Doing a presentation on legalization....

Discussion in 'General' started by PhoenixInFlames, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. And i have to lead the class in a discussion about it :D

    Anyone got any more FACTS that will aid my arguement that marijuana should be legalized?

    So far i have this....

    1. Marijuana is a nontoxic drug that cannot cause death by overdose
    and has been proven to not cause lung cancer, compared alcohol which kills
    50,000 people a year due to alcohol poisoning as well as cigarettes which kill
    about 400,000 people a year.

    2. Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers about $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of 734,000 people each year. This is far more than the total number of arrests for all
    major crimes combined, murder, rape, robbery, assault etc.

    3. A new study from the School of medicine at UCLA shows that heavy marijuana use does not increase
    the users risk of cancer.

    anyone else got any other good facts?
     
  2. A few explained myths:






    CLAIM #8:

    MARIJUANA CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE

    Critics state that marijuana has been shown to damage brain cells and that this damage, in turn, causes memory loss, cognitive impairment, and difficulties in learning.

    THE FACTS

    The original basis of this claim was a report that, upon postmortem examinations, structural changes in several brain regions were found in two rhesus monkeys exposed to THC. 51 Because these changes primarily involved the hippocampus, a cortical brain region known to play an important role in learning and memory, this finding suggested possible negative consequences for human marijuana users.
    Additional studies, employing rodents, reported similar brain changes.

    However, to achieve these results, massive doses of THC - up to 200 times the psychoactive dose in humans - had to be given . In fact, studies employing 100 times the human dose have failed to reveal any damage. 52
    In the most recently published study, rhesus monkeys were exposed through face-mask inhalation to the smoke equivalent of four to five joints per day for one year. When sacrificed seven months later, there was no observed alteration of hippocampal architecture, cell size, cell number, or synaptic configuration. The authors conclude:
    "while behavioral and neuroendocrinal effects are observed during marijuana smoke exposure in the monkey, residual neuropathological and neurochemical effects of marijuana exposure were not observed seven months after the year-long marijuana smoke regimen." 53
    Thus, 20 years after the first report of brain damage in two marijuana-exposed monkeys, the claim of damage to brain cells has been effectively disproven.

    No postmortem examinations of the brains of human marijuana users have ever been conducted. However, numerous studies have explored marijuana effect on brain-related cognitive functions. Many employ an experimental design - in which subjects are given marijuana in a laboratory setting, and then compared to controls on a variety of measures involving attention, learning and memory.
    In a number of studies, no significant differences were detected. 54 In fact, there is substantial research demonstrating that that marijuana intoxication does not impair the retrieval of information learned previously. 55 However, there is evidence that marijuana, particularly in high doses, may interfere with users' ability to transfer new information into longterm memory. 56
    While there is general agreement that, while under the influence of marijuana, learning is less efficient, 57 there is no evidence that marijuana users - even longterm users - suffer permanent impairment. Indeed, numerous studies comparing chronic marijuana users with non-user controls have found no significant differences in learning, memory recall or other cognitive functions. 58













    CLAIM #12:

    MARIJUANA IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS

    The detrimental impact of alcohol on highway safety has been well documented. Marijuana's opponents claim that it, too, causes significant impairment and that any increase in use will lead to increased highway accidents and fatalities.

    THE FACTS

    In high doses, marijuana probably produces driving impairment in most people. However, there is no evidence that marijuana, in current consumption patterns, contributes substantially to the rate of vehicular accidents in America.

