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toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 04:50 AM
Courtesy of Nature, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/456702a.html is sure to stir up some controversy.

It is a long article. Here are some highlights:

"In this article, we propose actions that will help society accept the benefits of enhancement, given appropriate research and evolved regulation. Prescription drugs are regulated as such not for their enhancing properties but primarily for considerations of safety and potential abuse. Still, cognitive enhancement has much to offer individuals and society, and a proper societal response will involve making enhancements available while managing their risks."

"Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that 'enhancement' is a dirty word, argue Henry Greely and colleagues."

"In this article, we propose actions that will help society accept the benefits of enhancement, given appropriate research and evolved regulation. Prescription drugs are regulated as such not for their enhancing properties but primarily for considerations of safety and potential abuse. Still, cognitive enhancement has much to offer individuals and society, and a proper societal response will involve making enhancements available while managing their risks."

"Based on our considerations, we call for a presumption that mentally competent adults should be able to engage in cognitive enhancement using drugs."

"We call for an evidence-based approach to the evaluation of the risks and benefits of cognitive enhancement."

"We call for enforceable policies concerning the use of cognitive-enhancing drugs to support fairness, protect individuals from coercion and minimize enhancement-related socioeconomic disparities."

"We call for a programme of research into the use and impacts of cognitive-enhancing drugs by healthy individuals."

"We call for physicians, educators, regulators and others to collaborate in developing policies that address the use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by healthy individuals."

"We call for information to be broadly disseminated concerning the risks, benefits and alternatives to pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement."

"Conclusion

Like all new technologies, cognitive enhancement can be used well or poorly. We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function. In a world in which human workspans and lifespans are increasing, cognitive enhancement tools — including the pharmacological — will be increasingly useful for improved quality of life and extended work productivity, as well as to stave off normal and pathological age-related cognitive declines23. Safe and effective cognitive enhancers will benefit both the individual and society.

But it would also be foolish to ignore problems that such use of drugs could create or exacerbate. With this, as with other technologies, we need to think and work hard to maximize its benefits and minimize its harms."

I pretty much completely agree with that they are calling for. A reasoned, rational, evidence based approach to using chemicals to enhance our cognitive abilities. Be they natural, such as Psilocybin or Cannabis, or pharmaceuticals such as something like Adderall or Ritalin.

I think it is high time we started letting consenting adults explore their own minds as they see fit, so long as they aren't hurting anybody else.

Edit: They even talk about prosthetic brain chips:eh: They really are serious about studying all options!

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-09, 05:25 AM
Heh, 'not hurting anyone else'.
Four words, such a quagmire. Let's get hypothetical and say that there is someone who takes such drugs regularly, and can complete, under the drugs, 80 tasks a minute. However, off the drugs, they can complete 60. There is another person who can complete 70 tasks a minute off the drugs, but for whatever reason, doesn't take the drugs. Allergic reaction, ethical beliefs, religious doctrine, whatever. Who do you hire? If you hire the first person, you have someone who is better, but only if they take a pill. If you they run out, stop taking them, can't pay for them, their efficiency goes down. On the other hand, if you hire the second person, your getting a less efficient employee. If that person doesn' have a physical reason why they can't take them, should they be forced to, just to compete? If they can't, does that make them a lower class citizen? And if some law forces you to hire a certain number of the those who can or don't, tis that fair for your customers? You are no longer able to provide the best product possible, because you have to hire a group who are actually inferior to another group you could potentially hire. Like I said, quagmire.

'Not hurting anyone else' is lie, everyone affects someone else. When you take seat at a diner, another person can't sit their anymore. If you buy a loaf of bread, that bread can no longer feed another person. The very air you breath is no longer thier for someone else to breath. And it spreads, rippling outward. Now, recreational drugs, I still have some qualms about, but I can at least concede that those are meant to be consumed in ones own home or in a controlled enviroment.
However, an enhancement drug is meant by its very nature to be used within a working enviroment. If a student takes a enhancement drug, does better because it enhanced his memory and recall, gets the scholarship, then another student, who studied just as hard, but didn't take the drug. Was the first student cheating, or was the second student just not using all the resources available?

I believe the question of enhancement drugs must be looked at very carefully, before we can come to a definitive answer. This dialog, this discourse, is part of that.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:37 AM
Did you even read the whole article? They pretty much covered what you just wrote, but in a more summarized format. That is why they are calling on a broad public debate, scientific research into safety, effectiveness, consequences/benefits, and a moral investigation of fairness and implications for society at large.

Edit to add: Drugs of all spectrums are here to stay. We may as well look for ways to use them in a socially responsible manner as opposed to keeping them in a black market framework.

Also, they seem to make the case that we already have unfair advantages, such as: access to computers/internet, socio-economic status, access to health and nutrition, access to tutors, access to better schools. Don't try and tell me that things are somehow fair as is. Life is unfair. Evolution is unfair. That is nature.

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-09, 05:49 AM
I admit I was responding more to what you said, more then the articles. The article is fascinating, but your viewpoint, since I can actually communicate with you, weighs more heavily in my decision on how to respond.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 06:38 AM
Well, I really don't hold a solid viewpoint. I agree with their approach handsdown, but it most certainly raises a lot of questions in my own mind. Such as:

Who will benefit most from this? Humanity, or only some of humanity?

Who will be in control of this? The government? Scientists? Parents? Philosphers? All of the above I would hope.

What constitutes a "good" mind enhancing drug? One that gives a short term gain, such as Adderall? Or one that has profound, insightful, lasting effects on ones life such as Psilocybin? Depends on the situation. I have used both chemicals, and for different reasons. They both worked for what I used them for.

What is the potential for abusing this new system of mind enhancement? Will we all become a bunch of strung out pill poppers? Or will we be able to to mature as a society and be responsible with them?

If 5% of people end up abusing this new system, but society at large gains from advances in science, philosophy, art, a deeper understanding of ourselves and the universe at large, is it worth it? All benefits come with a risk, just as modern pharmaceutical medicine comes with risks. It helps most, but hurts some. That just means we have to find new ways to help those that are being hurt.

I hope this clarifies how I feel. I don't think we should just legalize every drug for any use. That would be disastrous. Which is why I agree that this subject needs to be broadly discussed, debated, and analyzed. For like I said: Drugs of all types, and for all purposes, are here to stay. If we can find ways to utilize them to our advantage, we should, so long as we take a reasoned, careful approach.

Edit: Obviously I could come up with a much linger list of questions, those are just a few that popped into mind. As for the idea of mind enhancing computer chips, which is a reality a lot closer than we think, this same debate will come up. I think for the time being, we need to analyze which drugs are safe, which drugs are overall beneficial to the individual and society, and the best ways to employ a system as to where we can all share in the benefits these enhancements will bring to society.

Remember, this isn't just about legalizing any specific drugs, it is about mind-enhancement. It just so happens that certain chemicals can aid us on this quest to higher levels of consciousness and intelligence. I also think that we should start with a base approach of good education systems, stress-free living, healthy lifestyles, and a general society-wide encouragement of learning. We could start by making our education system a little more exiting as to actually inspire people to learn, not kill creativity and inquisitiveness.

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-09, 06:53 AM
I pretty much completely agree with that they are calling for. A reasoned, rational, evidence based approach to using chemicals to enhance our cognitive abilities. Be they natural, such as Psilocybin or Cannabis, or pharmaceuticals such as something like Adderall or Ritalin.


What do you count as enhancing cognitive abilities? How do these drugs apply, in your view?

jlhredshift
2008-Dec-09, 12:10 PM
Are you really you under the influence?

Who decides who gets what?

The movie THX1138 may have been more prophetic than I originally thought.

PraedSt
2008-Dec-09, 01:09 PM
Well, I really don't hold a solid viewpoint

My two cents.

1. I agree with your fluid views, apart from those on egalitarianism and control.

2. I like the idea of human enhancement to make us better adapted to travelling and living in Space.

3. I would prefer permanent genetic advancement to temporary pills.

4. Finally, stay off the magic mushrooms! :razz:

tdvance
2008-Dec-09, 01:23 PM
For now, I'll stick with my favorite mind-enhancing drug: coffee :)

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 02:31 PM
For now, I'll stick with my favorite mind-enhancing drug: coffee :)

Maybe that's my problem; enhance cognivity (if that's not a word, it should be) with coffee; but then go home and dehance (again, should be) it with alcohol. Hmm...

Welp, I don't see a solution to my problem; guess I'll just take my cognative skills as they are. :)

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 04:48 PM
I pretty much completely agree with that they are calling for. A reasoned, rational, evidence based approach to using chemicals to enhance our cognitive abilities. Be they natural, such as Psilocybin or Cannabis, or pharmaceuticals such as something like Adderall or Ritalin.

I think it is high time we started letting consenting adults explore their own minds as they see fit, so long as they aren't hurting anybody else.



Aren't Psilocybin and Cannabis illegal? Haven't they been found to cause mental illness in some people? Are you suggesting that readers of the Baut forum use illegal and dangerous drugs?

tdvance
2008-Dec-09, 04:53 PM
I think he's advocating for making the illegal legal.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:11 PM
What do you count as enhancing cognitive abilities?

I would count cognitive enhancing abilities as: Any method or technique used to enhance/increase ones thinking, understanding, creativity, inquisitiveness or attention that leads to greater knowledge and success for the individual and/or society. (You have no idea how many times I re-wrote this sentence!)

Something could be said for all methods, including chemicals. Simply reducing stress can lead an overall gain in ones cognitive functioning. Going for a walk, practicing yoga/meditation, kicking back and drinking a beer/smoking some herb, getting enough and good enough sleep, etc. If you reduce your overall stress levels, you will be able to think and perform better than you would if you are riddled with anxiety or depression.

Using a chemical for such means, be it alcohol, plants, pills, or whatever your drug of choice is, should therefore be equally acceptable.


How do these drugs apply, in your view?

I will simplify into three categories: Simulants (coffee, Adderall or equivalent, coca derivatives). Relaxants (Alcohol, cannabis, opiates (natural and synthetic)). Psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, etc.)

Coffee is a mild stimulant, Adderall is a medium/strong stimulant, and lets say that in the future some form of coca extract is brought to market and regulated. Also, lets say that some compound could be created that actually increases the brains ability to learn, not just get "high" for a short while. Stimulants increase focus, attention, alertness, and pace of thinking.

Stimulants would apply beneficially in many cases. Surgeons performing long, arduous operations. Pilots making long flights. Drivers making long, cross-country road trips. People working in factories/dangerous jobs. Preparations for exams/overall learning ability.

Were people allowed to responsibly use a stimulant in any of these situations would be beneficial to the individual and society at large. Less surgical errors /medical mistakes. Less pilot error. Less auto accidents. Less workplace accidents. Better performance by better learning for students. All of these are beneficial to the individual and society. Though, let me make clear, that I think as a society we should set goals of becoming more healthy through better eating habits and exercise, dedicated time to stress relief, and adequate, quality sleep as a base level for achieving success, not just popping a pill for all of our ailments (that is precisely where we are now: pharmaceuticals for everything while ignoring the base causes of most disease/health problems).

Relaxants, I briefly discussed above. Negative stress is probably the biggest underlying cause of most ailments. Its no secret that happier people are healthier people, and healthier people are more productive and usually smarter people. More productive and smarter people are beneficial to to themselves and society.

The psychedelics are where my passion lies. I am absolutely certain that, used properly, psychedelics can and will have profound positive effects on individuals and society as a whole.

For starters, psychedelics are non-addictive and non-toxic. The only danger in them is the fated "bad trip" which people do have and can lead to neuroses. This is easily avoided, though. Let me explain "used properly". Anyone that has ever experimented with them knows they are powerful mind altering compounds. "Set" and "setting" are absolutely crucial for avoiding "bad trips". If one is knowledgeable about the compound, in a comfortable, safe environment, and are around someone you trust that has experienced said compound before, avoiding the bad trip is almost certain. This is the "setting". Personally, I like them most out in nature, and at night under the stars.

The "set" is your mindset. You could be in a happy go lucky mood, happy with life and have a profoundly beneficial experience on them. Your next time you could be sad, depressed, or angry, and you will most likely have a distressful, negative experience.

So what are their benefits? I am going to speak from personal experience, shared experience of others, and how I think they can help society at large.

Let me start by saying that it is very hard to describe the experience to someone who has never themselves tried them. It is akin to describing a profound, lucid dream to someone who has never had one, or like describing Tokyo to someone who has never seen a car or skyscraper. You may recognize the words, but you can't grasp the overall meaning.

So here are some things that I almost directly give credit to the insights gained while on psychedelics: First and foremost, what is the nature of reality and consciousness? What makes me me, and why am I here? How many people do you know that stop and think: Here I am, an energetic compilation of matter and chemicals, aware of my own existence and sense of self, standing on a huge sphere of rock with a thin skin of air that gives life to everything we know, beneath the stars of a (most likely) infinite universe, traversing time and space itself. Cool!

As for other benefits I have gained: a deep sense of connection to nature and all life around me. I directly credit my environmental zeal to insights while on psilocybin. I have since altered my daily habits towards a minimal waste lifestyle and a vegetarian diet for example.
A deeper sense of connection and empathy to fellow human beings.
Changing from a pessimistic 'theres nothing I can do about anything' attitude to an 'I can do anything attitude' towards life and the problems our world faces as a whole. They instilled in me a sense of purpose and drive to right the wrongs this world has endured under humans onslaught for the last 200 years.
A more forgiving attitude. Example: Me and my father fought almost my entire life. He was pretty much a jerk. For a while I wanted nothing to do with him. Then I came to realize that he was most likely mistreated as child himself. Surprise surprise I found out from my mom that he was indeed. So instead of continuing my hatred towards him, I forgave him so we could both move on. We now enjoy a fantastic relationship.

Psychedelics and science: There is no doubt in me that their use has aided me and others I know of in understanding and grasping difficult concepts, such as quantum uncertainty, entanglement and the sheer size of the universe. Its not like they make you able to do the mathematics of it all, but you have almost an intuitive understanding of the concepts, thereby driving me and others I know to vigorously learn and understand through empirical means. Fritjof Capras book the "Tao of Physics" is a perfect example of a scientist having revelations about physics and the universe in general under the influence of psychedelics. And Francis Crick, which was revealed after his death, that he had the epiphany of the double-helix structure of DNA while under the influence of LSD, to which he called a "thinking tool".

Psychedelics and art/music: Pull your heads out of the sand and realize that the best musicians and artists this world has seen used psychedelics to expand their minds. The world is absolutely a better place because of art and music. Psychedelic use opened the doors for art and music in myself as well. 6 years ago, I was a bland, boring, uncreative schmuck who never though he would amount to anything, most certainly never be an artist, musician, or amateur scientist. I now find myself staring in awe wondering where this ability came from to create the paintings I do (which I will eventually post up here), not to mention the fact that I now play guitar, flute, and hand percussion instruments. I never, ever thought I would do any of this. Did the plants "cause" me to be good at them? Absolutely not. They made me realize that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it.

Here is a recent study by Johns Hopkins University (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/07_11_06.html). In short, they basically gave psilocybin to about 30 volunteers who had never taken it before. Most of them had positive experiences, while some felt fear and paranoia. Probably because psychedelics shatter your world view, or plunge you farther down the rabbit hole than you ever though possible. Here is an important quip relative to this discussion:


In the study, more than 60 percent of subjects described the effects of psilocybin in ways that met criteria for a “full mystical experience” as measured by established psychological scales. One third said the experience was the single most spiritually significant of their lifetimes; and more than two-thirds rated it among their five most meaningful and spiritually significant. Griffiths says subjects liken it to the importance of the birth of their first child or the death of a parent.

Two months later, 79 percent of subjects reported moderately or greatly increased well-being or life satisfaction compared with those given a placebo at the same test session. A majority said their mood, attitudes and behaviors had changed for the better. Structured interviews with family members, friends and co-workers generally confirmed the subjects’ remarks.

So, in conclusion, I think psychedelics, USED PROPERLY AND RESPONSIBLY, could have far reaching, profound impacts upon our society and species for the greater good of us all.

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 05:12 PM
I think he's advocating for making the illegal legal.

Ok, I'll allow that, but these drugs have already been judged to be dangerous to the mental health of many of those who take them, and that's why they are illegal.

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 05:16 PM
The psychedelics are where my passion lies. I am absolutely certain that, used properly, psychedelics can and will have profound positive effects on individuals and society as a whole.

For starters, psychedelics are non-addictive and non-toxic. The only danger in them is the fated "bad trip" which people do have and can lead to neuroses. This is easily avoided, though. Let me explain "used properly". Anyone that has ever experimented with them knows they are powerful mind altering compounds. "Set" and "setting" are absolutely crucial for avoiding "bad trips". If one is knowledgeable about the compound, in a comfortable, safe environment, and are around someone you trust that has experienced said compound before, avoiding the bad trip is almost certain. This is the "setting". Personally, I like them most out in nature, and at night under the stars.

The "set" is your mindset. You could be in a happy go lucky mood, happy with life and have a profoundly beneficial experience on them. Your next time you could be sad, depressed, or angry, and you will most likely have a distressful, negative experience.

So what are their benefits? I am going to speak from personal experience, shared experience of others, and how I think they can help society at large.

Let me start by saying that it is very hard to describe the experience to someone who has never themselves tried them. It is akin to describing a profound, lucid dream to someone who has never had one, or like describing Tokyo to someone who has never seen a car or skyscraper. You may recognize the words, but you can't grasp the overall meaning.


All you are using this thread for is to promote the use and legalization of dangerous illegal drugs.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:16 PM
Aren't Psilocybin and Cannabis illegal? Haven't they been found to cause mental illness in some people? Are you suggesting that readers of the Baut forum use illegal and dangerous drugs?

Yes they are currently illegal. Yes, they can cause mental problems in a small minority of users. No, I am not suggesting BAUT members use illegal substances.

I am saying that (edit) some current illegal drugs should NOT be illegal. I think we need to open up research into said drugs so their benefits can be proven scientifically and experientially once and for all. The neuroses inflicted upon a terribly small minority pales in comparisons to the destructive affects of currently legal drugs. And I am merely giving my perspective on experiences I have had. I have stated many times that caution, knowledge, and sensibility are the best approach to using ANY drug.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:18 PM
All you are using this thread for is to promote the use and legalization of dangerous illegal drugs.

I am using this thread to promote a widespread, modern scientific inquiry into the potential overlooked benefits of currently illegal AND legal drugs. Legalization of certain drugs would most certainly be an outcome of said inquiry.

