Debunking the White House’s Reefer Mad Reaction to the NYT

The New York Times has joined the majority of US citizens in the call for a more rational marijuana policy. The White House responded with an attempt to explain why a taxed and regulated market is no “silver bullet solution.” Alluding to The Lone Ranger probably wasn’t a great idea, but I think they mean that this isn’t a panacea for every problem related to cannabis.

Of course, all our other legislation is perfect, so we shouldn’t change this policy until we have a solution with all advantages and no disadvantages.

Our government says that this use of law enforcement and court time targets marijuana users because the plant alters brain development, impedes academic achievement, impairs driving, and creates addiction. The tacit assumption, that prohibition is going to prevent all of these problems, is tenable at best. (We’ve had police officers whip out the handcuffs over 18 million times since 1981. From 1995 until now, we’ve had at least one marijuana arrest per minute. The plant is more available than ever.) But let’s forget about how prohibition isn’t going to help and address the White House’s Furious Four Factors.

The first two (brain development and academic achievement) fall under the “what about the children” category. When all else fails, it’s great to play the baby card. NORML has condemned juvenile consumption for decades now. Of course, the underground market is notoriously bad at carding purchasers. When was the last time a dealer asked for ID? Licensed distributors who could lose their livelihood for underage sales would be markedly more motivated to keep the plant from children. But let’s address the claims.

Brain Development. Regular use early in life could alter brain development. But here’s the point no one is supposed to mention: we don’t really know for sure. It’s likely. It works in animals. But it’s not proven. The niftiest gizmos that take pictures of brains often can find differences between those who’ve used early and those who haven’t. But we don’t have a time machine. We don’t really know if these people had deviant brains before they ever saw the plant.

Investigators who run these expensive studies also have a hell of a time publishing results unless they find some differences. Many would rather leave the data in a drawer than battle editors and reviewers in an attempt to publish a paper that says that marijuana has no impact. What has been found is not always consistent. It’s one brain area showing differences in one study and another in the next. Reports that find nothing, or that the non-users actually have deviant brains (e.g. Block, O’Leary, Ehrhardt, et al., 2000, who found bigger ventricles in non-users), never get mentioned. Big reviews try to tell a coherent story, but effects are small. Binge drinking is markedly worse. (See Lisdahl et al.). Cigarette smoking leads to detectable changes in brain structure, too. I’d joke that we should make alcohol and tobacco illegal following this logic, but I’m afraid some people will actually try to do so.

Academic achievement. If the government genuinely cared about my academic achievement, I think I would have learned more in public school. But that’s another issue. We know that mastering new material immediately after using cannabis is extremely difficult. Going to class high is a dumb waste of time. It would certainly interfere with grades. But what’s the real issue here?

Decades ago, researchers showed that college students who used the plant had better grades than their peers who didn’t (Gergen, Gergen, & Morse, 1972; Goode, 1971). It’s not that marijuana’s a study aid. Students who liked the plant might have taken classes they enjoyed and flourished as a result. Subsequent studies didn’t always confirm these results, and investigators lost interest.

But high school kids who use the plant often bonk their exams. Most heavy users had earned lower grades prior to their marijuana consumption, suggesting cannabis could not have caused the poorer performance (Shedler & Block, 1990). Essentially, cannabis users with bad grades in high school also had low marks when they were in fourth grade. Cannabis might not lead to bad grades, but folks with bad grades often turn to cannabis. In addition, high school students who smoke cannabis heavily also tend to use alcohol and other illicit substances. Once these factors are taken into account, the link between cannabis and academic performance disappears. These results suggest that drugs other than marijuana might lower grades (Hall, Solowij, & Lennon, 1994).

In truth, if the government wants to see better achievement in school, the best answer would require schools with funding. Perhaps we could attract more of the energetic, enthusiastic, well-trained teachers who inspire learning if we offered better salaries. Students might find school more engaging when teachers are delighted and facilities are excellent. Busting teens for possession seems too indirect a strategy for improving education.

Driving. Paul Armentano has done such a superb job of summarizing the relevant data on this topic that I don’t want to belabor it.

