Drugs and addiction...

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Drugs and addiction...

Postby Gigafrost » Mon May 05, 2003 6:07 am

specifically, i'm mentioning marijuana versus tobacco at the moment. There's alot of defense for marijuana by various people, and when it came down to determining which was worse, tobacco or marijuana, I decided to do some research. Since I really don't know as much about Marijuana, I've done some internet research on it and came up with some opinions.

I don't think Marijuana is a gateway drug, as it appears that statistical data has been deceiving. The Dutch also appear to have lower usage rates compared to the US.

I do think that Marijuana is dangerous, though. Interesting enough, sites that cite the 0 deaths figure have suspicious wording or self-contradictions related to that figure. For example, one site said there were 0 deaths related to THC, that THC did this and that and blah blah blah. It got quite tiring, especially since the cause of lung cancer caused by smoking has been "identified" as benzopyrene, which inhibits the cell growth portion of the DNA, and damage to this specific portion of the DNA strand accounts for over half of all human cancers and over 70% of lung cancers. The danger of marijuana, then, would be that it contains 50% more of the substance than cigarettes *and* marijuana smokers are apparently more likely to inhale more deeply, exposing lungs to more tar and benzopyrene per smoke than a tobacco user's smoking. This does not overcome my concern about tobacco, though, as nicotine seems to be a much more addictive substance and people are way more likely to smoke too much tobacco than marijuana, imo.

I think marijuana is also hazardous concerning driving, however this does not even match my concern about alcohol when related to driving. Sites that said marijuana doesn't affect driving either... 1) argued that there weren't any present statistics that showed, which I clearly found some ... or 2) said that people shouldn't drive when incredibly high, self-contradicting their own arguement. Again, while this may be a danger of marijuana, drunk driving overshadows this big time imo.

I believe marijuana is addictive, even if the percent addicted are lower than other drugs. After all, some people can just shrug after drinking and think it's nothing big, but that doesn't mean it's not addictive at all. In addition, withdrawal symptoms have been identified, but I'd like to point out that they are few fewer than the number of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. I would use this to point out that nicotine is, by far, way more addictive than marijuana.


So, to conclude it all, I'd argue that Tobacco is much worse because of how much more addictive it is. Even if the effects of using Marijuana just as much might be worse, I think it lacks the addictive potential of Tobacco by far. In addition, I'd argue that alcohol is worse than marijuana too, since it seems to be far more prevalant and destructive, what with drunk driving and relationship destruction...



Oy. These are all the sites I looked at...

http://www.pdxnorml.org/gateway.html
http://www.rand.org/hot/press.02/gateway.html
http://www.curriculumresources.com/Guides/Questions/601V-900V/803VGateway.html
http://www.curriculumresources.com/Guides/Answers/601V-900V/803VGateway.html
http://www.hippy.com/php/article.php?sid=25
http://www.ndsn.org/novdec97/dutch.htm
http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/pressroom/pressrelease/pr19.cfm
http://www.marijuana-addiction.net/marijuana-dangers.htm
http://www.marijuana-detox.com/m-dangers.htm
http://www.forreal.org/think/hypeorhip.asp
http://www.changetheclimate.org/facts/
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/causes.htm#marijuana
http://www.quit-smoking.net/nws.html
http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p020261.html
http://www.sarnia.com/groups/antidrug/rltychck/cncrlink.html
http://www.maxpages.com/420weed/Cancer_Pot
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/body/effects.html
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon May 05, 2003 6:36 am

now i know this is kinda circular reasoning, but... imho, marijuana is much worse than tobacco because, if for no other reason, it's illegal. now, i say it's circular reasoning because i believe it's outlawed because it's supposed to be worse than tobacco, but it's supposed to be worst than tobacco because it's illegal, and... bah.

i mean, it may take you 200 smokes (i'm making that number up) of tobacco products to do damage to your lungs - one smoke of marijuana can get you a misdomeaner on your record (depending on where you live). one bag full of marijuana can get you labled as a drug dealer and get your a felony. my old roommate got the latter - a misdomeaner - when he was caught, his bag was empty. anyways, in comparison, one case full of cigars won't get you anything.

so... on top of the fact that marijuana's effects can potentially be that much more immediate they can be debatebly worse than the harm that smoking tobacco products will do.

anyways... the site my old roommate considered to be the best on the subject was this one:

http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis.shtml

it might have some interesting stuff :)
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Postby Gigafrost » Mon May 05, 2003 7:01 am

My biggest problem with that site is it doesn't talk about benzopyrene. You go under chemical and it only talks about the main ingredient that makes it work. In addition, I have read other sites that specifically talk about 45% of driving offenders not under the influence of alcohol being under the influence of marijuana.

