opinion on legalization of marijuana in Canada - page 4

I am doing this project at Addiction Medicine Clinice in Toronto, and am having a hard time finding the support for my views. The project is to present group of nurses and doctors (who already... Read More

  1. by   Jenny P
    My son was a pothead for something like 3-4 years. Don''t tell me it's fairly harmless; I know what it did to him. He has been clean and straight for about 2 years, and HE says it shouldn't be legalized! We have a strong family history of ETOH addiction, and I think that he chose pot as his drug of choice. It did change his personality: he's lost some of his ambition for life; he is not as sure of himself or as happy-go-lucky as he used to be either.
    Canoehead, I wouldn't wish any family the trauma of having drunk or high family members.
    I think that pot should be legal for medicinal purposes; that hemp should be cultivated; but pot is just too potent these days to be legal-- not to mention the effects it has on the body or lungs.
    Last edit by Jenny P on Feb 16, '02
  2. by   VickyRN
    Remember the story of Pandora? Once something is "out of the box" it is nigh impossible to get it back in. We're stuck with legalized cigarette smoking (and we're paying through the teeth for this--sky-high insurance rates, besides all the incredible suffering), legalized booze (and all its accompanying carnage--alcoholism, spouse beating, child abuse, broken families and broken lives), legalized abortion as a form of birth control (to the tune of 4,450 aborted babies a day). Do we really want this demon loosed? What sort of signal will this send to all of our young people? What further havoc will this produce on our already fragile society??****Be very careful what you wish for, you just might get it.****
  3. by   MollyJ
    As you know, I do drug prevention in the high school.

    If someone is highly interested in the citation on the testing with airline pilots and marijuana, I can probably find it for you. It goes like this: Airline pilots who were not pot smokers were given government grade marijuana (which, David Ohlms likes to remind us, isn't very potent). They smoked it and were asked if they felt competent to fly. They said, "No" and were put in the simulator and peformed unsafely. The same procedure, I think, was repeated at 6 hours, but for sure at 24 hours. At 24 hours, they reported they were competent to fly but still did an unsafe job in the simulator.

    I think this is a very compelling study but I would argue that someone with a big hangover might well show the same effect (but would not fail a drug screen). We do struggle with the contradictions. This kind of information is important for nurses as we try to figure out what psychoactive drugs IF ANY we should use before we go on-shift. There was a study that showed that diphenhydramine users were more acutely impaired that some alcohol users. In general, the same chemicals that impair performance OFTEN impair our ability to make sound decisions about the degree of our impairment.

    I do share with Middle School and High School students that the LD50 of marijuana is ridiculously high and arbitarily set because no dose of marijuana has been shown to cause death. (I do this because some studies have shown that when drug preventionists exaggerate the dangers of a drug, they lose credibility for all information they teach.) This is unlike alcohol or cocaine or ecstasy. However, I point out that if you drive or engage in other activities under the influence and DIE, you are just as dead. Marijuana does impair judgement. Significant numbers of trauma center patients have chemicals including alcohol and marijuana in their system. (That is chemical users are over-represented in the population of people using trauma center services.)

    Additionally, even though marijuana is not, by itself a lethal drug it is all too often laced with other chemicals or may have dangerous pesticides on the leaf. There is no truth in packaging in illegal drugs. Taken to it's natural extension, this is an argument for legalization, since then production would become a monitored and licensed activity. Back to this later.

    RE: the medical effects of marijuana. The Institute of Medicine did a review of Marijuana research and said that there is sufficient reason to study marijuana as a medicine BUT they also said that __medical use marijuana will not be smoked because of the inherent dangers of smoking a burning leaf___. If you've ever worked the OR or the ED, you may have seen Cocaine used, but you understand clearly that this narrow use of cocaine does not grant dispensation or blessing for recreational use. In fact, it is used with great respect precisely because the destructive aspects are recognized.

