Cannabis is harmful
Cannabis is not the harmless drug people make it out to be. It can be very damaging to young brains and can even bring on psychosis.
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Cannabis’s Harms Have Been Proved Scientifically
In the 1960s and 1970s, many people believed that cannabis was harmless. Today we know that cannabis is much more dangerous than previously believed.
While many advocates of legalization of marijuana argue Cannabis is less harmful than cigarettes, research has proven that Cannabis users are upto 70 times more likely to develop some form of Schrizophenia and other mental illnesses.
In 1972, after reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while cannabis was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated.
Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that "the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health."
I know people who've been prescribed medical marijuana to battle their mental illness. So saying that marijuana can cause some form of mental illness is totally absurd and baseless
Cannabis Has No Medicinal Value that cannot be attained from safer drugs
Safer, more effective drugs are available. They include a synthetic version of THC, cannabis’s primary active ingredient, which is marketed in the United States under the name Marinol.
Cannabis has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that cannabis reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked cannabis for many patients. Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked cannabis. Many people use cannabis as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment.
Cannabis is highly addictive
Long term cannabis users experience physical dependence and withdrawal, and often need professional drug treatment to break their cannabis habits.
Although cannabis might not cause apparent physical dependence, it can lead to heavy psychological dependence.
Most people who smoke cannabis smoke it only occasionally. A small minority of Americans - less than 1 percent - smoke cannabis on a daily basis. An even smaller minority develop a dependence on cannabis. Some people who smoke cannabis heavily and frequently stop without difficulty. Others seek help from drug treatment professionals. Cannabis does not cause physical dependence. If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all, they are remarkably mild.
Cannabis is a Gateway Drug
Even if cannabis itself causes minimal harm, it's a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of "harder drugs" like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.
Statistics cannot be ignored as they are part and parcel of the society that we live in. Many people first consider taking other drugs after having smoked cannabis. The idea of taking other drugs seems less threatening after having experimented with cannabis. This is because of the acceptance of this drug in pop culture.
Cannabis does not cause people to use hard drugs. What the gateway theory presents as a causal explanation is a statistic association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence.
Cannabis is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used cannabis. Most cannabis users never use any other illegal drug. Indeed, for the large majority of people, cannabis is a terminus rather than a gateway drug.
Cannabis Offences Are Not Severely Punished
Few cannabis law violators are arrested and hardly anyone goes to prison for the first few offences. This lenient treatment is responsible for cannabis' continued availability and use.
Cannabis has also been decrimininalized in many states. This has led to a surge in the numbers of people consuming cannabis as they have begun to view it as a relatively safe drug.
Cannabis arrests in the United States doubled between 1991 and 1995. In 1995, more than one-half-million people were arrested for cannabis offences. Eighty-six percent of them were arrested for cannabis possession. Tens of thousands of people are now in prison or cannabis offences.
An even greater number are punished with probation, fines, and civil sanctions, including having their property seized, their driver's license revoked, and their employment terminated. Despite these civil and criminal sanctions, cannabis continues to be readily available and widely used.
Cannabis Policy in the Netherlands is a Failure
Dutch law, which allows cannabis to be bought, sold, and used openly, has resulted in increasing rates of cannabis use, particularly in youth.
The Netherlands' drug policy is the most nonpunitive in Europe. For more than twenty years, Dutch citizens over age eighteen have been permitted to buy and use cannabis (cannabis and hashish) in government-regulated coffee shops. This policy has not resulted in dramatically escalating cannabis use, in fact it has reduced occasional and regular usage rates. They are lower than in other European countries, and teenagers find less glamour attached to it because of the absence of a "stigma". The Dutch people overwhelmingly approve of current cannabis policy which seeks to normalize rather than dramatize cannabis use. The Dutch government occasionally revises existing policy, but it remains committed to decriminalization.
Cannabis Kills Brain Cells
Used over time, cannabis permanently alters brain structure and function, causing memory loss, cognitive impairment, personality deterioration, and reduced productivity.
None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from cannabis, even from long term high-dose use. An early study reported brain damage in rhesus monkeys after six months exposure to high concentrations of cannabis smoke. In a recent, more carefully conducted study, researchers found no evidence of brain abnormality in monkeys that were forced to inhale the equivalent of four to five cannabis cigarettes every day for a year.
The claim that cannabis kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.
