Warning as woman dies from smoking dagga

daggaleavesOriginally published by The Christian Institute

A UK mother of three died from the effects of using cannabis (dagga), a Bournemouth coroner has ruled.

Gemma Moss, 31, had been smoking cannabis and died on her bed. Tests found that her vital organs appeared normal, but she had moderate to high levels of cannabis in her system.

Sheriff Payne, the coroner, said: “The post mortem could find no natural cause for her death, with the balance of probability that it is more likely than not that she died from the effects of cannabis.”

Harm
The National Drug Prevention Alliance cautioned: “This case serves as a warning that cannabis can cause immense harm.”

Her mother told the inquest that Moss had previously smoked the Class B drug for years, but had stopped in recent times.

She started smoking the drug again, however, following the break up of a relationship, her mother added.

Abuse
At the inquest pathologist Dr Kudair Hussein said he was satisfied that it was the effects of cannabis that caused her death.

The National Drug Prevention Alliance commented: “It is extremely rare and unusual for a coroner to rule death from cannabis abuse.”

“Cannabis is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Stronger
“Cannabis these days is designed to be much stronger than cannabis used in the sixties to meet demand of users who want a stronger hit”, the group added.

Last year the mother of a young man whose suicide was linked to cannabis said her son thought the drug was harmless.

Melanie Leahy’s son Matthew hanged himself, aged 20, while he was an in-patient at a mental health hospital. He had been addicted to cannabis for a number of years.

In December last year Norman Baker, the minister in charge of drugs policy, said legalising cannabis needs to be considered alongside other options.

EDITOR’S COMMENT:

I have found that whenever we publish news that warns about the dangers of cannabis (dagga), the pro-dagga lobby is quick to target our comments section with an orchestrated campaign of pro-dagga comments. These comments typically include long,  expert opinions that assert that dagga is harmless, has great health benefits, is endorsed by Scripture and should be legalised. The speed with which these comments are delivered show that they come out of a ready stock of comments. I am aware of expert opinions that dispute the expert claims put forward by the dagga supporters. We have published some such expert views in previous articles. I don’t believe that we will gain anything by pursuing a debate in the comments section and the comments section is now closed. As Gateway News we stand with organisations such as Doctors For Life which maintain that dagga is a medically and socially dangerous drug. — February 10, 2014.

 

 

26 Comments

  1. also not true, one mans opinion does not become the truth, the truth is that , not one person has ever been harmed by dagga, science people,science,not fairytales, before you comment, read and study

  2. This is absolute nonsense and is a smear campaign which is not based on science: http://www.vice.com/read/nope-still-no-such-thing-as-a-fatal-marijuana-overdose

  3. There is more than 14000+ people that say Cannabis should be legal in SA this is just the people trying to make dagga bad, in thousands of years not a single death, and now because of one dr that made a mistake in the history of dagga this is the first case of a death related? Its impossible to die from Dagga this is the media making dagga a bad drug, education is the key, find out what this plant
    actually does for millions of people around the world. Have a lovely day :)

  4. hahah the media is sooo guallable :-) this has already been appealed as a cause of death :-) this is old news please stop scaring people about dagga, there is more than 14000 signatures to make dagga legal, America is changing their minds about it being a bad “drug” and actually making a lot of money that will be put to good use, if we can regulate alcohol we can regulate dagga :-)

    • Medical marijuana – what does the Bible say?

      There is no definitive biblical answer to the question of whether Christians should use medical marijuana, because marijuana for medicinal use is not addressed in the Bible. However, after a review of certain clear biblical principles, the answer to the question becomes clearer.

      First, although many states have legalized medical marijuana, its use is still illegal according to federal law. Paul exhorts us to obey the law of the land under our government in this way: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).

      In addition to the fact that it is illegal, smoking marijuana can be extremely harmful to one’s health. The most potent argument against the use of marijuana to treat medical disorders is that marijuana may cause the acceleration or aggravation of the very disorders it is being used to treat. Smoking marijuana regularly (a joint a day) can damage the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decrease the ability of the immune cells in the lungs to fight off fungi, bacteria, and tumor cells. For patients with already weakened immune systems, this means an increase in the possibility of dangerous pulmonary infections, including pneumonia, which often proves fatal in AIDS patients. The use of marijuana as a medical therapy can and does have a very serious negative effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits from AIDS, organ transplantation, or cancer chemotherapy, the very conditions for which marijuana has most often been suggested as a treatment.

      A study indicates that a marijuana user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. The researchers suggest that such an effect might occur from marijuana’s effects on blood pressure and heart rate and reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Additionally, the smoke from cannabis—the plant from which marijuana is derived—contains compounds that can damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer just like tobacco smoke according to a recent study from the United Kingdom. In laboratory tests, Rajinder Singh from the University of Leicester and colleagues found certain carcinogens in cannabis smoke in amounts 50 percent greater than those found in tobacco smoke. They noted that light cannabis use could possibly prove to be even more damaging because cannabis smokers usually inhale more deeply than cigarette smokers. Researchers found that the smoking of three to four cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as twenty or more tobacco cigarettes a day. In truth, marijuana causes short-term memory loss, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor skills, decrease in muscle strength, increased heart rate and anxiety—and that’s just for starters. According to the Mayo Clinic, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke and has the potential to cause cancer of the lungs and respiratory tract. Clearly, this is contradictory to the biblical mandate to keep our bodies pure. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

      In short, although there remains much research to be done in this area, there are plenty of studies that indicate seriously deleterious effects of marijuana on the body. The pain-controlling or analgesic effect of marijuana is roughly comparable to that of codeine, according to the DEA. However, the effect is potentiated due to the neuropsychiatric “high” feeling or euphoria that occurs when marijuana enters the bloodstream. But marijuana is no panacea. A recent study shows that high doses can actually increase pain. There is a therapeutic window for analgesia, with low doses being ineffective, medium doses resulting in pain relief, and high doses increasing pain. It is important to note that researchers also found a significant correlation between increasing marijuana use and drowsiness, loss of control over thought and action, and transient depression and paranoia.

      The Bible teaches Christians to be sound of mind. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The Greek word translated as “sober” is nepho, which literally means “drink no wine.” From this it derived a broader meaning of being self-controlled, free of confusion, clear headed, sound of mind, or keeping your head. From this verse, we can see that Christians are to avoid intoxicants that impair clear thinking. Marijuana certainly seems to cloud thinking and reaction time. According to the Kaiser study, daily marijuana users have a 30 percent higher risk of injuries, presumably from accidents. A survey of 1,023 emergency room trauma patients in Baltimore found that more than 34 percent were under the influence of marijuana. And a 2005 study showed people who drive after using marijuana are almost twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

      Additionally, clouded thinking can lead to questionable moral choices. Habakkuk warns, “Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, who mix in your venom even to make them drunk so as to look on their nakedness!” (Habakkuk 2:15). The reference to “mix in your venom” is the ancient practice of adding herbs (or drugs) to wine to make its intoxicating effects more potent. Christians have a hard enough time battling temptations without making Satan’s job easier by taking drugs that alter one’s judgment and self-control. Use of intoxicants has also been closely associated with witchcraft and sorcery in the Bible. The Greek word pharmakeia, translated “sorcery,” literally means “to administer drugs.” As with our English word “drugs,” the context must be considered to determine the meaning. In biblical times, pagans incorporated the use of drugs to induce altered states of consciousness, during which they supposedly communed with their gods. This would be similar to the modern-day practice of voodoo. The apostles strongly condemned the use of such drugs to produce altered mind states because the drugs lowered inhibitions and self-control. (Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 9:20-21; 21:8; 22:15). The Christian disciplines his body and keeps it under control (1 Corinthians 9:27), so that he is able to set his mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).

      We must also consider the impact that the use of marijuana could have on others. A person smoking marijuana may be encouraging someone else, who may not have a medical justification, to use marijuana as well. Anyone who truly wants to know the effects of legalizing medicinal marijuana need look no further than California, where Proposition 215 passed in 1996. The law was written to target “seriously ill” Californians, but the state’s Police Chiefs Association reports that marijuana use by healthy youth and adults is “at epidemic levels.” Police officers regularly find parolees, probationers and gang members in possession of both marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Even more disturbing are reports of children possessing physician recommendations and routinely using marijuana. One unintended consequence of medical marijuana is the promotion of its use by those who are not “seriously ill.” As Christians, we are called to avoid not only sin, but also any activity that may cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to sin (1 Corinthians 8:9-13).

      Finally, Satan is the great justifier. He always wants to help us rationalize and justify sinning against God, almost making it seem like the right thing to do. The same games people play in using the Bible to try to justify many other sinful activities can used to justify smoking pot. Taking verses out of context, stating a verse means one thing when it clearly means another, and making assumptions the Word does not support are all tricks the enemy will use to try to justify smoking marijuana. We must never forget that Satan is a liar. We must guard against these tactics in our own lives. Over 90 percent of the marijuana used currently in this country is for recreational use. Although many of those users have medical marijuana cards, in many cases their marijuana has been prescribed by practitioners who are employed by the dispensaries, have never examined the patient, are not qualified to treat the conditions for which the marijuana is being prescribed, and have done nothing to validate the medical necessity of the prescription. Although many people may be deceived by such practices, God is not deceived. He will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/medical-marijuana.html#ixzz2sdXwIfg3

      • God has given us life. He has created certain herbs and plants for eating and healing. ” Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Gen 9:3).

        What does this mean?

        The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang: marijuana) is one of the many useful herbs “yielding seed after its kind” created and blessed by God on the third day of creation, “and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12) He gave hemp for people to use with our free will.

        God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat.” … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31) The Bible predicts some herb’s prohibition. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall … speak lies in hypocrisy … commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

        The Bible speaks of a special plant. “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” (Ezekiel 34:29) A healing plant. On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 22:1-2) A gift from God.
        How was cannabis used in Biblical times and lands?

        Cannabis was used 12 ways: clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. For so the Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)
        What should the ministry do?

        Teach God’s truth. Warn your congregation that the war on marijuana is unchristian and must be ended. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me … for I desired mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)

        What does the Bible say about marijuana? The Bible says that God created hemp for people to use “as meat,” (ie, to consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment, and that cannabis is “to be received with thanks-giving of them which believe and know the truth.” Paul also warned that some people would “speak lies in hypocrisy” and prohibit us from using it.

        It also says that we “shall not bear false witness” about people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who speak lies and sow discord among brethern. For those people harrassed and imprisoned for using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus offers these words of comfort, “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’s sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
        What would Jesus do regarding medical marijuana?

        Despite common knowledge and widespread scientific support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients access to medical marijuana. This includes people suffering from asthma, cancer, migraine headache, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and provides relief for many other conditions. As a result, people at various locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years in prison for providing medical marijuana to patients as an act of compassion and personal conscience. What would Jesus do? He chose to break the law in order to heal the sick.

        “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day 3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered, and they that were with him? … 10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11) And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13) Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16) And charged them that they should not make him known.” (Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16) (also see Mark 3, Luke 13, John 9)
        Should people give blind obedience to government?

        Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? … 7) Ye hypocrites! … 12) Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7, 12-14)

        Passages from the King James Bible that are relevant
        to the legal and moral status of Cannabis sativa, L.

        And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)

        God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen. 1:29-31)

        (No prohibition of cannabis or any other drug is made in the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)

        (Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but King James mistranslated it as ‘sweet calamus’) :
        Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29)

        * As one shekel equals approximately 16.37 grams, this means that the THC from over 9 pounds of flowering cannabis tops were extracted into a hind, about 6.5 litres of oil. The entheogenic effects of such a solution — even when applied topically -would undoubtedly have been intense.

        He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)

        The Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Is. 18:4-5)

        And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)

        (Jesus:) “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matt. 15:11)

        One believeth that he may eat all things. Another…eateth herbs. … Let us not, therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Epistle of St. Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)

        Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereupon thou hast attained. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)

        And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)

      • ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MARIJUANA USE

        What is DEP?

        The Drug Education Project (DEP) is an attempt to clear up the misinformation being propagated in the U.S. by organizations and individuals more interested in creating works of propaganda and fear than objective pieces of education. DEP is founded upon the same two basic principles Andrew Weil bases his book, From Chocolate to Morphine, upon: (1) “People make decisions on the basis of information available to them. The more accurate the information, the better their decisions will be” [68, p. 179]; and (2) “There are no good or bad drugs; there are only good and bad relationships with drugs” [68, p. 27]. This leaflet is the first in a series of sixteen that will attempt to summarize for everyone what science has to say about drug use. The grunt work has been done for you. DEP only requests of you an open mind and the time required to read these leaflets.

         

        What is this leaflet all about?

        This leaflet is intended for informational purposes only. DEP does not encourage or discourage the use of any intoxicant. Although we have tried to include as much information as possible, this pamphlet may not be comprehensive because of space constraints. To receive all of the DEP leaflets for free, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (preferably business-sized) to DEP, c/o Christopher B. Reeve, Box #2038, 1000 Morewood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. To provide DEP with suggestions and/or comments, write to the above address or email via internet cr39@andrew.cmu.edu. DEP urges you to photocopy, post, and distribute this paper in an unaltered form as much as possible. Our nation’s strength is in knowledge, not fear. DEP is your objective source of information.

        “There is an outright propaganda campaign being presented through the informational media, and there is no challenge being brought by those who know the facts and should be insisting on adherence to the truth.”

        – Alexander and Ann Shulgin, PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story, p. 442

        Health Risk Myths and Realities

        Marijuana Overdose

        No evidence exists that anyone has ever died of a marijuana overdose [61, p. 53 – 54]. Tests performed on mice have shown that the ratio of cannabinoids (the chemicals in marijuana that make you stoned) necessary for overdose to the amount necessary for intoxication is 40,000:1 [1]. For comparison’s sake, that ratio for alcohol is generally between 4:1 and 10:1 [61, p. 227-228]. Alcohol overdoses kill about 5,000 yearly [3] but marijuana overdoses kill no one as far as anyone can tell.

        Brain Damage

        Marijuana is psychoactive because it stimulates certain brain receptors, but it does not produce toxins that kill them [7] (like alcohol), and it does not wear them out as other drugs may [57]. There is no evidence that marijuana use is a cause of brain damage. Studies by Dr. Robert Heath claimed the contrary in experiments on monkeys [4], but Heath’s work has been sharply criticized by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences on three primary counts:

        its insufficient sample size (only four monkeys),
        its failure to control experimental bias, and
        its misidentification of normal monkey brain structure as “damaged” [5].
        A far superior experiment by the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) involving 64 rhesus monkeys that were exposed to daily or weekly doses of marijuana smoke for a year found no evidence of structural or neurochemical changes in the brains of rhesus monkeys [6, 58]. Studies performed on actual human populations will confirm these results, even for chronic marijuana users (up to 18 joints per day) after many years of use [8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. In fact, following the publication of two 1977 JAMA studies, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially announced its support for the decriminalization of marijuana.

        Contrary to a 1987 television commercial sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA), marijuana does not “flatten” brain waves either. In the commercial, a normal human brain wave was compared to what was supposedly the (much flatter) brain wave of a 14-year-old high on marijuana. It was actually the brain wave of a coma patient [2]. PDFA lied about the data, and had to pull the commercial off of the air when researchers complained to the television networks [62, p. 74].

        In reality, marijuana has the effect of slightly increasing alpha-wave activity. Alpha waves are generally associated with meditative and relaxed states which are, in turn, often associated with human creativity [13].

        Memory

        Marijuana does impair short-term memory, but only during intoxication. Although the authoritative studies on marijuana use seem to agree that there is no residual impairment following intoxication [5, 6, 13], persistent impairment of short-term memory has been noted in chronic marijuana smokers up to 6 and 12 weeks following abstinence [70].

        Heart Problems

        It is accepted in medical circles today that marijuana use causes no evident long-term cardiovascular problems for normal persons. However, marijuana-smoking does cause changes in the heart and body’s circulation characteristic of stress, which may complicate preexisting cardiovascular problems like hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary atherosclerosis [5, p. 72]. Marijuana’s effects upon blood pressure are complex and inconsistent [5, p. 66 – 67].

        Hormones

        Chronic marijuana use has not been found to alter testosterone or other sex hormone levels, despite the conclusions of Dr. R.C. Kolodony’s 1974 study. Seven similar studies have been performed since then, the most recent by a Dr. Robert Block at the University of Iowa [14], and none have reproduced Kolodony’s results. In contrast, heavy alcohol use is known to lower these same testosterone levels [65].

        Reproductive Damage

        No trustworthy study has ever shown that marijuana use damages the reproductive system, or causes chromosome breakage. Dr. Gabriel Nahas reached the opposite conclusion in his experiments performed in the early 1980s, but did so in part using the in vitro (i.e., in test tubes and petrii dishes) cells of rhesus monkeys. His rather unjustified claim that these changes would also occur in human bodies in vivo (in the body) was criticized by his colleagues and, in 1983, he renounced his own results.

        Studies of actual human populations have failed to demonstrate that marijuana adversely affects the reproductive system [61, 5]. Wu et al. found in 1988 a correlation between marijuana use and low sperm counts in human males. But this is misleading because (1) a decrease in sperm count has not been shown to have a negative effect on fertility, and (2) the sperm count returned to normal levels after marijuana use had ceased [5].

        Claims that marijuana use may impair hormone production, menstrual cycles, or fertility in females are both unproven and unfounded [43].

        The Immune System

        Studies in which lab rats were injected with extremely large quantities of THC have found that marijuana (in such unrealistically huge quantities) does have an “immunosuppressive effect” in those lab rats, in that it temporarily shuts off certain cells in the liver called lymphocytes and macrophages. These macrophages are useful in fighting off bacterial, not viral, infections. But this is only for the duration of intoxication [46]. There also exists some evidence that marijuana metabolites stay in the lungs for up to seven months after smoking has ceased, possibly affecting the immune system of the lungs (but not by turning the cells off) [47]. This said, doctors and researchers are still not sure that the immune system is actually negatively affected in realistic situations since there are no numbers to support the idea [15]. In fact, three studies showed that THC may have actually stimulated the immune system in the people studied [16, 17, 18].

        Birth Defects

        Unlike alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco, studies show that there exists no evident link between prenatal use of marijuana and birth defects [5, p. 99] or fetal alcohol syndrome [72] in humans. In fact, marijuana use during the third trimester has been found to have a positive impact on birthweight [73]. It is known that Delta-9-THC does enter the placenta [45], so mothers are advised against consuming large quantities.

        Cancer

        Smoking marijuana has the potential to cause both bronchitis and cancer of the lungs, throat, and neck, but this is generally no different than inhaling any other burnt carbon-containing matter since they all increase the number of lesions (and therefore possible infections) in your airways. There are a couple of studies that claim on the basis of carcinogens that smoking marijuana is worse for your body than smoking a cigarette [44], but these are rather simplified. There are actually some very convincing reasons to believe that smoking cigarettes is relatively more dangerous to the body than smoking marijuana on more than one count: (1) It is accepted by a growing number of scientists today that all American cigarettes contain significant levels of polonium-210 [22], the same sort of radiation given off by the plutonium of atom bombs (ionizing alpha radiation). It just so happens that the tobacco plant’s roots and leaves are especially good at absorbing radioactive elements from uranium-containing phosphate fertilizers that are required by U.S. law, and from naturally occurring radiation in the soil, air, and water [48]. It is the opinion of C. Everette Koop that this radioactivity, not tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancer [29]. Other estimates that have been made are, about 50% according to Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza of the Univ. of Mass. Medical Center [48] and according to Dr. Edward Martell, a radiochemist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, 95% [35]. Dr. R.T. Ravenholt, former director of World Health Surveys at the Centers for Disease Control, agrees with the risk, asserting that “Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source” [49]. Supporting the radioactivity notion is the finding that (a) Relatively high levels of polonium-210 have been found in both cigarette smoke [59] and the lungs of both smokers and nonsmokers alike [60]; (b) Smokers of low-tar-and-nicotine cigarettes die of lung cancer just as much as smokers of other cigarettes [39]; and also, (c) Even the most potent carcinogen that has been found in cigarettes, benzopyrene, is only present in quantities sufficient to account for about 1% of the lung cancer cases that occur from smoking[49].

        Why don’t you know any of this?

        Because the tobacco industry is suppressing the information. (2) Tobacco smoke is theorized to work as a kind of “magnet” for airborne radioactive particles such as radon, causing them to deposit in your lungs instead of on walls, rugs, or draperies [48]. (3) Tobacco, unlike marijuana, contains nicotine, which may harden arteries and cause many of the cases of heart disease associated with tobacco use. It also breaks down into cancer-promoting chemicals called N Nitrosamines when burned, and perhaps even when it is inside the body [37]. (4) THC is a bronchial dilator, which means it works like a cough drop by opening up your lungs and therefore aiding in the clearance of smoke and dirt. Nicotine has the exact opposite effect. (5) Unlike the chemicals in marijuana, nicotine has a paralyzing effect on the tiny hairs along the body’s air passages. These hairs normally work to keep foreign matter out of the lungs. This means that carcinogenic tar from cigarette smoke is relatively much harder to purge from your lungs than is that from marijuana. And finally, (6) Marijuana users smoke significantly less than cigarette smokers do because of both marijuana’s psychoactive properties (this is called “auto-titration”) and nicotine’s high potential for physical addiction [21]. It is important to note that the NCTR study found no signs of lung cancer in its autopsied rhesus monkeys who had smoked marijuana for one year [6].

        Smoking cigarettes and smoking marijuana negatively affect different areas of the body, and therefore cause different problems. But everything considered, marijuana-only smokers who average 3 – 4 joints per day show similar symptoms to cigarette smokers who polish off 20 in a day [74]. Although one well-done study tells us that frequent marijuana smokers have a 19% greater risk of respiratory diseases than people who smoke nothing at all [66], it seems that neck and throat cancers are much more likely to result than lung cancer or emphysema. This is because, unlike tobacco, marijuana does not penetrate deeply into the lung. In order to minimize the risk of acquiring neck or throat cancer from marijuana smoke, it is best to (1) avoid as much as possible cigarette-smoking and heavy drinking while smoking marijuana, and (2) eat plenty of vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli, squash, and sprouts) or vitamin supplements of beta carotene, vitamins A, C and E, and selenium [65]. These are believed to impede cancer’s progress.

