in coffee shops with
                                no evident problems.

                                Contrary to popular myth, greater potency is not
                                necessarily more dangerous,
                                due to the fact that users tend to adjust (or
                                "self-titrate") their dose
                                according to potency. Thus, good quality sinsemilla is
                                actually healthier
                                for the lungs because it reduces the amount of smoke
                                one needs to inhale to
                                get high.



                                Myth: Pot Kills Brain Cells
                                Government experts now admit that pot doesn't kill
                                brain cells[29] This myth
                                came from a handful of animal experiments in which
                                structural changes (not
                                actual cell death, as is often alleged) were observed
                                in brain cells of
                                animals exposed to high doses of pot. Many critics
                                still cite the notorious
                                monkey studies of Dr. Robert G. Heath, which purported
                                to find brain damage
                                in three monkeys that had been heavily dosed with
                                cannabis[30] This work was
                                never replicated and has since been discredited by a
                                pair of better
                                controlled, much larger monkey studies, one by Dr.
                                William Slikker of the
                                National Center for Toxicological Researc[31] and the
                                other by Charles
                                Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International[32]
                                Neither found any evidence
                                of physical alteration in the brains of monkeys
                                exposed to daily doses of
                                pot for up to a year. Human studies of heavy users in
                                Jamaica and Costa Rica
                                found no evidence of abnormalities in brain
                                physiology[33] A 15-year study
                                of 1,318 chronic marijuana users by Johns Hopkins
                                University found no
                                evidence of long-term decline in mental function[34]
                                Even though pot does
                                not appear to cause permanent brain damage, users
                                should be aware that
                                persistent deficits in short-term memory have been
                                noted in chronic, heavy
                                marijuana smokers after 6 to 12 weeks of
                                abstinence[35] It is worth noting
                                that other drugs, including alcohol, are known to
                                cause brain damage.

                                Myth: Marijuana Causes Sterility and Lowers
                                Testosterone
                                Government experts also concede that pot has no
                                permanent effect on the male
                                or female reproductive systems[36] A few studies have
                                suggested that heavy
                                marijuana use may have a reversible, suppressive
                                effect on male testicular
                                function[37] A recent study by Dr. Robert Block has
                                refuted earlier research
                                suggesting that pot lowers testosterone or other sex
                                hormones in men or
                                women[38] In contrast, heavy alcohol drinking is known
                                to lower testosterone
                                levels and cause impotence. A couple of lab studies
                                indicated that very
                                heavy marijuana smoking might lower sperm counts.
                                However, surveys of
                                chronic smokers have turned up no indication of
                                infertility or other
                                abnormalities.

                                Less is known about the effects of cannabis on human
                                females. Some animal
                                studies suggest that pot might temporarily lower
                                fertility or increase the
                                risk of fetal loss, but this evidence is of dubious
                                relevance to humans[39]
                                One human study suggested that pot may mildly disrupt
                                ovulation. It is
                                possible that adolescents are peculiarly vulnerable to
                                hormonal disruptions
                                from pot. However, not a single case of impaired
                                fertility has ever been
                                observed in humans of either sex.


                                Myth: Marijuana Causes Birth Defects
                                While experts generally recommend against any drug use
                                during pregnancy,
                                marijuana has little evidence implicating it in fetal
                                harm, unlike alcohol,
                                cocaine or tobacco. Epidemiological studies have found
                                no evident link
                                between prenatal use of marijuana and birth defects in
                                humans[40] A recent
                                study by Dr. Susan Astley at the University of
                                Washington refuted an earlier
                                work suggesting that cannabis might cause fetal
                                alcohol syndrome[41]

                                Although some research has found that prenatal
                                cannabis use is associated
                                with slightly reduced average birth weight and
                                length[42] these studies have
                                been open to methodological criticism. More recently,
                                a well-controlled
                                study found that cannabis use had a positive impact on
                                birthweight during
                                the third trimester of pregnancy with no adverse
                                behavioral consequences[43]
                                The same study found a slight reduction in birth
                                length with pot use in the
                                first two months of pregnancy. Another study of
                                Jamaican women who had
                                smoked pot throughout pregnancy found that their
                                babies registered higher on
                                developmental scores at the age of 30 days, while
                                experiencing no
                                significant effects on birthweight or length[44]

                                While cannabis use is not recommended in pregnancy, it
                                may be of medical
                                value to some women in treating morning sickness or
                                easing childbirth.

                                Myth: Pot Causes High Blood Pressure
                                According to the NAS, the effects of marijuana on
                                blood pressure are
                                complex, depending on dose, administration, and
                                posture[45] Marijuana often
                                produces a temporary, "moderate" increase in blood
                                pressure immediately
                                after ingestion; however, heavy chronic doses may
                                slightly depress blood
                                pressure instead. One common reaction is to cause
                                decreased blood pressure
                                while standing and increased blood pressure while
                                lying down, causing people
                                to faint if they stand up too quickly. There is no
                                evidence that pot use
                                causes persisting hypertension or heart disease; some
                                users even claim that
                                it helps them control hypertension by reducing stress.

                                One thing THC does do is to increase pulse rates for
                                about an hour, a
                                condition known as tachycardia. This is not generally
                                harmful and may even
                                be beneficial since exercise does the same thing.
                                However, just like hard
                                exercise, pot use may precipitate heart attacks in
                                patients with
                                pre-existing heart disease. A study by Dr. Murray
                                Mittleman found that users
                                face an elevated risk of heart attack within an hour
                                of pot smoking, similar
                                to the risk from physical exercise or having sex
                                [45A]. Chronic users may
                                develop a tolerance to tachycardia and other
                                cardiovascular reactions.

                                Myth: Marijuana Damages the Immune System
                                A variety of studies indicate that THC and other
                                cannabinoids may exercise
                                mild, reversible immuno-suppressive effects by
                                inhibiting the activity of
                                immune system cells know as lymphocytes (T- and
                                B-cells) and macrophages. It
                                is dubious whether these effects are of import to
                                human health, since they
                                are based mainly on theoretical laboratory and animal
                                studies. According to
                                a review by Dr. Leo Hollister[46] "The evidence [on
                                immune suppression] has
                                been contradictory and is more supportive of some
                                degree of
                                immunosuppression only when one considers in vitro
                                studies. These have been
                                seriously flawed by the very high concentrations of
                                drug used to produce
                                immunosuppression. The closer that experimental
                                studies have been to actual
                                clinical situations, the less compelling has been the
                                evidence."

