Teens who Smoke a lot of Marijuana suffer Permanent Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

A new study is in.  And the conclusion is that marijuana use is bad.  Especially if you’re a teen (see Teen pot use linked to later declines in IQ by MALCOLM RITTER and NICK PERRY posted 8/27/2012 on the Associated Press).

Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests…

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18…

Pot is the most popular illegal drug in the world, with somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users between the ages of 15 and 64 as of 2010, the United Nations reported. Within the United States, 23 percent of high school students said they’d recently smoked marijuana, making it more popular than cigarettes, the federal government reported in June.

More popular than cigarettes?  Funny thing about a marijuana joint.  It doesn’t have a filter.  Smoking a joint is like smoking a Camel unfiltered cigarette.  Like people smoked once upon a time.  When smokers were smokers.  And smoked hardcore.  But now there is a war on smoking.  Something the Left endorses.  Yet those on the Left are generally in favor of decriminalizing drugs.  Especially marijuana.  The Left took Joe Camel off cigarette advertising because it was encouraging kids to start smoking.  So they got addicted to cigarettes.  They even sued Big tobacco.  But kids smoke more marijuana than cigarettes.  Getting more cancer-causing smoke in their lungs from illegal marijuana than from legal tobacco.  So while the Left plays nanny by trying to get cigarettes away from us they are trying to put kids at more risk.  For if marijuana is decriminalized it will be much easier for kids to smoke it.  Putting them at greater risk of lung cancer.  As well as that mental decline.  Guess the Left doesn’t like kids.

Young people “don’t think it’s risky,” said Staci Gruber, a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Gruber, who didn’t participate in the new work, said the idea that marijuana harms the adolescent brain is “something we believe is very likely,” and the new finding of IQ declines warrants further investigation…

The study drew on survey data from more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, everybody born in the town of Dunedin during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, they were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions related to their marijuana use.

At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age.

Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18…

Among participants who’d been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn’t remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they’d largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38, analysis showed…

The researchers also surveyed people who knew the study participants well at age 38. They found that the more often participants were rated as marijuana-dependent in the surveys over their lifetimes, the more memory and attention problems were noticed by their acquaintances over the previous year.

I think we all know someone who was dependent on marijuana when he or she was a kid.  One of my best friends was your classic stoner in junior high school.  He smoked and partied through junior high and part way through high school.  When he had the first of five kids.  And then dropped out.  Got a job.  Became a Republican.  And a responsible parent.  Both he and his wife.  Who remained together to raise all five kids.  And struggled to counteract the liberal education of their children when they got home from school.

Sometimes during a conversation my friend would stop mid-conversation, cock his head and stare blankly as he tried to remember what he was saying.  Then he laughed and joked about all the brain cells he destroyed when he was a kid.  Wishing he could have them back.  I didn’t know him before the brain damage.  But he sure was a good guy after the brain damage.  I always wonder what he might have done if he and cannabis never crossed paths.  Engineer?  Physicist?  Doctor?  President?  Who knows what he may have contributed had it not been for his introduction to cannabis.  I never asked but I wonder about that first time.  Was it peer pressure?  Was it a funny movie with a lovable stoner character?  Or did he have a friend with a dad who smoked pot?  It was something.  And whatever it was it changed his life forever.

And I wonder what might have been with all those other stoners out there.  What they might have done had they not descended into drug use.  Which makes the drug debate a difficult one.  Much violent crime traces back to illegal drug trafficking.  So decriminalizing drugs would go a long way to reduce that crime.  However, this isn’t the same as repealing prohibition.  Sure, if you drink enough you can kill yourself.  And abuse your family.  You can even get a liver transplant.  But you can never recover your damaged brain cells.  Once they’re gone they’re gone.  And there’s no going back to who you were.

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Drug Addict Mugs an 8 Year Old Girl to Feed his Cocaine Addiction

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2012

Week in Review

So what’s the downside of decriminalizing drugs?  Stuff like this (see Drug addict mugged girl, 8, for just £3.50 as she walked to shop to buy sweets by Emma Reynolds posted 8/2/2012 on the Daily Mail).

A cocaine addict mugged an eight-year-old girl for just £3.50 as she walked to the shop to buy sweets.

That’s about $5.48 in US dollars.  Which really doesn’t matter as much as a cocaine addict mugging an 8 year old girl.  It’s just yet another example of a drug related crime.  Which, incidentally, won’t go away by decriminalizing drugs.  Unless the government provides free drugs to all drug addicts.  Which is doubtful.

This cocaine addict just didn’t wake up one morning and decided to mug an 8 year old girl.  Just as he didn’t wake up one morning and decided to experiment with hard drugs.  Picking cocaine as his first drug.  No.  More than likely he started with marijuana.  Then moved on to the harder stuff.   And over time an addiction grew.  Until one morning he saw an 8 year old girl with a purse.

If they decriminalize drugs more people will experiment with drugs.  More people will become addicts.  And more 8 year old girls will get mugged.  Unless all these addicts today made a conscience choice to become a drug addict.  And they didn’t become an addict because their recreational drug use got out of control.  Which is doubtful.  Addiction happens.  It is never a conscious choice.  And it can happen to anyone.

