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Old 10-17-2005, 02:21 PM   #1
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pot makes you smarter

Quote:
By DAWN WALTON

Friday, October 14, 2005 Posted at 3:57 AM EDT

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Calgary — Forget the stereotype about dopey potheads. It seems marijuana could be good for your brain.

While other studies have shown that periodic use of marijuana can cause memory loss and impair learning and a host of other health problems down the road, new research suggests the drug could have some benefits when administered regularly in a highly potent form.

Most "drugs of abuse" such as alcohol, heroin, cocaine and nicotine suppress growth of new brain cells. However, researchers found that cannabinoids promoted generation of new neurons in rats' hippocampuses.

Hippocampuses are the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory, and the study held true for either plant-derived or the synthetic version of cannabinoids.

"This is quite a surprise," said Xia Zhang, an associate professor with the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

"Chronic use of marijuana may actually improve learning memory when the new neurons in the hippocampus can mature in two or three months," he added.

The research by Dr. Zhang and a team of international researchers is to be published in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, but their findings are on-line now.

The scientists also noticed that cannabinoids curbed depression and anxiety, which Dr. Zhang says, suggests a correlation between neurogenesis and mood swings. (Or, it at least partly explains the feelings of relaxation and euphoria of a pot-induced high.)

Other scientists have suggested that depression is triggered when too few new brain cells are created in the hippocampus. One researcher of neuropharmacology said he was "puzzled" by the findings.

As enthusiastic as Dr. Zhang is about the potential health benefits, he warns against running out for a toke in a bid to beef up brain power or calm nerves.

The team injected laboratory rats with a synthetic substance called HU-210, which is similar, but 100 times as potent as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for giving marijuana users a high.

They found that the rats treated regularly with a high dose of HU-210 -- twice a day for 10 days -- showed growth of neurons in the hippocampus. The researchers don't know if pot, which isn't as pure as the lab-produced version, would have the same effect.

"There's a big gap between rats and humans," Dr. Zhang points out.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...enceandHealth/


but don't worry! ignoring science yet again, the Bush administration is cracking down on the most dangerous criminals in society ... pot users -- you know, the kind of people who like licking cheetos residue off their fingers and can't decide what movie they want to see at 7:30.

Quote:
Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
More Americans Arrested on Marijuana Charges in 2004 than for All Violent Crimes Combined

(my emphasis)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to figures released today by the FBI, marijuana arrests set a new record in 2004, totaling 771,605. Eighty-nine percent of these arrests were for marijuana possession, not sale or manufacture.

In contrast, arrests for all violent crimes combined totalled 590,258—a decline from 2003.

"It's important to remember that each of these statistics represents a human being, and in many cases, a preventable tragedy," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "One of those marijuana arrests in 2004 was Jonathan Magbie, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient who died in the Washington, D.C., city jail while serving a 10-day sentence for marijuana possession. Had Congress not blocked the district's medical marijuana law from taking effect, Jonathan Magbie would almost certainly be alive today.

http://www.mpp.org/releases/nr20051017.html
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Old 10-17-2005, 02:50 PM   #2
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Personally, I believe this study is bullshit, although I also believe that it is hypocritical to ban marijuana when tobacco is legal--and openly defended--in Congress.

I also think this part of the study needs to be underlined too:

Quote:
The team injected laboratory rats with a synthetic substance called HU-210, which is similar, but 100 times as potent as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for giving marijuana users a high.
Maybe we should consider the benefits of HU-210, rather than extrapolating from that the benefits of smoking pot.

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Old 10-17-2005, 03:08 PM   #3
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He He, he said "hippocampuses".

OT: Hey Irvine, let me know about those tickets for Thursday's show. Somehow, I had a feeling it would be easier to reach you in the blue crack than via email. I'll be logging off for the day but checking my email this evening.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:14 PM   #4
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So, if this synthetic substance is 100 times more powerful than THC, and they gave it to the rats twice a day for 10 days, that means that I have to smoke 200 joints a day for 10 days.

