Real Reefer Madness!!!

by Ryan on July 27, 2007

in Anything Else,Culture,Pop Culture

You mean there’s a price to pay for using mind-altering drugs?

(Potheads around the nation stir like somebody might have said something.)

I guess so.  Even with pot, apparently.  Your risks for a psychotic mental illness increase substantially with even one use of marijuana.  It’s still actually a small percentage in the end, but many studies over the years have come to the conclusion that there is potentially a huge price to pay for even smoking a little pot down the road.  There’s about two hundred “I told you so’s” I could list (you know who you are), but I won’t. 

(Cue the potheads: “huh?”)

The scientists also indicate, that despite a popular myth, the vast majority of pot smokers try other drugs and these may be causing the uptick in psychotic disorders.  Not measly anxiety or bipolar issues, but schizophrenia, etc.  Also, people who are prone to psychotic disorders may be attracted to the sensation pot gives them, but not every schizophrenic patient had smoked pot before.  What they know is that pot messes with dopamine, the brain chemical which naturally causes euphoria and also the chemical burned up by opiates like morphine and heroin, leading to horrible addiction to those drugs since your body no longer naturally produces it. 

Potheads I know are lazy, overweight and blame other people for their problems.  I qualify potheads as those who do it at least once a week.  While many have tried it in high school or college or have been peer pressured into experimentation, the indications are that it’s still bad for you, but being addicted is even worse.

(Cue the potheads again, “You can’t get addicted to pot.  I could stop any time I want.  I just don’t want to.”) 

Right.

Pic from Shaffer Library of Drug Policy.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rightonoz July 27, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Hi Ryan,

You’re totally on target with this.

I have to confess to having the odd drag when at university during ‘that period’.

Since I have seen my younger brother’s sons both become addicted, one is psychotic and tried to kill him, though has since fought his way back out and is on the straight an narrow. The other is again in lock up for breach of bail conditions.

The only thing I will say about the pic is that it comes from a time when the chemical companies were pushing fro a complete ban on cultivation to grow the synthetic fibre market – there’s a wealth of information available.

Unfortunately while banning those strains that are used for smoking, the non narcotic varieties were also banned, removing one of the most useful fibres known. We have limited and very tightly controlled cultivation of the non narcotic varieties down here that are used for high priced and trendy clothing etc.

I’ve been absent and out of sight for some time now, on temporary recall to my previous “profession”.

Good to get back to ‘civilisation’.

Reply

Ryan July 28, 2007 at 10:40 am

Hey Oz!

Great to have you back!

The pic was just designed to get a laugh out of people for being a bit over the top. It came from a time when the government in the US was trying to have a consistent drug policy and created a weak government agency with little more power than to make goofy ads.

I have said to many that hemp fibers are strong, have uses similar to wood, and can regrow every year, unlike trees which take much longer to grow back. That’s one way to be market friendly and environmentally friendly. The problem is that people couldn’t handle it in the US. Many here would suck on tailpipes if you could get a non-deadly buzz from it. But I see your point on the market issue.

I can actually take the high-road on this having never purposefully smoked pot before. I preferred the drink since I could generally control my buzz-level, but that’s not to say I haven’t been the victim of a “fish-bowl” or two back in the day when I had pothead friends. Since I’m a teacher I could lose my job for even being near it so I tend to avoid driving with or hanging out in pothead homes when I can.

In the US the potheads really deny the addictive quality of their favorite drug. Some personalities are prone to addiction and can get really sucked into it and stronger drugs easily, while others just try it for whatever reason and can stop– hence the debate. But studies like this seem honest, detailed and scary since I know plenty of people who tried drugs in college, got away from it upon entering the real world and ended up with all sorts of mental disorders.

Reply

rightonoz July 29, 2007 at 12:41 am

Hi Ryan,

Guess I should be VERY grateful to have survived the experiment with (most of) my mental faculties intact. I know my brother suffered immensely seeing the impact on his sons.

I’ve certainly gone from ‘what’s the harm’ during my long ago student days to the same thoughts as you. Hopefully as a teacher you can have a positive input with your students.

Cheers!

Reply

Ryan July 29, 2007 at 6:08 pm

I do try when appropriate, but it seems like a losing battle when it’s easier for a teenager to get pot than it is to get alcohol. It was very different when I was a teenager, which wasn’t too long ago! However, if I can reach only 2 of my 150 students each year, then that’s two people whose life I have affected in a positive way.

Now if I can only get them to remember the history I teach them…

Reply

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