Hashing out the Marijuana debate.
This could be a biggie. So there are lots of questions and lots of stances on this issue, legalize, medicinal, decriminalize. I’m going to comment on a bit and wait for comments from the public and then I’ll expand on those issues.
A lot for good arguments are already out there, both for and against legalization marijuana. So I’m going to start with one you may not have thought of…..
What happens when we compare Prozac the antidepressant to marijuana?
Prozac has a better safety profile, it has medicinal uses as well, less side-effects, it can also help people be happy, it acutely has no effects on driving skills or work ethic unlike marijuana, it doesn’t increase food intake, in general it is an OK drug. So….. should it be sold at cosmic corner without prescription? Should people have the CHOICE to do Prozac? Just at your local dairy. People should wear shirts featuring the little green and white Prozac pill, and listen to artists sing about it. What about advertising and two bottles of Prozac for one deals etc. To most people this idea seems ridiculous, but why? In every way it is a milder drug than Marijuana, so why not? In fact why not open it up a little more, stronger antidepressants like MAOI’s or perhaps a brain numb-er like lithium (it has been proven that cities with more lithium in their water have less suicides!).
Now there are two main openings here for the pro-marijuana movement. One is that marijuana is natural and there some how different and better than prozac, and the other is that people should be able to choose what drugs they do and prozac should be sold at the local dairy. Let me address each one.
The natural mechanism of cannabinoids actually lies within the brain. Your body produces marijuana like substances called endocannabinoids (or more correctly the marijuana plant produces substances like endocannabinoids). These endocannabinoids are produced in tiny tiny amounts and bind to receptors in the brain. Among other reasons, they are produced after a stressful event to reduce neuronal firing. I love that, think about the evolutionary background of that. You’re running away from a lion and this produces all sorts of stress hormones. You then out run the lion and need to relax, but stay alert (paranoia), you need food (increased appetite), you need to conserve your resources (suppressed immune system), but you need to keep your heart rate up in case of further activity needed (lion reappears). This is the normal function of your endocannabinoids, this is the natural way your cannabinoids are supposed to work, just because something is produced in nature does not mean we should consume it to high-jack our biological system to make us feel things and it doesn’t mean that it is natural to consume. The box jelly fish is in nature that doesn’t mean I should consume it. Or more appropriately- opium is a natural drug that gets you high and has huge medicinal benefit, does that mean we should legalize this? Should we be able to choose Opium?
Those who would argue that we should allow Prozac in the dairy. They are treading a scary line. To me this really asks the question…. what is choice? Your normal system of choice involves having a plan- deciding whether to do it- evaluating whether it was a good idea and this feeds back on the previous step to help you choose in the future. This process occurs in the brain, and each step communicates with each other through signalling molecules. Drugs target these signalling molecules and give their own signal thus skewing the very mechanism of choice. Now I know that is a weird thought, but think about it, it happens every day. Does coffee taste that good? Coffee and tea are the top two selling drinks in the world. Do they taste THAT good? what’s the third most sold drink? Coke. Is lemonade that much worse than coke. We ALL drink coffee and we ALL drink coke, but we don’t ALL listen to the same music? We don’t all like the same meals? we don’t like the same art? what is it about those three drinks that makes them so popular? Caffeine. How has caffeine done this? well it affects the very processes of choice, and it is the weaker kind of drug that effects choice, yet it has conquered the world. So legalizing drugs that in their nature affect our decision making machine (the brain), isn’t that taking away choice? rather than preserving it?
This is just the discussion starter, it is no way a complete argument- so let me know what you think.