Thursday, March 24, 2011

How I Came to Conclude We Are an Insane Society

We are an insane society. I have to conclude this when I see the example of marijuana. Either we won’t look at the evidence at all (limiting a rational approach right there), or we cling to whatever shred of doubt we can muster that there’s something wrong with it – in enough numbers that it is not freely used in our society for all the many benefits it has shown in the search for detriments.

I am particularly amused by those factions out there that can say, in the same breath, that there is zero evidence that heavy, life-long smokers of marijuana live any shorter a life than anyone else, but that some of the phases of the smoke, when applied to a system have shown carcinogenic tendency in that system. What are THEY up to?, I wonder.

I mean… If smoking it is not a health threat based on longevity, why worry about some short-lived phases in the process from ignition to lung? It clearly is not of concern.

I guess by making this hacked-out piece of the process the focus, one gives those shreds of doubt that keep enough of the masses voting to keep this herb illegal, keep this alive as a debate at all. But why would one want to keep this herb illegal? Really?

Is it in the generally observed behavior of the smoking (using) populace that a danger is seen? That should be the first question to ask, I would think. The stereotype of the “pothead” seems to be more of a younger and inexperienced user, but the fact is that the vastly greater number of people using marijuana function quite well in their lives, sometimes while using copious quantities.

Even in driving tests, experienced users are a wee bit ahead of the “sober” ones tested.

If you ask a policeman if he expects just marijuana to be involved in a domestic call…he’ll tell you that he does not. Alcohol, high probability; marijuana alone, nil. So obviously, the herb itself is, statistically, having no negative social impact – in fact, the evidence suggests a high correlation between a willingness to be calm and the use of marijuana. That’s a major selling point in my book.

There is no correlation between its use and deviant behavior – and by deviant behavior I include anything that is done sexually or brutally against another’s will – or such a correlation would be all over the news. Though I know of no study on this, I would wager that one finds less of it. Marijuana opens awareness of others, as a rule, lowering the likelihood of any such thought becoming action.

Interestingly, crime is a low probability scenario in the trade of marijuana on the black market. Well, unless you count the crime we have tagged onto the trade of marijuana. Though there are rough kids that might steal to buy a ten sack, most marijuana is purchased with funds earned. Stealing usually indicates crack or other cocaine products.

And then there’s that long list of benefits. Strong evidence, robust evidence for so many good things coming from it. They say that teens using it show some vague issues, but the subjects in the study were suspect and few. More shreds of doubt to cling to. Meanwhile, I hear glaucoma can be stopped if you use it. Alzheimer’s, nausea, anorexia, depression, and cancer (to name a few) can be treated. And that biggest one, that major cause of illness itself: stress. Marijuana treats stress!

All this with no debilitating side effects and zero deaths attributed to its use. In emergencies, an experienced user will respond appropriately if they know what’s appropriate to begin with.

And so… Here I look at our society and seeing great amounts of money being spent to spread shreds of doubt against an enormous body of evidence that we would be far better a society if we just let go of this, I scratch my head. I mean, as issues go in a society, we are causing far more in terms of money spent and lives shattered than the use of the herb even remotely causes. The difference is astronomical.

Therefore, I have to suspect our sanity. Why would we trust all these nebulous shreds of doubt against the evidence clearly defined?

There’s also the question of the sanity in choosing to outlaw a weed – an herb of great benefit notwithstanding – and one that grows virtually everywhere on the planet. But that’s just a gravy insanity on the meat of persistence in using marijuana to flail society rather than embracing the herb gratefully.

And who is it that benefits from the effort to rile us against marijuana in the first place? Ah. Yes. Corporations. Pharmaceutical companies. The prison industrial complex. Alcohol sellers. Drug Lords (a form of corporation…). Are we going to let this continue? Are we going to continue to flail our society’s back – or back off and behave rationally?

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