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Anaximander Thales
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Post by Anaximander Thales »

MennoniteHobbit wrote:
TerraFrost wrote:Marijuana's only a "gateway drug" because it's illegal. If it were legal, than those who smoked it wouldn't be have to familairize themselves with "the underworld" to get it, and thus, they wouldn't know how to take advantage of the other things "the underworld" has to offer (ie. the other illegal drugs).


Actually, it's also because those who take marijuana illegally usually want to try something "harder," which ends up getting them to take other illicit drugs.

Of course it varies from druggie to druggie, but I believe that that's the case.


Heh Heh - I've heard the argument about marijuana being the "Gateway" drug and therefore should remain illegal. It wasn't until an enterprising lawyer mentioned that Milk should be made illegal also, because all drug users started off by drinking milk.

During my high school years, 1/3 of the football team smoked marijuana and about 1/2 of the people that I knew smoked marijuana. Of the 100 or so people that I knew that smoked, only 5 went on to doing something harder. Of those 5 (one of them being me) - 3 of them continued and have subsequently been arrested and are still serving time in the Huntsville (Tx) prison (Not me at all - I quite after trying crack (once) and dropping acid (twice)). It's not a scientific study - just my observations from 15 years ago. I can't tell if anymore has gone on to do something harder, but I do know about 75 people have stopped smoking marijuana all together.

Some one mentioned the medicinal uses of marijuana - yes, it can be used medically, for more than just chemotherapy. Glaucoma patients benefit from it, as well as Quad- and Paraplegics. I had a friend who broke his neck in a gymnastics accident. From time to time, his muscles would begin spasming badly. Not only was it an irritation for him, but it could be dangerous (his foot could slip off his powered chair causing broken bones). By smoking a joint, his muscle spasms would quit. While he was vehemently against ALL drugs, he could now see that there was a natural way to cure a personal problem - after 17 years of being confined to a wheel chair and having to pop pills dailly to relieve the muscle spasms (and hating being tied to man-made medications), he now has a low cost option that does the same thing (and quite a bit better than meds - according to him) and is completely natural.
Adamsmark wrote: I don't think anyone can argue that marijuana use is as common as smoking.

I bet it's a lot more common than you think though (but I would say it is in decline due to the PSA).

Again - unscientific observation - but my friends and I that smoked weed in school counted up the people that we knew that smoked weeds or did drugs in in high school. Of 536 people in the graduating class, 1/3 smoked weed (5 of them going off to smoke a bong after Student Council). Of the 1200 people in the school, about 400 - 500 - that we knew - did some form of drugs.
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Post by ptlis »

I think everybody has the right to do anything to their body - including, but not limited to, taking any drugs they wish. I strongly feel that it's not the goverenment's job to regulate something like this and begrudge any government that does. However this does not mean i'd take said drugs myself.

As for myself I smoke (tobacco) regularilyish (I enjoy smoking in general & find the whole act of rolling cigarettes then smoking them to be very relaxing but am unwilling to become addicted), smoke the occasional joint (cannabis is decriminalised in England) & drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day. However I don't drink (I may have a pint if i'm in a bar, but no more than that and this is probably <2 times a month) & do no other drugs. I have taken magic mushrooms on a handful of occasions too but thats not comman & they're totally legal here (once again in England).

In my experience alcahol is alot more of a 'gateway' drug than cannabis ever will be; working in pubs & going with freinds while not drinking means i've seen what alcahol does to people - it lowers your inhibitions & you lose the ability to make informed decisions. People who otherwise are relatively straight-laced are alot more likely to try popping an E or taking a tab of LSD when drunk than stoned, and their relative lack of contact with that side of things means they quickly relate this (relatively) safe drugs with harder stuff. Plus when picking stuff up from a stranger they're more likely to be pushed something stronger, whereas (at least in the NE of England) most cannabis is sold by friends to friends & most (nearly all in my experience) don't touch anything stronger than cannabis themselves.
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Post by MHobbit »

I think everybody has the right to do anything to their body - including, but not limited to, taking any drugs they wish. I strongly feel that it's not the goverenment's job to regulate something like this and begrudge any government that does. However this does not mean i'd take said drugs myself.


Really? What if those people who were hurting their own body inadvertently hurt someone else?
Some one mentioned the medicinal uses of marijuana - yes, it can be used medically, for more than just chemotherapy. Glaucoma patients benefit from it, as well as Quad- and Paraplegics. I had a friend who broke his neck in a gymnastics accident. From time to time, his muscles would begin spasming badly. Not only was it an irritation for him, but it could be dangerous (his foot could slip off his powered chair causing broken bones). By smoking a joint, his muscle spasms would quit. While he was vehemently against ALL drugs, he could now see that there was a natural way to cure a personal problem - after 17 years of being confined to a wheel chair and having to pop pills dailly to relieve the muscle spasms (and hating being tied to man-made medications), he now has a low cost option that does the same thing (and quite a bit better than meds - according to him) and is completely natural.


