I feel the need, the need for WEED! (1 Viewer)

NauticalGent

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Not really, I've tried it and it isn't for me. I've always been tolerant of those we smoked it however and simply put it in the same category as alcohol.

Hearing my wife and others claim it as a "gate-way" drug always amused me - I suppose it could be, but that would come down to the nature of the individual. My sister, for example, has been blazin' since 1979, is a chronic "wake and baker" and her husband isn't too different although he prefers to partake once his day is done. They both have lived productive lives, raised two children (my nephew doesn't touch the stuff, my niece is worse than her mom!) who have gone on to have families and provided well for their children...

So it really baffles me why I am having issues with the number of people lighting up now that it is legal. I smell it everywhere I go - sometimes while I am driving on the damn highway! What initiated this rant was this morning while I was dropping of my granddaughter at daycare, there was a Bob Marley clone in a FedEx uniform coming out of the center positively reeking. Not sure if his shift was ending or just beginning although I am positive it was just beginning.

My first thought was how sad it must be to feel your mood has to be altered to get your day started right - as I took a big swig of coffee from my over-sized thermos. Am I all that different from Bob? I mean, if I do not drink my coffee (caffeine) there is a distinct and negative effect on my morning.

Anyway, you all see what I am getting at - thoughts?
 

Isaac

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Not really, I've tried it and it isn't for me. I've always been tolerant of those we smoked it however and simply put it in the same category as alcohol.

Hearing my wife and others claim it as a "gate-way" drug always amused me - I suppose it could be, but that would come down to the nature of the individual. My sister, for example, has been blazin' since 1979, is a chronic "wake and baker" and her husband isn't too different although he prefers to partake once his day is done. They both have lived productive lives, raised two children (my nephew doesn't touch the stuff, my niece is worse than her mom!) who have gone on to have families and provided well for their children...

So it really baffles me why I am having issues with the number of people lighting up now that it is legal. I smell it everywhere I go - sometimes while I am driving on the damn highway! What initiated this rant was this morning while I was dropping of my granddaughter at daycare, there was a Bob Marley clone in a FedEx uniform coming out of the center positively reeking. Not sure if his shift was ending or just beginning although I am positive it was just beginning.

My first thought was how sad it must be to feel your mood has to be altered to get your day started right - as I took a big swig of coffee from my over-sized thermos. Am I all that different from Bob? I mean, if I do not drink my coffee (caffeine) there is a distinct and negative effect on my morning.

Anyway, you all see what I am getting at - thoughts?

I actually used to be a lot more liberal-minded on this issue but life teaches you things the hard way sometimes.

The truth about alcohol and drugs (something most people don't know, and wouldn't find out unless they spent a fair amount of time in Recovery environments, hearing stories), is that about 1000x times more people than admit they have a problem, actually have a problem.
Naturally, this leads to the average person's perspective on the issue to be vastly incorrect. Well, it doesn't seem like most people who responsibly use those things have an issue, therefore, it must be relegated to a small % of users.
You can see how wrong that is, but only after you learn that a substantial % of the people (who you think are in the "don't have a problem" group), actually do have a problem, just haven't admitted it to themselves yet.

If you could somehow "see" the general population as they each eventually will be (for better or worse), then their "current" state would be more accurately understood. But you never will, because almost every person who needs recovery comes in slowly, and decades too late.

After you understand those two points - 1) people come into recovery decades after it is first needed, and 2) many more people have a problem than will admit they have a problem, or have admitted it yet, by an enormous factor - you may rethink the perspective that "most people seem to be doing just fine".

And that is just the start. There are more things to consider that bolster my argument. I'll just throw one out there. Many people with addictions appear to be doing OK by many measures. Most people with addictions spend the vast majority of their time planning out ways to appear to be doing OK, while actually not doing OK. Addiction is a disease that works very hard to hide itself - both from the afflicted person themselves, and from outward appearances, as these 2 factors are its primary ticket to survive & progress.

I don't think marijuana specifically is a gateway drug, as each person's journey through a life of mind-altering substances can look very different.
(PS I also tried an edible once and absolutely hated it, thought I was going to have to go to a psychiatric ER - you couldn't pay me to eat one again!)

