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Do you believe marijuana, which was legalized in California on Jan 1, is a harmless drug?

46 Comments
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46 Comments
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Belief shouldn't enter into it. Legislation or decriminalization should be based on scientific research, not opinions and beliefs.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Loaded question—no drug is "harmless", including all the prefectly legal over-the-counter drugs that aren't criminalized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harmless is not the correct choice of words. It is much less harmful than other legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, but far from harmless.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The answer to this question will make itself evident in the increase in the number of automobile accidents involving marijuana usage. Colorado residents are just beginning to see this trend.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Not harmless, but certainly seems to have some good points. I basically will not put smoke in my lungs, including tobacco or marijuana, so will not use it in any case. According to my sources in California, taking a few hits a day mellows them and leads to much less drinking of alcohol.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

No drug his harmless.

But prohibition is harmful. Much more harmful than marijuana.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

How about legalize it first and then assess the effects?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Since it's classified as a category 1 drug in the USA, it cannot be studied, so no one can know the science because not enough has been done. USA Attorney General will keep the rating which continues to undermine any research. John Oliver did a thing on the stupidity of the whole thing

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Its less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. But as far as being actually completely harmless, I'm not sure. I agree with its legalization though.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Considering by definition of the word drug, it's NOT even a drug it's not really harmful then. It's a PLANT anyway and has scientific evidence that it CAN help people with medical problems as well as help those who are very anxious and paranoid easy.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Less harmful than booze or cigarettes. Legalize it and move on to more important issues.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I am worried that 45% of the readers (as of this moment) think it is a harmless drug. Perhaps they felt they had no other choice the way the poll is set up. If the question was about aspirin for example, or steroid creams, few people nowadays would say they are 'harmless'.

Marijuana, like aspirin, has its uses, but it needs some understanding of its various strengths and weaknesses in the preparation and usage of its derivates.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It makes people more happy and less crazy. That's good enough for me.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

USA Attorney General will keep the rating which continues to undermine any research.

It is up to Congress to change marijuana's status under federal law, not the Attorney General.

The problem with individual States legalizing marijuana is that it continues organized crime control over the markets as they use the cover of legal grows to cultivate and divert marijuana to States where it remains illegal. That is why States like Colorado and Oregon have become source States for black market marijuana and seen a rise in Mexican cartel activity - the opposite of what the citizens were promised.

The other issue is that marijuana has simply become too strong through genetic modifications to marijuana strains. It is nothing like the pot of the 60s, 70s or 80s. There are no more communal experiences like passing a joint at a concert. One hit and people are now stoned out of their minds. That's no good for anyone.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

xamo, chillax. don’t be such a downer, man. just let people get their buzz on, dude. if it feels good, do it, aright?

i mean, it cures cancer ‘n stuff.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I wouldn't recommend smoking it but hep has been good for anxiety problems

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's not "harmless", but neither is water, sunshine, sugar, alcohol, margarine, car exhaust...

It probably has some benefits though.

I feel very strongly that any adult should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to consume it.

If my understanding is correct, marijuana was made illegal in Japan by the US right after WWII, so I really hope (but not expecting) Japan will follow the US and legalize it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's NOT a DRUG. EtOH IS a DRUG. Cannabis is an herb with some psychoactive effects same as chocolate or beer but is less damaging to the physiology than either of these others. Cannabis is Nature's apothecary which the Chinese were using 8 gahdam thousand years ago and is restricted from us by the fear power of empire and psychopathic American Corporate of the 1930's. Cannabis is only 'dangerous' to timid people who claim, when asked, to not trust their government but believe every lie their government tells them. For drinkers, if you enjoy Marijuana, your poisonous alcohol intake will not only drop, but may cease entirely because of the contrast between the pleasant, civilized effects of the Marijuana and the relatively brutal, consciousness destroying effects of Ethanol, a hydrocarbon whose physiological effects differ little from the deliberate inhalation of gasoline. InTOXICation. TOXIC. Got it? There is not one documented death in the world, the world, of death solely from the use of Marijuana. Death by alcohol misadventure is a daily occurrence everywhere that people consume spoiled fruit juices, spoiled grains, or the horrific organic chemical stews which are distilled and altered by heat concentrations of everything which saprophytes (e.g. yeasts) produce in composting plant material until they die of their own wastes: Ethanol. Ethanol is yeast poop. It kills them. It will kill you. Cannabis will make you free, free of pain, free of stress, free of glaucoma, free of ... the list still grows...and, importantly, free of abject and idiot-making diminished consciousness causing Humans to do things which would horrify them when sober or 'stoned'. Harm from Marijuana is entirely a political disease for one very good reason: Marijuana can help you THINK in new ways. This is the very last thing your own national elite, whichever, wants you to be doing. A thinking polity is a danger to the psychopaths who think they own us. Grow up. Learn. Mature. Try something 'new' that has been a blessing to all animals living in the wild when illness comes. The flowers of plants produce fruits which contain the nourishment with which plants employ animals to carry their seeds and plant them in piles of warm fertilizer. Cannabis flowers produce healing and the worldwide distribution of naturally growing Cannabis suggests that although Humans can be easily fooled (good id bad), the rest of our biological neighbors cannot be so easily convinced by propaganda and fear injection. Alcohol makes people stupid, just the way our 'leaders' want us. Enjoy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A silly question as there is no such thing as a 'harmless drug' Everything has potential side effects.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

