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Michael Phelps, hypocrisy and American Drug Policy

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posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
If I blow my brains out with a gun, it doesn't mean it's the gun's fault but it does mean guns are dangerous...even if I thought it was empty and was just playing around.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by saint4God]


It means the way you used it, and the choices that you made with it made it dangerous. You never "play" with a gun no matter what you think of its loaded status... You know that of course because guns are legal and their is no end to the amount of knowledge and literature about how to safely use it available for them. Guns aren't dangerous, the people with their hands on them and the choices those people make, can make them dangerous.

If I drink water to the point of water intoxication, does that make drinking water dangerous? Or does that mean I made a bad choice with it?

Should everything that is dangerous be illegal, and deserving of jail time?

[edit on 6-2-2009 by XTexan]




posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


You are the one who is living in denial here. You actually have no clue what you are talking about. I live in California and have a medical prescription.

If I just wanted Narcotics I could get pain pills instead. Which are legal, far more dangerous and far more addicting. But I do not like pills or synthetic things at all. You must be unaware of doctors who all around the US get a good bit of their business based on the frequency they give such prescriptions. Instead, I would rather use something that is all natural, isn't as addictive, and doesn't include all the side effects.

I do not drink at all either.

You call it a gateway drug. The main reason it has even a chance at becoming that is because of all the misinformation and exaggerations applied to it by people such as yourself. When someone actually tries it for themselves they see that it is not that bad. Then the trust in what is said about drugs is gone. And that is the only reason it becomes a gateway drug.

And I have experience with this. I almost got screwed over hardcore by meth. I always grew up being told all drugs were the same. They are not. And the only reason I didn't get screwed over is because I was lucky enough to realize what it was doing to me. I still to this day live with some of the effects of a short time of use with that. It is horrible and turns people into zombies. I literally hate that stuff with a passion most people could not understand. If I had any clue about that stuff before hand I'd never tried it. But because of the so called "war on drugs", I was pretty much left clueless.

You mention Job loss. Guess what, it wasn't the drugs that lost him that deal with Kellogg. He kept that job long after the effects wore off, and probably aren't even in his system at all. He lost his job only because of the stigma in society. In fact, most of the harm caused by drugs are not caused by the drug itself, but because of societies treatment towards it in general. I think I'm going to boycott Kellogg for awhile. I guess they are losing business over it.

And in my job, it's kind of the opposite. My boss makes sure I do not run out. That's right, you heard it. Why? Because it helps me focus on my work. It relaxes me, and makes it easier to concentrate on my work. I am someone who uses their brain for a living.

The real truth of the matter is you have no idea who smokes it and who doesn't. I know people of all different kinds of jobs, from policeman, to lawyers and judges, to CEO's and so on. You would never know it. Why? Because it's only stoner teens who go around thinking it's cool and define their life on it that you know of. It's only stoner teens who think it's cool and want you to know it. Most people who are grown up tend to actually avoid the movie stoner types. Not because they do it, but because that has become their biggest ambition in life, and most people who are grown up think it's silly/stupid. And that is the only thing you actually have to base your "personal" knowledge on.

So I guess you would say it's better for me to instead take addictive pain pills which make me num like Rush Limbaugh? They would give them to me, easier even. Last time I had surgery, I threw away 3/4's of the pain pills they gave me.

Sorry, but you are the one who is in denial here.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God

Originally posted by NJE03
I am also intrigued by the fact that people who are under the impression that the herb of which he had partaken is so terrible are the ones who believe everything the media spoon feeds them rather than making their own judgment based on personal experience. Interesting... *strokes beard*


What do you say to those of us who both know the medical dangers AND have seen the effects through person experience? Funny how they validate each other, isn't it?
To those people I have only one thing to say:
Let those who wish to partake, do so in peace. And those who have made an educated decision not to, simply don't and we will both be better off for it.


"The freedom to swing ones fist ENDS upon another man nose."



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by NJE03
To those people I have only one thing to say:
Let those who wish to partake, do so in peace.


Ah, but those who are supposedly 'partaking in peace' hop on ATS and run off at the mouth about how it's not a drug, needs to be legal and ignore the mountain of evidence that says it's harmful. It takes two to tango.


Originally posted by NJE03
"The freedom to swing ones fist ENDS upon another man nose."


