Cannabis News NORML - It's Time for a Change!
  Why I Would Vote No On Pot
Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2006 at 14:48:55 PT
By Sanjay Gupta 
Source: Time Magazine 

cannabis USA -- Maybe it's because I was born a couple of months after Woodstock and wasn't around when marijuana was as common as iPods are today, but I'm constantly amazed that after all these years--and all the wars on drugs and all the public-service announcements--nearly 15 million Americans still use marijuana at least once a month. California and 10 other states have already decriminalized marijuana for medical use. Now two of those states--Colorado and Nevada--are considering ballot initiatives that would legalize up to an ounce of pot for personal use by people 21 and older, whether or not there is a medical need.

What do voters need to know before going to the polls?

The first is that marijuana isn't really very good for you. True, there are health benefits for some patients. Several recent studies, including a new one from the Scripps Research Institute, show that THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for the high, can help slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease. (In fact, it seems to block the formation of disease-causing plaques better than several mainstream drugs.) Other studies have shown THC to be a very effective antinausea treatment for people--cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, for example--for whom conventional medications aren't working. And medical cannabis has shown promise relieving pain in patients with multiple sclerosis and reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.

But I suspect that most of the people eager to vote yes on the new ballot measures aren't suffering from glaucoma, Alzheimer's or chemo-induced nausea. Many of them just want to get stoned legally. That's why I, like many other doctors, am unimpressed with the proposed legislation, which would legalize marijuana irrespective of any medical condition.

Why do I care? As Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, puts it, "Numerous deleterious health consequences are associated with [marijuana's] short- and long-term use, including the possibility of becoming addicted."

What are other health consequences? Frequent marijuana use can seriously affect your short-term memory. It can impair your cognitive ability (why do you think people call it dope?) and lead to long-lasting depression or anxiety. While many people smoke marijuana to relax, it can have the opposite effect on frequent users. And smoking anything, whether it's tobacco or marijuana, can seriously damage your lung tissue.

The Nevada and Colorado marijuana initiatives have gained support from unlikely places. More than 33 religious leaders in Nevada have endorsed the measure, arguing that permissive legalization, accompanied by stringent regulations and penalties, can cut down on illegal drug trafficking and make communities safer.

Perhaps. But I'm here to tell you, as a doctor, that despite all the talk about the medical benefits of marijuana, smoking the stuff is not going to do your health any good. And if you get high before climbing behind the wheel of a car, you will be putting yourself and those around you in danger.

Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon. Check out his podcast at: http://cnn.com/health

With reporting by With reporting by Matt Sloane ~ Atlanta

From the Nov. 6, 2006 issue of TIME magazine

Source: Time Magazine (US)
Author: Sanjay Gupta
Published: October 29, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Time Inc.
Contact: letters@time.com
Website: http://www.time.com/time/

Related Articles & Web Sites:

Safer Choice
http://www.saferchoice.org/

Regulate and Control Marijuana
http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/

So Why is Pot Really Illegal?
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22323.shtml

No Logical Reason To Punish Adults for Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22312.shtml

Mr. Walters Goes To Nevada
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22284.shtml

Clergy Supports Effort To Legalize Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22235.shtml


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Comment #25 posted by whig on October 31, 2006 at 15:37:56 PT
Creation is a word
And then there is music.

http://cannablog.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/sea-of-green-beneath-sky-of-blue/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #24 posted by whig on October 31, 2006 at 15:24:40 PT
FoM/rchandar
Humans go through cycles, as individuals and as whole cultures. We become creators for six days and rest on the seventh. Sometimes a day may be a minute or a year, or any indeterminate length of clock time. It may just be defined in terms of the task at hand, and the effort required to complete it.

In any case, we were resting. This is the eighth day of creation.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #23 posted by FoM on October 31, 2006 at 14:30:57 PT
rchandar
It's good to hear from you again too. Sometimes it is easier not to make waves and let the government make the decisions. I guess for me because of the injustice I have seen while during CNews towards people who believe that the laws should be changed on cannabis has made me a way more questioning person.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #22 posted by rchandar on October 31, 2006 at 14:14:04 PT:

FoM
It isn't always true, but that's the norm, in my experience. There is, of course, a huge difference when one goes to India--I'd say that there there is a tremendous intellectual diversity, populists, Marxists, disgruntled intellectuals, journalists--there's a tremendous diversity. But, sad to say, that isn't true of us 2nd-generation-ers in the US. What the law says, what normative society says, we copy it without question. I always hated that. There are some Indian-Americans, I know, who aren't this--who follow rock bands, protest injustice, what-have-you--but the vast majority--particularly the medical establishment, and that's where we're most powerful--are of that "stereotypical" disposition.

