I just teamed up with women’s lib writer Barbara Walker and Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School to publish on Kindle Pot Stories and Atheist Essays.
One piece, “Pot Story,” offers a very persuasive polemic for legalization and at the same time shows some of the misery and suffering that unwise laws have caused over the decades. One section describes Harry Anslinger, the founder and first commissioner of the Prohibition Movement, as a conspicuous bigot and inarguable moron.
Ms. Walker, in her inimitable style, writes of the abuses of religion over the centuries and the mistreatment of women, mostly due to original sin.
Also included is a podcast of Dr. Grinspoon where he categorically states there is no physical damage to the body at all. He tells the story of how he first turned on, exhorted by none other than Carl Sagan on a cruise to a conference in Europe.
If you’re interested in marijuana, either medically or recreationally, this is a must read so you’ll know what you’re doing or talking about. Lot’s to discuss, n’est-ce pas?
Hmm...over here in Washington state, the legalization of pot has many people interested in trying it out for the first time or starting up again. Myself, I am clean, clear, and a vegetarian. Honestly, I don't know what it could do for me. Hemp, on the other hand I would like to see more of. But really, you state "No physical damage to the body at all" - does that include the lungs when you smoke this stuff?
Liz, there are other ways like vaporization or ingestion that aren't nearly as harmful on the lungs as smoking is. :)
I can only say, Liz, listen to Dr. Grinspoon's podcast. As dean of Harvard Medical School at the time, he's a pretty authoritative source of information and major researcher. Just Google "lester grinspoon podcast". I'm proud to say I arranged the interview.
Check out my Kindle eBook Pot Stories for more information and to get an idea what it was like in the '60s. The history is fascinating and disturbing.
To answer your question directly, "does that include the lungs when you smoke this stuff?" the answer is absolutely not. Consider: with good grass, only a hit or two is necessary to get the desired effect. And "used responsibly" as we advocate that's once or twice a week at most on special occasions. Compared to cigs which are legal, one or two inhalations per week are not going to cause lung cancer.
Here's the link. Plenty of other good writing is there also. I consider Barbara Walker a genius and I speak very skeptically. If you're interested in the women's lib movement or the history of religion dating back to Gnostic times, I don't believe there's many people in the world more knowledgeable than Barbara.
Thanks for the link. I will look into it. You make a point about the frequency of smoking cannabis versus cigarettes.
Sorry, but what is the link between Atheism and Pot? I know its a catchy tag to get people to look at your information and all but really I can do without it.
How about Atheism and Macrame? they have about as much to do with each other.
I'm skeptical about your claims of "no harmful effects" too. I know you have an expert saying this is the case but I cant see how smoking anything can be neutral to the health of the lungs.
Just like climate deniers bringing up your one scientist to support your claims you have one doctor who says this when a simple google search of "marijuana negative side effects" brings up 2,340,000 results. I'm not saying all those results are right, or even all those links are saying there is a negative effect, but when all the sources that I would personally determine to be unbiased and trustworthy say there is a negative link I know where I stand.
Personally I don't really care if you do or don't use. I personally never have and never would but I get miffed when people throw around "its harmless" when the bulk of evidence says otherwise.
We should hold trendy, sexy subjects like this to the same level of scientific scrutiny as we would any other subject.
Wow, MB, this is a complex comment you make. You’re hitting on several issues so fast I can’t get my thoughts together. Let’s take one point at a time, OK.
<I'm skeptical about your claims of "no harmful effects" too. >>> OK, show me one valid and reliable study that proves there’s any physical damage to any organ, be it lungs, liver, heart, lips, throat, spleen, whatever. I think that’s fair and you should be able to provide that information before your tirade.
<an expert saying this is the case>>> Keep in mind there was a terrible paranoia about mj since the ‘30s. Scientists were afraid to risk their careers in the face of the social stigma associated with mj. Thousands of lives were needlessly and gratuitously ruined. People could be fired from their work or stigmatized for even mentioning grass. Imagine being thrown in jail (and this country has millions) for smoking a joint after a hard day’s work at some boring job like working at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart. I can speak from personal experience.
<Personally I don't really care if you do or don't use>>> It’s a two-way street. You can believe the propaganda all you want. See Reefer Madness again and confirm you convictions.
< We should hold trendy, sexy subjects like this to the same level of scientific scrutiny as we would any other subject.>>> At last we agree. I ask the same question in Pot Stories, why isn’t such an important subject, so basic to our sexual and psychological health (and our very humanity) being experimented in universities across the nation. The Big Pharma lobby, that’s why.
In a closing remark, Bill Mahr in his current HBO show, states unequivocally that 58% of Americans are in favor of legalization. In any retorts you might be considering, please bear in mind that Dr. Grinspoon and I are only advocating responsible use. Any abuse by already sick individuals is not the fault of pot.
The point I was trying to make, and I admit a bit ham fistedly, is that until there is a majority view among health professionals that smoking pot is not harmful then I think we should keep it controlled.
You ask for a valid reliable study showing it being harmful. Try this Respiratory symptoms and lung function in habitual heavy smokers of... I didn't have to search far for that one. It shows smoking pot is AS bad as tobacco on key aspect of respiratory and lung function.
Intentionally inhaling any smoke, whatever the source is never going to be good for you.
As to your point "Why isn’t such an important subject, so basic to our sexual and psychological health (and our very humanity) being experimented in universities across the nation." (my emphasis). I cant let that slide.. how in anyway shape or form is marijuana so basic to anything, let alone our sexual and psychological health.
