Marijuana is a Gateway to Hash Oil and Exploding Refrigerators

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2014

Week in Review

The pro-decriminalize marijuana movement say it’s a harmless drug.  No worse than alcohol.  And that it doesn’t lead to harder drugs.  Well, it leads to at least one harder drug (see Marijuana ‘Hash Oil’ Explodes In Popularity, And Kitchens by Martin Kaste posted 1/10/2014 on npr).

If you think the recent liberalization of marijuana laws around the country is only about smoking leaves and buds, think again. For users younger than 25, “hash oil” is where it’s really at. This concentrated resin of marijuana is creating new public safety headaches — even in places where it’s legal.

There have always been forms of the substance, but the resins available today are much stronger than in years past. That’s due in part to the expertise developed by medical marijuana producers, who have learned how to make more potent versions of the oil…

Users smoke it, vaporize it and sometimes even eat it — those people sometimes refer to themselves as “tar babies.” High Times magazine jokingly implies that honey oil is best for people who already smoke regular pot every day. The stuff is so strong, it can cause less experienced users to throw up.

Some people make the resin at home. You just soak the pot in some kind of chemical solvent, which extracts the resin from the marijuana. Do-it-yourselfers like using butane, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.

The trouble is, solvents can catch fire — and even explode. Last year, the U.S. Fire Administration, a department of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a bulletin warning of an increase in fires involving the production of hash oil.

In Washington state, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, authorities have noted an uptick in similar incidents. There was an explosion in a building in Seattle on Tuesday, and Verner O’Quinn, a sergeant with the Seattle Police Department’s bomb squad, blames solvents used in the production of hash oil…

He says fires in the Seattle area often come with a particular twist: They start with exploding refrigerators…

Most freezers have a fan, which then circulates the volatile butane fumes into the rest of the refrigerator, “down to where the compressor is,” he explains. “A small spark will set it off, and it generally blows the door off.”

Hash oil is so strong it is recommended only for people who smoke marijuana every day.  As it can make the inexperienced user vomit.  Which means you typically start with marijuana.  And when you master that you step up to the harder drug.  Hash oil.  The same way most heroin or meth addicts started smoking marijuana first before moving up to the harder heroin or meth.  Making marijuana a gateway drug to harder drugs.  Contrary to the pro-decriminalize marijuana movement.

If hash oil is where it’s at for users under 25 that means that they’re probably heavy pot smokers in their teens.  When they are in school.  Or should be in school.  Instead of cutting class to smoke marijuana.  Smoking everyday so they can handle the far stronger hash oil in their early twenties.  As they seek a stronger high after growing bored with just smoking marijuana.

The argument for stricter gun control laws is, of course, to protect the children.  Even if those laws save just one life.  By that logic we should recriminalize marijuana.  Even if it only prevents one more refrigerator from exploding in front of a child.  Of course the left will never do this.  Because relaxing the drug laws will endear the youth voters to the Democrat Party.  Helping them win elections even when they have nothing positive to run on.  So they will attack guns more than marijuana.  Even if marijuana destroys more lives than guns do.

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Study finds Link between Smoking Marijuana and Testicular Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 15th, 2012

Week in Review

Pot smoking can cause permanent brain damage.  It can lead to harder and more dangerous drug use.  But now there is something even more horrible it can do to you (see Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer by Jon Bardin posted 9/10/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

A new study, published Monday on the website of the medical journal Cancer, reports that men who have testicular cancer are twice as likely to have smoked marijuana before they were diagnosed than control subjects. The association existed only for nonseminomas, the more dangerous form of testicular cancer that is harder to treat.

In the study, carried out in Los Angeles, a team of researchers enrolled 163 men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1986 and 1991. They also recruited a larger group of control subjects who were matched to the patients on such characteristics as age, ethnicity, and what L.A. neighborhood the subjects lived in at the time they were diagnosed—a localized approach to controlling for socioeconomic status.

The researchers, led by Victoria Cortessis of the USC, quizzed the participants on a range of medical and lifestyle factors, including drug use. They found that marijuana use before they were diagnosed was linked to a two-fold increase in testicular cancer risk. Even with this increased risk, the likelihood of developing testicular cancer remains relatively low: According to the American Cancer Society, a normal man’s likelihood of developing the disease is about one in 270. The risk of dying from the disease is even lower, at one in 5,000.