Move it OTB is you think this section is improper. Which "dangerous" illegal drugs do you speak of, and how dangerous are they relative to currently legal substances?

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 05:18 PM
Yes they are currently illegal. Yes, they can cause mental problems in a small minority of users. No, I am not suggesting BAUT members use illegal substances.

I am saying that current illegal drugs should NOT be illegal. I think we need to open us research into said drugs so their benefits can be proven scientifically and experientially once and for all. The neuroses inflicted upon a terribly small minority pales in comparisons to the destructive affects of currently legal drugs. And I am merely giving my perspective on experiences I have had. I have stated many times that caution, knowledge, and sensibility are the best approach to using ANY drug.

Are you a medical doctor? Show us your peer-reviewed and published research papers.

Come out where I live and I'll show you a bunch of drug addicts and mentally ill people who have taken too many illegal drugs.

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 05:19 PM
I am using this thread to promote a widespread, modern scientific inquiry into the potential overlooked benefits of currently illegal AND legal drugs. Legalization of certain drugs would most certainly be an outcome of said inquiry.

These tests have already been conducted. That's why the drugs are illegal.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 05:21 PM
"Creativity in thinking" can be very good, or very bad. If you're talking about increasing cognative ability, I'd word it as "Increase the ability to make correct connections and sound rationalization."

Some of the people here have seen some of my particularly "creative" connections between otherwise unrelated ideas/topics/etc ... however, that doesn't make any of those connections more corrector better. I could say "I think more creatively after a half-dozen jack-and-cokes"; which is particularly true ... but that doesn't mean my decision making has become better--in fact, it's quite the opposite.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:27 PM
"Creativity in thinking" can be very good, or very bad. If you're talking about increasing cognative ability, I'd word it as "Increase the ability to make correct connections and sound rationalization."

Some of the people here have seen some of my particularly "creative" connections between otherwise unrelated ideas/topics/etc ... however, that doesn't make any of those connections more corrector better. I could say "I think more creatively after a half-dozen jack-and-cokes"; which is particularly true ... but that doesn't mean my decision making has become better--in fact, it's quite the opposite.

Agreed. I meant creative in a sense of out of the box thinking that this world is going to need to solve the problems we face. Of course not all of them are going to be good ideas, but that is the essence of brainstorming. You play with ideas, and the sound ones prevail.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 05:32 PM
These tests have already been conducted. That's why the drugs are illegal.

Hardly. Psilocybin and cannabis research has been minimal to none for almost 40 years now. The Johns Hopkins study was one of the first since the 1960's. Cannabis research is taking off nicely.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 05:40 PM
What would increase "cognative ability" (which, in this situation I'm taking as critical thinking skills) is fairly ambiguous*. I'm picturing something that helps people be more rational (though that in and of itself isn't very descriptive).

"Free your mind" drugs aren't really what I'm picturing, as I don't see "creativity" as a major problem in most people's reasoning skills. Identifing corrolations and being able to correctly identify, address, and solve complex problems are conditions that could be improved upon.

I'm not convinced there's a drug that can do that--to me that sounds like the job of education and experience--but it is obvious that some people are naturally better at those skills than others, and this sounds like a proposed way to increase those skills. And I, like always, conceede that I am not trained in this field, so I'm sure they know more about these processes than I do.

*'ambiguous' ... I need a new word; I think i've used that at least 10 times in the last two days.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 06:01 PM
What would increase "cognative ability" (which, in this situation I'm taking as critical thinking skills) is fairly ambiguous*. I'm picturing something that helps people be more rational (though that in and of itself isn't very descriptive).

"Free your mind" drugs aren't really what I'm picturing, as I don't see "creativity" as a major problem in most people's reasoning skills. Identifing corrolations and being able to correctly identify, address, and solve complex problems are conditions that could be improved upon.

I never said that one drug is a catch-all fix-all. Simply that certain drugs are useful tools for certain situtaions and applications. Notice above I said that education, health, clear thinking, and wellbeing are concretely more important than any drug with regards to effect on cognitive ability.

PS: If it makes you feel better I am probably equally disgusted by what the "hippie" movement did and still does through pervading taboo's tpwards certain drugs.


I'm not convinced there's a drug that can do that--to me that sounds like the job of education and experience--but it is obvious that some people are naturally better at those skills than others, and this sounds like a proposed way to increase those skills. And I, like always, conceede that I am not trained in this field, so I'm sure they know more about these processes than I do.

*'ambiguous' ... I need a new word; I think i've used that at least 10 times in the last two days.

Well it depends on what your goals are in life. If you want to be a great scientist, then education, training and knowledge are most certainly your core focus. This doesn't rule out that certain chemicals may aid you in your path towards your goal.

If your goal is to become an artist or musician, then education is probably least effective for you, though most musicians I know are extremely smart. My friend Steve, best drummer I have heard, is also getting his doctorate in physics in California, Sacramento I believe. He also claims that psychedelics have enhanced his understanding and conceptions towards physics. Not the top of his list, but worth a mention.

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 06:07 PM
My friend Steve, best drummer I have heard, is also getting his doctorate in physics in California, Sacramento I believe. He also claims that psychedelics have enhanced his understanding and conceptions towards physics. Not the top of his list, but worth a mention.

So, you are not a doctor. You are just reporting what you think and what your friend Steve, the drummer, thinks.

I could tell you what my alcoholic friends think about the "benefits" of alcohol.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 06:08 PM
Musicians have education through experience. Not many musicians that never play or practice are very good. That's still education and experience (which often are one in the same).

I'm not the biggest "anti-legalization" guy you'll find. I'm against it, but not so firmly that I won't accept dissenting arguments. Most of all, I don't use, haven't used, and don't plan on using--thus don't have a real big interest in it.

But; you won't convince me that it's a usefull or necessary tool for "increasing creativity" in any particular situation. For what it's worth, I wouldn't make that argument for alcohol either, and I am a drinker. I drink because I like to; nothing more, nothing less. Personally, I'd give the legalization movement a lot more credit if they'd quit coming up with bogus excuses for it, and admit to the same reasoning. "We want to because we like to"

...sorry, I fear this is taking this thread waaay off topic, and into another one that's been discussed extensively (though typically ends badly) before. I am willing to discuss it via PM; or a seperate thread (if Mod's think it's appropriate).

Daffy
2008-Dec-09, 06:33 PM
TANSTAAFL

I suspect there will be a price to be paid for anyone who relies on such drugs. What that price would be I don't know...but there always is one.

Sam5
2008-Dec-09, 06:34 PM
Musicians have education through experience. Not many musicians that never play or practice are very good. That's still education and experience (which often are one in the same).

I'm not the biggest "anti-legalization" guy you'll find. I'm against it, but not so firmly that I won't accept dissenting arguments. Most of all, I don't use, haven't used, and don't plan on using--thus don't have a real big interest in it.



I think the original OP article is about the ligitimate use of (low doses of) some legal drugs such as Ritalin. But the OP poster is trying to apply those ideas and rules to various illegal drugs that he and some of his friends like. Therefore, I think the OP and followups by the OP poster are very misleading and are not "scientific".

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-09, 07:04 PM
Reading and writing was once the privy of a few. In some ways this was a practicality, as writing a book by hand, was very ,very slow, so books were very, very, rare. But with the invention of the printing press, books could be made extremely cheaply, available to all who could afford them ,which was pretty much everybody if you made them cheap enough. But still only a few could read. Eventually a movement started to give every child this ability, this enhancement. It has been a marked success. However, I do believe there is a downside to this enhancement, as pervasive as it may be. People in preliterate societies often have, by modern standards, prodigious feats of recall and memory, something we have lost, if only by lack of training, in our literate world. Of course, now we can place the memories outside our heads, in written form, and this is very useful and can allow words to be passed on, long after the speaker is dead. Still, it must be said, that by taking this enhancement, we have lost something. Not our humanity, literacy is a great gift to the world. But with every boon comes a bane. Now we are talking about drugs, that directly, and with little effort on the users part, change the place we live. Learning to read and write is hard, ask any kindergartener or adult student learning for the first time. Effective studying takes effort. Computers, and the Internet, are confusing places at first. But a pill? What effort does that take? I am sorry, I don't like the concept enhancement drugs.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 09:11 PM
But the OP poster is trying to apply those ideas and rules to various illegal drugs that he and some of his friends like.
Yes, I get that. Hence my response that I don't find it a valid argument. Though any debate on the merits/drawbacks to those particular substances are best suited for another venue (based on, as you said, the fact that they're poster opinon and not part of the thread's scientific study).

aquitaine
2008-Dec-09, 09:31 PM
I used to be on prescription medication for ADD. It worked well for many years until suddenly one day, I could not focus at all on anything, and I always felt my head was swimming (it's hard to describe, but my mind was totally fried). After I realized the problem was my medication backfiring, I got off it immediately. Unfortunately it took several years to recover, but during that time so many of my skills were completely lost (even though I was able to write fairly good essays before, after this happened I could barely string two words together), and I had to relearn them all from the beginning. I lost everything that made me me. I will never use any kind of "enhancement" drug again, even though for me it was necessary to use it.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 09:36 PM
Sorry to hear that aquitaine. I have a personal distrust of medicine, and very rarely take anything (there's a few exceptions, but not many).

The one time I was prescribed something was when I injured my knee in the Academy. They gave me an anti-inflamitory pill. I took it once, then decided I'd just work through it naturally. Three months later the drug was pulled due to it causing a handfull of people to have fatal heart problems. Anecdotal, I know... but just more fuel for me "keep your medicine, doc" attitude. *shrug*

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 10:03 PM
After reading your replies, I have some response.

Fazor: This isn't supposed to be a "legalization" thread. I bring up such "illegal" substances because I , and many others (not just me and my friends Sam5), think that using certain substances as tools for certain functions can be a good thing. Our society has extremely potent taboo's against plant drugs, while you strangely are OK with people using Ritalin and Adderall, which are Amphetamines.

I do not think that the goal of this article is bring forth an era where we all have to take certain drugs to keep functioning. Somewhere in the article (I will look for it after work) I believe it says that any compound that can bring about a beneficial enhancement to thinking and ones life would be optimal over say taking a pill daily to keep your brain going. And it also makes clear that the goal would not be to raise the bar, just to accept that people are doing this and try and work with it in the best way possible instead of denying that people are using said compounds for such purposes.

This whole issue, though, may just be a precursor to future enhancements, such as genetic engineering of humans, as well as bionic upgrades. Something our society is soon going to have to deal with. If we can;t even handle people using chemicals to expand their minds, how are we going to react to people that want to install chips in their heads? Or people enhancing their children? That is the nature of, well, nature. The bar is constantly changing.

I admit I got a little off topic because I think that that certain chemical (psilocybin) IS a mind enhancing drug that I happen to be interested in that should be considered, not just synthetic pharmaceuticals.

I will also tell you that I think optimally using NO drugs to enahnce ones life would be best, but if people choose to do so in a safe manner, no one else should be able to tell them they can't. Its interesting to note that yoga, meditiation, rythmic drumming, etc. can all produce the same states of mind associated with pyschedelics, it just takes a WHOLE LOT more time and effort.

Back to psilocybin for a moment, I wanted to mention that there was a lot of hope for treating mental illness in the late 50's early 60's before all mind altering drugs were lumped together in a frenzy of paranoia and made illegal, much to the dismay of researchers who were then blocked form studying such currently illegal substances. Psychedelics have great potential in the realm of treating depressive disorders due to their ability to bring forth peoples emotions and to get them to open up mentally. If they work in the field of aiding in the treatment of depression, thereby freeing up the mind to work more productively and easily on subjects the person enjoys, instead of being bogged down by that depression, I would consider that a form of cognitive enhancement.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 10:12 PM
But a pill? What effort does that take? I am sorry, I don't like the concept enhancement drugs.

And that is a valid point, but is your opinion. You wouldn't be forced to take such enhancing drugs.

But what if they could create some that have little/no side effects? Non-habit forming? What if all of your peers were doing it, society was becoming comfortable with it, and no serious problems were arising? Would you change your mind?

Kinf of like laser eye surgery. Some people are unsure of the technology and are choosing to wait until it is more tested and tried before they go under the "knife".

As for effort, much could be said about the internet, and that it is somehow "cheating" to have Google at your fingertips pretty much whereever you go. Do you consider the internet cheating? Sure some old timers may, but to younger generations, it is just there, normal as eyeglasses and artificial hearts. May not resonate with some, but it is the way society is moving.

toothdust
2008-Dec-09, 10:28 PM
Yes, I get that. Hence my response that I don't find it a valid argument. Though any debate on the merits/drawbacks to those particular substances are best suited for another venue (based on, as you said, the fact that they're poster opinon and not part of the thread's scientific study).

Yes I admit, I did derail a bit, but we don't know for sure that the scientists in that article are explicity going to ignore natural mind altering drugs just because there is a taboo around them. I was merely interjecting my opinion that said substances should be included in this debate the article was trying to incite.

And my drummer friend was merely an anecdotal example. Yes, he became good at what he did through study, practice and education, and no drug could substitute that (although a computer chip in your head might). My point was that he has made it expressively known that he credits psychedelic use with helping to some degree to where he is now. And he is working on a graduate degree, not his doctorate. My mistake.

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-09, 10:44 PM
He credits that. Fine. That is rather anecdotal don't you think?
There is only one of him, and we can't rewind the tape to see the results if he hadn't taken the drugs.
I have seen paintings that were painted under the 'creative' influence of psychoactive drugs. And frankly, they would only be considered creative under modern tastes.

Fazor
2008-Dec-09, 10:51 PM
Yeah, I've heard people credit their deceased grandparent for a win at a sporting event as well ... doesn't mean a spirit actually helped them. *shrug*

Sam5
2008-Dec-10, 12:05 AM
Yes, I get that. Hence my response that I don't find it a valid argument. Though any debate on the merits/drawbacks to those particular substances are best suited for another venue (based on, as you said, the fact that they're poster opinon and not part of the thread's scientific study).

I agree.

toothdust
2008-Dec-10, 12:32 AM
Wikipedia article on all the different types of cognitive enhancers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_enhancers)

Guess I am "cheating" even more by taking fish oil supplements:p

cjameshuff
2008-Dec-10, 02:01 PM
Sam5: maybe this is something that's been discussed before, but in this thread, there seems to be quite a disconnect between what toothdust is saying and what your responses are. Your replies seem to be completely out of proportion. Perhaps you should go back and re-read his posts, particularly before making accusations like:


But the OP poster is trying to apply those ideas and rules to various illegal drugs that he and some of his friends like.


To the subject at hand...the suggestion that if it were harmless, it wouldn't be illegal, is clearly flat out wrong. There are plenty of things that have been or are illegal due to various cultural factors, not due to any evidence that they cause harm. Mind altering drugs seem particularly prone to this...if it isn't one of the accepted (and yet clearly dangerous) ones like alcohol, it seems to be automatically stigmatized. And as for competition...if you really want to go down that road, you'll need to mandate medication to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. We each have a limited amount of time on Earth, and I find the suggestion that it should be illegal for me to be at my peak capacity to make the best of that time because it wouldn't be fair to others to be outrageously offensive.

Toothdust seems to only be saying that a calm and systematic look at these drugs should be made, characterizing the effects of and finding the reasons for the effects of the active substances, and formally evaluating the risks and benefits. My friends only use tobacco and alcohol, both of which I despise, and the strongest thing I myself have used is caffeine and sugar (strong coffee and a cinnamon scone, at the moment), but I can not find reason to disagree with Toothdust.

toothdust
2008-Dec-11, 02:24 AM
Perhaps this thread should be moved to Off Topic Babbling, where we can talk more freely about the subject matter.

General Science was the wrong forum to post in.

Jim
2008-Dec-11, 02:52 AM
Moved.

Fazor
2008-Dec-11, 02:56 AM
Wow Jim, I didn't know you were the BAUT-genie.

Perhaps millions of dollars should rain down from my ceiling?
*looks around expectantly*

:)

toothdust
2008-Dec-11, 03:24 AM
Thanks Jim.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-11, 10:57 AM
Doesn't eating protein help increase mental ability? Should we ban beef?

A.DIM
2008-Dec-11, 02:39 PM
If anyone's interested, Dr. Lester Grinspoon (one of Carl Sagan's best friends) is professor emeritus at Harvard, and has been researching and wrting about marijuana since the 60s.

Marijuana-uses.com (http://www.marijuana-uses.com/)

You can read many accounts, even Sagan's (did you know Sagan was a pot head?) about the "enhancement" aspects.



I personally think anything synthetic is bad for us (I don't even use cold medicines etc), while I very much enjoy organics.

:D

tdvance
2008-Dec-11, 02:42 PM
It would be a really strange situation in which the world decided to divide itself up such that anything synthetic was bad and anything organic wasn't! That would be a very unlikely coincidence. (and anyway--we consume more and more synthetics every decade, yet life expectancy is INCREASING).

A.DIM
2008-Dec-11, 02:53 PM
Well, that is only my personal preference and I wouldn't suggest dividing the world as such.

In recent years however, I've seen far more harm done by and to those who use synthetics (legal and illegal) than those who do not.

Daffy
2008-Dec-11, 03:03 PM
I personally think anything synthetic is bad for us (I don't even use cold medicines etc), while I very much enjoy organics.

:D

"Poison Oak is a natural plant...why don't you put some in your food?"---Grace Slick

A.DIM
2008-Dec-11, 03:16 PM
:eh:

I never like Airplane or Starship or whatever her band's name was...

Daffy
2008-Dec-11, 03:26 PM
:eh:

I never like Airplane or Starship or whatever her band's name was...

I'll let them know. ;)

A.DIM
2008-Dec-11, 03:30 PM
You mean they're still around, chasing the white rabbit?

;)

Fazor
2008-Dec-11, 03:36 PM
You mean they're still around, chasing the white rabbit?

Ask Alice, I think she'll know.

A.DIM
2008-Dec-11, 03:42 PM
Perhaps; Carroll was rather "enhanced" when he wrote Through the Looking Glass.

;)

Daffy
2008-Dec-11, 07:17 PM
You mean they're still around, chasing the white rabbit?

;)

Actually, Paul Kantner and the current Jefferson Starship just released a truly excellent CD: "Tree of Liberty." Grace guests one one track, I believe.

Daffy
2008-Dec-11, 07:18 PM
Perhaps; Carroll was rather "enhanced" when he wrote Through the Looking Glass.

;)

Have you ever read it? The whole thing is a series of drug references. A caterpillar smoking a hookah? Magic mushrooms? I mean, really now.