    As a nurse and a health professional, my greatest objection to marijuana is that it is a smoked chemical. Very few studies exist to document marijuana's impact on the lungs. (Marijuana smokers are often tobacco smokers and it is impossible to tease apart the impacts, self report of marijuana use is fraught with problems, not as many studies have been done.) BUT many of the same worrisome constituents of tobacco smoke are present in marijuana smoke (ie CO, carcinogens, etc). I recently read an article about TOBACCO SMOKE that implicated the constituents of smoke itself as some of the major culprits in athersclerotic changes. Typically joints have a much higher tar content than tobacco cigarettes. EVERYTHING we do know about marijuana would not suggest that the smoked marijuana leaf will be safer than the smoked tobacco leaf. (Why do firemen wear respirators in fires: because they know that burning items give off poisonous gases--just like tobacco and marijuana.)

    To say the least, it would be imprudent for nurses as professionals to advocate for the use of smoked marijuana.

    Finally, nurses, the legal drugs WITHOUT QUESTION exact the largest health impact. Tobacco is the number one PREVENTABLE cause of death in America. Alcohol causes more adults and youth alike to seek treatment for addiction annually in America. Legalizing legitimizes chemicals and makes it more likely that they will be used. Still, I am one Public Health nurse who would prefer to deal with both of those chemicals as legal, controlled substances rather than black market substances.

    Approximately 140,000 people per year enter addiction treatment and name marijuana as their drug of choice. It is not an entirely benign drug.

    My preference would be to NOT legitimize recreational marijuana in that way at this time. I support efforts to further research on medical marijuana.

    Regarding our primary poster, I would direct you to the Insitute of Medicine's report or medical marijuana and to the book published by the Lindesmith Center, _Marijuana Myths, Marijuana facts: A review of the Scientific Evidence_ by Zimmer and Morgan. The Lindesmith web site is good, too. www.lindesmith.org
  4. by   LPN_mn
    I think the guy that is being referred to as overdosing on "pot" was probably doing something more than pot. In my opinion I would lot rather deal with someone that is high on pot than someone who is drunk on alcohol. Alcohol causes you to be combative and nasty. Pot seems to make people more Happy and they will usually just go with the flow (unless they have other things on board). So am I in favor of legalizing pot? YES
  5. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    Mario had a good point about Americans not being able to handle the legalization of pot but I am of West Indies culture and "ganga" which is what we call marijuana is a very popular growing thing in the West Indies it is not legal but it is done, there is not a high drug scene for it because anybody can grow it amongst your other plants and flowers; some of the Rasta members use it for meditation and others use it to inspire them in whatever they are deeply thinking about. In America the marijuana is mixed with so much "junk" who knows what is being mixed with it when it is bagged up and sold on the streets. But I am still in favor of legalizing it.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Let's see, the original poster was looking for positives to legalization of marijuana and how a nurse might support it.

    Well, cops could carry little breath analyzers and ticket drivers who are high...more income for their dept and the city.

    City ordinances prohibiting pot smoking in public areas would result, and lead to more revenue for the city in the form of code violations and more jobs for enforcement of same.

    Those who want bigger government would probably be happy to see agencies set up to combat the problem of legalized pot. More government jobs and revenue.(trouble is it means higher taxes)Bureaucrats can highly regulate and tax pot, creating more government jobs/agencies/revenue.

    Lawyers will get richer suing the butts off negligent potsmokers who cause injuries to others. They will also sue the pot producers on behalf of injured parties who swear they didn't know the dangers.

    The Cheech and Chong Center for weed addiction will flourish, with 12 Step Programs to "succeed without the weed". Mothers Against Stoned Drivers will march on Washington.

    Nurses will be ensuring even more jobs (and shortage of nurses)in a future of legalized potsmoking. Smokers of all types will always need good medical care eventually!

    Sounds like a good deal for our government bureaucracy,and maybe a boost for our economy. (tongue planted firmly in cheek here!)

    Seriously, I do believe in appropriate medical use. I don't think Americans can handle legalized recreational use. And I've seen such family damage done by marijuana abuse---but then again I've seen the same with alcohol, so who am I to judge?

    Good luck on your report, you've got quite a project there
  7. by   thisnurse
    Well, cops could carry little breath analyzers and ticket drivers who are
    high...more income for their dept and the city.--they already do that...smoking pot is not new

    Those who want bigger government would probably be happy to see
    agencies set up to combat the problem of legalized pot. More government
    jobs and revenue.(trouble is it means higher taxes)Bureaucrats can highly
    regulate and tax pot, creating more government jobs/agencies/revenue.---how bout all the government task forces now used to combat pot-didnt seem to be a problem putting those into effect to keep it illegal...

