Legalizing any controlled substance, including marijuana, will lead to increased use.
Legalizing possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for adults won’t lead to increased use among either adults or youth.
There is no question that to legalize a controlled substance such as marijuana will lead to increased use. There are a substantial number of adults and youth who don’t use drugs because they are illegal. For instance, in a survey of New Jersey and California high school students, sixty percent said that fear of getting in trouble with the law was a major deterrent to drug use.In Alaska between 1978 and 1990 when small amounts of marijuana were legal for adults, the National Household Survey (1985) showed twice as many Alaskan teenagers (51.6%) used marijuana as compared to their counterparts in the rest of the nation (23.7%), Marijuana was re-criminalized in Alaska in 1990.In the Netherlands, the “coffee shop” legalization of marijuana use resulted in Dutch teenagers’ use of marijuana nearly tripling in just eight years.The question is how much of an increase in drug use is acceptable? The answer should be none.
Marijuana use has had a consistent rise since the beginning of prohibition. Amsterdam, Netherlands has the laxest drug laws in the world, yet somehow manages to pull off the lowest rate of use by population (less than 25%). In comparison, US, which has strongly enforced prohibition for more than 70 years has use of over 40%...not including people afraid to admit use for fear of prosecution.
Sobriety is the only safe alternative to being under the influence of alcohol.
Being under the influence of marijuana is safer than being under the influence of alcohol.
There are numerous factors that influence intoxication including, but not limited to, the individual, the circumstances and the dosage used. The potential dangers of intoxication from either marijuana or alcohol are real. An altered state of mind and impaired physical ability are never safe. The only safe alternative to alcohol intoxication is sobriety, not another form of intoxication. Webmaster Truth:
Alcohol affects memory formation, deciion making, and impulse control. Alcohol alters the GABA and neurotransmitters in the brain, causing significant loss of functionability, and decision making. Marijuana (THC) rather replaces the natural cannabanoid anandimide. Anandimide attaches to cannabinoid receptors to release dopamine, the body’s natural relaxant. By replacing the anandimide with THC you cause a squirting release of dopamine giving the body a natural perpetual high.
Both alcohol and marijuana can be extremely dangerous drugs.
Alcohol is dangerous whereas marijuana is relatively safe.
Alcohol can be extremely dangerous but so can marijuana. One reason alcohol is so devastating to many in our country is that so many people, well over 100 million, use liquor. In fact, more people are addicted to alcohol than use marijuana (use is at least once within 30 days). The reason is simply that alcohol is legal whereas marijuana is not. Instead of trying to legalize another dangerous drug, we should be encouraging sobriety.
Marijuana is used as commonly as alcohol and toacco. People are in fear however of persecution for admitting there use. According to statistics of drug and alcohol treatment marijuana would be considered as having a higher rate of addiction. These forced stats are the result of being given two options; jail or treatment…I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be in jail!
Marijuana use has been the cause of deaths from accidents, disease and recently possible toxicity.
There were many deaths from alcohol and no deaths from marijuana.
The first documented person believed to have died directly from cannabis poisoning was a 36-year-old man in Britain in 2004. According to British toxicologist John Henry “…it corrects the argument that cannabis cannot kill anybody.”Six others have died in Norway from using hash. The Oslo Forensic Toxicology institute reports that “six Norwegians have died as a direct result of smoking hash in a period of six years.”As the potency of marijuana increases, so does the risk of cannabis poisoning. There have been deaths from alcohol overdose. However, the figure 19,000 must include other deaths related to alcohol while the zero figures for marijuana doesn’t consider deaths by marijuana related causes such as cancer, infant mortality, immune system damage, pneumonia, accidents, etc.
This 19,000 number is a bit low. In 2000 over 85,000 "Americans" died from alcohol. This number inludes accidents and disease. The number of deaths attributed directly to alcohol was 22,073. Recorded deaths attributed directly to marijuana were 0. These hash-hish related deaths are likely to have been the cause of "street hash" rather than the properly manufactured "medicinal hash" found in most clinics in California. Sure people die from marijuana related accidents, but marijuana is the safest medicinal herb available to mankind. It has as low of a rate of toxicity overdose as Vitamin C.
Regarding deaths from marijuana, there have been and continues to be significant numbers of deaths caused by people under the influence of marijuana. Just a few examples include:
• Conrail train accident killed 16 and injured 107 when the engineer was under the influence of marijuana, disregarded several warning signs and rear-ended a passenger train.
• The National Transportation and Safety Board study of 182 truck accidents causing death found 12.8% of the drivers were under the influence of marijuana and 12.5% were under the influence of alcohol. This percentage is startling since ten times more people drink alcohol than smoke marijuana.
Webmaster Edit: A 2008 World Health Organization study provided that more than 90% of Americans have tried alcohol in there lifetime, and more than 45% have tried marijuana. Now that's only twice as much according to my calculations.
• A California truck driver, under the influence of marijuana, plowed into a highway cleaning crew killing five and injuring fourteen.
• The driver of a charter bus, who crashed and killed twenty-two people, had been fired from bus companies in 1989 and 1996 because he tested positive for marijuana four times.