        In addition, there are actually things that can be done to reduce and even entirely eliminate the bodily harm that may potentially result from smoking marijuana. This is possible because all of the principle psychoactive ingredients of marijuana (THC and the cannabinoids) are neither mutagenic (gene-mutating) nor carcinogenic (cancer-causing) [65].

        Legalizing marijuana would make (better) water bongs and marijuana foods, drinks, and pills both less expensive and more accessible. Smoking marijuana through a water-filled bong will cool the smoke and there is reason to believe that it will filter some of the carcinogens [69, 36]. Eating or drinking marijuana effectively eliminates all negative effects. In addition, it is conceivable that an aerosol contraption or vaporizer, commonly called a tilt pipe, could easily be constructed that would surpass joints in efficiency, match them in onset and control of effects, and yet would be effectively harmless to the body.

        Fat Cells

        One of the more ridiculous myths being circulated is that marijuana stays in your fat cells and can keep you high for months. Even though they may have similar names, the psychoactive THC (Delta-9-THC) is different from the metabolites (for instance, 11-OH-THC and 11-nor) that your body breaks it down into in that the latter will not get you stoned. It is the metabolites that stay in your fatty cells and show up on drug tests. Your body is depleted of Delta-9-THC only hours after ingestion [40, 41].

        Other MJ Myths and Realities

        Amotivational Syndrome

        Amotivational syndrome is defined as a condition in which a person loses ambition or motivation to complete tasks that he would normally like to have completed. Claims made in the 60’s that marijuana use resulted in amotivational syndrome were predominantly founded on stereotypes. But more recently, the carefully-designed NCTR study has actually confirmed these suspicions under certain conditions. It found that marijuana use may consistently produce something akin to amotivational syndrome in adolescent monkeys. It did not however prove that marijuana makes adolescents apathetic or depressed. A full recovery to normal motivation levels was typically observed to occur between two to three months following cessation of exposure. For unknown reasons, one monkey was observed to never fully recover. Surprisingly, the willingness to work appeared to be equally affected in both the daily and weekend rhesus smokers in the study [6]. Other studies have failed to prove amotivational syndrome in adults [42], so there is much reason to believe that this effect only occurs during adolescent use.

        Marijuana Potency

        Marijuana is not significantly more potent today than it has been in the past [23]. It is generally agreed that this myth was the result of bad data. The researchers making the claims used as their baseline the THC content of marijuana seized by police in the early 1970’s, which had deteriorated since then because of poor storage conditions [23]. In reality, it seems that domestic marijuana’s average potency probably doubled in the 70’s with the advent of sinsemilla, but has remained more or less constant since then [65]. Scare tactics claiming that marijuana potency has increased are rather irrelevant anyways since marijuana users typically stop smoking when the desired effect is achieved (once again, “auto-titration”). Contrary to one of DARE’s allegations [28], it is generally agreed that marijuana does not create a tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, or physical dependence in the user. Lester Grinspoon adds, “there are many who assert that there is nevertheless drug dependence because of [marijuana’s] capacity to generate psychic dependency. However it is not at all clear that this type of dependency is essentially any different from that which a man may develop with respect to his trousers, his automobile, or his wife” [61, p. 234].

        Driving

        Driving in any inebriated state is adding complication to what already amounts to a constant life-threatening situation. That said, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) summarized all of its studies by saying that there was “no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause of fatal accidents,” and that alcohol was by far the “dominant problem” in drug-related accidents [32]. The Victorian Institute of Forensic Pathology and Monash University’s Department of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne, Australia have found that drivers who use cannabis are actually less likely to cause fatal accidents than drug-free drivers, and are no more likely than other drivers to be killed or seriously injured in road accidents [33]. One experiment tested marijuana-intoxicated drivers on both a closed course and on a crowded city street. It found that the elements of driving most affected were concentration and judgment [52]. An experiment involving a driving simulator that tested actual driving ability according to how many mistakes are incurred by sober, drunk, and high subjects found that marijuana, unlike alcohol, does not significantly affect driving ability. It was found that these results hold true for even higher doses (within reason) and inexperienced marijuana users. In fact, the only significant difference reported by the stoned subjects was an altered perception of time, which effectively made them drive relatively slower [50]. A similar study found that marijuana additionally impairs the driver’s ability to attend to peripheral stimuli [71]. One theory attempting to explain these surprising findings states that marijuana users, in instances requiring seriousness, are in fact able to willingly “bring themselves down,” such that they are no longer high [51]. Studies that in the past have shown that marjuana-intoxicated drivers cause significantly more accidents than sober drivers are typically unreliable on one or more of the following counts: (1) They use drug tests to determine whether or not a person is high, and drug tests in use only indicate use over the past 30 days; (2) Some studies have not corrected for alcohol use, or do not provide a control group; and (3) In many studies there were relatively more stoned drivers killed, but it was not their fault. And when the police “culpability scores” were tallied and factored in, marijuana was generally not to blame for the accidents. It must be emphasized however that one study shows that daily marijuana smokers tend to have a 30% higher risk of injuries than non-users [66]. In fact, accidents resulting from intoxication are thought to be “the number one hazard of marijuana use” [67].

        The Gateway Effect

        Marijuana use has not been found to act as a gateway drug to the use of harder drugs. Studies show that when the Dutch partially legalized marijuana in the 70’s, heroin and cocaine use substantially declined, despite a slight increase in marijuana use [24]. If the stepping stone theory were true, use should have gone up rather than down. In reality, it appears that marijuana use tends to substitute for the use of relatively more dangerous hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, rather than lead to their use. Thus, oftentimes strict marijuana laws themselves are the most significant factor involved in moving on to harder drugs like cocaine. Such is the case in Nevada and Arizona, the states toughest on marijuana use [65]. A recent study by Columbia University’s Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse attempts to show, like many past studies have, that marijuana users are more likely to use heroin or cocaine. But what the study actually does show is that a large number of heroin or cocaine users have used marijuana, not the reverse. What is not mentioned is that just as many or even more had probably also drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, had sex, or eaten sandwiches prior to their hard drug use. In fact, a National High School survey tells us that in 1990, 40.7% of all high school students had tried marijuana or hashish at least once, whereas only 9.4% and 1.3% had ever used cocaine and heroin, respectively [25]. Thus, at maximum, only 23% of marijuana users go on to use cocaine, and only 3% go on to use heroin. Thus, the stepping stone theory fails on even empirical grounds.

        Marijuana and Crime

        DARE literature would have you believe that there exists a strong correlation between marijuana use and juvenile and young adult crime [28]. And a recent study attempts to present a link between marijuana use and violence by stating that 2/3 of all students who admit to taking a gun to school at least once had smoked marijuana. In fact, DEA head Thomas Constantine recently stated in a Washington Times interview that “Many times people talk about the nonviolent drug offender. That is a rare species. There is not some sterile drug type not involved in violence who is contributing some good to the community; that is ridiculous. They are contributing nothing but evil.” But these allegations are unsupported by research because test results show that changes in personality resulting from marijuana use, even though they are not relatively significant, include among other things a lessening of aggressive trends [34]. And large population studies such as the La Guardia report [10] have found that, if anything, marijuana use inhibits antisocial activity such as violence [20]. The drug-inspired violence myth, including a comprehensive history of its conception, is discussed at great length in Lester Grinspoon’s book, where it is shown to be based largely on a distorted Persian story that is hundreds of years old [61]. The problem inherent in drawing conclusions based on correlations such as the 2/3 statistic above is that causality cannot be inferred from correlation. In other words, there is no way of determining whether marijuana use contributed in some way to the existence of certain traits of marijuana users, i.e. bringing a gun to school, or, as seems entirely more likely, people with such traits are drawn to marijuana use. One study found that chronic marijuana users had significantly higher WAIS IQ scores (113.08) than both moderate users (102.15) and nonusers (103.26) [30]. It is simply impossible to make sense of such statistics as presented.

        References

        [1] Mikuriya, T.H. “Historical Aspects of Cannabis Sativa in Western Medicine,” New Physician, 1969, p. 905.

        [2] Cotts, Cynthia, “Hard Sell in the Drug War.” The Nation. March 9, 1992. p 300 – 302.

        [3] Nadelmann, Ethan A. “Drug Prohibition in the United States: Costs, Consequences, and Alternatives,” Science, Vol 245: 943, 1 September 1989.

        [4] Heath, R.G., A.T. Fitzjarrell, C.J. Fontana, and R.E. Garey. “Cannabis sativa: Effects on brain function and ultrastructure in Rhesus monkeys,” Biological Psychiatry. 15:657-690, 1980.

        [5] Marijuana and Health, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 1982.

        [6] Slikker, William Jr. et al. “Behavioral, Neurochemical, and Neurohistological Effects of Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Nonhuman Primate” in “Marijuana Cannabinoids Neurobiology and Neurophysiology,” Laura Murphy, Andrzej Bartke ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1992.

        [7] Matsuda, L.A., S.J. Lolait, M.J. Brownstein, A.C. Young, and T.I. Bonner. “Structure of a Cannabinoid Receptor,” Nature, 346 (issue 6824): 561-564. August, 1990.

        [8] Co, B.T., D.W. Goodwin, M. Gado, M. Mikhael, and S.Y. Hill. “Absence of cerebral atrophy in chronic cannabis users,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 237: 1229-1230, 1977.

        [9] Kuehnle, J., J.H. Mendelson, K.R. Davis, and P.F.J. New. “Computed topographic examination of heavy marijuana smokers,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 237: 1231-1232, 1977.

        [10] Lancaster, Cattell. Mayor’s Committee on Marijuana. The Marijuana Problem in the City of New York. 1944.

        [11] Freedman and Rockmore, “Marihuana: A Factor in Personality Evaluation,” 7: 765-781, 1946.

        [12] Siler et al., “Marihuana Smoking in Panama,” The Military Surgeon, 73: 269-280, 1933.

        [13] R. L. Dornbush, M.D., M. Fink, M.D., and A. M. Freedman, M.D. “Marijuana, Memory, and Perception,” presented at the 124th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, May 3-7, 1971.

        [14] Block, Robert, M.D. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 28: 121-8, 1991.

        [15] Hollister, Leo E. “Marijuana and Immunity”, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 24 (issue 2):159-164, April, June, 1992. pub. Haight-Ashbury Publications in association with the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, San Francisco, CA.

        [16] Kaklamani, et al. “Hashish smoking and T- lymphocytes,” 1978.

        [17] Kalofoutis et al. “The significance of lymphocyte lipid changes after smoking hashish,” 1978.

        [18] Wallace, J.M., D.P. Tashkin, J.S. Oishi, R.G. Barbers. “Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Subpopulations and Mitogen Responsiveness in Tobacco and Marijuana Smokers,” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 1988.

        [20] Kaplan, John. Marijuana, The New Prohibition, New York, World Publishing Co., 1969.

