Hey everybody, I got into a heated argument with a so-called "therapist" or mental health expert. (She's in a humanist group I belong to, not that I need a therapist.) She said that mj was physically addictive. I jumped on this unfounded assertion. Perhaps there is some psychological possibility (anything can be psychologically addictive, video games, cigs, TV, anything) but definitively not physically—there’s no nausea or DTs.

To support her argument she emailed me an article by doctors at UW-Madison. Please click here for my rebuttal which I posted here on A/N.

I'd love to hear some opinions on this. I believe you'll find the article educational and informative, if your into grass.

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Well, I'll jump in here and give my two cents. Let me first explain my credentials. I have been an active pothead for............ummm....... maybe......... eight years. For the last five of those years, I was a wake n' bake to pass-out time smoker, but I have recently quit. I think this makes me an expert on the subject. There is an addiction with marijuana. I know this and a recent study agrees with me (I can't find the link, but I have given the link in a previous post). Like I said, I recently quit and I suffered withdrawals. I could not sleep well for nearly a month, and there is no doubt about what caused the sleeplessness. I went from sleeping a good 9 hours every night, to struggling to get 3 or 4. After a month or so, my sleep has returned to normal.

Well, bout of sleeplessness aroused my interest and I started researching the possibility of withdrawals and marijuana. I found the above mentioned article which found that 9% of people become addicted to MJ - compared with 15% with alcohol and 23% with heroine. You were right in your take that we can use the same argument to make wine illegal. MJ is definitely the lesser evil when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes, but it is not the completely safe substance that most potheads make it out to be.

As for damage to the lungs, MJ does plenty and I don't need a study to verify this. I cough up stuff every morning. Anytime you are burning something and inhaling the smoke, it damages your lungs. There are carcinogens. Granted it is better for most people than smoking cigarettes, but if you are an all day high type, it is hurting your lungs as bad as cigarettes. That's why I switched to vaping a while back. Vaping takes away the carcinogens and leaves you with the intoxicating substances.

Does weed have an adverse effect on your driving? Hell yes it does. It may not make you a more dangerous driver, but you're not the only driver on the road. It slows your reaction time, so it will hamper your ability to avoid the mistakes of others or if a deer jumps out in front of you for those of us that live in the middle of nowhere.

No Hang-over? No offense Richard, but I think we smoke on different levels. I don't wake up after a long night of smoking feeling near as well as I do when I've slept clean. My eyes are dryer than normal and it takes me a bit longer to wake up and get up to speed for the day. Wake n' bake was invented to get over the drowsiness. That is a hangover to me. I've also had the stomachache before as well. I even vomited after smoking. I was given a tupperware container with tiny buds one night. The girl said they were from Africa and she left me with them and forgot I was there for a bit. I indulged in a massive quantity until she ran out and told me to be careful because it came on strong. It was too late! We then left to see the North Mississippi Allstars and I laughed uncontrollably at every street name between her house and the clubs. Inside the club, she was about to try to lose me because of my laughing, when i started turning green and felt terrible. She said only one other person smoked as much as me and he threw-up. Well I did too, and it was a good 30 minutes until I became normal again. Also, I "acquired" a strain a few years later that people smoked themselves sick off of - Weed Sick.

Adverse Health Effects? I lived with roommate who definitely had a green thumb for a year. He was an expert with a light and some water. I smoked his product for 6 months straight with two of me friends. We all developed stutters. I had never heard of prolonged exposure to weed causing people to stutter, but it happened to three of us. I quit smoking for a few months and my concentration came back and the stutter left. If only the government would study me.

I am a strong supporter of legalizing MJ, not for medical reasons, but for personal use. That being said, I am a Libertarian, I feel each state should decide on their own whether to make it illegal or not. The states that legalize it should then only allow adults to purchase it - regulate it like alcohol. That way, the kids will only get ahold of the mexican ragweed and leave the quality to those of us that can appreciate it.

The government has told lies for so long about MJ, that it is hard now for people to get over the misconceptions. I think the government lies have in turn created the problem of smokers telling equal and opposite lies. The government should stay out of the average Americans life and let us make mistakes if we choose to make them, and learn from those mistakes. I would be pro-MJ even if I wasn't a smoker. To me, it is the same principles as the government shouldn't make seat belt laws. It is not the responsibility of the government to protect me from me.
Weed sick? Never heard of it, although I remember as a kid getting sick from trying to smoke a whole lid at once of Panama Red, but that was 30 something years ago. One of the problems with cannabis Prohibition is that there are a lot of small grower, backed by criminal organizations, who don't care what they use to get the plants to produce profit. In the 1990's, I worked for such an organization, and frankly I wouldn't smoke their pot. From toxic insecticides (malathion for spider mites, sulphur powder for mold) to fertilizer given to the plant at max quantities right to harvest. You ever find weed that wouldn't burn very well, but was dry? That's the phosphorus from the budding fertilizer. All of their bud looked very good, and tasted good, but was poison in my opinion. They hired me on when they tried some of my stuff, but their stupidity lost me 2 large houses full (about $1,000,000 worth, 1/3 mine) within 10 days of each other (one of the reasons I can never go to the US). The moral of this, is that you have to know your source, or be able to tell, or you may be getting poisoned.
Thanks for the input. The fucks spray paraquat on plants and then blame mj for people getting sidk.