Trantor
2008-Dec-11, 09:14 PM
An interesting thread. In my line of work, I deal with drug use in the workplace all the time. In my experience, the number one drug of choice that impacts the workplace negatively is alcohol. More employees miss work, have accidents, and have bad interpersonal relationships on the job, due to alcohol abuse, than any other legal or illegal drug. It's cheap, it's easily available, it's powerful, and it's legal.

My department regularly tests employees and applicants for illegal drug use. I would estimate that 90% of the drug test failures that I handle are marijuana users. The other 10% of failures are mostly due to precription drug use without a prescription; mostly pain killers. The hard illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth, are washed out very quickly from the body after being taken, so they generally only show up accasionally in tests.

My personal opinion on the matter is that alcohol is a stronger and more dangerous drug than marijuana. Why alcohol is legal and it's use widespread, whlie marijuana is classified with the strongest of the illegal drugs is a mystery to me.

Other than the accasional glass of wine, I try to stay as drug free as possible; but in my opinion, I don't understand why someone wanting to smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own home is any worse than a person drinking at home.

I know Carl Sagan smoked marijuana. I don't think that it affected his work negatively. I do know that he said it helped him to think more creatively about some of the problems he was trying to solve. Perhaps because he was such a strong thinker, it had that effect on him; while affecting the creativity of others to a lesser degree.

toothdust
2008-Dec-12, 12:27 AM
I have read in many different places that Francis Crick had the revelation/vision of the double-helix structure of DNA while on LSD. Supposedly it came out in a biography after he died, for he did not want to face the controversy. I can't find a direct source, but have seen it published so many places that if it were untrue people would be getting sued for defamation one would think.

In my experience I think that drugs for the most part enhance what you already are. People who are jerks are usually bigger jerks on alcohol, while myself and others have a few beers and enhance our philosophizing, music, etc.

I myself am an organics man as well. Just because its a plant doesn't make it 100% safe, though most are close to that. The worst I have seen is someone have a mild allergic reaction (we think) from cannabis, but the girl was also drunk. There is a tiny percentage of people that are allergic to it. Who knows.

My friends dad once said to my friend and I when we were about 17: "I would rather see you guys experiment with pot than alcohol, because at least I know you will survive the experience." Strong words indeed.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-12, 01:31 AM
Perhaps; Carroll was rather "enhanced" when he wrote Through the Looking Glass.

;)
Have you ever read it? The whole thing is a series of drug references. A caterpillar smoking a hookah? Magic mushrooms? I mean, really now.
I think you two are relying too much on 60's doper mythology for that one.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-12, 01:53 AM
Reading and writing was once the privy of a few. In some ways this was a practicality, as writing a book by hand, was very ,very slow, so books were very, very, rare. But with the invention of the printing press, books could be made extremely cheaply, available to all who could afford them ,which was pretty much everybody if you made them cheap enough. But still only a few could read.
Enough could read that within a few years of printing becoming established in Europe there were fifty million books in existence, which means more books than people.

I think you're drastically underestimating how many could read enough to pay for something once it became cheap enough.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-12, 03:12 AM
Enough could read that within a few years of printing becoming established in Europe there were fifty million books in existence, which means more books than people.

I think you're drastically underestimating how many could read enough to pay for something once it became cheap enough.

Could you do the math on that? How many titles? How many prints of each title? It wasn't just Bibles, was it?

If there were just 50 titles printed in those few years, and only 1000 prints of each book made, that would be just enough for 1000 literate people to have a full library of 50 books. What was the population of Europe at the time, 50,000,000?

toothdust
2008-Dec-12, 03:19 AM
I think you two are relying too much on 60's doper mythology for that one.

I think you need to watch the film and/or read the book again. The story is one long, strange trip, full of drug use references.

Daffy
2008-Dec-12, 04:14 PM
I think you two are relying too much on 60's doper mythology for that one.

That's asking a LOT of coincidence. Alice sees most of this stuff after the hookah and mushrooms. Not to mention that smoking opium was a very common practice in Lewis Carroll's time, and there are reports that he was indeed a user. As I say, it's asking a lot of coincidence.

Fazor
2008-Dec-12, 04:53 PM
Here's a question;
The argument has been made here that certian substances help some people be more creative. But how many creative works of art--be it paintings, literature, movies, music, whatever--were done by artists who do not use these substances?

And what about all the people that do use these substances, and who live in ruin, poverty? Or live in mal-health?

Couldn't it be possible that the examples listed did well in spite of their substance use, rather than because of it?

Daffy
2008-Dec-12, 05:51 PM
Here's a question;
The argument has been made here that certian substances help some people be more creative. But how many creative works of art--be it paintings, literature, movies, music, whatever--were done by artists who do not use these substances?

And what about all the people that do use these substances, and who live in ruin, poverty? Or live in mal-health?

Couldn't it be possible that the examples listed did well in spite of their substance use, rather than because of it?

That's a good question. Anecdotal, but in my experience pot, for example, may actually enhance your creativity...but may also decrease your motivation to get up off your arse and actually create something; I have seen this over and over again, and suspect it is true for many (all?) creativity enhancing drugs.

Fazor
2008-Dec-12, 07:52 PM
Lets also throw in the idea that maybe these people who are "more creative" when using a certain substance could be under the placebo effect. Self-doubt, or the thought that "I'm not smart enough, creative enough, etc" or even just the feeling of "I'm not special, how can I do this on my own" ... but then they use substance x and suddenly feel that it's their magic potion.

"I can't do this on my own, but with this I can suddenly think clearly!"

Remember this when someone says they're more creative, a better musician, funnier, whatever when they're high; there's also people that say that the shiny magnetized bracelet on their wrist cures their arthritis. People aren't always the best judges of their own state of being.

Daffy
2008-Dec-12, 09:30 PM
Lets also throw in the idea that maybe these people who are "more creative" when using a certain substance could be under the placebo effect. Self-doubt, or the thought that "I'm not smart enough, creative enough, etc" or even just the feeling of "I'm not special, how can I do this on my own" ... but then they use substance x and suddenly feel that it's their magic potion.

"I can't do this on my own, but with this I can suddenly think clearly!"

Remember this when someone says they're more creative, a better musician, funnier, whatever when they're high; there's also people that say that the shiny magnetized bracelet on their wrist cures their arthritis. People aren't always the best judges of their own state of being.

I think it is safe to say that can be a major factor as well. Or just to quiet the dogs barking that some of us have in our heads.

In any case, at the end of the day, I do think creativity is far better served by being straight.

Trantor
2008-Dec-12, 09:35 PM
Lets also throw in the idea that maybe these people who are "more creative" when using a certain substance could be under the placebo effect. Self-doubt, or the thought that "I'm not smart enough, creative enough, etc" or even just the feeling of "I'm not special, how can I do this on my own" ... but then they use substance x and suddenly feel that it's their magic potion.

"I can't do this on my own, but with this I can suddenly think clearly!"

Remember this when someone says they're more creative, a better musician, funnier, whatever when they're high; there's also people that say that the shiny magnetized bracelet on their wrist cures their arthritis. People aren't always the best judges of their own state of being.

Yeah, I have wondered about this as well. I remember many years ago reading an interview with Rush's drummer Neal Peart; in which he talked about the process that Rush used to write their music. Basically, the other band memebers would come up with the music, and then Neal would smoke some weed, listen to the score, and come up with the lyrics. He stated that the marijuana helped him to think from a different perspective. I have to give him credit; he did come up with some pretty creative lyrics. He didn't say whether the other two band members used anything to help them write the music.

When I was younger during my college days, I tried it from time to time. I remember the experience being more subtle and relaxing than alcohol. Listening to music was fun. I didn't do it very often, mostly because I have always disliked smoking anything. I always felt like my lungs were on fire during the smoking. Other people I knew didn't seem to have a problem with it, especially if they already smoked tobacco. Still, it can't be very good for your lungs; but I suppose that in moderation, it can't be as bad as smoking cigarettes all day long, as many people do.

Anyway, I don't remember any creative enhancement for me(even though I was usually with friends and not actively trying to be creative), and I do wonder how much of this enhancement may be the result of the placebo effect.

I must admit that once, marijuana did hurt me. It happened during the "Rocky Horror Picture Show". I laughed so hard at the antics of the idiots around me, that my sides hurt for a couple of days!:D

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 02:42 AM
Lets also throw in the idea that maybe these people who are "more creative" when using a certain substance could be under the placebo effect. Self-doubt, or the thought that "I'm not smart enough, creative enough, etc" or even just the feeling of "I'm not special, how can I do this on my own" ... but then they use substance x and suddenly feel that it's their magic potion.

"I can't do this on my own, but with this I can suddenly think clearly!"

Remember this when someone says they're more creative, a better musician, funnier, whatever when they're high; there's also people that say that the shiny magnetized bracelet on their wrist cures their arthritis. People aren't always the best judges of their own state of being.

Being somewhat of an artist myself, I do not paint under the influence of psychedelics. Cannabis, yes, but that is a very mild high, more helpful in just relaxing and increasing your focus on the task at hand. I have met only a few of a rare type who create art (paint, music, etc.) under the influence of psychedelics, but they do the majority of it while not.

Remember, most people who use psychedelics do so very infrequently. If I only painted whilst "tripping", I would have only painted 6 times in my life.

I would estimate that I have probably sat down and painted around 150 times in my life. I tried once while on mushrooms. It wasn't for me. So far I am 150:1. Doesn't seem like a placebo to me...


Still, it can't be very good for your lungs; but I suppose that in moderation, it can't be as bad as smoking cigarettes all day long, as many people do.

Yes, the heat and particulates can irritate the lungs/throat. Using a water pipe or a vaporizer solves that. And no, you don't need to smoke more with a water pipe. THC isn't water soluble.

Delvo
2008-Dec-13, 02:43 AM
I can't recall any details to show this, but the main pattern that stood out to me when I read about the lives of various Impressionist painters, Romantic Era composers, and their counterparts in prose and poetry, was not that they generally did or did not use recreational drugs. What was pretty consistent about them was that they lived lives of misery, self-destruction, driving away or dragging down others around them, and suicide attempts. Some who lived long enough recovered, but this was after they had done their famous works and their careers were burned out. You'll also recognize this pattern if you've seen at least a few episodes of VH1's biography series on modern musicians and actors. For those who were druggies, that was just a little part of this general picture.

Daffy
2008-Dec-13, 06:56 AM
I can't recall any details to show this, but the main pattern that stood out to me when I read about the lives of various Impressionist painters, Romantic Era composers, and their counterparts in prose and poetry, was not that they generally did or did not use recreational drugs. What was pretty consistent about them was that they lived lives of misery, self-destruction, driving away or dragging down others around them, and suicide attempts. Some who lived long enough recovered, but this was after they had done their famous works and their careers were burned out. You'll also recognize this pattern if you've seen at least a few episodes of VH1's biography series on modern musicians and actors. For those who were druggies, that was just a little part of this general picture.

There definitely seems to be a connection between creativity and depression issues. Certainly true in my case.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-13, 07:50 AM
Maybe, but recall that creative types are often counter-cultural by definition, and that can result in depression.

Daffy
2008-Dec-13, 02:40 PM
Maybe, but recall that creative types are often counter-cultural by definition, and that can result in depression.

Uh...while I can buy correlation, causality seems a bit of a stretch. Again, anecdotal, but for myself I have always had authority issues, but that is certainly more a result of my upbringing ("Question authority!") than it is brought on by depression.

Sam5
2008-Dec-13, 05:19 PM
There definitely seems to be a connection between creativity and depression issues. Certainly true in my case.

Yes, a very good observation. It tends to be related to the bi-polar condition, i.e. the "manic-depressive" condition.

One can be very depressed and go through periods of non-creativity, and then one can be very manic and go through periods of being very creative.

The manic condition is often quite a lot of fun, but it is often followed by the depressed months, then back to the manic condition again.

However, there are perscription drugs that can help control and suppress the depressed part of the condition, but without harming the creative part.

Daffy
2008-Dec-13, 05:35 PM
Yes, a very good observation. It tends to be related to the bi-polar condition, i.e. the "manic-depressive" condition.

One can be very depressed and go through periods of non-creativity, and then one can be very manic and go through periods of being very creative.

The manic condition is often quite a lot of fun, but it is often followed by the depressed months, then back to the manic condition again.

However, there are perscription drugs that can help control and suppress the depressed part of the condition, but without harming the creative part.

True...and I have been trough most of that...I did find the anti-depressants to be a bit anti-creativity in the sense that, you're right, my best work is usually in a "manic" phase. But at this point I muddle along pretty well without any drugs at all (OK, aspirin), although I am still mildly bi-polar. I have simply got used to it.

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 07:39 PM
However, there are perscription drugs that can help control and suppress the depressed part of the condition, but without harming the creative part.

Which prescription drugs would those be? What evidence do you have that these drugs leave creativity intact?

Everyone that I have ever known that has been on antidepressants said that they did in fact suppress depressive feelings, but the "side effect" to that was that ALL of their feelings and emotions were nearly gone, leaving them feeling numb and bland. I would rather feel depressed some of the time rather than feel nothing at all.

The issue with antidepressants is that they are treating the symptoms of a problem, and not the underlying cause. Not to mention the side effects associated with their long term use.

My reason for suggesting research into psilocybin (or other psychedelics) assisted therapies is that they are already known to have long lasting positive effects on people (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/07_11_06.html), which should then be coupled with counseling.

Instead of just trying to make symptoms go away (which is the basis of almost all western medicine), you can get at the root cause of peoples reasons for depression. The phrase "psychedelics open your mind" is true in more ways than just hippie motifs. They break down boundaries in your mind, such as bringing back repressed memories. If psychologists/psychiatrists could use these chemicals as a tool for gaining insight into peoples problems during psychedelic assisted therapy sessions, by allowing these chemicals to bring forth what would normally have remainded repressed, who knows what kind of breakthroughs could be had in this field.

Alas, though, we need to make researching these compounds easier for people who want to do it!

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 07:55 PM
Side effects of antidepressants (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/MH00062): Nausea, appetite increase/weight gain, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness; agitation, restlessness, anxiety.

LSD treatment for alcoholism (http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/2/313)

LSD treatment for alcoholism gets new look (http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2006/10/07/lsd_treatment_for_alcoholism_gets_new_look.html)

BTW, I consider alcoholism a major sign/symptom of depression. People burying themselves in a bottle daily are obviously masking some kind of inner problems.

St. Johns Wort vs. antidepressants (http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7260/536)

Sam5
2008-Dec-13, 08:03 PM
Which prescription drugs would those be? What evidence do you have that these drugs leave creativity intact?

Everyone that I have ever known that has been on antidepressants said that they did in fact suppress depressive feelings, but the "side effect" to that was that ALL of their feelings and emotions were nearly gone, leaving them feeling numb and bland.


Hi. Although I disagree with your overall theme here, since you’ve asked an honest question, I will give you a straight answer.

Some psychiatrists are “one-pill” doctors. A patient goes to them saying they are “depressed”, and the doctor writes out a one-pill prescription and says, “Here, try this. This is an anti-depressant.”

But quite often, the one kind of pill is designed to lessen the depression, but without any regard to what other side-effects it has associated with it.

For example, in the 1950s doctors would prescribe “downers” like Phenobarbital. It tended to suppressed the depression, but it was a strong sedative that suppressed everything else too. It often made people sleepy and groggy.

However, in these modern times, there are new younger doctors who have been trained in the “brain chemistry” approach to psychiatry, and they will often prescribe several different medications for a patient, in order to lower the depression but not destroy the creativity. This can often be done with low doses of each drug.

This is a delicate task, and the patient needs to understand the complexity of the issue at hand. Also, the patient needs to not “self medicate” with any other drug or with alcohol and especially not with any illegal drug.

A couple of years ago, there was a news story out near where I live where a teenage boy stole a car. The cops began chasing him. They chased him to a dead-end mesa top, where the kid abandoned the car and ran out on the tip-end of the mesa. The kid had a gun. The cops closed in. The kid was so terrified, freaked out, and panicked, he finally couldn’t take the stress anymore and he shot and killed himself.

Knowing the situations out here with a lot of teenagers, it was quite likely he was a pot smoker and maybe some other kind of illegal drug user. What the kid did not realize was that he was having a fairly simple “panic attack”, which could have been treated by a doctor with some prescription drug like Xanax, or even with the old kind of Phenobarbital. The cops didn’t know what to do except “catch the fleeing suspect”. No doctor was called in. The kid was dead at the end of the day, while all he actually did that was illegal was steal a car and run from the cops. This is certainly not something worth killing oneself over.

I’ve seen this many times in the news business. Kids freaking out on some kind of dope, such as maraijuana or speed or something else, and having a “panic attack”, especially if the cops become involved, which seems to them like an “end of the world” type of situation. While I see other kids not on dope, not stealing cars, and not having panic attacks. And I see some others who are not on dope but who "naturally" have some mild panic attacks that they treat with the care of a psychiatrist and proper medication.

Sam5
2008-Dec-13, 08:05 PM
Side effects of antidepressants (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/MH00062): Nausea, appetite increase/weight gain, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness; agitation, restlessness, anxiety.



You are making a bad mistake. You are NOT a doctor. You are NOT qualified to tell other people what drugs to take or not take. Especially since there are plenty of teenagers and young people on this message board.

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 08:09 PM
You are making a bad mistake. You are NOT a doctor. You are NOT qualified to tell other people what drugs to take or not take. Especially since there are plenty of teenagers and young people on this message board.

Do you even click on links when they are posted?

That one is from the Mayo Clinic. Heard of it? One of the best in the world. Are they qualified, Sam?

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 08:16 PM
A couple of years ago, there was a news story out near where I live where a teenage boy stole a car. The cops began chasing him. They chased him to a dead-end mesa top, where the kid abandoned the car and ran out on the tip-end of the mesa. The kid had a gun. The cops closed in. The kid was so terrified, freaked out, and panicked, he finally couldn’t take the stress anymore and he shot and killed himself.

Knowing the situations out here with a lot of teenagers, it was quite likely he was a pot smoker and maybe some other kind of illegal drug user. What the kid did not realize was that he was having a fairly simple “panic attack”, which could have been treated by a doctor with some prescription drug like Xanax, or even with the old kind of Phenobarbital. The cops didn’t know what to do except “catch the fleeing suspect”. No doctor was called in. The kid was dead at the end of the day, while all he actually did that was illegal was steal a car and run from the cops. This is certainly not something worth killing oneself over.