As to whether it should be illegal, I'm conflicted on that. I think those who promote it are WAY too nonchalant about it and I think the message it sends to young people (it's legal, so what's the problem) is horrible. We already have proved it increases auto accidents caused by intoxication and simultaneously is harder for law enforcement to quickly and clearly evaluate on the spot.
On the other hand, I support things that make it more likely for people to get help rather than simply be incarcerated, and I like the idea of de-criminalizing a product that has given the black market (cartels) a way to exist and destroy the world. Of course, if it's not one thing it's another, so I'm unsure how much good we did on that one.

Those who go around touting the potential benefits of mind altering substances are, I think, just missing the practicality needed to judge the issue.

Sure, there can be benefits. But if the risks outweigh the benefits by 100 to 1, why try it? Especially when you know that substance addiction is extremely cunning and subtle: By the time you "realize" you have a problem, you'll be in way to deep to stop. Anyone who thinks otherwise (i.e., if I have a problem then I'll stop), obviously has no clue how addiction works on your mind. No, it's just the opposite. If you have a problem, you WON'T stop...that's the whole point.

I've come full circle, and now advise my kids the same thing my Dad advised me: Just stay away from it.
You can also point guns you think are unloaded at people and hey, you'll probably be OK. But why deliberately do something you know carries a great risk of painfully and slowly destroying your lives and the lives of many people around you.

Your wife is right, in the gist of it if not the gateway thing.
 
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NauticalGent

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Addiction is a disease...
Strongly disagree on that point. I first heard it when I was forces to go to AA meetings as a young sailor. I bought into it then because I was young and just wanted the training to be over.

Many have tried to "explain" it to me but they either give up when I counter their augments and accuse me of being willfully blind to the facts. Not buying it - giving it a name and calling it a disease takes the responsibility of of the individual's hands like somehow it isn't their fault or that it was visited upon them against their will.
 

Isaac

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Strongly disagree on that point. I first heard it when I was forces to go to AA meetings as a young sailor. I bought into it then because I was young and just wanted the training to be over.

Many have tried to "explain" it to me but they either give up when I counter their augments and accuse me of being willfully blind to the facts. Not buying it - giving it a name and calling it a disease takes the responsibility of of the individual's hands like somehow it isn't their fault or that it was visited upon them against their will.

Well, this is a distraction from my most important points, which stand regardless of the "disease vs. choice" debate. The truth could end up being whatever it may be and all the points I've made still stand as to how substance abuse works its way into people's lives, the timing, and the subtle nature of when you're in too deep to easily get out vs. when you realize you're in.

I know what you mean - and didn't intend for my using that term to go off the rails on that particular aspect of it, it all still stands.

Personally I take a very practical approach, and see substance abuse as a little of "both". Personal choice factors into it much more heavily, obviously, at the beginning - I think we could practically all agree on that. But, obviously, as chemicals hit the brain, they begin to change the brain in profound ways. Your ability to choose gets progressively reduced, more and more. And I definitely think it depends on the drug.

There are a couple particular drugs I have always wanted to grab some volunteers from the camp "it's all a choice" for a study.
I'll give them that drug for a few months and at the end of that month, they can find out for themselves what their choices seem to be :)

So it's all about timing. There is no question that some of these hard drugs fundamentally alter your brain. Some quicker, some slower, and in different ways depending on the drug.

When it comes to "early" in the cycle, I'm actually more with you. I don't think people are born with "the disease of addiction", no, not at all.

Just how "fast" using these chemicals (from alcohol to pain pills to meth and heroin) alters your thinking, beliefs and biological brain structure to the extent that you can be fairly said to experience little to no choice in the matter can vary a lot based on the particular person.
But don't underestimate how confusing it can be for many people to be taking that prescription and by the time they realize how much they depend on the prescription, their realistic ability to choose has become substantially reduced.
And this isn't unusual. It's actually a classic responsible-housewife-turned-crack-***** story. Do you really think the responsible housewife who lived a model exemplary life for 30 years just magically decided one day to become an addict? That's where you have to look at the reality playing out in front of you and acknowledge that it must be a lot trickier than you may have given it credit for.