    A number of studies have looked for evidence of drugs in the blood or urine of drivers involved in fatal crashes. All have found alcohol present in 50% or more. Marijuana has been found much less often. Furthermore, in the majority of cases where marijuana has been detected, alcohol has been detected as well. 77
    For example, a recent study sponsored by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involving analysis of nearly 2000 fatal accident cases, found 6.7 % of drivers positive for marijuana. In more than two-thirds of those, alcohol was present and may have been the primary contributor to the fatal outcome. 78
    To accurately assess marijuana's contribution to fatal crashes, the positive rate among deceased drivers would have to be compared to the positive rate from a random sample of drivers not involved in fatal accidents. Since the rate of past-month marijuana use for Americans above the legal driving age is about 12 percent, on any given day a substantial proportion of all drivers would test positive, particularly since marijuana s metabolites remain in blood and urine long after its psychoactive effects are finished.
    A recent study found that one-third of those stopped for "reckless driving" between the hours of 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. - mostly young males - tested positive for marijuana (and no other drugs).79 To be meaningful, these test results would have to be compared to those from a matched control group of drivers.
    A number of driving simulator studies have shown that marijuana does not produce the kind of psycho-motor impairment evident with modest doses of alcohol. 80 In fact, in a recent NHTSA study, the only statistically significant outcome associated with marijuana was that drivers drove more slowly. 81

    A recent study of actual driving ability under the influence of cannabis - employing the same protocol used to test the impairment-potential of medicinal drugs - evaluated the impact of placebo and three active THC doses in three driving trials, including one in high-density urban traffic.
    Dose-related impairment was observed in drivers' ability to maintain steady lateral position. However, even with the highest dose of THC, impairment was relatively minor - comparable to that with blood-alcohol concentrations of between .03 and .07 % and many legal medications. Drivers under the influence of marijuana also tended to decrease their speed and approach other cars more cautiously.
    While recognizing some limitations of this study, the authors conclude that "THC is not a profoundly impairing drug." 82




    CLAIM #13:

    MARIJUANA IS A "GATEWAY" TO THE USE OF OTHER DRUGS

    Advocates of marijuana prohibition claim that even if marijuana itself causes minimal harm, it is a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of "harder drugs" such as heroin, LSD, and cocaine.

    THE FACTS

    Most users of heroin, LSD and cocaine have used marijuana. However, most marijuana users never use another illegal drug.

    Over time, there has been no consistent relationship between the use patterns of various drugs. 83
    As marijuana use increased in the 1960s and 1970s, heroin use declined. And, when marijuana use declined in the 1980s, heroin use remained fairly stable.

    For the past 20 years, as marijuana use-rates fluctuated, the use of LSD hardly changed at all.

    Cocaine use increased in the early 1980s as marijuana use was declining. During the late 1980s, both marijuana and cocaine declined. During the last few years, cocaine use has continued to decline as marijuana use has increased slightly.
    In 1994, less than 16% of high school seniors who had ever tried marijuana had ever tried cocaine - the lowest percentage ever recorded. In fact, as shown below, the proportion of marijuana users trying cocaine has declined steadily since 1986, when a high of more than 33% was recorded.

    Proportion of Marijuana Users Ever Trying Cocaine

    High School Seniors, 1975-1994 84

    1975: 19%1980: 27%1985: 31%1990: 22%
    1976: 19%1981: 28%1986: 33%1991: 22%
    1977: 20%1982: 27%1987: 30%1992: 18%
    1978: 22%1983: 28%1988: 26%1993: 17%
    1979: 25%1984: 29%1989: 23%1994: 16%

    In short, there is no inevitable relationship between the use of marijuana and other drugs. This fact is supported by data from other countries. In the Netherlands, for example, although marijuana prevalence among young people increased during the past decade, cocaine use decreased - and remains considerably lower than in the United States. Whereas approximately 16% of youthful marijuana users in the U.S. have tried cocaine, the comparable figure for Dutch youth is 1.8 percent. 85 Indeed, the Dutch policy of allowing marijuana to be purchased openly in government-regulated "coffee shops" was designed specifically to separate young marijuana users from illegal markets where heroin and cocaine are sold. 86



    And heres a link to a chart of chemical compositions of weed vs cigarette smoke:
    http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_info3.shtml
     
  3. Nice...thanks a lot guys. This should be interesting tomorrow..
     
  4. no problem. post back on how it went.
     
  5. weird...i was trying to do a presentation on legalization and they'd only let me talk about leagalizing for medicinal use.
    but, you should peep the subforum that's dedicated to getting active and legalizing. that shit's good.
     
  6. p.s.
    +rep for converge references in your profile...you should check em out on sounds of the underground this year. they're playing at merriwether in columbia, md.
    the end.
     
  7. He should have presented this already, howd it go?
     

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