                                The immune suppression issue was first raised in
                                research by the notorious
                                cannabophobe Dr. Gabriel Nahas, but a flurry of
                                research by the Reagan
                                administration failed to find anything alarming. The
                                recent discovery of a
                                cannabinoid receptor inside rat spleens, where immune
                                cells reside, raises
                                the likelihood that cannabinoids do exert some sort of
                                influence on the
                                immune system[47] It has even been suggested that
                                these effects might be
                                beneficial for patients with auto-immune diseases such
                                as multiple
                                sclerosis. Nevertheless, not a single case of
                                marijuana-induced immune
                                deficiency has ever been clinically or
                                epidemiologically detected in humans.

                                One exception is the lungs, where chronic pots smokers
                                have been shown to
                                suffer damage to the immune cells known as alveolar
                                macrophages and other
                                defense mechanisms[48] It is unclear how much of this
                                damage is due to THC,
                                as opposed to all of the other toxins that occur in
                                smoke , many of which
                                can be filtered out by waterpipes and other
                                device[49].

                                There is no reason to think marijuana is dangerous to
                                AIDS patients. On the
                                contrary, many AIDS patients report that marijuana
                                helps avert the deadly
                                "wasting syndrome" by stimulating appetite and
                                reducing nausea. Cannabinoids
                                do not actually damage the T-cells, which are depleted
                                in HIV patients: one
                                study even found that marijuana exposure increased
                                T-cell counts in subjects
                                (not AIDS patients) whose T-cell counts had been
                                low[50] Epidemiological
                                studies have found no relation between use of
                                marijuana or other drugs and
                                development of AIDS[51]

                                Myth: Marijuana Causes Chromosome and Cell Damage
                                According to the NAS[52] "Studies suggesting that
                                marijuana probably does
                                not break chromosomes are fairly conclusive."
                                Cannabinoids in themselves are
                                neither mutagenic nor carcinogenic, though the tars
                                produced by marijuana
                                combustion are. Some laboratory studies have suggested
                                that high dosages of
                                THC might interfere with cell replication and produce
                                abnormal numbers of
                                chromosomes; however, there is no evidence of such
                                damage in realistic
                                situations.

                                Myth: Marijuana Leads to Harder Drugs
                                There is no scientific evidence for the theory that
                                marijuana is a "gateway"
                                drug. The cannabis-using cultures in Asia, the Middle
                                East, Africa and Latin
                                America show no propensity for other drugs. The
                                gateway theory took hold in
                                the sixties, when marijuana became the leading new
                                recreational drug. It was
                                refuted by events in the eighties, when cocaine abuse
                                exploded at the same
                                time marijuana use declined.

                                As shown above, there is evidence that cannabis may
                                substitute for alcohol
                                and other "hard" drugs. A survey by Dr. Patricia
                                Morgan of the University of
                                California at Berekeley found that a significant
                                number of pot smokers and
                                dealers switched to methamphetamine "ice" when
                                Hawaii's marijuana
                                eradication program created a shortage of pot[53] Dr.
                                Morgan noted a similar
                                phenomenon in California, where cocaine use soared in
                                the wake of the CAMP
                                helicopter eradication campaign. In its report
                                "Marijuana and Medicine," the
                                National Institute of Medicine found no scientific
                                evidence for the gateway
                                theory[54].

                                The one way in which marijuana does lead to other
                                drugs is through its
                                illegality: persons who deal in marijuana are likely
                                to deal in other
                                illicit drugs as well.


                                MYTH: Marijuana Is a Major Cause of Schizophrenia &
                                Psychosis
                                Some studies have indicated that marijuana may be a
                                risk factor in
                                schizophrenia, psychosis, or other mental illnesses.
                                For example, a study of
                                Swedish military personnel found that chronic
                                marijuana users were twice as
                                likely to be schizophrenic [55]. However, no increase
                                in the rate of
                                schizophrenia or psychosis has been detected in those
                                parts of the world
                                where cannabis use has increased greatly in recent
                                decades. It therefore
                                appears that cannabis does not increase the incidence
                                of such problems in
                                the general population, as concluded by the New
                                Zealand Parliamentary
                                Committee [56].

                                On the other hand, several studies have found that
                                marijuana use may
                                precipitate earlier onset of schizophrenia or
                                aggravate its symptoms in
                                those already so predisposed. [57] However, the
                                effects of cannabis on
                                schizophrenics are not necessarily detrimental.
                                Cannabis has also been
                                observed to mitigate symptoms in many patients. [58]
                                It may therefore be
                                that the purported link between marijuana use and
                                schizophrenia is due to
                                self-medication.

                                In general, the evidence regarding cannabis and
                                schizophrenia / psychosis is
                                conflicting, so caution is advisable. Persons with
                                psychotic tendencies
                                should consult their physicians before using cannabis.





                                [01] Michael R. Polen et al. "Health Care Use by
                                Frequent Marijuana Smokers
                                Who Do Not Smoke Tobacco," Western Journal of Medicine
                                158 #6: 596-601 (June
                                1993).

                                [02] Donald Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                                Hazardous To Health?"
                                Western Journal of Medicine 158 #6: 635-7 (June 1993).

                                [03] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of
                                Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                                on the Lung," in Research Findings on Smoking of
                                Abused Substances, NIDA
                                Research Monograph 99 (1990).

                                [04] Paul Donald, "Advanced malignancy in the young
                                marijuana smoker," Adv
                                Exp Med Biol 288:33-56 (1991); FM Taylor, "Marijuana
                                as a potential
                                respiratory tract carcinogen," South Med Journal
                                81:1213-6 (1988).

                                [05] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                                Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                                cit.