Just don't write it off entirely. I mean think of sleep. If I keep you up for 3 nights, you'll think people are trying to set you on fire, you'll see pink elephants in the room. Drugs are no different, they mess up your mind, which affects your ability to reason.
 

The_Doc_Man

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To the extent that a biological "deviation from normality" can be caused by continued use of an external chemical, I think it is safe to say that must types of substance addiction ArE a disease of the general form "organic disorder."

I've been around pot-smokers a few times. To me it smells like burning dried sycamore leaves, because we used to have some sycamores in our back yard and the leaf burn-off was strong. Then when I went with a college friend to a part where pot was involved, I swear it smelled just like the sycamore bonfires. At the time, my asthmatic bronchitis was strong and I couldn't smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or weed. But then, I've never been a drinker, either. My drug of choice has been caffeine in soft-drink quantities - or food.
 

Jon

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@NauticalGent I've got some views on a couple of points you have made.

Firstly, with weed, I agree, it is just like alcohol, except far less dangerous. When the deaths from weed are near zero and while the deaths from alcohol are considerable, I smell hypocrisy in the air regarding the alcohol drinking anti-weeders. Aside from that, I think you have issues with people lighting up because while you may intellectually believe weed=alcohol, you have been bombarded with a lifetime of anti-weed rhetoric, saying it is a drug, while the far more dangerous alcohol is not. But these are just words. Words that humans have made up to classify and blind them to the truth about the world. Our reptilian brain feels it is wrong to have the weed, but your more evolved part of your brain - the prefrontal cortext - can go beyond knee-jerk responses and think.

Secondly, I believe addiction can be a disease. Let me explain with a hypothetical. Let us say you have two people, Bob and Steve. When Bob takes a sip of his favourite tipple, his dopamine receptors light up in his brain. They reach a level of 5. It is pleasant and he enjoys the experience, something he fancies repeating sometime. Now Steve takes a sip. Within minutes, his dopamine receptors are hitting a level 9, with a much greater feeling of euphoria. And his biochemistry is telling him to get his next shot ASAP. Both Bob and Steve are drinking the same beverage, yet they experience something different.

Dopamine is part of the reward centres of the brain. Evolution has created a system that releases dopamine to encourage the repetition of beneficial behaviour. It is carried in the genes. Yet everybody has different genes. And this is where the "addiction is a disease" argument can come in. If Steve does something that Bob does, but has a very much stronger compulsion to repeat it, is it willpower or a disease? You can say it is willpower. But Bob can't get himself to stop overeating, while Steve can. So is Bob really the weak-willed one or is it Steve?

If a person ingests a peanut and they have a peanut allergy, the response is abnormal and we class that as a disease. When Steve ingests his beverage, he gets an abnormal dopamine response. Could that also not be classed as a disease?

So, my question to you is this: if someone has a genetic disposition to a certain biochemical outcome after ingesting something, if one is considered a disease and the other isn't, then why?

Just some food for thought.
 
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Isaac

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@NauticalGent I've got some views on a couple of points you have made.

Firstly, with weed, I agree, it is just like alcohol, except far less dangerous. When the deaths from weed are near zero and while the deaths from alcohol are considerable, I smell hypocrisy in the air regarding the alcohol drinking anti-weeders. Aside from that, I think you have issues with people lighting up because while you may intellectually believe weed=alcohol, you have been bombarded with a lifetime of anti-weed rhetoric, saying it is a drug, while the far more dangerous alcohol is not. But these are just words. Words that humans have made up to classify and blind them to the truth about the world. Our reptilian brain feels it is wrong to have the weed, but your more evolved part of your brain - the prefrontal cortext - can go beyond knee-jerk responses and think.

Secondly, I believe addiction can be a disease. Let me explain with a hypothetical. Let us say you have two people, Bob and Steve. When Bob takes a sip of his favourite tipple, his dopamine receptors light up in his brain. They reach a level of 5. It is pleasant and he enjoys the experience, something he fancies repeating sometime. Now Steve takes a sip. Within minutes, his dopamine receptors are hitting a level 9, with a much greater feeling of euphoria. And his biochemistry is telling him to get his next shot ASAP. Both Bob and Steve are drinking the same beverage, yet they experience something different.