I’ve seen this many times in the news business. Kids freaking out on some kind of dope, such as maraijuana or speed or something else, and having a “panic attack”, especially if the cops become involved, which seems to them like an “end of the world” type of situation. While I see other kids not on dope, not stealing cars, and not having panic attacks. And I see some others who are not on dope but who "naturally" have some mild panic attacks that they treat with the care of a psychiatrist and proper medication.

Such a typical propaganda story.

Unfortunate, indeed. No one wants to see people freak out and kill themselves.

Even as you said yourself, if he had known he was only having a panic attack, he could have easily been calmed down. Sure, cannabis may have caused the panic attack, but there was most certainly much more going on in his life to cause suicide than just pot. If this were the case, millions of people would be blowing their brains out after smoking a bowl, and this simply is not the case.

Now if our society were to accept that people are going to use cannabis and learn to educate ourselves on its effects instead of stifling discussion in the name of societal taboo, maybe his young man would have realized this, for he would have been educated just as I am sure he was with alcohol and tobacco, and he would still be alive today.

Annual causes of death in U.S. (http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30). Tobacco: 435,000. Alcohol: 85,000. How many people directly killed by cannabis? Zero (0).

Nice try, Sam.

Sam5
2008-Dec-13, 08:20 PM
Do you even click on links when they are posted?

That one is from the Mayo Clinic. Heard of it? One of the best in the world. Are they qualified, Sam?

I give you a straight answer and you give me a rude sarcastic response.

If you look on the “warning” labels of hundreds of drugs today, many of them will have listed: “Nausea, appetite increase/weight gain, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness; agitation, restlessness, anxiety.”

That does not mean that all the drugs will produce all of those side-effects. These are just ones to watch out for.

Again, you are trying to practice medicine without a license. You are trying to claim that ALL “anti-depressants” will produce ALL of those symptoms, which is NOT true.

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 08:40 PM
I give you a straight answer and you give me a rude sarcastic response.

If you look on the “warning” labels of hundreds of drugs today, many of them will have listed: “Nausea, appetite increase/weight gain, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness; agitation, restlessness, anxiety.”

That does not mean that all the drugs will produce all of those side-effects. These are just ones to watch out for.

Again, you are trying to practice medicine without a license. You are trying to claim that ALL “anti-depressants” will produce ALL of those symptoms, which is NOT true.

Please highlight and bold where I said ALL AD's will cause ALL of those symptoms. Also, modern medicine has no clue as to the long term side effects of the antidepressant drugs.

I am not practicing without a license. I am merely pointing to research that may offer an alternative to current medical treatments, and advocating for the relaxation of laws with the intent of opening up avenues for sound scientific research.

And also, your little story above is an Appeal to Emotion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion), a logical fallacy.

toothdust
2008-Dec-13, 08:49 PM
Hi. Although I disagree with your overall theme here, since you’ve asked an honest question, I will give you a straight answer.

Some psychiatrists are “one-pill” doctors. A patient goes to them saying they are “depressed”, and the doctor writes out a one-pill prescription and says, “Here, try this. This is an anti-depressant.”

But quite often, the one kind of pill is designed to lessen the depression, but without any regard to what other side-effects it has associated with it.

For example, in the 1950s doctors would prescribe “downers” like Phenobarbital. It tended to suppressed the depression, but it was a strong sedative that suppressed everything else too. It often made people sleepy and groggy.

However, in these modern times, there are new younger doctors who have been trained in the “brain chemistry” approach to psychiatry, and they will often prescribe several different medications for a patient, in order to lower the depression but not destroy the creativity. This can often be done with low doses of each drug.

This is a delicate task, and the patient needs to understand the complexity of the issue at hand. Also, the patient needs to not “self medicate” with any other drug or with alcohol and especially not with any illegal drug.

I understand how it works, and I respectfully disagree with the whole paradigm. Yes, antidepressants can help with depression symptoms, but they don't cure depression. I liken them to turning up the radio in a car when the engine starts making noise. It will only last so long before the whole thing breaks down.

You still didn't provide evidence that creativity stays intact in patients using antidepressants.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-14, 12:09 AM
I understand how it works, and I respectfully disagree with the whole paradigm. Yes, antidepressants can help with depression symptoms, but they don't cure depression. I liken them to turning up the radio in a car when the engine starts making noise. It will only last so long before the whole thing breaks down.

This indicates a lack of understanding about certain types of depression.

Some people suffer from depression because their nervous systems either don't produce enough of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to allow certain signals to effectively cross the synapse between nerve cells or the reuptake mechanism on the receiving nerve cell reduces the concentration in synapse to quickly and thus attenuates the signal. For those who suffer from this sort of genetically induced depression certain substances, such as venlafaxine, can act as reuptake inhibitors. They have a preferred binding energy for reuptake sites that has the overall effect of slowing the rate at which the reuptake system reduces the concentration of these neurotransmitters.

It is true, that antidepressants don't cure depression but then injections of insulin don't cure diabetes. However, neither should be seen as simply "masking" the symptoms either. They both attempt to reset a balance that's been disrupted by chemical imbalances within the human body. This issue, in both cases, is not a "masking" symptoms vs a curing of the condition, but an attempt to correct a a very delicate system with the equivalent of "stone knives and bear skins". The devil is in our current inability to understand and control the complete system. The breakdown comes from the damage that occurs over time from the the system being periodically pushed outside the narrow limits that don't cause damage to the body or unintended side-effects that can be toxic.

In time, medicine will advance and our understanding and abilities in such areas will improve. Medicine will be able to operate with scalpels rather jack hammers.

tdvance
2008-Dec-14, 12:20 AM
From what I've heard (from various forgotten sources), it's not established that the problem is caused by levels of serotonin, just that good regulation of serotonin helps (a lot). I don't think the real cause of depression is known--the brain is a complex chaotic system that grows in a complex way--tiny randomness during growth can result in big changes at maturity (though we've evolved "canalization" to minimize this effect or else every child will be "mentally ill" by the standards of all the others (I mean more different than the variability we have anyway)--but it's still there--probably again through evolution or we'd not adapt to environmental changes). Depression could begin anywhere in this process. (and I don't think it's 100% sure that it's not in the education process rather than the growth process--as minds, not just brains, are complex entities--i.e. it's not certain whether it's a hardware or software problem--and Zoloft, working on the hardware, can fix software in theory--as the two are so interconnected in brains).

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-14, 12:37 AM
From what I've heard (from various forgotten sources), it's not established that the problem is caused by levels of serotonin, just that good regulation of serotonin helps (a lot). I don't think the real cause of depression is known--the brain is a complex chaotic system that grows in a complex way--tiny randomness during growth can result in big changes at maturity (though we've evolved "canalization" to minimize this effect or else every child will be "mentally ill" by the standards of all the others (I mean more different than the variability we have anyway)--but it's still there--probably again through evolution or we'd not adapt to environmental changes). Depression could begin anywhere in this process. (and I don't think it's 100% sure that it's not in the education process rather than the growth process--as minds, not just brains, are complex entities--i.e. it's not certain whether it's a hardware or software problem--and Zoloft, working on the hardware, can fix software in theory--as the two are so interconnected in brains).
And yet science can, and has, shown the that in so many cases depression tends to run in families and tends to affect children in a fashion that strongly suggests a genetic link. One can then add to this the results of studies in which such individuals were given antidepressants and the result were extremely positive. Finally, these medications don't mask symptoms, they simply slow the uptake system to a more normal level. If you administer these substances to those who suffer from mild depression such as that caused by the lost of a loved one, in most cases they have no more than a placebo effect. The idea that they can keep someone from feeling sad is nonsense.

The problem is that psychiatrists have defined clinical depression as any depression that disrupts ones life for a period of two weeks or more. This in itself is considered most ridiculous by many. It means that just about anyone who has broken up with someone, lost a loved one, or has had a mildly traumatic experience is going to suffer from "clinical depression". One of these days, when the dust and nonsense settle out, antidepressants will be able to help those who are truly suffer from severe chronic depression. In the mean time, the evidence has started many to look for genetic material that may induce depression in some individuals.

timb
2008-Dec-14, 03:37 AM
The problem is that psychiatrists have defined clinical depression as any depression that disrupts ones life for a period of two weeks or more. This in itself is considered most ridiculous by many. It means that just about anyone who has broken up with someone, lost a loved one, or has had a mildly traumatic experience is going to suffer from "clinical depression". One of these days, when the dust and nonsense settle out, antidepressants will be able to help those who are truly suffer from severe chronic depression. In the mean time, the evidence has started many to look for genetic material that may induce depression in some individuals.

Every business wants more customers. Problems are inevitable when the government makes the business' services compulsory in circumstances that are open to the business to define.

toothdust
2008-Dec-14, 03:42 AM
This indicates a lack of understanding about certain types of depression.

Some people suffer from depression because their nervous systems either don't produce enough of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to allow certain signals to effectively cross the synapse between nerve cells or the reuptake mechanism on the receiving nerve cell reduces the concentration in synapse to quickly and thus attenuates the signal. For those who suffer from this sort of genetically induced depression certain substances, such as venlafaxine, can act as reuptake inhibitors. They have a preferred binding energy for reuptake sites that has the overall effect of slowing the rate at which the reuptake system reduces the concentration of these neurotransmitters.

It is true, that antidepressants don't cure depression but then injections of insulin don't cure diabetes. However, neither should be seen as simply "masking" the symptoms either. They both attempt to reset a balance that's been disrupted by chemical imbalances within the human body. This issue, in both cases, is not a "masking" symptoms vs a curing of the condition, but an attempt to correct a a very delicate system with the equivalent of "stone knives and bear skins". The devil is in our current inability to understand and control the complete system. The breakdown comes from the damage that occurs over time from the the system being periodically pushed outside the narrow limits that don't cause damage to the body or unintended side-effects that can be toxic.

In time, medicine will advance and our understanding and abilities in such areas will improve. Medicine will be able to operate with scalpels rather jack hammers.

Hmm, yes, I had forgotten about depression running in families. I do agree, though, that antidepressants work in the short term. The area where I disagree is using them as a fix all. There should be more of an effort to help people with depression from the base of their problems, not just...


Some psychiatrists are “one-pill” doctors. A patient goes to them saying they are “depressed”, and the doctor writes out a one-pill prescription and says, “Here, try this. This is an anti-depressant.”

...pick a pill and hope it works. The method should focus more on "Doctor, I am depressed.""Ok, here, sit down and tell me what is bothering you."

I think everybody agrees that just talking about your problems, whether it be chemical assisted therapy or not, can greatly ease depressive moods. Works for me. I think there should be more of a focus on non-drug depression treatments, with single drug sessions being next, and finally SSRI's if nothing else works. A co-workers dad is a naturopathic psychiatrist, and he uses no drugs; only counseling and nutrition therapies, and has pretty good success.

I wonder where the Placebo Effect fits in here, if it does at all? I mean, it really is an amazing effect, literally "mind over matter". I am surprised there isn't more investigation into it. I wonder if people have ever been given placebos, but were told they were antidepressants?

toothdust
2008-Dec-14, 03:46 AM
Every business wants more customers. Problems are inevitable when the government makes the business' services compulsory in circumstances that are open to the business to define.

I couldn't agree more. Medicine for profit is a very slippery slope, especially when you realize that we are one of the un-healthiest countries in the world, but spend the most on health care out of anybody.

It will be interesting to see what changes when (and if) the government begins paying for health care. Countries in Europe that have universal health care all focus on prevention, not maintenance.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-14, 05:16 AM
Hmm, yes, I had forgotten about depression running in families. I do agree, though, that antidepressants work in the short term. The area where I disagree is using them as a fix all. There should be more of an effort to help people with depression from the base of their problems, not just...

This is a common misconception that many have when dealing with depression. There isn't necessarily a causal event that produces the condition. In many cases, the model is more along the line of diabetes where a malfunction or genetic predisposition simply produces the condition rather than trauma over the death of a pet or loss of a job or such. Therefore telling a depressed person to "deal with their problems" is as useless as telling the burn victim that the best treatment for his burns is to talk about the lost puppy of his childhood.

Sam5
2008-Dec-14, 05:47 AM
Hmm, yes, I had forgotten about depression running in families. I do agree, though, that antidepressants work in the short term. The area where I disagree is using them as a fix all. There should be more of an effort to help people with depression from the base of their problems,

How do you define "the base of their problems"? Have you gone to medical school? Are you a doctor? What is the "base of all their problems"?

mugaliens
2008-Dec-14, 09:02 AM
Anyone who's ever taken an antidepressant has taken a cognitive-enhancing drug. Scientists have been endorsing those for years.

I'm 100% behind the use of such drugs when they're prescribed by a physician.

This thread, however, is targeted towards drugs which elevate people's performance from mediocre to their natural best - but using an external drug to do so.

I find this happens when I do four things:

1. Get plenty of good, sound sleep.

2. Exercise regularly.

3. Eat healthy, balanced meals.

4. Sharpen my intellect by routine mental exercise, such as participating on their board!

In so doing, my mind is sharper now than it's ever been. Who needs drugs?

Daffy
2008-Dec-14, 03:08 PM
Anyone who's ever taken an antidepressant has taken a cognitive-enhancing drug. Scientists have been endorsing those for years.

I'm 100% behind the use of such drugs when they're prescribed by a physician.

This thread, however, is targeted towards drugs which elevate people's performance from mediocre to their natural best - but using an external drug to do so.

I find this happens when I do four things:

1. Get plenty of good, sound sleep.

2. Exercise regularly.

3. Eat healthy, balanced meals.

4. Sharpen my intellect by routine mental exercise, such as participating on their board!

In so doing, my mind is sharper now than it's ever been. Who needs drugs?

Good advice, but---and, obviously you agree----clinical depression is a real, physical problem and sometimes needs to be treated. Other than that condition, I definitely agree with your advice.

toothdust
2008-Dec-14, 09:02 PM
Anyone who's ever taken an antidepressant has taken a cognitive-enhancing drug. Scientists have been endorsing those for years.

I'm 100% behind the use of such drugs when they're prescribed by a physician.

Exactly why we need to relax the scheduling laws to allow more research to be done without having to jump through years of DEA hoops. Allowing an open discussion about the science and social aspects of drug use, without political forces and taboos getting in the way, will determine how we should proceed from here.


This thread, however, is targeted towards drugs which elevate people's performance from mediocre to their natural best - but using an external drug to do so.

I find this happens when I do four things:

1. Get plenty of good, sound sleep.

2. Exercise regularly.

3. Eat healthy, balanced meals.

4. Sharpen my intellect by routine mental exercise, such as participating on their board!

In so doing, my mind is sharper now than it's ever been. Who needs drugs?

Mugs, I absolutely agree with and practice this advice daily.

This thread has drifted from the original intent of the article in the OP, which was: Healthy people are using and will continue to use mind altering/enhancing drugs, though they don't say it I suspect they would agree that the war on drugs has failed miserably, therefore we should analyze these chemicals in use by healthy people to see if there really are beneficial/enhancing effects that are so widely reported.

I have stated many places in this thread that I think the optimal methods for enhancing your mind is through non-drug ways, but ironically it took certain drug use to realize this, for me anyways. If using such drugs aided in my realization that I really didn't need them after all, but left me with a newfound zeal and passion for life and learning, I can't see how anyone would disagree that they were a life enhancing factor. This is the case for many, many, many people out there. For some people this comes naturally. For others, it may not.

People won't be forced to use any drugs, but denying consenting people the right to do with there mind as they see fit has got to end.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-14, 11:49 PM
People won't be forced to use any drugs, but denying consenting people the right to do with there mind as they see fit has got to end.

Unfortunately, there are many things they might do with their minds which render them an eventual burden on society. Therefore, I do believe many mind-altering substances should continue to be restricted or banned.

Caffeine, on the other hand, particularly when served in the form of coffee and it's various chemicals, has been shown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_and_health)to be beneficial in many areas of health.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-15, 04:40 AM
Unfortunately, there are many things they might do with their minds which render them an eventual burden on society. Therefore, I do believe many mind-altering substances should continue to be restricted or banned.

Caffeine, on the other hand, particularly when served in the form of coffee and it's various chemicals, has been shown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_and_health)to be beneficial in many areas of health.
And this is where I, and others, disagree with you. I agree that someone who harms others when they are under the influence of mind-alterning substances should be held accountable for their actions; but I think someone who harms others when they are under the influence of a bad temper should be held accountable for their actions.

There are many ways that I may injure myself and as a result end up "a burden on society". Over eating, neglect of health, risky lifestyle, can all result in the similar situations. I believe that smoking, alcohol use, caffeine use, and other drug use should be a personal decision. Personally I have high levels of cholesterol which in time will probably result in my having debilitating heart attacks or other sorts of debilitating problems. However, I have refused medication for personal reasons and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my decision. If recreational drug use is prohibited strictly because their use may result in the individual becoming a burden on society, perhaps I should be forced to take the medications that I have been prescribed for the same reason.

Also, how does this square with the fact that alcohol is legal. It will remain legal of course, we tried prohibition in this country and it was a tremendous failure. I would suggest that the current "war on drugs" suggests that this new form of prohibition is doomed to the same junk heap that its predecessor was.

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 03:14 PM
Also, how does this square with the fact that alcohol is legal. It will remain legal of course, we tried prohibition in this country and it was a tremendous failure. I would suggest that the current "war on drugs" suggests that this new form of prohibition is doomed to the same junk heap that its predecessor was.

The "War on Drugs" does nothing but raise the price of drugs, which in turn benefits the drug lords and increases collateral crimes like burglary and armed robbery.

Some people are going to use mind altering substances; that's just how it is...make them illegal, and they'll just find something else. Look to the current explosion (pun intended) of meth use. Maybe the world would be a better place if we used the enforcement money to try and build a world where fewer people need to escape it. Just a thought.

And, no, I do not use recreational drugs of any kind.

toothdust
2008-Dec-15, 03:37 PM
Unfortunately, there are many things they might do with their minds which render them an eventual burden on society. Therefore, I do believe many mind-altering substances should continue to be restricted or banned.

Yes, someone also might become a severe alcoholic, addicted to tobacco, junk food, or sugar, and would therefore become a burden on society through degraded mental and physical health. Should we now prohibit these substances? Or should we take a much more rational approach and use regulation, rules, and education to deal with drugs like we do with alcohol, tobacco, and more recently more regulation/education in regards to junk food (like prohibiting soda machines in schools)?

One needs look no further than the Netherlands. They have the most relaxaed drug laws in the world, and surprise! They also have the lowest drug abuse/addiction rates in the world.