        [21] Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction, Surgeon General’s Report, 1988.

        [22] Winters, T.H., and J.R. Franza. “Radioactivity in Cigarette Smoke.” New England Journal of Medicine, 1982: 306 (6): 364-365.

        [23] Mikuriya, Tod H., M.D., and Michael R. Aldrich, Ph.D. “Cannabis 1988, Old Drug New Dangers, The Potency Question” , Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Vol. 20, Issue 1: 47-55. pub. Haight-Ashbury Publications in association with the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic San Francisco, Calif.: January March, 1988.

        [24] Dennis, Richard J. “The Economics of Legalizing Drugs,” The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 266, No. 5, Nov 1990, p. 130.

        [25] Data supplied by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Revised January, 1991. For more information contact the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Info., P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, Maryland 20847 / (800) 729-6686.

        [28] the name of the DARE pamphlet is “Facts About Marijuana; Marijuana: Drug of Deception”

        [29] Nationally-televised speech in 1990

        [30] Singer, Jerome L. “Ongoing Thought: The Normative Baseline for Alternate States of Consciousness,” Alternate States of Consciousness.

        [32] The NHTSA report, “The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers,” by K.W. Terhune, et al. of the Calspan Corp. Accident Research Group in Buffalo, NY (Report # DOT-HS-808-065) is available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield VA 22161.

        [33] Bruer, Mark. Age, March 23, 1994, p. 3 [Melbourne, Australia; this report is also published in the university’s

        Business Victoria].

        [34] Halpern. “Emotional Reactions and General Personality Structure,” The Marihuana Problem, pp. 130 – 131.

        [35] Martell, Edward. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Biophysics, and Biological Science, March 1983.

        [36] Hoffmann, Dietrich, Gunter Rathkamp, and Ernest L. Wynder. “Comparison of the Yields of Several Selected Components in the Smoke From Different Tobacco Products,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1963, p. 627-635

        [37] Hofmann, D., J.D. Adams, K.D. Brunnemann, and D.D. Hecht. “Formation, occurrence and carcinogenesity of N-nitrosamines in tobacco products,” Am. Chem. Soc. Symp. Ser., 174:247-273, 1981.

        [39] Hammond, E.C., L. Garfinkel, H. Seidman, and E.A. Lew. “Some Recent findings concerning cigarette smoking,” In: Origins of Human Cancer. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1977. p. 101-112.

        [40] Starks, Michael, “Marijuana Chemistry Genetics, Processing, and Potency’,” Ronin Inc., 1990.

        [41] Murphy, Laura, and Andrzej Bartke. “Marijuana Cannabinoid Neurobiology and Neurophysiology,” CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, 1992.

        [42] Mendelson, Dr. Jack H., “Behavioral and Biological Concomitants of Chronic Marijuana Use,” 1974.

        [43] “Marihuana A Signal of Misunderstanding,” U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, 1972.

        [44] Wu, Tzu Chin, Donald P. Tashkin, Behnam Djahed, and Jed E. Rose. “Pulmonary Hazards of Smoking Marijuana as Compared with Tobacco,” New England Journal of Medicine, 318 (issue 6): 347-351, 1988.

        [45] Slikker, William Jr, H.C. Cunny, J.R. Bailey, and M.G. Paule. “Placental Transfer and Fetal Disposition of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) During Late Pregnancy in the Rhesus Monkey,” pp. 97-102.

        [46] Lyman, W.D., J.R. Sonett, C.F. Brosnan, R. Elkin, and M.B. Bornstein. “Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol A Novel Treatment for Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis” by in Journal of Neuroimmunology, 23: 73-81. 1989.

        [47] Cabral, Guy A., Amy L. Stinnet, John Bailey, Syed F. Ali, Merle G. Paul, Andrew C. Scallet, and William Slikker, Jr. “Chronic Marijuana Smoke Alters Alveolar Macrophage Morphology and Protein Expression,” 1991.

        [48] Ponte, Lowell. “Radioactivity: The New-Found Danger in Cigarettes,” Reader’s Digest, March 1986, pp. 123-127.

        [49] Litwak, Mark. “Would You Still Rather Fight Than Switch?” Whole Life Times, Mid-April/May, 1985, p. 11.

        [50] Crancer, A., et al. “Comparison of the Effects of Marihuana and Alcohol on Simulated Driving Performance,” Science, 164:851-854, 1969.

        [51] Caldwell, D.F., et al. “Auditory and Visual Threshold Effects of Marihuana in Man,” Perceptive and Motor Skills, 29:758-759, 1969.

        [52] Klonoff, H. (1974). “Effects of marihuana on driving in a restricted area and on city streets: Driving performance and physiological changes.” In L. L. Miller (Ed.), Marijuana, Effects on human behavior (pp. 359-397). New York: Academic Press.

        [57] Westlake, Tracy M., Allyn C. Howlett, Syed F. Ali, Merle G. Paule, Andrew C. Scallet, William Slikker, Jr. “Chronic Exposure to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Fails to Irreversibly Alter Brain Cannabinoid Receptors,” Brain Research, 544: 145-149, 1991.

        [58] Ali, Syed F., Glenn D. Newport, Andrew C. Scallet, Merle G. Paule, John R. Bailey, William Slikker, Jr. “Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey IV Neurochemical Effects and Comparison to Acute and Chronic Exposure to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Rats” Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, 40: 677-682. 1991.

        [59] Radford EP Jr, and V.R. Hunt. “Polonium-210: a volatile radioelement in cigarettes.” Science. 1964; 143:247-9.

        [60] Little JB, E.P. Radford Jr, H.L. McCombs, V.R. Hunt. “Distribution of polonium-210 in pulmonary tissues of cigarette smokers.” New England Journal of Medicine. 1965, 273:1343-51.

        [66] Polen, Michael. “Health Care Use by Frequent Marijuana Smokers Who Do Not Smoke Tobacco,” West J Med 1993: 158.

        [67] Gieringer, Dale. “Marijuana, Driving and Accident Safety,” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Jan-Mar, 1988.

        [68] Weil, Andrew, and Winifred Rosen, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.

        [69] Cozzi, Nicholas. “Effects of Water Filtration on Marijuana Smoke: A Literature Review.” MAPS Newsletter IV #2 (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, 1993). Reprints available from California NORML.

        [70] “Cannabis and Memory Loss,” (editorial) British Journal of Addiction, 86:249-252 (1991).

        [71] Muskowitz, H., Hulbert, S., & McGlothlin, W.H. (1976). “Marihuana: Effects on simulated driving performance.” Accident Analysis and Prevention, 8(1), p. 45 – 50.

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

        [73] Day, Nancy, et. al. “Prenatal Marijuana Use and Neonatal Outcome,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 13: 329-334 (1992).

        [74] Tashkin, Donald, et. al. “Effects of Habitual Use of Marijuana and/or Cocaine on the Lung,” in C. Nora Chiang and Richard L. Hawks, ed., Research findings on Smoking of Abused Substances, NIDA Research Monograph 99 (US Dept of Health and Human Services, 1990).

        Suggested Reading

        [61] Grinspoon, Lester. Marihuana Reconsidered. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971.

        [62] Herer, Jack. The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Van Nuys, CA: Hemp Publishing, 1990.

        [63] Hendin, Herbert. Living High: Daily Marijuana Use Among Adults. New York: Human Sciences Press, 1987.

        [64] Himmelstein, Jerome L. The Strange Career of Marihuana: Politics and Ideology of Drug Control in America. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1983.

        [65] Dale Gieringer, Ph.D from California’s NORML. “Health Tips for Marijuana Smokers,” Feb. 1994 edition. To receive this very comprehensive 32-page compilation of reports, send a $5 donation to California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco, CA 94114 or call (415) 563-5858 and ask for the paper by name. The packet includes detailed instructions on how to construct a vaporizer.

      • How many times have you been hit with the usual jargon about how bad marijuana is for the brain, and how stupid you are going to become if you smoke it.

        Yet, some of the most creative minds of our time attribute their unconventional thinking to the effects of this beautiful herb. So does it make you stupid, or does it actually INCREASE innovation?

        Well according to a study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, the effects of marijuana on the brain are everything but detrimental. Let me explain. 

        Professor Xia Zhang and some of his colleagues at Saskatchewan University decided to test a synthetic form of THC (HU210) on a group of test rats to observe the effects the drug has on neurogenesis (brain cell formation and generation). They gave these rats HIGH DOSES of the THC-like compound twice a day, everyday for a period of ten days to get a good idea of THC’s effects on brain cells.

        It turns out, this synthetic THC-like compound actually INCREASED the rate of brain cell formation in the hippocampus (neurogenesis) by a whopping FORTY PERCENT!

        Not only did the rate of brain cell formation INCREASE, but the rats also appeared to be less susceptible to observable symptoms of anxiety and depression. The hippocampus is the area of a mammals brain that controls memory, learning, anxiety and depression. So it makes sense that increased brain cell formation in this area of the brain would prove to be beneficial for people suffering from problems associated with these brain functions.

        Meanwhile, when you compare these POSITIVE neurological effects of marijuana with the neurological effects of other LEGAL recreational drugs such as nicotine and alcohol, you find that nicotine and alcohol actually DECREASE brain cell formation.

        As an activist for legalizing marijuana, it is becoming a bit infuriating to see that such break-through discoveries are being ignored by the medical and legislative communities! Especially when you consider the countless detrimental effects of cigarettes and alcohol, which are sold freely in every store you can find.

        This discovery actually explains why some of the most creative minds of our time have attributed their innovation to the effects of marijuana. With every new brain cell that is formed, comes the possibility of a new and interesting thought process, that can break the boundaries of what an individual was previously capable of.

        The universities’ findings on the anti-anxiety qualities of THC also explain the peaceful nature of marijuana smokers, and now it is not so hard to understand why marijuana smokers have a “no worries” kind of outlook on life.

        Now take a moment to think about how wonderful this plant really is! It is capable of providing clothing (hemp is the strongest fiber in the world), it provides nutrition (cannabis seeds contain the most concentrated nutrients found in any food)! It’s “main ingredient” THC has even been proven to be anti-carcinogenic, eliminating lymphatic tumors in test rats within two weeks.

        On top of all of these wonderful benefits, it has now been SCIENTIFICALLY CONFIRMED that it indeed does increase creativity, reduce depression and anxiety, and promote peace.

      • See for yourself what the Bible says. The WWW Bible Gateway has concordances for the King James, the American Standard and four or five other translations. It’s easy to do word or verse searches.

        Marijuana & the Bible

        And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. — Ezekiel 34:29
        “The Lord said unto me, ‘I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.’ ” — Isaiah 18:4-5
        Jesus • Medical Marijuana • Relevant Quotes

        “Lord, when did we see thee sick or in prison and came unto thee?” And the King will answer and say unto them, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me.” — Matthew 25:39-40

        Go forth, and visit a prisoner today. http://www.hr95.org

        What is the Word of God on the Cannabis plant?

        The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang: marijuana) is one of the many useful herbs “yielding seed after its kind” created and blessed by God on the third day of creation, “and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12) He gave hemp for people to use with our free will.