                                [06] Contrary to what might be expected, waterpipes do
                                not reduce the
                                proportion of tars in marijuana smoke; the most
                                promising alternative may be
                                to "vaporize" the THC with devices that heat marijuana
                                below the point of
                                combustion. D. Gieringer, "Marijuana
                                Waterpipe/Vaporizer Study," MAPS
                                (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
                                Studies) Newsletter, VI#3,
                                1996, pp. 59-66)

                                [07] D. Tashkin, "Respiratory Status of 74 Habitual
                                Marijuana Smokers,"
                                Chest 78 #5: 699-706 (Nov. 1980).

                                [08] T-C. Wu, D. Tashkin, B. Djahed and J.E. Rose,
                                "Pulmonary hazards of
                                smoking marijuana as compared with tobacco," New
                                England Journal of Medicine
                                318: 347-51 (1988).

                                [09] D. Tashkin et al, "Effects of Habitual Use of
                                Marijuana and/or Cocaine
                                on the Lung," loc.cit.

                                [10] Herbert Moskowitz, "Marihuana and Driving,"
                                Accident Analysis and
                                Prevention 17#4: 323-45 (1985).

                                [11] Carl Soderstrom et al., "Marijuana and Alcohol
                                Use Among 1023 Trauma
                                Patients," Archives of Surgery, 123: 733-7 (1988).

                                [12] Dale Gieringer, "Marijuana, Driving, and Accident
                                Safety," Journal of
                                Psychoactive Drugs 20 (1): 93-101 (Jan-Mar 1988).

                                [13] H. Klonoff, "Marijuana and driving in real-life
                                situations," Science
                                186: 317-24 (1974).

                                [14] K.W. Terhune et al., "The Incidence and Role of
                                Drugs in Fatally
                                Injured Drivers," NHTSA Report # DOT-HS-808-065
                                (1994).

                                [15] Hendrik Robbe and James O'Hanlon, "Marijuana and
                                Actual Driving
                                Performance," NHTSA Report #DOT-HS-808-078 (1994).

                                [16] Klonoff, loc. cit.; A. Smiley, "Marijuana:
                                On-road and driving
                                simulator studies," Alcohol, Drugs and Driving:
                                Abstracts and Reviews 2#3-4:
                                15-30 (1986).

                                [16A] Olaf Drummer et al, 'The involvement of drugs in
                                drivers of motor
                                vehicles killed in Australian road traffic crashes,"
                                Accident Analysis and
                                Prevention c (2004) 36(2):239-48.

                                [16B]C.E. Hunter, R.J. Lokan, M.C. Longo, J.M White
                                and M.A. White, "The
                                Prevalence and Role of Alcohol, Cannabinoids,
                                Benzodiazepines and Stimulants
                                in Non-Fatal Crashes." Forensic Science, Department
                                for Administrative and
                                Information Services, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, South
                                Australia 5000, May
                                1998.

                                [16C] A good summary is given in Michael Bates and
                                Tony Blakely, "Role of
                                Cannabis in Motor Vehicle Crashes," Epidemiological
                                Reviews 21#2: 222-32
                                (1999).

                                [17] Frank Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthal, "Do Youths
                                Substitute Alcohol and
                                Marijuana? Some Empirical Evidence," Working Paper No.
                                4662, National Bureau
                                of Economic Research, Cambridge Mass. (1994); K.E.
                                Model, "The Effect of
                                Marijuana Decriminalization on Hospital Emergency Room
                                Episodes: 1975-8,"
                                Journal of the American Statistical Association,
                                88:423, 737-47; cited in
                                Peter Passell, "Less Marijuana, More Alcohol?" New
                                York Times June 17, 1992.

                                [18] Michael Dunham, "When the Smoke Clears," Reason
                                March 1983 pp.33-6.

                                [19] Norman, Salyard and Mahoney, "An Evaluation of
                                Preemployment Drug
                                Testing," Journal of Applied Psychology 75(6) 629-39
                                (1990).

                                [20] Zwerling, Ryan and Orav, "Costs and Benefits of
                                Preemployment Drug
                                Screening," JAMA 267(1): 91-3 (1992).

                                [21] David Charles Parish, "Relation of the
                                Pre-employment Drug Testing
                                Result to Employment Status: A One-year Follow-up,"
                                Journal of General
                                Internal Medicine 4:44-7 (1989).

                                [22] Dale Gieringer, "Urinalysis or Uromancy?" in
                                Strategies for Change: New
                                Directions in Drug Policy (Drug Policy Foundation,
                                1992); testimony of R.B.
                                Stone in Hearings on the Airline and Rail Service
                                Protection Act of 1987,
                                Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and
                                Transportation, Feb. 20, 1987.

                                [23] Gieringer, op. cit.; statistics reported in
                                Federal Register Vol. 53
                                #224, Nov. 21, 1988 p. 47104.

                                [24] Alison Smiley, "Marijuana: On-Road and Driving
                                Simulator Studies,"
                                Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving 2 #3-4: 121-34 (1986).

                                [25] V.O. Leirer, J.A. Yesavage and D.G. Morrow,
                                "Marijuana Carry-Over
                                Effects on Aircraft Pilot Performance," Aviation Space
                                and Environmental
                                Medicine 62: 221-7 (March 1991); Yesavage, Leirer, et
                                al., "Carry-Over
                                effects of marijuana intoxication on aircraft pilot
                                performance: a
                                preliminary report," American Journal of Psychiatry
                                142: 1325-9 (1985).

                                [26] Leirer, Yesavage and Morrow, "Marijuana, Aging
                                and Task Difficulty
                                Effects on Pilot Performance," Aviation Space and
                                Environmental Medicine 60:
                                1145-52 (Dec. 1989).

                                [27] Yesavage and Leirer, "Hangover Effects on
                                Aircraft Pilots 14 Hours
                                After Alcohol Ingestion: A Preliminary Report,"
                                American Journal of
                                Psychiatry 143: 1546-50 (Dec. 1986).

                                [28] John Morgan, "American Marijuana Potency: Data
                                Versus Conventional
                                Wisdom," NORML report (1994). See also T. Mikuriya and
                                M. Aldrich, "Cannabis
                                1988: Old drug, new dangers, the potency question,"
                                Journal of Psychoactive
                                Drugs 20:47-55.

                                [29] Dr. Christine Hartel, Acting Director of
                                Research, National Institute
                                of Drug Abuse, cited by the State of Hawaii Dept of
                                Health, Alcohol and Drug
                                Abuse Division in memo of Feb. 4, 1994.