Sure; if the use of marijuana is a must, and is provided as true medical treatment, then it should be legal only for that legitimate use.

Also: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/record/archi ... 10.24.html
and
http://www.thebatt.com/news/2003/01/22/ ... 5273.shtml

Of course they're more of regional results than national, so that could affect the results, but they show that marijuana is a gateway drug (at least, in most cases).
A study of Australian twins and marijuana bolsters the fiercely debated "gateway theory" that pot can lead to harder drugs.

The researchers located 311 sets of same-sex twins in which only one twin had smoked marijuana before age 17. Early marijuana smokers were found to be up to five times more likely than their twins to move on to harder drugs.

They were about twice as likely to use opiates, which include heroin, and five times more likely to use hallucinogens, which include LSD.

Earlier studies on whether marijuana is a gateway drug reached conflicting conclusions. The impasse has complicated the debate over medical marijuana and decriminalization of pot.

The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia (CASA) released a study Oct. 27 showing that children (12 to 17 years old) who use gateway drugs--tobacco, alcohol and marijuana--are up to 266 times--and adults who use such drugs are up to 323 times--more likely to use cocaine than those who don't use any gateway drugs. Compared with people who used only one gateway drug, children who used all three are 77 times--and adults are 104 times--more likely to use cocaine.

"This study--the most comprehensive national assessment ever undertaken--reveals a consistent and powerful connection between the use of cigarettes and alcohol and the subsequent use of marijuana, and between the use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana and the subsequent use of cocaine and other illicit drugs," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's president and former HEW secretary.

"An increasing number of American children and teens believe there is little risk in chugging a beer or smoking a tobacco or marijuana cigarette. With the recently reported rise in drinking and using marijuana by children and teenagers, this report is a wake-up call for parents to discourage their children from smoking and drinking and for governors and mayors to enforce the laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes, beer, wine coolers and other alcoholic beverages to minors," he said.
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Post by ptlis »

MennoniteHobbit wrote:
I think everybody has the right to do anything to their body - including, but not limited to, taking any drugs they wish. I strongly feel that it's not the goverenment's job to regulate something like this and begrudge any government that does. However this does not mean i'd take said drugs myself.


Really? What if those people who were hurting their own body inadvertently hurt someone else?

Life sucks, you have to deal with that. You could use that arguement to say that nobody should be able to drive cars because a handful of people will crash them and injure others, or that nobody should be allowed to use knives to cut food because they could accidentally hurt others, or nobody should be allowed to use a hammer incase they accidentally hurt others. (Yes, this arguement can be extended to anything that can theoretically hurt someone or set in motion a chain of events to do so, and so no, it's not a valid arguement). There are some things that it is reasonable for governments to control but I don't think this is one of them. It's all a matter of responsibilty and although I think there are people who are not responsible enough to deal with drugs sensibly I think the root cause of this is that there are too many rules and regulations which 'mollycoddle' people now, such that they don't even know what real responsibility is - never mind how to exhibit it.
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Post by Anaximander Thales »

MennoniteHobbit wrote: Sure; if the use of marijuana is a must ... then it should be legal only for that legitimate use.

Well, at one point it was legal to use marijuana in California for chemotherapy and Glaucoma patients. It's been rescended (I believe this was back in the '90's - but I'm not going to look it up because it is really a moot point). However, it is highly unlikely that people will give in to the medicinal uses of marijuana due to the high influence of the drug companies. They have much more money currently than the people that want to legalize marijuana. So as far as the Drug Companies are concerned - and the FDA - there is no legitimate reason to use marijuana (or even vitamins for that matter - if we're healthy, they're out of business).
Lynskey and colleagues acknowledged the study has several limitations, including relying on participants' reporting of their own experiences,

In an accompanying editorial, Denise Kandel of Columbia University's psychiatry department said the study does not explain "whether or not a true causal link exists" between marijuana and hard drugs.

"An argument can be made that even identical twins do not share the same environment during adolescence," she said.

From one of your posts - 'No true casual link exists.'
The CASA study establishes a clear progression that begins with gateway drugs and leads to cocaine use: nearly 90 percent of people who have ever tried cocaine used all three gateway substances first. More than half followed a progression from cigarettes to alcohol to marijuana and then on to cocaine.

And I'm willing to bet that 90% of those people who used cocaine started off drinking milk - so what's the real culprit here - alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes or milk?
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Post by MHobbit »

Anaximander Thales wrote: And I'm willing to bet that 90% of those people who used cocaine started off drinking milk - so what's the real culprit here - alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes or milk?