        God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat.” … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31) The Bible predicts some herb’s prohibition. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall … speak lies in hypocrisy … commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

        The Bible speaks of a special plant. “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” (Ezekiel 34:29) A healing plant. On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 22:1-2) A gift from God.

        How was cannabis used in Biblical times and lands?

        Cannabis was used 12 ways: clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. For so the Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)

        What about cannabis today?

        Hemp today has thousands of uses. Modern technology has devised many new uses for the hemp plant&emdash;like biomass energy, building materials, fuel, plastic and so on. Hemp is ecological and its seed is among the best food crops on Earth. Selected varieties produce flowers that provide an herbal relaxant and a spiritual tool. Its herb is used globally as medicine.

        Does the Bible discuss drugs?

        Alcohol is the only drug openly discussed in the Bible, so it must serve as our reference. Wine is drunk during religious occasions such as Passover &emdash; the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples. It remains a sacrament in modern church services.

        Jesus began his public life by miraculously turning water into wine at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-10) when the reception ran out. The Bible distinguishes between use and misuse. It says, Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. (Proverbs 31:6-7) but Woe unto them that … follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isaiah 5:10)

        Yet the simple joys of drinking were also sung. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)

        Did Jesus speak about choice?

        He said not to criticize other people for their habits. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; that which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man.” (Mat. 15:11) The apostle Paul wrote, I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. … For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Paul: Romans 14:14,17)

        Did He speak of government?

        Jesus said to keep church and state apart. “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:25) As we have seen, it was God, not government, who gave man the herbs to use. And it was government that put Jesus to death.

        Property forfeiture laws?

        He warned us about seizure and forfeiture laws. “Beware of the scribes which …devour widows’ houses…. The same shall receive greater damnation.” (Luke 20:46-47) Jesus, too, was a victim. The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part. (John. 19:33)

        What about the Drug War?

        Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9)

        It was God who created cannabis hemp and told mankind to use “every green herb” on Earth. The Bible speaks of mercy, healing and a persecution of God’s children. They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. (Psalms 119:86) Prisons and drug wars do not save souls. The Lord… hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)

        What should the ministry do?

        Teach God’s truth. Warn your congregation that the war on marijuana is unchristian and must be ended. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me … for I desired mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)

        Remember: Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving…. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:4-6)

        Summary analysis of the foregoing discussion

        What does the Bible say about marijuana? The Bible says that God created hemp for people to use “as meat,” (ie, to consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment, and that cannabis is “to be received with thanks-giving of them which believe and know the truth.” Paul also warned that some people would “speak lies in hypocrisy” and prohibit us from using it.

        It also says that we “shall not bear false witness” about people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who speak lies and sow discord among brethern. For those people harrassed and imprisoned for using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus offers these words of comfort, “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’s sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

        What would Jesus do regarding medical marijuana?

        Despite common knowledge and widespread scientific support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients access to medical marijuana. This includes people suffering from asthma, cancer, migraine headache, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and provides relief for many other conditions. As a result, people at various locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years in prison for providing medical marijuana to patients as an act of compassion and personal conscience. What would Jesus do? He chose to break the law in order to heal the sick.

        “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day 3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered, and they that were with him? … 10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11) And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13) Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16) And charged them that they should not make him known.” (Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16) (also see Mark 3, Luke 13, John 9)

        Should people give blind obedience to government?

        Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? … 7) Ye hypocrites! … 12) Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7, 12-14)

        Passages from the King James Bible that are relevant
        to the legal and moral status of Cannabis sativa, L.

        And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)

        God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen. 1:29-31)

        (No prohibition of cannabis or any other drug is made in the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)

        (Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but King James mistranslated it as ‘sweet calamus’) :
        Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29)

        * As one shekel equals approximately 16.37 grams, this means that the THC from over 9 pounds of flowering cannabis tops were extracted into a hind, about 6.5 litres of oil. The entheogenic effects of such a solution — even when applied topically -would undoubtedly have been intense.
        He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)

        The Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Is. 18:4-5)

        And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)

        (Jesus:) “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matt. 15:11)

        One believeth that he may eat all things. Another…eateth herbs. … Let us not, therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Epistle of St. Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)

        Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereupon thou hast attained. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)

        And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)

        Other relevant quotes:

        Intoxication:

        Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Prov. 20:1)

        Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. (Prov. 31:6-7)

        “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isaiah 5:10)

        (Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana: See John 1-10. He also served wine at the Last Supper.)

        Prohibition:

        (Jesus:) He said unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

        “Then came Peter to him and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee until seven times: But until seventy times seven.” (Matt. 18:21-22)

        (Jesus:) “If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24)

        (Jesus:) He saith unto them, “Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him…. That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” (Mark 7:18-20)

        Forfeiture:

        As troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests commit murder in the way by consent. (Hos. 6:9)

        (Jesus:) “Beware the scribes which desire to walk in long robes and … the highest seats in the synagogues and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: They shall receive greater damnation.” (Luke 20:46-47)

        Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part. (John 19:23)

        Persecution:

        Thy commandments are faithful: They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. (Ps. 119:86)

        (Jesus:) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:9-10)

        (Jesus:) “The King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40)

        Tolerance:

        These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood; An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief; A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethern.” (Prov. 6:16-19)

        (Jesus:) “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.” (Luke 6:27-29)

        Truth:

        A wise man will hear, and will increase learning: and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. (Proverbs 1:5)

        If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. (Prov. 29:12)

        Judgement & Punishment:

        The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Is. 61:1)

        My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me…for I desired mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)

        (Jesus:) “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matt. 7:1-4)

        (Jesus:) He beheld them and said, “What is this then that is written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner’?” (Luke 20:17)

      • Let me introduce myself, I am a 32-year-old entrepreneur with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and I use cannabis, daily, to manage my condition. I’ve spent the past decade running international businesses on two continents, and have previously been in a long-term relationship for nine years; which provided me with a beautiful 6-year-old daughter whom I care for jointly.

        My story starts when I was diagnosed at age two with ADHD and spent the next three years on a series of diets that have affected my eating habits to this day. I didn’t have chocolate, sugar, wheat or cow’s milk until I was five. From then I was medicated with amphetamine-derived drugs for over 20 years. First Ritalin, then in my 20s Concerta. By age 10 I was prescribed double the maximum daily dose (which is 6 tablets or 60 mg) and I was given 12 tablets or 120mg methylphenidate per day. By age 15 I was on 4.5 x the maximum daily dose at 25 tablets and 250mg per day.

        At the time I was unaware but I became addicted to these drugs before my 10th birthday; they caused my personality to swing one way then the other when the drugs were wearing off. Due to the addiction and high doses I was taking, as well as the rapid on and offset of the drugs, I was essentially undergoing withdrawal on a daily basis. That didn’t affect me so much until I was older but alongside this I also suffered from an inability to eat, especially at regular times. I suffered from daily bouts of morning nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps and symptoms of an irritable bowel.

         

         

        At age 15 – and already smoking tobacco – my doctor, who had admitted to taking methylphenidate (then a dieting drug) in medical school to aid studying, recommended that I try a cannabis joint in the morning to help my nausea. I was amazed, no sickness, no cramps, I could eat breakfast for the first time that I could remember in my life. After starting smoking cannabis I noticed a lot of changes. I started making friends, something I had always found very difficult, I gained excellent grades at school and a university place. I also found I was able to decrease the amount of Ritalin I needed to take and found it easy to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.

        After finishing university and starting work I found the mood-swing side effects of the Ritalin were causing me difficulties in my work life and relationships, so in my mid-twenties I was switched to a slow-release version of Concerta in order to try to stop these fluctuations. At the same time I continued medicating with cannabis and spent several years managing an international development company primarily engaged in the public and health sectors.

        During the end of my relationship, like many others, I found myself in a custody battle. As my condition and medication was being used against me I chose to cease all prescription medications including cannabis, under my lawyer’s advice and my psychologist’s monitoring. I promptly spent the next 18 months unemployed and after losing both of my houses, found myself homeless as well. I found myself in receipt of benefits for the first time in my life.

         

        Eventually, despite feeling so much better in myself (general health and wellbeing) after ceasing the methylphenidate, but realising that unmedicated I could not work, I chose to take what some may call a drastic step. I knew cannabis helped me keep calm and focused and so I researched online about new therapies with types of cannabis. Eventually I used my job seekers allowance to purchase an ounce of the correct strain of cannabis. I used this to settle my mind for a long enough period to re-incorporate, gain several new clients, launch a new company, and start to become a part of society again.

        I now use only cannabis to treat my condition; I have no more stomach cramps, I have no more mood swings, and I have no more need to take a stimulant medication that has a host of side effects. The use of cannabis to treat ADHD was, like Ritalin, started in the USA, but it amazes me to find out how many people find their way to it without even knowing it, probably more than any other condition. A lot of ADHD people who are undiagnosed end up treating themselves with either cannabis or cocaine (similar effect to Ritilin) without knowing why.

        ADHD affects the mind. I often liken it to having several TVs on full blast around you, each catching your attention for a few seconds before the next pulls you in, coupled with an innate, almost childlike excitability at times. Essentially this gives the person a continuous inability to concentrate correctly/fully but also at the same time a near endless stream of new creative views and insights to distract you. This is exacerbated by high stress, and busy situations and can lead to impulsivity, silly mistakes and aggression. Often people with ADHD tend to have lower IQ’s due to poor attention/attendance at school and the difficulties we have learning on our own.

        They make up a massively disproportionate amount of the prison population (around 25% of all prisoners have ADHD, whereas it only occurs in 3-5% of the total population naturally). This is due to their aggression and impulsivity, as well as a lack of opportunities owing to adolescent behavioural difficulties and the aforementioned lack of schooling. Cannabis changes this. It allows ideas to be held in the mind and pursued rather than evaporate like phantoms the second you try to focus on them. It stops the fidgeting and inability to form cognitive, consecutive thoughts. It even slows down our often rapid, clipped, speech. It aids our ability to learn, concentrate, and function better. It calms our often quick tempers and enables better interaction in times of stress and friction. It allowed me to write and edit this article.

         

         

        Another interesting example of what cannabis does for me that other drugs cannot do is that as a side effect of my condition I used to have at least three fault road accidents a year, every year, for over a decade. I have written off more than 15 Cars, often damaging the courtesy car I had while mine was in repair. Once I had stopped the methylphenidate and switched solely to cannabis I haven’t had any further accidents and for the first time in my life have a no claims bonus (4 years now). This behaviour of ADHD people whilst driving, and cannabis’ aid to ADHD persons, has been shown in a number of medical papers from Germany. It’s also worth noting that from a pharmacological point of view methylphenidate is both far more toxic and addictive than cannabis, yet I was prescribed it from age five.

        After realising that I had finally found an answer and that other European countries prescribed cannabis for my condition, I then sought permission to import cannabis. Later to grow cannabis and to bring my prescription across from Holland, from my Dutch doctor. I was refused at all avenues. After 18 months of trying to make the UK Home Office stick to its part of the Schengen Agreement, they would only allow, for example, an Irish national living in the UK (or even a British national if they reside abroad or have access to a non-UK European address) to obtain a Dutch or German prescription and to smoke their medicinal cannabis in the UK legally, they held to their belief that this doesn’t apply to a British national residing in the UK, prescription or not. I chose to grow my own.

