JazzOne wrote:savagedm wrote:JazzOne wrote:lisjjen wrote:The more interesting question pertains to how dangerous marijuana is. Smoking marijuana is certainly bad for your health. Inhaling smoke is known to cause emphysema and lung cancer, yet I still know weed smokers who contend that smoking weed has no health consequences whatsoever. This is an absurd conclusion from some fairly intelligent individuals. Smoking can cause lung cancer, and marijuana itself may predispose individuals to psychological problems such as depression. Also, an individual's capacity to drive is probably diminished by marijuana. I don't think those risks are extreme, but what makes them so problematic is the societal perception that marijuana is harmless. There seems to be a counter belief among some circles (or willful ignorance) that you can smoke day after day, year after year, and it's never going to affect your health, your family relationships, your professional potential, etc. I wish smokers would own up to the detriments of marijuana use so we can get some sensible legislation in place. The current model is preposterous, but it is difficult to argue for change when smokers are denying the dangers of the substance. That position hurts the credibility of the legitimate arguments for legalization.
I don't post here much but saw this and felt like responding. I know you are a vehement anti-smoking dude, so I think you're a little off-track just as you point to pot-smokers who are a little off-track as well.
1. It has been said again and again here and elsewhere that alcohol is a more dangerous drug - both inherently and in terms of social effects - than marijuana. Personally I enjoy both smoking and drinking, sometimes in moderation and sometimes not. I'm just telling you the same thing anyone else could, but you can't die from getting too high. You don't get a hangover after smoking the night before, or choke on vomit. etc. etc. etc.
2. The dangers inherent in marijuana are present, but are IMO insubstantial. It is my firm belief that smoking marijuana is no more harmful than smoking paper... both are inhaling smoke, and over time exposure is not healthy for the lungs. But there is little tar in marijuana like there is in cigarettes. Furthermore, smoking out of a vaporizer reduces almost all the negative effects of inhaling smoke, since there is no smoke but only vapor. Smoking marijuana is unhealthy only because you are smoking SOMETHING, not because you are smoking marijuana itself. It would be just as unhealthy to smoke you casebook, and it is much more unhealthy to smoke cigarettes.
ETA - smoking your casebook is actually probably worse than marijuana because of the ink. my point got a little lost there....lol
3. Regarding psychological issues, there is no causal proof that marijuana induces something like depression or schizophrenia, but marijuana may speed up whatever a person is pre-disposed to, or there may merely be a correlational effect. I'm sure you're familiar with this by now - sky-diving does not make someone prone to taking risks. rather people who go skydiving are already willing risk-takers. Likewise, marijuana likely attracts individuals prone to psychological disorders such as depression, and it may exacerbate whatever is already happening. But I do not believe that marijuana is a source of psychological disorders in otherwise healthy individuals.
OTOH, I believe that alcohol can turn otherwise law-abiding individuals into harmful people. They harm others in a million ways that pot-smokers just don't do. How many stoned-driving deaths have you heard of? I'm sure there are some, but a fraction of alcohol related deaths. How about marijuana-induced domestic violence? Child-molestation or child-abuse? Date rape? the list goes on an on.
The most that can be said for marijuana is that it makes people less ambitious/more lazy. I believe this to be true.
4. the other dangers associated with marijuana are a by-product of it's criminality. I was surprised that this issue did not get more pub during the california legalization campaign. The fact is a large amount of money eventually goes to mexican drugs lords, and this contributes to social problems on BOTH SIDES of the border, including illegal immigration, gun trade, and organized crime in general.
5. IMO marijuana probably does affect your ability to drive, but not in the same way that alcohol does. alcohol makes your body physically incapable of doing what it can when sober, whereas driving stoned is like talking on a phone while driving. it is a distraction, but does not affect risk-calculation or body movement significantly. in general, however, we can agree that driving stoned is not a great idea.
All this adds up to make your statement - "marijuana is one of the most dangers drugs available" - really absurd. inherently there are several drugs more dangerous... heroine, cocaine, crack, meth, oxy, LSD, ecstasy.... pretty much any other drug you can think off. including alcohol and tobacco. marijuana does not kill people from overdose.
marijuana MIGHT be the most dangerous drug because of its criminality simple because it is the most popular illegal drug, thus a huge demand, thus huge criminal networks that supply it. but this was also true during prohibition - which made an already inherently dangerous drug more dangerous because of organized crime. Marijuana is NOT dangerous - illegal marijuana is dangerous.
Finally, I'm sure this has been said before but I just wanted to say it again. Medical marijuana is absurd. I'm sure there are people who actually have advanced cancer, etc. and it does serve a purpose. but for 97% of users, "medical" is totally bogus. This is absolutely crazy because I don't need to go to my doctor with a fake back pain issue to get a presciption to buy a bottle of liquor, nor should I.