Your Brain on the Govt

This is your brain on the government 101010  

The other Tuesday at a break in the board meeting Supervisor Pat Whitley, recessed for the moment into citizen Pat “I’ll bust your chops” Whitley, gave the room and a certain editor a lesson in marijuana wisdom.  Ms. Whitley is knowledgeable because she had a class as a probation officer, probably in the Reagan-Bush era.  
Ms. Whitley’s memory is as sharp as ever (and don’t forget it); she hit every major theme in the government against pot.
If the government called Ms. Whitley at home and told her it was raining outside, she’d put the phone down to go check.  On this, though, she believes them.
The government has spent millions of dollars on studies to show the worst of cannabis.  The more scientific among you will notice the money wasn’t spent to learn about cannabis, but to prove things against it.  Those studies have been only marginally successful, and typically are cast into doubt by studies from other places.
The studies were still useful to the government, though, because they invested another couple of million dollars in propaganda using that marginal data.
Government propaganda does not turn a cop into a pharmacist.  A scientist didn’t go to Ms. Whitley and present a variety of studies leading to a conclusion.  Instead, a basement level government “instructor” or “trainer” regurgitated whatever government roe was funneled into his gullet.  That’s good enough if you are a government employee shoveling citizens through the system, but it isn’t good enough for an informed voter.

Let’s look at a few of the highlights:

Amotivational Syndrome.  

Neglect, for the moment, that there is no evidence for that “fact”, let’s ask ourselves, “why is it the government’s business if I’m shiftless?”  It isn’t the government’s mandate to make sure we all put in the proper number of hours at McDonald’s, it’s the government’s mandate to allow us to pursue happiness.  
Even if it were Uncle Sam’s mandate to make us earn (supposing there were jobs), there’s no evidence cannabis causes “amotivational syndrome,” at least not for more than a few hours.  There is good evidence that lazy people like to smoke pot.  There’s good evidence that people like to blame pot for their failure to finish college.  There isn’t much evidence that pot smokers in general are lazy.

It will cause CANCER.  
Yes, that’s possible.  Studies so far, though, show that constituents of the raw plant marijuana are protective against cancer tumors.  Even a government funded study showed a slightly reduced rate of cancer for cannabis users, though the author was quick to say there should be more.  Cannabis is NOT associated with emphysema as tobacco is, and it does not kill cilia, the tiny cleaners of the lung.  Cannabis has been shown to be as effective as some commonly prescribed asthma medications for opening airways and removing phlegm.  However, long term or frequent smokers do show a greater irritation of the upper airways than normal.  That’s why potheads created the vaporizer and the marijuana cookie.  The vaporizer doesn’t burn the herb, it lifts the volatile resins without burning.  There is less tar (though still some) and far less irritation. There is much less carbon monoxide, and the literature states that users use less cannabis, once they learn to use it effectively.  
Eating cannabis is another very popular way of safely ingesting it, but thanks to that hero of democracy Diane Feinstein, it’s now almost as risky to have a marijuana brownie as it is to have dragon’s tooth meth.  Go Dems, defenders of freedom.
There are many toxic compounds in cannabis.  And in a tomato.  And in a carrot.  Sunflower.  Rhubarb is toxic.  Potatoes.  Peppermint.  Life is dangerous.

“As noted earlier, relatively few adverse
clinical health effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans.7(p'6) The criminalization
of marijuana use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the consumer to violence and criminal activity.”
From Here:  Kaiser Permanente’s study of 65000 people.

Incidentally, there is a thread of research that suggests that cannabinoids might be protective against Alzheimer’s disease.  It is suggested that it is one of the few anti-inflammatory drugs that easily cross the blood-brain barrier.  

Marijuana is addictive.

The field is still split on this.  Drug treatment centers assure us that marijuana is addictive, and they, for a fee, can help.  When minors are caught with pot they’re typically “treated” and as a result, the number of youth “seeking help” for cannabis dependence are artificially high, since they didn’t seek help, they were labeled and sent.
Still, there is no doubt that if you smoke pot all day every day you’ll suffer discomfort if you give it up. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include selling one’s body, selling one’s time for unsavory tasks, selling organs, lying, and… oh, wait, those are the symptoms of money addiction withdrawal.
The symptoms of cannabis withdrawal for heavy daily users is restlessness, loss of appetite, irritability, and anxiety.  Sounds like being in love, doesn’t it?
Well notice, the jury isn’t still out on the addictive qualities of tobacco or alcohol.  But, it is on pot.

Driving impaired on cannabis is dangerous.

No kidding!  It makes you high, that’s why people use it. However, driving impaired on cannabis is far less dangerous than driving impaired on alcohol.  Indeed, most users report being more careful when driving on cannabis, and the numbers are very clear that being “legally drunk” is more dangerous than being stoned.  Further, frequent users show no difference driving under the influence as straight.  Read the studies yourself; here’s just one
Or, here

Marijuana is a “gateway” drug.

Government propaganda is often very funny, but not much is more ridiculous than this “fact”.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence whatever that cannabis leads to other drug use, in and of itself.  It isn’t chemically similar to other drugs; there is nothing about its action that suggests it encourages one to try other drugs.  The evidence used for this is “case studies” and makes the common logical mistake of post hoc ergo propter hoc which says that since smoking pot came before snorting meth that pot must cause meth use.  Using that logic, milk, in particular mother’s milk, leads to every bad habit you’ll ever have.
Instead, what little effect cannabis has to leading to other drug use is due to the fact that it is illegal!   To buy cannabis you might meet someone who sells other drugs, just like going into a pharmacy for estrogen might cause you to by chocolate at the counter.  Further, once one overcomes the illegality of buying one drug, buying another becomes easier. There is also the feature that getting high is pleasant, and getting high on different drugs is also pleasant, but that effect is as easily produced with alcohol as with cannabis.

There’s another, very insidious feature of illegality which promotes other drug use.  It goes like this: “The government is so full of shit on marijuana, maybe they’re wrong about other drugs, too.”  
So, if our local politicos are really worried about a “gateway” effect to cannabis, they’ll rush to legalize it.

We already have enough drugs legal.
That argument is really weak in a land that values liberty and choice, but let’s say that we think it’s a good idea to have one drug legal and that’s enough.  
What should that drug be?  Should it be alcohol, which is featured in 85% of all violent crimes?  One in three motor vehicle deaths involve alcohol.  Alcohol actually does take a measurable toll on nervous and circulatory systems, worsens several cancers, and can destroy the liver.  It is the true slayer of American productivity, leading to days lost due bingeing, accidents, lethargy.  The well established effects of alcohol leave the idea of “amotivational sydrome” far behind.  
The real test of their potency: people high on cannabis can, after drinking a measure of alcohol, tell how drunk they become.  People who are already drunk have a difficult time detecting when cannabis intoxication begins.  Compared to alcohol, pot is hardly intoxicating.  
You can easily ingest enough alcohol to kill you, and if you didn’t vomit some back out it would kill you.  It simply isn’t possible to ingest enough cannabis in herb form to kill you. You’ll get mildly nauseous and fall to sleep long before you can smoke or eat enough.  There has never been a documented case of death from cannabis, not even in the famous “balloons of hash oil bursting in the stomach at the border” stories.
A rational society would ban alcohol and make cannabis legal.  

A free society would legalize both.  Besides, modest drinking, like modest cannabis use, might have benefits.

Here’s a final warning Pat Whitley already knows: listening to the government can make you stoopid!

Now, someone print this off and run it over to Pat.  If she thinks I’m talking about her behind her back she’ll have me by the ear.

Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam
Steppenwolf  1968    Words and music by John Kay

Starin' at the boob tube, turnin' on the big knob
Tryin' to find some life in the waste land
Fin'ly found a program, gonna deal with Mary Jane
Ready for a trip into hate land
Obnoxious Joe comes on the screen
Along with his guest self-righteous Sam
And one more guy who doesn't count
His hair and clothes are too far out

While pushin' back his glasses Sam is sayin' casually
"I was elected by the masses"
And with that in mind he starts to unwind
A vicious attack on the finest of grasses

Well it's evil, wicked, mean and nasty
(Don't step on the grass, Sam)
And it will ruin our fair country
(Don't be such an ass, Sam)
Well, it will hook your Sue and Johnny
(You're so full of bull, Sam)
All will pay that disagree with me
(Please give up you already lost the fight, alright)

Misinformation Sam and Joe
Are feeding to the nation
But the one who didn't count counted them out
By exposing all their false quotations
Faced by a very awkward situation
This is all he'd say to save the day

Well it's evil, wicked, mean and nasty
(Don't step on the grass, Sam)
And it will ruin our fair country
(Don't be such an ass, Sam)
Well, it will hook your Sue and Johnny
(You're so full of bull, Sam)
All will pay that disagree with me
(Please give up you already lost the fight alright)

You waste my coin Sam, all you can
To jail my fellow man
For smoking all the noble weed
You need much more than him
You've been telling lies so long
Some believe they're true
So they close their eyes to things
You have no right to do
Just as soon as you are gone
Hope will start to climb
Please don't stay around too long
You're wasting precious time

Well it's evil, wicked, mean and nasty
(Don't step on the grass, Sam)
And it will ruin our fair country
(Don't be such an ass, Sam)
Well, it will hook your Sue and Johnny
(You're so full of bull, Sam)
All will pay that disagree with me
(Please give up you already lost the fight alright)
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