        I used seeds and equipment specifically sold for cannabis cultivation in the UK using cannabis products specifically designed for UK water. I grew a plant called ADHD, a special variant of cannabis which is the best medically for my condition and involved no organised crime nor had any victim. Eventually (and unluckily) I was caught growing my medicine, in a secure shed, padlocked and in accordance with the strictest European guidelines for growing. I was given a caution and told not to grow anymore.

         

        The cost to the state was 3 arresting officers (12 hours), 4 detectives (6 hours), 3 patrol cars, 2 photography unit vans, one police van to arrest me, one interviewing special sergeant (2 hours), my dentation in a cell (13 hours), two inedible meals, and the processing and paperwork for each of these people, units and activities on top. For 15 plants, enough to give me a 3.5 month supply of my medication. Currently I have to purchase my cannabis from criminals, which is often not quite the right sort or strength. It costs me around £500 per month to buy, compared to £35-50 per month in electric to grow them.

        My condition is genetic; it will not go away or lessen with time. I believe I have the right to medical help with my genetic condition. I believe I have the right to use the medication safest and most effective for my needs. I believe I have the right not to be poisoned by the medicine recommended by the state. I believe I have the right to be a productive and high functioning member of society.

        I have no wish to be a criminal, though the status doesn’t bother me as much as it does some, so I carry on regardless. I can only hope that over time the law changes to allow both medicinal and recreational use.

      • My name is Lindsey, and I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in September 2011.

        12 August 2011

        On the 12th August 2011 my life changed forever. I had been to the doctor three times before about experiencing pain in my lower abdomen. He did the usual urine and blood test and announced it was a bladder infection. Weeks of antibiotics later, I was sicker than ever.

        That morning I woke with the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced, I could barely walk. Deep inside me, I knew it was something terrible.

        My now husband, Brett, took me to another doctor who remarked “yes, I can definitely feel something in there, you need to go for an ultrasound”, which confirmed a ovarian cyst, about 9cm in diameter which had twisted on itself and was “causing chaos in my abdomen” -quoting the radiologist.

        The gynaecologist, a sweet young woman, assures me everything will be okay, and I have surgery an hour later to remove the rogue ovary. Waking up from that operation and hearing the news confirmed my biggest fear.

        Apparently, while in the process of removing my ovary and cyst, they noticed something wrong with my colon, but closed me up anyway. I really don’t understand what happened here. But after that operation, my colon and bladder had been punctured.

        What follows is just too horrible to talk about, but slowly my body was becoming septic…and then, they sent me home. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was a private patient. My gynecologist, bless her, in her good conscience, used her contacts to get a surgeon to operate at another much cheaper hospital, and a day later, I am in the ward waiting.

        25 August 2011

        On the 25th August 2011 I go into surgery for the repair of my bladder and colon, and the temporary fitting of a colostomy bag –I found out later that the doctors were pleasantly surprised to see me alive the next morning….the op was difficult, and they literally had to remove my insides and wash everything out with betadine!

        It’s hard to describe how survival instinct kicks in…but it’s there…and you can feel it…when you need it.

        7 September 2011

        I surprised everyone with my quick recovery and the doctors were happy with my progress, just one final CT scan to make sure that I don’t have any remaining infection, and then I can go home. It was the 7th September 2011. Brett had come to fetch me – we were waiting for a doctor to discharge me. I was already dressed when I watched his face and body movements as he walked towards me – I knew then! I was crying, maybe from relief, because I just knew there was something else.

        I felt so sorry for the young doctor, he was very cute, and in the days I was there looking awful and puking up green stuff, he would always have a flirty chirp, like “ you don’t look old enough to be a mother with grown children” – that kind of makes your day.

        He blurted it out, I could see his eyes turning off, like they must be trained to say this without emotion. He spoke a whole lot of words I didn’t hear, and then it came, and he apologised before he said it too. Quote “ Sorry, you have cancer. You can go home and be with your family for the weekend (it was Friday), but you have to be back Monday. I’m giving you a weekend pass.”

        That evening, my daughter Kerry, my son Warren, Brett and myself spend time together talking. Life takes on a new perspective; you’re completely alert, aware of every moment, taking it in all in…taking in the value of the people in your life, and the precious memories you have. Then you realise that’s actually all that counts. The support and love that came flooding in from family and friends was overwhelming. I have never in my life felt so loved and protected. What a blessing!

        I go back to hospital on Monday, they monitor me (I had some “mass” in my abdomen) they were worried about, two days later, they discharged me with an appointment to the oncology ward in a few weeks. The diagnosis – Stage 3 Colon Cancer. They had cut out a tumour in my colon, but it was in my nodes, and there was spot on my liver. Only course of action, 6 months of chemotherapy, once a week, for 30 weeks, and we see what happens from there.

        14 October 2011

        Chemo started on 14th October 2011. Some people react okay to chemotherapy, but most feel the terrible side effects as it builds up in your body. I honestly can say that it sucked the life out of me…I could feel it slipping away. I found myself in limbo – trying to survive to the next week, to be strong enough for the chemo and the bouts of nausea and general luckiness that sap your energy and leave you feeling morbidly depressed.

        This time was a blur, I could barely work, I spent days and nights on the couch, in a daze, nausea was so bad; friends brought around weed, and I smoked some, it made things so much better , not only could I enjoy food again, I slept better, and generally felt a sense of well being. I told my doctor about it and he said to take in as much as I can. He said he had done some research outside of his work, and believed in its healing properties, but was not in a position to give it to patients, or even to recommend it, but he was taking a chance with me because he could see I would get to the truth sooner or later.

        3 February 2012

        Half way through my chemo (3rd February 2012 -15 weeks in), I go for my halfway ct scan. My spirits are soaring! I’ve been living on a virtually organic vegetarian diet, berry smoothies, brown rice, greens and salad are what I live for, I’ve been taking supplements every day for about 6 months now: Vitamin C, green powder, hemp powder, spirulina, milk thistle and bicarb. I have no red meat or caffeine in my diet! I had every reason to believe I am clear and healthy and then all I had to do was to convince them to reverse my op so that I can get rid of the colostomy bag.

        It didn’t work out that way.

        In the doctors words, “there are now 4 spots on your liver, one on your kidney and one on your gall bladder, but let’s wait until we see the final report and I meet with the specialists to discuss.” A week later I go back, well apparently, this is damage by the chemo….the spot in my gall bladder is actually a 2.8cm stone caused by the chemo….the “spots” on my liver turn out to be lesions caused by the chemo…and kidney, turned out to be a cyst….again, caused by the chemo. Nothing more to say.

        The chemo was causing more harm than good.

        That day I made life a changing decision (either way), I told the oncologist I want the chemo to stop and the remainder of my “treatment” to be an opportunity for me to heal myself holistically. She wasn’t happy but gave me an appointment for the 23rd May 2012. Saying they will still follow protocol and treat me even if I don’t take the chemo. I wondered whether she didn’t worry too much because she probably believed I wouldn’t be alive on the 23rd May.

        Around that time I met some interesting people on facebook who had a lot to say about cannabis oil curing cancer, I did all the research I could do and could only come up with positive things about the plant. The testimonials of people who have been cured were incredible. I can’t mention names, but I wrote on the wall of one of the groups that are fighting to legalize cannabis, asking if anyone knew where I could get my hands on some cannabis oil. I already knew about the benefits while on chemo.

      • I took the time to read yours plz read mine

      • O and “Finally, Satan is the great justifier. He always wants to help us rationalize and justify sinning against God, almost making it seem like the right thing to do” – all of the above comes out of the Bible not satan :)

      • Oops looks like there is a LOT more recent facts in favor of legalization, dr4life I hope you learn the new modern facts about cannabis since its been made legal in a lot of places in the world, education is the key, stop scaring people about the world the live in, education is the key, and dagga is NOT gagga, it helps millions of people

  5. God has given us life. He has created certain herbs and plants for eating and healing. ” Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Gen 9:3).

    What does this mean?

    The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang: marijuana) is one of the many useful herbs “yielding seed after its kind” created and blessed by God on the third day of creation, “and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12) He gave hemp for people to use with our free will.

    God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat.” … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31) The Bible predicts some herb’s prohibition. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall … speak lies in hypocrisy … commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

    The Bible speaks of a special plant. “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” (Ezekiel 34:29) A healing plant. On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 22:1-2) A gift from God.
    How was cannabis used in Biblical times and lands?

    Cannabis was used 12 ways: clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. For so the Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)
    What should the ministry do?

    Teach God’s truth. Warn your congregation that the war on marijuana is unchristian and must be ended. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me … for I desired mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)

    What does the Bible say about marijuana? The Bible says that God created hemp for people to use “as meat,” (ie, to consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment, and that cannabis is “to be received with thanks-giving of them which believe and know the truth.” Paul also warned that some people would “speak lies in hypocrisy” and prohibit us from using it.

    It also says that we “shall not bear false witness” about people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who speak lies and sow discord among brethern. For those people harrassed and imprisoned for using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus offers these words of comfort, “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’s sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
    What would Jesus do regarding medical marijuana?

    Despite common knowledge and widespread scientific support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients access to medical marijuana. This includes people suffering from asthma, cancer, migraine headache, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and provides relief for many other conditions. As a result, people at various locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years in prison for providing medical marijuana to patients as an act of compassion and personal conscience. What would Jesus do? He chose to break the law in order to heal the sick.

    “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day 3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered, and they that were with him? … 10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11) And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13) Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16) And charged them that they should not make him known.” (Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16) (also see Mark 3, Luke 13, John 9)
    Should people give blind obedience to government?

    Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? … 7) Ye hypocrites! … 12) Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7, 12-14)

    Passages from the King James Bible that are relevant
    to the legal and moral status of Cannabis sativa, L.

    And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)

    God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen. 1:29-31)

    (No prohibition of cannabis or any other drug is made in the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)

    (Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but King James mistranslated it as ‘sweet calamus’) :
    Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29)

    * As one shekel equals approximately 16.37 grams, this means that the THC from over 9 pounds of flowering cannabis tops were extracted into a hind, about 6.5 litres of oil. The entheogenic effects of such a solution — even when applied topically -would undoubtedly have been intense.

    He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)

    The Lord said unto me, “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Is. 18:4-5)

    And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)

    (Jesus:) “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matt. 15:11)

    One believeth that he may eat all things. Another…eateth herbs. … Let us not, therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Epistle of St. Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)

    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereupon thou hast attained. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)

    And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)

  6. Just About Every Drug And Household Cleaner Is More Dangerous Than Marijuana
    How long will politicians live in fear of marijuana and throw billions of dollars at eradicating it and jailing thousands of people for possessing it? The overwhelming majority of its users do not develop addictions. It is practically impossible to overdose on. It even has health benefits, like slowing tumor growth and easing glaucoma. And it’s safer than the 25 legal drugs, substances, and even household products we’ve laid out here. By the end, you’ll be ready to say with us: legalize it!