A few points are worth emphasizing. NORML has always opposed impaired driving. People who can’t pass appropriate roadside sobriety tests should not operate a motor vehicle. Note that passing a sobriety test has little to do with the content of anyone’s blood or urine.

A recent meta-analytic review suggests that, at most, cannabis is no worse than antihistamines and probably on par with penicillin when it comes to culpability for accidents. If we’re going to make all drugs that impair driving illegal, we’re going to have a lot of runny noses and infections to handle.

Research from The Netherlands shows that folks who use cannabis in the laboratory lose their willingness to drive (source). When the experimenter forced them, they go slower, avoid trying to pass other cars, and start putting on the breaks earlier when they have to stop. These compensatory steps probably explain why a couple of studies have found cannabis users less culpable than drug-free drivers. Surprise surprise! This work never got any press. (Drummer, 1994, Bates & Blakely, 1999).

A study of over 300 drivers involved in fatal crashes in California focused on motorists who tested positive for cannabis but no other drug. Unexpectedly, they were half as likely to be responsible for accidents as those who were free of substances (Williams,,Peat, & Crouch, 1985). Another investigation of over 1,800 fatal crashes in the United States found that drivers who used only cannabis were only 70% as likely to have caused an accident as the drug-free group (Terhune, Ippolito, & Crouch, 1992). These are literally impossible to publish anymore, potentially suggesting the bias alluded to in the Elvik meta-analysis. So don’t drive high, but drive as if you were. Go slowly. Don’t try to pass. Leave room to stop.

Addiction. The new DSM V definition of addiction qualifies me for a caffeine disorder, so I’m obviously biased. Better take what I say with a grain of salt. But be careful, salt allegedly has addictive properties, too.

After five millennia and a series of moving definitions, researchers have finally identified something that they can call marijuana withdrawal and marijuana addiction. I’m guessing that prohibitionists really love this one. it conjures up images of sweaty heroin users snatching purses and plunging needles into infected arms. Have you met people who mug girl scouts to maintain their marijuana money? Neither have I. So what is marijuana addiction supposed to be? Among the most common symptoms are disturbed sleep and, I can barely say this with a straight face, loss of appetite. Anybody who uses every day and then gets irritated on a day without the plant could end up qualifying. If you tell anyone struggling with the opiates that these are the symptoms of your addiction, you’re likely to get a swift kick in the crotch. Expert opinions suggest that only the hallucinogens are less addictive than marijuana.

The most negative thing a government can do to its citizens is punish them. If we want to use punishment, we need outstanding reasons. These four simply do not qualify.

Citations:
Block, R. I., O’Leary, D. S., Ehrhardt, J. C., Augustinack, J. C., Ghoneim, M. M., Arndt, S., et al. (2000). Effects of frequent marijuana use on brain tissue volume and composition. NeuroReport, 11, 491–496.

Drummer, O. H. (1994). Drugs in drivers killed in Australian road traffic accidents. (Report no. 0594). Melbourne, Australia: Monash University, Victorian Institute of Forensic Pathology

Gergen, M. K., Gergen, K. J., & Morse, S. J. (1972). Correlates of marijuana use among college students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2, 1–16.

Goode, E. (1971). Drug use and grades in college. Nature, 239, 225–227.
Hall, W., Solowij, N., & Lennon, J. (1994). The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use. Canberra: Australian Government Publication Services.

Shedler, J., & Block, J. (1990). Adolescent drug use and psychological health: A longitudinal inquiry. American Psychologist, 45, 612–630.

Terhune, K. W., Ippolito, C. A., & Crouch, D. J. (1992). The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers (DOT HS Report No. 808 065). Washington DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Williams, A. F., Peat, M. A., & Crouch, D. J. (1985). Drugs in fatally injured young male drivers. Public Health Reports, 100, 19–25.

75 thoughts

  1. You have made the ASSumption that the government works in logic and reason. It only serves as another vessel for a few to take advantage of many. Why would anyone mind their own business when they can profit off of being in others’ business? You work off of a titsucking non-profit. Don’t act like yaw aren’t just as much part of the problem. Why should we support organizations that are only self serving and use destructive business practices?