Everyone starts out with drinking milk, drug user or not. Yet milk is not the cause of it; it's evident because not everybody who started out drinking milk are druggies. Milk doesn't get people to do drugs.
From one of your posts - 'No true casual link exists.'


There, most likely, have been more studies done...

One of my posts? I doubt it.
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Post by Kanuck »

I've just got a few simple statements, since responding point-by-point to any of the above would be an exercise in futility.

Since Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971, drug usage in the United States has increased more than ten-fold. You can get the numbers yourselves, since I am quoting a newspaper article I don't have handy at the moment, but the numbers are something like 2 million compared to 25 million.

I smoke marijuana. I know plenty of folks who do. Drinking alcohol yet refusing to smoke weed makes very little sense; about as much sense as being a vegan but still eating beef.

There's no comparison. Alcoholic drinks, such as beer, are vile poisons produced through a lengthy process, in which the last step is to remove (most of) the poisonous ingredients that would kill the drinker right away. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a plant. People have been enjoying its mind-altering effects and using it in medicine for centuries.

Drug laws are currently very tough in many jurisdictions. But the laws won't actually stop people from using the drugs; it's been proven that prohibition is an exercise in futility. All the laws accomplish - all they have ever accomplished - is to push the production of these prohibited things into organized crime circles. Which means somebody who's weighed the risks and still decided to use weed ends up with a criminal record for something moot, while professional criminals use the drug income to fund their illicit ventures.

Thankfully Canada's finally realizing this - it's unfortunate that it took the murder of four RCMP officers to push the issue into the spotlight, but sensible things are finally being done.
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Post by Magnotta »

MennoniteHobbit wrote:
Anaximander Thales wrote:And I'm willing to bet that 90% of those people who used cocaine started off drinking milk - so what's the real culprit here - alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes or milk?


Everyone starts out with drinking milk, drug user or not. Yet milk is not the cause of it; it's evident because not everybody who started out drinking milk are druggies.


Niether is everyone who smokes weed. People who move onto harder drugs would have most likely done so anyways, pot isn't going to be what gets you into it, because the high from marijuana and the high from something like cocain is completely different. Now, cocain on the other hand could be considered a gateway drug because often cocain addicts will move onto heroin simply because it works longer and is cheaper to maintain their high, when cocain otherwise can cost an addict over $2000 a night. Marijuana on the other hand isn't physically addictive, so if you don't have the cash to get some your not going to be shaking all night needign a joint. If marijuana could be considered a "gateway drug" I'd say the only thing it can often lead to is doing mushrooms, and that's for completely different reasons than wanting a more powerfull high. Even then however most pot smokers wont do shrooms, because theirs an incredible risk involved with mushrooms.

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Post by TerraFrost »

Life sucks, you have to deal with that. You could use that arguement to say that nobody should be able to drive cars because a handful of people will crash them and injure others, or that nobody should be allowed to use knives to cut food because they could accidentally hurt others, or nobody should be allowed to use a hammer incase they accidentally hurt others. (Yes, this arguement can be extended to anything that can theoretically hurt someone or set in motion a chain of events to do so, and so no, it's not a valid arguement). There are some things that it is reasonable for governments to control but I don't think this is one of them. It's all a matter of responsibilty and although I think there are people who are not responsible enough to deal with drugs sensibly I think the root cause of this is that there are too many rules and regulations which 'mollycoddle' people now, such that they don't even know what real responsibility is - never mind how to exhibit it.

In more socialistic countries than the US, where health care is paid for by taxes, I can see good reason to ban substances that do damage to ones body. I mean, if you don't care about what happens to you, and no one is going to pay for you if anything bad does happen to you, there's no problem, but if people - ie. the tax payers - are going to pay, financially, for your carelessness, they ought to have some say in just how careless you can be. Atleast it seems that way to me...

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Post by Darth Wong »

The argument against banning drugs is the same as the argument against banning one particular drug nearly a century ago, during the Prohibition era: junkies are so hopelessly addicted to their drugs that they will eagerly pay money to violent criminals in order to get their fix (remember a guy named Capone?). As a result, the junkies will wreak more havoc on society in their desperate attempts to get their "fix" than they would have wreaked otherwise.

In short, there are too many of them and while individual members of the group may not necessarily be evil or dangerous, they are dangerous as a group because of the lengths to which they will go in order to get their drugs, so we must appease them.
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Post by Kanuck »

But... but... we can't! It's morally wrong! And, I mean, look at all the progress that has been made in the war on drugs - sure, America has become a prison state largely due to drug convictions, but look at the impact it had!