    Over-the-counter

    With a few restrictions, these products can be obtained without a prescription from everywhere from drug stores to the nearest vending machine.

    Alcohol:
    The phrase “drugs and alcohol” is redundant. People who drink alcohol can impair their faculties, develop a tolerance for it, and become addicted. That’s a drug, and a very dangerous one at that. Brain damage, cancer, and death (37,000 of them in the U.S. each year) are just some of those dangers to alcohol consumers, not to mention the nearly one-third of violent crimes perpetrated in the U.S. each year that are alcohol-related.

    Tobacco:
    Yes, through some fluke in the legal system, cigarettes remain legal while weed is banned. As cigarette smoking claims more than 5 million lives around the world annually, one might rightly wonder why that is the case. Even in a direct comparison, marijuana is demonstrably safer. A 20-year study found smoking as often as a joint a day for seven years does not harm the lungs.

    Acetaminophen:
    The active ingredient in Tylenol and the most commonly used painkiller in America, acetaminophen has caused many cases of liver failure, mainly by overdose but also through users taking the recommended dosage. In fact, about 10% of deaths due to its ingestion are at levels at or below the daily maximum recommended dosage.

    Caffeine:
    The American worker’s favorite substance is dangerous in high enough doses. Since 2005, reports of caffeine overdoses have risen from 1,128 to 16,055 in 2008 and 13,114 in 2009. The dangers short of death include weaker bones, higher blood pressure, and flat-out addiction. But then again, many of us already knew that, didn’t we?

    Synthetic drugs:
    These are the gas station drugs, the ones with names like “Bliss” that are still legal in many states by posing as supplements or vitamins. President Obama has gone so far as to issue a warning about these drugs. The recent case of the Miami zombie was high on bath salts, a synthetic drug.

    K2:
    K2 or “Spice” is also a synthetic drug, but it bears special mention on its own because it’s synthetic weed. It’s perfectly legal, and it also happens to be more dangerous than natural pot. Intense hallucinations, seizures, and rapid heartbeat are the negative effects one can expect when smoking the man-made cannabis.

    Bitter orange:
    Used as a diet pill, bitter orange contains a chemical called synephrine. Synephrine is very similar to ephedra, which is banned in the U.S. because it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Bitter orange has been linked to a number of deaths and is not recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

    Stamina Rx:
    Health and fitness website Livestrong.com says the common side effects of this over-the-counter male enhancement supplement “border on dangerous.” They include blurred vision and dizziness (which could also come with smoking marijuana), but also arm, back, and/or jaw pain and chest tightness.

    Cough medicine:
    Teens have no trouble getting their hands on dextromethorphan, or DMX, the chemical found in cough medicine tablets, gels, and syrups. Though drinking too much syrup causes life-preserving vomiting, DMX is extracted out and sold, creating a healthy market for a very dangerous drug that can cause everything from seizures to brain damage and even death.

    Salvia:
    Legal in more than half the states in the U.S., salvia is an herb with leaves users smoke to reach a “high.” Um, that sounds familiar. Many health professionals have drawn comparisons between salvia’s addictive qualities with PCP and cocaine, and some users with histories of mental illness have reported relapses while smoking salvia. In other words, it’s a more addicting and more paranoia-causing form of weed.

    Helium:
    This friendly party gas for filling up balloons is a dangerous drug when used as an inhalant, and it’s totally legal and easy to come by. There are few official statistics on helium huffing deaths, but there have been noted cases of death from air embolism upon inhaling helium.

    Paint:
    The upsides of huffing paint are apparently euphoria and some pretty cool hallucinations. But it’s not worth the downside: vomiting, skyrocketing heart rate, pneumonia, liver damage, cardiac arrest … we could go on. A particularly conscientious store might card for its purchase, but other than that, paint is about as easy to come by as paper towels.

    Glue:
    How many other school supplies can be compared in regards to danger with to cocaine? Glue sniffing kills people, especially young people, all over the world. Its use remains popular as a cheap high in poor areas because it’s easy to get, but it is far more dangerous than smoking marijuana.

    Prescription

    With varying levels of difficulty, drug users can get prescriptions for these drugs that are dangerous enough when taken correctly and can be downright lethal when abused.

    Amphetamine:
    A 2007 study that appeared in medical journal The Lancet rated this wake-up drug more harmful than cannabis in both physical harm and level of possible dependence and as having the same risk of social harm. It’s the main chemical in medications like Adderall, the popular ADHD drug.

    Methadone:
    Also marketed under the name Dolophine, methadone is a prescription drug used for pain relief and helping heroin addicts detox. Unfortunately, methadone also caused 4,462 deaths in 2005. A year later it was dubbed the leading drug killer in several states. In 2009 it caused 15,597 deaths. The drug is known to cause often fatal cases of respiratory depression and fatal overdose in kids who take it accidentally.

    Valium:
    The high-profile deaths of people like Heath Ledger and the painter Thomas Kinkade due to overdose involving Valium are shocking reminders of the dangers of this Class IV drug. On its own it is very prone to causing dependency and is often taken as a “secondary” drug to maximize the effect of illegal drugs.

    Ketamine:
    The legal use of ketamine is as an anesthetic in medical operations. However, drug abusers use it to experience that same feeling of floating, and it is easily obtained online. Paralysis, psychological dependency, hallucinations, and overdose are all risks of ketamine.

    OxyContin:
    This painkiller has been found so dangerous in recent years it has now been pulled from the market in Canada, where addiction is rampant. It had been causing 300 deaths a year in just Ontario. With a nearly identical chemical makeup as heroine, many wonder why one is illegal and the other legal.

    Xanax:
    Xanax is prescribed to combat anxiety, but one might think jaundice (liver damage) and seizures would increase worry rather than decrease it. Other dangerous side effects include hallucination and suicidal thoughts. It is highly addictive and was recently named one of the most dangerous drugs being abused in the state of Florida.

    Hydrocodone:
    This drug that is the key ingredient in Vicodin is the second-most abused drug in America. From 2000 to 2009, while the FDA muddled over putting harsher restrictions on hydrocodone, the number of ER visits due to its use skyrocketed from 19,221 to 86,258.

    Sleeping pills:
    Researchers from San Diego recently found that in 2010, “excess deaths” related to the use of sleeping pills like Ambien and Restoril totaled up to 500,000 in the U.S. They also found even light users who take less than two pills a month have a risk of death three times higher than non-users.

    Barbiturates:
    A just-released U.K. study found these anxiety and insomnia drugs killed roughly five times as many British people as marijuana in 2011. These “downers” hook people faster than tranquilizers and can damage the liver and cause blood problems with regular use.

    Viagra:
    Viagra is a hugely popular drug, but it’s also killed hundreds of people, making it far more dangerous than weed. One study in 2000 found 522 Viagra-related deaths, most of them in people under 65. Because it lowers blood pressure, it can also be very dangerous for people already on medication to lower blood pressure (e.g. old people who need Viagra).

    Nitrous oxide:
    This one could go in either category. The stuff known as “laughing gas” is only legally available to doctors, but small canisters of nitrous oxide called Whip-Its (of which Demi Moore is clearly aware) are sold to anyone off the street. When inhaled, “hippie crack” can be addictive, cause nerve damage, and even kill.

    Chantix:
    If you have to die to quit smoking, it’s not really worth it. In its five years on the market, this Pfizer product has been responsible for hundreds of suicides in both the U.S. and Britain. More than 2,400 people have sought legal representation for possible action against the drug megacorp, and many are calling for a ban.

    Source: MedicalBillingAndCoding.Org

  7. A Personal Report of Therapeutic Marijuana use in Holland

    by Arthur P. Leccese

    My name is Arthur P. Leccese, I am 42 years old, and I have the good fortune to have moved two years ago to the Netherlands, where it is possible to obtain cheap and nearly legal marijuana. I define “medical marijuana” as pharmaceutical grade marijuana provided by pharmacists to insured patients given prescriptions by their physicians. The Dutch government has an ambivalent attitude towards such medical marijuana. There are some individuals, suffering from terminal diseases, who have for the last two years been quietly receiving medical marijuana. I suffer, not from a terminal illness, but from the painful muscle spasms and nerve irritation arising from a trauma-induced herniated lumbar disc. I have been able to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana from a physician, but have not been able to convince any Dutch pharmacist to fill this prescription.

    Despite this bizarre situation, I have obtained substantial benefits from being able to discuss my marijuana use with a compassionate physician. In addition, Dutch tolerance of recreational marijuana users has made it possible for me to achieve better results with my “therapeutic marijuana” than I was able to obtain with the viciously prohibited marijuana of the Midwestern U.S. In the earlier 1980s, while I was a student, I was involved in a car accident that signaled the onset of my symptoms. Since that time, I have attempted all legal therapeutic interventions: these ranged from injection of epidural steroids, to the chronic consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to the use of opioid drugs like codeine. These treatments were either unsuccessful or had so many intolerable side effects that I was forced to stop. Epidural steroids are painful, require three outpatient surgical visits, and can only be given so frequently and so many times in total. Finally, they affect mainly nerve irritation, not muscle pain or spasm. NSAIDs were totally ineffective and they induced stomach distress and socially embarrassing bouts of burping.

    The opioids were, of course, incredibly effective in relieving my pain. Sadly, constipation and the mental fog of narcotic intoxication made these drugs highly unsatisfactory for chronic use. Finally, since I was self-medicating with illegally obtained marijuana, I have tried since 1986 to obtain Marinol from my regular US physicians and many specialists. They were always unwilling to prescribe it. One physician even blocked my repeated attempts to have this request and refusal noted in my medical records! Since I couldn’t legally obtain THC to treat my symptoms, I broke the law daily in the United States by possessing and using illicitly obtained marijuana. My academic position led to many travels, which fortunately enabled me to come into contact with many kind and talented U.S. individuals who were able to provide semi-regular and sometimes high-quality marijuana. Despite this availability, I began to be annoyed with the sharp contrast between the way I could treat myself in the US with prescribed opiate drugs and the way I was forced to treat myself with illicit, and hence unprescribed, marijuana.

    Naturally, the illegal nature of marijuana put my suppliers at great risk, and more than once my supply was interrupted by the arrest and incarceration of a provider. In contrast, I could obtain legally prescribed opioids from any U.S. pharmacy, and the availability was only restricted by the opening hours of the store. My medical marijuana also cost much more than prescribed opioids, because suppliers of medicines always pass along the economic costs of their risks to their paying customers. Since I was obtaining the marijuana from outside my usual medical circle of insurer-physician-pharmacist, I was forced to pay the extra crime tariff foisted upon marijuana growers. During my last two years in the United States, I was paying, on top of my regularly insured medical costs, an additional $500 a month in order to obtain effective and tolerable treatment for my pain by consuming illicitly obtained marijuana.

    The cost was even greater because of the difficulties involved in obtaining marijuana with sufficient levels of THC and the other active ingredients. My prescribed opioids were, naturally, always clearly labeled as to purity and potency. On the other hand, those who grow marijuana in the U.S. select their plants for a variety of characteristics. Many of the choices made by marijuana growers are determined by the unique situation arising from the prohibition of the plant, rather than the need to provide a consistent high-quality medical product.

