Stealthy as a socialist,
It slithers up our shores,
Turning all our children into hooligans and whores!!
Please enjoy a clip from one of the best films ever made:
Yup, this posting is about weed.
I’m not sure I have explicitly stated this, but I am a fan of the green. Before you dismiss me as another stoned slacker, (which, to be sure, I wish I were), I actually don’t smoke pot anymore on any sort of regular basis, if ever. However, I was quite the pothead back in the day. Don’t judge me. All the cool kids were doing it.
Thus, the green has a special place in my heart, and I hate that it has been so mistreated.
During one particularly bong-hit ridden day during college, I took it upon myself to venture to the biomedical library to do a little research. You see, I had been smoking mary j mutiple times per day for a few years, and the thought occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t the best idea. Yes, it took me a few years to even conceive of this notion. What can I say–I was too busy focusing on visual stimuli.
But why is smoking pot a bad idea? I’m very much the sort of person who does things unless I can think of a good reason why not to do them–I feel that life is meant to be an experience and therefore pretty much any experience in worthwhile in my book. But, I digress.
I went to the library to find the straight dope (pun intended-I’m so fucking clever) on cannabis. The biomedical library was a majestic place because it allowed one access not only to published information, but also to research that was in progress or not published, for whatever reason (I obviously objectively evaluated the validity of the articles I read to be sure that if it was not published, it was not due to erroneous data/procedure/etc). And the bottom line is: I found out that pot really isn’t all that bad for you. In terms of long-term effects, it has less than I had previously thought–and there were even marked POSITIVE effects of THC. Fancy that, bitches! (Government bitches, that is.)
Nerd moment: because I am feeling a little ambitious today, I am going to share with you two things. One: in the case of neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory disorders, cannabinoids are a helpful therapeutic intervention (Gordon, Jabri, and Underwood, 2006). Two: Although multiple studies have found impairments in multiple areas of functioning whilst under the influence (like, duh), the effects of long-term, frequent use remain inconclusive–that is, there are findings that dispute one another (Messinis, 2006).
In other words–pot has been proven to have some positive effects, and its possible (alleged) negative effects have not been clearly/properly/extensively documented.
Yet…it’s still illegal.
The illegality brings in all sorts of sociopolitical considerations when one chooses to burn the devil’s leaves–and guess what those considerations usually do? Kill one’s buzz, obviously.
So what is the solution?
That is an interesting conundrum. I don’t know that there is one. My friends and I were discussing the fact that LOTS of people smoke pot…and I do mean LOTS…yet no one really wants to openly talk about it or try to effect change in this arena. I can’t say I’m too keen on the idea of publicly associating my name with reefer–even though I love it like a pothead loves cake.
And why is that? Because of closeminded, judgemental people.
The general idea that pot is SO terrible is not even founded, and actually causes more problems than it counteracts, in my opinion. A perfect example is the fact that for many professions, random drug testing is involved. THC stays in one’s system at detectable levels far longer than other harder drugs…I have had friends actually tell me that they stopped smoking pot because of drug testing, only to start hitting up the yay pretty hard. Now THAT is effective substance control. BRAVO, strategists for the ‘war on drugs’.
All of this said, I know some people reading this will write me off as some crazed stoner. It boggles my mind that people in our society can possibly be so judgemental about marijuana, yet think nothing of the exorbitant amount of prescription drugs being prescribed after extremely minimal evaluation, or even the incredible prevalence of alcohol use in our society.
I can’t precisely recall where I got this idea (so it may or may not be based upon fact, although I’m 80% sure it is, hah!) but I am under the impression that the short-term stresses of alcohol upon the body, as well as the long-term effects of prolonged indulgence in adult beverages, put more physiological strain on the body than marijuana use. I think this is true to a certain extent neurologically as well, but at the very least, alcohol and marijuana are comparable in terms of the scope of their effects on the brain.
Subjectively, I can say wholeheartedly that I have never done things I regret whilst stoned (not the case when I get my hands on too many tequila shots), and to be frank, I don’t feel as ‘fucked up’ whilst stoned as I do when I am drunk. In fact, a significant reason why I am such a fan of the pot is the fact that it stimulates me cognitively, and has thereby caused me to have really interesting experiences, whereas alcohol causes intoxication through the inhibition of cognitive function–yielding some experiences that could be called ‘interesting’ in a different sense entirely.
This is by no means an exhaustive examination or discussion, as I think there are multiple other scientific (i.e. biological/physiological/neurological) facets of pot smoking, as well as various sociopolitical elements of the issue–these are just my immediate thoughts on the subject, as for me, writing in my weblog is a way of organizing my thoughts more than it is an attempt to construct a properly written assessment! Even so, I hope that if you actually read this whole thing, you found it (somewhat? mildly?) informative and as intriguing at I tend to!
(And, for the record, I don’t advocate smoking pot in excess, because anything in excess is not a good idea. And furthermore, in case you’re wondering, a major reason why I don’t smoke pot anymore is because I observed changes in certain areas of cognitive function which were consistent with the documented effects of long-term chronic marijuana use…so I’m not saying it’s all good. I just think the demonisation of the practice of toking up is too much.)
What are your thoughts on this issue?