Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

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Should Marijuana be regulated like alcohol?

Yes
45
70%
No
11
17%
I'm not sure
8
13%
 
Total votes : 64

Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Kez on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:32 am

Shuriken wrote:You do bring up fair points but all results have shown a requirement for a predisposition to the affliction to be aquirable and even in these cases, there are those who show signs of predisposition without any effect. Increased exposure would find more people with these problems surely, research would have to be taken into consideration to determine the predisposition of each individual and there are studies being done in this area that are coming on in leaps and bounds. Ingesting cannabis won't give you schizophrenia. Ingesting cannabis has a chance, if you're predisposed to the condition, give you schizophrenia. So yes, legalising it would make cases of this kind more apparent, just like the widespread use of alcohol highlighted those who are allergic to it. It also inspired decades of knowledge in its related medicinal fields that wouldn't have been touched upon otherwise. Necessity is the mother of all invention, while the initial fallout period has the potential to be rather ugly, the long-term benefits far outweigh what amounts to making a 50/50 bet on people who already have a 50/50 chance of developing associated illnesses.


What you are saying about the predisposition is not untrue, but in my opinion it is superfluous to the debate. Nobody knows what percentage of the population has this predisposition, nobody knows what causes it and indeed how it can be identified (before it is too late) and it could be present in any individual. Instead of saying that cannabis may give you schizophrenia you are highlighting that cannabis will give you schizophrenia if you are predisposed, either way the end result is the same. if you have more people smoking cannabis, especially at younger ages where individuals are more at risk, then schizophrenia rates are going to rise.

The parallels you draw to alcohol are indeed similar in some respects, but suffering from symptoms caused by alcohol allergy are nothing in comparison to developing psychosis. Psychosis is a life changing, horrific illness to develop.

It is of course true that if cannabis were made legal then medical science in the field would progress far more rapidly, but to what end? It is reasonably safe to say that despite all we know about alcohol from the progress in related medicine over the decades, it would have been a lot more straightforward and indeed beneficial to society as a whole if we never incorporated it into our lives in the first place.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Little_Devil on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:25 am

Given a few facts that we already know.

Tobacco and Alcohol is harmful and is the route cause of many health problems.


If legalised.


1/ Cannabis use over a long term can cause many illnesses by breaking down the bodies immune system.
2/ Cannabis users will, in the main, smoke it, thereby come under the same heading as Tobacco.
3/ If legalised, the Government will tax it in the same way as the other 2.
4/ Tobacco companies are the ones that will make money out of this, since they are already well placed to take advantage of this, as in production and advertising.
5/ Cannabis does cause a lot of mental health issues.
6/ There would have to be regulation as to the amount of THC.
7/ It will not stop crime related offences. As in theft.

We already know from studies that have been done, that Cannabis does create mental health problems. There have been many research papers written on this substance and some pretty intensive research by the military.
If we set aside the use of it via smoking, then you don't actually need the cannabis itself, and can just as easily produce the same effects in a tablet form.

There are people, who will say it is safe, however we do know that users do have mental health problems, that have had no predisposition to mental health problems in the past.
It is a well catalogued and known illness by many health professionals.

Would it stop the import and growth by users of a legalised substance, most definitely not and in fact would cause a lot more problems.
The reason it got banned in the first place, was not because it was a nasty drug that people should not use, it was however because the sales of the drugs were used to buy arms to overthrow governments and to arm criminals, and still is, just not to such a large extent as in the past.

I would have to say no to legalisation, but to make it available for research into new drugs, and therefore not a crime to posses it in a laboratory, or as a prescribed drug.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Binerexis on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:01 pm

Why would the amount of THC have to be regulated? It's not like it's possible to overdose on it.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Little_Devil on Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:57 pm

It is however an hallucinogen, and the amount of THC ingested is proportional to the hallucinogenic effects of the drug. As such it is the main chemical identified as the most probable cause of mental health issues.

The only measure by which any regulation of cannabis can really be tested for and used in a practical sense.

Think of the health warnings you would need to tell people about.

marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.