One in 270?  The average graduating class size in a U.S. public school is about 125.  So if you go to high school in a big city chances are that at least one in your graduating class will have testicular cancer.  And the odds are that it will be one of the stoners in your grade.  And if you’re one of the stoners it could be you.  Sure, the odds are low.  But considering what’s at risk some may reconsider enjoying that ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Because it could cost a guy his two best friends.

So to wrap up marijuana may cause permanent brain damage, it may be a gateway drug to a more harmful drug/addiction or it may cause you to lose your testicles.  As sad as the first two are to consider it is probably the losing of your testicles that gets the attention of a young pot smoker most.  Even though the first two are far more likely to happen and destroy your life than the less likely losing of your testicles to marijuana-inflicted cancer.  Because a young man has priorities in his life.  And saving brain cells or avoiding drug addiction is clearly not one of them.

So don’t do drugs, high school kid.  Because it could kill you.  Or worse.  It could hurt your future sex life.  Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase if you don’t use them you will lose them.  To testicular cancer.

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Grizzly Child Murders not connected to Drug Crime but to Drug Use

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

One argument for the decriminalization of drugs is that it will reduce violent crime.  Because a lot of violent crime is connected to the illicit drug trade.  So decriminalizing drugs would make more crime-free cities.  That would be a good thing.  A very good thing.  But is there a downside to decriminalizing drugs?  For if people want to get high in their own house isn’t that a victimless crime to begin with?  And by dropping the ‘crime’ from ‘victimless crime’ drug use would just be victimless, yes?  So how could anything be bad that has no victims?  I mean, it’s not like we’re hurting children when adults use drugs (see Two Grisly Child Murders Prompt PCP Crackdown in New Jersey by CHRISTINA NG posted 9/7/2012 on ABC News).

Authorities in New Jersey are cracking down on PCP, a hallucinogenic drug that has been involved in two grisly murders of children in less than two weeks in the crime-ridden city of Camden, N.J…

“Violent behavior with PCP, that’s nothing new,” Police Chief Scott Thomson said. “It’s happening on a daily basis in Philadelphia and urban centers all over the country. But what has us concerned is the attacks on small children…Is something being added [to the PCP]..?”

Osvaldo Rivera, 31, told police that he smoked “wet,” a combination of PCP and pot before he allegedly slit the throats of a 6-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister in the middle of the night in their Camden, N.J., home on Sept. 2…

On Aug. 22, authorities believe Chevonne Thomas was smoking wet before beheading her 2-year-old son Zahree in Camden…

“You’ve got paranoia, anxiety, delusional behavior, hallucinations and then you add to that a disconnect between the mind and body so the person doesn’t feel pain and can behave as if they have superhuman strength,” Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, told ABCNews.com. “The consequences can be dire…”

The effect of the drug mimics the effects of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, extreme stress, delusions and disordered thinking, according to NIDA…

PCP can even do permanent damage.

“If somebody is vulnerable, it would be possible for somebody to smoke it once or twice and develop psychosis that could last months, years or could not be resolved,” Galynker said. “It makes people psychotic and I don’t understand why anyone would ever use it.”

Apparently we are hurting children when adults use drugs.  Sometimes through neglect.  Sometimes by setting a bad example that draws them into the world of drug use at a young age.  And sometimes by killing them.  The people that do are obviously out of their right minds.  And it is probable that their drug use put them out of their right mind.  Which is a salient point.  These children did not die because of the criminal activity associated with these drugs.  They died because of the effects of taking these drugs.  Which would have happened even if these drugs weren’t illegal.  And if some people did this after using drugs it is likely that more people will do these things when there are more people taking drugs.  Which would probably happen if we decriminalize them.

If one smoked a combination of PCP and pot one would have to assume that one smoked marijuana at one time without PCP.  So one drug was probably a gateway to the other drug.  Now with people saying marijuana is so harmless it is probably less harmless than PCP.  And therefore the gateway drug to PCP.  One could even go further to suggest that without ever having used the gateway drug (marijuana) that it is unlikely that someone would experiment with drugs for the first time with something as powerful as PCP.