  2. this reform is so long over due and studies should be done I’ve enjoyed cannibis for 40 years and would like to answer any surveys that could shed light on the effects of cannibis as I am pro legalization I also believe I’m living proof it can be dangerous to use as a teenager it can be habit forming for some personality types how can I submit information about this issue

  3. When will people ever stand up and say they are tired of this bs?? I am so sick of hiding something I have no reason to be ashamed of.

  4. I read the White House’s response and the excellent response by Mitch Earleywine. One thing seems very clear, our Govt does not want to obey the will of the people on this issue and they plan to continue to use our money to prosecute and imprison us.

    As an ex-marine, I no longer find this country worth fighting for if that is the way our Govt wants to treat us. It goes against everything this country was founded upon. Many veterans have claimed that marijuana helps them with PTSD and yet our Govt wants to ignore them and continue giving them drugs far more dangerous and less effective.

  5. the state has the supreme right against the individual,whose supreme duty is to be a member of the state,for the right of the world spirit is above all privileges. Even Hegel was full of bullshit! They want mindless obedient workers to keep the money machine going. They want you to be satiated by your flatscreen tv and fastfood! You aren’t even allowed ownership of your own body or consciousness!!! For God’s sake people wake up and get angry!!!!

  6. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accurately describe how much I love the research team at NORML. That’s a big part of why our side is winning; the facts are on our side and now we have these great Web sites and social media to get that information to the voters.

  7. More drivel from outdated dinosaurs. How can we trust these people to lead this country when they are so blatantly wrong. FOLLOW THE MONEY.

  8. As a Chronic Muscle Spasm, Pain, & Migraine sufferer I find it just a little bit disturbing that we supposedly have an opiate medication epidemic in this country, yet still OxyContin is still a $2Billion a year cash cow for Purdue Pharmaceutical. The White House want to say that Cannabis is addictive, but has no problem pumping out $2Billion dollars worth of a truly addictive substance….The time has come to start governing for the people not for the Corporations….Every tired excuse the White House gives is less true about Cannabis and 10x more accurate about most legally prescribed drugs in this country…..Stop supporting the corporate drug dealers while throwing harm reduction cannabis users in jail! We are sick of the bull shit….

  9. “Of course, all our other legislation is perfect, so we shouldn’t change this policy until we have a solution with all advantages and no disadvantages.”

    That is exactly the BS being served by the drug testing industry regarding impairment testing. They claim that it has some disadvantages and hasn’t passed peer review, therefore it should be stopped, and until we find something with all advantages and no disadvantages, everyone needs to piss in a cup as their Civic Duty.

    Problem? DRUG TESTING NEVER PASSED PEER REVIEW! Drug testing has never passed muster with any unbiased non-industry funded study, has never passed any peer review, has not even been approved by the FDA! They just forced their fraud down our throats by taking advantage of an ignorant and fear-mongered public and are taking advantage of that continuing ignorance and baseless fear to make fraudulent claims about their efficacy–because most stupid people simply assume drug testing “works” due solely to a combination of its near-omnipresence and the fact that it’s been going on for thirty years so SURELY if it wasn’t any good it wouldn’t still be spreading, would it?

    Well, I have news. Drug testing would have died in the early nineties if the government hadn’t started paying for it out of our pockets, and paying our employers to accept this “free service” they offer, because drug testing is so useless for catching anyone but MJ users that by 1990 drug testing programs were on the decline! Employers drug test in order to boost profits–that, and the perceived PR from being seen as “doing their part” in the failed Drug War.

    If you support drug testing at all, you’re a paid tool or you’re ignorant. And at least you can fix the latter, if you bother to educate yourself beyond what is told to you by people who are invested in the Drug War.

  10. I just stopped reading. They know it’s big bucks on the black market just like Pimpin hoes! They know about that too. They can double dip the the leagle with tax and fees and kickbacks then there is the cash cow black market guns ammunition cars boats money All types of drugs and human slaves.
    Mother fuck all of you!!!

