The effects of cannabis on vulnerable young minds can no longer be ignored

Discussion in 'Cannabis & Health' started by Lunar Loops, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Placed this in the general news section rather than the cannabis forums as it is of more general interest. This follows on from The Independent's (UK) recent retraction on their stance on cannabis legalisation. This piece is just so full of half-truths and scare-mongering that you hardly know where to begin. Arise and open the curtains for a new dawn of reefer madness is upon us. The following statement takement from this piece is classic....alcohol is fine:

    Alcohol is part of intelligent life for many, and with older school children the art is to help them to realise that drink, properly used, can be a significant enhancement to life. With drugs, there is no half-way position. Everyone - government, the media and schools - needs to give the same message: "No."


    Anyway, here is the article from The Independent:

    Anthony Seldon: The effects of cannabis on vulnerable young minds can no longer be ignored

    The drug has always had the potential to be dangerous

    Published: 15 April 2007



    If there is one issue that impinges hugely on mental health, and yet which society in general has been so relaxed about, it is cannabis. Drugs, bullying and thieving have been my three biggest campaigns as a headmaster, but drugs - and cannabis in particular - weigh heaviest with me.
    Throughout my own childhood and adult life, the drug has been so freely available, yet the line from society on it has been so soft. I have seen the damage done. Among my own friends, I saw it destroy life, induce depression and trigger suicide. It has been as ubiquitous as it has been sneakily and subtly toxic. I have never met, nor heard of anyone, who has "graduated" to hard drugs who did not begin by smoking joints.
    Several people who were at school with me are now doing mundane jobs because, at the very moment their careers most needed serious attention, they were puffing gaily away.
    You never meet anyone who says they can't handle cannabis with impunity. "It's safe, isn't it?" they always said. Well, it's not. Particularly not for adolescents of a certain mental and emotional outlook. It starts to insinuate itself into young people's lives at the very moment when they are most vulnerable to having their minds unbalanced, and psychosis induced. Some recover. Some do not. I doubt if anyone reading this article does not know of some young person whose life has been tipped, temporarily or permanently, into depression or even insanity, by experience with this drug.
    The research evidence is now far clearer than it was even five years ago. Some people have genes that predispose them towards being affected badly by the chemicals in cannabis. This newspaper has retracted its support for legalisation because cannabis in its "skunk" variant has become much stronger. Skunk certainly is more sinister and disturbing than earlier forms of the drug, but I think that the drug always has had the potential to be dangerous and damaging.
    As a teacher, you know when young people are becoming users. They don't think that you do, but you do. You can see it in their eyes, their secret language and their retreat into inner worlds. One reason I have always loathed cannabis is it makes people so boring. Not boring to themselves maybe, but boring to others. The drug induces apathy, self-centredness and a lack of engagement with others and the world at large. It is the very opposite of what true life is all about.
    The evidence suggests that the use of skunk is growing in schools, and that those high on the drug have been responsible for some horrific acts of violence. Teachers have to manage with enough bad behaviour from children without having to cope with children out of control because they're high on drugs.
    Schools have three main responses. Education is the first but also perhaps the least reliable. Teachers can show pupils videos and discuss the dangers. Some outstanding individuals visit schools - parents who have lost children, brothers and sisters who have lost siblings, even reformed drug addicts. They can powerfully influence young people. But it is often those who most need to hear the message who are somehow missing from the lecture, or are not listening.
    Punishment is the second method. I have never believed in giving children who bring drugs on to school premises a second chance. It means that, for some, to be "busted" for drugs is a badge of honour. This strong line might seem heartless, but it has saved many more pupils than it has damaged. Random drug testing and sniffer dogs are other devices. Nothing is ruled out in the interests of protecting those in my charge.
    By far the best method, however, is to teach young people how to live. The "well-being" lessons which we have introduced at Wellington, and which are now spreading across the country, are designed to help young people realise that if they look after their bodies properly, they do not need to resort to drugs. What is the point of schools if they do not help children to learn how to live their lives to the full, how to enjoy themselves and be happy, and how to live intelligently? Drugs are not intelligent living. Alcohol is part of intelligent life for many, and with older school children the art is to help them to realise that drink, properly used, can be a significant enhancement to life. With drugs, there is no half-way position. Everyone - government, the media and schools - needs to give the same message: "No."