A federal investigator confirmed a report that the driver “tested positive for marijuana when he was hospitalized Sunday after the bus veered off a highway and plunged into an embankment.”
How can one say that marijuana doesn’t kill? The above deaths were real people with real families. Another truly alarming statistic is that research demonstrates that a high percentage of people admit driving under the influence of marijuana. Despite higher alcohol usage by teens, approximately fifteen percent report driving under the influence of marijuana and almost an equal amount, eighteen percent, report driving under the influence of alcohol. In a 2000 and 2001 study 28,000 high school seniors admit to at least one accident after using marijuana. Also, Stanford Medical School research showed that tested pilots were still impaired twenty-four hours after smoking marijuana. Webmaster Edit: All the accidental deaths from marijuana like these still won’t add up to the number of deaths caused directly from alcohol in a single year. From my personal experiences I never felt impaired from marijuana after 24 hours.
People are not arrested and jailed for simple possession of under an ounce of marijuana
There are people going to jail for simple possession of marijuana.
Possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana (between 56 and 84 marijuana cigarettes) is unlawful but enforced by a citation and fine. People are not arrested and jailed for simple possession of under an ounce of marijuana. In fact, nationally only .3% or 3,600 out of 1,200,000 inmates are in jail for first-time possession of marijuana which includes amounts well over an ounce. The median amount of marijuana involved in the connection of marijuana-only possession for federal offenders was 115 pounds.
If people aren’t going to jail for minor marijuana possession, then explain to all the marijuana users sitting in jail why 829,627 marijuana users in America were arrested in 2006, that number being up more than 43,000 arrests over 2005. Explain that also to the friends of mine that sat in jail for possession of less than 5 grams of marijuana.
Intoxication of any kind can cause a wide range of reactions, from stupor to violence.
Alcohol is associated with violence, particularly domestic, whereas marijuana is not. Marijuana makes the user mellow, not violent.
Some people who are drunk resort to violence, some act happy while others are “mellow.” Some people who are intoxicated by marijuana resort to violence and some act happy while others are “mellow.” The results of any intoxication depend on a variety of factors including dosage, mood, circumstances, individuals involved, etc. Unfortunately, violence associated with intoxication is often directed at family members. There is more violence associated with alcohol because it is legal and almost ten times as many people use alcohol as use marijuana (See Above Webmaster Edit). Studies have demonstrated that marijuana is connected with violence:
• A 2002 study showed the number of young people engaging in delinquent behavior rose with the frequency of marijuana use. Forty-two percent of youth who smoked marijuana almost daily (300 or more days) took part in serious fighting at school or work whereas only 18.2% who did not use marijuana engaged in serious fighting. Similar rates existed for carrying a gun (22.2%-2.5%) or attacking someone with the intent to seriously hurt them (32.9%-5.9%).
• Marijuana users have more suicidal thoughts and are four times more likely to report symptoms of depression than those that don’t use the drug.
• Marijuana users in their late teens are more likely to have increased risk of delinquency and more friends who exhibit deviant behavior. They also have more sexual partners and are more likely to engage in unsafe sex.
• Research shows a link between frequency of marijuana use and increased violence.
• Young people who use marijuana weekly are nearly four times more likely than non-users to engage in violence.
• More than 41% of male arrestees sampled in U.S. cities tested positive for marijuana.
• Recent research has indicated that for some people there is a correlation between frequent marijuana use and aggressive or violent behavior, according to the National Crime Prevention Council. The Council states that this should be a concern to parents, community leaders and all Americans.
Just because marijuana is in your system doesn't mean you're under the influence of it while doing these things. Also, did they test all these people for marijuana use? I'm willing to bet that they didn't, bringing up the other question of how many of these people lied? Which pulls out the final question of how fixed are these statistics? Being as how every person is different, there will of course be a wide range of effects caused by intoxication, however, marijuana replaces the cannabinoid receptor anandamide, and releases the natural chemical relaxant in the body known as dopamine. The result, in most cases causing the user to be mellower.
Drug use has been reduced dramatically from peak use in 1979 to the present.
This nation’s drug policy has failed. It is time to try something new like legalizing small amounts of marijuana.
Drug use has been reduced by 50% from its peak in 1979 to current times. Ninety-two percent of the people in our country do not use any illicit drugs. Teen use continues to decline from 11.4% to 10.9%. How one can call these significant successes a failure is difficult to comprehend. We will always have drug abuse in this country. The keys are to keep drug abuse from increasing and to try to lower the use rate which, in turn, will lower all the adverse effects of drug abuse. An example of failed drug policy can be seen with alcohol and cigarettes. Why increase the problem with legalizing a third dangerous substance? That simply doesn’t make public policy sense.
Some drug use has declined, while marijuana which seems to be the drug wars main fuel, has gone up in use. Reportedly more high school and middle school students admit smoking pot today, than did in 2006. When over 50% of your politicians are willing to admit that the drug war is a failure, then that’s a pretty good sign it is. Now is definitley the time to take a new look, and try a different direction. Now is the time to end the war on drugs, or better yet, the war against the American people.