It's terrible what we've gone through because of this limp-dick, mealy-mouth lawyer class. Did I mention CORRUPT? One of my lines in Mirror Reversal is, "If politicians are so religious, how the hell are they so corrupt." There's so much money spent on the War on Drugs, it's a disgrace. Not only the bad people in the cartels have a money tree, but judges, DEA enforcers, lawyers, even bankers.

At least we're finished with that corporate stooge, Bush. I think we have hope of reform with the new president. Can you picture him at the next Democratic convention in 2012 saying, "This convention wants repeal. The American people want repeal. Any your candidate wants repeal." FDR, 1932.
Raz, let’s imagine it’s the ‘20s and I’m recommending repeal of the Volstead Act. I tell people it’s okay to drink a glass of wine or two, a few beers after work, even a couple of jiggers of Johnny Walker. You won’t die. You won’t become wife-beaters (as the temperance activists claimed) and you won’t become so addicted that you’ll rob people to get your drink. Sure, these bad things happen, but for the vast majority my statements have proven correct. Today, booze is legal and the country is a freer, less theocratically oppressed, and a happier place. When FDR was elected in ‘32 with repeal his number-one issue, the song “Happy Days Are Here Again” rang out across the nation. Can you imagine being a college kid in the ‘20s and you can even have a beer at a frat party? That’s for people who are living for the next life—not this one.

If you’ll look at Lester’s website, you’ll see that the vast majority of the contributors recommend responsible use. Click READ for you great insights.

You mention you’ve been smoking for eight years. I’ve been smoking over 40 and I’ve never had any lung or stomach problems associated with smoke—even in my wildest hippie days, when I had one of the grooviest hippie apartments in Queens. You say you’re a libertarian; I wish you could have come to one of my parties— Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll. To a non-believer, fun is the name of the game, ‘cause we only go around once.

Raz, you can have your cake and eat it too, IMHO. Just try to use more self discipline and good sense.

As far as driving goes, I’m not telling people to smoke and get on Route 95. I recommend only that the UW-Madison commence studies on the effects of cannabis. I once knew a guy that shot up with H every morning and went to work painting skyscrapers. He kept his shut, painted like a demon, and nobody knew the difference. He was a perfect employee, never missed a day. There’s a lot of misinformation and propaganda out there. As a country, we just have to use our common intellect, find out the facts and try to do the right thing.

Thanks for your input. As we used to say in hippie-speak, “Do your thing,” but try to be responsible and use good judgment.
I just disagreed with you on several points, but I think more was read into my response than I actually wrote. Raz, you can have your cake and eat it too, IMHO. Just try to use more self discipline and good sense./i> I'm not even sure where that line came from. I said in the response that I don't even smoke anymore. I smoked for nearly 16 years (8 years as a heavy smoker), so I am now seeing the adverse effects it had on me.

You seemed to take offense to my response and that was an unintended consequence. I was just joining this discussion and refuted a few of your points with personal experience.
She said that mj was physically addictive. I jumped on this unfounded assertion. I disagree that her assumption is unfounded. MJ is physically addictive in some people. You make the assumption that because you have had no lung trouble and you have no physical addiction, that it's unfounded. That is not the case. It is founded that MJ can cause a physical addiction. My grandfather smoked cigarettes for over 60 years with no noticeable problems, but that doesn't mean smoking cigarettes is safe. It just turned out safe for him. I even smoked for a while and I found that I had no physical addiction to them. I quit without even thinking about it. I'm trying to say that everyone is different. Countering an unfounded assertion with an equally unfounded assertion does nothing to add to this debate.

As for getting sick on MJ, it does happen. If you take someone who has only been smoking Mexican Ragweed with less than 5% thc, then you give then a bowl full of 30%+ thc and you don't warn them. They are going to smoke it like they typically smoke and they can smoke themselves sick before it starts kicking in. I want to say again, it happens.

I agree that more in-depth research needs to be completed and it is starting to happen. I also agree that there is a lot of misinformation floating around right now. My main point is that the misinformation is coming from both sides. In order to have an effective debate, we must make it on honest debate. It is looking to me like Barack Obama is going to finally let this debate get started, hopefully!
As we used to say in hippie days, "we all have different heads." Of course reactions are going to vary, especially since there's so much variation in the quality that's out there. With legalization, I think a lot of these problems will go away. Look how many people got sick on bathtub whiskey.

