Friday, April 20, 2007

FUN FACTS: Happy 4/20

Myth #1
Marijuana's harms have been proved scientifically. In the 1960s and 1970s, many people believed that marijuana was harmless. Today we know that marijuana is much more dangerous than previously believed.

In 1972, after reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while marijuana was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated. Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research, editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that 'the smoking of cannabis,
even long term, is not harmful to health.'

Myth #2
Marijuana has no medicinal value. Safer, more effective drugs are available, including a synthetic version of THC, marijuana's primary active ingredient, which is marketed in the United States under the name Marinol.

Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic THC capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked marijuana. Many people use marijuana as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment.

Myth #3
Marijuana is highly addictive. Long-term marijuana users experience physical dependence and withdrawal, and often need professional drug treatment to break their marijuana habits.

Most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally. A small minority of Americans - less than 1 percent - smoke marijuana on a daily or near daily basis. An even smaller minority develop dependence on marijuana. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty. Others seek help from drug treatment professionals. Marijuana does not cause physical dependence. If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all,
they are remarkably mild.

Myth #4
Marijuana is a gateway drug. Even if marijuana itself causes minimal harm, it is a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of 'harder drugs' like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.

Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. What the gateway theory presents as a causal explanation is a statistical association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a gateway drug.

Myth #5
There are also many apocryphal urban legends attempting to explain the origin of the term. Two of the most common of these are that 420 refers to the number of active ingredients in cannabis, or that it is police dispatch code for cannabis. In actual fact there are around 315 active chemicals in cannabis, varying depending on the exact plant used, and 420 has never been verified as the police dispatch code for anything in any locale.

It is widely accepted that in 1971, a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, calling themselves "The Waldos", used to meet every day after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana at the Louis Pasteur statue. The term became part of their group's salute, "420 Louis," and it eventually caught on more widely. Many cannabis user continue to observe 4:20 as a time to smoke communally. By extension April 20 has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

[source] and [source]


xine said...

someone's done their research.

dino said...

i taught her well.

sarah said...

someone must have been smoking. #3 is there twice.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see more sources sited for research...marijuana does have health risks starting with 4 times the amount of tar than cigarettes and what about the mental side of your body doesn't physically crave it but your mind craves the effects of it, there is always a psychological side to addiction. And as far as cancer and aids patients utilizing the effects of marijuana, I agree that it does help certain symptoms, but with a compromised immune systems is it really worth the risk of infection? I think that you should read up on a little more research before posting factual information...or at least site where you are getting the info from...

dino said...

or as adults, we can agree to disagree. there's a disclaimer on this site that basically says that this the site is for recreational use only - our venue to speak our minds. thank you for commenting, though. it's all about creating dialog.

one piece of advice though, remember that there are always two if not more sides to every story. no one more "right" than the next.

Anonymous said...

May I state the most obvious facts? Marijuana is illegal and so is drunk driving. Now get dead! niggaz

Anonymous said...

i understand what you are saying DINO but we must be careful not to confuse our opportunity to have opinion with what is factual information, for fact is fact and opinion will always have more than one side...

dino said...

it's interesting how our more socially conscious posts about real issues get no comments. it's nice to know where people are focusing their energy. how bout offsetting your frustration with the weed post with positive reinforcement for the good stuff we do on this blog? opinions are like assholes... you know the rest.

dino said...

facts are tricky. just last year i read something in a scientific journal about the health benefits for runners and eggs. in fact (??) runners can eat up to 15 eggs a week. turn out another scientific study this year states that one should not consume more than 7 eggs a week. this was also supposed fact. i have one piece of advice... we're all different, and it's good that way. you don't like weed, don't smoke it. i never tell anyone how to live their life. please return the favor. i own me. not you. and i'm a pretty decent person and i'm not looking to change for anyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how this conversation went from stating factual information to me telling you how to live your life. I am in no place to do that and I don't think I have in any comments I have posted...I am just merely suggesting that fact is fact and opinion is opinion. By the way I was curious as to your comment regarding our daily egg intake...if you are a runner and you are eating a variety of foods then the amount of eggs you do intake could be 15 but in the other study you refer too its quite possible that the subjects they used were not runners which would bring forth a different case. Regardless, I respect your right to express opinion and am in no way trying to tell you how to live your life. I just wanted to state some facts in response to someone's opinion. Thankyou for responding!

