If the thread is "obligatory" KenX it is just because no one has made the thread for you to have your yearly argument for legalization.
Since we have done this dance before shall I open with the usual myths?
1. Marijuana use has no effect on future use of other drugs: False
Early marijuana use increases risk of drug and alcohol problems later in lifeYes aceman, I checked the recent study but I found the summery to not necessarily say what they claimed.
"Some 46 percent reported that they later abused or became dependent upon marijuana, and 43 percent had become alcohol dependent.
The early marijuana users also used other drugs at higher rates, including cocaine and other stimulants (48 percent) heroin and other opioids (14 percent) and hallucinogens (35 percent)."
(Early being younger then 17.)
ie. 77.6% of them did follow the gateway pattern and they were unable to revel specific risk factors for the transition. In other words they proved nothing.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight (22.4%
of the participants who used marijuana did not exhibit the gateway sequence, thereby demonstrating that this pattern is not invariant in drug-using youths. Among youths who did exhibit the gateway pattern, only delinquency was more strongly related to marijuana use than licit drug use. Specific risk factors associated with transition from licit to illicit drugs were not revealed.
2. There have never been recorded incidents of death from marijuana use (cancer, car accident, overdose, etc): Misleading
There has never been a "record" of it because no one has tried to until recently. The recent study on driving found it to be a "bad idea", the one on cancer indefinite, overdosing causes other serious issues. I can claim all kinds of things to be true under that reasoning. "There is no conclusive study so it's harmless." Riiiiight...
NIDA - Research Report Series - Marijuana Abuse
"Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke.4 A study comparing 173 cancer patients and 176 healthy individuals produced strong evidence that smoking marijuana increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and that the more marijuana smoked, the greater the increase.17 A statistical analysis of the data suggested that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the risk of these cancers.
Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens.40 In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke.41 It also produces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbons into their carcinogenic form, levels that may accelerate the changes that ultimately produce malignant cells.42 Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which increases the lungs' exposure to carcinogenic smoke. These facts suggest that, puff for puff, smoking marijuana may increase the risk of cancer more than smoking tobacco does."
3. There is no effect on regular users of marijuana, they are just like everyone else: False
Marijuana - InfoFacts - NIDA
Effects on Daily Life
Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.11 Several studies associate workers’ marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover.
4. It is impossible to OD on marijuana: False
o·ver·doseI have a friend who did this in high school and spent 2 days strapped to a hospital bed because of it.
An excessive dose, especially of a narcotic. NIDA - Research Report Series - Marijuana Abuse
"Marijuana users who have taken high doses of the drug may experience acute toxic psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and depersonalization - a loss of the sense of personal identity, or self-recognition.10,15 Although the specific causes of these symptoms remain unknown, they appear to occur more frequently when a high dose of cannabis is consumed in food or drink rather than smoked."
5. Marijuana isn't a hallucinogenic. People who hallucinated must have taken something else: False
Hallucinogenic Effects of Marijuana as Currently Used -- KEELER et al. 128 (2): 213 -- Am J PsychiatryThe results of a poll on a forum for those who use marijuana showed that over 55% of them had hallucinated from smoking marijuana.
"A questionnaire study of 42 randomly selected young men who used marijuana revealed that about 90 percent had experienced minor changes in perception (seeing colors or objects as more intense); about half had experienced major perceptual changes (hallucinating colors or designs); and about 40 percent had experienced hallucinogenic ideation. The authors conclude that marijuana, as used by the population studied, is a hallucinogen."
6. Marijuana isn't addictive: False
Marijuana is frequently referred to as the most psychologically addicting drug there is. Addiction to marijuana stunts emotional and psychological growth and effects the users ability to handle stress. It is also physically addicting now thanks to dealers breeding it for strength.
The most ironic part about marijuana being legalized to casual use in Canada is that the most potent/addicting cannabis comes from there.
7. There is no long term effect of using marijuana, it is safe: False
And speaking of schizophrenia lets not forget the connection found between cannabis use and the onset of schizophrenia. Yes, it can trigger it and cause a lifelong problem.
8. Lastly and my favorite, marijuana needs to be legalized so it can be used for medical purposes: False
A drug does not have to be legalized to the general public to be used for medical purposes it just has to prove to the appropriate board that it is a legitimate use and won't harm those using it. You cannot buy morphine over the counter after all but any qualified medical practitioner can. If it isn't legalized then it hasn't been proven. Want that to change? Support the ongoing research on the subject.
Marijuana Addiction, Abuse and TreatmentMarinol - the Legal Medical Use for the Marijuana Plant
"Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision."
When you get down to it marijuana is a drug. Unless you are also prepared to legalize all other prescription drugs to over the counter and allow people to take whatever they want whenever they want the arguments for legalizing marijuana have no foundation.