See how quickly this thread dies if no one were to post advocacy after this one. No, another 'fist' will swing because there indeed is an 'other side' that is looking for a fight.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


So what are you saying? Just because we wish to speak our minds on an issue that we feel strongly about we're bad people or something? Thats kind of the point of these forums, for people to speak their minds.

And I don't look at any of this conversation as "throwing punches" we've all been very civil, yourself incuded.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by XTexan
So what are you saying? Just because we wish to speak our minds on an issue that we feel strongly about we're bad people or something?


Not at all, in fact...


Originally posted by XTexan
Thats kind of the point of these forums, for people to speak their minds.


There ya go, so I don't want to hear any whining that I haven't the right to 'force my ideas' on others merely because I'm opposed to pot and know for a fact that it is harmful.


Originally posted by XTexan
And I don't look at any of this conversation as "throwing punches" we've all been very civil, yourself incuded.


Thank you and I don't see any throwing punches but some people here still have to play the victim it seems.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


I'd like to think I haven't been whining that you don't have the right to speak your mind, in fact I'll use whats in my avatar to fight for your right to do so.

I'm simply trying to change your mind, as you are mine



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by XTexan
I'd like to think I haven't been whining that you don't have the right to speak your mind, in fact I'll use whats in my avatar to fight for your right to do so.


Sorry, I didn't mean you were XTexan and don't want to point fingers at who is claiming to be a victim, the issue I have is with the 'victim argument' regardless of the one(s) presenting it.


Originally posted by XTexan
I'm simply trying to change your mind, as you are mine


I'm not trying to change your mind XTexan, I haven't my own scientific studies to present to you nor have other scientific studies made a compelling argument for you (despite facts, data, testimonials, etc.). My mind will not be changing on this subject because of what my eyes have seen in the faces of my family. Be compelling all you like using colourful metaphors or charismatic charm that makes young ladies blush, but as long as the lives of my affected family members remain unchanged so does my resolution on the matter. No one recreationally smokes pot for the benefit of their family and dare I say they go a step further in selfishly neglecting them when they do.


[edit on 6-2-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


I also have my own personal experiences, facts that I've seen in life, and studies that I've read that sway my decision. MJ is not for everyone, and neither is any substance, item, or object in this great world of ours. Different things affect different people in different ways, I won't argue to that. But I will fight for what I see as my right and anyone elses to do what they wish with their bodies. Even though I see alcohol as a far more dangerous alternative to MJ, I won't say it should be illegal... Different folks, different stokes.

And for a list of studies on my side of the arguement I would recomend this site, though it is biased.

NORML

[edit on 6-2-2009 by XTexan]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by XTexan
But I will fight for what I see as my right and anyone elses to do what they wish with their bodies.


Even if someone on ATS wanted to take this right away from you, they couldn't. I don't want to take anyone's rights away. The only thing I can hope for is that they're bestowed with the wisdom to make the right decision. The police on the other hand can take your rights away, but they give a few back in recitation before entering their vehicle.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by TNT13
 

Hey good post TNT, Star!

You're right, natural is the word here, and ok by most. Not tainted or processed.

Oh, and you forgot one- Lophophora Williamsii or: Peyote a naturally occuring, spineless cactus used for many moons by indiginous Americans during spiritual rituals, and spirit vision quests!

Who knows, maybe we'll see Mike crawling on all fours in the South American desert next, searching for them!?!



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by ACEMANN
I didn't omit ANYTHING. smoking POT becomes a HABIT that becomes an ADDICTION because they become ADDICTED to the way it makes them FEEL. Why is that so hard to understand???

And how the heck is being addicted "psychologically" different from being - ADDICTED. You are asking what the definition of "is...is". It had to be addictive physically because it had to exist for them to become addicted mentally !!!! WTF!!!

They aren't smoking "imaginary reefer". Just what are YOU smoking


I know what "pot can do" and my education has been through my own eyes, ears, and heartbreak watching this family fall apart because of the parent's addiction to a drug, this little "weed". Don't even TRY to lecture me on what I "may or may not" know. It destroys lives and opens dangerous doors.

There is a very large difference between potentially habit-forming and addictive.

When you stop taking an addictive substance, your entire body goes into withdrawal. You feel physically ill, you can get effects like insomnia and intense nausea. Even if you WANT to cease use of the substance, your body pretty much gives you the option between the worst fight of your life or just taking "one more" (which of course repeats itself over and over again).

