There’s an interesting post by Kyle at thisistrouble that riffs on, in his view, the reprehensible arguments posed by stoners he’s had contact with. He’s not far off in his observations, I’ve heard the same shit from people all too often. He cites four main arguments potheads use to defend their use:
“1. They drive better when they’re high on weed.
2. It’s not addictive.
3. It’s GOOD for you.
4. It’s great medicine, in terms of a broad argument.
So let’s take a look at these:
1. They drive better when they’re high on weed:
This is a steaming load of shit. People don’t drive better on marijuana, they just like to drive while high. Weed impairs motor skills which are used whilst driving. While the pubmed article claims response time wasn’t significantly effected, errors in linear and rotary movement increased with dosage. Personally, I hate driving when I am high. A few months ago, I was getting ripped with a friend, when another cat stopped by and asked for a ride. Since we were rolling one up, he decided to do the same, and we proceeded to get high as fucking giraffe pussy. Then I gave him a ride. As soon as I hit the main boulevard, I regretted saying I would take him. It was high traffic time, and I was just too blazed to be on the road. Fortunately it was only four miles.
I can also relate it to performance in other areas. Skateboarding was always a challenge after getting stoned. Instead of being balls to the wall and fearless, I would often times psyche myself out, and bail the trick. Playing music is another area. Sure, if I am at a road block and can’t come up with an idea for a song part, getting ripped can trigger new thoughts. However, when playing known material and working on complex improvisation, or just a fast part in general, my accuracy is impaired.
2. It’s not addictive.
It’s the feels not the herb that people get hooked on. Weed isn’t physically addictive. If you smoke every day, from sunrise to sunset, even if you quit cold turkey, you’re not putting your life in danger. This is unlike benzodiazapines and alcohol, where you can actually die from withdrawals, or opoids / opiates, where you will feel like you want to die. However, you can become dependent on smoking weed, which, when you stop, could effect your sleep pattern and mood for a few days.
3. It’s GOOD for you.
I don’t think it’s necessarily good for you. Smoking anything is detrimental to ones lung health. *takes a drag of a stotch* However, occasional use of marijuana can provide a pleasant sense of euphoria. That said, smoking weed does contain a significant amount of carcinogens.
“Marijuana smoke contains about 50% more benzopyrene and nearly 75% more benzanthracene, both known carcinogens, than a comparable quantity of unfiltered tobacco smoke (Tashkin, 2013). Moreover, the deeper inhalations and longer breath-holding of marijuana smokers result in greater exposure of the lung to the tar and carcinogens in the smoke. Lung biopsies from habitual marijuana-only users have revealed widespread alterations to the tissue, some of which are recognized as precursors to the subsequent development of cancer (Tashkin, 2013).
Alternative methods to smoking do exist, and I will be writing about those in the future, as promised before.
4. It’s a great medicine, in terms of a broad argument.
Marijuana is great medicine when used for pain. I know a gal, who provides a Doctor with ganja, who in turn is able to isolate the pain relieving part of the THC molecule. He then makes small edible chocolates out of them for cancer patients. I also have a olive oil / marijuana concoction that can be used as a topical rub with anesthetic properties.
However, in the article at thisistrouble, he states one argument he’s heard is using marijuana for depression. That’s another bullshit argument. Chronic use of marijuana can lead to depression, due to the brains receptors getting used to the drug, and tolerance to the drug building. Being high becomes feeling normal, and then you can’t reach that “normal” place, so you find your spirits a little lower. There’s also this:
“Another study involved close to 2,000 participants in the Baltimore area who were interviewed in 1980 and then again between 1994 and 1996. The researchers assessed the participants for signs of marijuana abuse and symptoms of depression. Researchers defined abusers of marijuana as people for whom the drug caused social problems, such as inability to perform at work. The results showed people who initially did not have depressive symptoms but abused marijuana were more than four times as likely to have depressive symptoms at the follow-up date than those who did not abuse marijuana. The depressive symptoms associated with earlier marijuana abuse included suicidal thoughts and a feeling of boredom.”
That study does say it is unclear if marijuana triggers the onset of depressive symptoms in people predisposed to depression, or if it’s the cause. I truly can’t answer that myself.
Obviously, I am not knocking weed. The current laws and archaic legislation keeping drugs on the black market are unjustified. I believe for this reason, marijuana users vehemently defend their precious plant. The social stigma around marijuana, not to mention the threat of being cited, or thrown in jail, is definitely one that has users constantly defending themselves. Many drugs get a bad rap due to shitty laws and public fear. LSD could be a major tool, but the stigma attached to it by the D.A.R.E program and those old laws prevent it from ever going mainstream. I’d love to see where microdosing could take me. Sure it’s fun to fry balls for a couple days, but there are other uses that don’t incur hallucinations.
Yes, marijuana effects motivation, but not everyone who partakes is a lazy stoner. Like most things, it should be used in moderation, and when done so, can be a nice tool for whatever one desires.