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Neil Deatherage


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Should Cannabis be legalized as a medicine?

The rich biodiversity of plants in nature has provided humans many medicines to prevent and cure sickness and disease. The use of cannabis as a medicine continues to gain acceptance within the scientific and medical community, with Connecticut early this month joining 16 other states to legalize it for medical use. Case studies continue to support the value of cannabis as a medicine to ameliorate various ailments ranging from glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Parkinson's, chronic pain, and nausea associated with cancer.

Despite scientific evidence supporting medicinal qualities from cannabis, much controversy surrounds outright legalization for medicinal use. While many states currently allow cannabis as an alternative to traditional medicines, the FDA continues to classify cannabis as a schedule I drug subjecting patients to possible fines and/or imprisonment under federal law.

Can cannabis find a place in today's society as an alternative medicine, or are possible unforeseen consequences too great to allow this plant for medicinal use?


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    May 18 2012: Hey Fellow Tedsters,

    Legalizing Cannabis is such a RIDICULOUS topic to discuss about because it is natural and we should just allow it to be legalized. It isn't even a dangerous drug. I have never met anyone who DIED from cannabis overdose. All these rules are just DISTRACTIONS that side track us from BIGGER ISSUES like ending world hunger, curing AIDs, war between countries that have a low moral basis, saving the Earth from going extinct, preserving the goodness of a full education, etc.

    Everyone can makes choices, but the back-story of individuals' choices is more crucial, so legalizing Cannabis will be a measure of character whether individuals' use it medically, out of curiosity, or just using it recreationally. So let's all rally our world leaders to see the larger issues at hand and hope they will be logical enough to make more intelligible choices. If not, then it is time to replace the government that has so blindingly passed important issues by.

    Thank you and good day. =)
    • May 19 2012: [DY] Legalizing Cannabis is such a RIDICULOUS topic to discuss about because it is natural

      [me] Papaver somniferum L. is entirely natural. 100% of heroin addicts start on milk... should we be arguing for legal measures to enforce a prohibition related to the giving of milk to babies?

      It should not be considered as ridiculous to discuss any topic... which other people feel that they want to discuss. Your finely-honed sense of the ridiculous makes absolutely no sense to me other than in the context of you wanting to shut down a debate in which you have no interest to participate . Your statement is merely a proposition followed by a non-sequitur.

      [DY] It isn't even a dangerous drug. I have never met anyone who DIED from cannabis overdose

      [me] Recreational psychotropic substance use has been shown to increase the risk for states which mimic psychosis.

      Encephale. 2009 Sep;35(4):377-85. Epub 2008 Jul 9.
      Cannabis and psychosis: search of a causal link through a critical and systematic review
      Le Bec PY, Fatséas M, Denis C, Lavie E, Auriacombe M.


      Conclusion: The objective of this article was to examine whether cannabis use can be an independent risk factor for chronic psychotic disorders, by using established criteria of causality. Data extracted from the selected studies showed that cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for the development of psychotic disorders. Early screening of the vulnerability to psychotic disorder should permit improved focus on prevention and information about the specific risks related to cannabis use among this population.

      You cannot meet people who have died. Q.E. D.

      It is a waste of your time (and mine) to have you going off any tangent which pleases you.... while preventing an examination of the issues despite purporting to be constructive debate.

      Your imprecation for us all to rally our world leaders is a nonsense, especially when you won't discuss these ridiculous issues.

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        May 19 2012: You pose very pertinent points here Jeff, but I try to weigh issues on a larger scale of things. If you would weigh issues of war next to legalization of cannabis, then war would be of priority. Call me stubborn, but I find that Cannabis isn't such a big deal when we weigh in bigger issues. People have the ability to make their own descisions, unless they are forced into something, otherwise it is their own fault. Though they can go to rehabilitation centers, or go cold turkey.

        If legalized, the products containing Cannabis will contain its own warning labels just like cigarettes and any other medication anyone uses. There are risks in every aspect of life, but it is the intent of the individuals' who uses their agency that is more important. We should discuss then do, not discuss then discuss. Life is too short to be able to care for everyone, so they must weigh issues on a larger scale and solve issues according to levels of risk. This is all my own opinion, you have the agency to comment on my opinion or not; care about what I commented or not. It's all in the choice.

        Your twisting my words, when I said I have never met anyone who died, but finish with "from cannabis overdose". I suggest you read my entire comment before your accuse me of using incorrect grammar.
        • May 20 2012: Legalising canabis is related to the many 'greater' issues you have mentioned because these are all societal failures. The fundamental route of these failures stem from several sources, though mainly via poor governance and degraded personal investment in society (the former possibly stemming from the latter)

          The bulk of these issues could be sorted with everyone spending a reasonable amount of time (2-5hrs/wk) volunteering for a socially conscious cause. Participating in something purely for the action brings good to the community directly and through opening channels of communication that are vital for everything ranging from good governance to reducing persistent social ills.
        • May 20 2012: [DY] You pose very pertinent points here Jeff, but...

          ...what I am saying, Jeff, is far more important than your very pertinent points.

          [DY] If you would weigh issues of war next to legalization of cannabis, then war would be of priority.

          How dismissive of you! If you extend an argument beyond its natural boundaries, then any position can be made to look extreme... thus: The elimination of war is a very important matter for humans to address but when set next to the exploration and colonisation of inhabitable planets, in order for humans to deal with current shortages by utilising the near universe's greater resources for food and mineral wealth for all humans, it pales into insignificance.

          At least have the common courtesy to debate the points which were raised by me; rather than invent and substitute the ones you wish to argue. (as I have just done to illustrate your current method of deflecting useful debate)

          Are you a politician?