I know we're making progress. Lester Grinspoon says that repeal is "inevitable." We're both fans of Allen Ginsberg, "the drug-fiend, nigger-lovin', commie" poet. Ginsberg ends his 1969 Playboy Interview the something like: above all, we need a hip president and a hip pope. We're halfway there.
I wouldn't advise holding your breath on the other half!
Perhaps I'm just inserting my own experiences here, but what you're describing sounds more in line with a caffeine addiction. Perhaps it's just my own perception here but I don't place caffeine addiction anywhere near cigarettes or highly addictive drugs both legal and otherwise.

It took roughly 3 months, smoking a few cigarettes a day when I was a teen, for me to start feeling physical symptoms of a nicotine addiction. It was strong enough to cause me to do nasty things like steal butts out of ash trays when I didn't have enough money for them. I had no problem being a mooch and I would go to bed angry when I didn't have them. By the time I was 18 my habit was at a stage where I had a 2 1/2 window between cigarettes before turning into the hulk. A majority of the time I smoked I was trying to quit. It took something like 5 or 6 attempts over an 8 year period. Quitting smoking was one of the most difficult things I've managed to pull off. The first two weeks were awful I was light headed, nauseous, had a headache and felt like I had the worst PMS of my life. I really feel sorry for anyone that had to deal with me during that period of time. MJ, Caffeine, and Alcohol I can put down and not think about, but it's been almost 4 years now since I quit smoking and I still find myself craving cigarettes.

I've seen people I care about get addicted to meth. I knew a girl once that had seizures that coincided with the withdrawals she had from other things. If you want to see my nicotine withdrawals look candy assed take a look at what happens to these people.

Don't get me wrong, I can see how by your description MJ could be considered addictive, however in the great scheme of things I don't think that it really measures up to other substances. It sounds like it would require much heavier and regular use, in vein with alcohol or caffeine to get there.

I'll also agree that sometimes the pro side paints a prettier picture than the reality of MJ. I consider it to be fairly benign. I'd put it somewhere between caffeine and cigarettes. When I smoke it I tend to become lazy, forgetful, witless, and an overeater. I'll stay home all day playing an MMO eating frozen burritos, rather than working on projects. Smoking it isn't something I'd exactly call great for my throat and lungs.

On the other hand using a vaporizer turns it into the best thing I've ever had for my anxiety. I have anxiety induced stomach issues, that often times get in the way of my being able to live a very active lifestyle, this is the only thing I've found that makes me feel okay.

As far as my stance on legalization goes I think that it has been treated unfairly. I think that adults come into contact with much more dangerous substances on a daily basis. Just like anything else, having it around should be a personal decision. As far as policy with highly addictive substances goes, I'd like to see the government used as a means to create programs that help people that have made mistakes reintegrate themselves into society, not more prisons for victimless crimes.
Creature, thanks for your input. First of all, I advocate responsible use of mj and nothing to do with the hard stuff. I can’t even understand why people would even try meth or crack, which is instant addiction. One’s personal life has to be to pretty messed up to get involved with them.

MJ is so mildly addictive that, for me, I can just say, “look, you’re done some smoke for three straight days, let it go for a while.” And that’s it. Compared to cigs, letting go is a cinch. And I don’t even get nervous or nauseous.

Pot being legal and alcohol and cigarettes not is a disgrace. An insult to reason. Big Pharma considers grass bad for business and they lobby accordingly.

Here’s my friend, Lester’s, radio interview if you haven’t heard it. It’ll answer a lot of questions and clear up much of the Reefer Madness going around. Notice what he says about mj and booze. An experienced head doesn't even care for booze. I believe legalized mj would decrease abuse of the hard stuff, NOT increase it, as in the slippery slope argument.

Enjoy life as much as you can. We're ephemerons.
Ah ha! Got you again! "Pot being legal and alcohol and cigarettes not "? Sorry, but I just had to point that out. Ok, so I'm a bit of an asshole. ;)
When I was a grower, I found that I had to smoke a lot so that if some other grower came to me with something they grew, and thought was really good, I would be able to tell if it was better than mine; If it was better, I could feel it's buzz, if not, no buzz. Now, I have to keep my consumption low ( no wake and bake), so that I don't smoke too much, and it becomes a waste. Moderate consumption is definitely the way to go, and I don't have any withdrawal even when I am too busy with work, and not home for day and days. When I get back, that first toke feels sooo good!
I am in no way advocating the use of hard drugs. I hate to see anyone going down that path. I felt that they were relevant to the discussion for the sake of creating a point of reference. Addiction isn't a black and white issue. It exists on a sliding scale and public policy should reflect that.

The current drug policy isn't working. MJ doesn't even belong in the category. The only thing that even makes MJ a "gateway" drug is it's classification as an illegal substance. When talking to my husband about his drug experimentation as a teen the mentality was, "Well they lied to me about weed, I wonder what else they lied to me about" Perhaps if they'd been given an honest education about drug use as kids no one would have been interested in the nasty illegals out there.

The issue runs deeper than marijuana's unfair classification. The current system of throwing drug users in prison with murderers and rapists, the loss of rights, and the stigma they have to live under by having that felony on their record isn't helping anyone. It's fails to address the issue of addiction, and only serves to make a bad situation worse.



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