US MA: Marijuana, The Deceptive Drug

US MA: Marijuana, The Deceptive Drug
Posted by FoM on March 09, 2000 at 17:22:47 PT
By George Biernson
Source: MapInc.
Beliefs About Marijuana Are Confused.January 5--Marijuana is very deceptive because it is extremely slow acting. Very little of its active ingredient, THC, has reached the brain at the time of the "high." Hence the drug appears to the user to be mild. However, the user does not realize that it has an appreciable effect on his body for over a month.
About 40% of the THC is stored in the body fat and is then slowly released into the blood over many weeks. Each joint adds to the supply of THC that the body is storing, thereby increasing the level of it in the blood. When a person smokes regularly, the THC in his blood is sufficient to sedate him all the time.Not Like Alcohol:As they experiment, kids play with pot because they hear from many sources that it is no more harmful than alcohol. Therefore, they reason, "If my parents can drink alcohol, I can smoke pot." As they experiment, the pot appears to be mild, and so they try it again and again. The THC builds up in their bodies and it steadily drags them into a state of continual sedation. Their minds become confused, and their drug use escalates. They usually start drinking alcohol heavily also. In time their brains become so confused that many graduate to the use of cocaine and heroin, drugs they would never have taken before being caught in the marijuana trap. It is often claimed that marijuana is not harmful because it is not an "addictive drug." The basis for this claim is that physical withdrawal symptoms are mild when one abruptly stops smoking it. However, the reason for mild withdrawal symptoms is that the body has been storing the THC in the body fat and has its own supply of THC. Prior to 1970, most of the pot had about 1% THC or less, and the best stuff had 3%. Because of the enormous demand for marijuana since the 1960's, a strong effort was expended to develop new varieties. Today, practically all of the street pot has about 12%, and some has as much as 25%. Thus the marijuana available today is about ten times as potent as in the 1960's. Brain is Damaged:Dr. Robert Heath of Tulane Medical School did extensive studies of the effect of marijuana on the brains of monkeys. He was world-renowned for his research on the brain, and he was the head of the departments of psychiatry and neurology at five hospitals in the New Orleans area. A typical experiment performed by Dr. Heath was to allow a monkey to smoke the equivalent of a human's smoking two joints of pot per day containing 2.5% THC, five days per week for six months. The monkey was allowed to recover for six months and then was killed. Brain waves were measured from electrodes embedded in the brain. The brain waves had become severely distorted after two months of smoking, and remained severely distorted until the monkey was killed.The cells in the brain, which were examined under an electron microscope, showed serious damage, particularly in a deep part of the brain called the limbic system, which is the center of emotion. All of the brain cells of the limbic region showed strong structural changes. For monkeys that smoked only 40% of this amount, the damage was much less but was still observable. The level of marijuana use by the monkey is equivalent to the smoking of two joints per week of modern pot with 12% THC, by a teenager weighing 130 pounds. We can expect serious long-term brain damage from this level of marijuana use. We can also expect detectable brain damage in a teenager smoking half this level, i.e., one joint of 12% THC per week. About 1980, this monumental research was cancelled by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which is the U.S. federal agency that sponsors research on drugs. It buried the results of this research. Other Damage to the Body:Regular marijuana use at levels generally assumed to be moderate can seriously damage the chromosomes, the immune system, the hormones, the reproductive system, the sex organs, the sex drive, the lungs, and, as we have seen, the brain. Some of it is as follows. - - It causes severe damage to the T-lymphocytes, which are the primary white blood cells associated with the immune defenses of the body, according to studies performed in the early 1970's. The damage to these cells caused by other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin is insignificant in comparison to marijuana. These are the blood cells of the immune system that are primarily damaged by AIDS.