Now when you stop taking a potentially-habit forming substance, your body doesn't really care. The only thing that gets in the way is your head. Quitting pot is akin to starting and sticking to a diet and exercise program. If you just say no to that piece of cake, your body won't care either way. This is to assume you even formed the habit in the first place. Everything in our lives is dictated by the habits we form. We form habits like waking up at a certain time, or eating a certain food everyday, or social habits like how we act to new people we meet. All habits are a little off-setting (naturally) when they are opposed.

It is true that the more frequent marijuana is used, the more habit forming it can become. Luckily, there is absolutely no physiological component in marijuana that makes you come back, so it can be a twice a year thing or a twice a month thing.

I was a habitual pot smoker up until a year ago when I decided to quit cold turkey. I never once felt any withdrawal symptom or a longing to pick up the habit. To me marijuana smoking is like a visit to a theme park. "Oh I used to do that. It might be fun to do it sometime again".

It is not something I am compelled to do or even think about. I haven't touched it in a year, and probably won't touch it for a while.

What needs to be understood about legality is some people have higher probabilities of forming habits. Some people are prone to become anorexic, but they are a minority. Because of that minority, should everyone in America be force fed in regular intervals by federal authorities? Some people like to kill people with knives, they are a extreme minority, should knives be made illegal?


[edit on 6-2-2009 by Reddupo]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 04:31 PM
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saint4god, I do not wish to jump to any conclusions but to me it seems clear to me that you came into the conversation with your mind made up, just as I did. Clearly neither one of us will be able to convince each other, or to push our views upon one another. We are only going to go in circles.

I imagine If I wanted to I could find studies claiming almost anything is harmful, but the fact is that in this particular instance the harm is outweighed by the benefits. Have you heard of marvelous little invention called the vaporizer? This device virtually eliminates any lung harm, and lung harm is the only 'harm' which I am inclined to accept as truth.

"Marijuana Overdose
There is no existing evidence of anyone dying of a marijuana overdose. Tests performed on mice have shown that the ratio of cannabinoids (the chemicals in marijuana that make you high) necessary for overdose to the amount necessary for intoxication is 40,000:1.

For comparison's sake, that ratio for alcohol is generally between 4:1 and 10:1. Alcohol overdoses claim approximately 5,000 casualties yearly, but marijuana overdoses kill no one as far as any official reports.

Brain Damage
Marijuana is psychoactive because it stimulates certain brain receptors, but it does not produce toxins that kill them (like alcohol), and it does not wear them out as other drugs may. There is no evidence that marijuana use causes brain damage. Studies performed on actual human populations will confirm these results, even for chronic marijuana users (up to 18 joints per day) after many years of use.

In fact, following the publication of two 1977 JAMA studies, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially announced its support for the decriminalization of marijuana.

In reality, marijuana has the effect of slightly increasing alpha-wave activity in your brain. Alpha waves are generally associated with meditative and relaxed states, which are, in turn, often associated with human creativity.

Memory
Marijuana does impair short-term memory, but only during intoxication. Although the authoritative studies on marijuana use seem to agree that there is no residual impairment following intoxication, persistent impairment of short-term memory has been noted in chronic marijuana smokers, up to 6 and 12 weeks following abstinence.

Hormones
Chronic marijuana use has not been found to alter testosterone or other sex hormone levels. In contrast, heavy alcohol use is known to lower these same testosterone levels.

Reproductive Damage
No trustworthy study has ever shown that marijuana use damages the reproductive system, or causes chromosome breakage. Studies of actual human populations have failed to demonstrate that marijuana adversely affects the reproductive system. Claims that marijuana use may impair hormone production, menstrual cycles, or fertility in females are both unproven and unfounded."

www.askmen.com...



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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As far as the Law goes he could have simple said "No comment". However being a celebrity he had to come "clean"...I bet %90 of America could care less if they didn't have children to explain it to. "Well JR, mom and dad were once called "HIPPIES" and we smoke "HERB". Its an outdated law and it becomes more and more so every year. Phelps is getting punished already, in his wallet.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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Now as to why, besides moral reasons, marijuana should be legalized:

Point 1: Regulation


The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University asked: "Which is easiest for someone your age to buy: cigarettes, beer, marijuana, or prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin or Ritalin, without a prescription?"
....
A quarter of the teens said it is easiest to buy marijuana, with 43 percent of 17-year-olds saying they could buy the drug in less than an hour.

