Friday, August 9, 2013

Sanjay Gupta: ‘I Was Wrong On Pot, Sorry America’ Sunday Documentary on CNN

Finally. Some intelligent reporting on a controversial topic. Sunday night on CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta's documentary "Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports" will offer what Erin Burnett on her CNN show said is, "amazing". It airs at 5PM Pacific Time on CNN.

Dr. Gupta says we have been duped by the government (no surprise there to many of us). His words as Erin Burnett quoted him on her show today while he listened and smiled, were:

"I think the government is reprehensible for not allowing pot."

He also said he has apologized for his previous held belief that pot was bad and that it should not be a "Schedule One" illegal drug as it has truly stupidly been for decades, along with, Heroin? I still shake my head at that one. It just made no sense. That was in part the beginning of my realizing how out of touch with reality our government was, or could be. I was disillusioned. I was a lot younger back then. But I still believe it. Nice to have corroboration, though. Finally.

There are two things I'd like to mention right up front. I've been saying for many, many years that minors shouldn't smoke pot. It's been reported in the documentary that your brain is still growing until you are around twenty-four years old. I've been saying I would like to see kids not use pot until they were at least twenty-one to twenty-five, so I was right in the ball park. The other issue is strength of weed. In the 60s it was aournd 1%. Now it is typically around 13% and there have been recorded instances of it at as high as 39% which is around a dangerous level, certainly with someone unused to that level of THC. I have been concerned about these high levels for some years now. So it's necessary for people to have regulations so they know what levels they are getting.

THC and CBD are the two primary components of pot that are of importance. The THC gets you high. The CBD supplies the body stone effect that can be important for patients with various diseases. So they are now growing high CBD levels and low THC levels. And they are seeing very good effects from this. It's starting to look like you would want to have a balance of these two components depending on what effect you are looking for, and not just the THC.

"The Controlled Substances Act provides a process for rescheduling controlled substances by petitioning the Drug Enforcement Administration. The first petition under this process was filed in 1972 to allow cannabis to be legally prescribed by physicians. The petition was ultimately denied after 22 years of court challenges, although a pill form of cannabis' psychoactive ingredient, THC, was rescheduled in 1985 to allow prescription under schedule II. In 1999 it was again rescheduled to allow prescription under schedule III. A second petition, based on claims related to clinical studies, was denied in 2001. The most recent rescheduling petition was filed by medical cannabis advocates in 2002, but was denied by the DEA in July 2011. Subsequently, medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access filed an appeal in January 2012 with the D.C. Circuit, which was heard on October 16, 2012. As of August 2013, 20 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of medical marijuana." - Wikipedia

The Doctor said that all these thousands of research reports you hear about that say how bad pot is, had studied how it is bad. I could probably come up with a pretty good report on how bad penicillin is, for that matter.  But those reports did not look into just how much good it can do. He has also pointed out that the withdrawal from quitting long term excessive use of alcohol can and does kill people. Obviously, the same for Schedule One drugs like heroin.

But the worst you get off of quitting pot is maybe irritable for a few days at most. As for addictiveness, pot is as addictive as your personality will allow. It's "psychologically addictive", not "physically addictive" and anyone telling you otherwise is not only incorrectly informed (or a liar), they are fear-mongering. Psychologically addictive means that you have to believe you are addicted, but you are not "really" (physically, medically) addicted. Many heroin addicts would kill for that situation with their own addiction.

Regarding pot making people "stoners", a humorous euphemism for people who get high on pot, generally do nothing and are, according to popular films, complete idiots, albeit funny and endearing ones for the most part. That alone should also tell you something about pot. How are heroin, cocaine and alcohol addicts portrayed in popular media?

When I think of how things are going with pot now a days (finally) and how many have suffered beyond prison terms up to the ultimate sacrifice of being killed by police... for mere possession(!), I can only shake my head in dismay. I don't so much blame police who are just doing their jobs, though they could be intelligent and a little less aggressive sometimes, but I do blame the government and the medical arm of that government who should have stopped worrying about their jobs and performed their function and the truth sayers of the nation. When popular crap is the Zeitgeist we need someone (science? medicine?) to lead the way with fact and not politics and conjecture.

Then there is the numbers of deaths due to drug cartel actions, which are nearly uncountable. The south of the border drug cartels now, as it has been reported, are very unhappy about pot getting legalized in the US. Another nail in the coffin of not legalizing pot.

And consider the cost. Check this out:

This is How Much Marijuana Prohibition Costs You, the Taxpayer

Even if you don't know much about pot, you should know it is just not in the same category as heroin.

Do I think heroin should be legalized? Well, I know it's dangerous, but I just don't know. Maybe. But it worries me. It worries me because, if you overdose "reasonably" on heroin, you die. It's that simple. If you overdose "reasonably" on pot, you don't even get close to dying (we're talking adults, of course all drugs should be kept from children). So what's reasonable? An amount the size of which is easy to accidentally take with the ability to stop in order to back off to achieve a safer level, before dying. Cocaine is like that too, dangerous. But nothing like heroin and pot is nothing like cocaine. Alcohol is.

So why is pot illegal and alcohol isn't? Because alcohol has a much bigger group of fans and it can literally be made almost anywhere from a large variety of things. With pot, you need at very least a seed from which to grow it from. And then there is that proven issue of Prohibition and how that went south so quickly. Consider that sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol according to Gallup. But in 2011, there were 18.1 million current (past-month) users—about 7.0 percent of people aged 12 or older according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) as conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Consider too that the so called and poorly named,"War on Drugs" or simply "The Drug War" was started by one of, if not the most corrupt President in the history of the United States: Richard Nixon. He set up a commission to study the drug issue coming out of the 1960s free love and drug culture. But when he was told they had decided it wasn't as bad as thought, and actually suggested solutions diametrically opposed to what Nixon wanted with his anti-crime platform, he went against his own commission's conclusions and began to wage a war on the America people. He had already broken many laws to maintain his regime. This was merely a natural and understandable extension of that. His paranoia had finally turned itself from only being against his political enemies to the entire American public in general.

It was later supported and reinforced in the 1980s by Ronald Reagan at a time when "crack" cocaine was first coming onto the scene. A drug that had been used in that way for some time by the rich and famous, once crack was put into the hands of people as a cheap and easily attained street drug by those of lower income, it started scaring people. Crack was an addictive and crime associated street drug and rightly should be targeted. But not as a war because a war quickly turns into actions against citizens rather than actions against dangerous drugs. It became a rallying point; not crack, but the "War on Drugs". As a more widely used illegal drug pot then became, as it had been for years, the rallying point in the "War on Drugs". It was just easier to go after, more available, not to mention pot users are less dangerous than crack users. It was a soft target.

Over the years, pot has gained a status in governments like religion. Hands off. Don't think. Just keep it at a distance and do nothing other than victimize its users. Why? Because it's the kind of drug when taken that let's you sit back, relax, but actually see your life, your world, if not as it is, then in a way different than what the current regime is pushing on its citizens. Sound funny? Not really. There have been many countries who feared it in large part for that reason alone. They don't want their people thinking too much. Alcohol also helps you relax, is legal and easily available. But it numbs you out and makes you stupid and at times, aggressive. Pot simply doesn't in its normal dosage levels for entertainment purposes. Instead it leads one to thinking outside the box. And that is anathema especially to dictatorial leaders, fascist regimes and right wing ruled governments and administrations.

Yes there are many other issues involved here and I could certainly give you a long list of the politics and history of pot, but really here I only wanted to let you know about the documentary on Sunday (8/11/2013).

Check it out. It sounds like it just might be worth watching. Perhaps finally we are getting the right information to the right people. Everyone.

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