Thursday, August 14, 2014

Marijuana revisited but not seen

The article "Marijuana revisited" from Psychology Today:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/where-addiction-meets-your-brain/201408/marijuana-revisited
My Response to Above Article:
Dr. Troncale,

After reading your recent and brief article "Marijuana revisited", I conclude that you have a facile and myopic view on the topic of cannabis and the notion of cognitive liberty which is the backbone of our democratic way of life.

First, the article you cited, much like the one from Boston earlier this year, has severe limitations including insufficient sample size, short age range, and the absence of behavioral correlates. It is scholarly irresponsible to conclude behavioral effects from a study which does not conclude anything about behavior. Also, the article itself takes the increase in rehab numbers for pot as a reason for concern- as if they are self-admitted. This is because of the law and the option between that and jail time. If they missed this simple sociological fact, then their whole scholarship should be thrown into question.  

Maybe teens are disillusioned by a government which tells them cannabis is on par with heroin and so they feel they can't trust any authority. If only drug policy reflected facts instead of xenophobic historical precedents, would people be more trusting of authority figures funded by government such as yourself. Facts only seem worthless when spun by propaganda.

When you say cannabis is a dangerous drug, you cite no source but 1984? It is true that of those who use cannabis a small number will fit some kind of dependency- although it may be more close to caffeine dependency than alcohol dependency. But it is again scholarly reprehensible to word the sentence as to make it seem that ten percent of the whole population may fall "victim" to cannabis "addiction".

Have you ever smoked or used cannabis? By your writing it does not seem so. For instance, you liken cannabis to a mind numbing agent. This ignores the fact the cannabis is regarded as a psychedelic which means mind manifesting- not closing. And those from Karry Mullis to Francis Crick are a testament to psychedelics mind expanding rather than mind numbing effects. Cannabis is not a narcotic- any psychopharmacologist can tell you that. Plus, what would be so hilariously funny to someone with no emotions!?    

If the talking points seem tiresome, that may be because your own cognitive dissonance is wearing you thin. Define medical qualities that are safe? How about the millions of people who feel relief from their pain, with the absence of side effects they find with prescription or OTC medication? Even if you feel some of their aliments are not genuine or sufficient, who are you to stop them if they are not interfering with you? Are you an enemy of liberty? Are you a control freak who wants to see the world in the way he thinks makes the most sense? If so you are not alone; there are all the current and past tyrants of history who are would share these feelings. I hope you are incredibly ignorant on the topic and find the harm immensely over inflated instead.  

No one in the cannabis reform movement would want to seriously let children smoke. This is a red herring of an argument and shows the lack of understand you have of the topic at hand. People are calling for adult responsible use of cannabis. In the case of medicine for seizures and other medical issues, they can be prescribed to children.

Again, have you ever used cannabis? Because many will protest against these effects your describing. Many anecdotal reports will show you that the numbing of pain from cannabis and opiates are vastly different. For instance, opiates mask pain. Cannabis on the other hand does not mask pain, but allows the user to delegate the pain to the bottom on his/her list of priorities, as they becomes absorbed in some other activity.

Your fallacious and demagogic arguments appear again as you warn of potentially incompetent surgeons cutting people up while while high on pot. What if they preferred alcohol or a large dose of jittery-hands inducing coffee instead? Any well trained and mature person has the ability to refrain themselves- so this would be a personality issue, not a drug one.

Moreover, if many of these illegal drugs were legal, I don't think they would be "widely available". They would be regulated and people would be informed about proper use and harm reduction techniques. Also, if these substances were legal- pharmacologists could engineer alternatives with more target effects and less side effects. It could be that drugs like heroin, if made legal, would become obsolete, as they would be replaced by safer alternatives.

Here is some further reading by scholars and scientists in the field of psycho and neuro pharmacology. They will inform your beliefs about drugs and help you see through the biases and hand-me-down propaganda presented in your article. Although these are books, they are filled with references to peer-reviewed articles.

-Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances
By  Ronald K. Siegel Ph.D.

-Drugs Without the Hot Air
By David Nutt Ph.D.

-High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society
By Carl Hart Ph.D.

I hope for a response from you.


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