by Bina Pattel
This is a wake up call blog that could easily be a book as there is literally so much to write about.
Here is a laser look at this most commonly used illicit drug.
Just google it and check out some of the street names for this drug that alters our natural state.
What are the names telling us here?
Why on earth are there so many names for this drug?
Is the bud from this green plant killing us like the KGB?
When did Buddha endorse this drug?
Is this the new tea in Texas?
What is Goddess about this green drug?
Who comes up with names like this?
FOR THE RECORD – Marijuana and Cannabis in this article are exactly the same.
What is Marijuana?
What forms does this come in?
Why is it illegal in many countries?
Why is it the most widely-used illegal drug in the UK?
What are the statistics on this mind-altering drug?
What are the side effects?
What are the long-term effects?
Why is it legalised in some countries?
What is medical marijuana?
What is the research telling us?
Who is funding the research?
Why is there limited research on this drug?
Why are we not asking for more evidence?
Who is writing the websites on Marijuana?
Why are young children aged 12 using Marijuana?
Why is this drug more potent today than 20 years ago?
Why does the internet allow social media to advertise cannabis clubs?
Why do we allow advertising of where to go to get your next bong?
Do we as a world know enough about this drug?
Are we asking questions so we can KNOW the Truth about Marijuana?
Why is Marijuana possession illegal in most countries today?
Is this a clear sign that this is a harmful substance to the human body?
Why are we not uniting on our views about this drug?
Is there something missing?
Have we looked at what the root cause is?
Is recreation merely an escape from the Responsibility we do not want?
How responsible are our governments and policy makers – honestly?
Is it time to stop finding solutions and get to the Truth about Marijuana?
Marijuana alters our natural state. Fact.
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the world today.
Marijuana comes from the hemp plant.
The main psychoactive ingredient is THC.
THC – Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the mind altering chemical.
Other than THC, the Marijuana plant contains more than 100 other cannabinoids. Illegal manufacturers have produced cannabinoids in the lab which are extremely powerful (1) and this will be another blog about synthetic drugs on our Real Truth series about Drugs.
Cannabinoids are chemicals related to THC, Marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient.
The body also produces its own cannabinoid chemicals. They play a role in regulating thinking, memory, concentration, body movement, awareness of time, appetite, pain and our senses – sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste (1).
According to Frank (a UK Government funded website) it is a sedating and hallucinogenic drug and the effects give you a feeling of time slowing down (2).
A hallucinogenic is a drug that alters the natural state of the mind by distorting the way users see and hear things. It also gives feelings of calm, peace and contentment.
Regular Marijuana use is known to be associated with an increase in the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia; and if you have a family background of mental illness, you may also have an increased risk (2).
A review of Marijuana research published in the British Medical Journal found those driving under the influence of cannabis had nearly double the risk of a crash (2).
Everything in our world is going fast and is this why Marijuana is the most popular recreational drug today?
Is it used to bring a false sense of time so we can cope?
Do we use this drug to avoid our problems?
Is this drug supporting us to function in life?
Is this the solution to our daily life now?
Are we addicted to this drug to fill the void we wake up with every day?
Those who smoke get an instant hit and it is now popular to put the drug in cakes and cookies. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high so people consume more to feel the effects faster and this of course is very dangerous.
Next – Dabbing is yet another growing trend. This is a new way of ingesting Marijuana that has become popular because they often contain 70-90% THC (3) so therefore stronger effects. Street Marijuana has around 15% concentration of THC.
There are currently no studies on the health impact of dabbing. Also called dabs, honey oil and BHO (butane hash oil).
Did you know butane is a flammable gas and is used in bottled form as a fuel?
What exactly is this telling us?
What is this spelling out to us?
Why are we not spending resources on studies?
Are we interested in what Marijuana users are up to these days?
Do we know how much Marijuana is passing through our prisons today?
Have we checked the websites that are talking of the dangers of BHO?
Why are users wanting more concentration of THC?
Why are they calling this the new “crack” of Marijuana?
Could it be possible that things are actually getting worse and more is needed as the regular stuff just doesn’t cut it anymore?
Could it be possible that higher concentrations are needed to deal with the inner turmoil of that which is being buried, that we are not willing to deal with?
‘Most dabbers are experienced marijuana users who have developed a tolerance to the effects of THC. Likewise, dabbing is believed to pose risks to novice users and is not recommended for those who smoke cannabis infrequently.’ Says the truth on pot website (3).