Two kilos of weed in 10 days...

done and done.
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:30 PM   #5
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^sounds like you had three bowls for breakfast, and only one was cereal
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:54 PM   #6
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Hippies smoked pot, and look how smart they were.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by shrmn8rpoptart
^sounds like you had three bowls for breakfast, and only one was cereal
I'll have to remember that one.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:50 PM   #8
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okay, all you stoners, time to put down the Taco Bell and cheez wiz and get serious for a moment ... isn't anyone bothered by this:

[Q]According to figures released today by the FBI, marijuana arrests set a new record in 2004, totaling 771,605. Eighty-nine percent of these arrests were for marijuana possession, not sale or manufacture. In contrast, arrests for all violent crimes combined totalled 590,258—a decline from 2003.[/Q]
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:56 PM   #9
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Is the implication that there are violent crimes without arrests? Or that police should not enforce drug possession laws.

I with Melon on this. Keep it illegal and add tobacco to the list.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I with Melon on this. Keep it illegal and add tobacco to the list.
It is your right not to smoke tobacco if you choose.

I just wonder why do you feel it necessary to require the legal system to enforce your particular preference on others, given that California (like Ireland) already has very restrictive legislation to ensure that the right of non-smokers to clean air is protected?
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:05 PM   #11
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I think we should legalise pot and ban tobacco.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
It is your right not to smoke tobacco if you choose.

I just wonder why do you feel it necessary to require the legal system to enforce your particular preference on others, given that California (like Ireland) already has very restrictive legislation to ensure that the right of non-smokers to clean air is protected?
Air quality is just one externality of smoking. Perhaps all smokers should be provided full healthcare coverage for smoking related illnesses - with the cost tacked onto the price of cigarettes.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
I just wonder why do you feel it necessary to require the legal system to enforce your particular preference on others, given that California (like Ireland) already has very restrictive legislation to ensure that the right of non-smokers to clean air is protected?
Because when smokers get sick, they become an expensive drain on our health care system. And with all the costs of trying to keep these dead men walking alive, it can potentially drive up health insurance costs, along with governmental Medicare/Medicaid costs, both of which will lead to higher taxes.

In other words, keeping a known addictive carcinogen with no health benefits legal is stupid and affects more than just the retard who decided to take up smoking in the first place.

In terms of marijuana, I generally abhor it, as well, but am willing to compromise in terms of medical marijuana for people facing serious and life-threatening illness, considering much of the anecdotal evidence that it is a highly effective pain reliever. In my own experience, I know that many prescriptions are often ineffective or laden with too many side effects to be desirable for long-term usage. I would have marijuana be tightly regulated as a prescription in these isolated cases.

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Old 10-17-2005, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Air quality is just one externality of smoking. Perhaps all smokers should be provided full healthcare coverage for smoking related illnesses - with the cost tacked onto the price of cigarettes.

That would be a more reasonable solution than banning it outright - but should we apply the same argument to automobile owners, given that people are killed in road accidents, cost of medical treatment for those injured in road accidents and also health affects of carbon monoxide pollution? Granted, the externalities of the first two are probably already taken into account in the price we pay for motor insurance, but the third externality is not, as far as I am aware. And smokers already pay more for life assurance, so it seems to me that that externality is already at least partially levied on the smoker.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
That would be a more reasonable solution than banning it outright - but should we apply the same argument to automobile owners, given that people are killed in road accidents, cost of medical treatment for those injured in road accidents and also health affects of carbon monoxide pollution?
There's a major difference between driving and smoking. Driving, for the vast majority of people every day, is a harmless exercise with a positive benefit: it gets you from point A to point B with great speed and efficiency. While fatal auto accidents occur, the vast majority of drivers and passengers will live to an old age and die of something completely unrelated. That aside, I always support increasing environmental and fuel efficiency standards for automobiles.

But name one positive benefit for tobacco usage. There aren't any. We have banned many other prescription drugs for having even a small fraction of the danger that tobacco poses to everyone. It makes no sense to me for keeping it legal, and, once banned, not only would society be healthier, but future generations would grow up not even missing it.

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