I think you are mistaking me when I talk about drug law reform. I understand completely that not all drugs are equal. Some are essentially harmless, others are most destructive on mental/physical health. The Netherlands has such success in dealing with the drug problem because they approach it as a social/public health issue, not a criminal issue. Over there, if you are a heroin addict, you can go to a clinic and get a clean, safe dose; but the catch is they will keep you there for a few days and have you undergo treatment, counseling, or whatever they think is necessary.

I think we could all agree that throwing drug addicts in jail is about as inhumane a thing you can do to a person.



Maybe the world would be a better place if we used the enforcement money to try and build a world where fewer people need to escape it. Just a thought.

A fine thought indeed.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 03:47 PM
They are not "recreational."

Recreation is the act of rebuilding yourself, thus the word, "recreate."
Recreation is a way of reinforcing the foundations of sanity.

"Mind-altering substance" is a much more accurate term.

Let's be realistic- People with natural brain misfires and chemical imbalances seek CORRECTION for the problem. Creating such things by zonking your poor brain with Heavy Chemicals is not only illogical- it's self destructive and utterly absurd.

Heavy drugs are destructive and damaging. They do not recreate- they break down and damage the brain resulting in errant behavior, mental disorders, physical ailments, societal problems, negligent, criminal and desperado activities, and many other forms of self destructive behavior.

Legalizing substances will decrease crime lord activities, sure. But it will enable substance abusers in much the same way alcohol has- which alcohol is a lightweight drug compared to crack, coke and meth.
Legalizing them only can result in a much greater problem of break down and abuse.
There are no benefits to using heavy illegal drugs, only consequences- regardless to legality.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 03:50 PM
Yes, someone also might become a severe alcoholic, addicted to tobacco, junk food, or sugar, and would therefore become a burden on society through degraded mental and physical health. Should we now prohibit these substances? Or should we take a much more rational approach and use regulation, rules, and education to deal with drugs like we do with alcohol, tobacco, and more recently more regulation/education in regards to junk food (like prohibiting soda machines in schools)?

People do not care about "education."

Force people to take educational classes on eating right and they will still eat what they want to eat.

Your analogy is also irrelevant. Sugar is not a destructive drug. Crack cocaine is extremely toxic and destructive. Come to Austin sometime and watch the crackheads do the "Rundberg Shuffle." It's almost funny to watch- if it weren't so pathetically sad and depressing that they chose to utterly destroy their lives and families that way.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 03:53 PM
I think you are mistaking me when I talk about drug law reform. I understand completely that not all drugs are equal. Some are essentially harmless, others are most destructive on mental/physical health. The Netherlands has such success in dealing with the drug problem because they approach it as a social/public health issue, not a criminal issue. Over there, if you are a heroin addict, you can go to a clinic and get a clean, safe dose; but the catch is they will keep you there for a few days and have you undergo treatment, counseling, or whatever they think is necessary.

I think we could all agree that throwing drug addicts in jail is about as inhumane a thing you can do to a person.

This is a much more logical argument.
Although I agree with keeping illegal drugs illegal- It is also more logical to treat those who made themselves into victims of drugs than to treat them as criminals and hurt them further.

Even in the USA, most people are ignorant about alcoholism and what is required of an addict to get sober.
They can't just STOP drinking.
The thirst itself... not just the alcohol- the addiction, the DESIRE for something that is legal and readily available is the most destructive factor. It creates the need for destructive behavior.

Throwing someone in jail is just not a motivating factor to sober them up. They are addicted. Addiction requires treatment. They can't just up and quit.

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 04:32 PM
They are not "recreational."

Recreation is the act of rebuilding yourself, thus the word, "recreate."
Recreation is a way of reinforcing the foundations of sanity.

"Mind-altering substance" is a much more accurate term.

Let's be realistic- People with natural brain misfires and chemical imbalances seek CORRECTION for the problem. Creating such things by zonking your poor brain with Heavy Chemicals is not only illogical- it's self destructive and utterly absurd.

Heavy drugs are destructive and damaging. They do not recreate- they break down and damage the brain resulting in errant behavior, mental disorders, physical ailments, societal problems, negligent, criminal and desperado activities, and many other forms of self destructive behavior.

Legalizing substances will decrease crime lord activities, sure. But it will enable substance abusers in much the same way alcohol has- which alcohol is a lightweight drug compared to crack, coke and meth.
Legalizing them only can result in a much greater problem of break down and abuse.
There are no benefits to using heavy illegal drugs, only consequences- regardless to legality.

I agree, mostly, about the drugs themselves...but keeping them illegal serves no purpose.

I mean, do you know anyone who would start using heroin simply because it was no longer criminal? I don't; and I know a LOT of drug users. Keeping them illegal works just as well as it did with alcohol...in other words not at all. And, in fact, increases violent crime.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We've been doing it this way for at least 100 years; let's think outside the box for once. Or let's be consistent and make alcohol and cigarettes illegal as well.

Trantor
2008-Dec-15, 05:15 PM
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We've been doing it this way for at least 100 years; let's think outside the box for once. Or let's be consistent and make alcohol and cigarettes illegal as well.

I agree. I have no problem at all with making alcohol illegal again. It's stronger than marijuana and generally causes more aggressive and stupid behavior. Cigarettes, while not having the mind altering/addictive properties of alcohol; are very addictive and are the main cause of a very high cancer rate, which is a serious healthcare and economic problem.

Unfortunately, the government has decided that alcohol is our drug of choice, and there is too much money being made by legally selling alcohol. Alcohol will remain legal.

toothdust
2008-Dec-15, 05:24 PM
I agree. I have no problem at all with making alcohol illegal again. It's stronger than marijuana and generally causes more aggressive and stupid behavior. Cigarettes, while not having the mind altering/addictive properties of alcohol; are very addictive and are the main cause of a very high cancer rate, which is a serious healthcare and economic problem.

Unfortunately, the government has decided that alcohol is our drug of choice, and there is too much money being made by legally selling alcohol. Alcohol will remain legal.

Where have you been? We tried prohibition. It doesn't work. That is the whole point.

I liked Daffy's comment earlier. We need to help people realize that life is worth living, not destroying yourself at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey, or with a needle in your arm twice a day.

Then again, if people could use these things responsibly, then I would have no problem with anyone doing whatever they want. Problem is we are a long ways off from people using drugs responsibly.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 05:41 PM
I agree. I have no problem at all with making alcohol illegal again. It's stronger than marijuana and generally causes more aggressive and stupid behavior. Cigarettes, while not having the mind altering/addictive properties of alcohol; are very addictive and are the main cause of a very high cancer rate, which is a serious healthcare and economic problem.

Unfortunately, the government has decided that alcohol is our drug of choice, and there is too much money being made by legally selling alcohol. Alcohol will remain legal.

This really is a key factor in the discussion.

Look at the RAMPAGE caused by the prohibition. We were just Too Used to it.
What was OK yesterday, is suddenly NOT ok today.

Kinda like the federal speed limit of 55mph here in the states back in the day.
I agree, mostly, about the drugs themselves...but keeping them illegal serves no purpose.

I mean, do you know anyone who would start using heroin simply because it was no longer criminal? I don't; and I know a LOT of drug users. Keeping them illegal works just as well as it did with alcohol...in other words not at all. And, in fact, increases violent crime.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We've been doing it this way for at least 100 years; let's think outside the box for once. Or let's be consistent and make alcohol and cigarettes illegal as well.
It doesn't increase violent crime. The addiction- the nature of the drugs do that.

Changing what's NOT OK today to "OK" tomorrow will have a profound effect.

Would people start using?
What the HECK makes them start now?!

I have no idea. Yours or my own personal experience on what motivates someone to use drugs falls under anecdote.
If I start listing anecdotes in this discussion, I'll get told off. But the ones I have could curl your hair and make it very clear why I am an AVID Drug Hater and why I think anyone that would WANT to use them "Recreationally" requires immediate counseling... or a hammer to their head.

I believe drugs should be illegal- simply because they have been long enough for us to be used to it. Since we are used to it, we can continue to appreciate the understanding that "Drugs are (Expletive) BAD for you!"
Drug Law Reform, as mentioned above, is also a viable candidate, but I disagree that "education and drug awareness" is anywhere NEAR as effective as people like to claim they are.
They United States has enormous contributions to health education for nutrition and we're sill quite fat.

Had drugs been legal all this time, I would oppose suddenly making them illegal.:neutral:
I would say, let people choose to mess up their lives if they want to.

However, since they are illegal, we are accustomed to that stigma, we know how powerful the addictions are and the ferocity and destructiveness of the addictive nature- It's best to leave them illegal. It's bad enough- why throw a monkey wrench into the works and enable the addiction even more?

Where have you been? We tried prohibition. It doesn't work. That is the whole point.

It didn't work only because of the reasons I just stated above.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-15, 06:10 PM
And this is where I, and others, disagree with you.

With my comment, "Unfortunately, there are many things they might do with their minds which render them an eventual burden on society..."


I agree that someone who harms others when they are under the influence of mind-alterning substances should be held accountable for their actions

We're in agreement, here.


...but I think someone who harms others when they are under the influence of a bad temper should be held accountable for their actions.

We're in agreement here, too.


There are many ways that I may injure myself and as a result end up "a burden on society". Over eating, neglect of health, risky lifestyle, can all result in the similar situations. I believe that smoking, alcohol use, caffeine use, and other drug use should be a personal decision.

It's not "should be." It's "it is." There are no food police who'll arrest you for stuffing your face. There are, however, employers who will fire you for being either overweight or out of shape if either is a requirement for your job.


Personally I have high levels of cholesterol which in time will probably result in my having debilitating heart attacks or other sorts of debilitating problems.

Not necessarily. Depends on your ratios, the type of food you consume, and how much you exercise.


If recreational drug use is prohibited strictly because their use may result in the individual becoming a burden on society, perhaps I should be forced to take the medications that I have been prescribed for the same reason.

That's an interesting concept. Or perhaps you should merely be given the choice, "take the medication, or forfeit societal support when the inevitable result of not taking the medication occurs." If you don't believe that result will happen, then don't take the medicine. If you're correct, then no problem. If you're wrong, then at least you would be burdening society by your unwillingness to make prudent choices.


Also, how does this square with the fact that alcohol is legal.

In moderation it's not harmful, and can even be beneficial.


It will remain legal of course, we tried prohibition in this country and it was a tremendous failure. I would suggest that the current "war on drugs" suggests that this new form of prohibition is doomed to the same junk heap that its predecessor was.

Whoever was talking about a "war on drugs?" I certainly wasn't, so please dont bring that into the mix.

If you'll recall, I supported the use of "cognitive-enhancing drugs," provided, of course, that there was no societal burden. Above, I waived the latter restriction, provided one who chose to do so anyway forfeited societal help.

Fazor
2008-Dec-15, 06:14 PM
I believe drugs should be illegal- simply because they have been long enough for us to be used to it. Since we are used to it, we can continue to appreciate the understanding that "Drugs are (Expletive) BAD for you!"


That's about how I'd sum up my feelings about it. I spoke with Toothdust a bit via PM before this thread really took off, but as a lover of alcohol I understand that it's pretty hypocratic for me to say people shouldn't use certian drugs.

The "hard stuff" like coke, heroine, etc. have very, very adverse impact on health. But certian other substances I don't feel are that much different than alcohol. But, I often say if Alcohol and Tobacco weren't already legal (as in, we just discovered them today) then they'd be made illegal.

So while I can appreciate the argument for certian substances; and while I do believe there's some very good arguments for (Inc Tax revenue from legal sales, better quality and quantity controls, etc); I can't get over the "It's already illegal, why change it"?

mugaliens
2008-Dec-15, 06:16 PM
I agree, mostly, about the drugs themselves...but keeping them illegal serves no purpose.

No purpose at all... Not even minimizing their widespread use among our youth, who have not yet reached a maturity level...

Saying "they're available anyway" is a logically fallacious arguement. The question is how much more available they would become if they were rendered legal.


I mean, do you know anyone who would start using heroin simply because it was no longer criminal?

Personally, no. Regardless, opium dens remain in existence around the world, and people get hooked in them all the time.


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We've been doing it this way for at least 100 years; let's think outside the box for once.

Another definition of insanity is doing things significantly different without testing to see what the results might be.

Ug: "Hmm... What's this red button do?"

Thug: "I dunno. Push it."

Trantor
2008-Dec-15, 06:21 PM
Where have you been? We tried prohibition. It doesn't work. That is the whole point.

I liked Daffy's comment earlier. We need to help people realize that life is worth living, not destroying yourself at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey, or with a needle in your arm twice a day.

Then again, if people could use these things responsibly, then I would have no problem with anyone doing whatever they want. Problem is we are a long ways off from people using drugs responsibly.

Believe me, I do understand that it wouldn't work. I was simply making a statement from my perspective; and that's because I drink very moderately and I don't smoke or use illegal drugs.

I do think that marijuana is unfairly targeted by existing drug laws. I don't use it, but I have used it moderately during my college days, so I know it doesn't deserve to be scheduled alongside drugs such as cocaine or meth. I also don't think that it's the so-called "gateway drug". The theory is that drug users start using a mild drug such as marijuana and then move up to cocaine, heroin, or meth. I've known many smart and educated people who drink moderately and who would also smoke marijuana moderately, without the need to move up to stronger drugs.

This is my opinion only. I work for a drug free workplace company, where random and accident related tests are done frequently. It is my job to terminate any employee who tests positive in a drug test. It is something that I do all too often. I get to inform the tested employee about the results and then hear his/her story; before I terminate them.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-15, 06:39 PM
Such a typical propaganda story.
<snip>

Annual causes of death in U.S. (http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30). Tobacco: 435,000. Alcohol: 85,000. How many people directly killed by cannabis? Zero (0).

Nice try, Sam.
A teenager run over by a drunk driver is included in the alcohol numbers while a teenager run over by a guy stoned on cannabis is not counted in your zero number.

You're trying for very disingenuous manipulation, especially since your numbers aren't adjusting for how many use the various substances either.

Basically, the typical propaganda story is being told by you.

Nice try Toothdust

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 06:43 PM
This really is a key factor in the discussion.

Look at the RAMPAGE caused by the prohibition. We were just Too Used to it.
What was OK yesterday, is suddenly NOT ok today.

Kinda like the federal speed limit of 55mph here in the states back in the day.
It doesn't increase violent crime. The addiction- the nature of the drugs do that.

Changing what's NOT OK today to "OK" tomorrow will have a profound effect.

Would people start using?
What the HECK makes them start now?!

I have no idea. Yours or my own personal experience on what motivates someone to use drugs falls under anecdote.
If I start listing anecdotes in this discussion, I'll get told off. But the ones I have could curl your hair and make it very clear why I am an AVID Drug Hater and why I think anyone that would WANT to use them "Recreationally" requires immediate counseling... or a hammer to their head.

I believe drugs should be illegal- simply because they have been long enough for us to be used to it. Since we are used to it, we can continue to appreciate the understanding that "Drugs are (Expletive) BAD for you!"
Drug Law Reform, as mentioned above, is also a viable candidate, but I disagree that "education and drug awareness" is anywhere NEAR as effective as people like to claim they are.
They United States has enormous contributions to health education for nutrition and we're sill quite fat.

Had drugs been legal all this time, I would oppose suddenly making them illegal.:neutral:
I would say, let people choose to mess up their lives if they want to.

However, since they are illegal, we are accustomed to that stigma, we know how powerful the addictions are and the ferocity and destructiveness of the addictive nature- It's best to leave them illegal. It's bad enough- why throw a monkey wrench into the works and enable the addiction even more?


It didn't work only because of the reasons I just stated above.

Neverfly, let's not start comparing scabs: One of my dearest friends died of a drug overdose when I was 13, OK? I don't like drugs, either. But your method has been tried to death (literally) and it does not work. By driving the cost of drugs up, you cause junkies to resort to violent crime for the price of a fix (the drug doesn't do that...the addiction and cost do). You think the drug does it? Please...junkies would be delighted to sit around the house all day zonked out of their heads. I don't like that, either...but it's a LOT better than having them knock over a liquor store for the price of a fix.

There was a pacific island (I forget which one) where they actually managed to eliminate drugs. And what happened? People were burning cow dung to sniff the burning methane.

As I say, we tried your way. It didn't work. Let's try something else.

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 06:47 PM
No purpose at all... Not even minimizing their widespread use among our youth, who have not yet reached a maturity level...

Saying "they're available anyway" is a logically fallacious arguement. The question is how much more available they would become if they were rendered legal.



Personally, no. Regardless, opium dens remain in existence around the world, and people get hooked in them all the time.



Another definition of insanity is doing things significantly different without testing to see what the results might be.

Ug: "Hmm... What's this red button do?"

Thug: "I dunno. Push it."

When I was a minor, alcohol was legal and drugs were HIGHLY illegal (a marijuana cigarette could get you 10 years). Guess which was a LOT easier to get hold of? If you guessed marijuana, you are absolutely correct. Same for LSD, pills, and just about anything you care to name. Getting booze was difficult. So much for protecting the young.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 06:47 PM
Neverfly, let's not start comparing scabs: One of my dearest friends died of a drug overdose when I was 13, OK? I don't like drugs, either. But your method has been tried to death (literally) and it does not work. By driving the cost of drugs up, you cause junkies to resort to violent crime for the price of a fix (the drug doesn't do that...the addiction and cost do). You think the drug does it? Please...junkies would be delighted to sit around the house all day zonked out of their heads. I don't like that, either...but it's a LOT better than having them knock over a liquor store for the price of a fix.

There was a pacific island (I forget which one) where they actually managed to eliminate drugs. And what happened? People were burning cow dung to sniff the burning methane.

As I say, we tried your way. It didn't work. Let's try something else.

Are you referring to Prohibition or the long standing illegality of drugs?

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 07:09 PM
Are you referring to Prohibition or the long standing illegality of drugs?

Both. Is there a difference?

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 08:19 PM
Both. Is there a difference?

There is quite a bit of difference.
Are you unaware of what they are?

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-15, 08:51 PM
I really like the way that the intellectuals here are going to tell everyone how to live their lives to best effect. Yeah, people die from cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, from obesity, from high cholesterol, and lots of other stuff. People are reckless and crash bicycles, hang gliders, cars, and lots of other stuff. They hurt themselves and sometimes are a drain on society and sometimes they just die leaving heartbroken and grieving family and friends behind.

I have no problem with increasing insurance premiums for those who indulge in risky behavior, but I could fly home for the winter holiday in a week or so and be badly injured in a plane crash. It's not very likely, but if it happens I will be a drain on society. If I'm obese I may be a drain on society too; are we going to make it illegal to be above a certain weight?

