Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Legalising marijuana

A passing remark from a wise 75yr old got me thinking about the above topic - she observed that it was yet another way of distracting people from being engaged in purposeful living.  As it so happens, I recently finished reading a 2007 very enlightening paper by the unfortunately-named Nutt and others called "The development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". Assuming most of you reading this are not subscribed to 'The Lancet' I will pick out the relevant parts and hope I am not infringing on any copyright laws.

So basically, it was noted 'that the UK’s classification of drugs evolved in an unsystematic, arbitrary and unscientific way' and they attempted to classify current drugs using three determinants of harm -
‘the physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug; the tendency of the drug to induce dependence; and the effect of drug use on communities, families and society.’  They produced a nice graph and although marijuana rated below Tobacco as the marijuana advocates claim - cannabis is not as harmful as Tobacco but as 11th out of the 20 - hardly in the harmless category! Check it out:

‘A being the most harmful, C being the least’ 

I leave it to you to make the decision for your individual selves -- but I do wonder about the ways the Tobacco Industry manipulates the social environment in order to portray how 'cool' it is to smoke knowing fully well how difficult it is to give up after becoming addicted-- of the order of 2% of  quitters who attempt, succeed.

While I concede there may be medical reasons for smoking 'ganja' - like for use as an appetite stimulant for debilitated persons - purely recreational use leading to addiction seems more ominous. Remembering the line in Desiderata - even the dumb and ignorance have their say - I remember musing after laughing myself silly while reading "Yoga and the Body of Christ: What position should Christians hold?" that the man stated that the CIA purposely released LSD to observe the effects on humans! 
 I was told that Colorado 'ran out' of stock-- does that mean the drug trade can become legal down here--or must we wait for big business interests to run the market? And really is some 'fried-up' brained person making these decisions which will affect our young?

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