It increases heart rate by up to 4 times at the initial onset of the drug. Make your will prior to taking. :P
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby re# Skilgannon on Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:37 pm

WAR wrote:Nobody has died from cannabis :/

you wont find a death certificate with "smoking" on it as the cause of death either!
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby MrsSekhmet on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:07 pm

WAR wrote:Nobody has died from cannabis :/



Oh yes, people died using cannabis... I had two friends dying in a car accident while being on use of cannabis. People forget to remember not to drive under influence. :(
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Shuriken on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:18 am

@Kez - I did state that even with a predisposition to a condition, ingesting cannabis isn't definately going to give it to you. Obviously the end results aren't comparable but my main point was that without it, medicine as we know it today wouldn't be half as developed. I can, however, agree with your statement that "it would have been a lot more straightforward and indeed beneficial to society as a whole if we never incorporated it into our lives in the first place." But not in the way you might mean. We're grossly overpopulated and this would have solved the issue before it ever happened since mortality rates would still be through the roof. That's the only real benefit there. As for nobody knowing the predisposition rate, as I mentioned earlier, there's really interesting research being done to identify this and is showing promising results.

THC isn't likely to require regulation but marketing and sustaining the availability of weaker strains is in the markets interest as well as the publics, more variety = more target consumers = more money, choice of strength = predictable effects = enhanced social atmosphere.

Yes, people have died BECAUSE they were stoned. Stoned and stupid. THC has not and never will kill anyone simply because you would either explode or suffocate trying to ingest enough of it. I know 1 person who's died because he was stoned, he was stupid and drove straight into a tree at 80mph. I know 3 people who have injured themselves (1 fatally) and pedestrians because they were lighting a cigarette in a car. I know 2 people, one of which died, another killed a pedestrian, while answering their phone in a car. People kill people all the time, drugs or not, usually involving cars it would seem.

To deny people the right to give their cannabinoid receptors cannabinoids should be more criminal than inhaling the smoke of a burning plant should you so choose to do it.

@LD - You say "We already know from studies that have been done, that Cannabis does create mental health problems. There have been many research papers written on this substance and some pretty intensive research by the military.
If we set aside the use of it via smoking, then you don't actually need the cannabis itself, and can just as easily produce the same effects in a tablet form."

This is true, even in plant form, smoking is far from the only method of ingestion. Tablets however, have not thus far been able to recreate the stimulation of the B2 Cannabinoid receptors to the extent that ingesting cannabis does, therefore making it less effective as a medicine and, because of its tendency to not be as effective, sets a remarkably easy path for abuse and therefore increased risk of associated health issues.

"There are people, who will say it is safe, however we do know that users do have mental health problems, that have had no predisposition to mental health problems in the past.
It is a well catalogued and known illness by many health professionals."

I've read as much literature on the topic as possible and I've never heard of anyone without a predisposition developing an associated illness, if you could direct me to said journal/s or papers I would be grateful. However you say "It is a well catalogued and known illness by many health professionals" but fail to state what illness you're talking about. If you're talking about psychosis or schizophrenia then I would have to refute your claims due to contrary evidence.

"Would it stop the import and growth by users of a legalised substance, most definitely not and in fact would cause a lot more problems."

How so? Is everyone and their dog growing tobacco plants? Is distilling alcohol causing much trouble?

"The reason it got banned in the first place, was not because it was a nasty drug that people should not use, it was however because the sales of the drugs were used to buy arms to overthrow governments and to arm criminals, and still is, just not to such a large extent as in the past."

And removing ANY avenue of funding for criminal behaviour is a good thing, sure it won't end criminal behaviour but it was never going to do that, making it predictable and accessible would remove at least some, if not a large part of, the demand for undesirables to peddle their illicit wares, cutting their funds further.

Personally I'd be more worried about deaths caused by users trying potent strains with low blood pressure, even then it wouldn't be the THC that killed them, it'd be the swift drop to the floor.

Also, a few of you seem to be under the false impression that it's an illegal substance in a laboratory. If that were the case researchers worldwide would be breaking the law every second of every day in work :P
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Binerexis on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:38 pm

Mrs_Sekhmet wrote:
WAR wrote:Nobody has died from cannabis :/



Oh yes, people died using cannabis... I had two friends dying in a car accident while being on use of cannabis. People forget to remember not to drive under influence. :(


The point that he was making is that you cannot overdose from THC intake.