Well, it looks like it's answer is that benzopyrene doesn't cause cancer but rather cigarettes are radioactive. I'd need to look this up on the internet some, though.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon May 05, 2003 7:32 am

benzopyrene is a byproduct of incomplete combustion - ie. you light a cigarette, or you light a joint, and it's made.

marijuana and tobacco don't contain benzopyrene within themselves.

sources:
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultran ... ution.html
http://www.rare-cancer.org/cause.html
http://www.speclab.com/compound/c50328.htm

(do a search for benzopyrene on those pages)

this is further supported by the fact that i can't find a single site that mentions benzopryene outside of cigarette smoke.

and all that said... my roommate was a smoker - i don't think he cared about the chemical reactions so much as the production of it. if my roommate liked that site, i'm quite confident he liked it as an addict or a smoker - not as someone trying to figure out why it's bad for you, in which case, you can be further confident that that sites main emhasis probably isn't on that kind of stuff :lila:

EDIT: on a semi unrelated note, here's a nifty article about safer ciggarettes:

http://www.ash.org.uk/html/regulation/html/patent.html
Last edited by TerraFrost on Mon May 05, 2003 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nyufrost » Mon May 05, 2003 11:35 am

Well, I have a couple of points to add to the discussion.

First of all, the following is an opinion based on conclusions I have reached from reading various articles here and there over the years and not something I read specifically to make a post here so I have no links

Cigarettes, while they may pose a long-term health risk, are not immediately dangerous. They do not get the users "high" or cause them to behave irrationally or in a manner that might endanger themselves or others. You don't find people jumping off of buildings because they think they can fly after smoking a cigarette nor do you see girls having sex with 6 guys at once on some HBO "Kinkiest Sluts" special because she just smoked a cigarette.

I am definitely not advocating smoking but for those types of reasons alone, I would classify marijuana as being "worse" than tobacco.

I have read that marijuana is not physically addictive but can cause a psychological dependence and is considered a "gateway" drug that leads some users to seek a more potent high thus seeking out stronger, more dangerous drugs like cocaine, crack and heroin that *are* physically addictive.

I think, as drugs go, marijuana by itself is probably not dangerous to the average casual user who perhaps tries it a time or two to see what it's like unlike cocaine (and others) that can kill a first-time user.

The real danger with marijuana and cigarettes both is when they are laced with other substances such as crack, cocaine, pcp or even embalming fluid. O_O

The final thing that makes marijuana "worse" than tobacco is that it has the effect of making the user very passive and --in some instances-- unable to move. It would be very easy for a person is this situation to be taken advantage of sexually in a variety of ways they might not agree to if they weren't too stoned to prevent it. Smoking a cigarette will not lower a person's inhibitions and smoking an entire pack of them will not cause them to slip into a state of cosmic vegetation where they can either be taken advantage of or do something dangerous.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon May 05, 2003 7:23 pm

about marijuana being a gateway drug...

giga sorta addressed that here:

I don't think Marijuana is a gateway drug, as it appears that statistical data has been deceiving. The Dutch also appear to have lower usage rates compared to the US.


however... i disagree with giga. marijuana is illegal. in order to smoke it, you have to go "underground", so to speak. once you're underground, it's easier to try other "underground" drugs. if you can obtain marijuana on a regular basis, you no doubt can obtain harder drugs on a regular basis as well, so... in that regard, i think it's a gateway drug. if it were legalized then i think the gateway drug would change to be some other drug, but... it's not legal in the US, so... as far as the US is concerned, i think it could very well be a gateway drug...

Cigarettes, while they may pose a long-term health risk, are not immediately dangerous. They do not get the users "high" or cause them to behave irrationally or in a manner that might endanger themselves or others. You don't find people jumping off of buildings because they think they can fly after smoking a cigarette nor do you see girls having sex with 6 guys at once on some HBO "Kinkiest Sluts" special because she just smoked a cigarette.


that's a good point. i don't think cigarettes contain any psychoactive substances. however, i don't think marijuana would make you jump off a building. marijuana is a depressant - in that it slows the mind down, so to speak. also, marijuana tends to bring about euporia - ie. most people become content with just sitting around doing nothing. jumping off a building implies to me that you're doing it to seek euphoria, but... with marijuana, you're already there. although that said, i do think marijuana could be used as a rape drug, as it slows the mind, and could quite possible make people forget their normal inhibitions.

http://alcohol-drug-treatment.net/marijuana.html
http://www.psychoactivedrugs.co.uk/Cannabis.htm
http://www.marijuana-detox.com/m-facts.htm

The real danger with marijuana and cigarettes both is when they are laced with other substances such as crack, cocaine, pcp or even embalming fluid.


that's another good point. although i don't think you'd really have to worry much about this if you bought straight from a drug dealer. they want money and giving you extra drugs on the side without having you pay for them is going to cost them money. i think the main place where you'd have to worry about this is at parties. people aren't sharing marijuana there for money. they're usually only trying to satisfy their own petty motivations...