                                [30] For an overview, see NAS Report, op. cit., pp.
                                81-2. R.G. Heath et al,
                                "Cannabis sativa: effects on brain function and
                                ultrastructure in Rhesus
                                monkeys," Biol. Psychiatry 15: 657-90 (1980).

                                [31] William Slikker et al., "Chronic Marijuana Smoke
                                Exposure in the Rhesus
                                Monkey," Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 17: 321-32
                                (1991).

                                [32] Charles Rebert & Gordon Pryor - "Chronic
                                Inhalation of Marijuana Smoke
                                and Brain Electrophysiology of Rhesus Monkeys,"
                                International Journal of
                                Psychophysiology V 14, p.144, 1993.

                                [33] NAS Report, pp. 82-7.

                                [34] American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1, 1999.

                                [35] "Cannabis and Memory Loss," (editorial) British
                                Journal of Addiction
                                86: 249-52 (1991)

                                [36] Dr. Christine Hartel, loc. cit.

                                [37] NAS Report, pp. 94-9.

                                [38] Dr. Robert Block in Drug and Alcohol Dependence
                                28: 121-8 (1991).

                                [39]NAS Report, p. 97-8.

                                [40] NAS Report, p. 99.

                                [41] Dr. Susan Astley, "Analysis of Facial Shape in
                                Children Gestationally
                                Exposed to Marijuana, Alcohol, and/or Cocaine,"
                                Pediatrics 89#1: 67-77 (
                                June 1992).

                                [42] Dr. Barry Zuckerman et al. "Effects of Maternal
                                Marijuana and Cocaine
                                Use on Fetal Growth," New England Journal of Medicine
                                320 #12: 762-8 (March
                                23, 1989); Dr. Ralph Hingson et al., "Effects of
                                maternal drinking and
                                marijuana use on fetal growth and development,"
                                Pediatrics 70: 439-46
                                (1982).

                                [43] Nancy Day et al., "Prenatal Marijuana Use and
                                Neonatal Outcome,"
                                Neurotoxicology and Teratology 13: 329-34 (1992).

                                [44] Janice Hayes, Melanie Dreher and J. Kevin Nugent,
                                "Newborn Outcomes
                                With Maternal Marihuana Use in Jamaican Women,"
                                Pediatric Nursing 14 #2:
                                107-10 (Mar-Apr. 1988).

                                [45] NAS Report, pp. 66-67.

                                [45A] Murray Mittelman, article inCirculation June 12,
                                2001; cited in
                                Science News 160:31, Jul. 14, 2001.

                                [46] Dr. Leo Hollister, "Marijuana and Immunity,"
                                Journal of Psychoactive
                                Drugs 20(1): 3-8 (Jan/Mar 1988).

                                [47] Sean Munro, Kerrie Thomas and Muna Abu-Shaar,
                                "Molecular
                                characterization of a peripheral receptor for
                                cannabinoids," Nature 365:61-5
                                (Sept. 2, 1993) ; Leslie Iversen, "Medical Uses of
                                Marijuana?", ibid. pp.
                                12-3.

                                [48] D. Tashkin, "Is Frequent Marijuana Smoking
                                Hazardous To Health,?" op.
                                cit.

                                [49] Nicholas Cozzi, ibid.

                                [50] Donald Tashkin et al., "Cannabis 1977," Ann.
                                Intern. Med. 89:539-49
                                (1978).

                                [51] Richard A Kaslow et al, "No Evidence for a Role
                                of Alcohol or Other
                                Psychoactive Drugs in Accelerating Immunodeficiency in
                                HIV-1-Positive
                                Individuals," JAMA 261:3424-9 (June 16, 1989).

                                [52] NAS Report, p. 101.

                                [53] "Survey: Hawaii war on pot pushed users to
                                'ice,'" Honolulu Advertiser,
                                April 1, 1994 p. 1.

                                [54] "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science
                                Base," Institute of
                                Medicine, National Academy Press (1999) pp 3.22-23

                                [55] S. Andreasson et al, "Cannabis and Schizophrenia:
                                A Longitudinal Study
                                of Swedish Conscripts," Lancet 2: 1483-6 (1986).

                                [56]"An inquiry into the public health strategies
                                related to cannabis use
                                and the most appropriate legal status," New Zealand
                                Parliament, August 2003,
                                p. 17
                                http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/SelectCommitteeReports/i6c.pdf

                                [57] Three articles with such findings were published
                                in British Medical
                                Journal, 325 (23 Nov. 2002)

                                [58] K.T. Mueser et al, "Prevalence of Substance Abuse
                                in Schizophrenic
                                Demographis and Clinical Correlates," Schizophrenia
                                Bulletin 16: 31-56
                                (1990); R. Warner et al., "Substance Use Among the
                                Mentally Ill: Prevalence,
                                Reasons for Use, and Effects on Illness," American
                                Journal of
                                Orthopsychiatry 64: 30-39 (1994).


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                              • Christian C. Burke
                                Joschka, ... I addressed this, as did the article I posted. Please re-read. The fact that strains have gotten more potent actually tends to *reduce* the
                                Message 15 of 28 , Dec 24, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Joschka,

                                  > The article I posted re: skank which is 10x (at least) more concentrated.

                                  I addressed this, as did the article I posted. Please re-read. The fact
                                  that strains have gotten more potent actually tends to *reduce* the harmful
                                  effects, because the user doesn't need to smoke an entire joint to get the
                                  effect. With really good pot, only one or two puffs is all that's required.
                                  Currently, the most dangerous known effects are not from THC or other
                                  cannabinoids, but from the smoking process - so there is a risk of lung
                                  disease. Higher potency = less smoke per dose = less lung irritation per
                                  dose.

                                  > Show me what does level any of those public studies
                                  > that found marijuana harmless?

                                  Negative. YOU started this. If you have an actual point to make, then YOU
                                  show us a credible study that found marijuana to be dangerous above a
                                  particular dose. I took the time to explain exaclty how your article is
                                  wrong, I posted a comprehensive article describing current scientic position
                                  on marijuana, and I even tried to keep the subject topical for this list.
                                  All you do is post one-liner questions that have already been answered. If
                                  you can dispute what I've offered, then let's hear it. Otherwise, I have
                                  better things to do (Wayne, I get it now...I really do!)

