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  1. chillinwill
    I attended a rough junior high outside of San Jose, Calif., a school where the stoner girls at my ceramics table carved “Joe Elliot” into their forearms with wood screws to prove Def Leppard allegiance.

    In eighth grade my friend started hanging out behind the portables with the stoners, which was weird because she was the school’s star softball pitcher. She could swing her arm around so fast that I thought it might dislocate and fly off toward the bleachers.

    She smoked pot before school every day. Before long she started missing practice, which didn’t matter once her grades failed and she couldn’t play softball. She had spent years perfecting that pitch.

    My friend and I attended different high schools, but I saw her at the end of freshman year at the mall, about 20 pounds heavier, with greasy hair and dirty clothes. I asked a guy from her school what had happened, and he just said, “Burn out.”

    Gateway drug marijuana is now legal, used medicinally in Washington and 12 other states, with 15 states pending legislation for its medicinal use.

    With California’s new over-the-counter cannabis sales, marijuana dispensaries have appeared like pox. The Durango Herald reported Nov. 8, that in Los Angeles, dispensaries now outnumber Starbucks Coffee shops, and almost match the number of public schools.

    It’s real life reefer madness.

    With the legalization of medical marijuana, its legal distribution, and the federal government’s pledge not to prosecute medical pot users, stoner society might have legitimized its panacea. Or, it might have found reason enough to claim fibromyalgia; not all those doobie café patrons have cancer, debilitating pain, or even a legitimate illness.

    Most users likely work. If demand is so high that comedian Jay Leno framed a whole joke segment around the new medical marijuana industry on Dec. 3, then Californians can expect to encounter a lot of high workers.

    Drivers, too.

    Lawsuits now encumber California’s Department of Motor Vehicles for revoking the licenses of people with medical marijuana permits.

    Cannabisnews.com posted Dec. 12 that Washington state ranks second on the nation’s list of marijuana outdoor grows, and advocacy groups work tirelessly toward approbation of dispensaries wherever medical marijuana is legal. Washington state is on the short list.

    Making marijuana easier to obtain puts society at risk, especially when used under false pretenses of pain or illness.

    I learned this first-hand in Colorado, living next door to a user who couldn’t even leave the house to light up. Her kids lay around stoned second-hand, and had to fend for themselves at meal times. Their grandmother fought for custody. Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility from its smokers.

    The psychoactive compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) impairs the brain’s body movement coordination (cerebellum), learning and memory (hippocampus), higher cognitive functions (cerebral cortex), and other abilities with effects lasting one to three hours when inhaled. Eaten, marijuana’s effects can last much longer.

    Consider marijuana’s effects on workers who multitask, or who safeguard others. How about the staff at your child’s day care? Bus drivers? Construction workers?

    No one wants their ER phlebotomist to smoke a joint before an IV start, but if Washington state follows California’s lead in legalizing dispensaries, health care facilities — and all businesses — will have to drug test workers with frequent signs of fatigue and red eyes.

    Some users insist their senses, coordination, reflexes and mental acuity are not compromised by the drug, demanding that science and observation are biased.

    People frequently insist the same when their friends take their car keys to avoid a DUI.

    December 16, 2009
    The Olympian


  1. twoiko
    You know what? 2 did the exact same thing at the end of high school... And 2 had only ever smoked pot once up until 2 was 19, more than a year after graduating. 2 was trying, 2 did the most work he could, but then he just lost motivation, it wasn't caused by any drugs, he was sober 99% of the time (maybe a bit of OTC drugs used as indicated on the package).

    2 actually noticed that since smoking much more regularly (at least 2 times a week to 4 or 5 times a day XD) keeps his spirits up, helps him cope with and understand what he has to deal with and why. It's 2s favourite anti-depressant he's tried so far... Easy to make, buy, sell. :3

    Also about the driving, 2 says he could drive easily right now and he smoked 1/2 a bowl just now. It's like saying someone who drinks every other night has 2 or 3 drinks and you think they can't drive? They probably aren't even buzzed... XD

    I think this is more a case of education instead of prohibition, as most of these things should be dealt with, logically...


    Also, this is horrible!
    "No one wants their ER phlebotomist to smoke a joint before an IV start"

    If said doctor NEEDED it to keep his nerves calm and stop his hands from shaking, I'd think that's a reasonable reason for him to smoke a little bit... Seriously. If he wasn't a regular user I may be a little apprehensive...
  2. KyleM
    Why do people automatically assume that everyone is going to go to work high on marijuana if it were legal when there is nothing to base the assumption off? Alcohol is perfectly legal and consumed regularly, but SWIM is sure that most if not all jobs would have some rules, written or unwritten, against coming to work intoxicated and it seems to be actually obeyed by society because most people, including users, understand the rational behind it. Noone wants their ER phlebotomist to take a shot of whiskey before an IV start, and as far as SWIM knows, they don't! Drug users are not as dumb as people think. They know that there is a time and a place for them and school and work is not one of them. There will be one or two idiots who make headlines every now and then and we know minors and vehicle operators should not be high, but that can be dealt with more effectively with regualtion and proper, unbaised education. This article is just proof of how desparate the anti-marijuana side is getting because they know the inevitable is inching closer and closer of legalized marijuana. We are winning this battle, believe it or not.
  3. rawbeer
    SWIM was a daily cannabis user in highs school, was national merit scholar, an international AP scholar, and got A's and B's, was in a band and recorded an album senior year, had a starring role in a play and a main supporting role in another and also did stage craft, practiced guitar a few hours a day, wrote incessantly at lyrics, short stories, etc. He took 6 college placement courses (APs) and got perfect scores on 4 of the tests, a 4/5 on one, a 3/5 on the other (still not bad by AP standards). He won the short story contest in his school's literary magazine. All while very, very high.
    The mention of DUIs at the end is particularly frustrating as every example of bad stoned behavior listed here could be trumped a hundred times over by drunk drivers, drunk doctors, drunk shitty parents, drunken students failing out of school, etc.
    Trying to present anything as one-sided is always a problem - even meth has its good points. SWIM agrees that pot can do all of the things mentioned here - it can also not do any of them at all.
    And if pot patients lose their licenses, why not take licenses from everyone who drinks, or owns a cell phone, or has a prescription to any sort of painkiller, sedative, etc?
  4. Potter
    The Doktor is well trained in phlebotomy AND potsmoking and is frankly insulted that such an inference would be made. Just because your a druggie, doesn't mean you're not a professional when it comes time to be professional.
  5. ianzombie