  11. Law enforcement private prisons need beds filled and there is the bottom line.we must make profits for the stock holders.
    Got that fucked up drug court. Pubic defender asshole in with his old pal the prosecutor he’ll they play golf at the club. So much money to made. Can’t list them all but it goes on and on and on and on

  12. Is this a dream? This can’t be real life?
    You know,It wouldn’t surprise me in the least,if those three didn’t habitually smoke marijuana cigarettes

  13. Thank you Dr. Earlywine, that was a fun read. Goes to show that good scientific citation makes good reporting.
    I still pick up my old Curtis & Barnes Advanced Placement biology book from 1996 for a laugh; A college level course with some of my classmates going to Harvard and MIT… 4 chapters on homeostasis, 2 on metabolism and not a SINGLE MENTION of the human endocannabinoid system! Thats like teaching a mechanic how to build a car and leaving out the wiring diagram and a bunch of sensors. And then threatening the mechanic with jail time if they so much as MENTION the missing diagram to anyone. Now fix the car. Good luck.
    What is the White House doing? Playing dodgeball with Congress? The ball is over HERE everybody! With the VOTERS! It doesnt matter if we miss you with the first shot, we can just GOOGLE another BALL! The TRUTH is on our PHONES! We can SEARCH your LIES as you SPEAK! @$¢*!
    (I just had an epiphany; there are now more legal marijuana consumers in Washington and Colorado than there are DEA and NSA agents combined…)

    Looking at the bright side… At least D Sen. Booker, NJ and Rep Sen. Paul KY are working together to release nonviolent offenders and cut DEA funding. They were very inspiring to hear on the NewsHour tonight.
    I get it that Obama wants Congress to do their job, but responding to the NYTimes with this regurgitated marijuana propoganda is masochistic before midterm elections, and just plain morally wrong. Its about as plum stupid as Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Marco Rubio voting against marijuana reform in Florida.” Hey Marco! Debbie! Marijuana train coming! Step off the third rail! (zzzzZAP!) Oh well. We warned’m.”
    A great example of how this half-@$$ed prohibition dont pan out with voters is in the Kentucky Senate race. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnel deserves praise for defending hemp in Kentucky… But he went against medicinal or recreational cannabis. Now he’s trailing in the polls behind the Democratic challenger. Coincidence or consequence?
    Obama’s DOJ memos were just guidelines anyway. If Jared Polis can get his Act to end Prohibition to the President’s desk, Obama will sign it. The science is out there for everyone to see, but perhaps more obvious (and reckless) is our government’s criminal way of covering up and fabricating the evidence. The social media spotlight is so bright for marijuana right now politicians are visibly robbing tax payers in broad daylight when they lie about the herb. It makes you wanna yell out, “Hey! … We can SEE you!!!? …can you PUT our TAX dollars BACK?… (jerk…)”

  14. academic achievement? I pretty much sailed through grad school. I took the GRE stoned and was accepted because my scores were so high. Not that I didn’t smoke as an undergrad, but in grad school, at least my program, it was less of reading texts and taking tests and more of doing research and writing papers, and in that regard, nothing helps break up writer’s block like some good bud. I dunno, I smoked my way through grad school and ended up with the best gpa of my life.

  15. right on, Bill, and I’m tired of being stigmatized and sometimes shunned when people find out that I partake. As if I’m going to a) steal from your medicine cabinet b) bring a bunch of thugs around or c) corrupt your children. I don’t tolerate alcohol well, so I don’t go to happy hour and so miss out on building those social connections. but because of pot’s illegality, stoners tend to be secretive so not as likely to have the same opportunity for camaraderie as those who drink alcohol to be social. Not fair 🙁

  16. could it be that the reason behind the decreased liability of pot smokers is that smoking pot tends to reduce aggression? Not so much in the sense of road rage, but in the sense that one feels less pressured to rush, less competitive, and is content to cruise at a steady pace, and so less likely to run right up on someone’s bumper or try to pass in too big of a hurry. that’s why a pot head is safer behind the wheel than even a nun.

