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article imageOp-Ed: Mental illness, lies and the truth about marijuana

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By PJ Harris     Jan 9, 2012 in Health
It seems as though everyone and their brother (excepting for law enforcement) has jumped on the legalization-of-dope bandwagon. After reading the latest in clouded judgment in a recent article, I felt a response was necessary.
In her Jan. 3, 2012 DigitalJournal.com editorial entitled "The substance, the medicine and the legacy," Abigil Prendergast suggests that the reason behind the illegality of marijuana is a "politically-motivated agenda" and that marijuana is a far-less "troublesome" drug than pharmaceutical options when it comes to the medical application of cannabis.
Sorry Abigail, you are wrong. Marijuana is indeed a dangerous drug.
But don't ask the pot-head enthusiasts about this. They'll go to great lengths to cite a great many junk science studies to shout you down. They might argue about some mythical experiment about 100 monkeys being given gas masks to inhale pure Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the ingredient in pot that gets people high) or, like Abigail does, they might even go as far as to insult and berate you as being part of a broader conspiracy working in concert with big business tobacco and alcohol industries.
Another huge lefty lie about pot-use is this notion that nobody has ever died from marijuana. Even Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire bought into this BS in late November 2011 when she and another governor asked the U.S. federal government to lighten the law books when it came to the issues surrounding medical marijuana.
Nobody has died? Really?
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the war on drugs and millions have been incarcerated. Ask the good, law-abiding citizens in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico about loss of life there and you'll quickly gain a new perspective. This December 2011 article in The National Post calls that city "deadlier than Afghanistan."
Heck, cannabis culture consumers and dispensary providers can't even agree that a warning label should be affixed to their drug-of-choice in the few places where it is tolerated, so why should we heed their calls begging for acceptance of a drug that is illegal in most parts of the world?
We shouldn't. Dope is a danger to young and old and should remain classified as an illegal substance. There is not nearly enough evidence conducted in real scientific studies to prove otherwise. In fact, of the evidence that has most recently surfaced, a very real danger is being cited as a warning to those who advocate for open legalization of the intoxicating weed.
In 2010, renowned broadcaster and Canadian scientist David Suzuki noted in his documentary "The Downside Of High" that "Teenagers who start smoking marijuana before the age of sixteen are four times more likely to become schizophrenic."
Want more?
In Spring of 2011, a 10-year German study referenced in the British Medical Journal observed "People who reported new psychotic symptoms, and who persisted in using cannabis ... reported more persistent psychotic symptoms than those who stopped using cannabis,"
But say the words schizophrenia or drug-induced psychosis to a chronic stoner and they'll quickly bombard Internet message boards and news comments with their accusations that certain scientific studies are fixed or a myriad of other reasons not to trust "the man" or "the police state."
Worse still, on issues like inebriated driving or workplace usage, most stoners go silent. For chronics, it's all about chasing that immediate high. They need to get stoned now, and nothing better interfere with that. Not even a sound argument of sober requests for second thought.
There's something else that bothers me about marijuana advocates. A big double standard. It's all well and good to rally against the portrayal of smoking and alcohol use in popular media, but for some reason, pot jokes and caricatures of the 420 lifestyle are often used for comedy effect in music, movies and on TV. Drug addiction is not a side-splitter. Mental illness is not funny.
The editorial originally as posted comments on the evils of the psychiatric industry in terms of the "gung ho" willingness of psychiatrists to issue prescriptions. The writer fails to address the hundreds of thousands of websites slash dealers acting as pseudo-armchair doctors and prescribing cannabis in the form of its advocacy as a miracle life-saver without medical science to back up any claims.
Every website that champions marijuana as a medical and health benefit - even DigitalJournal.com - should be forced to include a doctor's warning on said promotion. Until then, dope is still snake oil sold by con artists.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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