Dopamine is part of the reward centres of the brain. Evolution has created a system that releases dopamine to encourage the repetition of beneficial behaviour. It is carried in the genes. Yet everybody has different genes. And this is where the "addiction is a disease" argument can come in. If Steve does something that Bob does, but has a very much stronger compulsion to repeat it, is it willpower or a disease? You can say it is willpower. But Bob can't get himself to stop overeating, while Steve can. So is Bob really the weak-willed one or is it Steve?

If a person ingests a peanut and they have a peanut allergy, the response is abnormal and we class that as a disease. When Steve ingests his beverage, he gets an abnormal dopamine response. Could that also not be classed as a disease?

So, my question to you is this: if someone has a genetic disposition to a certain biochemical outcome after ingesting something, if one is considered a disease and the other isn't, then why?

Just some food for thought.
I especially like what you said about the allergy allegory, it's common doctrine in 12-step.

The alcoholic has a trigger that is set off upon the first drink that isn't set off in other people.

Therefore, those who think that they just have better morals or willpower are often mistaken. The reality is that they aren't actually facing the challenge at all in the first place.

Then there are the studies they have done of the brains of addicts versus normal people, huge, huge differences. Showing for one that the craving for the drug has established itself in that part of the human brain that is normally reserved only for life or death impulses, like the impulse that causes you to grab something when you are drowning or hold the side of a cliff. Whereas in a normal brain, the reaction to seeing those substances is established in the part of the brain that reasons and can make rational decisions based on morals and values.
 

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I saw a documentary once that contemplated the notion that weed was the gateway drug to harder drugs. Cutting a long story short, they seemed to think that in fact nicotine was the gateway drug. Smokers were found to have a more significant dopamine response when taking other drugs than non-smokers. So, the smokers were more likely to get a greater "reward" from other drugs.

Now, I am not sure if it was cause or correlation. It could be that the smokers were smokers because they were genetically predisposed to getting a high reward from any drug i.e. correlation. Or, it could be that the nicotine itself altered the reward centres so that they released more dopamine for other drugs, namely causation.

Since most things happen along a spectrum, there is an argument to say that some of it is just willpower, while as you go to the further extremes it becomes a disease, just like we all have some traits that may be considered unpleasant, but we are not all classified as psychopaths. Interestingly enough, about 12% of the prison population are psychopaths as compared to about 1% of the general population.
 

Pat Hartman

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As a teenager, I got drunk on more than one occasion but found being drunk and the hangover the next day to be so awful that drinking just wasn't something I did once I got past the experimental stage. I drink occasionally, but only things I really like the taste of and to avoid even the hint of a buzz or a hangover (I still can't drink a whisky sour or sweet wines 50 years later), very slowly during the course of an evening. I've tried pot because people pushed it on me. I don't like the smell. I don't like the taste, and I don't feel any great need to get high and lose my self in the drug so to me pot is pointless as are all the other escapist drugs.

That led me to think about why people drink to excess or use drugs at all and it comes down to they don't much like themselves. They have this need to be someone else or some place other than the here and now. This is also happening with the addiction to their phones that many people have. There is nothing sadder than seeing four people sitting at a table in a restaurant each with their face in their phone. Dopamine explains some of it once you are involved but taking that first snort of cocaine or hit of heroine wouldn't even occur to me no matter how good you promise it will make me feel. Aside from the danger of addiction, I don't feel any need to escape from my life or my self. I once came home from work to find my husband and 5 coworkers drunk as skunks trying to play cards at my kitchen table. I sat down to join them but it was impossible as the only sober person at the table to actually have fun. They really weren't as funny as they thought they were. They had gone out for lunch and started playing cards at the bar with the loser drinking shots of blackberry brandy. They finished all the flavored brandies the bar had (it was a bar after all) and so my husband invited them to our house because we had several bottles of different types. The story goes on and actually gets pretty funny but I won't bore you with the details except that I confiscated car keys, called spouses, and they all spent the night.

As a medicinal treatment, pot seems to be a godsend for people undergoing chemo. On one of my trips to the hospital I was in a fair amount of pain so agreed to take morphine. It made me high but it didn't stop the pain so I never took it again. I was given fentanyl once during cataract surgery. Apparently, the IV wasn't in correctly so instead of being in happy land, I was clearheaded and in pain. That I can attest stops pain instantly. It also put me to sleep and it was an excellent sleep. I'm pretty sure this is what Michael Jackson was looking for when his doctor over dosed him so I can understand the appeal of fentanyl. There is something to be said for the absence of pain.
 
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conception_native_0123

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i could never seem to recognize the smell of weed, but just the other night I think I did. I walked to the door of my home and boom, there it was coming from the area of my neighbor.
 

conception_native_0123

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come to thinnk of it, there are many people that seem to recognize the smell of weed, me not being one of them.
 

The_Doc_Man

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MJ was primarily on propofol, which I can attest is pretty darned effective. My most recent several surgeries (over several years) were in situations where the pain of the incisions and/or other procedures was managed with a light touch of propofol, which was a clean knockout punch. Tap me in the morning and I'll fade back in just after lunch. Home by supper-time. Fentanyl, if I understand what I read about it, is more addictive than morphine or cocaine.
 

Isaac

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I saw a documentary once that contemplated the notion that weed was the gateway drug to harder drugs. Cutting a long story short, they seemed to think that in fact nicotine was the gateway drug. Smokers were found to have a more significant dopamine response when taking other drugs than non-smokers. So, the smokers were more likely to get a greater "reward" from other drugs.

Now, I am not sure if it was cause or correlation. It could be that the smokers were smokers because they were genetically predisposed to getting a high reward from any drug i.e. correlation. Or, it could be that the nicotine itself altered the reward centres so that they released more dopamine for other drugs, namely causation.

Since most things happen along a spectrum, there is an argument to say that some of it is just willpower, while as you go to the further extremes it becomes a disease, just like we all have some traits that may be considered unpleasant, but we are not all classified as psychopaths. Interestingly enough, about 12% of the prison population are psychopaths as compared to about 1% of the general population.
There are studies that do, in fact, show nicotine and amphetamine being cross-potentiates, behaviorally, of each other. But it may have some basis in biology as well.
 

Isaac

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come to thinnk of it, there are many people that seem to recognize the smell of weed, me not being one of them.
Go to that certain part of town (in the modern day becoming less distinctive as weed proliferates), and open your car window.
It's just once you smell it you'll never forget it.

Why anyone still smokes it rather than just eating it I don't know. For $20 or less you can go into a dispensary here any time of the day and get edibles of any kind. Who would prefer the smoking ritual over eating a gummy?
Oh, I think I just answered my own question with the word ritual. Another hallmark characteristic of a longer term addiction, where the ritual and prep gets you almost half-way high by itself.
 

Pat Hartman

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Recognizing the smell of weed is a process of elimination.
Is it wood burning?
Is it a barbeque?
Is it a cigarette?
Is it a pipe or cigar?
Eventually, you get down to weed after all the common smoke smells. It is lighter and sweeter than all the others.
 

moke123

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Who would prefer the smoking ritual over eating a gummy?
The Old School Tokers. It never ceases to amaze me seeing the age of the people in line at the pot store. Rarely do you see someone under 35-40. There's a lot of gray hair, bald heads, canes, etc. I think smoking it brings back fond memories of their youth. Although I'm sure they also indulge in some of the more modern forms too.
 

Isaac

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The Old School Tokers. It never ceases to amaze me seeing the age of the people in line at the pot store. Rarely do you see someone under 35-40. There's a lot of gray hair, bald heads, canes, etc. I think smoking it brings back fond memories of their youth. Although I'm sure they also indulge in some of the more modern forms too.
Yes, I suppose you're right. There's probably a lot of nostalgia going on. I can certainly relate to that, in the sense of I'm a huge nostalgic person.
 

Isaac

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Recognizing the smell of weed is a process of elimination.
Is it wood burning?
Is it a barbeque?
Is it a cigarette?
Is it a pipe or cigar?
Eventually, you get down to weed after all the common smoke smells. It is lighter and sweeter than all the others.
I think it is kind of a rank hideous smell.
Unfortunately, several of the times I've smelled it over the past couple years have been inside an Uber.. needless to say I kept my seatbelt on and this is the problem with legalizing it everywhere. People just feeling a bit too permissive about it
 

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