    Anthony Seldon is master of Wellington College and the biographer of John Major and Tony Blair
     
  2. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    That has made my day so much, I have not laughed in such a while.. Im sure "No" Will work now, now that everyone knows how magical that word protects them from the dangerous drugs.

    What she finds hard to believe is people believe this bullshit. Purely sickening on how a person in that position can say that bullying is less dangerous then cannabis. Yeh cause that really in tune with reality reckon someone should pull there head out of there ass. And DO SOME real research.

    THEY'VE FAILED the silly war . why cant they just focus on harm reduction it will not stop people from using sensibly or abusing a lot of the dangers from it being illegal anyway. If they just spoke about the real facts stop bigging up the mental health issues which is only in a small group of people which could also be mentioned as harm reduction methods.

    Alcohol kills more people then cannabis could ever do. If they say the gate way theory I will say legalese it stop that from happening. Gate way theory is only there because a dealer might offer something else. hence how it begins. Do the idiots see this no.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  3. meep

    meep Newbie

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    Alcohol is a gateway drug... Thats two fingers up to the gateway theory then.

    Honestly, thats bloody funny. Who is this aimed at anyway Independent? Free Independent media? Your kidding no one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  4. D.U.M.B

    D.U.M.B Gold Member

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    This should be in the funny shit forum if you ask me.

    Obviously the paper is just running an article like this to be seen it good light following their retraction
     
  5. jonny thaiwongy

    jonny thaiwongy Newbie

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    By far the best method, however, is to teach young people how to live. The "well-being" lessons which we have introduced at Wellington, and which are now spreading across the country, are designed to help young people realise that if they look after their bodies properly, they do not need to resort to drugs. What is the point of schools if they do not help children to learn how to live their lives to the full, how to enjoy themselves and be happy, and how to live intelligently?

    I think that would be a great idea...I know loads of people who could have done with being taught about relationships, how to treat other people, general life skills...I mean, where else will they learn it if they grow up in difficult circumstances? But dont tell lies tell them facts and help them understand why... christ you think they woulda got this by now!
     
  6. The Doors

    The Doors Titanium Member

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    Alcohol is a drug that brings corruption to the government, a huge reason why marijuana and possibly other drugs are illegal are due to beer/alcoholic and pharmaceutical companies funding the political parties and politicians in order to have laws implemented and whatever else they do. Don't you find it absurb that the only socially mind altering accepted drug is alcohol?

    Really? I am sure that a fair number of the SWIM's around here can testify otherwise and just by looking everywhere around. Marijuana is a popular lifestyle and can be good to improve someones life. I have seen a really good improvement in his life and overall behavior, he has become very more open minded and relaxed overall. I don't need marijuana in his life, but why would he stop smoking it if he enjoys it and he is responsible with it.
    Yes, most people would agree on the fact that teenagers shouldnt be using drugs, the law is between 16(maybe younger?) and 21 years old for legal drinking age around the world; how is it different for drugs? Adolescents are very emotionally unbalanced inside their minds, it is also a time where many inner problems can surface and affect your life. A large number of people that become addicted to drugs are some with childhood traumas.

    Instead of using an intelligent and educational approach towards the young ones, they use tactics of fear, lies and propaganda. Kids listen when you tell them the truth, it's when they realize they've been lied to that they seek rebellion.

    How much money did your newspaper receive to change its political views overnight like that? How much money are you benefiting from by writing your bullshit article for a cause that means absolutely nothing to you because you are like everyone else, blinded by money, fuck values and beliefs!

    SWIM can testify otherwise, it has allowed him to become a lot more outgoing, but then again, that comes with being comfortable with yourself, but Mr.Sheldon wouldnt know that, would he?