          [DY] Life is too short to be able to care for everyone.

          I am completely familiar with this depressing line of argument. It is how the wealthy avoid doing anything which I would consider to be socially useful... because it might disrupt their enjoyment of food, healthcare, choice of holiday, ability to shop and eat at the finest places. I have your measure now. Life is far too short for you to have your enjoyment of it impinged upon by matters which are far more distressing and pressing.

          [DY] This is all my own opinion

          Evidently. Opinions are neither right nor wrong and I refuse to debate them.

          [DY] Your twisting my words

          [per your own opinion] you have the agency to comment on my opinion or not; care about what I commented or not. It's all in the choice.

          I object to you believing something on the basis of your own limited experience then extrapolating it to encompass all other use cases.

          ---------> Logic 101
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        May 20 2012: Hi Enrico,
        True, cannabis can be discussed, but on the "levels of risk" view of issues, this issue fails in comparison to more important issues. Possibly the current laws may even suffice in maintaining Cannabis, but there is so much abuse of the distribution of Cannabis that the laws are a failure. So, why not pass Cannabis, then reinvent its production with additives. It will be similar to cigarettes, and tobacco. When we are able to manufacture Cannabis, that will create a controlled environment, then the issue would not seem so "horrible" to society. Too much of anything is bad and everything in moderation can impact individuals', and the world, positively.

        Not to mention after Cannabis' production is mantained, with its content diluted by additives, then job creation will increase as well.

        If you look into the medical world, drug manufacturers are an even bigger issue. They distort their products to sell and bribe pharmacists/doctors to prescribe their medication instead of their competition. That seems like a bigger issue than Cannabis. Corruption is above Cannabis in my opinion, for levels of risk in important issues.

        My opinion stays firm that legalizing Cannabis will keep it under control. Not legalizing Cannabis will allow the delinquents of society to abuse its distribution.
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        May 20 2012: Hi Jeff,
        I am neither rich, a politician, deflecting the issue pertaining to the above topic, or am I always correct, but I am not intending to play victim here neither. You are playing the victim and I don't want to reinforce your ideas that you are a victim. We could proclaim opposing ideas all day, but there are larger issues that need to be dealt with; and, space exploration fails in comparison to building positive relations with the current population of the planet of Earth, including the other existing species. Why reach our hand beyond our scope of understanding when our current situation of the world is more dire, but yes, Cannabis is a issue, though I commented on my position and you could attempt to understand and empathize and/or disagree. That is your agency. We are currently completely off topic and I'm not sure if there is a vocabulary term that is further than disgression, but we have totally digressed.

        My thoughts are we deal with human relations and issues on a scale that is "levels of risk" from highest to lowest, and when something is distracting the population from bigger issues, like war, I view it as a freedom of choice type of issue, so I conclude we allow people to make that "important" choice by legalizing Cannabis, then we can take care of a bigger issue.These issues are similar to many other social issues.People should be able to make choices, but if they make an error, then allow for another individual to correct them or for the individual to realize their error for themselves by following certain actions such as, distancing oneself from individual(s) that made an error.

        I acknowledged your points, but attempted to stear our conversation back on course, though my personal view is that Cannabis legalization should be a non-issue. I could have been developing, discussing something like how to cure a disease or solving environmental crises with you, but we are stuck in a loop about Cannabis. See how this is pointless? We can agree to not.
        • May 21 2012: Derek, I have no idea what you mean when you propose that I am playing the victim. I am not a victim in any sense. I am trying to be a participant in a debate and my frustration is this: The argument is about the legality of cannabis and its medicinal use (should cannabis be legalised as a medicine) and you have inserted the subject of war as your rationale for subsuming the debate about cannabis. In addition, you throw in some homespun philosophy to underpin this untenable position, complain about my use of language and then resort to the nonsense about choice and agency, bolstered by your use of the royal 'we'.

          I had objected to your wandering away from the point under scrutiny and made an effort to restore some semblance of coherent argument. Now you claim that larger issues need to be dealt with. I have never held the position that larger issues are not important, although we may both disagree about the order of priority in which we would place those issues.

          What is clear is that you are not discussing the subject matter in the opening post. You are merely dismissing it because of your value judgements about its importance, when placed next to subjects you rate as more significant. That does not constitute a debate or an argument which I can recognise.

          Your position is that you won't discuss this matter and it leaves me nothing upon which to hang an argument. You indicate we are 'off topic' completely. Please note that you took the matter 'off topic' by bringing war into the debate, which has absolutely nothing to do with cannabis and the legality of its medical usage.

          You introduced freedom of choice, importance, levels of risk, bigger issues, individual correction, personal viewpoint and then indicate the inherent pointlessness of this approach. On this we are agreed... it is futile to obscure the issue at hand with all this irrelevance and then complain about it being pointless.

          Personal opinion prevents a logical debate from taking place.
        • May 21 2012: Derek, your final words to Enrico include the following sentence...

          [DY] My opinion stays firm that legalizing Cannabis will keep it under control.

          This is only your opinion and it cannot be subjected to the rigours of logical argument. This opinion indicates a firmly closed mind and such clarity of purpose and inevitable certainty appears to be misplaced; especially when you consider that you have not exposed the logical thought processes by which you have arrived at your version of the truth.
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      May 21 2012: I don't know anyone that died from a cannabis overdose either but I also don;t know anyone that died of lung cancer or liver disease. I do however know many people who can't hold down a job because their long term cannabis use has rendered them unemployable. I am not apposed to legalising cannabis but the main danger of its use is the time scale over which the damage occurs. The physical changes that occur to the brain are very slow but irreversable.

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