Also, the reason it was banned in the first place was because the 'paper from wood' industry wanted to monopolise the market and, prior to that, paper was made out of hemp. In order to stop the growing of hemp, the people interested in the new industry funded programs and PSAs to mark marijuana as a drug that turns people into psychotic killers. The idea that the money from marijuana sales were being used for black market/criminal purposes before it was made illegal seems a little backward to me.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby MrsSekhmet on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:34 pm

Overdosing cannabis is possible but you have to eat about 8 kilo pure THC if you weight is around 65 kilo, then you have a 50% change to die from it (LD50) however, the time is not indicated. So, no-one can do that, not even try. ;) So theoretically seen overdoses is possible. practical no it's absolutely not possible. But the line between theoretically and practical is way to big so my conclusion is: No you cannot die from THC overdose.

About the whole legalization thing, some people have benefits of smoking it, as a pain killer. Some people abuse it and get really annoying or do things they should not do. I do not really have an opinion in it.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Kez on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:22 pm

Shuriken wrote: I can, however, agree with your statement that "it would have been a lot more straightforward and indeed beneficial to society as a whole if we never incorporated it into our lives in the first place." But not in the way you might mean. We're grossly overpopulated and this would have solved the issue before it ever happened since mortality rates would still be through the roof. That's the only real benefit there.


I really don't follow you there dude, are you suggesting that if nobody drank alcohol that we'd have sky high mortality rates?
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Shuriken on Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:44 am

Nope, I'm suggesting that it's reasonably safe to say that given all we know about alcohol from the progress in related medicine over the decades, it would have been detrimental and possibly fatal to society as a whole if we never incorporated it into our lives in the first place
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Wizav on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:35 pm

Cannabis relax's blood cells and lower's blood pressure which is a health concern and it's a scientific fact that it greatly increases risk of heart attack. It's what makes your eye's go red and sometimes what causes you to pull a "Whitey" and feel very ill and weak.

I also think THC need's to be monitored, Cannabis has alot of anti-phychotic properties but the more THC there is the less of the anti-psychotic properties there are so plants with a very high level of THC have a very high risk of causing paranoia and other mental health problems. Whereas plant's with very little THC and strong anti-psychotic and anti-inflammatory properties are actually quite beneficial to us, It's just getting the right balance and finding the least harmful combination.

There's a pharmaceutical company in England called GW Pharmaceuticals working with cannabis plants trying to create anti-phychotic drugs, They have already created an Anti-inflammatory drug called Sativex. They are doing alot of research and have a huge plantation in south-west of England

With a bit of tinkering and more research i'm sure they will be able to create a very safe and healthy strain that can be commercialised.


This is there Sativex product, Apparently it's strong enough pain relief even for cancer patients so they must know what there doing.

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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby ApacheFlame on Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:52 pm

Please excuse the ignorance, but I let this one brew for a while before coming back to it. I have a suggestion.

If we are going to say 'studies show that...' then please provide some evidence for this. Yes, I am a scientist, I cannot help it.

I am fairly certain that most papers worth their salt with have an abstract entry somewhere on the web that is free to view. Pubmed is great for this sort of thing or google scholar. I am not trying to be an asshole, but it would be nice to know what studies have been conducted and by whom. It may surprise you to know, but a lot of shoddy science gets printed if it is written eloquently enough. Sadly epidemiological studies tend to suffer more than others.

For instance (this took me 30 seconds on google): 'smoking cannabis causes psychosis' (Henquet et al 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539839/)

Looking at the article, well the conclusion, you can see that what I have said is only a half truth in the opinion of the authors of that paper.
Henquet et al wrote:Cannabis use moderately increases the risk of psychotic symptoms in young people but has a much stronger effect in those with evidence of predisposition for psychosis.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Shuriken on Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:25 am

I fear that a large part of the reasearch I've done over the years is lost to me now that I no longer have as wide access to journals and papers as I once had. As a could-have-been scientist I'll try my best to link statement with evidence :P

Multiple source references as well as character analysis should be done on public domain sites such as pubmed. An excerpt from another paper C. Henquet has contributed to starts with "Cannabis use is considered a contributory cause of schizophrenia and psychotic illness. However, only a small proportion of cannabis users develop psychosis."