William BjornsonToday 04:16 am JST

Bang on, dude!

It's interesting that most who oppose the 'drug' have had little, if any, experience with it and just regurgitate the party line/s when they attempt to debase the many positive things that come from cannabis.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Wow, 49% think it is a harmless drug. Really? That is mind blowing. A lot of brainwashed potheads we have on this site. Should probably try reading about the potential impact on brain development of young adolescent and teenage children. It ain't crack or heroin, but harmless? Wow.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Here are a few good articles (not from "anti-pot" or conservative organizations);

Impact of marijuana oh Hippocampus in the brain

http://www.medicaldaily.com/mri-scans-show-smoking-weed-lowers-hippocampus-activity-creating-false-memories-330630

Impact on the developing brain

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/11/marijuana-brain.aspx

From what "I understand" what is being developed today is genetically engineered and quite a bit stronger (to say the least) than what was available, and some folks might have tried (i.e. at Dead shows) long ago.

I do not think it is the "evil weed" as some make it out to be, but to say there are absolutely no side effects of marijuana use is ludicrous, especially when used by adolescents based on some of the more recent documented and peer reviewed medical studies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@William Bjornson... you sound like someone lobbying in favour of pot/weed/whatever the current term is. If it has medical properties then it should be prescribed as a medicine... it shouldn't be available to the general public willy-nilly as some addle-brained hippies want.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I smoked Marijuana a bit between the ages of about 18 - 25, but very intermittently, and only socially (with others). Initially, it was hilarious and great fun, but it seemed to progress in the users I knew into a very anti-social, insular, paranoid experience when they were stoned, which became more and more often. Regular users said it made them relaxed, and helped them to enjoy social situations, when in fact they actually became withdrawn, and remarkably boring to be around. I also had a couple of psychotic experiences when high that were entirely unhealthy. Long term users I still know who use it 25 years later are completely hopeless - extreme versions of what I have described. Some of them were very promising surfers, and it lead them into harder drugs which destroyed their motivation to pursue their talent.

So, based on my experience, it does impact on people in a way I perceive to be negative. Does that make it harmful though? I'm not sure what the research actually says in terms of long term effects.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

That’s weird. When I went back to Canada to visit last year, I met up with old friends from when I lived there, some of them who still smoked every day. I don’t see any particular difference between them and people who don’t smoke. Certainly no real difference with me, who never smokes being in Japan.

I also don’t ever remember anyone getting all insular and dark.

Maybe you just knew some strange people.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If it was actually harmless as it is presented by the "pro-legalization", it would not have been prohibited in the first place. Keep the temple of the human body clean.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

People can do the drugs they like so long as they don’t expect the costs of their drug use they be subsidized by me.

i am happy to have the converse apply also.

yet, most people strangely think it’s their right to trash their own body but have others pay to fix it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If it was actually harmless as it is presented by the "pro-legalization", it would not have been prohibited in the first place. Keep the temple of the human body clean.

Faulty logic there. In an ideal world, your logic may make sense, but we live in a world dominated by money and politics. You obviously haven't looked into the reasons it was made illegal in the first place.