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Decriminalizing Drugs and Criminalizing McDonald’s Happy Meals and Parents

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 27th, 2010

The Left Pushes to Criminalize and Tax Unhealthy Food and Lifestyles

San Francisco passed legislation banning toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals.  Because they encourage an unhealthy lifestyle.  And if there’s one thing liberal busy bodies want is for us to live a healthy lifestyle.  So they’re not food Nazis.  They just care.  They want what’s best for us.  And whether we want it or not, we should listen to them.  Because it’s for our own good.

And speaking of food Nazis, Michelle Obama isn’t one.  She just wants to step in between our kids and their parents.  Because she knows best what our kids should eat.  And to stop what is a coordinated marketing/policy assault against these kids.  Keeping them from enjoying the healthy diet they could.  If only we could broom their parents aside.

Locked in their crosshairs are sugary drinks.  And as they propose to solve every problem, they propose to solve this problem with a tax (see Sarah Palin’s nightmare: What Michelle Obama dares not propose by Stephen Stromberg posted 12/27/2010 on The Washington Post).

But everyone should favor eliminating sugar subsidies. And corn subsidies, since high-fructose corn syrup is a ready substitute for sugar. They’re expensive for taxpayers, they encourage unhealthy eating, and the benefits generally go to wealthy agribusinesses that don’t need them. A model of obviously terrible federal policy. And, given how much sugary drinks contribute to obesity and, therefore, impose costs on society that their prices don’t reflect, modest soda taxes aren’t a bad idea, either. Something like a cent and ounce, which a group of doctors, researchers and policy advocates proposed last year in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And it’ll be a windfall for the federal government.  Just like those sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol.  I mean, golly, if they outlawed tobacco and alcohol, the government would take a huge pay cut.  And when was the last time you heard about government getting by on less?  Try never.  So sugary drinks will stay.  Fear not.  They just want to tax the bejesus out of them.

But it’ll be for our own good.  Because they do care for us, don’t they?

You may not feel it, but if you pay taxes, you’re subsidizing others’ unhealthy lifestyles every day, either through direct subsidy of their ingredients or through higher medical bills, the costs of which are often socialized. These policies aren’t about making bad-for-you foods unnaturally expensive. Sugary drink taxes and other such things are about not making pancreas-busting foods deceptively cheap.

Gosh, they care.  It gives you a warm fuzzy to know how much they care for our good health.

The Left Pushes to Decriminalize Drugs and Subsidize Addiction

Meanwhile, the same people who want to take toys out of Happy Meals want to help put heroin in people’s veins.  The Left is all about a managed economy but believes in an ‘anything-goes’ social policy.  Grass, smack, crank, whatever.  If you want to get high, go for it.  The Left is always floating trial balloons for decriminalizing drugs.  They’ve done it in Portugal.  And some U.S. Officials are looking to do likewise (see On the Ground: When drugs are decriminalized by Barry Hatton, AP Lisbon, posted 12/27/2010 on Facebook).  Here’s what it’s like in Portugal.

On a recent fall day Americo Nave, a 39-year-old psychologist, and two other health workers drove their white van along the main cobbled street of Casal Ventoso, a neighborhood in Lisbon, Portugal, that once was synonymous with drug delinquency and a no-go area for the authorities.

So how did they clean up this drug-infested neighborhood?

About a dozen addicts, mostly unkempt men aged 20 to 40, ambled up. They were orderly and respectful. They looked frail, more in need of a hospital bed than a prison cell.

To receive fresh needles, the addicts must first drop used ones into a plastic container on the ground. In return they get a bag containing needles, swabs, little dishes to cook up the injectable mixture, disinfectant, and a condom, all paid for by charities and taxpayers.

And how has it been working?  Well, according to one homeless skeletal heroin addict.

A 37-year-old man who gave his name only as Joao said he had been consuming heroin for the past 22 years. He recalled living rough in Casal Ventoso and picking up used, bloody needles from the sidewalk to inject himself. He contracted Hepatitis C. Now he comes regularly to the needle exchange and also gets help with food and health care.

“These teams … have helped a lot of people,” he said, struggling to concentrate as he drew deeply on a cigarette.

Yes, they’re helping people.  There’s nothing like a good heroin addiction subsidized by the state to make one feel loved.

Taxing Sugary Drinks, Fast Food and Heroin – What the Left Wants

Not everyone who eats at McDonald’s gets obese.  But most people who try heroin become addicts.  An obese person may live a normal life well into their 40s or 50s.  A heroin addict has no life.  Once addicted it’s just a slow death as the body’s organs slowly fail.  And yet the Left deems that Happy Meals are bad and want to criminalize them.  While at the same time they want to decriminalize heroin.  And subsidize addiction.

You know why they want to decriminalize drugs?  For the same reasons they tax tobacco and alcohol.  And want to tax sugary drinks.  They want the tax revenue.  To try and satiate their insatiable appetite to tax and spend.  And to micromanage our lives.  Not to keep us healthy.  If they wanted that they wouldn’t have rationed our healthcare by passing Obamacare.

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