    Who? :joint:
     
  7. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    "The drug induces apathy, self-centredness and a lack of engagement with others and the world at large. It is the very opposite of what true life is all about."

    Am... no it doesn't. Siwm finds that when he smokes he is far more sociable. Having been forced to take taxis he won't speak with the driver unless stoned, he won't be polite to cafe workers and he sure as hell has to be stoned to put up with this shit raping the minds of the people.

    I mean, really, who can say that alchohal, a drug that induces vommiting, slurring of speech, the killiing of brain cells, linked to numerous ailments with the liver, heart, kidneys and penis is "is part of intelligent life for many...". Now, I understand that Hemmingway was quite fond of gin, but I'm also willing to bet that were we to compare the numbers of bohemians who only smoke weed to the number who only drink we'd see quite a different story.


    As for it being a danger to youth... eah yeah, heard it all before. Kids have, do and always will experiment with pyschothropic drugs. It's a fact. As much of a fact that smoking cannabis is not responsible for cuasing youths to commit mass murder. https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=249200#post249200

    How long until the coroner finds that the gun man had traces of weed in his blood? my guess is two minutes after the feds leave.
     
  8. Sky Walker

    Sky Walker Gold Member

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    The insane stupidity of that statement almost made swim oblivious to the common sense contained within, the “art” of using responsibly, he's definitely on to something. Sadly, he is clearly demented, all that alcohol consumption must have damaged his brain to the extent that an imaginary line of legality dumbfounds him and he can not possibly comprehend the idea that his beloved drug, is a fucking drug!!!



    May I inquire as to where you pulled that one from? The propaganda machine perhaps? I was under the impression that the large majority of people that become addicted to drugs are simply those that use addictive drugs, regularly and repeatedly.
     
  9. The Doors

    The Doors Titanium Member

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    I don't have any scientific data to back up my statement, but based on my observations, people usually become hooked on drugs more for the psychological dependance that they acquire from the high. It puts that certain pain, memories or whatever it may be away for a number of hours. I am not denying that people become physically addicted to a drug, but I'd say it is more psychological at first and then can lead to a physical addiction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  10. allyourbase

    allyourbase Palladium Member

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    ......yes and Im sure youre a board certified psychologist making these connections. HA. why is it that everyone who argues mental dependence on marijuana such a self absorbed asshole? seems to me people like this NEED to think people are dependant, so they can feel superior. illegalization of marijuana started in the US as a way to take voting rights away from blacks and hippies, and has turned globally into a way for the fascist neocon elements of every society (both conservative and labor in the uk, christian conservative over much of europe, missionary powers in southern american countries) to demonize the left, and has adopted a number of absolutely absurd social and political positions, and done some very fuzzy math to put any real word to paper on the subject. I trust these british twits as much as I trust the drug czar from jerry falwell university telling me that THC depolarizes pyramidal braincells.
     
  11. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    "Anthony Seldon is master of Wellington College and the biographer of John Major and Tony Blair"

    I can see his brown lips puckered around the assholes clear from here.
     
  12. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    Someone has to talk and write shit for there masters, nag.
     
  13. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Here's the response to this ridiculous rant from the Transform website (full article on all the latest scaremongering: http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2007/04/indie-again.html) :

    The most recent opinion piece by the previous weeks returning hero, Anthony Seldon, makes it all too clear. Within 300 words we have heard that cannabis is 'sneakily and subtly toxic', is responsible for destroying lives, careers and triggering suicides, causing depression, psychoses and insanity, and leads people to 'hard drugs' (its the gateway theory - noooooooooooooooooooo!).
    Seldon then proposes three possible school responses to this 'sinister' drug:

    1. Educating young people about the dangers of cannabis. Seems worth a try, but he describes this as the 'the least reliable' of the three methods.OK, its not had a great track record but that does seem a bit defeatist, for headmaster of a 'leading public school'.