Did you know –
There are no FDA-approved medications to treat Marijuana addiction (4).
This is well worth noting. Nothing out there can deal with this addiction.
Could it be possible that we do have the answer and it is inside us?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (5) are saying about the effects of Marijuana –
Short Term Effects on the Brain
‘When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it.’
‘THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural THC-like chemicals in the brain. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.
Marijuana overactivates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that users feel.’
Do we actually need to over activate our brain in any way?
Is this the mind-altering affects we are seeking to numb us from feeling our pain?
Is this the drug of our choice to avoid taking Responsibility for our lives?
Are we tampering with nature here?
Longer Term Effects on the Brain
Marijuana affects brain development. ‘When Marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions’ (5).
‘Marijuana’s affects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent’ (5).
Are we aware of the actual cost to our society with teenagers using Marijuana?
How is this going to support our world when they become our older generation?
Research between 1993 and 2003 showed that regular Marijuana use in adolescents doubled the risk of them leaving school early, of cognitive impairment and psychoses in adulthood (7).
A Rise in Marijuana’s THC Levels (5).
‘The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.
For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction.
Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving Marijuana use.’
A USA organisation, marijuana-anonymous.org defines the problems of Marijuana as follows:
If Marijuana controls our lives and our thinking, and if our desires centre around Marijuana – scoring it, dealing it, and finding ways to stay high. We lose interest in all else.
The UK Home Office have a published guide on how to cut down and stop Marijuana use.
It suggests a range of things you can do to successfully stop using, including:
- Draw up a list of reasons for wanting to change
- Plan how you will change
- Think about coping and withdrawal symptoms
- Have a back-up plan
You could try a do it yourself – work through the leaflet on FRANK website (6).
Where is the success?
Where are the evidence-based studies confirming this method works?
Let’s get real for one moment.
Do you know anyone who uses Marijuana?
Have you spent time hanging out with Marijuana users?
Do we have experience working with those who are addicted to Marijuana?
Do we honestly think they are going to commit to planning?
Do we think they will make a list by nominating reasons for wanting change?
Do we feel that they will be interested in having a back-up plan?
Is a DIY truly going to have lasting change on this addictive drug?
Is this our governments’ answer to a serious and dangerous problem that we are currently facing?
45% in USA officially reported and how many more are using it that are not on the statistics?
What are the true statistics if we are to get deeply honest here?
What are the real statistics on young teenagers?
Why have we not made it our business to find out more about this harmfull substance?
On the official USA government website:
the following quote confirms their current view –
‘It is important to note that Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime.’
So the officials are saying it is a ‘dangerous’ drug yet some of the states in this country now have made it legal. In case you are confused let us spell it out here –
The Central Government, which is based in Washington says that Marijuana is a dangerous drug. This means that it is illegal according to the federal government and it cannot be transported between legal states like Oregon and Washington.
Hello – do you get this? Both states have it legalised but federal law says it is illegal to transport it.
How did legalising Marijuana in Washington D.C. happen during 2012?
Where did the law come from?
Who was asking?
Who is making the law?
Who is actually saying this law makes sense?
Why is Marijuana legal in some states but is illegal throughout the USA?
The Whitehouse is based in Washington where Marijuana is legal.
Are the law makers enjoying a Mary Jane while making the law?
What is recreational about this ‘dangerous drug’?
Why is Congress saying it is a ‘serious crime’ to sell this drug?
Are we re-creating something here in the name of enjoyment, which means Recreational?
How can we call this enjoyment and legalise it on one hand and then on the other call it a ‘dangerous drug’?
This is coming direct from one of our largest nations and so here you see the whole thing exposed for what it really is.
The ADAI (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute) University of Washington (13) have guidelines on their website as Marijuana is legal in Washington. They call this ‘science based information’.
Billion dollar question we should be asking right now is
‘Does science have ALL the answers?’
Could we for one moment suspend all our beliefs and put our common sense hat on?
Can we interview parents of young children who have taken Marijuana and are now addicted?
Could we speak to teenagers struggling with mental health problems unable to continue education?
Could we talk to those who have real life stories about Marijuana abuse, like the author of this article?
Could we study the real cost to our society and the global cost of the harm this drug is causing?
Can we go inside prisons and document the real harm that comes from using this drug?
As the writer here, I have worked inside prison and there is a lot more we need to be aware of regarding the use of this so called “recreational” drug. It is well known that many inmates live on this during their time in prison and the officials turn a blind eye as it seems easier than dealing with the problem.
