Medical Marijuana, Research

Truth Free America

July 11th, 2008 1 Comment Kate Zawidzki

I mentioned Drug Free America Foundation’s Calvina Fay earlier this week, but here’s another whopper from her group, Save Our Society, regarding a North Carolina resolution to study medical marijuana:

“Those that seek the legalization of marijuana often site [sic] the American College of Physicians paper as being in favor of ‘medical’ marijuana, however that is not accurate. The ACP supported research into cannabinoids such as THC, but they specifically stated ‘The ACP encourages the use of non-smoked forms of THC that have proven therapeutic value.'”

There’s actually plenty that’s objectionable here: That SOS is so scared of North Carolina lawmakers even discussing medical marijuana shows what kind of small-minded fear addicts we’re dealing with.

But if you actually read the ACP’s statement – and you should if you really want to piss SOS off – its position is clear:

“ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.”

Really, though – read it. Don’t take my word for it, and definitely don’t take the word of the likes of Calvina Fay.

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Marijuana and Depression

July 2nd, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

The drug czar’s office wants us to believe that marijuana causes or worsens depression. Too bad science keeps moving in precisely the opposite direction, as noted in two articles just published in Cannabinoids, the journal of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine. In one, Viennese physician Kurt Blass discusses successful treatment of depression with dronabinol (Marinol), the THC pill. In the second, University of Texas researcher Regina A. Mangieri discusses the animal studies in which cannabinoids have shown antidepressant-like activity. No one is arguing that depressed teens should self-medicate with marijuana rather than seek professional help, but one-sided, misleading “information” from our government doesn’t help parents navigate these complex situations.


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Prohibition, Research, Tax and Regulate

We’re Number One!

July 1st, 2008 2 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Guess what?

A report just published in the journal of the Public Library of Science says more Americans have tried marijuana – as well as cocaine – than people in any of the other 16 countries studied.

That includes the Netherlands – where 20% of the population have tried marijuana, compared with 42% of Americans – despite the drug’s quasi-legal status there. And while U.S. officials regularly badmouth the Dutch system, in which adults can purchase marijuana from regulated businesses, here’s another startling statistic: American kids were nearly three times as likely to try marijuana by age 15 as their Dutch counterparts.

Given these discrepancies, the study authors concluded that drug use rates might not even be related to drug policy at all.

Strange. Then why go to all the trouble and expense to arrest marijuana users? Why insist on handing this lucrative market to organized criminals rather than impose commonsense regulations as we do with alcohol and tobacco?

Rather than defend his office’s obsession with arresting users as a necessary means to fighting drugs, drug czar spokesman Tom Riley practically concedes the point:

“The U.S. has high crime rates but we spend a lot on law enforcement and prison. Should we spend less? We’re just a different kind of country. We have higher drug use rates, a higher crime rate, many things that go with a highly free and mobile society.”

That’s right: Our drug use rates are higher than just about anyone else’s because – unlike the Dutch, who may choose to use marijuana without the threat of arrest – we’re just so gosh darned free.

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Prohibition, Research

Marijuana Lounges in Airports?

June 25th, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

In the wake of repeated reports of alcohol-fueled cases of “air rage,” the Denver-based Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) has a novel solution: Allow marijuana use in airport smoking lounges.

It may seem like a silly idea, but SAFER is making a serious point. Alcohol is a proven cause of reckless and violent behavior, while marijuana tends to have the precise opposite effect. If air travelers substituted marijuana for booze, it’s entirely plausible that air rage incidents would decrease. As a review in the December 2003 issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors noted, “Alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication–violence relationship,” while those under the influence of marijuana generally become less aggressive.

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