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  1. chillinwill
    So here we go again. Another expert letting us know that "marijuana serves as that first invisible parasite" that will grow and consume your life and spread the disease to everyone around them.

    Yes, to everyone, friends and foes.

    "No one is immune to its negative caustic effects, whether directly or indirectly." That's quite a statement. A statement which may be true of addiction, but to make the leap that addiction stems from the use of marijuana -- for everyone -- is pretty staggering.

    Sometimes, I just want to stand up and scream "I just can't take it anymore!" It gets pretty exhausting reading articles written by people who have never smoked or ingested the "parasite" themselves and cringing at the non-sequiturs that create a false argument implying that there is a connection between premise and conclusion.

    I should just smoke a couple of joints or drink three martinis and make it all go away.

    However, I choose not to do that. Why? Because that's not my chemical makeup, my socioeconomic background or my choice to just say "screw it all." I'm not in the population of folks who choose to solve their problems that way. I'd rather scream. I'd rather write letters.

    Beware of the danger of that first puff. It will lead to dire consequences. And that means everyone. How do we know? We know because the author of "The Real Culprit: Marijuana or Meth" states: "Anyone who has ever smoked marijuana can tell you the physiological effects it evokes" -- paranoia, absence of mental and emotional faculties, the compromise of intellectual thought processes and the impossibility "to nurture relationships."

    The author is articulate and her argument is presented well. However, the point of view, comes from a foregone conclusion validated by the fact that she sees the results of addiction every day in her line of work.

    Isn't that what's called "petitio principii"? Or, simply stated, accepting for fact what is to be proven by argument.

    My viewpoint comes from not working with the addicted, underprivileged or abused but from working with average people, from all walks of life; coupled with a graduate degree in psychology; and from the benevolent qualities of the soothing puffs that helped me through cancer treatment.

    I believe that interacting with a broader bandwidth of people, professionally and socially, than someone whose exposure to marijuana comes from a singular segment of the population that is outside the mainstream, holds more weight.

    From my 40-plus years of professional and social observations, marijuana, is not the evil precursor to the downfall of civilization as we know it.

    However, to be really sure, we need to determine the number of all marijuana smokers and report statistically the number who fell into addiction and the number that did not.

    But isn't all of this verbiage really a subtopic to the controversy -- should we, as a society, assume responsibility for the behaviors of the individual?

    Specifically, should a government or its agencies be allowed to decide what is right for every person based on facts assimilated from the experiences of individuals of an identified subgroup. Smacks of apples to oranges, doesn't it?

    Ms. Nunnink-Deniz states a number of facts that are the result of marijuana abuse. They are true. However, stating that marijuana should be in the same category as methamphetamine and that it inevitably leads to more horrific drugs and their abuse is not true.

    To isolate the use of marijuana that leads to abuse can be applied to most anything that "intoxicates."

    Looking back to the time when that lonely bunch of grapes stayed on the vine a little too long and someone came along and ate them and reported that euphoric feeling, intoxication has been high on civilization's list of feel-good things to do.

    It's a big leap from the grape to the wino sitting on the curb and drinking him/herself into oblivion. And, it's a big leap stating that marijuana is an "invisible parasite" that leads to addiction, crime, tax evasion, community deterioration, and God knows what else.

    If that truly is the case, my God, then by all means let's burn the vineyards, too.

    Anything can become addictive. That first bite of cookie ... well, that could lead to obesity! The first time a runner hits "the zone" euphoria ... could lifelong injuries be far behind? The first-time lovers "do it"... leads to sex addiction for some.

    Learned folks, vilifying the object or action that leads to excess seems a little lame to me. Isn't it personal responsibility and the ability to make judgments that should be the controversy that needs to be addressed? Shouldn't we be talking about the right of the average individual to make choices without a government or police force making it for them?

    And worst of all, making the decisions based on the experiences of a finite demographic of people who made the wrong ones.

    The "collective familial structure as a society" used in this framework sounds a little bit totalitarian to me and the possibility of living in that kind of world is what makes me angry and makes me write.

    Alex Wassermann
    November 7, 2009
    The Union
    http://www.theunion.com/article/20091107/OPINION/911069976/1024&ParentProfile=1053

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