  17. @ kane ansley,
    Jeez, you sound like a real douche bag. Clearly you havnt found a tit worth sucking. What a shame.
    F.Y.I. While NORML is a non for profit required to remain politically ambiguous to accept donations, NORML PAC is a for profit lobby that regularly endorses pro marijuana reforming campaigns and only one of the many different income streams at the disposal of the organization. If you want proceeds from Amazon to go to marijuana legalization, say, the next time you purchase some inflatable breasts, use Amazon Smile and choose NORML Foundation.
    So you see Justin, you cant get so angry at one little shriveled up tit while NORML gets all the big cup sizes… It’s not NORML’s fault; Weed consuming women are just healthier in all the right places:-) What I’m saying is, You gotta shop around in life and invest in the tits that make you happy. Get outta the house, eat healthy and search for a healthy pair before you stay up late, smoke too much, gain weight, complain all the time and grow your own breasts! Otherwise you’ll get all cranky, and blog misdirected profanities at generous doctors and end up as useless to society as tits on a boar hog. And nobody likes a boobie trap.

  18. Cannabis is vegetation, and not a drug. Who in their right mind would ban vegetation? The addiction is non-existent and less than that of coffee or tea. The most fundamental difference in the effects is between sativa and indica: one can drive on sativa, and for some the driving and reaction times actually improve. Are the studies based on pure cannabis or that from the streets? Street cannabis may be laced with pesticides, and herbicides. The herbicides and other poison come from the crop dusting done by the protectors of the American people, our very own US Army, in the name of the war on drugs. It’s a war against the people and especially people of color, this everyone should realize. I am frustrated to the point of outrage when I first of all commit a crime, then the weed I would buy is laced with chemicals (I can taste them), then the quality of the flowers is bad, then I don’t have a choice in the strain of cannabis that suits me. Just because our stupid government made of racist, drunkard, white supremacists, have passed a law (much like the turd they need to pass on the law books that have this law) to ban a plant that does not incapacitate a human even when he/she lights it up on fire and inhales its smoke, causes one to be more law abiding (ironically), and gives a positive outlook on life. I am against ingesting a plant that would make me stupid or drunk, but pure cannabis does not. It’s when you burn pesticides and herbicides and PCP that makes one stupid. Even then, the right strain will not do this. In the underground market I do not have a choice. I have to take whatever the cartels or other criminal gangs supply the market. I want to grow my own organic cannabis but am terrified that the current laws will allow the DEA or other public servants to terrorize me – break into my house at night yelling, and possibly shooting me or my child in the process. Damaging property and killing people with impunity, then seizing their houses. Scum. Now I am forced to buy in a market that sells a plant for 10 times what it should. In another section of society, women and girls are being beaten, raped, and murdered because the man drank too much alcohol. Hundreds of thousands die because of tobacco. Yet I am not free to use or even possess the tiniest piece of a plant. The laws have banned what occurs in nature and until less than a century was part of the American Pharmacopia, used for centuries by hundreds of peoples around the world and across time. Mushrooms and vines, and frogs have also been banned. Lift the ban on nature and instead control your alcoholic self from drinking and destroying lives through alcohol. Scum.

  19. So, a taxed and regulated market is no silver bulit? Guess what. The War-O-Drugs couldn’t qualify as the casing.

  20. The concern for children is disingenuous at best. If the White House was truly concerned about the psychotropic effects of chemicals in adolescence. They would not reward pharmaceutical companies special rewards for testing children with SSRIs and opiates.

  21. Thank you for another great article, Dr. Earleywine. However, I must take issue with your comment:

    “We know that mastering new material immediately after using cannabis is extremely difficult.”

    Can you qualify this statement? I have scoured the literature and cannot find any means to support the statement…unless you are referring to young or new, inexperienced users?

    As a heavy, daily marijuana user for more than 25 years, I have attended college and been on the Dean’s list, I mastered the skills necessary to become a certified PPC marketer, which requires tight understanding of complex data sets, I learned to speak German, Russian and Spanish, achieved a Black Belt in a rigorous martial art, and have achieved many other goals that were “new materials” at the time.

    All of this was done while I was high.

    Let me clarify; I’m not saying all of this was done during a time period in my life where I happened to use cannabis. All of this was done while ACTIVELY high on marijuana. Studies, practice, application, mastery; I was high for all of it, and many of my colleagues were too.

    So I’d like to ask where you got the information that mastering new material after using cannabis is extremely difficult so that I can review it and see for myself…because my direct experience and level of success tells me otherwise.