There was a newspaper publisher named William Randolph Hearst. He also owned a company that created paper from trees, but the hemp (which is the same plant as marijuana) industry was creating better paper for cheaper. So Hearst ran a smear campaign in his newspapers, attributing 'marijuana' (a term not used previous to this) to black people, using racism as a driver to make marijuana, and therefore hemp also, illegal. Doing so led to exclusive use of tree-based paper for newspapers, making Hearst even richer.

To further the argument against marijuana, they created the propaganda movie Reefer Madness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esfKfTBGadg

Watch some of that movie, and see if it looks like balanced reporting in regards to the effects of marijuana. Now imagine yourself in a pre-internet world, where information was not easy to come by - that movie would scare anyone into agreeing marijuana should be illegal.

People can do the drugs they like so long as they don’t expect the costs of their drug use they be subsidized by me.

So you would agree then that anyone who drinks alcohol should bear all costs for any issues that arise as a result? Also sedentary people, since they could be active, right? And athletes as well - I don't play dangerous sports myself, why should I have to subsidize athlete's medical bills for something they choose to do on their own?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Strangerland, excellent explanation of the reasons for pot prohibition. However, I recall something about it also being influenced by the cotton producers.

Many have already pointed out that the question was poorly asked. So I'm surprised how many are freaking out that most of us selected "harmless". Myself, I chose "harmless" because I thought it was most representative of how I feel about marijuana, but I realize that it is not 100% harmless.

Anyway, despite the alleged potential developmental side effects in teens, adults should be able to consume it if they wish. I also think they should be able to grow it. I do not need or want the government to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body. And no, I am not an addle-brained hippy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So you would agree then that anyone who drinks alcohol should bear all costs for any issues that arise as a result?

Yes. That's precisely what I said: "i am happy to have the converse apply also."

:)

And sadly but predictably, I have 3 downvotes on that comment. That's 3 people who presumably want to be able to do things to their body but have others help pay to fix anything that goes wrong with it as a result.

There is a reason I got a good deal on my life insurance plan - it's because the life insurance company checked me out and evaluated that I was low risk. So I pay a low premium. Good for me. Good for others who also benefit.

Hardly "bad luck" for those who opt to live differently, and pay more as a result.

Also sedentary people, since they could be active, right?

Yes, absolutely. Same thing. And you know, it's not just about money. Being fit through being physically active actually makes you feel good (or not "bad" like when one is unhealthy). This is in people's own personal interest. If people have the additional monetary incentives to be fit and healthy, that's a good thing for them and everyone. 

Why people could oppose this is beyond me, why should people demand that others bear some responsibility for their personal choices? That's not fair. No one smashes their car up for fun and expects society to pay to fix the damage, why are our so precious bodies different?

Note, I am happy to help others who suffer through no fault of their own. But I don't see why I should be expected to pay for any purported ill effects of people doing drugs. That's their choice, and therefore their responsibility (or should be).

And for those who think marijuana is harmless anyway, this should all be entirely mute.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do not need or want the government to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body.

I agree - but I trust that you also do not expect the government to pick up the tab, should anything go wrong for you as a result of your personal choices.

If we are to have socialised health system, we ought to have rules. 

Or if we are not to have rules, then the system ought not be socialised.

But it is unacceptable to have individuals abusing a system with the costs socialised upon others who had no say in the choices that were made.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And what about athletes. You skipped that one.

And for those who think marijuana is harmless anyway, this should all be entirely mute.

Moot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If we are to have socialised health system, we ought to have rules.

Indeed, we should outlaw sugar, pasta, bread, ... and enforce controlled sleeping hours and exercise ... Why should I pay for someone's diabetes treatment if they chose to consume sugar?

Why do people assume there will be ill effects from consuming marijuana? Personally, I believe I will benefit mentally and physically from consuming it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And what about athletes. You skipped that one. 

Yeah, them too. I am an amateur athlete myself and if anything feel that it helps prevent me from getting injured, by being fit. Clean bill of health from m my last ningen dock.

When I took out travel insurance the other day I had to declare I wouldn’t be doing ‘dangerous’ sports. Fair enough in exchange for a cheap plan, no?

It seems odd to compare a fitness profession like atheletes to substance abuse, but if Andy Murray injures his hip and requires surgery then let him pay for it. He’s rich. We needn’t chip in on his behalf.

Who are you worried about? Boxers? Yes, they make they choice so let them pay for themselves. I don’t think we need to subsidize people who do potentially dangerous things.

Moot.