So there are strong arguments against decriminalizing drugs.  Of course some will counter that it’s not right to condemn all drug users because of the actions of a few.  We don’t bring back prohibition because some drunks beat their wives or cause a fatal car accidents.  Which is a good point.  But here’s a better point.  Alcohol can make you a stupid drunk.  But it won’t make you psychotic.  And when you’re drunk out of your mind you don’t get superhuman strength.  Often times you actually regress to childhood and travel on your hands and knees. So there is a difference between being falling-down drunk and slashing throat-high on PCP.  One is clearly more dangerous than the other.  Finally, who are the people who most want to decriminalize drugs?  Apart from the addicts?  The same people we make wait until they are 21 to drink.  Teenagers and young adults who have a propensity to make bad decisions.  So you know that this is yet one more bad decision from those of us who are least responsible.

Interestingly, we have raised the drinking age for teenagers and young adults but not the voting age.  In fact, there are some who want to lower the voting age further.  Those on the Left, of course.  Who need more people who don’t know any better to vote for them.  Because the older and more responsible people get the more they tend to vote conservative.  Just an interesting side note.  Perhaps we should counter their argument (to lower the voting age) with a simple question.  Do they also want to lower the drinking age?  If not, why not?  It would be entertaining to hear them tap-dance their way around that answer.

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New Study shows Casual Ecstasy Use causes Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2012

Week in Review

It’s a popular drug with the teenagers.  Ecstasy.  It’s a party drug.  But like all drugs use it comes with some unwelcomed side effects (see Study: Casual Ecstasy Use Causes Memory Impairment by Jason Koebler posted 7/30/2012 on U.S. News and World Report).

New users of the rave drug suffered brain damage after as few as 10 doses…

Self-professed “new users of ecstasy”—subjects who refrained from any other drugs besides ecstasy, marijuana and alcohol—were studied over the course of a year. The study found memory impairments in people who used the drug just 10 times over the course of 12 months…

Researchers also said marijuana and alcohol were allowed in the study because it’s too difficult to find people who solely use ecstasy.

So drugs are bad for you.  And marijuana is a gateway drug.  For they had trouble finding people who had only used ecstasy.  Which makes the whole decriminalization of drugs a complicated issue.  Even for ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Which is nothing like those nasty harmful drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  But if marijuana is a gateway to ecstasy it’s probably a gateway to the harder more harmful drugs, too.  Unless people going along the straight and narrow wake up one day and decide to shoot up heroin.  It could happen.  But it’s not likely to happen.

So bad things follow drug use.  But bad things also happen trying to interdict drug use.  As so much crime is drug-related.  So what to do?  Perhaps a little more religion in our lives would encourage us to choose not to use drugs.  Things tend to work better when it’s our choice.  Going back to our early history we were more religious.  And when we were we didn’t have a drug problem.  But that didn’t stop people from having a good time.  There was church.  Community.  The local saloon.  And, sure, alcoholism.  It may not have been perfect.  But there was less crime.

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Damned if we Decriminalize Drugs and Damned if we Don’t; either way Drugs have Damned Us

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 2nd, 2012

Week in Review

Drugs are a problem with no easy solution.  The drug market in the U.S. is fueling horrific crime south of the border.  And most violent crime in the U.S. is related to the illegal drug trade.  This makes a very strong case to decriminalize drugs.  And trust in responsible people to use drugs responsibly.  But then you have stories like this (see Miami Cannibal Attack: Horrific Dangers of “Bath Salts” Drug by Lisa Collier Cool posted 6/1/2012 on Yahoo! Health).

The “cannibal” attacker who gnawed off another man’s face in Miami is suspected to have been high on a dangerous street drug called “bath salts.” Police say that during the zombie-like naked rampage that horrified the world, Rudy Eugene, 31, displayed deranged behavior similar to other horrific crimes linked to bath salts, before being shot dead by police on Saturday.

Bath salts, which have been called the new LSD, cause people “to go completely insane and become very violent,” said Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police told CNN. Also known by street names like “Ivory Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “Bliss,” “Dynamite” and “Purple Rain,” bath salts made headlines last year after a torrent of ER visits, thousands of calls to poison control centers, and a number of deaths, including murders and suicides…

Banned in several states, bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals that have uniquely hazardous effects on the brain. “If you take the worst attributes of meth, coke, PCP, LSD and Ecstasy and put them together, that’s what we’re seeing sometimes,” Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, told The New York Times…

CNN reports, “The effects include producing feelings of empathy, stimulation, alertness, euphoria, sensory awareness and hallucinations. Other reported effects include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and sweating. According to the DEA, MDPV has been reported to cause intense panic attacks, psychosis, and a strong desire to use the drug again.”