If you consider it so essential to your existence maybe that's an indication of its addictive powers rather than its beneficial effects.
As I said I have no beef with anyone who uses it, even if they abuse it, but until you can show that its not harming anyone I'd vote to keep it controlled.
< You ask for a valid reliable study showing it being harmful. Try this Respiratory symptoms and lung function in habitual heavy smokers of..>>>
No offense, but this study is pretty weak and totally inappropriate. Don’t confuse mj with “street grass”. Weed is illegal and has been abused by unscrupulous people. It seems similar to speakeasy days when The Untouchables would break into a club, seize “rock gut” and demonstrate to reporters how harmful whiskey is.
I’m against cigs and tobacco as much as you are, so why would you include studies evidencing the ill effects of tobacco? I’m talking about one or two hits (inhalations of excellent grass) per week. Are you suggesting I’m going to acquire “chronic cough”, lung cancer or other lung pathology from this? In the study, subjects averaged “49 to 57 joint-years marijuana (average daily number of joints times number of years smoked)”. At the high end, that’s about one joint per day for 57 years, or two per day for 23.5 years. Just think, two jays a day for two decades, and if it’s inferior grass no wonder they lasted that long.
As far as street grass goes, if I put poison in your coffee, it’s not the coffee that made you sick it’s the strychnine.
MB, I really believe you’re been duped by the propaganda. Here’s an excerpt from my book that deals the evil and pernicious lobby system that’s destroying this country. It’s nothing more the legalized bribery, but a harmless euphoriant is illegal.
“Consider the 1994 House Hearings on Tobacco Products Usage by the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. One by one tobacco executives denied and disclaimed any knowledge, connection or responsibility for any diseases associated with smoking cigarettes. To the man, they stood up before the disgruntled committee and denied everything in the face of overwhelming evidence. Has there ever been a more despicable clique in all human history that would put their own wealth and luxury ahead of the suffering of millions of people? You’d have to go back to the ancient Romans, or maybe the medieval Chinese emperors. What’s the sense in being born if you’re just going to live high on the hog and leave the world worse off? Just leave your carbon footprint and escape into nothingness. It’s the next generation of kids that counts, not afterlife bullshit. They think their carbon footprint won’t make a difference because they’ll be dead; as long as they get all the thrills, luxury, and pleasure that life has to offer. But it does make a difference, because it makes their entire existence meaningless and damaging. Their greed made their birth a negative thing. In the long run, if they don’t care about the next generation, it’s better they were never born. It’s not that God is going to punish them ‘cause there is no god; it’s just that it was such a wasted opportunity.
“Representative Henry Waxman told them at the time 3,000 children per day got hooked on cigarettes and developed life-long habits almost impossible to escape. Lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, bladder cancer, and stroke are only some of the diseases caused by tobacco products. Imagine, people even developed bladder cancer—that’s gotta suck!—and these exalted business leaders disavowed any responsibility and advocated continued usage.”
You say I can't make a link between marijuana and tobacco? Are you serious?
If grass is legalised how many users out there do you really think will limit themselves to "one or two hits (inhalations of excellent grass) per week"?
Just like cigarettes and alcohol there will be some that will limit themselves like that, but many many more who won't. Even when its illegal smoking levels are much much higher than that.
As such you cannot discredit that study and the negative effects of smoking anything let alone marijuana.
As I said if you want to smoke it fine, go for it but when you advocate legalising it, and if I read you right, would actively encourage more people to use it then I have a problem.
I accept that some people have found beneficial effects from its use, like Booklovers daughter below. When and where this happens I can see a role for it being prescribed but surely isolating the active ingredients and administering them another way would be better. At least then the harmful effects of smoking it would be avoided.
As to the excerpt you quoted I don't see what relevance that has to your argument. Yes big tobacco was/is/will always be an evil rapacious industry, but how does that justify legalising marijuana? I don't want to see the same mistakes repeated with Marijuana.
< You say I can't make a link between marijuana and tobacco? Are you serious?>>>
Quite serious. Please bear in mind that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. Consider this: a person with an average nicotine habit (say a pack per day) inhales 20 cigs each with ten inhalations. That’s 200 administrations of the habit daily. Someone with a bad habit, say two packs per day, administers to the habit 400 times per day. What else do humans do 400 times every day other than breathe? The mere comparison of nicotine and THC is unfair, irrational and off base.
< If grass is legalized how many users out there do you really think will limit themselves to "one or two hits (inhalations of excellent grass) per week">>>
I’ve heard this “slippery slope” argument over and over. By the same logic I could argue knives, cars, even pencils, (not to mention guns) should be illegal because in the wrong hands they could become lethal weapons.
I guess it’s a question of education and undoing the ludicrous propaganda started in the Prohibition days. As I said, there must be “responsible use.” The problem is not with grass, it’s with the Puritanical, pleasure-negative, and saddest-of-all corrupt culture.
Let me say, if you've never had passionate, loving sex with a glorious marijuana high, let me turn you on to something wonderful in life. Perhaps put in on your bucket list as something you have to try (experience) before you arrive at your final destination.
Check out my pot stories. (Just to allay any negative stereotypes or suspicious, it has more to do with Shakespeare and classical music that with sordid drug houses.
I asked you about Reefer Madness, and I’m yet to hear your defense of such absurdity.
Tobacco has a lot of bad health effects but we've done pretty well in controlling tobacco use without making it illegal.
Controlling advertising is crucial. Also tobacco use is prohibited in many places where it might affect someone else.