    For example, plants may be favored by growers because they allow an early harvest, or because they are particularly amenable to growth outdoors. On the other hand, plants may be favored because consumers report that they enjoy the appearance, flavor or specific nature of the intoxication arising from a particular plant. That is, a plant may become popular with growers simply because of a “fad” among consumers. Regardless of the reason, it is a simple fact that one must search long and hard when one is looking in the Midwestern U.S. for an illicit grower who can consistently provide marijuana of therapeutic value. As mentioned above, even this long search may be fruitless, should the grower be arrested. In addition, should the grower live far away, one must pay extra transportation costs.

    For the last two years of my time in the U.S., I was forced to take a seven-hour solo automobile ride once a month in order to gain consistently safe access to marijuana that would be of consistent therapeutic value. It was bad enough that this ride added significantly to the indirect cost of my marijuana, but the ride was physically unpleasant for someone with my back condition, and psychologically distressing for someone who constantly feared arrest. Again, a contrast with my personal experience with prescribed opioids is instructive. I could obtain my prescribed opioids from any one of a number of conveniently nearby pharmacies. These pharmacies, are of course, regulated by the government, staffed by helpful professionals, and protected by the police.

    My Dutch physician became convinced of the legitimacy of my problem only after I arranged for the transfer of my extensive U.S. medical records. I was given a prescription for 50 grams per month of medical marijuana. Obtaining this prescription provided me with the first opportunity in my life to discuss, with a physician, the specifics of how to best integrate my family and personal medical history with the use of marijuana for pain relief. For example, I was able to discuss my concerns about the possible cardiopulmonary consequences of chronic marijuana smoking, given my family history of severe heart and lung disease. Whenever I had discussed this issue with U.S. physicians, I was invariably and aggressively told that the potential negative cardiopulmonary consequences of chronic marijuana smoking rendered the drug inappropriate for my use. In contrast, with my Dutch physician, I was able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of marijuana consumption. Since I had a chronic pain condition with occasional bouts of severe pain and disability, my doctor recommended that I regularly consume low doses of medical marijuana in tea and/or edible treats. It was hoped that this would enable relatively constant and low levels of THC in my system, allowing a balance between therapeutic effect and intoxication. Any severe flare-ups that might “break through” the chronic levels of THC could be immediately eliminated by a few puffs of medical marijuana. I have employed this technique of chronic low-dose oral consumption supplemented with occasional inhalations for nearly 18 months now. I find it highly effective in dealing with most of my chronic pain.

    Even though edible treats are treated as “hard drugs” here in Holland, I am able to obtain cheap and effective edible treats from a number of nearby coffee shops. These products are intended for a recreational market, and are quite inferior to the tinctures and candies that could be manufactured by pharmacists or drug companies. Nonetheless, since these are commercial products intended for repeat recreational customers, the amount of marijuana in a particular edible good obtained from a particular coffee shop is remarkably consistent.

    Thus, I am able to easily titrate my intake of edible marijuana to insure maximal therapeutic effect with minimal intoxication. Of course, when I have the time, I make my own edible concoctions with very specific doses of marijuana, thus enabling an even better titration. While it would be cheaper if I could obtain medical marijuana from my pharmacist, Dutch tolerance of recreational marijuana users means that I can obtain, direct from friendly growers, cheap and effective marijuana that I can afford to use. As I live in Amsterdam, it is no problem for me, while out and about, to find a nice coffee shop (or even a quiet bench in a park) where I can smoke a marijuana cigarette without fear of harassment.

    Since there is a lack of prohibition against the use of recreational marijuana in Holland, and since more and more Dutch people are becoming aware that some marijuana use is medicinal, it has even been possible for me to smoke a marijuana cigarette in situations where even the recreational smoking of tobacco would be discouraged. Indeed, a co- worker once questioned whether it was appropriate for me to smoke a joint over my lunch time, and then to return to work. This person’s objections were silenced when I pointed out that I needed the marijuana as medicine for pain relief, and they agreed completely with my assertion that it was certainly better for me to work after smoking marijuana than it would be for me to work after consuming a prescription opioid pain reliever.

    In conclusion, even though it is inappropriate today to refer to any country of the world as allowing medical marijuana, it is appropriate to say that the therapeutic use of marijuana is more advanced in Holland than anywhere else. That is, the toleration of recreational marijuana has made it easier for people such as myself to bring this therapeutic compound within the confines of their usual medical care, allowing total health without the physical and psychological consequences of a vicious and unscientific prohibition. This raises an interesting challenge to those in the U.S. and other countries, who hope to enhance the probability of the legalization of recreational marijuana through first promoting the myth-destroying use of medical marijuana. It may well be that this approach is incorrect, and that drug war mythology must be exploded by long-term tolerance of recreational marijuana before a conservative community of medical practitioners will accept an illicit drug as a medicinal compound.

  8. So, pretty much everyone has heard something about how cannabis contains more ‘tar’ than tobacco…

    which it does…

    WHAT:confused:???

    YES, on average, Cannabis Sativa subset Sativa/Indica as a whole plant contains more ‘tar’ than the tobacco plant…

    But who the hell smokes a cannabis plant??

    Most people smoke ‘weed’ or the buds of a flowering plant, not the whole plant.

    The actual buds, that are smoked, only contain 33% as much ‘tar’ as finished tobacco product.

    ‘Tar’ simply refers to any insoluble (doesnt dissolve in water) biproducts in either tobacco or marijuana smoke. An entire cannabis plant containing more ‘tar’ than a tobacco plant is irrelevant to it’s cancerous properties and promotes the misconception that smoking weed is worse than smoking cigarettes.

    However, the reason tobacco ‘tar’ is considered a cancer-causing agent is because of the radioactive polonium 210 and lead 210 that it contains as a byproduct of growing tobacco with phosphorous that is rich in radium 226. Radium 226 breaks down into these two radioactive biproducts which are associated with 90% of all tobacco-related lung cancer.

    —-Polonium 210 has a half life of 138.38 days, produces 4215 times as much alpha radiation as Radium 226 -1- and, I gotta quote this part, “By mass, polonium is around 250 billion times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide (the oral LD50 for 210Po is about 50 nanograms compared to about 250 milligrams for hydrogen cyanide[25]).” -2-. Meaning that Polonium is lethal to 50% of a tested population at levels over 8 million times smaller than a tylenol pill.

  9.  2/5/2014 
    This is Dusty Frank’s story on how he beat his prostate cancer with cannabis oil. 

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October, 2013. I was advised by my urologist that my only options were to have a radical prostatectomy, go through weeks of external beam radiation sessions, or have brachytherapy (radioactive “seeds” implanted into prostate). The side effects from any of these treatments are incontinence and erectile dysfunction, to name a few.

    I’m no stranger to physical trauma. I’ve had a total of 11 spine surgeries over the past 16 years resulting from injuries sustained in several accidents. Ultimately, I had cancer develop in my spine in 2007 and went through chemo, radiation, and surgery. I healed well and other than being left with chronic spine pain, I had no other lasting side effects.

    Quality of life is important to me. I’ve lived with intractable chronic pain for years and the thought of adding incontinence and erectile dysfunction to my list of physical discomforts just made me think that there had to be other options. But my doctors said there weren’t.

    I scoured the Internet and discovered that there were other options. Some I read about offered success testimonials. The most profound testimonials came from those who claimed their cancer was cured by ingesting cannabis oil. Some of those testimonials I found right here at cureyourowncancer.org. One of the things that helped me while going through all this was reading the testimonials and the success stories of those who used the oil and were cured.

  10. The idea that marijuana may be the first step in a longer career of drug use seems plausible at first: when addicts tell their histories, many begin with a story about marijuana. And there’s a strong correlation between marijuana use and other drug use: a person who smokes marijuana is more than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries pot, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (More on Time.com: 7 Tips for California: How to Make Legalizing Marijuana Smart)

    The problem here is that correlation isn’t cause. Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who don’t become Hell’s Angels, but that doesn’t mean that riding a two-wheeler is a “gateway” to joining a motorcycle gang. It simply means that most people ride bikes and the kind of people who don’t are highly unlikely to ever ride a motorcycle.

    Scientists long ago abandoned the idea that marijuana causes users to try other drugs: as far back as 1999, in a report commissioned by Congress to look at the possible dangers of medical marijuana, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote:

    Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.

    In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.

    Since then, numerous other studies have failed to support the gateway idea. Every year, the federal government funds two huge surveys on drug use in the population. Over and over they find that the number of people who try marijuana dwarfs that for cocaine or heroin. For example, in 2009, 2.3 million people reported trying pot — compared with 617,000 who tried cocaine and 180,000 who tried heroin. (More on Time.com: See photos of cannabis conventions)

    So what accounts for the massive correlation between marijuana use and use of other drugs? One key factor is taste. People who are extremely interested in altering their consciousness are likely to want to try more than one way of doing it. If you are a true music fan, you probably won’t stick to listening to just one band or even a single genre — this doesn’t make lullabies a gateway to the Grateful Dead, it means that people who really like music probably like many different songs and groups.

    Second is marijuana’s illegality: you aren’t likely to be able to find a heroin dealer if you can’t even score weed. Compared with pot dealers, sellers of hard drugs tend to be even less trusting of customers they don’t know, in part because they face greater penalties. But if you’ve proved yourself by regularly purchasing marijuana, dealers will happily introduce to you to their harder product lines if you express interest, or help you find a friend of theirs who can.

    Holland began liberalizing its marijuana laws in part to close this particular gateway — and indeed now the country has slightly fewer young pot-smokers who move on to harder drugs compared with other nations, including the U.S. A 2010 Rand Institute report titled “What Can We Learn from the Dutch Cannabis Coffeeshop Experience?” found that there was “some evidence” for a “weakened gateway” in The Netherlands, and concluded that the data “clearly challenge any claim that the Dutch have strengthened the gateway to hard drug use.”

    Of course, that’s not the gateway argument favored by supporters of our current drug policy — but it is the one supported by science.

  11. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette…. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 680kg of dagga within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response.

  12. Ok wow the public seems to be better informed than most of the media in SA, honestly reading and looking up most of the comments here have switched my mind, I now fully support legal Cannabis and just signed the petition http://goo.gl/JxNkVo the public support is there, education is the key, it has become past the point of should we make it legal, its going to happen, the options now is educating people about what dagga actually is and what it’s not. http://goo.gl/JxNkVo

    • Wow thanks Sias see education is the key, for so many years the government thought they knew what was best for us, they were miss informed, they had the wrong info, in recent years with modern tests we can say dagga is not so gagga, if every person just gets 10 people to sign we will almost be there, SA has got double the number of cannabis users than any other place in the world, let’s all stand together :)

  13. so sanca asked me the other day, OK so if dagga is so great, what do I tell the people that come to me and claim they addicted to dagga?…well what would you tell the people that’s addicted to disprins, grandpa, all the legal medication, plus stuff like coffee and sugar, sugar has been voted as the most dangerous and addictive substance of our time!! :-) or what about the speed freaks and get addicted to driving fast? mmm anyways my 2 cents