- - The chromosomes of mice are also severely damaged, according to studies performed by Dr. Susan Dalterio of the University of Texas. Severe abnormalities were caused in newborn mice from use by the grandfather, even with no marijuana use by the grandmother, father or mother. - - The effect on the reproductive system can be severe. Regular use of the drug by children who have not reached puberty can retard and even permanently inhibit sexual maturity. Its use can destroy the sperm and egg cells and thereby cause sterility. Pot smoking is particularly harmful to girls because their ovaries do not produce new egg cells. Why Are Beliefs About Marijuana So Confused? If the scientific case against marijuana is so strong, why are there such strong beliefs that it is relatively harmless? The primary answer is that powerful economic forces are working to keep the marijuana issue confused. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being made from cocaine and heroin each year. We can expect that much of this money is being spent every year in disguised advertising and influence to help support the trade. As long as the kids believe that marijuana is relatively harmless, many of them will play around with it, and this generates a steady supply of cocaine and heroin addicts.We were making progress when the National Institute of Drug Abuse supported excellent research on marijuana in the 1970's. However, new leadership took control about 1980, and all of this was cancelled. Since then, the Institute has not supported any significant responsible research on marijuana. In 1988 the United States government sponsored the White House Conference for a Drug-Free America which recommended that an independent evaluation of the National Institute on Drug Abuse be conducted. No action was ever taken on this recommendation. Nevertheless our federal government spends billions of dollars every year in a fruitless War on Drugs, which attempts to keep drugs from entering our country. Medical Use of Marijuana:The attempts to legalize it for medicinal purposes are an indirect means of achieving the total legalization of the drug. Even more important, the message that is being spread concerning the medical use of marijuana is very effective advertising to convince kids that marijuana is not very harmful. This advertising is many, many times more effective than the "Joe Camel" ads by the tobacco companies, which lure kids to smoke tobacco. We have seen that marijuana severely damages the immune system. How then can we justify telling unfortunate AIDS patients that they should smoke marijuana to lessen their pains? Instead we should be shouting, "With your weak immune systems, you should consider marijuana to be the worst form of poison."It's also being used by some cancer patients, but it's just as bad for them. Although chemotherapy can cause severe nausea and THC is very effective in combating nausea, the last thing a cancer chemotherapy patient needs is marijuana, which would weaken his immune system further. There is probably enough common sense in our country to keep us from falling for the phony plea to legalize medical marijuana. However the primary harm from this campaign is its associated propaganda. This propaganda is convincing countless youngsters that marijuana is harmless. Implications of Fat Solubility of THC:The reason that marijuana is much more dangerous than alcohol is because the alcohol is water-soluble and it dissolves readily into the blood. It is absorbed from the stomach and stays in the blood until it is metabolized by the liver. The blood carries the alcohol to the brain, where it performs its numbing effect.In contrast, the THC that is found in marijuana is not soluble in water and so cannot dissolve in the blood.When a person smokes marijuana, no more than 25% of the THC is absorbed into the blood. About 40% of the THC that enters the body is stored deeply in body fat. The fat releases the THC into the blood with a half-life of one week, which means that if a person stops smoking pot it takes one week for the stored THC to drop to 1/2, two weeks to drop to 1/4, etc. Every week the THC is stored in the fat, it decreases by one-half. The blood in the brain is separated from the main blood supply by the blood-brain barrier, which is a sieve that helps to protect the brain from toxic substances. Since the THC molecules stick to this sieve, they pass through the blood-brain barrier very slowly. This delays the flow of THC to the brain. By the time an appreciable amount of THC has worked its way through the blood-brain barrier, there is little THC left in the blood. Consequently the peak concentration of THC in the brain blood is very small. It is only 1/2 of one percent of the initial THC concentration in the main blood supply.At the time of the "high," the peak concentration of THC in the blood of the brain is about 1/1000 of the THC in the marijuana joint, spread over the blood supply of the body.THC is extremely potent. It is one million times more potent than alcohol. Marijuana appears