Source

Why so simple to buy? Because unlike tobacco and alcohol, sources of marijuana are not licensed establishments. They are shady dealers.


Since the program began, the national average of illegal tobacco sales to minors has dropped from 40.1 percent in 1997 to 10.5 percent in 2007

Source
This is due to the fact that cigarette vendors will be prosecuted and lose their business if they sell to minors. It is very hard to acquire a license, and very easy to lose it. Store employees are not too gung ho about selling 15 year olds cigarettes.

In contrast, a marijuana dealer will sell to a 2 year old as long as the kid has money. There is no carding or ID checks. Legalizing marijuana, like tobacco or alcohol, will give everyone the opportunity to have the only source of pot be a recognized and regulated establishment cutting the access of pot to underage kids in half.

In addition to keeping pot out of their hands there will be no artificial "gateway" effect where the pot dealer tries to push harder drugs such as ecstasy or coc aine to his customer for some more cash.



Point 2: Criminal
42% of drug abuse violations in 2007 were for possession of marijuana. (Source) FOURTY TWO PERCENT. That means out of every single drug related arrest made, including manufacturing arrests of synthetic drugs, and sale of heroin and every other illegal drug/what you can do with them, marijuana POSSESSION (not even sales) alone makes up almost half of the arrests.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans die per year from tobacco, alcohol, coc aine, heroin, methamphetamine, .etc, yet our focus is on marijuana.

How much money has been spent so far in 2009 on the drug war all together? About 1 month: 5 BILLION DOLLARS. In one month gone, wasted, tracking down and incarcerating "viscous criminals" for having simple one or two person supplies and hurting no one.


More than 94 million Americans (40 percent) age 12 and older have tried marijuana at least once, according to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Source

Almost half our nation has tried pot. Are they criminals? NO.


The total expense for the criminal justice system in Massachusetts in 2005 is $3.4 billion

Source
$3.4 Billion in one state for one year. Think how much money we could save by dismissing this foolish law.

The U.S. marijuana is a $113 billion annual business that costs taxpayers $41.8 billion in enforcement costs and lost tax revenues

Source




Point 3: Economic Merit
Let's think about this for one moment. A 113 billion dollars annually spent by recreational users. Federal cigarette tax is about 9%.

A similar tax put on legalized and regulated cannabis: About 10 billion dollars in federal tax revenue.

Now any multi billion dollar industry will have hundreds of thousands of new jobs. I remember hearing that Obama wants to focus on Job creation.


Point 4: Medicinal Merit

The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.


Madrid, Spain: Compounds in cannabis inhibit cancer cell growth in human breast cancer cell lines and in pancreatic tumor cell lines, according to a pair of preclinical trials published in the July issue of the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

www.sciencedaily.com...
jnci.oxfordjournals.org...
www.sciencedaily.com...
norml.org...

Now yes, I just bombarded you with some info touching on the potentials of cannabis and it's effects on cancer. You may say "yea, but most people just want it legal to get high". But news articles like these show that the rabbit hole goes much deeper:


Medical marijuana user dies for lack of liver transplant

Source


UMass prof. denied for medicinal marijuana study

Source

There is a possibility that marijuana could be somewhat of a miracle drug (fights cancer? What have we created that does that?), yet legality prohibits many scholarly and medical attempts at further research.


Entire documentary online: blip.tv...






[edit on 6-2-2009 by Reddupo]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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Excellent posts XTexan, NJE03 and a big tip of my hat to Reddupo for the great research on your post.

So far the score is;
"accepting personal responsibility" 27 points
"weed is dangerous, the root of all evil and Phelps is a bad, bad man" 0 points
Has anyone seen any real scientific data opposing weed? ever? I mean, really? Real data, not the fabricated hyperbole stuff, but real data? Anyone?(tap, tap) Hello, is this thing on?



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 05:41 PM
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Too much of anything can me bad for us. Too much of a bad thing, even in small doses, can be bad for you. Too much of good things can be bad too. Individual and social responsibility is key and nothing can change that.

Too much O2 and your brain begins to shut down and may cause cerebral palsy and other nerve disorders. We need oxygen to breathe and even that is dangerous.

www.ask.com... uch+Oxygen%3C%2FKW%3E%7C%3CKW%3EToo+Much+Oxygen%3C%2FKW%3E+in+Blood&ab=0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciam.com%2Farticle.cfm%3Fid%3Dthe-oxygen-dilemma

Too many apples or prunes causes diarrhea. Diarrhea, can be serious and is known to be fatal many times each year. Should we outlaw apples? Once again, the key is personal and social responsibility.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by MichJJC]

[edit on 6-2-2009 by MichJJC]

[edit on 6-2-2009 by MichJJC]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 05:53 PM
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saint4god you still haven't said what you think about tobacco and alcohol. But I guess they are ok because they are legal.


I welcome the day marijuana is finally legalized so we don't have to deal with all these ignorant fools trying put it down along with the people who use it



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 06:01 PM
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He's done more with his life then all the pot heads and drug dealers ever will.


He is now part of the first group so there goes your prediction about pot heads never doing what... I quess they have actually done.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by Azgard123]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


You completely blew off everything I said. And I told you if you blew off everything I said, I would come back and post more studies than you would even bother reading. It is also worth noting that the only information you have posted is from the government and is PROPAGANDA, meant to perpetuate the LIES about cannabis. Here is a list of PROOF for everything I posted and since it is what you asked for, I look forward to hearing your opinion... since you're a biochemist and all. I'm sure you would respect the word of UCLA and Harvard Med, as well as respected British Universities.. so at your request, HERE YOU GO. But the dirty little truth is I know darn well you won't read half, if even one, of the studies I am about to post... nonetheless...

Cannabis and Driving

Harvard Study Finds Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth in Half

18 of Nature's Most Powerful Medicinal Plants (Cannabis is #1)

UCLA Study finds no connection between Cannabis and Cancer

Cannabinoids promote new brain cell growth: anxioltic and antidepressant

Cannabis and the Brain - A User's Guide

Documentary on Cannabis containing interviews with Physicists, Medical Professors, Authors, Politicians on Cannabis

And since you ignored it before, I'll say it again... coming from the government that still fights to keep it illegal... THE SCHAFFER REPORT, FUNDED BY RICHARD NIXON...

We have carefully analyzed the interrelationship between marihuana the drug, marihuana use as a behavior, and marihuana as a social problem. Recognizing the extensive degree of misinformation about marihuana as a drug, we have tried to demythologize it. Viewing the use of marihuana in its wider social context, we have tried to desymbolize it.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem.

The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.

taken from : Schaffer Report Summary (this link also contains the entirety of the report through other links)

Saint4God, I appreciate being called an armchair doctor... but I much prefer "well informed individual."

I have given you reports from Harvard, UCLA, University of Saskatchawan, as well as studies published in respected journals... What have you shown me? I assume you simply contain a wealth of knowledge that surpasses the collective knowledge of these colleges and universities that you aren't showing us? Or maybe could it just be you don't know jack about cannabis and you've got it all wrong?

I look forward to your response and report back on each of these studies that you so kindly asked for... And please, please for the Love of God and everything Holy... if you respond to one thing... TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE SCHAFFER REPORT.. FUNDED BY THE US GOVERNMENT... SAYING CANNABIS IS LESS HARMFUL THAN ANY LEGAL DRUG OUT THERE... THEN IGNORED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THE FINDINGS DID NOT MEET HIS DESIRE FOR A DRUG WAR...

If you were half the scholar you claim to be you would start to wise up in the face of all the evidence that myself and other ATSers have posted here.

"Although smoking cannabis isn't addictive, learning the truth is, and the truth is infectious, and you can't deny the truth forever..."

edit: and I will say this. Like another intelligent ATSers above me said.. Saint4God, you've obviously come into this debate with your mind made up. This is fine. I do not expect you to read one word of what the users have spent their time researching upon your request (for the legit data that is, most were already aware you were of the truth about cannabis). It is all the more satisfying to have the "potheads" of ATS come out of the woodwork to post every legit study and every piece of information they can find to prove that cannabis is NOT what you say it is. I would be impressed if you even came back to this thread. The fact of the matter is the truth is out there, and thank God some people brought it to this thread... (and it's a shame it wasn't a biochemist that did it)

[edit on 6-2-2009 by ImaNutter]



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