The final thing that makes marijuana "worse" than tobacco is that it has the effect of making the user very passive and --in some instances-- unable to move. It would be very easy for a person is this situation to be taken advantage of sexually in a variety of ways they might not agree to if they weren't too stoned to prevent it. Smoking a cigarette will not lower a person's inhibitions and smoking an entire pack of them will not cause them to slip into a state of cosmic vegetation where they can either be taken advantage of or do something dangerous.


while i do agree that marijuana can allow someone to be taken advantage of, sexually, i've never heard of marijuana leading to temporary paralysis (nor have i seen any links saying that, heh)
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Postby Nyufrost » Tue May 06, 2003 8:46 am

Legal or not legal really seems to have nothing to do with marijuana being a gateway drug. It is considered a gateway drug because whereas some users will be satisfied with their marijuana high, many others will want to move from marijuana to something more potent.

Marijuana --in itself-- would *not* make people want to jump off of buildings but when it is laced with things like pcp, crack or insecticide then it is very possible to do something dangerous.

I do believe it is possible to smoke enough pot for one to enter a trance-like state of inertia where they are indeed to sit right there and let just about anything happen to them --and even laugh about it, giving the illusion they are enjoying it when, in fact, they may either be 1) not enjoying it or 2) not even fully aware of what is happening to them.

I have heard of people who smoke so much pot or drink so much alcohol that they don't have a clue on the planet what is happening and carrying on in wild and raunchy manners. You just don't see people acting like that from smoking a few cigarettes.

Are you familiar with the popular practice of "getting stuck" ... ? Marijuana --when laced with a combination of embalming fluid and crack-- has the effect of rendering users completely unable to move tho their brains are awake and aware.

You mentioned that marijuana you buy from a drug dealer would be safe .... not necessarily. An unscrupulous dealer might cut it with crack to get one hooked in hope they would continue to buy from them. Also, you never know what crazy thing a person at a party has done to it and you never really know if they have spiked the rum punch with lsd so it seems like cigarettes are looking lesser and lesser evil of the addictive substances.
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue May 06, 2003 9:45 am

Legal or not legal really seems to have nothing to do with marijuana being a gateway drug. It is considered a gateway drug because whereas some users will be satisfied with their marijuana high, many others will want to move from marijuana to something more potent.


i think legality has a great deal to do with marijuana's perception as a gateway drug. as i have established, marijuana is a depressant and brings about euphoria. alcohol, too, is a depressant and brings about euhporia. if marijuana is a gateway drug because it gives people a "high" than alcohol should be, too, but.. i have a feeling most people don't see it as such. here are some links talking about the effects of alcohol:

http://www.indiana.edu/~adic/effects.html
http://www.drughelp.org/research/alcohol.htm

now granted, alcohol may not give you as much of a "high", but it, according to what i've read, still does give you a high.

I have heard of people who smoke so much pot or drink so much alcohol that they don't have a clue on the planet what is happening and carrying on in wild and raunchy manners. You just don't see people acting like that from smoking a few cigarettes.


i have seen people who smoked so much pot, and what they did after was the same thing as what they did before - in there cases, play games. of course, that said, what you describe may just be rare, or my sample may be biased, so... this really isn't a counter to what you're saying... just sorta a... i dunno.. bit of trivia, hehe :lila:

You mentioned that marijuana you buy from a drug dealer would be safe .... not necessarily. An unscrupulous dealer might cut it with crack to get one hooked in hope they would continue to buy from them. Also, you never know what crazy thing a person at a party has done to it and you never really know if they have spiked the rum punch with lsd so it seems like cigarettes are looking lesser and lesser evil of the addictive substances.


i suppose i could see that... an unscupulous dealer trying to hook someone on crack by sneaking it to them, but... i don't imagine that would be very common... if cocaine is anything like alcohol, it would take more than just one "dose" to get addicted. for a drug dealer to constantly give his buyers cocaine would cost him lots of money. it may pay off, but... you have to have the money first, heh. further, if the drug cartel / distribution is anything like it is in the business world, then the end dealers aren't going to have the money. they may have some money, but... the people who would have the most would be the drug barons. and.. it makes since that the drug cartel / distribution would be like it is in the business world - 'cause it seems reasonable to assume that most minor drug dealers would have day jobs, too.

drinking rum punch that you didn't know was spiked with lsd is really quite different than smoking marijuana or cigarettes intentionally.
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jul 12, 2003 7:25 am

considering the recent interest in another drug related thread... *bump*
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Postby Wardagger » Sat Jul 12, 2003 8:06 am

Some link it to short term (and medium term) memory impariment. Some have also concluded it has *no* effect on memory. Theres also been enough evidence to "SUGGEST" that it causes rhespiratory diseases. Overall, marijuana has negative effects similar to cigarettes and a effect on your judgement similar to alchohol I think cigarettes are far worse as cigarettes create a physical addiction Marijuana does not. in a few people but, those same people could just as easily get addicted to anything.