Physiological effects include high blood pressure and increased heart rate, according to a report by WebMD. According to a CDC report of bath salt abusers in Michigan, users risk both psychological side effects and physical side effects.

In fact, according to Huffington Post:

•91 percent of users had neurological damage

•77 percent experienced cardiovascular damage

•49 percent had psychological difficulties associated with the drug

•37 percent of the people who suffered mental health problems reported attempting suicide or having suicidal thoughts related to bath salts

Bath salts are a more powerful drug than previous drugs.  In fact if you add the worse a handful of past drugs will do you get what this new drug will do.  In other words, those other drugs were gateway drugs to this drug.  Which is the general trend in using drugs.  Start out small.  And keep moving up to bigger and more powerful drugs.  Not every pothead may move on to bath salts.  But it is very likely that every bath salts user started out a pothead.  Making marijuana the gateway drug to all other drugs.

A lot of drugs will cause neurological and cardiovascular damage.  And a lot will cause mental health problems and suicide.  Sad but primarily only the user suffers these drug affects.  But when the side effects include insanity, violence, psychosis and murder the drug affects tend to affect more than the user.  Which makes a very strong case against decriminalizing drugs.  Even marijuana.  For it is the rare drug addict that starts off with a drug that causes insanity, violence, psychosis and murder. 

People have moved on from marijuana to stronger drugs.  While all of these drugs were illegal.  So if any of these drugs became legal it is only logical that it will pull more people into the drug-using world.  And help more people up the ladder to stronger drugs.  All the way to bath salts.

So when it comes to the big question of whether we should decriminalize drugs the sad truth is that we are damned if we do.  And damned if we don’t.  In short, either way drugs have damned us.

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Drug Violence on our Southern Border and Catcalls in New York City are Related – Societal Decay Responsible for Both

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 30th, 2010

The drug cartel violence crosses the U.S. border.  Beheaded body found in Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s getting a little violent on this side of the U.S. border.  The latest?  This from AP’s Amanda Lee Myers’ Arizona beheading raises fears of drug violence posted on apnews.myway.com:

The gruesome case of a man who was stabbed and beheaded in a suburban Phoenix apartment has police investigating whether the killing is potentially the most extreme example of Mexican drug cartel violence spilling over the border.

The police think the victim was stealing drugs from the cartel.  And this was a message to others who might be thinking about doing likewise. 

Decapitations are a regular part of the drug war in Mexico as cartels fight over territory. Headless bodies have been hanged from bridges by their feet, severed heads have been sent to victims’ family members and government officials, and bags of up to 12 heads have been dropped off in high-profile locations.

The crime appears confined to members of the drug trade.  It’s a little reassuring for the innocent bystanders close to the crime.  ‘Little’ being the key word.

“I’m terrified,” said [a neighbor], a 47-year-old housekeeper who lives two doors down from the apartment. “I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never heard of that (decapitation) happening, and it was so close to us … Maybe they’re copying what’s happening in Mexico.”

But it hasn’t been exactly restricted to the drug trade.  There has been some collateral damage. 

While extreme violence has stayed south of the border for the most part, some of it has spilled over into the U.S.

In March, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was gunned down while checking water lines on his property near the border. Authorities believe – but have never produced substantive proof – that an illegal immigrant, likely a scout for drug smugglers, was to blame for his killing.

In May 2009, a Mexican drug cartel lieutenant who became an informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was shot eight times outside his pricey home in El Paso. The lieutenant, Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, was living in Texas on a visa that ICE gave him, and is believed to be the first ranking cartel member killed in the U.S.

Payan described the spillover as minimal, but said it could increase.

And what is the federal government doing to address border security?  Suing Arizona.  And putting up some signs that warn Americans about unsafe American territory.

Whistles, catcalls and lewd come-ons on the rise in New York City.  Young girls harassed near their schools.