As the man said, if a society outlaws all drugs some people will pick up smoking cow dung. Let other people live as they wish. If your brother, sister, or friend wants to a joint in the evening after a day of work, who are you to tell them that he should not have to alter his mind. You live your life and let them live theirs.



I think it's a very bad idea, however, to begin to tell people how

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 09:04 PM
There is quite a bit of difference.
Are you unaware of what they are?

Both are ineffectual attempts to legislate morality and actually cause more crimes than they prevent. In light of that, I am not really interested in any hypothetical differences...they would be irrelevant.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 09:27 PM
I really like the way that the intellectuals here are going to tell everyone how to live their lives to best effect. Yeah, people die from cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, from obesity, from high cholesterol, and lots of other stuff. People are reckless and crash bicycles, hang gliders, cars, and lots of other stuff. They hurt themselves and sometimes are a drain on society and sometimes they just die leaving heartbroken and grieving family and friends behind.

I have no problem with increasing insurance premiums for those who indulge in risky behavior, but I could fly home for the winter holiday in a week or so and be badly injured in a plane crash. It's not very likely, but if it happens I will be a drain on society. If I'm obese I may be a drain on society too; are we going to make it illegal to be above a certain weight?

As the man said, if a society outlaws all drugs some people will pick up smoking cow dung. Let other people live as they wish. If your brother, sister, or friend wants to a joint in the evening after a day of work, who are you to tell them that he should not have to alter his mind. You live your life and let them live theirs.



I think it's a very bad idea, however, to begin to tell people how

Hmm....

I could do without the comment about "intellectuals" telling people how to live...

But this is still a really good point.
What right do we have to call them illegal?
Why not booze and cigs too?

Well...


The Illegal drugs are very HEAVY compared to booze and cigs...

Daffy
2008-Dec-15, 11:15 PM
\

The Illegal drugs are very HEAVY compared to booze and cigs...

You actually think marijuana is "very HEAVY" compared to booze and cigarettes? Seriously, I don't even know how to address that one. I mean the nicotine addiction alone...well, I am just incredulous. If nicotine were sold as a white powder, it would definitely be illegal.

I don't mean this in a harsh way, and with all respect, is it possible your emotions on this issue may be affecting your opinions?

Neverfly
2008-Dec-15, 11:39 PM
You actually think marijuana is "very HEAVY" compared to booze and cigarettes? Seriously, I don't even know how to address that one.I don't recall talking about marijuana exclusively...:doh: I don't recall mentioning at all.
I did mention Heavy Illegal drugs... Which I figured was obvious- Coke, Meth, Crack, Heroine etc.
Honestly? I don't know either. I've never used the stuff.
I know that it gets you HIGH. Cigs don't do that.
Booze gets you Drunk and thus- incapacitates you and makes you do dumb things like driving backwards in the wrong lane on the free way or text message your ex at 3am.
Does pot do that to people?

I don't personally, classify pot as a Heavy drug. I do, however, classify it as a Mind Zonking or Altering substance.

Alcohol is the ONLY legal drug I can think of that can alter your mind. It also requires you to consume enough of it to do so. But one joint will get you stoned, you don't need very much.


I mean the nicotine addiction alone...well, I am just incredulous. If nicotine were sold as a white powder, it would definitely be illegal.
I've heard that Nicotine is even more addictive than crack. I don't know how accurate the claim is. But it is one strong addiction either way.
However, it doesn't get you high, stoned senseless or otherwise.


I don't mean this in a harsh way, and with all respect, is it possible your emotions on this issue may be affecting your opinions?
It's possible, but I could ask that of others as easily.
I think that if one considers ALL the factors of illegal drugs.. The mind zonking AND the addiction, it's clear that drugs are pretty danged bad.
Alcohol is ALSO a terror. The Only real thing that sets booze apart- is that you must consume a lot before the effect can take its toll. Unlike the heavy drugs. So they try keeping it legal in Moderation.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-16, 01:03 AM
You actually think marijuana is "very HEAVY" compared to booze and cigarettes? Seriously, I don't even know how to address that one. I mean the nicotine addiction alone...well, I am just incredulous. If nicotine were sold as a white powder, it would definitely be illegal.

I don't mean this in a harsh way, and with all respect, is it possible your emotions on this issue may be affecting your opinions?
It seems to me that your emotions are affecting you. Why do the rest of us have to live according to your rules. If I want to sit down after work and have a joint why not. As for the "drain on society argument", I have a feeling that it would be much cheaper compared to the enormous amounts now spent on locking up drug users and interdicting drug traffic.

:)

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-16, 01:10 AM
Doesn't eating protein help increase mental ability? Should we ban beef?

Eating protein is needed for one to survive.
TheHalcyonYear: If your an airline pilot, I might be worried.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-16, 01:25 AM
Eating protein is needed for one to survive.
TheHalcyonYear: If your an airline pilot, I might be worried.
No reason to be. If I was, it is currently illegal for me to have had a drink for an extended period before flying, as well illegal for me to fly while taking certain drugs prescribed by a doctor. The same would apply to any other substance that would impair my abilities to fly.

The issue is what I do on my off hours, not what I do during work hours.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-16, 01:39 AM
TheHalcyonYear: If your an airline pilot, I might be worried.
I think I should also add, that this is the foolish type of argument that makes serious discussions of this issue from all but impossible. If a pilot showed up drunk, he wouldn't be allowed to fly, but alcohol is legal.

The real issue concerns whether should be able to pursue vices of their choice. It seems to me that I am allowed to drink but would be arrested if I showed up drunk to fly. The same would be true if I was taking a medication that contained codeine. What's wrong with the same applying to other substances.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-16, 01:45 AM
I know that it gets you HIGH. Cigs don't do that.
Actually they do, but it's a fairly mild effect that disappears completely as the user becomes accustomed to the nicotine, at which time it's the withdrawal symptoms that mainly keeps them going.

It's not enough to eg. disqualify from driving a car though.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-16, 03:18 AM
It seems to me that your emotions are affecting you. Why do the rest of us have to live according to your rules. If I want to sit down after work and have a joint why not. As for the "drain on society argument", I have a feeling that it would be much cheaper compared to the enormous amounts now spent on locking up drug users and interdicting drug traffic.

:)
I dunno.

You're making a good point- why should I have the right to say you can't do a drug?
I disagree with drug use. I think its over-all effect is very harmful to all.

Does that qualify me as telling you how to live?

If I tell you not to drive drunk, Am I telling you how to live?
Should we make drunken driving legal TheHalcyonYear? So as not to infringe on peoples right to drive drunk?

I'm sure that a serial killer could give an excellent argument as to why we can't tell him not to do his thing.

Society will put up with bad habits. But to a limit.
They will tolerate up to a point, but no further.
They will put up with drinking- but not drunken driving.
They will put up with cigarettes, but not with crack.

Some things are just really bad. Too bad to allow.

We will put up with people eating unhealthy foods, but we will not put up with us eating eachother.

A Limit gets reached. And past that limit, it becomes "No more. That's enough."
Crack cocaine, Methamphetamines, Heroine, LSD etc- Heavy Bad Drugs.

Pot falls in between. It's heavy enough to make people nervous but not heavy enough to qualify as crack. Well oh well.
What are you gonna do? <shrug>
It's already illegal.
It was illegal all your life.
All your parents lives.
It's nothing new.
Drugs weren't banned yesterday. You didn't suddenly have your right to do them taken away (If you had chosen to).
This is not news.

It's illegal to drive while drunk too.


It's just THAT Bad.
Heavy drugs really are THAT bad.

If you want to legalize JUST Pot- you can lobby for that. But why legalize the rest so that you can have just the pot?

It's My Rules that we shouldn't walk around stabbing eachother with red hot glowing dirks too.
Am I wrong for telling other people how to live? What if they WANT to walk around stabbing other people with red hot glowing dirks? If they want to, they should be allowed to right?


I think it's reasonable that we should be allowed to Slug echother. But I don't think we should be allowed to Kill eachother. That's THAT bad.
There's a limit. Of how much bad is acceptable- and how much just goes too far.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-16, 03:28 AM
My analogy doesn't hold.

Just re-read my post above...
Stabbing a person is entirely different from someone using crack.
Someone using crack is not directly inflicting harm onto anyone but himself. His actions only have indirect effects on others.
Stabbing another person is quite direct.

I gotta bow out of this particular debate defeated. My position is too weak to support.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-16, 04:31 AM
Except when someone using crack is so addicted that it causes him to stab others to get the money to buy more crack. And crack is so addictive that it makes people do that, which is a major factor in its illegality, so in a way you could argue that taking crack is equivalent to stabbing people.

Anyway, to get to cannabis I would like to point out that its well documented benefits of an inhaled anti-nausea drug isn't actually any good as an argument for it's legalization as a recreational drug, it's only an argument for a reclassification that allows its use as a prescription drug like a lot of other drugs that are legal to use when prescribed, but illegal to use recreationally/sell for recreational use.

Similarly, the well documented negative effects of alcohol and tobacco are useless as arguments for legalizing recreational cannabis, they are only arguments for doing something to make people use those less.
Banning alcohol and tobacco ads and axing them heavily might be a good start, prohibition having been demonstrated not to work.

timb
2008-Dec-16, 04:34 AM
My analogy doesn't hold.

Just re-read my post above...
Stabbing a person is entirely different from someone using crack.
Someone using crack is not directly inflicting harm onto anyone but himself. His actions only have indirect effects on others.
Stabbing another person is quite direct.

I gotta bow out of this particular debate defeated. My position is too weak to support.

I salute you. Few have the integrity to admit when they are wrong and retreat graciously.

My personal view on the subject is that no-one else has the right to tell me what drugs I can take but I'm not sure the family of Sudanese refugees over the road is ready for the same liberty. :) Perhaps what it boils down to is that I don't believe in causing trouble for anyone who isn't causing trouble. If my neighbor relaxes with a joint and a pizza I don't care; if he smokes crack and decides he's spiderman and tries to steal my roof antenna then I do.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-16, 07:24 AM
I salute you. Few have the integrity to admit when they are wrong and retreat graciously.

My personal view on the subject is that no-one else has the right to tell me what drugs I can take but I'm not sure the family of Sudanese refugees over the road is ready for the same liberty. :) Perhaps what it boils down to is that I don't believe in causing trouble for anyone who isn't causing trouble. If my neighbor relaxes with a joint and a pizza I don't care; if he smokes crack and decides he's spiderman and tries to steal my roof antenna then I do.

As HenrikOlsen points out, with some of the heavy drugs, it's a good bet that spiderman may just crawl on your roof.

HenrikOlsens argument is a solid one. Much better than any I have had to make.

But it still bears that same flaw: Should you bust any user or bust spiderman for crawling all over your antenna?
Illegality of the drug ensures that you can be a BIT less concerned about spiderman disrupting your life, whether he's on the roof, or he busts in your house and is threatening your life.
Legalizing these heavy drugs won't make that crime go away.
Because even if crack is Dirt Cheap- People will still go broke trying to support the habit. They will still become desperados. And with it legal, they will have less fear of getting busted and spread their range.

But it's already illegal to crawl on rooftops stealing antennas. And other things.
So is really relevant to bust folks for being high too?

I'm not going to bother playing modest and I'll accept your salute. I earned this one.
TheHalcyonYear made a valid point: I may be emotionally biased on the issue.

I've always been a hard supporter of the Heavy Drugs being illegal. even Pot, too.
But reading all the posts and my own arguments, I realize that my own argument is weak. I can vaguely support and justify it.. but only barely... and that just isn't good enough to be a hard supporter, is it?

I've seen the terrors desperate crackheads can do.
But I also know that jailtime isn't going to make one sober.
As soon as he gets out, he will get a pipe and a rock and have at it. They need help and should receive help- and receive punishment for committing crimes- even if doing crimes when being high is a motivating factor.
This is a tough one for me. It really is.

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 07:44 AM
A teenager run over by a drunk driver is included in the alcohol numbers while a teenager run over by a guy stoned on cannabis is not counted in your zero number.

You're trying for very disingenuous manipulation, especially since your numbers aren't adjusting for how many use the various substances either.

Basically, the typical propaganda story is being told by you.

Nice try Toothdust

I admit my fallacy. I did not take that factor into account. Especially since testing for it only shows that said person has used cannabis sometime in the past 2 weeks-1 month. If they could devise a reliable Breathalyzer of sorts, then we could get some reliable statistics.

The point I was trying to make is that cannabis overdose and cancer cases are unheard of. They don't exist. It is one of the safest drugs one could use recreationally or medicinally. Period.

I am sure that there are cannabis related deaths, as in person A was stoned and crashed into person B. Most certainly, though, cannabis legalization would come with restrictions, just as alcohol and tobacco are now.


We will put up with people eating unhealthy foods, but we will not put up with us eating each other.

Best line in this thread!

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 08:05 AM
Reading where this thread has gone, I want to assert something:

There is a BIG difference between legalization and decriminalization.

To start with, we should decriminalize ALL drugs (except maybe if someone is say dealing to kids. Thats a definite crime). So drug use should be decriminalized. People who are addicted to destructive drugs should not be in prison. They should be in a health care/mental health situation.

As for legalization, as in regulated such as alcohol is, for now now cannabis should most certainly be made legal. Any argument against cannabis would require making alcohol and tobacco illegal as well, plain and simple.

Perhaps one day, the stigma around mushrooms will wane. These used to be sold in "coffee shops" in the Netherlands until they bowed to international pressure and removed them, but the fact is they are non-toxic and non-addictive. The only danger from them is a psychological one, which can be avoided if one knows what one is dealing with. And perhaps an allergy here and there.

I stand firm that knowing and understanding your drug, any drug, via education, results in less problems associated with its use. Just think how many problems we would have with alcohol if we didn't talk about it openly, if there was a taboo regarding its use, yet we knew that people/kids are likely to try it. There would be far more deaths associated with it than there are now. Same goes for all other drugs. We need to talk about them. If we keep ignoring the fact that people will be people and try these things, as well as continuing to neglect discussion about them, people will continue to get hurt, plain and simple.

edit: I forgot the "other" drugs.

Seriously, if someone takes ecstasy on the weekends, or a snort of coke at a party, who cares? If they are functioning people and not hurting anyone else, as in they have a stable life, steady job, and pay their taxes, who cares? I don't. If it becomes a problem for them though, I would hope someone would notice.

There is a fine line between use and abuse for ALL drugs. I think it is a failure on our part to be able to recognize this line, and to just classify all illegal drug use as abuse no matter what, is absurd.

I know many people who use the occasional cocaine or ecstasy or whatever they choose in the proper situations, and you would never be able to tell otherwise just by looking at them. They are all in or have been through college, have steady jobs, good relationships with family and friends, etc. Responsible users should be able to do what they wish. It is up to society to set and define boundaries between use and abuse.

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-16, 08:54 AM
Similarly, the well documented negative effects of alcohol and tobacco are useless as arguments for legalizing recreational cannabis, they are only arguments for doing something to make people use those less.


I see it as an argument for consistency in how we should treat dangerous drugs, and the people who use them.



Banning alcohol and tobacco ads and axing them heavily might be a good start, prohibition having been demonstrated not to work.

In what sense doesn't it work? Making the drugs illegal can certainly reduce use substantially, though obviously it wouldn't stop all demand.

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-16, 09:13 AM
As for legalization, as in regulated such as alcohol is, for now now cannabis should most certainly be made legal.


I'm not terribly impressed with the current regulation for alcohol.



I stand firm that knowing and understanding your drug, any drug, via education, results in less problems associated with its use. Just think how many problems we would have with alcohol if we didn't talk about it openly, if there was a taboo regarding its use, yet we knew that people/kids are likely to try it. There would be far more deaths associated with it than there are now.


Uh, we have a lot of problems with alcohol. I don't think education matters very much, but cultural attitudes do. I'm not too impressed with the war on drugs because I don't think it works very well, but I certainly wouldn't want to see a lot of other drugs treated as freely as alcohol is today.

By the way, do you have some evidence that there would be more deaths due to alcohol if there were serious use taboos?

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-16, 09:30 AM
There is a BIG difference between legalization and decriminalization.

To start with, we should decriminalize ALL drugs (except maybe if someone is say dealing to kids. Thats a definite crime). So drug use should be decriminalized. People who are addicted to destructive drugs should not be in prison. They should be in a health care/mental health situation.


I agree that this would work better than the current situation, but I would add that the regulations on tobacco and especially alcohol should be increased to be consistent with other dangerous drugs. It shouldn't be an attitude of making other drugs as easy to get as alcohol and tobacco, or an attitude that they aren't dangerous.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-16, 10:18 AM
The point I was trying to make is that cannabis overdose and cancer cases are unheard of.
Depends on how you define overdose.

If it's "smoke pipe, drop dead" then you may be right, but if you include non-fatal effects such as "smoke pipe, experience psychotic episode", the numbers start rising fast.

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-16, 10:38 AM
The point I was trying to make is that cannabis overdose and cancer cases are unheard of. They don't exist.


Unheard of, perhaps. After all, they aren't tracked nearly as well as tobacco smokers. But they probably exist. Here's an article on the subject:

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes: study (http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSHKG10478820080129)


HONG KONG (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an "epidemic" of lung cancers linked to cannabis.

Studies in the past have demonstrated that cannabis can cause cancer, but few have established a strong link between cannabis use and the actual incidence of lung cancer.

In an article published in the European Respiratory Journal, the scientists said cannabis could be expected to harm the airways more than tobacco as its smoke contained twice the level of carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, compared with tobacco cigarettes.

It looks like the risk is at least as high as for tobacco. They don't get a pass on that one.

Trantor
2008-Dec-16, 02:44 PM
Especially since testing for it only shows that said person has used cannabis sometime in the past 2 weeks-1 month. If they could devise a reliable Breathalyzer of sorts, then we could get some reliable statistics.


It is true that cannabis is very easy to detect, for a long period of time. I suspect this is probably one of the main reasons why it so important to law enforcement officials conducting the "war on drugs". Companies that get better insurance rates because they are "drug free workplaces" need to show that their programs are producing good results. Dectection of the hard drugs is not possible beyond two or three days, and with some drugs such as meth, the drug washes completely out of the body once it's effects are gone. So if a person uses hard drugs on Friday or Saturday night, they are generally going to be able to pass a drug test on Monday. Without cannibis on board, the results are not going to look very impressive.

Having compared both Alcohol and marijuana in the past, I have no doubt that alcohol is stronger. Perhaps if the comparison is between beer and marijuana, then it would take many beers to equal one joint; but it doesn't take much hard liquor to have a greater effect than one joint can produce.