I'm not addicted to weed and I've been smokin it 1 year. I dont need weed like you need cigarttes when you smoke cigs. Cigarettes are far more worse becaus of all the deaths they cause each year.
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Postby Wardagger » Sat Jul 12, 2003 8:14 am

Sorry about the double post

"If current trends continue, tobacco use will kill about 500 million people alive in the world today. This figure includes more than 250 million of today’s children and teenagers. Between now and 2030, tobacco is expected to kill more people than AIDS, automobile accidents, maternal mortality, homicide and suicide combined."

Tobacco kills more people than any other single cause. Imagine one of these cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Atlanta, Georgia, Sacramento California, or Kansas City, Missouri. Got it? Okay, now imagine that city with every man, woman, and child missing.Each of those cities has about 400,000 residents, give or take 20,000. Each year tobacco kills 430,000 people in the United States alone, enough to empty out any one of those cites or any of dozens like them.Real quick, let’s take a global view: New York City and Los Angeles -- BOTH of them, TOGETHER… or 80% of the Calcutta, India metropolitan area…or half of the entire population of Australia… In other words, about 10 million people. That’s the number projected to die worldwide in 2030 from tobacco use if current rates of smoking continue.That’s a lot of dead bodies. AND for 2030 alone, it’s 10 million TOTALLY PREVENTABLE deaths.True, nicotine, the drug in tobacco, is the most addictive substance known to humankind (it’s right up there with heroin.) True, quitting is tough. But NOT STARTING is easy!

http://gbgm-umc.org/missionstudies/glob ... rettes.htm
http://www.dekalbdare.org/tobacco.html
this one id funny - http://www.hoodvoice.com/violence_cigar ... common.htm
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Postby Nyufrost » Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:12 am

A lot more research has been put into the effects of tobacco than has been put into marijuana usage, I think.

People I have observed who are users do not tend to do well in school ... out of curiousity, what is your GPA, if you don't mind me asking, Wardagger.

Also, I want to bring this up again from earlier in this thread ...
I have read that marijuana is not physically addictive but can cause a psychological dependence and is considered a "gateway" drug that leads some users to seek a more potent high thus seeking out stronger, more dangerous drugs like cocaine, crack and heroin that *are* physically addictive.

The real danger with marijuana and cigarettes both is when they are laced with other substances such as crack, cocaine, pcp or even embalming fluid.
What is your reaction to that?
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jul 12, 2003 3:18 pm

"If current trends continue, tobacco use will kill about 500 million people alive in the world today. This figure includes more than 250 million of today’s children and teenagers. Between now and 2030, tobacco is expected to kill more people than AIDS, automobile accidents, maternal mortality, homicide and suicide combined."


lets not forget that tobacco is legal and is a *lot* more widely used than marijuana ;)

A lot more research has been put into the effects of tobacco than has been put into marijuana usage, I think.


there has also been a lot more concerted effort to cover this evidence up with tobacco then there has been with marijuana.

People I have observed who are users do not tend to do well in school ... out of curiousity, what is your GPA, if you don't mind me asking, Wardagger.


*even* if you were able to get enough data to draw some sort of correlation, you could not establish causality. for example... if marijuana smokers did badly in school, it *could* be because marijuana makes people do bad in school, *or* that the mindset of someone who does marijuana --before he does it-- is the same as someone who does badly in school. think about that last one - if you don't respect the "authority" of the law, then why would you respect the "authority" of the school sytem - of a teacher? if you didn't respect their "authority", why would you do homework for them, then?
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Postby MeltedFrost » Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:22 pm

I thinks cigs are worse
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Postby Wardagger » Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:24 pm

Nyufrost, I reply to your answer in a few hours. My GPA is 3.7. I'm not an idiot just because I smoke weed.

My school was rated 3rd for marijuana trafficking by Highttimes. My town and school anre so freakin rich that people have there parents money to buy weed. My school, Barrington High School, is one of the best schools in America and everyone in that school is pretty smart and ike 80% of the smoke weed. Weed doesn't mess up our learning ablitlities. This is all a true story
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