    Utter nonesense!
    Swim smoked daily for about 7 years and still managed to complete Super Mario Bros on the hardest setting. He also learnt how to make a 3 course meal from a carrot, a block of cheese and a jar of strawberry jam.
  6. rawbeer
    ianzombie definitely proves that marijuana has no detrimental effect on wit, or culinary prowess, apparently.
    SWIm can't remember who said this, he's paraphrasing - "studies show that pot damages a person's ability to do math, solve logic-puzzles, etc. But these are not the kind of things a person gets high to do." And SWIM has met math guys who like to get high and ponder their formulas.
    No one ever pulls out studies of musicians, comedians, artists, etc.
    Or, to quote from Jackie Brown - "what if your ambition is to get high and watch TV?"
  7. Arkero
    While I generally agree with the comments on this piece, it should also be acknowledged that there is an element of truth to the stoner stereotype. Lack of motivation is common side effect and when individuals display this it confirms certain peoples views. Education on responsible cannabis use (including comments on newspaper sites) should admit side effects like apathy and weight gain are possible downsides to use and become more likely with heavier use or abuse.
  8. rawbeer
    SWIM agrees that it is of paramount importance that marijuana users do not claim that their drug of choice is harmless. If anything the dangers should be over-emphasized (they still won't seem very bad) to insure that prohibitionists have a little less wind in their sales. Harmless drug is an oxymoron. NORMLs backing of stoned-driver prosecutions is a good example, as it totally fucks with prohibitionists when such people agree with them. It makes them question things, which is good.
    A lot of people abuse pot, a lot of people just shouldn't be smoking it at all. Some people can't be responsible when it comes to eating bread, let alone using drugs.
  9. staples
    Clearly a larger distinction, for any drug, should be made between medicinal and recreational use. Medicinal/approved use comes with a guaranteed quality, and typically precise/controlled dosages. The stereotype for cocaine and other powerful psychostimulants used to be that users were prone to psychotic rage not easily detained by law enforcement. Yet it turns out and is now well-established that these same drugs or derived/similar drugs actually treat hyperactivity and learning disabilities medicinally.

    That marijuana turned the article author's friend into a recluse is irrelevant, as she wasn't using it medicinally nor even at least at the instruction of a medical professional--it's very hard (impossible) to draw a conclusion even about those who are illegitimately approved to use medical marijuana.

    Even if the author's friend were using it medicinally and had the same results, we are given no reason to believe that she is a valid point estimator of the population mean--that is, we would reasonably expect that the extent to which marijuana stunts liveliness in its users should be a normally distributed statistic, by the central limit theorem. We are given no evidence/data to suggest that the author's friend wouldn't actually rank many standard deviations away from the population mean.

    Not that the author is necessarily wrong, just that her claims/concerns have not been appropriately substantiated.
  10. Nature Boy
    "Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility"

    How about "marijuana questions initiative, ambition and responsibility"?
  11. rawbeer
    Excellent point, Nature Boy. I've heard people lodge this same criticism against Buddhism, that Enlightenment sounds a lot like being a lazy drop-out and that maybe good old Western confusion is better, because it gets stuff done (much of that stuff is pretty questionable, when you consider that scientific research is dominated by military research and profit-driven pharm research).
    Production and increase have become our goals, and the current economic crisis was caused by - guess what - too much of this! Production and increase driven beyond our means, to the point where we're constantly borrowing tomorrow's bread, until finally tomorrow comes, and there's nothing there.
    Maybe that girl secretly hated softball. And really, is there any future in being a great softball pitcher???
  12. bLuE
    swim thinks the lack of motivation comes from realizing that everyone's a square and the straight world is so full of shit. swim didnt have the "initiative" or "motivation" to finish high school. BUT he is a professional musician, and has been since he was a wee lad- he was still smoking the herb back then. swim's motivation just moved to different areas, he no longer cared about being the biggest douchebag who makes the most money. he just wanted to do his own thing, and do what he wanted with his life... (which was in his case excelling in music)
    take a look at a doctors life, its full of stress, they are vastly un-satisfied with the world in most instances, but they got themselves into it.... no one appreciates them as much as they deserve, and they wasted their lives on learning to do this shit, and now they have to keep it up. all swim can say is f8ck that.

    swim? well he wakes up when he likes, and "work" consists of altering his consciousness and performing musical feats for live audience. or recording his work.
    swim could be well into working his way up the ranks of the business world, but has chosen a simpler life, where people appreciate the things that swim does well. swim has to live up to no standards, he could go off into some ridiculous musical tangent and some people would still be hooting and hollering for more. not that he does that.

    i guess what swim is trying to say is swim chose to be a "burn out" and he is much more satisfied than someone wasting half their life in university to become a doctor.

    money is illusory, however much swiy has, it does not have anything to do with swiys actual worth. and this is why some smart people, wholesome people, valuable people become drop outs or burn outs or whatever swiy want to call it...
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