Cannabis Causes an Amotivational Syndrome
Cannabis makes users passive, apathetic, and uninterested in the future. Students who use cannabis become underachievers and workers who use cannabis become unproductive. The use of cannabis makes you want to just sit back and watch the world go by without being a proactive person. People who smoke canabbis are less likey to get up for work in the morning or go to class. It is a drug that can not be used with out negative effects.
For twenty-five years, researchers have searched for a cannabis-induced amotivational syndrome and have failed to find it. People who are intoxicated constantly, regardless of the drug, are unlikely to be productive members of society.
There is nothing about cannabis specifically that causes people to lose their drive and ambition. In laboratory studies, subjects given high doses of cannabis for several days or even several weeks exhibit no decrease in work motivation or productivity.
Among working adults, cannabis users tend to earn higher wages than non-users. College students who use cannabis have the same grades as nonusers. Among high school students, heavy use is associated with school failure, but school failure usually comes first.
Cannabis Impairs Memory and Cognition
Under the influence of cannabis, people are unable to think rationally and intelligently. Chronic cannabis use causes permanent mental impairment.
Cannabis produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by cannabis is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of cannabis have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication.
There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term cannabis use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.
Cannabis Can Cause Permanent Mental Illness
Among adolescents, even occasional cannabis use may cause psychological damage. During intoxication, cannabis users become irrational and often behave erratically.
Cannabis may in fact cause the onset of latent psychosis. I have known of a number of cases of clear emotional and mental delapidation as a result of cannabis use.
Cannabis use increases dopamine in the brain, the overactivity of which is a key feature of schizophrenia. "It is common at Maudsley for those making progress to relapse suddenly. The explanation comes when a urine sample tests positive for cannabis." http://www.mentalhealthcare.org.uk/content/?id=30
One study of 50,000 conscripts to the Swedish army found that those who smoked Cannabis heavily were 6 times as like to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia when followed up 15 years later. Those looking for an explanation of how the temporary brain chemistry change whilst smoking cannabis may lead to permanent changes are likely to be disappointed. Psychiatrists are still looking for a sufficient explanation for why drugs that improve or reduce the transmission of monoamines like dopamine, or seratonin which is thought to be deficient in depression, actually work. The only reason they are used is due to studies that show that statistically, intake of these drugs is associated with improved outcomes. So surely evidence that cannabis use is statistically associated with increased incidence of psychosis and schizophrenia should be accepted with the same authority.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that cannabis causes psychological damage or mental illness in either teenagers or adults. Some cannabis users experience psychological distress following cannabis ingestion, which may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary. With very large doses, cannabis can cause temporary toxic psychosis. This occurs rarely, and almost always when cannabis is eaten rather than smoked. Cannabis does not cause profound changes in people's behaviour.
Cannabis can destroy relationships with friends and families.
Like any addiction the psychological dependance on cannabis can affect decisions making and the ability not only to maintain employment but also the ability to look after children and play a equal role in a relationship. The affects of cannabis mean that children are not responded to by thier parents, partners are left carrying the burden of running the household and can be deeply upset by the distruction cannabis has on a personality.
Theoretically cannabis is safe, it is possible to recover from the influence it has on the brain but while it is being used users can change dramatically and if this effect is developed as a long term change it can destroy relationships.
People have been known to use drugs as a way to deal with emotional distress if this distress is avoided long term mental health conditions can progressively get worse resulting in severe mental illness and even death from suicide.
It can cause psychological dependence, but literally anything can cause psychological dependence. That kind of dependence is based on multiple factors, but the main two are how much pleasure said object or activity personally brings someone, and how much willpower they possess. Whether you like the feeling of cocaine or not, your body will crave it. With cannabis people's bodies aren't literally craving it, they consciously like the effects and that is why they seek more. That is also why thrill seekers wish to go skydiving again, or someone wants to play a video game again. To single cannabis out as addictive for anyone is like saying those two activities, or any other, will be equally pleasurable and likely to make a habit for anyone who engages in them. Physical dependence is real addiction, cannabis can only make a habit, like literally anything else can. It all depends on the individual, and how much they personally enjoy the effects of cannabis. To treat it as dangerous and addictive to the point of making it illegal for everyone is foolish and costly.
There is a link between cannabis and schizophrenia. Health professional are well aware of this, as are sufferers
Prohibition causes the most harm of all
Cannabis is not a harmless drug. However, of all the ill effects associated with its use none are made better by prohibition and just about all are made worse.