    Lawyers will get richer suing the butts off negligent potsmokers who cause
    injuries to others. They will also sue the pot producers on behalf of injured
    parties who swear they didn't know the dangers.--lawyers are representing the pot smokers who are going to jail arent they?
    ppl are still smoking pot and driving-they still cause damage and can still be sued-how is this going to be any different?
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Hmm, ThisNurse, I can certainly see what your opinion is on legalization of marijuana and you are welcome to it.. but I wonder...do you have a sense of humor at all??? Tongue in cheek usually means just that ya know. Geesh.
  9. by   Sherda
    You try some of the Compassonate Friends sites, or groups if you can get ahold of them. They are very good advocates especially for medicinal uses.
  10. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    From deep in the heart of Texas
    Ive been listening ti this debate since the mid sixties, Anything anybody has to say hasnt changed much. The rhetoric is pretty much the same as back then. One nurse referred to it as ganga, So did we back in the 60s and early 70s.
    Yes it has medicinal good effects for certain conditions. Yes its detrimental, physically, mentally, psychologically, sociologically, and spiritually. But you cant say its all good or all bad, thus debate of decades continues, with no answer in sight.
    Now whats buggin me is what in the name of Hades is meant by a "Sushi Whore". That one escapes me. Isnt that a raw fish used for fish bait. cause if it aint cooked or fried its fish bait.
    keep it in the short grass
  11. by   standswithfist
    I think marijuana should be legalized, for several reasons
    1.Think of the Prison overcrowding for just users
    2.Think of the income the government could have from taxing it
    3. Jobs for sales and manufacture
    4. The medical aspect for anorexic patients for whatever reason they are anorexic
    5.The antianxiety side effect could also be beneficial, but I think the paranoia side effect would cancel that out

    For whatever reason, I was a user in my teens, I have been told it is quite a bit more potent these days. If someone would want to smoke a joint, who am I to judge these people, it is not my place to judge, just educate them on respiratory situations that could occur from long term use.

    Judgement belongs to GOD.
  12. by   Sampson
    I gotta tell you, I think our current government is an idiot for not legalizing Marijuana but having alcholand cigarettes publically acceptable.

    Marijuana would benifit our economy as well as cut down the amount of people going to jail for selling, consuming and trafficing it.

    I agree with the point made early about why its ok to consume alchol, ( a more harmful and addicitve substance) where as Marijuana is looked down upon by our governemnt.

    Boo governemnt, you suck.

  13. by   jansgalRN
    I am a hospice nurse. That being said, you guys could've probably guessed that I'm all for the legalization. Not just medicinal and this is why:
    I feel that pain is grossly undertreated. I know it is extremely difficult to determine someone elses pain. It is completely subjective. I have seen too many patients suffering for far too long because of the doctor's fear of prescribing appropriate doses or types of narcotics. Docs fear that they will be audited for suspicion of overprescribing narcs. I've taken care of several patients who smoke regularly because it controls their symptoms without completely sedating them. Legal marijuana will (probably) have restrictions moreso than scheduled narcs. Marinol, the pill form currently available, works for some patients for mild anorexia or nausea (cancer patients specifically), but not for all. It is not as pure and difficult to dose because of the way its manufactured. I've seen marinol work really well for ALS patients because it decreases oral and upper respiratory secretions. But it works no better than some of the other usual meds that we give.
    As a professional who deals with terminal patients everyday, I am not as concerned about the long term effects of inhalation. However, were it legal, I feel that patients could enjoy a better quality of life, especially the ones who have no access or would not even consider trying something illegal.
    As for personal use, I really do not care. I feel like people, in general are responsible for the choices that they make. Whether it be to drink into oblivion or to smoke and eat all night. The economical benefits appeal to me because taxing means that only those who choose to use it would pay the tax for it. If it were legal, I'd be curious to see if alcohol use would decrease significantly.
    Just my .04 cents (.02 cents didn't quite seem like enough)