                                  The fact is, marijuana has not been shown to be especially harmful at ANY
                                  dose that could be acheived by normal use. You'd have to eat a whole
                                  bunch - like a few ounces - and that would probably just make you trip for a
                                  week or two. Of course, eating a few ounces of tobacco would be WAY more
                                  sickening (even just to think about!), and would probably be lethal.

                                  Next...

                                  CCB
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                                • Joschka Fisher
                                  from the angst puppies dept. of joschka fischer: My point was the Guardian article At issue are the following (get your emotions out of it please!) a) Has
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Dec 24, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    from the " angst puppies" dept. of joschka fischer:

                                    My point was the Guardian article"

                                    At issue are the following (get your emotions out of
                                    it please!)

                                    a) Has anyone seen the actual data on marijuana
                                    testing on individuals and how they were done? When
                                    you say "there is no xyz data" could you at least
                                    point us in the direction of this data: where does it
                                    reside, who is/was doing it, so I at least can
                                    reserach it myself? Get off the defensive posturing,
                                    eh? Unless you're conducting an unnecessary war in
                                    Iraq somewhere.

                                    b) I'm saying what they test and what people are
                                    using (then and now ) are two ( at least) two
                                    different substances referred to as marijuana.

                                    c) When I saw "studies have shown" I want to see
                                    these actual studies report...could you point me to
                                    some. I just posted some ( not in your favor) and I'm
                                    awaiting for them to pop up on this list. I'm
                                    researching further.

                                    d) These questions pop-up due to my other posting
                                    on AIDS and what is called AIDS or so the late Dr.
                                    Serge Lange said ( Berkeley) seems to be various
                                    things to various people.

                                    e) Psychological effects, damage: How assessed,
                                    type associated and at what point constituted
                                    marijuana abuse. ( whichever one you're using - note
                                    the genetically enhanced types available, now )

                                    f) AS for stronger versions dissuading people from
                                    consuming more of it or the whole "dose" to use a
                                    term...Tell it to Chris Christofferson and Paul
                                    McCartney to name a few to whom that observation
                                    doesn't seem to hold up. Moreover if the stronger
                                    versions have less an effect cause one uses less then
                                    why are they mixing it with other strong substances in
                                    the first: Superskank, ultraskank?

                                    Reminds me of the light-cigarettes usage issue.

                                    joschka



                                    --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                    écrit :


                                    ---------------------------------
                                    Joschka,

                                    > The article I posted re: skank which is 10x (at
                                    least) more concentrated.

                                    I addressed this, as did the article I posted. Please
                                    re-read. The fact
                                    that strains have gotten more potent actually tends to
                                    *reduce* the harmful
                                    effects, because the user doesn't need to smoke an
                                    entire joint to get the
                                    effect. With really good pot, only one or two puffs
                                    is all that's required.
                                    Currently, the most dangerous known effects are not
                                    from THC or other
                                    cannabinoids, but from the smoking process - so there
                                    is a risk of lung
                                    disease. Higher potency = less smoke per dose = less
                                    lung irritation per
                                    dose.

                                    > Show me what does level any of those public studies
                                    > that found marijuana harmless?

                                    Negative. YOU started this. If you have an actual
                                    point to make, then YOU
                                    show us a credible study that found marijuana to be
                                    dangerous above a
                                    particular dose. I took the time to explain exaclty
                                    how your article is
                                    wrong, I posted a comprehensive article describing
                                    current scientic position
                                    on marijuana, and I even tried to keep the subject
                                    topical for this list.
                                    All you do is post one-liner questions that have
                                    already been answered. If
                                    you can dispute what I've offered, then let's hear it.
                                    Otherwise, I have
                                    better things to do (Wayne, I get it now...I really
                                    do!)

                                    The fact is, marijuana has not been shown to be
                                    especially harmful at ANY
                                    dose that could be acheived by normal use. You'd have
                                    to eat a whole
                                    bunch - like a few ounces - and that would probably
                                    just make you trip for a
                                    week or two. Of course, eating a few ounces of
                                    tobacco would be WAY more
                                    sickening (even just to think about!), and would
                                    probably be lethal.

                                    Next...

                                    CCB
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                                  • Christian C. Burke
                                    ... What you pereived to be defensive was a directed communication to achieve an outcome, and it worked perfectly. There was clearly a communication
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Dec 24, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      > Get off the defensive posturing, eh?

                                      What you pereived to be defensive was a directed communication to achieve an
                                      outcome, and it worked perfectly. There was clearly a communication
                                      breakdown, and in challenging you to clarify yourself, I think I've
                                      determined what's going on:

                                      > My point was the Guardian article"

                                      Now I understand...you are asking people on the list to research the sources
                                      of the article *you* posted!

                                      How ironic is that? =)


                                      Happy Winter Solstace,

                                      CCB

                                      "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde
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                                    • Joschka Fisher
                                      from joschka fischer: ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one DIRECT source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana, even in strong doses is
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        from joschka fischer:

                                        ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one DIRECT
                                        source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana,
                                        even in strong doses is harmless so I can email/call
                                        the bloak and ask them some direct questions that
                                        you've incapable of answering.

                                        C'mon Chris..go for that ... at least that will "shut
                                        me up" while I'm doing the research?

                                        An no more dissuasive side arguments please? (maybe
                                        you should have some mellow yellow to calm down with?)

                                        joschka fischer


                                        --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                        écrit :


                                        ---------------------------------
                                        > Get off the defensive posturing, eh?

                                        What you pereived to be defensive was a directed
                                        communication to achieve an
                                        outcome, and it worked perfectly. There was clearly a
                                        communication
                                        breakdown, and in challenging you to clarify yourself,
                                        I think I've
                                        determined what's going on:

                                        > My point was the Guardian article"

                                        Now I understand...you are asking people on the list
                                        to research the sources
                                        of the article *you* posted!