    In fact, if you consider that mankind and marijuana likely co-evolved, then you could just as easily argue that marijuana can aid in learning, considering the biological adaptations that humans have undergone as a result of our relationship with cannabis and the vast mystery that is the endocannabinoid system:

    http://marijuanagames.org/the-co-evolution-of-man-and-mary-jane/

    Add to that the meditative state one can achieve on cannabis for learning purposes and your statement becomes even less credible.

    I’m not saying that your statement is completely wrong, but it doesn’t apply to most of the cannabis users that I associate with, so it can only be partially correct; although you said it in a rather “universal” way that myself and many others like me take exception to.

    But otherwise an excellent article and I thank you for your efforts on behalf of all cannabis supporters.

    Russ Hudson
    Editor, MarijuanaGames.org

  22. I’m just disgusted that The White House’s, no doubt written by the Drug Czar, continues to ignore the damage caused by prohibition; i.e. not the plant itself or it’s usage thereof. Because of the fact the Drug Czar is, by law, required to lie and to do everything possible to keep marijuana illegal, the Govt continues to ignore the will of the people, and continues to cling to half truths and to spout outright propaganda.

    The best way to change this is to get rid of the Drug Czar position altogether, and to remove marijuana from schedule 1. Sadly, I just don’t see that happening with our Do-Nothing congress led by John (Bonehead) Boehner… He is much more interested in doing everything in his power to stop President Obama from accomplishing anything of value for our country.

    @Miles – Our country is worth fighting for, we just have to get the right people into power. Of course, that is much easier said than done since the rich get richer and more powerful every day.

  23. Well done blog!

    The first semester I used marijuana in college, I was taking four advanced physics courses. I got a 4.0 grade point average. I was about 20 so started later than some partakers. A few years ago when spam was ubiquitous in email, I took 6-7 IQ tests online. An average revealed the exact same number I had scored in kindergarden. Rarely am I able to corroborate government info on marijuana with my experience. Here’s one more time. I wonder if they’re lying to me!?

    The introduction of political bias into scientific studies described here infuriates me. It’s contrary to the goals of the scientific method and reminiscent of the old Soviet Union.

    @Fireweed
    I agree about writer’s block. I write songs and the noble weed enables me to break the dam with a flood of good ideas every time.
    Here’s one result: https://soundcloud.com/freewilljenkins/mymothersnamewasmaryjane

  24. Re: Teens and lowered grades/IQs– beware of causality. It is far more likely that a poor student– whether getting poor grades because of lack of motivation, lower IQ, or poor study habits– seeks escapes like getting high or consuming spare time with video games and other distrations. It is the lower IQ that is more likely the causal factor of using marijuana, than the marijuana is of lowering IQs.

    While I agree that it is ill advised of youngsters to use ANY drugs, it should be obvious to anyone with a multi-digit IQ, that prohibition is NOT the answer, and may even contribute to youngsters’ drug abuse.

  25. Bob, chain smoking cigarettes can be a symptom of a personality disorder or even a psychotic mental disorder.

    I believe nicotine is directly very harmful to the nervous system. Also, the way cigarettes are rolled to keep burning !even when you are not dragging on it! seems designed to produce as much carbon monoxide as possible. The government really needs to regulate cigarette production and remove all the adulterates.

  26. “Rarely am I able to corroborate government info on marijuana with my experience. Here’s one more time. I wonder if they’re lying to me!?”

    The government or its agents can’t be sued in normal circumstance, however, we they egregiously violate the law they can be. However is lying to people day in and out for years not an egregious violation of their duties and the law? For the purpose of taking people’s money with no regard to society at large. Promoting crime by pretending noncrimes are crimes is an egregious (willfully done, they went out of their way to do it!) action.

  27. I would pay good money….like PPV money….to see you guys at NORML debate the feds on live national TV.

    If you think about it, voting is a great idea in its essence, but then you have to also accept the idea that some states/places are never going to be able to vote out the problem due to the lack of knowledgeable people in certain areas.

    Cannabis Prohibition happened because a group of guys constantly clamored for the government to change the nation’s laws regarding cannabis, so I wouldn’t rule out a few good debates and clamoring from you guys and others on national TV to hastily advance the end of cannabis prohibition.