In a serious news story about women being harassed on the streets of New York (see AP’s NYC Considers a No Catcall Zone posted on www.nbcnewyork.com on 10/29/2010), the article starts off with a most inappropriate photo.  It shows a woman’s feet in what appears to be 6-inch stiletto heels.  The kind of shoes you’d see a stripper wear on stage.  Or so I’ve heard.  One thing for certain, though, any man looking at the photo is going to imagine a smoking hot woman attached to those feet.  The kind of a woman that burly construction workers would whistle at.  And, to be fair, a woman dressed like THAT may be disappointed if they didn’t.  So it’s a rather poor choice of a photo to use with this article.  For although we know:

Whistles, catcalls and lewd come-ons from strangers are all too familiar to New York City women, who say they are harassed multiple times a day as they walk down the street.

Some men are clearly crossing the line. 

A City Council committee heard testimony Thursday from women who said men regularly follow them, yell at them and make them feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Advocates told stories of preteens and teenagers being hounded by adult men outside city schools and pleaded for government to address the problem.

And what is the city of New York doing about this issue?

Hollaback [an organization formed five years ago to stand up to street harassment] is pushing the city to commission a study, a public awareness campaign and perhaps even legislation, including “no-harassment zones” around schools to protect young women.

Madonna, Brittany Spears and Glee go too far in sexualizing young girls?

Now, what do these two stories have in common?  Although the victims aren’t responsible for the crime/harassment against them, the society that they are a part of is.

The Left wants to give condoms to our kids.  And make abortions available when a pregnancy happens.  We need to be progressive.  Kids are having sex.  We need to stop being so puritan and treat our kids as adults.  Like the television show Glee does.  In that show adults play high school kids.  And their audience is primarily high school kids and younger.  They’ve had some pretty questionable content on that show.  Madonna and Brittany Spears video parodies.  And they’ve appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, dressed as high school kids.  But you could look up one of the girls’ skirt and see her little white panties.  And the same ‘girl’ just did a GQ photo shoot, posing inside a high school.  Again, showing her little white panties.   Of course, these kids are really adults. But they play kids. 

The Left attacks the world of Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best & Ozzie and Harriet.  But you gotta admit this; they didn’t objectify women.  You didn’t see any of them sexualizing young girls.  And New York City didn’t have council meetings discussing possible legislation banning catcalls around schools.

Marijuana, cocaine, heroin and crystal meth supplied by Mexico to meet demand in the United States.

They’re trying to legalize marijuana again in California.  They say it’s no big deal.  It’s no worse than drinking.  And all that talk about it being a gateway drug to the stronger stuff?  That’s just ridiculous.  Then again, that stronger stuff is crossing the border along with the marijuana.  Which begs the question, why?  Who’s using the harder stuff?  People who’ve moved on from marijuana? 

The vast majority of drugs coming in from Mexico and causing all that trouble on the border is marijuana.  There’s big money in Mexican marijuana.  And it will get bigger and bloodier if California legalizes it.  More customers.  And lower prices (legal things tend to be cheaper than illegal things).  The drug gangs will fight to expand their territory.  And fight to not lose any of their territory.  So there’s marijuana.  Also coming in from Mexico is cocaine, black tar heroin and, of course, crystal meth.  Meth is a booming business since they restricted the sale of decongestants in the states.  They have factories in Mexico creating this stuff wholesale.  And shipping it to the United States.  Why?  Because we keep saying drugs are no big deal.

Sex and drugs responsible for societal decay?

Sex and drugs.  Everybody does it/them.  We need to accept it.  Treat kids as adults.  And when there are consequences to this behavior, we play the blame game.  It’s not school condoms and abortion on demand that is making people look at girls/women as sexual objects.  It’s men acting as animals.  For girls/women it’s empowering and liberating.  But it’s primitive animal behavior for men.  Of course, women can’t be empowering or liberating sexually without men.  So men are obliging.  And they’re apparently thinking about it all of the time.  Even when working on a construction site.

And when it comes down to pointing the finger of blame for the border violence, I don’t know if we can point it at just the drug gangs.  I mean, they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing if it wasn’t for all those Americans eagerly looking to buy what they are selling.

So, when men whistle at a girl/woman, or there is a drug-gang murder on the border, society’s to blame.  And it’s important to emphasize that the individual victims themselves are not responsible.  It is the societal decay that has preconditioned the predator.   They think it’s all right.  Because everyone is having sex.  And doing drugs.

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