                                        How ironic is that? =)


                                        Happy Winter Solstace,

                                        CCB

                                        "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never
                                        simple." - Oscar Wilde
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                                      • Christian C. Burke
                                        ... My feelings are fine, thanks Joschka. The point is, you need to understand how science and logical arguments work. Show me a study that says aspirin is
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          > ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one DIRECT
                                          > source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana,
                                          > even in strong doses is harmless

                                          My feelings are fine, thanks Joschka. The point is, you need to understand
                                          how science and logical arguments work. Show me a study that says aspirin
                                          is completely harmless, regardless of dose. No such study exists. Nothing
                                          can be shown to be categorically harmless, because anything can be harmful
                                          in some context. The best you can do is look for evidence that it is
                                          harmful within a specific context. From there, you need to have a reliable
                                          way of measuring that harm. Finally, you have to show the harm
                                          *disproportionately* increases with dose, and that the benefits of more
                                          efficient delivery are factored in. If you don't have all of this, then you
                                          only have speculation. I've never seen any studies on this, only lots of
                                          speculation. By the way, I never said marijuana was harmless, and I don't
                                          believe that. Here is my position on the article you posted:

                                          To my knowledge: (1) marijuana has been shown to have potential side effects
                                          with schizophrenic patients, but it has never been shown to *cause*
                                          schizophrenia; (2) current worldwide scientic consenus holds that marijuana
                                          is a valid medicine which should not be criminalized, and that it is far
                                          less harmful to society than alcohol or tobacco (especially when not
                                          smoked); (3) the harmfulness argument for prohibition holds no credibility
                                          as long as alcohol and tobacco are also legal; (4) there is no convincing
                                          evidence that suggests stronger pot is anything other than better pot.

                                          > C'mon Chris..go for that ... at least that will "shut me up" while I'm
                                          doing the research?

                                          I don't need to shut you up - I have a delete key and I'm not afraid to use
                                          it. I'm just trying to make sure we are talking about the same things
                                          first, because we seem to have a language barrier. If you want a more
                                          clinical breakdown of the known medical effects of marijuana, you might try
                                          this report from the National Academy of Sciences:

                                          http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/index.html


                                          > maybe you should have some mellow yellow to calm down with?)

                                          I appreciate the warm sentiment, but I'm good...just had a bong hit of some
                                          chronic skunk. ;-)

                                          Cheers,

                                          CCB



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                                        • Joschka Fisher
                                          from joschka fischer: No, no no... Just show me who did the study. I just need a name of the researcher(s), institution etc. I M the one that s gonna look at
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            from joschka fischer:

                                            No, no no...

                                            Just show me who did the study. I just need a name
                                            of the researcher(s), institution etc.

                                            I"M the one that's gonna look at the data!!!!!!!!


                                            Right now all I have is "studies suggest" = tertiary
                                            data...I want the primary data or the researcher(s) of
                                            institutions that did it!

                                            joschka fischer:
                                            =================
                                            --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                            écrit :


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

                                            > ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one
                                            DIRECT
                                            > source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana,
                                            > even in strong doses is harmless

                                            My feelings are fine, thanks Joschka. The point is,
                                            you need to understand
                                            how science and logical arguments work. Show me a
                                            study that says aspirin
                                            is completely harmless, regardless of dose. No such
                                            study exists. Nothing
                                            can be shown to be categorically harmless, because
                                            anything can be harmful
                                            in some context. The best you can do is look for
                                            evidence that it is
                                            harmful within a specific context. From there, you
                                            need to have a reliable
                                            way of measuring that harm. Finally, you have to show
                                            the harm
                                            *disproportionately* increases with dose, and that the
                                            benefits of more
                                            efficient delivery are factored in. If you don't have
                                            all of this, then you
                                            only have speculation. I've never seen any studies on
                                            this, only lots of
                                            speculation. By the way, I never said marijuana was
                                            harmless, and I don't
                                            believe that. Here is my position on the article you
                                            posted:

                                            To my knowledge: (1) marijuana has been shown to have
                                            potential side effects
                                            with schizophrenic patients, but it has never been
                                            shown to *cause*
                                            schizophrenia; (2) current worldwide scientic consenus
                                            holds that marijuana
                                            is a valid medicine which should not be criminalized,
                                            and that it is far
                                            less harmful to society than alcohol or tobacco
                                            (especially when not
                                            smoked); (3) the harmfulness argument for prohibition
                                            holds no credibility
                                            as long as alcohol and tobacco are also legal; (4)
                                            there is no convincing
                                            evidence that suggests stronger pot is anything other
                                            than better pot.

                                            > C'mon Chris..go for that ... at least that will
                                            "shut me up" while I'm
                                            doing the research?

                                            I don't need to shut you up - I have a delete key and
                                            I'm not afraid to use
                                            it. I'm just trying to make sure we are talking about
                                            the same things
                                            first, because we seem to have a language barrier. If
                                            you want a more
                                            clinical breakdown of the known medical effects of
                                            marijuana, you might try
                                            this report from the National Academy of Sciences:

                                            http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/index.html


                                            > maybe you should have some mellow yellow to calm
                                            down with?)

                                            I appreciate the warm sentiment, but I'm good...just
                                            had a bong hit of some
                                            chronic skunk. ;-)

                                            Cheers,

                                            CCB



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                                          • Christian C. Burke
                                            I just now conducted a study...and 9 out 10 of the voices in my head say you are incapable or unwilling to engage in rational thought and/or communication, at
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              I just now conducted a study...and 9 out 10 of the voices in my head say you
                                              are incapable or unwilling to engage in rational thought and/or
                                              communication, at least in this medium. That is not an insult, but a
                                              qualified opinion. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, and for
                                              that I apologize to the entire list.

                                              Good luck with those research projects, Joschka.