As you can see again (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18723841#) the worded implications and the evidence based on actual genotypes comes across with stark differences.

Sativex is likely to be outright banned in the EU soon due to the laws passed banning a plethora of herbal derived medicines as it's the only current pharmaceutical cannabinoid directly taken from cannabis plants itself. Not to mention the creators, GW Pharma and the marketers Bayer AG have been under heavy criticism regarding the development and distribution of sativex since its inception due to thier questionable practices and mistreatment of patients, but that's not really relevant to the discussion.

An interesting, if a little dated, video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n31Nuj_AvTg

Don't worry Apache, you're not an ass, I was trying to avoid the route personally as I know how much of a pain it is to drag through available papers that then get refuted but still exist, especially by ones that aren't publically available yet. It's nice to see a scientific approach too <3
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Binerexis on Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:48 pm

Mrs_Sekhmet wrote:Overdosing cannabis is possible but you have to eat about 8 kilo pure THC if you weight is around 65 kilo, then you have a 50% change to die from it (LD50) however, the time is not indicated. So, no-one can do that, not even try. ;) So theoretically seen overdoses is possible. practical no it's absolutely not possible. But the line between theoretically and practical is way to big so my conclusion is: No you cannot die from THC overdose.

About the whole legalization thing, some people have benefits of smoking it, as a pain killer. Some people abuse it and get really annoying or do things they should not do. I do not really have an opinion in it.


In order for the THC to reach toxic levels (basically for it to sit around and not metabolise) you'd have to consume 1270mg per kilogram of your weight in under around fifteen minutes. You'd basically have to be force fed it as you would lose consciousness WAY before hitting the LD50 level. if I did the maths correctly, someone weighing 68kg would have to ingest 190.5g of pure THC. You'd likely pass out before taking in even half of that and it'd be a massive waste of money.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Kez on Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:54 am

Shuriken wrote:Nope, I'm suggesting that it's reasonably safe to say that given all we know about alcohol from the progress in related medicine over the decades, it would have been detrimental and possibly fatal to society as a whole if we never incorporated it into our lives in the first place


I know we are sort of going off topic a little bit here now so please excuse me but can I ask to you justify this statement please? When I wrote 'incorporating it into our lives' I meant that if no individuals drank alcohol at all in our society, as a whole we'd probably be better off. Now you are more than entitled to disagree with me on this point stating that alcohol has a net positive effect on society (ie the pro's of alcohol outweigh the cons) but I disagree, and despite how far medicine has come in recent years, alcohol still causes severe addiction problems, liver failure and other significant or even fatal medical illnesses not to mention other productivity reductions as well social issues in families where one or members are alcoholics.

I am fully aware that it is a hypothetical and impossible situation but I am trying to make a point with regards to the issuse of 'necessity being the mother of invention' (or in this case research), if there was no necessity (marijuana was not made legal for everyone) then there would be no need to conduct research studies to mitigate the negative effects of smoking cannabis on people. Indeed if it was made legal, we have no way of telling how far, fast and beneficial research will go in providing a substantial benefit to us, we may find ourselves decades later finding that 'the ugly fallout period' that you mentioned is still prevalent and that legalising marijuana has left us with a net negative effect on our society.

In the UK I have nothing against seeing marijuana being used more clinically, in order to further research in safer environments, as well as in patient settings provided that the needs are legitimate, but I still have reservations about is being made legal for recreational use nationwide.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Binerexis on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:11 pm

The liver failure, medical illnesses and addiction problems you mentioned about alcohol are when it's ingested to excess, not from 'regular' recreational use.
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby Little_Devil on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:33 am

Shuriken wrote:
Is distilling alcohol causing much trouble?


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-li ... e-14188297
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby CATCHERAL on Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Prohibition of drugs isn't working..

Legalization and regulation is the answer!

I reccomend a book called 'Tools for the debate' by a group called Transform... good reading on the subject

peace
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Re: Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

Postby *sketch on Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:07 pm

I don't think leaglisation is the answer.
Decriminalising it and other drugs probably would be. Put somebody in prison if they mug someone to feed their heroin habit, that's fine. I don't see the point in arresting someone on the street for buying something that in all likelihood they'll consume in the privacy of their own home. It's a waste of prison space that we're quite short of.
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