As for marijuana's effects on creativity, I think that has more to do with it's relaxation properties than anything else. If a person is relaxed, sitting on the beach listening to the sound of the waves; their mind is probably in a better environment for creative thinking, and perhaps their brain produces chemicals that may stimulate creative thoughts. I think marijuana may have a similar effect. It's just easier for some artists and musicians to use the drug enhancement method.

Fazor
2008-Dec-16, 02:57 PM
Different tests yeild different detection rates. Urine tests typically don't show substances after a few days to a week. Hair samples can tell a lot more. I don't recall what drugs show up in hair samples, or if they all can be detected that way.

But thats the importance of the "random" in "random drug testing". My brother works for "the union" and they have the right to come get you from the work site and take you to the test center with no warning. Doesn't mean you can't use; just means you're gambling with if you're going to get caught.

My last job would give slightly more warning just because of the nature of the job (can't just randomly leave post); so you'd get one day advanced warning. I was only tested once--but it's nice when my ability to urinate on demand comes in handy. And yes, I passed.

Abbadon_2008
2008-Dec-16, 03:01 PM
Maybe 'Smart Pills' would become the new party drug.

Everybody could trip on enhanced brainpower!:dance::clap::dance:

No, that wouldn't work. Enhancing cognitive abilities would simply increase the number of tormented, melancholy intellectuals. After all, ignorance is bliss, and a failing memory wards off depression and stress.:wall:

Fazor
2008-Dec-16, 03:04 PM
Maybe 'Smart Pills' would become the new party drug.

Everybody could trip on enhanced brainpower!:dance::clap::dance:

No, that wouldn't work. Enhancing cognitive abilities would simply increase the number of tormented, melancholy intellectuals. After all, ignorance is bliss, and a failing memory wards off depression and stress.:wall:

Oh god, I couldn't imagine me and my friends sitting around have intellectual debates! Our Argue about stupid things debates are bad enough!

Daffy
2008-Dec-16, 03:08 PM
It seems to me that your emotions are affecting you. Why do the rest of us have to live according to your rules. If I want to sit down after work and have a joint why not. As for the "drain on society argument", I have a feeling that it would be much cheaper compared to the enormous amounts now spent on locking up drug users and interdicting drug traffic.

:)

Um...did you even read my posts? You are making the same I arguments I am.

Whatever...I think Toothdust may have good compromise with the decriminalization idea.

Trantor
2008-Dec-16, 03:51 PM
Different tests yeild different detection rates. Urine tests typically don't show substances after a few days to a week. Hair samples can tell a lot more. I don't recall what drugs show up in hair samples, or if they all can be detected that way.

But thats the importance of the "random" in "random drug testing". My brother works for "the union" and they have the right to come get you from the work site and take you to the test center with no warning. Doesn't mean you can't use; just means you're gambling with if you're going to get caught.

My last job would give slightly more warning just because of the nature of the job (can't just randomly leave post); so you'd get one day advanced warning. I was only tested once--but it's nice when my ability to urinate on demand comes in handy. And yes, I passed.

At my company, we test all new hires; then after that, you may get a random test with all employees in the test pool. Also, if you have any accident on site, you get tested. The random tests occur a least once a month, but never more than twice. A number is assigned to all hourly and salaried employees. Our computer randomly selects one number, and that employee is called in and sent to the testing center. Our employees here call it "The Lottery". The vast majority of positive results are due to Marijuana.

At this point, hair testing is rather costly, so we don't use it. It is better at detecting most kinds of drugs, including most hard drugs that are hard to dectect with urine, for up to 90 days. Some hard drugs such as LSD are still only dectectable for 2-3 days.

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 04:01 PM
I'm not terribly impressed with the current regulation for alcohol.

How would you change alcohol regulation? One thing I would change is for allowing people to drink from the age of 16-17, but only in the presence of their parents. This way people would be more experienced with the drug before going out on their own and learning about it as they go.




Uh, we have a lot of problems with alcohol.

Uh, yeah! Don't think anyone would disagree there.


I don't think education matters very much, but cultural attitudes do. I'm not too impressed with the war on drugs because I don't think it works very well, but I certainly wouldn't want to see a lot of other drugs treated as freely as alcohol is today.

See, I think cultural attitudes and education go hand in hand. If the cultural attitude is one of openness and acceptability, then people will naturally be exposed to more information about it, more experience with it, more experience with other people who know more about it, etc. If it is culturally accepted, then people will have a greater knowledge on the effects, dangers, side effects, etc, and therefore be more educated.

If on the other hand it is culturally taboo to even talk about, then people who do end up experimenting are more likely to have no idea what they are getting into. Sure, the first time someone tries an illegal drug you are most likely with someone else who has before, but what assurance is that? Better to be able to know what you are getting into. At least now the internet is making it possible for people to at least look these things up.


By the way, do you have some evidence that there would be more deaths due to alcohol if there were serious use taboos?

I do not have any on hand, but will spend some time later searching for alcohol stats during the prohibition years.

Fazor
2008-Dec-16, 04:07 PM
At this point, hair testing is rather costly, so we don't use it. It is better at detecting most kinds of drugs, including most hard drugs that are hard to dectect with urine, for up to 90 days. Some hard drugs such as LSD are still only dectectable for 2-3 days.
Yeah; that's the problem with hair. It's not a quick or simple (and thus, not cheap) test. You won't find a hair-sample drug test in most work environments, though samples can be taken following an accident (work or otherwise) for later evidence in court.

But while "hard drugs" may be harder to detect on a urine (or, gaining popularity, saliva) test; their effects on a person's body and cognition are typically much easier to notice; not to mention their effects on a user's bank account.

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 04:08 PM
So while I can appreciate the argument for certian substances; and while I do believe there's some very good arguments for (Inc Tax revenue from legal sales, better quality and quantity controls, etc); I can't get over the "It's already illegal, why change it"?

Yes, but just because something is so doesn't make it correct. Slavery was already legal, but they decided to make it illegal. Women/blacks voting was illegal, but they made it legal. Tobacco and alcohol were both illegal at one time, now they are legal. Appeal to Tradition argument falls apart pretty quick.

And no Fazor, from our PM discussion, no one expects people like you to go out of your way to push for change. But I would expect someone like you to be able to look at the evidence for cannabis legalization and at least agree with what is logically presented. There is a very strong case for it.

Daffy
2008-Dec-16, 04:11 PM
At my company, we test all new hires; then after that, you may get a random test with all employees in the test pool. Also, if you have any accident on site, you get tested. The random tests occur a least once a month, but never more than twice. A number is assigned to all hourly and salaried employees. Our computer randomly selects one number, and that employee is called in and sent to the testing center. Our employees here call it "The Lottery". The vast majority of positive results are due to Marijuana.

At this point, hair testing is rather costly, so we don't use it. It is better at detecting most kinds of drugs, including most hard drugs that are hard to dectect with urine, for up to 90 days. Some hard drugs such as LSD are still only dectectable for 2-3 days.

I have a real problem with this kind of testing. I mean, if you'll give a company or government your very body fluids, what won't you give them?

I guess I can tolerate it in the case of airline pilots, air traffic controllers and such. But other than cases like that, it seems terribly Orwellian to me. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" And "Reasonable cause?"

Fazor
2008-Dec-16, 04:16 PM
[Toothdust]There is a very strong case for it.
Which I'll happily agree to. But I also don't feel it's a rights violation to have it banned; thus my "I'm happy how it is" stance.

What it really comes down to is a line has to be drawn somewhere (at least, most people feel so). Could pot be okay? Maybe. How about ecstasy? How about LSD? Heroine? Coke? Opiates?

The thing is, I do think certain substances should be controlled. Thus, a disagreement over a particular substance does not strike me as an egregious rights violation, but rather a difference in opinion. Ergo, I'd be much less likely to act to change the current system.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-16, 04:27 PM
Except when someone using crack is so addicted that it causes him to stab others to get the money to buy more crack. And crack is so addictive that it makes people do that, which is a major factor in its illegality, so in a way you could argue that taking crack is equivalent to stabbing people.
.
No, a crack addict stabs others to get a fix because the war on drugs is a subsidy that keeps the price sky high. If booze cost $200 an ounce, you would probably find drinkers causing a lot more violence to get a shot.

Trantor
2008-Dec-16, 04:41 PM
Yes, but just because something is so doesn't make it correct. Slavery was already legal, but they decided to make it illegal. Women/blacks voting was illegal, but they made it legal. Tobacco and alcohol were both illegal at one time, now they are legal. Appeal to Tradition argument falls apart pretty quick.


My brother was stationed over in Saudi Arabia for over a year during the first Gulf War. I recall him telling me that over there, alcohol was illegal and marijuana was legal. He may have been wrong about the legal status, but he did say that it's in very widespread use and people don't get put in jail for using it. Does anyone know any countries where the laws are reversed? I know Canada has been flirting with decrimination of marijuana for many years now, but I think the US has been putting pressure on them not to do it.

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 04:45 PM
[Toothdust]There is a very strong case for it.
Which I'll happily agree to. But I also don't feel it's a rights violation to have it banned; thus my "I'm happy how it is" stance.

What it really comes down to is a line has to be drawn somewhere (at least, most people feel so). Could pot be okay? Maybe. How about ecstasy? How about LSD? Heroine? Coke? Opiates?

The thing is, I do think certain substances should be controlled. Thus, a disagreement over a particular substance does not strike me as an egregious rights violation, but rather a difference in opinion. Ergo, I'd be much less likely to act to change the current system.

So you think that it is ok for you to drink your booze, but if I want to use cannabis in the same manner, a drug which is far safer than alcohol, where do you get off telling me that I shouldn't? It absolutely is a rights violation.

Lets say the tides were turned, and cannabis became legal, accepted, etc. Lets say at this same time the people making the rules favored cannabis and decided to ban alcohol again. People who use it responsibly would feel that their rights were being violated, which they rightly should.

Please explain exactly how you don't think it is a rights violation, especially when it deals with a drug that is far less destructive than your drug of choice?

Edit: Fazor, you are being very confusing. At first you say that you would agree to a logical, evidence approach to legalization, but then you say you are happy the way things are now. How would people smoking cannabis legally affect you any differently than it does now?

Fazor
2008-Dec-16, 05:13 PM
Please explain exactly how you don't think it is a rights violation, especially when it deals with a drug that is far less destructive than your drug of choice?
How is it a rights violation? You can pretend that you have the right to do with your body as you want, but that is not a garunteed right. Laws are based on societal norms. If you want to be a part of that society, you abide by those laws. In the early 1900's, society in America decided that illicit drug use was bad, and therefore passed laws against it. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that it's wrong. If enough people don't agree with it, then the law gets changed. That's how it works. Not to sound mean, but the blunt truth is your one right is that you don't have to be a member of the society. If you don't like the society, you hope you can change it, or you move.

Where the drug/alcohol analogy really breaks down is because prohibition failed because society refused to accept it as the norm. Like it or not, society as a whole did accept the prohibition of drugs. When your opinion is the minorty, it sucks. But that's just how it works.

Edit: Fazor, you are being very confusing. At first you say that you would agree to a logical, evidence approach to legalization, but then you say you are happy the way things are now. How would people smoking cannabis legally affect you any differently than it does now? No, I agree that some of the arguments have merit. That does not necesitate that the meritable arguments are enough to push legalization. In other words, the legalization movement has made some valid steps towards changing the societal norm; though they hurt themselves with as many bad arguments as good. I simply am not motivated to "fight the fight"--in life, we must pick and choose our battles. There's many other things that I'd rather see changed, and that I feel are much more pressing matters. Yes, I'd be "up in arms" if they took away my beer, but that's because it's something that affects me personally. Pot, or other substances that I don't use, do not.

Trantor
2008-Dec-16, 05:27 PM
I have a real problem with this kind of testing. I mean, if you'll give a company or government your very body fluids, what won't you give them?

I guess I can tolerate it in the case of airline pilots, air traffic controllers and such. But other than cases like that, it seems terribly Orwellian to me. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" And "Reasonable cause?"

Actually Daffy, I am the head of the Human Resources Department, so it falls under my responsibility. I don't make company policy. Most of those policies have been in place since well before I arrived 10 years ago. My company is a large manufacturing business and also does considerable shipping, so we get much better insurance rates because of our drug free workplace program. We are talking about savings of well over a million dollars per year. Osha also treats companies with these programs better.

It is not easy to terminate a good employee for having smoked a joint a month prior; especially when you know other lesser employees, who have alcohol problems, but manage to do enough to keep their jobs. The employees here know the rules. If they take the risk, they must accept reponsibility for that risk. I may not like the fact that a mild drug like marijuana is unfairly targeted, but I do my job. I know other managers in my field who feel the same way.

toothdust
2008-Dec-16, 10:53 PM
Please explain exactly how you don't think it is a rights violation, especially when it deals with a drug that is far less destructive than your drug of choice?
How is it a rights violation? You can pretend that you have the right to do with your body as you want, but that is not a garunteed right. Laws are based on societal norms. If you want to be a part of that society, you abide by those laws. In the early 1900's, society in America decided that illicit drug use was bad, and therefore passed laws against it. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that it's wrong. If enough people don't agree with it, then the law gets changed. That's how it works. Not to sound mean, but the blunt truth is your one right is that you don't have to be a member of the society. If you don't like the society, you hope you can change it, or you move.

Where the drug/alcohol analogy really breaks down is because prohibition failed because society refused to accept it as the norm. Like it or not, society as a whole did accept the prohibition of drugs. When your opinion is the minorty, it sucks. But that's just how it works.

I absolutely disgaree with your reasoning. So would you in the same hand tell a homosexual couple that they cannot be intimate because it doesn't fit into the mainstream norm?

You should do some reading on the history of how cannabis came to be prohibited in the first place. In short, it was more of a racial and political act than something against the plant itself. Blacks and hispanics used cannabis in the early thirties, they brought it to the US, and white American folk didn't like that their daughters were hanging around such "heathens". I could lash out into the history, but I am afraid my fingers would bleed before I was finished.

So when something is illegal on false and absurd pretexts, I find it hard to undertand why someone skilled in critical thinking would agree to continue such laws.

Then again, they don't teach you the history of cannabis, therefore it is left to people to find on their own. Guaranteed if every person was exposed to the history of our drug laws, and became familiar with the racism, political and industry influences, the laws would flip like a capsizing boat.


No, I agree that some of the arguments have merit. That does not necesitate that the meritable arguments are enough to push legalization. In other words, the legalization movement has made some valid steps towards changing the societal norm; though they hurt themselves with as many bad arguments as good. I simply am not motivated to "fight the fight"--in life, we must pick and choose our battles. There's many other things that I'd rather see changed, and that I feel are much more pressing matters. Yes, I'd be "up in arms" if they took away my beer, but that's because it's something that affects me personally. Pot, or other substances that I don't use, do not.

And although I do not drink anymore, I would be right there by your side fighting for your rights, That is what friends do for each other. We support each other when the cause is good. Just like I stood outside in the cold with a gay friend of mine and protested Prop. 8 because that is what friends who care do. I am not gay, but people I know and care about are getting unfairly treated. Therefore I support in whatever way I can.

The cannabis issue IS a civil rights issue without a doubt.

Then again, I wouldn't expect much from an alcoholic anyways...

toothdust
2008-Dec-17, 12:09 AM
[Yes, I'd be "up in arms" if they took away my beer, but that's because it's something that affects me personally.

I just realized that, by your own logic, you would have no right to be up in arms if they decided to prohibit alcohol. If society decided it was the norm again, by your reasoning you would have no right to use it, because you are now in the minority.

Daffy
2008-Dec-17, 01:04 AM
Actually Daffy, I am the head of the Human Resources Department, so it falls under my responsibility. I don't make company policy. Most of those policies have been in place since well before I arrived 10 years ago. My company is a large manufacturing business and also does considerable shipping, so we get much better insurance rates because of our drug free workplace program. We are talking about savings of well over a million dollars per year. Osha also treats companies with these programs better.

It is not easy to terminate a good employee for having smoked a joint a month prior; especially when you know other lesser employees, who have alcohol problems, but manage to do enough to keep their jobs. The employees here know the rules. If they take the risk, they must accept reponsibility for that risk. I may not like the fact that a mild drug like marijuana is unfairly targeted, but I do my job. I know other managers in my field who feel the same way.

It's not a slam against you...I just object to the entire concept. I mean, if a company can invade one's own body, why can't they demand random searched of an employee's car? Or home? "They know the rules," IMO, is a gross rationalization of the erosion of our freedoms. Individuals should always, IMO, have more inherent freedoms than corporations...sadly, the opposite is becoming increasingly the norm in the U.S., and probably world wide.

I consider the whole thing to be very detrimental to our liberties...and I don't use drugs of any kind.

Fazor
2008-Dec-17, 01:11 AM
I just realized that, by your own logic, you would have no right to be up in arms if they decided to prohibit alcohol. If society decided it was the norm again, by your reasoning you would have no right to use it, because you are now in the minority.

I didn't say one shouldn't disagree with laws. I said that, unless enough people disagree, the law holds.

And as for your comparison to same-sex intimacy; isn't gay marraige banned in most states? Haven't enough banded together so that it's starting to change?

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-17, 01:31 AM
How would you change alcohol regulation? One thing I would change is for allowing people to drink from the age of 16-17, but only in the presence of their parents. This way people would be more experienced with the drug before going out on their own and learning about it as they go.


I want much much heavier restrictions on where it could be sold, and where it could be used. Those that serve alcohol should bear substantial responsibility for anyone who drives away drunk.



See, I think cultural attitudes and education go hand in hand. If the cultural attitude is one of openness and acceptability, then people will naturally be exposed to more information about it, more experience with it, more experience with other people who know more about it, etc. If it is culturally accepted, then people will have a greater knowledge on the effects, dangers, side effects, etc, and therefore be more educated.

If on the other hand it is culturally taboo to even talk about, then people who do end up experimenting are more likely to have no idea what they are getting into. Sure, the first time someone tries an illegal drug you are most likely with someone else who has before, but what assurance is that? Better to be able to know what you are getting into. At least now the internet is making it possible for people to at least look these things up.


What I see, too often, is folks that tune out the information on what could happen to them. The exception is if they knew someone well that was killed - then they might take it a little more seriously. Even then, their concern tends to fade after a year or two.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-17, 02:21 AM
Well, this is San Francisco out here and the concerts, Love Festival, and other events have people selling Marijuana pretty openly. In fact, at the last Love Festival here, just in case you weren't sure where get the stuff, there were Marijuana plant branches posted to let you know who was selling.