                                              CCB


                                              > Just show me who did the study. I just need a name
                                              > of the researcher(s), institution etc.
                                              >
                                              > I"M the one that's gonna look at the data!!!!!!!!
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Right now all I have is "studies suggest" = tertiary
                                              > data...I want the primary data or the researcher(s) of
                                              > institutions that did it!
                                              >
                                              > joschka fischer:
                                              > =================
                                              > --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                              > écrit :
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ---------------------------------
                                              >
                                              > > ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one
                                              > DIRECT
                                              > > source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana,
                                              > > even in strong doses is harmless
                                              >
                                              > My feelings are fine, thanks Joschka. The point is,
                                              > you need to understand
                                              > how science and logical arguments work. Show me a
                                              > study that says aspirin
                                              > is completely harmless, regardless of dose. No such
                                              > study exists. Nothing
                                              > can be shown to be categorically harmless, because
                                              > anything can be harmful
                                              > in some context. The best you can do is look for
                                              > evidence that it is
                                              > harmful within a specific context. From there, you
                                              > need to have a reliable
                                              > way of measuring that harm. Finally, you have to show
                                              > the harm
                                              > *disproportionately* increases with dose, and that the
                                              > benefits of more
                                              > efficient delivery are factored in. If you don't have
                                              > all of this, then you
                                              > only have speculation. I've never seen any studies on
                                              > this, only lots of
                                              > speculation. By the way, I never said marijuana was
                                              > harmless, and I don't
                                              > believe that. Here is my position on the article you
                                              > posted:
                                              >
                                              > To my knowledge: (1) marijuana has been shown to have
                                              > potential side effects
                                              > with schizophrenic patients, but it has never been
                                              > shown to *cause*
                                              > schizophrenia; (2) current worldwide scientic consenus
                                              > holds that marijuana
                                              > is a valid medicine which should not be criminalized,
                                              > and that it is far
                                              > less harmful to society than alcohol or tobacco
                                              > (especially when not
                                              > smoked); (3) the harmfulness argument for prohibition
                                              > holds no credibility
                                              > as long as alcohol and tobacco are also legal; (4)
                                              > there is no convincing
                                              > evidence that suggests stronger pot is anything other
                                              > than better pot.
                                              >
                                              > > C'mon Chris..go for that ... at least that will
                                              > "shut me up" while I'm
                                              > doing the research?
                                              >
                                              > I don't need to shut you up - I have a delete key and
                                              > I'm not afraid to use
                                              > it. I'm just trying to make sure we are talking about
                                              > the same things
                                              > first, because we seem to have a language barrier. If
                                              > you want a more
                                              > clinical breakdown of the known medical effects of
                                              > marijuana, you might try
                                              > this report from the National Academy of Sciences:
                                              >
                                              > http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/index.html
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > > maybe you should have some mellow yellow to calm
                                              > down with?)
                                              >
                                              > I appreciate the warm sentiment, but I'm good...just
                                              > had a bong hit of some
                                              > chronic skunk. ;-)
                                              >
                                              > Cheers,
                                              >
                                              > CCB
                                              >
                                              >
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                                            • Jason McClain
                                              As amusing as this could be for many reasons, my request is that you both take this discussion off-list if you continue it at all. -- Jason D. McClain
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                As amusing as this could be for many reasons, my request is that you both
                                                take this discussion off-list if you continue it at all.
                                                --
                                                Jason D. McClain
                                                Evolutionary Guide[tm]
                                                I.D.E.A.
                                                415/261.2867
                                                liberate@...
                                                http://emotionalawareness.com




                                                > From: "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...>
                                                > Reply-To: <ccburke@...>
                                                > Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 19:56:57 -0800
                                                > To: Joschka Fisher <grabarkowic@...>
                                                > Cc: Bafuture <bafuture@yahoogroups.com>
                                                > Subject: RE: [bafuture] Is Cannabis actually a dangerous drug? Guardian London
                                                > Newspaper
                                                >
                                                > I just now conducted a study...and 9 out 10 of the voices in my head say you
                                                > are incapable or unwilling to engage in rational thought and/or
                                                > communication, at least in this medium. That is not an insult, but a
                                                > qualified opinion. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, and for
                                                > that I apologize to the entire list.
                                                >
                                                > Good luck with those research projects, Joschka.
                                                >
                                                > CCB
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >> Just show me who did the study. I just need a name
                                                >> of the researcher(s), institution etc.
                                                >>
                                                >> I"M the one that's gonna look at the data!!!!!!!!
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >> Right now all I have is "studies suggest" = tertiary
                                                >> data...I want the primary data or the researcher(s) of
                                                >> institutions that did it!
                                                >>
                                                >> joschka fischer:
                                                >> =================
                                                >> --- "Christian C. Burke" <ccburke@...> a
                                                >> écrit :
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >> ---------------------------------
                                                >>
                                                >>> ok...hurt feelings type then just give me one
                                                >> DIRECT
                                                >>> source I can go look up myself regarding marijuana,
                                                >>> even in strong doses is harmless
                                                >>
                                                >> My feelings are fine, thanks Joschka. The point is,
                                                >> you need to understand
                                                >> how science and logical arguments work. Show me a
                                                >> study that says aspirin
                                                >> is completely harmless, regardless of dose. No such
                                                >> study exists. Nothing
                                                >> can be shown to be categorically harmless, because
                                                >> anything can be harmful
                                                >> in some context. The best you can do is look for
                                                >> evidence that it is
                                                >> harmful within a specific context. From there, you
                                                >> need to have a reliable
                                                >> way of measuring that harm. Finally, you have to show
                                                >> the harm
                                                >> *disproportionately* increases with dose, and that the
                                                >> benefits of more
                                                >> efficient delivery are factored in. If you don't have
                                                >> all of this, then you
                                                >> only have speculation. I've never seen any studies on
                                                >> this, only lots of
                                                >> speculation. By the way, I never said marijuana was
                                                >> harmless, and I don't
                                                >> believe that. Here is my position on the article you
                                                >> posted:
                                                >>
                                                >> To my knowledge: (1) marijuana has been shown to have
                                                >> potential side effects
                                                >> with schizophrenic patients, but it has never been
                                                >> shown to *cause*
                                                >> schizophrenia; (2) current worldwide scientic consenus
                                                >> holds that marijuana
                                                >> is a valid medicine which should not be criminalized,
                                                >> and that it is far
                                                >> less harmful to society than alcohol or tobacco
                                                >> (especially when not
                                                >> smoked); (3) the harmfulness argument for prohibition
                                                >> holds no credibility
                                                >> as long as alcohol and tobacco are also legal; (4)
                                                >> there is no convincing
                                                >> evidence that suggests stronger pot is anything other
                                                >> than better pot.
                                                >>
                                                >>> C'mon Chris..go for that ... at least that will
                                                >> "shut me up" while I'm
                                                >> doing the research?
                                                >>
                                                >> I don't need to shut you up - I have a delete key and
                                                >> I'm not afraid to use
                                                >> it. I'm just trying to make sure we are talking about
                                                >> the same things
                                                >> first, because we seem to have a language barrier. If
                                                >> you want a more
                                                >> clinical breakdown of the known medical effects of
                                                >> marijuana, you might try
                                                >> this report from the National Academy of Sciences:
                                                >>
                                                >> http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/index.html
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >>> maybe you should have some mellow yellow to calm
                                                >> down with?)
                                                >>
                                                >> I appreciate the warm sentiment, but I'm good...just
                                                >> had a bong hit of some
                                                >> chronic skunk. ;-)
                                                >>
                                                >> Cheers,
                                                >>
                                                >> CCB
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >>
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                                              • Christian C. Burke
                                                ... Not gonna be necessary...I m done. My perceptual filters have been adjusted to cancel out the noise. New topic: I hear library cards cause schizophrenia.
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
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                                                  > As amusing as this could be for many reasons, my request is that you both
                                                  > take this discussion off-list if you continue it at all.

