Thursday, 15 May 2008

Marijuana More Dangerous than First Thought: PFFFT!

Marijuana gives you pimples It does, it does ... if I smoke some grass and I get the muchies and go to 7-11 and buy a block of Dairy Milk and 2 days later I’m getting ackers everywhere. See, I told ya. 

Is this part of an official research paper from a prohibitionist groups? It very well could be considering the logic of some recent reports. Read on to see the evidence that pundits like Miranda Devine would love so much.

The quest to demonise marijuana has been blazing since the 1920s when the US linked it to violence, crime and other socially deviant behaviors, especially by Mexicans. This was followed by the movie, Reefer Madness which was the epitome of anti-drug campaigns back then. It is now looked upon as a gay frolic in government sponsored propaganda. The sixties found an explosion of grass smokers that has never really died down as research was continually finding it a relatively harmless drug.  Maybe the eagerness to prove it totally harmless was a tad overdone but nevertheless, it still never proved to be a fraction as dangerous as alcohol. Each year, there was another report that marijuana was harmless and opinions slowly changed to accept marijuana as a ‘soft’ drug.

But a good thing can’t last forever. Not satisfied that an evil drug might actually be accepted by society, the anti-drug groups decided to provide some of their own research that favoured their personal views. With multiple conservative governments worldwide and the growing influence of the religious right, it paved the way for the heavily right wing media outlets to produce their own unique research results. Of course, after 30 years of scientific research, it is difficult to provide alternative facts but like ‘Intelligent Design’ was supposedly science, the new research was supposedly ‘new evidence’. A recent report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, put together a sample group of marijuana smokers and found some damming evidence.

Heavy marijuana use can boost blood levels of a particular protein, perhaps raising a person's risk of a heart attack or stroke, US government researchers said on Tuesday. Dr Jean Lud Cadet of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, said the findings point to another example of long-term harm from marijuana. 

-AAP. Marijuana more dangerous than first thought: study

What! Heart attack or stroke? From a particular protein? More details please.

“Levels of a protein called apolipoprotein C-III were found to be 30 per cent higher in the marijuana users compared to the others. This protein is involved in the body's metabolism of triglycerides -- a type of fat found in the blood -- and higher levels cause increased levels of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, raising the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.”

-Dr Jean Lud Cadet

Does this mean marijuana is really dangerous? What does this mean for a person who maybe smokes a a joint each night or has a few pipes on Friday and Saturday night? Should I fear this new scientific evidence?

“Chronic marijuana use is not only causing people to get high, it's actually causing long-term adverse effects in patients who use too much of the drug. Chronic marijuana abuse is not so benign.”

-Dr Jean Lud Cadet

Hang on ... CHRONIC USE?

The marijuana users in the study averaged smoking 78 to 350 marijuana cigarettes per week, based on self-reported drug history, the researchers said.

-AAP. Marijuana more dangerous than first thought: study

The smokers in the study were stoners of the century. The lightest smoker had 11 joints a day or about 30-50 bongs ... minimum! The highest was 50 joints a day or 150-250 bongs. An increase of only 30% in apolipoprotein C-III levels which in turn might increase levels of triglycerides for people who smoke extremely massive amounts of cannibis is really clutching at straws. So what does this mean to the average marijuana smoker? Well ... nothing really. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken put some perspective on the study.

"We're talking about people who are stoned all the time. We're talking about the marijuana equivalent of the guy in the alley clutching a bottle of cheap wine. If you do anything to that level of excess, it might well have some untoward effects, whether it's marijuana or wine or broccoli" 

-Bruce Mirken. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman

Oh, I see. A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A well know anti-drugs organisation who perform studies hand picked by the US government. You know the same government who manages the “War on Drugs”. The same government with a Zero Tolerance policy. The same government who have nearly half a million marijuana users put in jail each year. The same government who have a HIV/AIDS rate 1000% higher than Australia largely because they refused to give out clean needles to addicts for years. Can a report from them actually be balanced?

Bruce Mirken again puts the report into perspective.

"Even if you take this finding at face value, it's not at all clear that it has any relevance to the real world because there is still no data showing higher rates of mortality among marijuana smokers. If this was a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, where are the bodies?"

-Bruce Mirken. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman


Ross Sharp said...

Terry, judging from the reaction in today's SMH letters page to her little hissy fit about Wodak, it would seem that Devine is regarded by many as a complete and utter pillock.

thr said...

Both Devines are embarrassing, though its Miranda who constantly plays the moral panic card. Good to see the shoddy methodology of that study thoroughly debunked.

phallacy said...

One of the geniuses behind (wayyy behind, in the relative safety of kabul)the poppy eradication prog. in Helmand spoke a little too candidly on ABC World Today, Monday.
Quoth the Raven ratbag, "The price of opium is so high because it is illegal. It's therefore very hard to force (sic!) farmers to grow other crops which cannot support their families..."
But they're gonna try to do so anyway.

bron said...

Want a giggle over Devine for a change? Check this out:

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for your responses.
Notice who the letters are from in the SMH letters page? Experts who make Divine look like the twat she is. Just because she makes a hard stance, it doesn't mean she is knowledgeable in this area. Playing the "moral panic card" is just a lazy journalist looking for glory ... usually someone with fuck all evidence. I checked out the link Bron supplied and it's an apt representation of how she really thinks .

The poppy eradication program is so silly that eventually someone connected to it was going to let one slip eventually. Good pickup.

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