The World Health Organization found that in European countries, 12-70% of prisoners have tried Marijuana; this is higher than in the general population. Marijuana also had the highest prevalence of lifetime drug use amongst prisoners, compared to any other illicit drug (14).
Having lived experience working with those in society who are addicted to Marijuana, it is confirmation that we need more awareness about this mind altering drug that is deeply harmful.
Check out the video on the ADAI website http://learnaboutmarijuanawa.org/consumers.htm
and take note of the signs of someone taking this drug. Police report heart rates of up to 160 beats per minute. Our average normal resting heart rate can be as low as 60-80.
Can we stop for one moment and just re-read this again?
HELLO – imagine driving with a heartbeat of up to 4 times the average?
Let’s go back a few decades now.
In 1982 the USA Surgeon General issued a Public Health Warning on the damaging effects of Marijuana (15). The Surgeon General is the leading spokesperson in the USA on Public Health.
At that time the General said:
The use of Marijuana had increased 30-fold since 1962.
A report was submitted to Congress by the Department of Health and Human Services and the findings were:
‘Acute intoxication with Marijuana interferes with many aspects of mental functioning and has serious, acute effects on perception and skilled performance, such as driving and other complex tasks involving judgement or fine motor skills.’
The known or suspected chronic effects of Marijuana are:
- short-term memory impairment and slowness of learning
- impaired lung function similar to that found in cigarette smokers. Indications are that more serious effects, such as cancer and other lung disease, follow extended use
- decreased sperm count and sperm motility
- interference with ovulation and pre-natal development
- impaired immune response
- possible adverse effects on heart function
- by-products of Marijuana remaining in body fat for several weeks, with unknown consequences. The storage of these by-products increases the possibilities for chronic, as well as residual, effects on performance, even after the acute reaction to the drug has worn off.
- Of special concern are the long-term developmental effects in children and adolescents who are particularly vulnerable to the drug’s behavioural and psychological effects.
So here we have the kingpin for public health spelling this out to the government and what does this country do 34 years later – endorse it as safe to use in some states.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have stated that the evidence suggests that more drug users are suffering from cannabis use disorders and that cannabis may be becoming more harmful as reflected in the high numbers of people seeking first time treatment in several places in the world (16).
So why do countries want to make Marijuana legal?
Who really benefits?
Is this about the money or is it about the true health of people?
Have you read these headlines – Daily Mail – 2 July 2016 –
Cannabis kiosks in Jamaican airports to welcome tourists.
The article states that officials are looking at ways the country can ‘cash in’ on cannabis.
Since the drug was decriminalised last year, they hope to emulate the USA where legal sales of the drug raised £4 billion in 2015.
What is this message really spelling out to us?
What would the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) have to say about this?
What is our World Health Organization now going to do?
What would the parents of a young teenager addicted to Marijuana have to say?
What are our governments now going to tell us?
Could it be possible that other countries will want to consider profits before people or is this already happening?
What is medical marijuana?
The term medical marijuana refers to treating a symptom or disease with the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts (1).
WEBMD – our website medical doctor tells us the main reason it is prescribed is for pain.
Medical marijuana is not monitored like FDA-approved medicines. This means when using it, you do not know its potential cause to cancer, its potency, its purity or side effects (17).
Medical marijuana should not be used for people with heart disease, pregnant women and those with a history of psychosis (17).
So is there a clue here that it affects your heart, your mind and a tiny foetus.
FOR THE RECORD – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognised or approved the Marijuana plant as medicine (1).
However, scientific study of the chemicals in Marijuana called cannabinoids has led to two FDA-approved medications in pill form, (dronabinol and nabilone) both used to treat nausea and boost appetite (1).
However, some states like California have legalized medical marijuana.
That is 1 billion and 400 million dollars and that is just one state in the USA and one drug we are talking about.
HELLO World are you getting this?
Imagine all the states in America and then add all the countries in our world and you get a clue how huge the money is involved in Marijuana?
Next – Orson Boon (not his real name) is the Head of the London Cannabis Club. He is in a senior position in the medical field saying “people come to exchange samples, try new strains and have a chat”.
There are 49 clubs in the UK united by the UK Cannabis Social Club primarily operating through Facebook and they come together to discuss topics like Self Medication and Campaigning for Decriminalisation. They want to offer a safer medicine and recreation option to current legally available drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and coffee.