    I know some probably think this is wishful thinking, and that it’s not THAT easy. But sometimes we as humans make things harder than they have to be.

  28. “It’s not that marijuana’s a study aid.”

    Well, I can’t see how smoking a joint could cause to become aware of some testable knowledge they didn’t actually study… However, I went from a 2.7 grade average to 3.8 average after starting to use marijuana. So no, it is not a “study aid”, it is a “brain aid”. And the courses were not any “easier” as suggested by everyone I tell this to. I took harder subjects the required more work to complete and while I was working full time and part time jobs. I can now remember things much better than when I was school age–my mind couldn’t stay focused until after I started using marijuana. And no, I do not have ADD or ADHD.

  29. Ok, its time to settle the score between short term and long term memory and marijuana and non marijuana consumers.
    The duration of THC in the bloodstream is about two hours, tops. The ratio of CBD to THC and what strain of marijuana is being consumed is relative to compare in both quantity and quality to the endocannabidic homeostasis of the individual. In other words, whats good for me may not be whats good for you.
    If you are primed for curiosity and learning, marijuana will increase your capacity to produce long term memory skills. If you are an asshole, prepare to learn how to be an asshole while under the influence.
    You’re welcome.
    People are just going to have to figure out what their own limits are. I dont recommend intense marijuana use until the age of 18, but supervised marijuana use with your children is highly recommended. Give a young adult a little wine and herb at an apropriate, family oriented gathering, and the result will be less abuse in their adult life when you release them to the world we live in.

  30. Well said.
    What is NORML stance on GMO hemp? If approved will you take a stand?

    As always thanks for your hard work.

  31. Government needs to justify this 70 year farce by acting like they are big saviors of children. This policy of arresting and ruining the lives of young Americans with an arrest record. After all our currant president would not be in the white house if he had gotten caught smoking. These people want to win elections with law enforcement behind their campaign. All this protecting and serving must go on to accomplish what? Every minute people are being arrested and often have their property seized by police. This police enriching their operation with your money. Americans should ask do I REALLY HAVE ANY FREEDOM or am i a victim of CASH REGISTER GOVERNMENT. More Americans are in jail for nonsense. As risky as it is we need new friends in Washington so vote these old dogs out. Many politicians have moved over to a sensible approach to legalization and should be commended for doing so. But the old drug warriors once identified do not deserve your vote. VOTE IN THE MID TERMS ! VOTE THE LIARS OUT!

  32. While most believe the United States is a democracy. It’s really a Republic. Majority rules in a democracy at the cost of the minority. While a Republic protects to rights of the minority at the cost of the majority. Now when they passed it they did as a democratic measure vote. But they will fight tooth and nail for the small percentage that don’t want to change. Other wise I feel the best ways to sum it up.
    Mister President Tear Down Those Marijuana Laws

  33. How is the govt measuring the addiction rates? It’s a fact that when people are charged with cannabis possession, they are given a choice of either spending time in jail or in a rehab. Guess what most people choose?
    Secondly, the cannabis bought on the black market is not necessarily free of addictive substances like PCP. Labeling a plant as addictive based on what’s available in the black market is dishonest.
    Lastly, what are the addiction rates of coffee and tea, may I ask?

  34. As a safer alternative to the most dangerous actual drugs in the world – alcohol and tobacco – the ban on this plant needs to be lifted

  35. *new poll* (please vote “no”):

    USA TODAY Opinion wants to know …
    Do you think federal laws on pot should be enforced in states where the drug is legal?

  36. @ Truth, be careful with “gmo”… Where the concern is with genetically engineered crops… Not “modified.” Modified includes hybridization, which would make cannabis the most genetically modified crop in existence. Monsantos loves such subtle legal terminology.
    As for hemp, dont worry. Monsantos has been indirectly paying the DEA to eradicate wild American hemp for 45 years and they still couldnt do it! Hemp has grown freely across the U.S. Since the Hemp for Victory campaign of WWII. Hemp is a weed of many varieties.
    What Monsantos has done to corn is engineered the common feed corn to be resistant to their herbicide, Round Up. However, the bugs have modified to resist, requiring more Round Up, which requires more fresh water. All this irrigation flushes precious water, top soil fertilizer and pesticides into our rivers, estuaries and out to sea.
    The solution? Hemp produces twice the fiber and protein than corn or hemp while using half the water, no pesticides or herbicides and very little fertilizer by comparison. In fact, hemp is so productive it MAKES top soil rather than depletes it. Hemp is naturally drought resistant.
    Conservative states in the southwest that are facing the most drought and fracking are picking up on this conservative quality of cannabis sativa. Perhaps the conservative and liberal agendas will agree to be sustainable?