    2. Punishment. Yes! now we are getting somewhere. Bit of punishment: that'll learn'm. Seldon is unequivocal:

    "I have never believed in giving children who bring drugs on to school premises a second chance. It means that, for some, to be "busted" for drugs is a badge of honour. This strong line might seem heartless, but it has saved many more pupils than it has damaged. Random drug testing and sniffer dogs are other devices. Nothing is ruled out in the interests of protecting those in my charge."​

    Isn't that just brilliant? Despite official advice and ample evidence that excluding the most vulnerable and needy pupils 'in his charge' is counterproductive, he is resolutely determined not to give them a 'second chance'. Wellington is a Church of England faith school, according to their website:"The values of Christianity - upon which our whole society is built and continues to operate - are the foundation of Wellington and are immensely important to us as a school community, still providing the framework for our daily lives." Values of Christianity like....forgiveness perhaps?

    3. 'teaching young people how to live'. Now, at last, a bit I can find some agreement with. Giving kids more attractive options than drug use: fine. Encouraging sensible/healthy lifestyle choices: excellent. "What is the point of schools if they do not help children to learn how to live their lives to the full, how to enjoy themselves and be happy, and how to live intelligently?". It gives the impression of being an outbreak of reasonableness, maybe I have misjudged Dr Seldon....
    ....But then we have the final insult:

    Drugs are not intelligent living. Alcohol is part of intelligent life for many, and with older school children the art is to help them to realise that drink, properly used, can be a significant enhancement to life. With drugs, there is no half-way position. Everyone - government, the media and schools - needs to give the same message: "No."​
    Now if you will excuse my non-Christian language, but, what the hell? Alcohol apparently is not a 'drug' (er, it is), but rather it is part of 'intelligent life', in fact we need to teach 'school children' how it can be a 'significant enhancement to life'. Maybe they should hand out alco-pops at play-time, before the hurling the empty bottles at those nasty potheads as they are chased out the school by drug dogs? remember - 'nothing is ruled out'. Forgive me (if you can) but what on earth is he talking about?

    anewsimg.bbc.co.uk_media_images_41188000_gif__41188874_men_cirrhosis_203new.gif



    'life enhancing' booze



    It is amazing to me that he would round off this hopelessly emotive and unscientific anti-cannabis tirade with an exultation of alcohol - the drug at the centre of a growing youth epidemic of binge drinking and anti social behaviour, and the cause of 10-20000 premature deaths a year. And Seldon talks about cannabis reclassification sending out the 'wrong signals'. ​




    Just think about this for a moment: How easy would it have been to produce almost the exact same article, but about the 'scourge' of alcohol. Read the article again - change 'cannabis'/'drugs'/'joints' to 'alcohol'/ 'drinking' etc. and you'll see what I mean. The millions of young people for whom the just say no message, dogs, testing, punishment, criminal records and and exclusions dont appear to work need accurate information about the dangers of all drugs and how to minimise the risks of their use.

    The Sedon denoument strikes me as utterly bizarre. But this, perhaps, sums up the IOS's whole approach and there will be more to come so buckle up. The Independent on Sunday appear to be digging in for a long war.
     
  14. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus Silver Member

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    Yeah! alcohol is intellignent, drinking, laughing and then, when it comes to mind, beating someone up, fallng asleep anywhere waking up in ones´own piss/vomit/poo and remembering nothing... wow, how stupid was my last philosopher´s stone experiment, how disguating the last three times rolling, that was so much worse and unintelligent compared to an intelligent booze...

    And my drinking father, when he tried to tell me I was watching too much video (which I wasn´t) threw the video recorder through the window (twice in a few months) not to mention his intelligent opinions about fags, socialists emancipation and the "fun-generation" - alcohol really beats the shit out of other drugs..

    So glad, that no one is going to be mis-accused for selling-taking drugs for just wearing a leather jacket having long hair an smoking cigarettes.... while the others so unintellingt drug dealers/useres with the right names, enough money and a good, clean haircut will manage to get through with it, while th others will die along the road.. great job.... that´s how we get farther...

    must be the alcohol that permits such a clear, straight forward thinking :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007