Sunday, May 07, 2006

Marijuana and the paranoid American

It's official. Even the Economist has indicated that marijuana is medically useful, and that will not change inspite of politicians and religious people fighting it.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) apparently made a statement last month announcing that marijuana had "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States". Even though science says it does. It is just too politically controversial apparently to even consider it medically acceptable. We are not talking about making it widely available or legalizing it, we're talking about using it as a known and scientifically accepted treatment for pain and nausea.

The paranoid American in question is House of Representative Mark Souder (R-In), who suspects that accepting marijuana medically would be the first step towards legalizing it for recreational use. He also states

I am strongly opposed to efforts to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is addictive, it adversely affects the immune system, and leads to the use of other drugs, such as cocaine. Marijuana also causes cancer, including cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, lips, and tongue; respiratory diseases and mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and other psychoses, depression, panic attacks, hallucinations, paranoia, hostility, depersonalization, flashbacks, decreased cognitive performance, disconnected thought, delusions and impaired memory. Since marijuana impairs coordination and judgment, it is a major cause of accidents. Babies born to women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy have an increased incidence of leukemia, low birth weight, and other abnormalities.

Despite these effects, legalization advocates often promote medical use as a legitimate reason for the legalization of marijuana. This argument, however, is simply a red herring for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Studies have continually rejected the notion that marijuana is suitable for medical use because it adversely impacts concentration and memory, the lungs, motor coordination and the immune system.

Now I do not argue that this is not true. I do argue that for people who are severely sick with pain, or with nausea, that this would not apply. I believe that if you are a healthy person smoking and or abusing the use of marijuana, that it will effect your body the way he describes it.

Mr. Souder is on the Narcotics Subcommittee and hence has a vested interest in seeing to it that illegal drug use is combatted. However, it is pretty known by now that this war on drugs is and has not worked.

There are those who are considering alternatives to the war on drugs. Read up on the Drug Policy Alliance and their approach.

I do not intend to dismiss the concern for addiction. In fact, people's addiction abound, whether physiologically or emotionally. Nicotine, caffeine (ME) in coffee mostly but also chocolate, sugar, unhealthy relationships. As in, unhealthy relationships, not 'unhealthy relationships with all those other substances mentioned'. In fact, when I lived in Saudi Arabia I found out that nutmeg was illegal (said my girlfriend who smuggled a whole nutmeg into the country with her little grater) as it is said to have hallucinatory compounds. Wow, I'll have to put some more on my brussel sprouts next time.

I believe there are wiser ways of dealing with addictions, period. To me,a punitive system that doesn't address sociological and economical factors is just handing out punishments without treating the addiction or the addict. There is a time and place for punishments. Aside from the fact that everyone is free to make choices, not everyone is dealt the same hand in life. Not to be an apologetic. But this law and order system in the US that always seeks out to punish,is just plain not working.

This country has the highest prison rate. I wonder how much of it would go down if this war on drugs were to change course and change tactics. It is worthwhile pursuing, saving billions of dollars and most importantly, saving lives.


Blogger le.voyageur said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:04 AM  
Blogger tooners said...

hmmmm, very interesting topic here. me personally, i think it should be legalized. i think you can have an ounce on you in NY and not get busted, but i could be mistaken about this.

i think that there are a lot of ppl in jail for drug offenses. the three strikes and you're out shouldn't apply to m.j., i don't think... but.. i'm not making the laws. i think that the country needs to spend more time on redoing healthcare, especially for the elderly - i see my mother struggling w/ this - and i think education needs to seriously be looked at in many states and cities. and what about poverty?!

they outlawed booze and look at the crime that came about because of it. when they made it legal again... well, there was a whole different element in society that was bred and now thrives because of that stupid decision.

it's too late because even if they legalize it, you still have all the other drugs that are in demand and the crime will continue and those ppl will always inhabit the u.s. causing chaos/mayhem/death...

right now meth is very big in many states. my brother told me that it is killing indiana. no matter if they leagize m.j., the use of meth will not stop. the use of cocaine won't stop, heroin is on the rise again... where there is demand....

there comes a time when you have to look at the reasons behind it. it's a breakdown of the moral fiber w/in society itself. look at most american homes. both parents work - the nurturing is no longer there, abuse in the homes, poverty, just so many things. you have hollywood glamorizing it - it all just makes me sick.

good blog here.

8:47 AM  

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