  37. Now all of you who claim that the Democratic party is pro MJ should hit themselves in the head several times feel better!
    The system is broken in neither party is right.

  38. In the name of human survival, remember that the greatest protection is FOREST. “Since the beginning, trees have created the heavens (oxygen O2) and the earth (topsoil) without which we humanity don’t exist.” Trees are the principal custodians of fresh water (drought states take note)! Reforestation is the number one necessity on the planet today.

    (Semantics: kinda raises questions about playing into the prohib propaganda goal of demonizing the word “reefer” by constantly pairing it with “mad”, “madness” etc., even titles count. Au contraire, “Reefer refers to furthering reforestation!”)

    As Julian observes above, “reefer” (like trees) actually makes topsoil, in fact it makes topsoil TREES can use, it is just about the best PRECURSOR CROP for trees. The reforestation that will save our human and friend species actually STARTS with hemp legalization and planting programs.

    1. INVITE children, adults, students, teachers, volunteers, ex-offenders, foreigners of all ages to visit drought-affected areas, participate in Deadwood Abatement Brigades, gather all dead trunks and branches and litter and haul what can not be logged and exported to town for manufacturing use to dry creekbeds, gorges, gullies, ravines.

    2. Lay a continuous mound of (lowest) fine and (uppermost) coarse material, weedstalk bundles etc. This will trap stormwater runoff, keep it in uplands where it evaporates and feeds local rainfall.

    3. Seed densely with hemp– long roots will reach down and hold the biomass together preventing erosion.

    4. After a season or two of hemp-residue buildup, plant fast-growing tree species– willow, cottonwood, eucalyptus etc.

    5. After a decade, seed with permanent forest: pines, hardwoods etc.

    Have I indicated the central importance of HEMP adequately?

  39. Pointing the finger at drug use as an excuse for why so many kids don’t do well in our socialized public school system has been a prohibitionist tactic for a long time.
    The system talks active, imaginative, kids and from kindergarten on its sit down, shut up as the system shoves information down their throats. Maybe now that forced attendance is no longer the law things will improve.

  40. Sounds like a duck,can’t understand them either! Outlaw stupidity not Marijuana!!!

  41. My best friend was placed in special education since kindergarten, given Ritalin to combat ADHD to no avail. We smoked some hairy red stuff in his attic one summer before our freshman year at high school, and he never slowed down, lol… needless to say he moved into regular classes, made honor society and is among the brightest persons I know, he attributes his success to pot; go figure!

  42. Example comments from NYT’s from prohibitionists that think they are so much better and smarter than use potheads!
    ————-

    SHJ Against Legalization Providence, RI
    Gee, it all sounds so wonderful! No problems at all! Some overdoses, some psychotic episodes–just minor kinks! Rhode Island has enough problems without improving access to a drug that kills motivation and increase incoherence (have you guys actually listened to the nonsense that comes out of the mouths of potheads? Another question: Who will do the work that needs to get done?

    Burnie Burner Against Legalization Burnsville, TN
    The reason that marijuana is suddenly legal is that the corporate powers that truly run the country (through their puppet representatives) have determined that the more baked and distracted they can make the next generation, the more oblivious they will be to income inequality and lack of opportunity. “1% has all the money? Whatevs, bro, now pass me the bong, and let’s play some video games…Bro, my phone has 4-G’s, and I’m gonna update my Facebook now…Is Kardashian’s coming on now? Oh, bro, this weed is awesome…”

    Anonymous Against Legalization
    We would become a Nation of useless pot-heads gradually descending back into primitivism.

  43. Is there a case for lawsuit against the federal government for “why” they made marijuana illegal to begin with?

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