Take mental illness for one. The cannabis which seems to cause most harm for people is that where there is a high percentage of THC and a low percentage of CBD (one of cannabis’s other main compounds). Cannabis that has a pretty even split between THC and CBD can often be beneficial for people with a propensity to psychosis and it seems the CBD element is what attracts vulnerable people to cannabis in the first place.
However, in a prohibitionist world there are great financial incentives for gowing THC rich cannabis – of which Skunk is the most famous variety. Skunk grows quickly and loves hydroponic conditions. It also sells for more because users think that the strongest stuff is the best stuff.
What all this means is that prohibition causes skunk to be grown and consumed more than it would do in a market economy and that skunk is the very worst thing we could foist upon heavy or young cannabis users.
In some cases, sufferers of MS for example use cannabis in order to relieve the stress and pain caused by their illness.
Prohibition is the problem, not the solution.
Drugs are the problem and prohibition is an, admittedly imperfect, attempt to find a solution to an issue we must fix.
Drugs ruin lives, both those of the drug taker and the citizen. We cannot let people just take drugs, which means we must prohibit them. If people continue to take drugs then they must suffer the consequences.
People who smoke canabis are less likely to fight in the street than people who drink
A habitual user of canabis will avoid trouble of a social nature for the most part, where as drink feuled people will quickley pile in to a brawl or a skuffle. There for drink is more harmful than canabis.
Whilst fighting in the street is unlikely after cannabis use,cannabis use is often a gateway to other crimes which are more detrimental. Abroad, they fund armaments markets and drug related gang warfare. At home, they may lead to abuse of other substances which need funding, often through theft, etc which increasingly is associated with violence. Furthermore, the links with long term mental deterioration and violence are not yet fully understood. The masking of mental illness with any intoxicant, be it alcohol or cannabis devastates families - a kind of structural or indirect violence.
Better usage of police time
Cops know that going after cannabis users is an inefficient use of their time- they do not like to do it and often let users get away because they do not see the point of pursuing it.
The utility of police resources has absolutely nothing to do with whether cannabis is harmful or not.
As a prohibited drug, it seems reasonable to assert that profits made from the production and sale of cannabis contribute to organised crime and heavier drug production - these certainly do cause problems for the police. Perhaps the issue at hand here is whether or not police ought to take a more tolerant approach to cannabis - an altogether different debate.
Why not alcohol and tobacco?
In contrast to cannabis, alcohol and tobacco are highly physically addictive and more dangerous for the body. It has been proven that tobacco causes lung cancer, emphysema and heart conditions, and it has been proven that alcohol causes cirrhosis of the liver, heart conditions and liver failure. Furthermore, drinking and driving kills thousands every year. There is very little evidence for the harmfulness of cannabis, with only a few studies tentatively suggesting its effects. Driving under the influence of cannabis kills nowhere near as many people, so why are alcohol and tobacco subject to nowhere near as many safeguards as cannabis is?
Or maybe Canabis is more like a symbol for peoples who are depressed (ex. they sell stuff from home to buy drugs, they kill peoples to make moneys for drugs etc.), so "drugs" help them to forget their real life issues.
Alcohol and tobacco are very harmful, that's for sure. But the answer isn't to legalise another harmful substance but to stop any more harmful substances being used.
The government lie using statistics to continue to colour Marijuana in a bad light.
Somewhere, at some point, someone with power decided that Marijuana was too dangerous to be legally consumable within society. In modern day western society, most politicians, most of which whom know nothing about this drug, or have any experience in its usage, continue to teach what they have been taught themselves. The scientific truth about Marijuana shows that it can be harmful, this is very true, however the statistics used to measure its level of harm are applied very cleverly to colour Marijuana in a bad light. Many of the For arguments in this debate for instance, are arguments that have come from popular government "myths" that have been constructed over time to give the people an overall bad impression of the drug.
"Cannabis is a gateway drug" - a popular old government myth. It is true that a small amount of people, somewhere along the lines will have moved onto harder drugs from Marijuana after having their inhibitions lowered. However, this is no different to a group of teenagers vandalism tendencies getting worse and worse the more they do it. Take cannabis away and it'll only be another drug somewhere else that will act as the supposed "gateway".