Marijuana and Treatment:
In 1981, the THC content in marijuana was 1.83% which rose to 5.62% in 2003. The high-grade marijuana, often called sinsemilla, rose from 6.58% THC in 1981 to 14.10% in 2003. Corresponding to increased potency of the THC content in marijuana from the 1990’s to 2000 was a six-time increase in emergency room admissions because of marijuana use even though the number of users remained relatively the same. Between 1992 and 2002, there was a 162% increase in treatment admissions for marijuana use as the primary substance of abuse.There are over 4 million Americans suffering from marijuana dependence. Sixty-two percent of teens in drug treatment are there for marijuana use.
Hospital emergency admissions, drug dependence and drug treatment admissions don’t equate to a relatively benign substance. Common sense would indicate that marijuana is a potentially dangerous drug, as is alcohol. Webmaster Edit: Some more evidence of fixed results due to our current laws, and options.
Some Psychological Dangers:
• Brain scans show “holes” (decreased activity and blood flow) in areas of the brain covering language, memory, anger management, emotional control and motor coordination. Webmaster Edit: THC triggers the release of Dopamine, the body’s natural relaxant. Pharmaceutical opioids such as Oxycodone, Morphine, and Hydrocodone mimic similar symptoms of THC, but have a much higher risk of dependency.
• Marijuana is not a benign drug. Use impairs learning and judgment and may lead to development of mental health problems according to the American Medical Association. Webmaster Edit: Interesting enough the ACP (American College of Physicians), and the AMA (American Medical Association) announced that they back medical marijuana and feel that more research is needed on the herb.
• Marijuana use may trigger panic attacks, paranoia and even psychosis especially if one is suffering from anxiety, depression, or having thinking problems according to the American Psychiatric Association.
• Marijuana can impair concentration and ability to retain information during teens’ peak learning years according to the National Education Association.
• Marijuana has been known to trigger attacks of mental illness including paranoia and depression. Memory is impaired even months after use has ceased. Marijuana is known to be associated with apathy, loss of energy and motivation, moodiness and difficulty in concentrating. Webmaster Edit: Look at the website and tell me marijuana causes loss of energy, motivation, and concentration. Why don't you tell that to some of your favorite actors or musicians. Maybe some of your business owners would like to here this as well!
• The British Medical Association cites marijuana as being “linked to greater risk of heart disease, lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema.” Webmaster Edit: From my research it seems that a significant amount of medical marijuana research comes from here and they have shown positive effects on diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and some cancers.
• Marijuana affects concentration, perception, coordination and reaction time, many of the skills required in safe driving and other physical tasks. These effects can last up to 24 hours after smoking marijuana. Webmaster Edit: I’ve never had effects of marijuana 24 hours after use. Not only that, but I was told by my instructor for my driving test when finished that that was one of the smoothest tests he’d rode on. This is interesting seeing as how I was high on marijuana at that particular time. I do not condone smoking and driving though, and believe if regulated that a DUI is acceptable.
• Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals that increase the risk of cancer, lung damage and poor pregnancy outcome. Webmaster Edit: If absorbing more nutrients resulting in a higher birth weight is a bad thing then okay, but 1 tobacco ciggarette does more lung damage than 10 marijuana joints. Tobacco also has more than 4000 chemicals in each cigarette. Frequent marijuana smokers didn't show an increased risk of cancer, and the only common illness shown was chronic bronchidis.
• Darryl Inala, executive director of Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco during the 90’s, worked with drug treatment for over twenty-eight years. He states, without reservation, that marijuana is in fact addictive. Webmaster Edit: Marijuana is quite possibly one of the least addicting substances known to man, just because treatement stats prove different doesn't mean they're true. Why don’t you remove penalties, and find out how many marijuana users are going in willingly saying they’re addicted in comparison to other substances. This including NA and AA cause I know a bunch myself that are there for other drug problems and continue to use marijuana.
• Marijuana smoking during pregnancy results in an eleven fold increase in babies eventually contracting leukemia, increased infant mortality, increased risk of babies being mentally and behaviorally handicapped and increased neurological abnormalities. Webmaster Edit: This is starting to sound like we’re talking about Mehth or Heroin.
• Marijuana impairs cellular and pulmonary immunity systems according to the Assistant Secretary of Public Health Services and other medical researchers. Webmaster Edit: I quit smoking marijuana to get off probation…and was sick 3 times in the first 2 months as well as contracting pneumonia for the first time in my life. Since getting off and starting using marijuana again I haven’t gotten sick enough to go see the doctor or to keep me from meeting my daily needs. I’m still able to function at 100%. As well, I quit smoking ciggarettes after my release from probation and my intake of marijuana was returned.
Which has more credibility? Groups whose primary purpose are to legalize marijuana and cannot cite any scientific studies to back their claim that marijuana is relatively safe? Or, the thousands of documented studies and research by medical and scientific professionals that demonstrate marijuana is, in fact, a dangerous drug. Webmaster Edit: Should you listen to these fraudulent lie filled studies, or do I need to bring out the thousands of studies backing the medicinal value of marijuana. If it’s scientific proof you want, I can provide it as easy, if not easier than the lie fueled politicans, law enforcement, and media.