Oh. Wait. Ten times as many people use drugs now? My bad. Maybe that means - gasp! - public education is the answer.
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Anaximander Thales
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Post by Anaximander Thales »

MennoniteHobbit wrote: One of my posts? I doubt it.

Sorry - one of your links in your post
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Post by MHobbit »

Magnotta wrote: Niether is everyone who smokes weed. People who move onto harder drugs would have most likely done so anyways, pot isn't going to be what gets you into it, because the high from marijuana and the high from something like cocain is completely different. Now, cocain on the other hand could be considered a gateway drug because often cocain addicts will move onto heroin simply because it works longer and is cheaper to maintain their high, when cocain otherwise can cost an addict over $2000 a night. Marijuana on the other hand isn't physically addictive, so if you don't have the cash to get some your not going to be shaking all night needign a joint. If marijuana could be considered a "gateway drug" I'd say the only thing it can often lead to is doing mushrooms, and that's for completely different reasons than wanting a more powerfull high. Even then however most pot smokers wont do shrooms, because theirs an incredible risk involved with mushrooms.


Right, but some studies (other than the ones I linked to which were "adequate" at most) have shown that marijuana in various cases gets people to using other drugs because they want more effects of harder drugs.

People who start out drinking milk don't do drugs because milk doesn't have any drug-like properties to get them taking harder ones. People who smoke weed may or may not go on, but there are many cases in which they do.
Oh. Wait. Ten times as many people use drugs now? My bad. Maybe that means - gasp! - public education is the answer.


Some kids in my class smoke pot and you wouldn't even guess that they do that sort of stuff. They don't care about the anti-drug stuff they teach us... As long as none of them get near me and don't get me into trouble/an accident, I'm happy.
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Post by George Bowyer »

MennoniteHobbit wrote: Everyone starts out with drinking milk, drug user or not. Yet milk is not the cause of it; it's evident because not everybody who started out drinking milk are druggies. Milk doesn't get people to do drugs.


Yeah, but it puts them in touch with the dairyman and that starts them off down the slippery slope. They start off just scoring a bit of milk, perhaps a shake every now and then, and next thing you know, he's persuaded them to try something new.

"Hey come on, man, give this cream a go. It's just like milk but a bit stronger. You'll like it. If you don't like it, you can always stop..."

But of course by then it's too late. From there it's only a matter of time before he has them hooked as regular yoghurt users and he's trying to get them to try the really heavy stuff like butter or even fruit juice.

All dairy abuse is wrong and there's no point kidding yourself that it's ok just to do a bit of milk every now and then "as long as you don't ingest"

Just say "NO" to milk!

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Post by Anaximander Thales »

MennoniteHobbit wrote: Right, but some studies (other than the ones I linked to which were "adequate" at most) have shown that marijuana in various cases gets people to using other drugs because they want more effects of harder drugs.

So, what you believe is that these people who start off smoking marijuana and go on to harder drugs would never do drugs - at all - if marijuana wasn't present?

That is the position that it seems you are taking.

And by the way, the link to the australian study is the only link that was adequate to link marijuana to cocaine use - but even then, the lead researcher and the colleagues agree that there was a limitation to the research.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research wrote: Lynskey and colleagues acknowledged the study has several limitations, including relying on participants' reporting of their own experiences,


However, the statistics show that approx. the same percentage that went on to use cocaine, went on to abuse marijuana (not cocaine) and alcohol (not cocaine). Only 48% went on to use cocaine. Is it really a "Gateway" when less than half convert? And remember, there was only 136 sets of twins (272 people - total), is that really conclusive evidence when there is a whole heck of a lot more (in the billions) people.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research wrote: About 46 percent of the early marijuana users reported that they later abused or became dependent on marijuana, and 43 percent had become dependent on alcohol.

Cocaine and other stimulants were the most commonly used harder drugs, tried by 48 percent of the early marijuana users, compared with 26 percent of the non-early marijuana users. Hallucinogens were the second most common, used by 35 percent of the early marijuana twins versus 18 percent of the others.


In the columbia university link - they have a very contradictory statement.
The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia (CASA) wrote: The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia (CASA) released a study Oct. 27 showing that children (12 to 17 years old) who use gateway drugs--tobacco, alcohol and marijuana--are up to 266 times--and adults who use such drugs are up to 323 times--more likely to use cocaine than those who don't use any gateway drugs. Compared with people who used only one gateway drug, children who used all three are 77 times--and adults are 104 times--more likely to use cocaine.

So, what is the correct statement? "Children who use gateway drugs - tobacco, alcohol and marijuana - are up to 266 times as likely to use cocaine", or "Children who use all three are 77 times more likely to use cocaine."
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