"Cannabis Kills Brain Cells" - yet another popular myth. Scientific studies have shown that it is infact the short term memory that is affected by Marijuana, and that upon stopping the consumption of Marijuana, these brain cells will eventually regenerate (over a period of weeks or less). This is not permanent, whereas memory blackouts from drinking alcohol are never returned until reminded (also valid point for the above arguement)
"Cannabis's harms have been proved scientifically" - this is infact true, the only problem is, the government upon realising the true statistics of just how harmful Marijuana actually is, decided they were going to have to lie. This is because the results were as follows:
"Cannabis raises the chance of psychological damage in those who are susceptible to psychological problems by 33%"
The only problem is that only 3% of the population of the United Kingdom are susceptible to psychological problems, meaning this 33% figure exists only within a 3% band, meaning 1% basically. These statistics show that in fact Marijuana isn't as harmful as everyone first thought. The government however, released the statistics as follows:
"Cannabis raises the chance of psychological damage by 33%"
It took one of the original scientists involved in this study to actually come forward of his own accord on British radio to educate the public to the fact that these statistics had been manipulated. By this time though, every mother, office worker and idiot who has no idea, experience, or any true education of the drug are bantering about how harmful it is.
This point merely debates the degree of harm that cannabis causes; it does not conclude that its usage results in no harm at all.
An example is the sentence ""Cannabis is a gateway drug" – a popular old government myth. It is true that a small amount of people, somewhere along the lines will have moved onto harder drugs from Marijuana after having their inhibitions lowered". Have you not just proved that cannabis can be a "gateway drug"?
In trying to dispute the assertion that cannabis kills brain cells, you have established that it does, in fact, negatively affect the normal functioning of short term memory processes. This, in itself, would surely be considered "harmful".
The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001) states that 1 in 4 British adults experiences "at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, and one in six experiences this at any given time." This would indicate that at least 25% of the adult population is susceptible to psychological issues and, therefore, damage. Further statistics indicate that 20% of children have a "mental health problem" in any given year.
This point is simply based on conspiracy theories and a belief that "if you haven't tried it, you have no right to comment". Someone who has used the drug once in their lifetime has no more right to assess its harm than a group of scientists who have studied it for upwards of five years.
Cannabis is a personal choice and should remain so
Cannabis is a lifestyle choice. That some people and governments above all should be hypocritical enough to unilaterally decide to condemn it on the basis that it is harmful to the human being is ludicrous. In this case, why don't we outlaw the following:
- alcohol and tobacco
- medication with dangerous secondary effects
- dangerous jobs
and the list could go on forever.
To purport to make a law based on supposed moral considerations for the health of mankind is not only inherent proof of the hypocrisy and narrow mindedness of government and society but it also proves the fascism and oppression of a primitive and ignorant frame of mind.
Just like some people are allergic to nuts and cannot eat them, so are some people unsuitable to consume cannabis. This does not make nuts illegal. But it makes cannabis so. Why is that? Politics, oppression and close mindedness. If cannabis were properly controlled, then the public would certainly be better instructed about the effects and could make up informed decisions about the subject. Puritan and conservative preaching against cannabis only demostrates the idiocracy of their ideals.
There has never been a MEDICAL reason behind a ban against cannabis
I think there's someone who can argue this point much better than me, so without further adieu, here's the honourable Noam Chomsky:
It is only a gateway drug BECAUSE it is illegal
I can't see how this is an argument FOR, when if you remove the legal criminalization of marihuana, people are much less likely to turn to heavier drugs.
Best evidence for this is Amsterdam that has the smallest avarege users of heavier drugs such as cocaine and heroin in Europe.
Here are some other interesting facts:
Cannabis has only been shown to be harmful when SMOKED in large quantities for prolonged periods of time or when ultra high concentrations of THC are present in certain strains/variants.
Exactly - prolongued cannabis smoking IS harmful when smoked in large quantities!
it is a persons choice to harm themselves
a person should be given the choice whether or not to do something which may or may not harm their bodies. i am not saying that cannabis is not harmful i am simply stating that we decide everything for ourselves so why cant we decide whether or not to take drugs such as cannabis.
Gateway Drug? Oh hell no!
The ONLY reason that cannabis is a gateway drug, is because it's illegal. That's also the reason why underaged people get it.
If the only place where you can buy it is from dealer's, you're most likely to get more hardcore drugs as these dealers tend to recommend them.
LEGALIZE CANNABIS AND BAN THE OTHER DRUGS!
What do you think?