Yes! You’d be horrified if you were the one who paid for my English education wouldn’t you! Wasted on me my publicly funded English classes were...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Indeed, we should outlaw sugar,

Heh that’s what they are trying to do in places like NY I hear.

pasta, bread

Those are a source of useful carbs, they aren’t all bad unless consumed excessively. But as I suggest, let people do what they like so long as they agree to cover their own health bills. The costs and benefits of their decisions needn’t be if cobcern to others if we do things this way.

Why do people assume there will be ill effects from consuming marijuana?

If one assumes there are none then why object to being responsible for any potential health bills, since there is an assumption made that there will be none?

People can do what they like if they agree to leave me out of it.

People can’t denand to have they cake and eat it AND people pay their cake bill. We adults are all grown ups.

Personally, I believe I will benefit mentally and physically from consuming it.

Go for it! As things stand we live with a socialized system so I hope for my sake at least you are right

0 ( +1 / -1 )

myhumbletake,

How about legalize it first and then assess the effects?

Sure. Legalise it. Then, when thousands are using it, find it harmful and see what happens when you try to make it illegal again.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

why would you even vote in the poll if you are going to vote "I don't know?"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It should be up to the indviduals who use it - either for recreational or medical purposes. Those who don't want to use it aren't being forced to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Indeed they aren’t being forced to, but should there be health issues as a result, non-users have to chip in and pay the costs.

I am fine with people to use it, so long as they simply take full, adult, responsibility for their choices, whatever those consequences might be. Maybe none at all! So why people mark me down!?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So why people mark me down!?

Probably because you're obsessing on medical insurance.

The topic is whether or not marijuana is harmful.

pasta, bread

Those are a source of useful carbs, they aren’t all bad unless consumed excessively.

Useful carbs? I believe there is more evidence on the harm from pasta and bread (not "excessive" consumption) than on the harm from marijuana.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, them too. I am an amateur athlete myself and if anything feel that it helps prevent me from getting injured, by being fit. Clean bill of health from m my last ningen dock.

That wasn't the question though. The question is whether athletic injuries should have to be paid fully by the athlete.

Who are you worried about? Boxers?

Any sport - people get injured in sport all the time. Why should the rest of us have to pay for their medical bills, when they are the ones who choose to play sports?

Also, I don't drive. So I think that anyone who is driving a car and gets into an accident should have to pay for themselves. Why should the rest of us have to pay for their medical bills, when they are the ones who choose to get behind the wheel?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@fxgai

I agree - but I trust that you also do not expect the government to pick up the tab, should anything go wrong for you as a result of your personal choices.

If we are to have socialised health system, we ought to have rules. 

Or if we are not to have rules, then the system ought not be socialised.

But it is unacceptable to have individuals abusing a system with the costs socialised upon others who had no say in the choices that were made.

Probably worth mentioning at this point that drinkers and smokers DO contribute more to the public pot than "healthier" folks through taxes. Seems to me to be a perfect reflection of the values you are talking about, no?

Also worth mentioning that in the US at least the war on drugs has cost society FAR more than medical costs of marijuana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oops. Format mistake.

Probably worth mentioning at this point that drinkers and smokers DO contribute more to the public pot than "healthier" folks through taxes. Seems to me to be a perfect reflection of the values you are talking about, no?

Also worth mentioning that in the US at least the war on drugs has cost society FAR more than medical costs of marijuana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The topic is whether or not marijuana is harmful.

And my response to that is we should have people put their own money where their mouth is. No need to even have a debate about it then.

The question is whether athletic injuries should have to be paid fully by the athlete.

I’d day yes, just like how I bought travel insurance. They should consider the risks of their sports and take insurance out if they don’t think they could cover the cost of dealing with injuries.

Not sure if you were being sarcastic about people paying their own medical bills if they get in a car accident, but basically I agree again.

The more responsibility people take for covering the risks in their own lives, the better for them and everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok, now it finally makes sense. You're anti-socialized medicine, not just anti-marijuana.

Must be frustrating for you living in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Taramara - the users I knew into a very anti-social, insular, paranoid experience when they were stoned

Yes, this has been a documented side effect of regular pot use. However, has anybody stopped to consider that these side effects come from the fact that it is illegal and people become anti-social and paranoid out of fear of going to jail? Although there are no statistic to prove it, I am sure these side effects will have disappeared from the few states and countries where smoking pot is not illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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