But talk to Dr. Gupta's kids. You may get a very different picture.

Good to hear from you again.

--rchandar

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #21 posted by FoM on October 31, 2006 at 13:51:12 PT
rchandar
Thank you. What you said makes sense to me.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #20 posted by rchandar on October 31, 2006 at 13:01:24 PT:

Sanjay Gupta...
...is an Indian-American. Most Indian-Americans are financially well-off, vote Republican, side with authority and material wealth, and support every normative value or governmental principle simply because they are the normative values or governmental principles.

I'm Indian-American. And I'm telling you, urging you to vote "yes."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #19 posted by whig on October 31, 2006 at 08:56:55 PT
OT: Alert!
(Best Paul Revere imitation:) The shredders are coming.

http://cannablog.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/time-to-make-copies/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #18 posted by whig on October 31, 2006 at 08:41:26 PT
goneposthole
I don't understand why people are offended to be told how or whether to vote. Jack Herer pleaded with people to vote, and now I am trying to find out if I will even be allowed. I believe that I can in good conscience vote on an advisory ballot measure without it thereby authorizing force, but am told that I may not register in time and that if I cast a provisional ballot, the supervisor will not count my vote. (I was told this by the supervisor herself.)

http://tinyurl.com/yyof7w

As for the fact that Sanjay is dishonest:

http://tinyurl.com/wf8h8

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #17 posted by goneposthole on October 31, 2006 at 08:04:27 PT
So, vote 'no'
You can vote 'no,' you can vote 'yes,' you don't even have to vote.

Sanjay can vote no if he wants to vote no. He can tell everybody why, that's his business. He shouldn't be telling everybody else how they should vote. That's none of his business.

I have a hunch that Dr. Lester Grinspoon would vote yes.

http://www.marijuana-uses.com/



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #16 posted by whig on October 30, 2006 at 12:52:36 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Thanks! http://tinyurl.com/wf8h8

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #15 posted by whig on October 30, 2006 at 12:02:43 PT
Max
There is an intelligence war going on, along with everything else.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #14 posted by rchot on October 29, 2006 at 22:20:00 PT
off topic
I don't know if this has been posted yet, but you just have to see how Mr.Levine totally own this police officer in a debate about question 7 on the nevada ballot. This is how it should be done. You don't have to come across as angry or arrogant to get your point across.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on October 29, 2006 at 21:48:57 PT
Sanjay Gupta "Effed Up"?
http://tinyurl.com/yhqw6u

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by The GCW on October 29, 2006 at 21:23:30 PT
Dr.
US UT: A Cigarette Ban Not Realistic, Utahns Say

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1459/a08.html?397

&

US MI: Editorial: If Cigarettes Went Underground

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1459/a09.html?397

44 & 7 & 44 & 7 & 44 & 7 & 44

Dr.

Do You also want to cage cigarette users?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on October 29, 2006 at 20:37:40 PT
Sanjay Gupta heal thyself.
I suggest a consultation with some doctors who actually know what they are talking about -

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Dr. Donald Tashkin, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Dean Edell among many others.

You might also want to look into why the AMA was against making marijuana illegal in the first place.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by observer on October 29, 2006 at 20:00:22 PT
Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon
Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon.

Why is Dr. Gupta qualified to tell me why my sons and daughters should be jailed simply for using pot?

What does neurosurgery have to do with sending people to jail?

This is Edward Bernays' old trick. You trot out docs in white smocks and stethoscope. The sheep bleat in unison, "Do-o-o-c-tor! Do-o-o-c-tor! Baaa! Baaa! Obey! Obey!" Bacon is sold.

Edward Bernays (November 22, 1891 - March 9, 1995) is regarded by many as the "father of public relations," [i.e., Propaganda] ...

One of Bernays' favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of "third party authorities" to plead for his clients' causes. "If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway," he said. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat hearty breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

No thanks, "Doctor" Gupta. You can take your prison and shove it.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by The GCW on October 29, 2006 at 19:30:42 PT
Just vote yes
Just vote yes

From the Lovely County Citizen news paper in EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark.

http://www.lovelycitizen.com/Articles/ArticleViewer.aspx?ArticleID=d72df16c-c6e0-4402-b89e-2ea5a3317fda

Updated: 10/11/2006

In a few weeks, Eureka Springs voters will have an opportunity to make an important statement. While some believe voting to make enforcement of marijuana laws in the city a low priority is pointless because state and federal laws trump city ordinances, the point is to make a long overdue point. The point of voting for this measure is to announce to the world that the people are wise to the hoax of this war on marijuana, and that they are no longer going to sit by quietly and allow the government to squander resources and ruin lives for no actual purpose.