From what I understand, there are those looking to bring legislation before congress to decriminalize possession of moderate amounts of Marijuana. It's a step that I for one welcome. Those of us who are tired of the foolishness are encouraged the changing attitudes.

timb
2008-Dec-17, 03:17 AM
Laws are based on societal norms. If you want to be a part of that society, you abide by those laws. In the early 1900's, society in America decided that illicit drug use was bad, and therefore passed laws against it. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that it's wrong. If enough people don't agree with it, then the law gets changed. That's how it works. Not to sound mean, but the blunt truth is your one right is that you don't have to be a member of the society. If you don't like the society, you hope you can change it, or you move.

Where the drug/alcohol analogy really breaks down is because prohibition failed because society refused to accept it as the norm. Like it or not, society as a whole did accept the prohibition of drugs. When your opinion is the minorty, it sucks. But that's just how it works.


Well some people claim that rights exist independently of what the society you live in says, but that's a philosophical debate.

There would probably have to be a large majority in favor of legalizing a drug for it to happen. I'm not sure, but I think so-called "medical marijuana" does fairly well in opinion polls in the US. What matters in a representative democracy is the representatives' perception of how their position on a particular issue affects their re-election chances. This isn't just a matter of following opinion polls, but a matter of determining how many voters will change their vote. If, as is possibly the case with regard to the medical MJ issue, there's a significant minority that is fanatically against legalization and a majority that supports it but doesn't think it's an issue worth changing their vote over, then the minority wins.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-17, 10:54 AM
Interestingly, it looks like there hasn't been much talk about the drugs that where actually under discussion in the original article.
Let's just note that the illegal drugs promoted by TheHalcyonYear and toothdust are not cognitive-enhancing in the sense talked about in the article which rather talks about attention-span and wakefulness increasers such as Ritalin and Caffeine, which aren't illegal, though they may require prescriptions to buy legally.

Fazor
2008-Dec-17, 12:23 PM
[timb]If, as is possibly the case with regard to the medical MJ issue, there's a significant minority that is fanatically against legalization and a majority that supports it but doesn't think it's an issue worth changing their vote over, then the minority wins.
A very good point indeed--gets to the issue of the strengths/shortcomings of the political system (which would be hard to discuss further while staying in bounds of BAUT rules). Everything I've noted is the simplistic version of how society "should" work. Basically just the nature of community, norms, and laws.

timb
2008-Dec-17, 02:07 PM
[timb]If, as is possibly the case with regard to the medical MJ issue, there's a significant minority that is fanatically against legalization and a majority that supports it but doesn't think it's an issue worth changing their vote over, then the minority wins.
A very good point indeed--gets to the issue of the strengths/shortcomings of the political system


People disagree whether this is a bug or a feature of the political system. Some states have a "proposition" process that can bypass representatives and allow the majority to impose its wishes on even the most vocal minority, but there is no such mechanism at the US Federal level that I am aware of.


Everything I've noted is the simplistic version of how society "should" work. Basically just the nature of community, norms, and laws.

Sure, and as a description it's basically accurate. Its weakness is you can make exactly the same statements to someone living in a society that burnt witches, kept people as slaves, or stoned to death women who went out unchaperoned.

Fazor
2008-Dec-17, 02:43 PM
Sure, and as a description it's basically accurate. Its weakness is you can make exactly the same statements to someone living in a society that burnt witches, kept people as slaves, or stoned to death women who went out unchaperoned.
True, but it's also innaccurate to say that we're the same society now that did those things in the past.

I don't really want to inflate this part of the debate past the thread's scope; but basically my point is just that it's easy for one group (any group, but the legalization movement for the purposes of this thread) to say their rights are being violated; but until they can be convincing enough to change societies views, their still the minority.

Toothdust questioned how I can call the arguments pro valid without being pro myself. But oft it's not a case of one side is wrong and the other is right. It's possible to say "That's a good point; but it still doesn't sway my opinion."

Fazor
2008-Dec-17, 02:57 PM
[I did two seperate posts because this one goes back to the OP topic]

Back to the article brought up in the OP; it is a very interesting delima. Delima? I don't think that charactorises it right. Situation.

If we can make ourselves better, shouldn't we? But is it okay to mess with our natural abilities? What might be the side effects physically? How about socio-econmically--as those who can afford the drugs propsper further, while those who already are at an economic disadvantage can't afford them and thus get thrust into an even greater disadvantage?

Of course, the specific effect of the drug(s) would be important to the debate--does it max everyone's potential so they're more or less equally smart? (probably not). Do they carry any benifit for someone who is already very intelligent? What happens when you quit using them? Etc.

Sounds kinda sci-fi'ish to me.

Daffy
2008-Dec-17, 05:11 PM
Just finished reading a very disturbing article about how the U.S. War on Drugs is directly fueling the extreme violence in Mexico and giving more and more power to the drug cartels...and how the violence (which, oddly, very few seem to be talking about) is already spreading to the U.S.

Seriously, gang, the War ain't working. It's time---way past time---to try something else; innocent people are dying by the hundreds, if not thousands...and it's happening HERE.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-17, 05:27 PM
Interestingly, it looks like there hasn't been much talk about the drugs that where actually under discussion in the original article.
Let's just note that the illegal drugs promoted by TheHalcyonYear and toothdust are not cognitive-enhancing in the sense talked about in the article which rather talks about attention-span and wakefulness increasers such as Ritalin and Caffeine, which aren't illegal, though they may require prescriptions to buy legally.
Let us also note that TheHalcyonYear is not promoting illegal drugs nor is she promoting the use of illegal drugs. Rather, she is asking questions concerning their illegal status since there seems to be a growing acceptance of many of them.

Interesting post HenrikOlsen, but inaccurate. I hope my post sets the record straight.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-17, 06:08 PM
You're right, sorry, you're promoting legalization of them rather than promoting the drugs themselves.

Still doesn't make it relevant for discussion of the original article as it didn't talk about THC.

Trantor
2008-Dec-17, 08:11 PM
This thread got me interested in checking out the legal status of cannabis worldwide. Here are three Wikipedia sites that have some good information. They also link to other sites with additional information such as the war on drugs in Mexico as Daffy mentioned. It seems that in only three counties, cannabis is legal; India, Pakistan, and Netherlands. In India, cannabis is regulated by the government. In other countries such as Jamaica, it is an illegal drug, but the laws are not enforced and cannabis is sold openly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_country

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_of_cannabis


Here is a good article on Legalization in Canada:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_legalization_in_Canada

mugaliens
2008-Dec-17, 10:01 PM
Agreed - the original was talking about "cognitive enhancing drugs," not merely mind-altering drugs.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-18, 02:21 AM
You're right, sorry, you're promoting legalization of them rather than promoting the drugs themselves.

Still doesn't make it relevant for discussion of the original article as it didn't talk about THC.
This is true, but I find it interesting that my post was singled out when I was responding to others who had already moved the discussion away from the op.

toothdust
2008-Dec-18, 02:49 AM
Agreed - the original was talking about "cognitive enhancing drugs," not merely mind-altering drugs.

Indeed they were. I inserted the discussion with the botanical drugs being talked about because they have had cognitive enhancing effects on me, and as I would predict that in a poll, most people who have used them would agree. Not just "altering" effects. Besides, "altering" doesn't negate an enhancing effect. It is more of an agnostic term.

Any drug abused or used unwisely can have detrimental effects. Any drug used wisely and responsibly can have beneficial effects.


Carl Sagan himself was an avid pot smoker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan#Personal_life_and_beliefs), crediting the plant with increasing his intellectual abilities and sensual experiences.

At least he made it a point to reveal his use after his death, for we all know how he would have been "lynched" had he done so during his career.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-18, 03:47 AM
The funny thing is that it's only the pothead who thinks his thinking is enhanced, people listening to him babbling will, unless they've smoked as well, tend to conclude he's dumber, but on something that gives the illusion his stupid ideas are really smart.

timb
2008-Dec-18, 05:50 AM
Yeah, I always thought Carl looked kind of dopey.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-18, 08:08 PM
Exactly - most people think they're smarter while using many drugs, but that's the effect of the drug - it's illusory. They're not actually smarter at all, and quite often, their cognitive abilities are impaired.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-18, 08:17 PM
Carl Sagan himself was an avid pot smoker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan#Personal_life_and_beliefs), crediting the plant with increasing his intellectual abilities and sensual experiences.

At least he made it a point to reveal his use after his death, for we all know how he would have been "lynched" had he done so during his career.
Bold mine. Exactly, it is a measure of the prejudice and unthinking reaction that a intelligent, productive individual, such as Carl Sagan, could have lost so much by such a simple revelation. It is obvious that he found a happy mix of recreational drug use and clear-minded professionalism. I think it unfortunate that, rather than give people pause to rethink their preconceptions, they decide that if they had known they would have "professionally lynched" him.

Where's the open-mindedness in that?

Neverfly
2008-Dec-19, 01:56 AM
Both of you are assuming he would have been "lynched."

Daffy
2008-Dec-19, 07:00 AM
Both of you are assuming he would have been "lynched."

It's a pretty safe bet.

Trantor
2008-Dec-19, 02:11 PM
About Carl Sagan, I like what Isaac Asimov says:

Isaac Asimov described Sagan as one of only two people he ever met who were smarter than Asimov himself. The other was computer scientist and expert on artificial intelligence, Marvin Minsky.

Strong words, coming from a strong mind.

Fazor
2008-Dec-19, 02:17 PM
It's a pretty safe bet.

I'm more with Neverfly on this one. A brilliant mind is a brilliant mind; I'm sure there would have been a number of people who would have tried to use his personal vice to discredit him; but if his ideas and science held true, it woudn't have changed that.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-19, 09:14 PM
Both of you are assuming he would have been "lynched."
I think the idea is that Dr. Sagan points to the fact that moderate drug use can go hand in hand with a successful career. This will not be the case for all of course, some will abuse a vice whether it be alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, or double cheese burgers. In this case, however, the man was able to partake without serious repercussions.

Neverfly
2008-Dec-19, 09:17 PM
I think the idea is that Dr. Sagan points to the fact that moderate drug use can go hand in hand with a successful career. This will not be the case for all of course, some will abuse a vice whether it be alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, or double cheese burgers. In this case, however, the man was able to partake without serious repercussions.

He and many others. However, I doubt its use contributed to his intellect or career.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-19, 09:55 PM
He and many others. However, I doubt its use contributed to his intellect or career.
The point is that he found a balance between the two. Life is not *all* intellect and career. Some want time to play, and do unhealthy things whether that be hang-gliding, getting drunk with friends at the beach, or smoking a bit of hash or pot. The point is *not* that it enhances one's career or intellect, but that one can still be successful and intelligent when it counts and still have a private personal life.

Some believe that quality is the measure life, rather than quantity. Such a choice of measure should be a personal decision.

Euniculus
2008-Dec-22, 12:15 AM
*I am not a professional yet, but am in my third year of pharmacy school*

Yes, St John's Wort has anti-depressive properties. However, do not just start taking it without consulting your personal medical professional, as it does have some major drug interactions. Do not take it if you already take medicine for depression or MAO inhibitors.

Antidepressants, these days most prescribed are SSRIs, do work for a lot of people. However, it taked some trial and error to find the right one or combo. Again, consult your personal medical professional. Also, they do have some undesirable side effects (insomnia, weight gain, GI issues, headache etc..) that generally go away after the first couple weeks.

As far as "normal" people using ADD meds to enhance cognition and potentially raise test scores, extremely bad idea. Almost all these drugs are amphetamine based, addictive, and have great potential for abuse. Yes, there are legitimate medical reasons for using them. However, they are not benign and should not be treated as such.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-22, 07:43 PM
Some want time to play, and do unhealthy things whether that be hang-gliding...

:confused:

Have you ever done hang-gliding? Serious accidents are rare, and hoofing it up those hills all the time takes a good bit of cardiovascular capability!

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-22, 08:35 PM
:confused:

Have you ever done hang-gliding? Serious accidents are rare, and hoofing it up those hills all the time takes a good bit of cardiovascular capability!
And Carl Sagan spent his life using pot recreational fashion and never had a serious problem.

tdvance
2008-Dec-22, 10:38 PM
...that we know of :)

mugaliens
2008-Dec-22, 11:20 PM
And Carl Sagan ... never had a serious problem.

I heard he had a problem pronouncing his "**.."

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-23, 03:09 AM
Yup, never consider the possibility that recreational drug use might be handled in a responsible fashion. If out argued, make jokes, but never open your mind to alternative points of view.

Another thread that at time was semi-informative that had dropped to a content of zero. I am out of here!!

Neverfly
2008-Dec-23, 04:41 AM
Yup, never consider the possibility that recreational drug use might be handled in a responsible fashion. If out argued, make jokes, but never open your mind to alternative points of view.

Another thread that at time was semi-informative that had dropped to a content of zero. I am out of here!!

Content of zero?

Recreational Dug Use?!

Yeah... Zonking your brain with the bombardment of heavy chemicals is very recreational...:rolleyes:

Clearly, TheHalcyonYear, You have never Observed the long term effects of drug use. They are not safe. They are a toxin. They destroy the brain and the body.


It would appear that reaching a content of zero on this topic would be rather appropriate.

Daffy
2008-Dec-23, 05:49 PM
Clearly, TheHalcyonYear, You have never Observed the long term effects of drug use. They are not safe. They are a toxin. They destroy the brain and the body.

Are you including alcohol and cigarettes in this? If so I can at least applaud your consistency. If not, you are being hypocritical.

I do not use drugs. I drink very, very little (a glass of wine once or twice a year). That said, everything in moderation. Water is a toxin and can get you high---and even kill you---in high enough doses. Same with oxygen. You need arsenic to live.

My point is be careful of blanket statements life the one above; they tend to say much more about the person speaking than they do about the subject at hand.

I have indeed observed first hand the long term effects of drugs use, many times...and the effects depends directly on the drug and the amount/frequency used. Most "overdoses" are caused by impurities in illegal drugs that are a direct result of those drugs being illegal.

All I am saying is that this is a very complicated subject, one that cannot be summed up by blanket statements.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-23, 06:11 PM
Incidentally, on the subject of medical marijuana, there's work being done developing it in inhalator form (like those used by asthmatics) which solves both the original problem of taking an anti-nausea drug orally and solves the problems that smoking it has, such as inconsistent dosage.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-23, 07:14 PM
I am out of here!!

See 'ya!


Incidentally, on the subject of medical marijuana, there's work being done developing it in inhalator form (like those used by asthmatics) which solves both the original problem of taking an anti-nausea drug orally and solves the problems that smoking it has, such as inconsistent dosage.

I find this entirely reasonable, as the ingredients are known for their anti-emitic properties, as well as a treatment for glaucoma.

tdvance
2008-Dec-23, 09:32 PM
well, to keep everything equal between legal medications and marijuana, suppose somebody grows a weed that produces zoloft (yeah, I know impossible, but hypothetically) in smokeable form. Would it be legal to grow and smoke it? Or would you be required to have a doc's prescription and purchase it from a licensed pharmacist who got it from a drug manufacturing company subject to the usual regualtions?

One could conceive of legalizing marajuana usage--but only under guidelines similar to other prescription medications (such as a requirement for extensive clinical testing and FDA approval).

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-24, 07:00 AM
Basically, growing and smoking it would have the same fundamental disadvantage I see in all "natural" medicines, there's no reliable way to control dosage.

Daffy
2008-Dec-24, 07:23 AM
Basically, growing and smoking it would have the same fundamental disadvantage I see in all "natural" medicines, there's no reliable way to control dosage.

True...but it would be very difficult (impossible?) to overdose on medical marijuana.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-24, 08:39 AM
That depends on your definition of overdosing.
If it's "take too much, drop dead", then you'd right, but then that would be true for almost all drugs.

If it's "take too much, get effects other than those that are its purpose", then you're wrong, it's extremely easy to do that when smoking marijuana.

The high, the impaired judgment, mellowness, etc. etc., you know, all the effects for which it is used recreationally are all unwanted side effect when used medicinally and without a well controlled dosage they are impossible to avoid.



Overdosing in the first sense is generally not the problem when talking about controlling drug dosages.

Daffy
2008-Dec-24, 03:47 PM
That depends on your definition of overdosing.
If it's "take too much, drop dead", then you'd right, but then that would be true for almost all drugs.

If it's "take too much, get effects other than those that are its purpose", then you're wrong, it's extremely easy to do that when smoking marijuana.

The high, the impaired judgment, mellowness, etc. etc., you know, all the effects for which it is used recreationally are all unwanted side effect when used medicinally and without a well controlled dosage they are impossible to avoid.



Overdosing in the first sense is generally not the problem when talking about controlling drug dosages.

Agreed.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-25, 04:27 PM
...suppose somebody grows a weed that produces zoloft (yeah, I know impossible, but hypothetically)...

Actually, they do, at least one that has the same effect.

St. John's wort (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John%27s_wort)is an SSRI anti-depressant, as is zoloft. The only reason it's available over counter in most countries is because it's been used for thousands of years. Still, Ireland requires a prescription.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-26, 02:47 AM
And in "natural" form it has the normal problems with natural medicines of uncontrollable dosage.
If I remember correctly St. John's wort contains two active anti-depressant drugs whose relative concentrations varies depending on how it grew, and since they don't have quite the same effects and side-effects, the result of taking it is unpredictable even if the overall concentration of them is known, which it commonly isn't.

toothdust
2008-Dec-26, 04:24 AM
Incidentally, on the subject of medical marijuana, there's work being done developing it in inhalator form (like those used by asthmatics) which solves both the original problem of taking an anti-nausea drug orally and solves the problems that smoking it has, such as inconsistent dosage.

That is exactly the kind of thing we need. Not everyone would want to smoke the plant to get its benefits, and it is ultimately not the optimal way of receiving its inhalative effects. Vaporizing is pretty much benign, but is still harder to control the dose.

In other news, inhaling cannabis may actually help asthmatics (http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=132) due to its bronchodilation effect.

Anecdote time: A friends dad, severe asthmatic, almost died from being is a enclosed valley with a few bonfires burning where the smoke lingered. Doc has told him a puff on a cigarette would probably kill him. He smokes cannabis freely, safely, and gleefully.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-26, 07:35 PM
And in "natural" form it has the normal problems with natural medicines of uncontrollable dosage.

I not here to debate or advocate it's use. I merely used it as an example, and given that it's been used for at least two millennia... The control for the leading manufacturers is quite precise, in part because the process is so easy (test batch, apportion apropriate amount).