They say that domestic cultivation of this drug harms no one.
Is this really the Truth?
Could it be possible that because they take this drug they are in an altered state and it is from this state they are saying it does not harm?
The Guardian (19) states ‘The fact that growing and possessing cannabis is illegal in Britain does not deter many cannabis clubs across the UK from using social media to publicise meetings.’ Boon says that many members keep their involvement private as “Many of the people I have met have families, high profile jobs, mortgages and all sorts, and are terrified of losing everything.”
- What message is this giving to the law makers in the UK?
- What is this saying about the non-policing of social media?
- How does it feel to know a senior medical professional is behind an illegal drug?
- Why are members wanting privacy and terrified of losing everything?
- Why is this going on openly on the internet?
- Why do we classify Marijuana as a drug but some feel it is just a hobby and not harmful?
Who benefits if we legalise this drug that has been in our black market for a long time?
Do we actually get to stop and feel what is the real harm here or do we just campaign as it suits our own needs?
Are we interested in our youth who are damaged by the effects of taking this drug?
Does anyone know the true global cost of what this drug is doing to us as a race of beings?
What is clear is that our laws about Marijuana are not unified across the globe and this divide is fuelling this illegal drug.
There is enough evidence to conclude that this drug is harmfull and what is interesting is there is limited research on the long-term effects of Marijuana.
The question we need to be asking now is WHY?
- Why are we not funding research to confirm what this drug is really and truly doing to us?
- Why are we not making enough noise and voicing what we know is killing our youngsters today?
Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research at King’s College, London says:
‘Nobody knows what is in the cannabis that people are smoking in the UK. Politicians realised that studies of cannabis just cause them problems so they prefer not to know what is in cannabis.
If there was a big study that showed the potency of cannabis was further increasing, as I suspect it has, then this would cause headlines and more pressure on politicians and they want to avoid that, so they don’t fund the studies. It’s like if we didn’t know what was in that bottle of whiskey or what was in a bottle of wine; what the alcohol content was or the content of cigarettes, but here we are – the population’s favourite illicit drug; we really have no idea what is in it.’ (20).
Does our unwillingness to know more about the world’s favourite illicit drug say something about us?
Why on earth would any government not want to fund studies that expose the problems that this harmful drug is causing?
Is it time to bring this subject to the headlines and bring more awareness, more facts, more real life cases of the harmfull effects, as let’s face it, we have a serious global problem here.
Dear World, do we really want to know what is going on?
Is it time we asked the WHY question?
(1) (2015, July). Drug Facts: Is Marijuana Medicine? National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(3) (2014, July 2). What Is Dabbing?
(4) (2016, April). Commonly Abused Drugs Chart. National Institute on Drug Abuse
(5) (2016, March). Drug Facts: Marijuana. National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S Department of Health and Human Services
(6) (2014, June). Cannabis and Mental Health. Royal College of Psychiatrists http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfo/problems/alcoholanddrugs/cannabis.aspx
(7) Hall, W. (2013). What Has Research Over the Past Two Decades Revealed About the Adverse Health Effects of Recreational Cannabis Use?
(8) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). World Drug Report. (p.43). New York, 2016
(9) (2014, July 25). 10 Facts About Marijuana. Drug Policy Alliance
(10) Mann, J. (2014, October 5). British Drugs Survey 2014: Drug Use is Rising in the UK – But We’re Not Addicted
(11) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). World Drug Report. (p. 37). New York, 2015
(12) Havocscope Global Black Market Information
(13) (2015, March). Learn About Marijuana. Science Based Information for the Public. ADAI
(14) Montanari, L, Royuela, L, Pasinetti, M, Giraudon, I, Wiessing, L, & Vicente, J. (2014). Drug Use and Related Consequences Among Prison Populations in European Countries. Prisons and Health. World Health Organization. (Chapter 13, p.108); Regional Office for Europe
(15) (1982, August 13). The Surgeon General’s Warning on Marijuana
(16) (2016). 2015 World Drug Report Finds Drug Use Stable, Access to Drug & HIV Treatment Still Low. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
(17) Harding, A. (2013, November 4). Medical Marijuana. WebMD
(18) (2016). Drug War Statistics. Drug Policy Alliance
(19) Whitehead, S. (2013, November 17). Cannabis Clubs Blossoming in the UK
(20) Chambers, I., & Sample, I. (2016, April 15). How Harmful is Cannabis? – Podcast