dino said...

written messages don't really inform anyone. i realize upon rereading my comments that it appears as though i'm being defensive. simply a bad choice of words. i just have an averse reaction to other imposing any sort of moral agenda upon others, particularly with regard to something like pot, which for decades has been teetering on the line between legal and illegal. let's not forget prohibition.

xine said...

Wow. Xine here...I don't even smoke weed. EVER. Not even a little bit. I just thought this was an interesting little piece.

I'm all for research-based information but truthfully, as a former researcher, studies can always be skewed towards a certain preferred outcome. So even so-called fact can still be a little opinion-ish. Data can be manipulated. The joy of being an adult is having the freedom to read information and then form a personal opinion based on the way your process the information. Personally, I never take anything for face value.

When it comes to the weed debate, I'm not well-read on the infomation nor am I particularly opinionated. They were going to give my 54 year-old mother and 87 year-old grandmother marijuana for cancer but instead stuck to heavy prescription painkillers and strong prescription stimulants. I have to wonder what the effects would've been with the natural route. Mom was basically incoherent before she died.

So why the strong reaction to this particular blog? I believe some of the information was sourced and we're not a website dedicated to providing medical information to individuals. I think this is more trivia than anything...

OldWiseOne said...

I'm not a smoker myself, but I have a very definite opinion on this one. My husband has MS, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy as part of his treatment.

He is in pain a lot of the time, debilitating pain that leaves him unable to function. He started out using marijuana to control the pain - he is on the waiting list for "medical marijuana" which is supplied by the gov't here in Canada.

His doctor asked him to try the synthetic THC while he waits. He started with Cesamet, THC in pill form. In order to take enough to dull his pain he had to dull his mind. We didn't have a normal conversation for 2 months, he was always "stoned" from the Cesamet.

He moved on to Avonex, synthetic THC that comes in a spray like breath spray. Same results, stoned all the time and the pain relief was not as good.

Now that he's started chemo he's using the marijuana for the pain and the nausea, nothing works as well. His doctor tells him he is lucky that he knows where he can get it illegally while he waits to get on the legal list. It would suck if we didn't have any connections.

sarah said...

roll it up, light it up, smoke it up, inhale, exhale. i really need to do some work.

Babiebluz said...

I must say it is amazing how so many people are concerned with side effects of certain medications for cancer and MS that they turn to marijuana for alternative relief. Although I do not deny the facts that show marijuana can reduce side effects of certain treatments, I must refer back to another's comment regarding safety of marijuana itself. I mean if you are obtaining it illegally, there really is no standard as to its composition, so how do you know that each batch that you obtain is safe? Doesnt that scare you? And thats not to say that even with the FDA, we will never know the true effects of every medicine.
I am not a huge proponent of meds to begin with and if I do get sick I would like to think that I feel confident in my life lived and would just choose to die. I know that sounds kind of morbid, but I mean we aren't guarenteed a set amount of years to live when we are born and with evolution of our lifestyles, there are so many things that we do everyday without even thinking that contribute to our days being numbered.
This post has gotten quite a bit of attention, although funny, quite interesting too! Dino, we are going rounds about this when I come to visit! :)

ilene said...



ilene said...

oh and marijuana doesnt lead to harder drugs unles you were ALREADY into those when you started smoking..... and the only affects marijuana, heath wise, would be obeseity because of the munchies and over a loooooooong period of using marijuana,( years of use) youll most likely expierance depression.... thast it hahaha

Anonymous said...

annnnnnd its pretty muuuch legal in CALI!!! woohoo