Today’s dose of reefer madness comes from Chet Phillipe, who has been employed for the past 35 years in the treatment of substance addiction and 12 years of teaching about substance addiction at College of the Sequoias, Porterville College and Merced College. He lives in Visalia, California.
(Visalia Times-Delta) The issue of medical marijuana is a charade. Consider the following:
Its destructive power: Nicotine is the most addictive drug in the world and kills 400,000-plus people annually. Marijuana is addicting and more dangerous than nicotine because of the euphoric feeling. It’s seven to 14 times more powerful today than in the 1960s.
No it’s not. Marijuana may be twice as potent as it was in the 1960s, if that. And marijuana kills how many people annually? Oh, yeah, zero. For a substance abuse expert, you sure seem ignorant about the nature of addiction. According to Jack E. Henningfield’s evaluation of addictiveness for the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, here is a comparison on the addictive qualities of nicotine vs. cannabis, and for fun, let’s look at the caffeine we ingest regularly in coffee and sodas:
|Addictive Qualities and Threat of Danger scored from 1 (Least Serious Threat) to 6 (Most Serious Threat)||Tobacco (Nicotine)||Marijuana (Cannabis)||Caffeine (Coffee/Sodas)|
|Withdrawal: Presence and severity of characteristic withdrawal symptoms.||4 (Quite Serious)||1 (Least Serious)||2 (Slightly Serious)|
|Reinforcement: A measure of the substance’s ability, in human and animal tests, to get users
to take it again and again, and in preference to other substances.
|3 (Somewhat Serious)||2 (Slightly Serious)||1 (Least Serious)|
|Tolerance: How much of the substance is needed to satisfy increasing cravings for it, and the level of stable need that is eventually reached.||5 (Very Serious)||1 (Least Serious)||2 (Slightly Serious)|
|Dependence: How difficult it is for the user to quit, the relapse rate, the percentage of people who eventually become dependent, the rating users give their own need for the substance and the degree to which the substance will be used in the face of evidence that it causes harm.||6 (Most Serious)||1 (Least Serious)||2 (Slightly Serious)|
|Intoxication: Though not usually counted as a measure of addiction in itself, the level of intoxication is associated with addiction and increases the personal and social damage a substance may do.||2 (Slightly Serious)||3 (Somewhat Serious)||1 (Least Serious)|
Marijuana causes cancers throughout the respiratory system: nose, throat, mouth, tongue, lungs, breasts, etc.
No, it doesn’t. In fact, a government-funded researcher named Dr. Donald Tashkin tried for thirty years to “expose” the association between marijuana smoking and lung cancer. He instead found “no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect.” Tashkin continued to say, “Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects. But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization.”
It is instrumental in destroying the body in other ways due to its damaging effects to the immune system.
Which is why tens of thousands of doctors have recommended medical marijuana for their HIV/AIDS patients with their severely compromised immune systems
It is physically and psychologically addictive. Addiction requires withdrawal.
Because marijuana is fat-soluble, marijuana leaves the system gradually. It does not “feel” like withdrawal. It feels like the flu.Marijuana withdrawal symptoms (withdrawal of a drug means physical addiction): Irritability, Anxiety, Physical tension, Heavy perspiration, Confusion, Auditory hallucinations, Depression, Fatigue, Decrease in appetite and mood, Headaches, Double vision, and Apathy.
So marijuana is a terribly physically addictive drug, but when you stop using it, it doesn’t feel like withdrawal. Not like, say, heroin, where withdrawal feels like you’re going to die, or alcohol, where you very possibly could die from the withdrawal alone. Plus about half the symptoms Chet lists can’t be found in any serious literature on the matter of marijuana withdrawal and even the ones he’s right on (sleeping problems, sweating, decreased appetite, restlessness, nervousness, and sadness) are only found in less than half of those cannabis users deemed “addicted”.
Issues related to marijuana: Serious prenatal damage. (Marijuana has caused deformity in different areas of babies.)
Shockingly untrue. Pre-natal exposure to marijuana does not cause deformities, low birth weight, or cognitive damages.
Impotency after prolonged use. Inability to perform after prolonged use (marijuana is in the testicles).
Which, of course, explains why the Rastafarians died out and you never see any tie-dye-wearing hippie kids any more.
Short-term memory damage first, then transfers to long-term brain damage.
Complete lie. During marijuana impairment, there is a problem with short-term memory. When you’re not high, that problem goes away. There is no long-term brain damage associated even with chronic daily marijuana smoking.
Drooping breasts for the female (a percentage of females depending upon amount and time of use).
Yes, ladies, if you smoke pot until you are eighty years old, your breasts will droop. Of course, if you don’t smoke pot, your breasts will still probably droop at age eighty. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of pot affecting lady boobs, and judging by the many ladies I know who smoke a lot of pot, I will unscientifically declare this to be bullshit (I’d link to a debunking article, but not surprisingly, scientists haven’t done a lot of research into cannabinoid mammary droopage syndrome. However, if there is to be a study, I hereby volunteer for data collection and analysis.)
Floppy breasts for males (a percentage depending upon amount and time of use).
There we go, my old favorite gynecomastia, or the old man boobs from marijuana lie. The theory here is that marijuana use lowers testosterone, therefore the estrogen/testosterone balance is tipped toward the female hormone, and thus toward growing man boobs.
The truth, however, is that gynecomastia is very rare and the more likely cause of man boobs among male stoners is eating junk food and not exercising.
Removes pubic hair, male and female. Removes male chest and facial hair.
Well, that proves it: every porn star and male model is a pothead! Not only is there no research to confirm this wacky notion, but I’m struggling to understand how these effects even fit in a laundry list of reasons not to use marijuana.
Marijuana may involve your death, but you’ll feel better. Deaths have occurred from driving under the influence, aggressive behavior after prolonged use, walking in front of traffic, home incidents, fires, gas leaks, etc.
Who are these violent stoner arsonists who are walking in front of traffic? Every time I compose one of these reefer madness articles, I’m more convinced that marijuana is a terrible drug that will freakishly alter the mind… of the people intent on prohibiting it.