The war in Iraq is not the only war-based-on-lies our government is fighting: For more than 60 years, this silly war on a harmless and helpful herb has been waged. In that time, millions of good and honorable Americans have been made into criminals and billions of dollars have been wasted. The winners in this war are the black marketeers, who reap huge profits from prohibition; the politicians, who use this war to highlight their (self-)righteousness; the medical-pharmaceutical industries, which make billions selling expensive, patented chemical drugs, frequently with nasty side-effects, when often a simple plant would be more effective and less harmful; and the “criminal-justice” industry, including the lawyers, court systems, police departments and jail builders who are enriched through the persecution of marijuana smokers.

  It’s the profit made by these winners that keep marijuana illegal, just as it was profit motives and greed that led to the demonization of the herb in the first place. In his carefully footnoted exposé, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer documents the conspiracies that led to marijuana prohibition and the ongoing drug war. Anyone wishing to cast an informed vote on the subject is advised to read this well-documented and entertaining account of the prohibition scam.

Cont. w/ comment section...

44 & 7 & 44 & 7 & 44 & 7

Releated article:

US AR: Decriminalize Pot? Ark. Town to Decide

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1455/a04.html?397

In the "Bible Belt"

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 29, 2006 at 19:06:36 PT
Celaya
Thanks! I'll check it out tomorrow.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by Celaya on October 29, 2006 at 18:57:39 PT
SAFER VS DEA TOMORROW - (Monday)
SAFER Squares Off With DEA on Mike Rosen Show Monday

SAFER Campaign Director Mason Tvert will debate DEA field office head Jeffrey Sweetin tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the Mike Rosen Show.

You can listen to the live debate on-line or you can tune in to the program on KOA 850 AM in Denver.

As you might recall, the show's host, Mike Rosen -- a conservative icon in Colorado -- endorsed a YES vote on Amendment 44 in the Rocky Mountain News earlier this month.

http://www.safercolorado.org/blog.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Christen-Mitchell

Thanks for the Julian Heicklen quote. It's my favorite of the whole movement!

Thanks for the site, too. Below is a Heicklen site I like. I tried to write to him several times in the last few years but never heard back. Do you know how he's doing?



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by BGreen on October 29, 2006 at 17:18:34 PT
Sanjay Gupta hawks new pills for big pharma
He pushes poison for a living.

Why should it surprise us that he feels his cash cow is threatened?

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by greenmed on October 29, 2006 at 17:12:24 PT
vote YES
The Nevada and Colorado marijuana initiatives have gained support from unlikely (sic) places. More than 33 religious leaders in Nevada have endorsed the measure, arguing that permissive legalization, accompanied by stringent regulations and penalties, can cut down on illegal drug trafficking and make communities safer.

It's all about harm-reduction. Religious groups were among the forefront of those calling for repeal of alcohol prohibition.

Perhaps. But I'm here to tell you, as a doctor, that despite all the talk about the medical benefits of marijuana, smoking the stuff is not going to do your health any good.

Is that a valid reason to arrest and incarcerate a person? Because it is not good for their health?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Max Flowers on October 29, 2006 at 16:21:46 PT
C(IA)NN
You must mean the Central Int.... I mean cable news intelligence network---er, um sorry that would be the Cable News Network, CNN.

That news station run by the CIA. Yeah I've heard of them.

Agent Anderson Cooper is a good operative, er ah I mean news personality.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 29, 2006 at 16:17:21 PT
lombar
He's the CNN News Doctor. He always tell us about new drugs.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by lombar on October 29, 2006 at 16:09:27 PT
Who's the dope doc?
It can impair your cognitive ability (why do you think people call it dope?) and lead to long-lasting depression or anxiety.

People call it dope because of prejudice. Dope is 'airplane dope', hobbyiest glue and this insulting remark is disparaging by comparing people who use cannabis to people who sniff glue. The effect of cannabis are light and relatively benign. Unlike sniffing airplane glue which any kid can buy at a hobby store. I have had to learn to deal with severe anxiety because of educated idiots like this guy.

20 years in jail for a bag of flowers will cause long lasting depression, fighting prejudice and propaganda for a decade can lead to severe anxiety. Nobody likes to be lied to, over and over again.

So doctor, what are the health ramifications to having your life suspended, your assets frozen or taken, your access to civil services diminished, and being imprisoned? Prison for cannabis is what you defend, apologist shill, don't pretend to care for us.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by Christen-Mitchell on October 29, 2006 at 15:01:06 PT:

The Issue Here Is Not Marijuana
Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The Issue Is whether we will live in freedom or under tyranny. The most basic of all human rights is The right to your own body. The lighted marijuana weed is the torch of freedom -- Dr. Julian Heicklen

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