                                                  Not gonna be necessary...I'm done. My perceptual filters have been adjusted
                                                  to cancel out the noise.

                                                  New topic: I hear library cards cause schizophrenia. Someone please show
                                                  me that study...immediately!

                                                  CCB

                                                  Christian C. Burke
                                                  Neurolinguistics

                                                  "I don’t have to tell you it goes without saying there are some things
                                                  better left unsaid. I think that speaks for itself. The less said about it
                                                  the better." – George Carlin




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                                                • Christian C. Burke
                                                  ... Same here, and it s central to my own work. My primary interest is the structure of subjective reality itself, and how we can utilize our understanding of
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Dec 25, 2005
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                                                    > When I look at that quote you gave, the operative words to me are
                                                    > "rapidly changing world", since the principle of "accelerating
                                                    > change" is a big part of my view of the future. It's fundamental,
                                                    > actually, to my view of how the world works.

                                                    Same here, and it's central to my own work. My primary interest is the
                                                    structure of subjective reality itself, and how we can utilize our
                                                    understanding of it to become more proactive in all aspects of life. I've
                                                    studied many philosophical, psychological and neuro-linguistic models, and
                                                    have gained much practical insight through working with clients. One of my
                                                    primary concerns, regarding the future of the human condition, is that our
                                                    autonomic nervous systems may not be flexible enough to adapt to the rate
                                                    things are changing...at least not without some help. I believe this is one
                                                    major reason for the increase in neuro-emotional problems related to stress
                                                    (anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic muscle tension, migraines,
                                                    fibromyalgia, eating disorders, etc.)...not to mention the medical problems.
                                                    If change is stressful, then what happens when change accelerates?
                                                    Ultimately, the speed (and success) of human evolution is directly
                                                    proportional to our ability to adapt to world we are creating for ourselves.

                                                    A few months ago, I heard a news story on the radio describing a decision by
                                                    a major hotel chain to replace the alarm clocks in every room nationwide.
                                                    Apparently, too many guests were having trouble working the common,
                                                    run-of-the-mill, digital clock radios. These were the kind you can get at
                                                    Walmart for under ten bucks...the kind an average child can figure out in
                                                    two minutes. So, in order to reduce the burden on staff dealing with
                                                    wake-up calls, they went back to simple analog alarm clocks. I'm not sure
                                                    how effective it was (or if it was even true), but the story really stuck in
                                                    my head. It seems technology is already overwhelming some parts of the
                                                    population, and many people find it hard to keep up. The cultural and
                                                    economic rift between the technophiles and technophobes is deepening at a
                                                    rate faster than it can be understood, much less predicted. While there
                                                    will always be specialists and hobbiests dealing with the underlying
                                                    complexities, I think market pressure will require consumer tech products to
                                                    become as simple, intuitive, and idiot-proof as possible. Hopefully, less
                                                    obnoxious too!

                                                    So far, embracing technology has resulted in a faster pace of life, more
                                                    information and faster communication (which requires faster thinking), more
                                                    complex lifestyles, more noise, more traffic, more worries, and just plain
                                                    sensory overload. All of this can be mentally exhausting, and people
                                                    desperately seek ways to cope, unwind, and unplug from it all. This comes
                                                    in the form of exercise, entertainment, recreation, and various therapeutic
                                                    modalities...but drugs are far more appealing to the masses, both prescribed
                                                    and otherwise. We already use drugs to treat every other human ailment, so
                                                    why not for stress management? It is absurd to categorically ban a drug
                                                    that has valid medical uses, simply because it is politically unpopular.
                                                    Marijuana has proven to be a particularly useful medicine, and public
                                                    awareness is slowly but surely coming up to speed. Many states, including
                                                    California, have already decriminalized recreational and/or fully legalized
                                                    medical use. Others are waiting see how it works before they take the leap.

                                                    Part of looking practively toward the future is understanding problems that
                                                    affect the human condition today. This means looking objectively at the
                                                    information we have rather than just accepting cultural myth. Few things
                                                    are more dangerous to humanity than a juicy thought virus, and thought
                                                    viruses are being spread by misinformed people more quickly than ever
                                                    before. Prudence requires those who value truth to stand up for it, and
                                                    this will become even more important as fewer people control the
                                                    information.

                                                    Write it down. =)

                                                    CCB

                                                    Christian C. Burke
                                                    Neurolinguistics

                                                    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
                                                    persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress
                                                    depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw




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                                                  • Steve Dekorte
                                                    ... It seems to me that mind hacking (via drugs or other means) is one of the most important issues to consider when discussing the future. So the issue of the
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Dec 29, 2005
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                                                      On 22-Dec-05, at PM 03:02, Wayne Radinsky wrote:
                                                      > 2) Your response is still off topic because this whole discussion
                                                      > about marijuana is off-topic. This is the bafuture list not the
                                                      > badrugs list.

                                                      It seems to me that mind hacking (via drugs or other means) is one of
                                                      the most important issues to consider when discussing the future. So
                                                      the issue of the use of coercion by the state related to mind hacking
                                                      would be on-topic, AFAICS.

                                                      -- Steve
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