to be mild because THC acts very slowly, over a period of many weeks.The more often one smokes marijuana, the more THC is stored in the body fat. The THC stored in body fat is released steadily into the blood. Although the blood-brain barrier delays the flow of this THC to the brain, it does not reduce the amount of THC in the brain because the fat releases THC slowly and steadily. When a person smokes one marijuana joint per day, the peak change of THC concentration in the blood of his brain after smoking a joint is only 3 times the steady THC concentration. He builds up tolerance to the steady THC level, and so he does not feel a strong "high" when smoking a single joint.The regular pot smoker is constantly sedated from the steady THC level, and so he sinks into a state of continual sedation. His mind becomes confused, he becomes lazy and sloppy, and he has a strong urge to feel "high." Since he is tolerant to the steady THC in his blood, he often turns to other drugs to get "high." Nevertheless, he continues to smoke pot as he takes the other drugs, because smoking marijuana makes him "feel good all the time." One of the drugs that marijuana smokers take frequently is alcohol. Those who smoke pot usually drink much more alcohol and drink much harder than those who do not. Normally a young person becomes sick and vomits when he drinks excessive alcohol. However THC strongly inhibits nausea, and so a young pot smoker can easily consume a lethal dose of alcohol without vomiting. For someone who does not smoke pot, it normally takes many years of hard alcohol drinking before one builds up sufficient alcohol tolerance to hold down a lethal dose of alcohol without vomiting. Our society is deeply troubled by the smoking of cigarettes by teenagers. Yet nobody seems concerned that nearly as many teenagers smoke marijuana as smoke cigarettes. How do you convince a teenager to stop smoking cigarettes when he is smoking pot ?Relationship to Crime:Individuals directly involved in prosecuting criminals are well aware of the strong relation between crime and drug abuse. One district attorney stated that most of the criminals in our jails were so confused by drugs when they committed their crimes they cannot even remember the crimes for which they are bring punished. Marijuana is the seed from which the scourge of drug abuse grows. If we stop the marijuana, we will stop the rest of the drug abuse, and with it the crime.The marijuana presently being smoked by our kids is ten times as potent as in the 1960's. When we realize how much marijuana is being used by our teenagers, and how extremely potent it is, it is frightening to think of the damage that this marijuana must be doing to the brains of these innocent children. None of us should be surprised by the violence in our schools today.URL: Tip from: Jan, 2000Source: Massachusetts News (MA)Copyright: 2000 Massachusetts News, Inc.Contact: editor Address: One Cameron St., Wellesley, MA 02482Website: George BiernsonNote: George Biernson is an electronics systems engineer, with BS and MS degrees from MIT. His primary area of expertise is dynamics, also known as kinetics. This background was applied in his pharmaco-kinetic study of the storage of the THC found in marijuana.Also: Thanks to the tip from a DrugSense voicechat talker who was shocked at how scientific this item from a Massachusetts monthly newspaper sounded. We are posting the responses, also, and will provide an index. MAP posted-by: Richard Lake Related Article:US MA: Reply To Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug MapInc. Archives New & Growing!
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #11 posted by Laurence McKinney on November 01, 2000 at 05:51:29 PT:
 Folks, George Biernsen is a retired engineer in  Massachusetts who is nearly eighty years old, uses a walker, and has no life at all except writing letters to the Boston Herald - most papers simply don't respond and honestly - nobody else should either. He's a lonely old dude who should roll a bone and chill, so nothing  can be achieved by kicking the poor old idiot around - at least he's not as nuts as the Leuchter guy who made the gas chambers and came from the same town I think - what makes engineers crazy? Ask Dilbert. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Doc-Hawk on March 10, 2000 at 18:19:01 PT:
Nahas, et al
From the vaults of comes "How The Wall Street Journal defrauded the readers of its editorial page" It is a critique of a Garbage Science review by Nahas of a report in the New England Journal Of Medicine by Dr. Kassirer. Dr. (and I use that term loosely) Nahas is just another prohibitionist stooge....and gets taken to task BY MCDONALD J. CHRISTIE & GREGORY B. CHESHER, Department of Pharmacology, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia .
Nahas versus Kassirer -- Fraud on Wall Street
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 10, 2000 at 14:07:18 PT
Here are MapInc. & Cannabis News Links
MapInc. Related Articles: Related Articles:US MA: Marijuana, The Deceptive Drug MA: Reply To Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug MA: Prof. Miron Is Wrong About Marijuana to Marijuana Article by Jeffrey A. Miron MapInc Archives New & Growing! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on March 10, 2000 at 06:41:49 PT:
The dead give-away
If you use the second link, you will find that Biernson is doing exactly what I said he (and the other DrugWarriors with pretenses of medical knowledge and objectivity) would do; trot out the decrepit studies of their tame 'scientists' which were designed with preconceived intent to 'prove' cannabis was harmful. All you have to do is look at one name in particular: Gabriel Nahas. Mr. Nahas was excorriated by his own peers for shoddy research into the subject and for his blatantly obvious bias in favor of his benfactors at NIDA. Always follow the money.What you are seeing is nothing less than an attempt to blitzkrieg the MMJ movement. This is a tactical move in their long-term strategy; none of what you are seeing is spontaneous news reportage. This was no doubt planned months ago at ONDCP when they realized that people in the States weren't listening to them. So, here's what they do: First, soften people up by scaring them with the claim that cannabis causes cancer. Nothing like trying to scare people who already *have* cancer that their medicine might give them more. (I said it before, you can always expect the antis to hit below the belt.) Then they pull this stunt. Like I said before, the antis are in a bind, and as usual, it's one of their own making. Knowing that an objective, extensive research of cannabis toxicity would blow their precious DrugWar out of the water, they reacted by stifling cannabis reseach in 1980 and denying researchers access to the only legal supply of cannabis available. That way, the only 'official' studies that had been done (and the only ones the government would accept, of course) were the hopelessly flawed studies that were discounted by other scientists in the peer review process. In their simple minded attempt at being cunning, they figure that the only way to beat MMJ is to say that they have 'medical studies' that 'prove' MMJ toxicity. So, true to form, the antis are doing exactly what you can expect them to do; trot out their wretched excuses for medical studies in yet another attempt to frighten the ignorant by baffling them with BS.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by Dave in Florida on March 10, 2000 at 05:03:38 PT
More Crap
here is a rebuttal is more ignorance more idiotic thoughts, these articles really need to be posted together for your readers to get the full benifit.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Freedom on March 09, 2000 at 21:57:37 PT
Oh my.
Yep, I read this earlier at MAPINC.I will not even think of rebutting this crap, spending an hour with this b.s.. No way. THC is stored in the fat cells... good grief, metabolites are stored, not THC... lord help me...I have been told it would get worse before it gets better... please, let the public see through this charade.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on March 09, 2000 at 21:10:37 PT:
Paranoia is the Greek word for a higher form of 
 awareness.Paranoid!! (hard eyes looking furtively about) Who's paranoid? You saying I'm paranoid? You must be one of THEM!!!Sorry, I couldn't resist that. But I'd like to make a point, here. When it is shorn of its' negative connotation that this culture places on it, a great many people here fall under that category, no? More aware than the average citizen of our respective governments? I have yet to read here the typical vacuous head-in-the-sand diatribes that abound in JustSayNoLand. But given some of things the US government *has* done in the past, I believe that a healthy dose of 'higher awareness' is not just a good idea, but absolutely necessary. After all, when your own government lies to you on a daily basis, and those lies can have a very deleterious effect on your life, then it would be foolish to do otherwise. Enough said.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on March 09, 2000 at 20:17:34 PT:
Backed into a corner
Here they go again. The only thing the antis have left in their bag of tricks to try to stop MMJ from spreading to other States is to trot out the hoary old 'medical' studies that had been torn to shreds in peer reviews when they were first published. But because the studies are sufficently esoteric enough (any biology majors here? raise your hands, please) and done so long ago the average American is once again baffled by selectively applied BS. Just like McC's selective presentation of the IoM report.One question to the cognoscenti: is this study the same one that had practically asphyxiated the monkeys by literally strapping them to a 'smoking machine' and forcing so much smoke into their lungs that they suffered more from outright carbon monxide poisoning and anoxia than from anything else? (Please note: the 'author' did not specify how long this part of the study actually took; I do recall that one study in particular had been berated because the monkeys had been effectively gassed to death by this process.)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by greenfox on March 09, 2000 at 19:41:04 PT:
Where to begin, where to begin...> "Beliefs About Marijuana Are Confused."This is a headline, correct? Let us analyze, for a moment.First and foremost, it is important to note that this sentence carries a plethora of meaning. It denotes to the reader, (you,) that YOUR beliefs are being confused. This is an actual advertising method used in commercials. It's called the "bandwagon Approach". Why? Simple; it denotes that beliefs, in general (because they do not specify), are confused. Thus, if you want to "fit in", you can and will conform to the beliefs of "whomever", (since it is not specified.) This is not impartial journalism. It is, however, sly. It's a way of sneaking a message in, by using writing styles that your ninth grade english teacher could only have wet dreams over. Carrying on..>Marijuana is very deceptive because it is extremely slow acting. They obviously haven't tried the NL#5 I revered this fine evening.> "Not Like Alcohol"No, not like alcohol at all, really. You see, cannabis has no practical lethal dose. Thus, one can smoke until they pass out, but rain or shine, they will see daylight the next morning. The dread-fear alcohol, on the other hand, just happens to *have* a lethal dose. So, in a pool of vomit, thousands die each year; and their death is long and painful as pleasant stomach pumping mechanisms futilely try to save their lives in the last hours of social gatherings. Of course, *these* stories are rarely told. Supression is a marvelous machine, ladies and gentlemen. And so, my point for the evening:BREAD AND CIRCUSThe romans had a saying, as printed above, which refered to supressing human will."Give the people food, and entertain them, and their minds and bodies play captive."Oh yes, this was said and done, folks. Years ago, very strange but familar battles were fought, on the same green earth. History repeats. The lesson is never learned, the wheel always turns...KAPTINEMO always sounds paranoid & whatnot; but heed him, for he tells of truth. ECHELON is real and living, and it IS in a cray at NSA. No doubt, guarded by beasts that we dare not refer to as humans....And these people govern you..And these people enslave you..With taxes, and "community" service (who defines a community?), and FLIR, and razer blades (3 for a dollar!) Buy now, folks. USE your credit cards. ORDER NOW. ONLY 19.95! FREE SHIPPING and HANDLING! Guilty as charged, folks, guilty as charged. I hope I don't sound stoned or crazy, but someone out there understands me.. I know someone feels the way I do.-greenfox 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by lorenzo on March 09, 2000 at 18:08:46 PT
I think that this article states every point of prohibitionist propaganda that I've ever seen--the person who wrote this must have been listening to one of McCaffrey's D.A.R.E. speaches or something. Wow, I'm impressed at whoever found all this crap out there. People who know anything about marijuana will know this article's a crock, so hopefully we'll win some prohibitionists to the the freedom movement!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by observer on March 09, 2000 at 17:55:57 PT
Brain is Damaged! (Not)
> Dr. Robert Heath of Tulane Medical School did extensive studies of the effect of marijuana on the brains of monkeys. He was world-renowned for his research on the brain, and he was the head of the departments of psychiatry and neurology at five hospitals in the New Orleans area. from MYTHS ... 1. Marijuana causes brain damage ...``The most celebrated study that claims to show brain damage is the rhesus monkey study of Dr. Robert Heath, done in the late 1970s. This study was reviewed by a distinguished panel of scientists sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and theNational Academy of Sciences. Their results were published under the title, Marijuana and Health in 1982. Heath's work was sharply criticized for its insufficient sample size (only four monkeys), its failure to control experimental bias, and the misidentification of normal monkey brain structure as "damaged". Actual studies of human populations of marijuana users have shown no evidence of brain damage. For example, two studies from 1977, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed no evidence of brain damage in heavy users of marijuana. That same year, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially came out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. That's not the sort of thing you'd expect if the AMA thought marijuana damaged the brain.''-- Paul Hager (Chair, ICLU Drug Task Force)
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: